The Justice League (1997 pilot) [retro viewing]

The Justice League of America – the preeminent superhero team of our day. (Sorry, Captain Carrot and the Amazing Zoo Crew.) Comprised of Earth’s mightiest most bestest heroes, the League has had many incarnations through the years. The 60’s found our favorite paragons of moral virtue fighting off aliens, monsters, and… aliens. The 70’s saw the team relocated to the mean streets of Detroit by Aquaman of all people — no doubt attracted by Michigan’s excellent oceanic system — and featuring guys you’ve never heard of like Vibe, Gypsy, and Steel. (No, not the Shaq one.) The 80’s witnessed a renaissance with the Giffen/DeMatteis League, known for deftly mixing comedy and action, featuring an a-hole Green Lantern and dueling pranksters Blue Beetle and Booster Gold, and giving us the classic phrase “Bwa-ha-ha-ha-hah!” The 90’s saw Kyle’s favorite Grant Morrison reestablish the JLA as the “big guns” of the DC Universe, filled solely with A-listers like Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman and fighting only the biggest, most world-shattering threats.

For Truth! For Justice! For 5.75 an hour!

But for all their might, there’s a dark side to the Justice League: their track record in being adapted to television, both solo and en masse, has been a bit… spotty, at best. The Flash’s solo series lasted a single season. Adam West brought us a campy Batman who entertained mainstream audiences, but kept them from

taking the character seriously for another two decades. And the Superfriends, well, can you say “Gleek the space monkey”? Thought you could. It wasn’t until the creative minds behind Batman: The Animated Series turned their attention to the famed superteam that the League finally received a show worthy

of them. (Well, seasons 2-5, anyway.) But before that… oh, children, before that. Before that, someone had the bright idea to do the Justice League as a live action CBS show. Never mind that they had no budget, or name actors, or talented writers… no no, all they needed was a camera and a pocket full of dreams. Or so you would think, but as it turns out: not so much. Made in 1997 as a pilot for a proposed series, the Justice League movie was so legendarily bad that it was never released anywhere, ever. You ever seen a movie so bad it couldn’t be direct-to-video? Justice League of America is that film, but leaked, grainy copies have long been available at comic conventions and online auctions.

And so it was that two brave, intrepid (and very, very foolish) souls took it upon themselves to discover whether the movie truly does justice to the League. This is their story.

[Opening Interview with “Ice”]
Justin: Ice looks like a soccer mom. “teehee i’m a superhero!”
Drew: Yeah, she looks more like she wants to be baking cookies for a school bake sale.
Justin: Olafsdotter has to be the WORST last name of any superhero, ever. “She’s such an Olafsdotter”, they say to belittle their teammates.

[Title card: New Metro]
Drew: Ah, the classic city “New Metro.” Because Metropolis just sounds so… dated.
Justin: New Metro… wayyyy better than Old Metro, with their crack houses and Chuck E. Cheeses.

[“Ice” has a run-in with her boss]

Oja-riffic!

Justin: Just like a woman, always dropping things.
Drew: I didn’t know physicists were so sleazy. “Attractive, intelligent… oh, and may I show you my bunsen burner? I named it ‘Madame Curie.'”
Justin: Well, one minute in, and a totally awkward conversation. If your boss calls you attractive and just stares at you with no expression, you know there’s a sexual harassment lawsuit in your future.

[Interview with the Flash]
Justin: Heh… “Barry Allen: Unemployed”
Drew: Barry Allen is jobless? The fastest man in the world can’t get a gig with UPS or something?
Justin: You’d think he would…
Drew: “When it absolutely, positively has to be there… in one millisecond.”
Justin: Does the Flash have a beeper in his ear?

