Now, it’s time for the hard part. Here are my 20 favorite episodes of both Justice League series. I bumped it up to 20 because there are so many good episodes. Also, I had an “honorable mentions” list that just got too big, so 20 became the magic number. When looking through both series, I realized that Season 2 of Justice League was freakin’ awesome. You might see a lot of love towards that season. I’ve also grouped some episodes together for reasons you’ll find out below. Well, let’s get to it!
In this Season 1 episode, some of the League members get accidentally transported to another Earth where they run into John Stewart’s comic book idols, the Justice Guild of America. This team was supposed to homage the Justice Society of America. I don’t know why they decided to do this instead of actually use the JSA. It would have been pretty cool. It might have had to do with the big twist at the end about the world the League was transported to. Either way, it’s a nice two-parter. I especially liked the contrast between the two teams.
19. This Little Piggy
This is a pretty hilarious episode from Season 1 of JLU. The episode revolves around Wonder Woman being transformed into a pig by Circe. Yes, that happens sometimes to these characters. Zatanna guest stars and we get the ridiculous looking B’Wanna Beast. We also get some nice bits between Batman and Wonder Woman. We even find out that Kevin Conroy has a nice singing voice.
18. The Ties That Bind
This is a pretty cool episode that involves the Fourth World characters. Oberon, Mr. Miracle’s mentor and friend, is kidnapped, is kidnapped. Mr. Miracle, Big Barda (great name), and the Flash have to go rescue him. This is a cool one because it does involves some of the New Gods and this was Flash’s first official episode in JLU.
17. Comfort and Joy
This is a Christmas/Holiday episode. That’s right, folks! they actually had one of these episodes. While it’s not in my top ten, it’s pretty cool. It shows most of the League having a break for the holidays. Clark and J’onn go to the Kents for Christmas, Green Lantern and Hawkgirl continue to get close as a couple, and Wally helps out some kids. It’s a pretty funny, light-hearted episode. The placement of this episode is also a little weird for John and Shayara because it’s right after “Wild Cards” and right before “Starcrossed.”
16. Doomsday Sanction
This episode from JLU 2nd season furthered the whole Cadmus arc. We also get an origin for this show's Doomsday. The biggest thing about this episode is the fight between Superman and Doomsday. While we did get a small fight between Doomsday and Justice Lord Superman in "A Better World," this is the real Superman here. It's a pretty good episode with a bit of a dark edge.
15. The Great Brain Robbery
In this Season 3 episode from the JLU, Lex Luthor and Flash accidentally switch minds because of some device created by the Secret Society. Chaos ensues on the Watchtower and Flash has to make sure that the Society doesn’t find out the truth. This episode was a blast. The scenes where Flash is trying to act like Lex are hilarious. It was also cool hearing Michael Rosenbaum voice Lex because he was playing Lex over on Smallville at the time.
14. Hearts and Minds
This Season 2 episode centered on the rise of an intergalactic religious zealot called Despero. The League gets involved when John finds out that other Green Lanterns were attacked by Despero’s forces and one of them was his mentor and former lover, Katma Tui. I like it mostly because it’s a John Stewart-centered episode, it has some funny one-liners (“Impotence?”), and Despero is voiced the awesomeness known as Keith David.
13. Flash and Substance
This is one of the only Flash-centered episodes for JLU. In this Season 3 episode, Central City wants to hold a special day for the Scarlet Speedster Unfortunately, his Rogues want to mess it up for him. Batman and Orion show up to help Wally out. This is a pretty hilarious episode. We get to see Flash do what he does best. We even get Mark Hamill as the crazy Trickster and that’s awesome because he originally played the role in the 1990’s live-action Flash series.
12. Wild Cards
In this episode, the League has to go up against the Joker and his newly assembled group, the Royal Flush Gang. This episode’s cool for a few reasons. Mark Hamill is back as the Joker (for the final time on this show) and we even bring Harley in as well. The Royal Flush Gang is voiced by the all of the Teen Titans from the anime-influenced Teen Titans TV series. Finally, John and Shayara (Hawkgirl) finally express their feelings for each other and we finally get to see Hawkgirl without the mask.
11. The Savage Time
In the three-part Season 1 finale, the League (minus Batman) accidentally end up in an alternate universe where the Nazis won the war. They find out that the war was won because of a man named Vandal Savage. With the help of the Batman that timeline, they get sent back to World War 2 in order to set things right. Both John Stewart and Wonder Woman get some nice moments in the episode. Wonder Woman meets Steve Trevor and a non-powered John joins forces with Sgt. Rock.
10. The Once and Future Thing
This two-parter from JLU’s first season is a fun ride. It’s a time travel story that revolves around the villain Chronos. Batman, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern end up going to the Wild West and then to the future in search of the villain. We end up getting a lot of cameos from different heroes. We get Jonah Hex and other Western-themed heroes in the past. In the future, we run into an older version of Static from Static Shock, Terry McGinnis and Old Bruce from Batman Beyond, Warhawk from that future’s Justice League, and a certain Green Lantern by the name of Hal Jordan. It’s straight-up fun from beginning to end.