[Green Lantern makes the move on his girl in the restaurant]

Flash: The Weight Watchers Edition

Justin: Romance that woman with violins! Champagne! Roses! A stuffed bunny!
Drew: Holy crap, GUY GARDNER?
Justin: Who’s he?
Drew: Of every Green Lantern DC has, they chose Gardner?
Justin: I know nothing about green lantern, past the Superfriends cartoon.
Drew: Guy Gardner’s sole purpose for existence is to be the most obnoxious, irritating, frat boy superhero ever.
Justin: Ah. So he plays Halo?
Drew: He is technically a hero and will fight to save innocents, which is his only redeeming quality. But he’s the superhero who, if he can only save one person from the Legion of Doom, picks the most attractive girl, flies her to safety, and gives her a nice slap on the ass before heading back to fight Sinestro. On his first date with Ice, he took her to a movie. Wait, let me clarify: a porno movie.
Justin: Charming.
Drew: He’s most famous for, as a member of the Justice League, complaining CONSTANTLY that he should be the leader instead of Batman. He did it so often, he finally goaded Batman into a fight to determine leadership…
Justin: Ladies and gents, we’re not 3 minutes into this and drew’s already on a toxic-fueled rant!
Drew: …The “fight” consisted of Batman punching Guy in the face once, knocking him out, and then going about his business. From then on, the phrase “One punch!” was heard every time Gardner was being an ass.
Justin: ha. Well, superheroes have to have their jerks too, I suppose.
Drew: What can I say, it just baffles me. Hal Jordan, Alan Scott, John Stewart, Kyle Rayner… no, let’s take the misogynist Green Lantern. Now I’m anxious to see if they’ll portray him that way.
Justin: I think you’re setting yourself up for disappointment if you think the word “portray” might be applied.

[At the weather institute, meeting our main villain]

Who WOULDN'T want Miguel Ferrer as their boss?

Justin: “The Eno Institute” sounds dirty.
Drew: “Look, he’s a busy man. He has stuff to do, like hitting on me.”
Justin: Scientists always have about 10 nerdy guys with glasses to every one hot girl in earthtones.
Drew: He has a whole institute named after him at age, like, 35? Impressive.
Justin: Was Eno lurking behind her chair?
Drew: Oh God… “the Weatherman”?
Justin: The Weatherman? Is he decked out in reflective aluminum fire blankets?
Drew: I thought “Weather Wizard” was a lame name, but it beats that. Yikes.

[Green Lantern woos his girl]
Justin: SINGING
Drew: Gardner is… an opera singer? What?
Justin: He needs to be shot dead for that 5 seconds
Drew: Oh my God, he went out and learned her favorite part of an opera? He IS a hero!
Justin: Don’t ditch the girl’s big bob of hair!
Drew: Agreed. Make it into a yellow bullet.

[Fire auditions for an acting gig]
Justin: Fire and Ice… they went all out for those names.
Drew: Rehearsing for a Fruit of the Loom ad?
Justin: did a giant banana walk onto the set?
Drew: “What’s my motivation as a cherry?”
Justin: A girl wearing a banana suit sends all sorts of weird Freudian connotations.
Drew: Aaaand that guy is now gay. Congratulations.
Justin: I like the pineapple in the back. Girls: always tripping into cute guys, along with their dropping of stuff.

[Atom teaches a class]
Drew: Holy crap, the Atom is a nerd! After they had John C. McGinley voice the Atom on the cartoon, I keep expecting him to be cool. Mistake.
Justin: Just in case you didn’t know he was a scientist, he’s wearing glasses and a BOWTIE. Can teachers just leave class when they need to save the world?

[Bad weather acts up over New Metro]

"Trust me: I get GREAT reception on my radioactive satellite dish."

Justin: Wow! It’s a perfectly clear day except for a bad CGI hurricane in the background!
Drew: Wait… one storm can light the country, two can light the world? How big is that country? funkyheadmutant:
Justin: Seriously, look how bright and happy this is.
Drew: Green Lantern’s ring shoots green floss?
Justin: “I have your child now! you’ll have to pay handsomely to get him back!”
Drew: “Coffee break’s over… stop goofing around under this giant chunk of wall!”
Justin: There’s an awful lot of people just milling around for hurricane season. Whiskers is one smart cat. Her owner is toast.
Drew: Is the Atom… melting?
Justin: Shrinking: worst superpower EVER.
Drew: I’ll laugh like crazy if that cat eats him.
Justin: And then coughs him back up. By the way, The Flash can show up on doppler radar.
Drew: Whoa, the Flash needs to cut down on the donuts. Spandex: not flattering for your more, uh, robust heroes.
Justin: Spandex: it’s a privilege, not a right.
Drew: Hah.
Justin: The weatherman projects onto skyscrapers now? Those costumes are absolutely amateur hour. I don’t think Party City sells them that shabby.
Drew: I’m also baffled by their choice of Flash. I guess they went with Barry Allen because he was the star of that short-lived CBS series. But Wally West, his successor (and former Kid Flash), would have been a better choice for an unemployed blue collar guy. Barry was a straight-laced police forensics scientist with a crew cut. Oh well… I guess they figured since they were making Guy Gardner a sensitive, romantic opera singer, why the hell not? Is he… out of breath?

[Aftermath, and Fire goes back to her audition]
Justin: Who’s interviewing these guys anyway? And does the interviewer realize they’re busting their secret identity?
Drew: Dude, seriously… you can run at the SPEED OF LIGHT. You can’t find somebody who’s on vacation and has a house you can stay in?
Justin: Superheroes change in an alley. Always gotta have a drunk wino in every alley.
Drew: I feel like I’m watching a really crappy version of The Office. “Superman, the Flash put my power ring in jello again!”
Justin: “The fruit has already been cast.” Story of my life.
Drew: Okay, stop shaking her hand, dude. Longer than 5 seconds = stalker.
Justin: Nobody in this movie has a non-awkward conversation, do they? Oh geez, the quirky “comedy” music. I’m naming my kid B.B.
Drew: Is that the guy who played the best friend in 10 Things I Hate About You?
Justin: Yes, I think it is… and I’m banging my head on my desk over this conversation.
Drew: Man, he got shot down faster than a blind fighter pilot.

[Enter the JLA’s apartment]

So no one told you life was gonna be this way. Your job's a joke, you're broke, your love life's D.O.A!

Justin: Green Lantern has a pay phone in his apartment? Wouldn’t a swinging bachelor live on his own?
Drew: “Barry’s an unemployable layabout, thanks for bringing him over!”
Justin: Wow, the Flash has an awesome chef’s hat!
Drew: Seriously, do these heroes not have any marketable skills? They have to split an apartment?
Justin: Okay, just because you have a superpower, doesn’t mean you need to break it out over every little thing. The Flash eating at 300mph with disgusting pig noises is something I never needed to witness.
Drew: Word. I feel like I’m watching the scariest episode of Friends ever.
Justin: “Your life, you need to get one.” ha.
Drew: Green Lantern: most powerful weapon in the universe, most scathing putdowns in the tri-state area.
Justin: I think we’re two long looks away from a gay porno here.
Drew: “What are my special skills”? The director totally watched Boogie Nights before shooting this.
Justin: Yeah, being fast would have absolutely NO job applications. He could power a generator or something.
Drew: Did you catch the “I’m fast… and sometimes that’s more of a liability than a plus” line? Bow-chikka-bow-wow
Drew: Wait, ALL of them share an apartment?
Justin: This apartment needs a laugh track.
Drew: Totally. They need a coffee bar or something.
Justin: How many wacky phones do they have? “Guys! Lets talk about our feelings!”
Drew: Definitely not as cool as the hamburger phone from Juno.
Justin: Haha… the Sorry Bunny got decapitated.
Drew: Dude, Guy got burned.
Justin: Good thing my wife didn’t see that.
Drew: “I let you think… a lot of things. Like that you’re capable of satisfying a woman.” I never realized the Justice League was so bitchy.

[Meanwhile, at the Eno Institute…]
Justin: If anyone’s ever working after hours in a lab, it’s always for evil purposes.
Drew: Yeah, those researchers… shady bunch.
Justin: Is there a large bore cannon shell in that lab? Suitcases that explode blue all over you are not to be trusted.
Drew: Big, shiny metal cases: there’s never anything good inside. Just once I’d like to see someone open one and find cookies or something.
Justin: She has the power… of snowcone making!
Drew: Wow, she picked that skill up fast.

[Ice freezes a guy in a lake]
Justin: Was that guy ice skating, roller skating or what? He falls into 2 feet of water and starts drowning. Nice. I like Ice’s sexy skirt-plus-sneakers look.
Drew: Dude, roller blading at night by a lake? You deserve to die. Survival of the fittest.
Justin: So she freezes him solid in the lake. Wouldn’t he be frozen in carbonite?
Drew: “Haw haw!”
Justin: Severe hypothermia?