This 3-part season finale to Season 2 is a pretty important one. The League has a lot to deal with when the Thanagarians, Hawkgirl’s race, come to Earth. At first, it’s not bad, but when the Thanagarians lay down martial law on Earth, it gets pretty bad for the League. They also have to deal with Hawkgirl who was actually an agent for the Thanagarians. The episodes are pretty thrilling. The Thanagarian armada is probably the biggest threat they had faced up to this point. It makes you see why they decided to increase their ranks later on. It was also interesting seeing Shayara deal with her loyalties to the League and to her people.
This episode is the season finale to season 2 of JLU. It’s less of a League episode and more of a Batman Beyond episode because it takes place in the future. An adult Terry McGinnis learns something about his true heritage and finds out more from Amanda Waller, the woman behind the whole incident. It’s a revelation (I won't reveal it here) which is kind of weird and makes Terry’s time as Batman look planned instead of random. I don’t hate it like some fans do. The present League is only featured a little bit and there is a nice, nice moment between Batman and Ace of the Royal Flush Gang. The whole episode is basically a swan song to the DCAU as a whole. It started with Batman and it ends with Batman.
These are the last two episodes of the whole show. In “Alive”, Lex Luthor tries to complete his season-long journey in resurrecting Brainiac. Instead, he actually brings back someone else: Darkseid. Naturally, Darkseid is pretty peeved about dying and what not. So, he decides to get his forces at Apokalips and take over Earth. This leads to the team-up of the Secret Society and the Justice League in “Destroyer.” While they’re not the best two episodes ever, they are still pretty good and epic. All of the Leaguers (and Lex Luthor) get a moment to shine for one last time.
6. Task Force X
This episode from Season 2 of JLU is of a different sort. It actually centers on a government-sanctioned group of super-villains called Task Force X aka “The Suicide Squad.” This was my first inkling of what the Suicide Squad (I guess the censors said no on that name) was. Task Force X is ordered to sneak onto the Watchtower and steal something for Cadmus. It’s a pretty neat episode that feels like an animated version of “Ocean’s Eleven” or something. I ended up liking all of the members of the group like Col. Rick Flagg, Deadshot and Captain Boomerang. It’s definitely an episode to watch.
5. Tabula Rasa
In this episode, Lex Luthor’s on the run from the League. Through his running, he finds Professor Ivo’s creation, AMAZO, and no, the android isn’t dressed up like a Christmas tree gone wrong. The robot has the ability to mimic anyone’s powers and that is definitely a challenge for the League. Also, J’onn wonders if he should leave Earth. Both plots are pretty interesting. Also, AMAZO himself (or itself?) was pretty interesting. It was helped that he was voiced by Robert Picardo who has experience in playing articfical life forms. The action’s great and it’s cool to see Lex on the run and manipulating AMAZO.
In this episode, Brainiac returns and tries to take over Apokalips from Darkseid. Darkseid decides to go to the Justice League to enlist help but the League (especially Superman) is reluctant to help him. With some twists and turns, it all ends in a epic fight between Superman and Darkseid. There are a lot of cool things about this episode. We get to see New Genesis, Braniac and Darkseid return, and Superman starts to act like a bad mofo. It’s an awesome two-parter.
3. The Cadmus Arc (Question Authority, Flashpoint, Panic in the Sky, and Divided We Fall)
While the second season was mostly focused on Cadmus, these four episodes are really the ones where the arc comes to a head and its conclusion. It all begins to come together as The Question figures out why Cadmus is attacking the Justice League. We also find out that there’s more to Lex Luthor than meets the eye and that the League is prepared for anything. There’s a big twist in each episode and it all leads to “Divided We Fall” which has the best Flash moment in the whole show.
In this episode, Metropolis is attacked and the League come in to help. The day is saved but blast from Toyman’s ray… evaporates Superman. The whole world and the League mourn his loss. We do find out that Superman has been actually transported to another world with a red sun and he has to find a way home. We get a lot of cameos in the episode from this show and Superman: TAS. This was a pretty nice episode. It’s one of the best JL episodes and a great Superman episode as well.
1. A Better World
It’s the episode where Superman kills Lex Luthor and the JLA declare martial law on Earth… yes, it’s this episode and it is awesome. All of that happens in the first few minutes of the episode and it was a big shock to me. We then find out that this world is an alternate universe and this “evil” League (The Justice Lords) decides to do the same to our League’s world. It’s an awesome episode that shows what could happen if Superman and the League overstepped their boundaries. It also served as a basis for the video game Injustice: Gods Among Us and that’s something I might take a quick look at.
Well, that's all I got. In conclusion, it's a great show. I definitely recommend it to any fan of the DCU.
Well, that's all I got. In conclusion, it's a great show. I definitely recommend it to any fan of the DCU.