[Meanwhile, back at the JLA apartment…]

"You guys SUCK!"

Justin: They watch TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL. If you’re really tiny, can’t you get electrocuted faster?
Drew: “Our friend can shrink himself, but let’s not use that to cure any diseases… I just think we need to get the TV working. Since between the four of us, we can’t afford to buy one new television.”
Justin: Gum fixes all. The newscast inexplicably focuses on random bystanders and just zooms on in them.
Drew: “Of course, turning the lake to ice also killed five children swimming on the other side. But the skating gentleman was grateful.”

[Ice is kidnapped by the JLA]
Justin: Was she kidnapped to an aquarium? Whale noises galore!
Drew: She’s going to find Buffalo Bob waiting for her.
Justin: Oh geez, it’s Winchester from M*A*S*H. “The Test”… is it multiple choice?
Drew: “I’m a researcher, much like yourself. But totally not the one who was hitting on you earlier. You’re just that attractive.”
Justin: So good guys kidnap new recruits instead of meeting them for coffee?
Drew: Dude, they’re the worst heroes ever. Is that the superhero version of Guantanamo Bay?
Justin: If the good guys kidnap and drug you, why not root for the bad guys? Haha… she’s frozen to her bed!
Drew: You know Flash copped a feel when he took her home, too.
Justin: He did get a job at UPS!
Drew: Flash as a mailman… who called it?
Justin: You did.
Drew: Hasn’t he ever watched Seinfeld? If you deliver the mail too fast or accurately, you get fired. Dummy.

[Meanwhile, at the Hall of Eno…]

Just when you thought that Batman & Robin's outfits couldn't be any sleazier...

Justin: The Eno institute’s building is pretty funky. This institute looks like a rich person’s living room. Maybe the Weatherman isn’t from New Metro. Did you ever think about that before starting your witch hunt?
Drew: I’ll admit, it never crossed my mind.
Justin: I like Eno’s pink tie.
Drew: That poor scientist. Of course, it’s his own fault for not being a cute blonde in a miniskirt. Wait, she’s accusing her co-worker because he’s been… working late? Not the creepy guy who keeps hitting on her and acting strangely?
Justin: Lab coats over full suits are just odd… take off the jacket.
Drew: No, it’s like combining a sports coat and sneakers… classic.
Justin: They call me… The Green Hand.
Drew: If my power were to have a green hand, I think I’d just join the carnival.
Justin: Again, I know nothing about Martian Manhunter. He a shapeshifter?
Drew: Martian Manhunter is, yes. Although this guy’s name isn’t John Jones, which seems to be the only alias the Manhunter has. But yeah, you might be right.

[Fire encounters her geek stalker again]
Justin: This movie is full of awkward stalkings. “I thought this might stroke your agent a bit.” NONONONO
Drew: The film is a stalker’s handbook.
Justin: Did he just say “soulmate”? He’s like two feet shorter than her!
Drew: Wow, this guy just doesn’t take a hint.
Justin: “I love a woman of mystery”… yeah, because diseases are so mysterious.
Drew: Dude, desperation is the worst cologne. Wait, he knows she’s between boyfriends? DUDE, YOU DON’T KNOW HER! Or rather, you creepily do, but she definitely doesn’t want to know you.

[Another weather attack hits a public square]

"My ring also makes a nifty poncho! Wanna see?"

Justin: The redhead’s hair is so full and lush and springy! Yes, let’s talk about intimacy while walking among a bunch of shoppers.
Drew: Guy Gardner went from a misogynist to a sensitive, touchy-feely new age man who whines about not being able to connect with a woman? Biggest superhero 180 EVER.
Justin: $20 million dollars isn’t what it used to be. Does Green Lantern just take the ice cream from the vendor without paying for it?
Drew: Superheroes don’t pay for stuff, dummy. Duh.
Justin: She falls down amid a bunch of golf balls. Behold: the power of UMBRELLA!
Drew: He doesn’t use his power ring to make, I don’t know, a giant shield over the entire square? No, just one umbrella? I keep expecting to see Dr. Claw. GADGET!
Justin: Is this the theme to Titanic? Doesn’t she notice he has the EXACT SAME HAIRDO?
Drew: Guess if you’re not sleeping with Green Lantern, you’re outta luck.
Justin: Wow, that was a tense scene.
Drew: “Don’t you think you’re being a little hard on him?” “Why don’t you just butt out of my relationship, Mr. Green Lantern? Since we’ve never met and you don’t know my boyfriend, who just happens to look exactly like you without the mask.”

[The JLA crashes Eno’s party]

A Wholesome Threesome

Justin: Atom has all sorts of bowties… striped is a new look. GL’s vintage 80’s shirt… spiffy.
Drew: Look, I get that they’re playing up tension between the characters, but come on… the Atom picking a tie? Lame.
Justin: Bowtie.
Drew: Who are they taking orders from?
Justin: The TV. Just like Homer Simpson. Is this a superhero sandwich? “I think we MAKE OUT pretty good!”
Drew: “Let’s face it, you guys aren’t exactly Ross and Rachel.”
Justin: This really does have a huge Friends vibe. Did they just have sex right after that interview?
Drew: I keep expecting one of them to get a monkey.
Justin: And a chick and a duck. FYI: classy parties do not have gum chewing.
Drew: Wow, Green Lantern stealing that guy’s ID was pretty slick. Only took him 20 seconds.
Justin: Once again, we learn that cute girls can get into any party
Drew: Yep. No invitation? Bring a hot chick.
Justin: Ice is wearing Jackie Kennedy’s suit.
Drew: “Tori, I don’t think I’ve ever seen you drink before. But I LIKE it!”
Justin: Let’s do jello shots off of the scientists’ bellies!
Drew: “You’ll be my new head of research. Although I may need you to… work nights sometimes. If you know what I mean.”
Justin: She has a frosty personality.
Drew: Total ice queen.
Justin: I will bet you $20 that someone will say the phrase “cold shoulders” by the end of this in reference to her.
Drew: These guys can’t afford a new TV, but they all have sports jackets?
Justin: Barry is a dork.
Drew: Yeah… if you’re hitting up the waiters for a job, you’re in trouble.
Justin: Is Barry wearing his outfit under the jacket?
Drew: At least he lost the lightning bolt emblem.
Justin: “teehee my sweater came undone! four buttons worth!”
Drew: “I’m generally pretty nervous on a first date anyway… so I tend to put out a lot.”
Justin: If she freezes a guy’s lips to her when they kiss, she better never have carnal relations.
Drew: “Whoa, how did you get frostbite THERE?”
Justin: Atom should always be wearing a shirt that says “Size doesn’t matter!”
Drew: She and the Atom – totally hooking up by the end of the movie. I’m calling it here.
Justin: Geez… their kids would have glasses when they came out of the womb. I think she’s attracted to receding hairlines, between Eno and Atom.
Drew: I love how in the comics, Fire is an international supermodel, and here she’s an out-of-work actor. Guess CBS couldn’t afford a supermodel.
Justin: Girl-Guy?
Drew: Heh heh. Lamest dialogue ever.
Justin: With the ring, can he make a whole bunch of keys? Can’t he just pick the lock?
Drew: I was just wondering the same thing.
Justin: I’m really boggled over GL’s powers here.
Drew: Since he can use his ring to turn intangible, why does he even need a key?
Justin: Everyone who’s ANYone is at this party
Drew: “I could be, like, the hard guy. Couldn’t I?” Atom needs to enroll in the Dwight K. Schrute school of badassery.
Justin: Atom would so win at any limbo contests.
Drew: I’m sure they’ll get to that before the end of the movie.
Justin: HOLY CRAP I typed that BEFORE he started limboing. I swear!
Drew: Holy cow, he just did. Wow.
Justin: Complete with steel drums.
Drew: Guess saving the city isn’t so important you can’t stop for an impromptu limbo first.
Justin: Question: the city is under threat from the Weatherman.
Drew: Yep
Justin: And they have a giant weather institute.
Drew: Uh-huh
Justin: Don’t you think the cops would have at least investigated before now? I mean, there’s not a lot of dots on that puzzle.
Drew: Oh, Justin. So young… so naive. These are SUPERHERO cops. They’re only capable of directing traffic and looking on in awe when real heroes save the day. Can I just point out that the Atom could not look more stereotypically nerdy if he were being played by Jerry Lewis? “Oy glavin… nice LADY!”
Justin: Redhead is already snuggling with a guy at the party? Tramp.
Drew: Dude, someone’s getting a green boot to the nads before this is over. Ah, Fire… so helpful. So catty.
Justin: “I’ll give you a priority” — worst mumbled threat ever
Drew: “I’ll give YOU a priority.” I need to find whoever wrote the dialogue for this movie and make him my mentor. Hah.
Justin: Ice’s miniskirts are gonna keep me smiling for the whole day. “Come take a look” and Atom just runs off.
Drew: Agreed. Although she sure didn’t seem to mind setting off that alarm.
Justin: Ah! i didn’t notice that. Atom has body size issues, and now he’s talking like a helium sucker
Drew: The Atom really can’t get any smaller than that? How would you not notice a 6-inch dude running around? Dude, this director couldn’t be more obsessed with superhero sex if he were Kevin Smith.
Justin: I love dumbed-down computer screens. “WEATHER MANIPULATOR”
Drew: “In case you weren’t aware, THIS is the weather manipulator. Yes, this machine right here!”

[The Flash tails Mr. Innocent Scientist]
Justin: The Flash gets 55 mpg city, 70 highway.
Drew: And he’s eco-friendly!
Justin: He’s like three feet behind this guy and talking super loud, and the guy doesn’t notice him?
Drew: Wow, that’s a lot more of the Flash’s ass than I ever wanted to see.
Justin: This so should’ve been a TV series.
Drew: I would own every episode.

[Ice discovers The Weatherman]
Justin: Does Ice ever go home? She just hangs out at work hoping against hope that one of her coworkers is a villain.
Drew: I’m pretty sure she just has a cot in the research lab’s basement.
Justin: The Weatherman has a steadycam… he’s totally into that broadcast, too.
Drew: Weatherman is saying “There’s some stormy weather ahead.” He’s so damn witty.
Justin: I can’t tell you how inexpressibly nerdy the weatherman is once his secret identity is revealed. His secret lair is a stairwell.
Drew: He’s holding the camera himself? This guy can’t afford henchmen?
Justin: You’re right, he needs some good henches.

[Meanwhile, at the JLA Apartment of Irony…]
Justin: Barry Allen irons and cooks… I’m not trying to imply anything, but there might be a reason he’s not trying to move out of this apartment with two other guys.
Drew: Barry got a stain out. By FLASHING it out!
Justin: He should so work at a dry cleaners.
Drew: Maybe he should open a dry cleaning business?
Justin: Jinx.
Drew: Or become a hairdresser, because I think you’re right.
Justin: Aww she isn’t wearing a miniskirt!
Drew: But she IS wearing a tight white shirt. And her power is to… make things cold. Not that I think for one second that was an intentional move on the director’s part.
Justin: Just a really tight shirt and jeans.
Drew: Hah.
Justin: I like how manly Atom is trying to look and he’s in a terry cloth bathrobe.
Drew: “Excuse me, ma’am, I just need to go… find a bucket of water. Back in a minute.”
Justin: “I can trust you, can’t I” “Always. Me and all the human skulls in my basement!” NICE CAN BE SEXY.
Drew: I really hope he had that robe cinched up tightly.

[More stalker fun!]
Justin: These girls really drew the short straws in the romantic relationship department. Does Martin have an omelette in his backpack?
Drew: He really is the guy from 10 Things, too. That’s hilarious. So she’s impressed that he knows all these stalker things about her, instead of creeped out?
Justin: She goes ahead and tries on the earrings he got her. That’s like an invitation to skinning her alive, in his world.
Drew: Gold earrings on a first date. Always worked for me. “Saved up a whole month’s allowance”? Well, maybe he just… has a fixed inheritance. Or something.

[The JLA does something… heroic.]
Justin: Well at least the TV reporter has a miniskirt. And about 40 pounds of hair. So Fire doesn’t even try to disguise herself, except for the green shock of hair. Why hasn’t anyone ID’d her yet?
Drew: She baked the hillside? What if there were campers on the other side?
Justin: Barry Allen looks like Chandler from season six when he started eating wayyy too many bear claws.
Drew: Maybe he has a problem with painkillers too. Might explain why he can’t afford rent.
Justin: I like how they don’t have enough of a budget to really show all of these weather disasters.
Drew: Totally. “And oh my God, then 8 million giant monsters attacked the city! You should’ve seen it, it was awesome! Thank God the Justice League got rid of them all without a trace.”

[Visiting the JLA HQ]

Playing pin the tail on Robin is a JLA time-honored tradition

Justin: So the entrance to their secret lair is covered with graffiti. Aaand now we’re in Seaquest DSV. What if they took off her blindfold and there was a hundred scorpions in a tiny room with her? That’d be kinda funny.
Drew: Superhero initiation. Ten bucks says there’s paddling before this is all over.
Justin: Leonard Nimoy is an alien, I guess.
Drew: Holy crap, you were right. Martian Manhunter it is.
Justin: Well I did my homework ahead of time.
Drew: I feel bad that we totally ruined it for all these viewers.
Justin: “What are you saying? You guys need a secretary? A stylist? What can I, a mere woman, do?”
Drew: He only has a limited time in human form? And left his planet because of limited freedom? Instead of him having unlimited shapeshifting and leaving because, uh, well, HIS ASS GOT TELEPORTED HERE AGAINST HIS WILL?
Justin: You tell me, man. Why doesn’t the interviewer interview MM?
Drew: He wouldn’t sign the release forms.
Justin: “He’s like a father to me… and you know, he’s GREEN”
Drew: “He likes to father us. Before we join the super secret club.” Dude, MM needs to lay off the beer, methinks.

Justin: Ice Cream vendors are great at dispensing relationship advice. “Those are my earrings on Fire… and that girl I’m stalking’s exact head on hers!”
Drew: Those gold earrings didn’t melt when she turned to Fire? Impressive.
Justin: The Atom’s secret origin… he hit a lot of things with a pickaxe. And then he fell in love with a rock.
Drew: Is Martin like the TV version of Snapper Carr, the official JLA mascot from the comics?

Martians love a bit of the pudge

Justin: “I was embarrassed to tell anyone I was… TINY!”
Drew: …until he accidentally told the Joker where their secret HQ was, anyway.
Justin: Wow, this music is so inspirational…
Drew: I feel like running a marathon while eating a wildebeest. He had a fiancee? I smell bull$#!+.
Justin: You heard it right here guys: Lab science does NOTHING, unless you find a magic rock that makes you tiny.
Drew: Are you listening, Lissa? Scientists are CRAP. You need to be able to shrink yourself to make a difference. How has he saved hundreds of lives by turning tiny? Fought off an invasion of ants?
Justin: He’s wrassled a few cold viruses in his time. …So they just saved a chunk of cash on this pilot by having Atom do a five minute monologue there about being a freak and finding purpose.
Drew: Okay, so how far in the future are these interviews supposed to take place? Also, she FROZE HIM IN AN ICE CUBE just so she could put him in a friend’s drink? Isn’t that a little… I don’t know, dangerous? And way to guard that secret identity.
Justin: “hehe my cells got frozen and they exploded and I died.” I wonder if this series was picked up if they’d continue to do the interviews.
Drew: They totally watched this before making The Office. Wait, how did you go again, Atom? “REEEHHHHHHH!”
Justin: C’mon… “cold shoulders” “cold shoulders”… I’m holding out hope here.
Drew: “I really can’t connect with anyone who doesn’t have powers. Puny mortals.”
Justin: Ice dictating “embrace it!” in that tone… definitely non-sexual. She needs a costume.
Drew: Man, that really is one tight shirt they’ve got her in. Not to sound creepy or anything, but it is pretty blatant.
Justin: Couldn’t the Flash warm up the room? Or Fire? Or the thermostat?
Drew: And since they’re trying to get her to freeze stuff, I’m calling superhero sexual harassment.
Justin: I am just trying not to look at The Flash’s crotch. It bulges… it bulges!
Drew: Does the Flash’s lightning bolt belt form an “X” over his crotch? Jinx!
Justin: Seriously, every girl in this movie wears a miniskirt.

[Stalker figures out Fire’s secret identity]
Drew: Oh no, he learned her identity. Now she has to burn him to cinders. “Sorry, Martin, it’s for the good of the city.”
Justin: Okay so their lab is in a spaceship on the bottom of the ocean that’s only accessible via elevator. Doesn’t that add to the commute time? How can The Flash get up and down that fast?
Drew: He’s a strong swimmer.
Justin: It’s like the spaceship is Joey and Chandler’s apartment, and their apartment is Monica and Rachel’s. They just keep popping back and forth between the two.
Drew: And the research lab is Central Perk. He bought earrings in France before he had a girl in mind? Just in case, for the future? Who DOES that?
Justin: He needs to die, and painfully. Martin’s shirt looks like what alien civilizations would wear on Star Trek.
Drew: Oh, that crazy Martian Manhunter. It’s hilarious when he makes ordinary mortals look like fools, then threatens them.
Justin: It’s creepy to hear MM’s voice coming out of Fire’s mouth. Oh, that poor chair! Burned before its prime.
Drew: There were just way too many chairs in that room.
Justin: There are FIVE types of chair in this room!
Drew: Although since MM’s one weakness in the comics is fire, I’d think he’s stay a country mile the hell away from, uh, Fire. Not be impersonating her.

[Ice encounters the Weatherman, and MM’s ship comes under attack]

"Lady, your makeup is sending me into toxic shock!"

Justin: “Hear me out! Let me in!” “Well okay, you’re evil but I’m polite, so come on in”
Drew: “Plus, God help me, you’re still cuter than the Atom.”
Justin: I like how she blasts him with ice, steals his briefcase, then minces off with her arms half-raised.
Drew: What… just happened to him? Oh, was that what happened? I thought she threw a smoke bomb at him.
Justin: It’s a tracking device! Quick, leave it fully functional! Couldn’t they move the spaceship?
Drew: That crazy Dr. Eno… always two steps ahead of the blonde in the tight shirt.
Justin: The whatever alloy is impenetrable… but they’re scared of the laser blast. Gum! It saves the day yet again! God bless the power of Gum.
Drew: “If only we had someone with the most powerful weapon in the universe who could make a shield around the ship!” “No, dammit, just pass me the Wrigley’s!”
Justin: “Juicy Fruit”, actually, Drew. GL just shoots a ray into the sky and pulls himself up… oh, it’s a helicopter.
Drew: Where he comes from, 300 degrees is a beach day? He’s VULNERABLE TO FIRE!
Justin: Drew’s head is gonna explode. Thank goodness Ice is back in a miniskirt. It’s all springy and billowy.
Drew: I hope her costume incorporates a miniskirt. But then they’d make her spend a lot of time on rooftops.
Justin: So really, what can Atom do in this emergency? “Kid! Grab on to my spandex butt!”

[GL confronts the Weatherman, and the JLA saves the day]

"Name's Ash. Housewares."

Justin: A green chainsaw… awesome. This is ruining your childhood, isn’t it?
Drew: Childhood, nothing… it’s ruining my day NOW.
Justin: “What can I do?” “Get somewhere safe. Wear more loose and revealing clothing”
Drew: “So much for your 20 million.” “What are you talking about, this movie only cost 500 dollars to make.” Maybe if New Metro becomes Atlantis, Aquaman can come and save their butts.
Justin: Aquaman… snort. “Change in the forecast” “A dark cloud in an other wise perfect day” Ugh. So the Flash just saves three kids out of the entire city?
Drew: He’s a hero to… some.
Justin: Kids: if a masked stranger in spandex wants to pick you up and take you somewhere, you better let him!
Drew: Especially if he has candy.
Justin: The Flash seems to be on collateral damage control.
Drew: She turned the wave to ice? Won’t that just… slow down the process?
Justin: Well, we’re gonna hate it when it melts.
Drew: Also, that wave looks to be about 8 feet high when she stops it. What did she save the city from, having to replace their carpets?
Justin: And is the ice floating now? She’s so amazed with herself. Meanwhile, all of the other superheroes did NOTHING.

[Ice is inducted into the JLA]
Drew: Maybe they should rename themselves “The Justice Duo… and Friends.”
Justin: Atom proves that he can stalk with the best of them. No locked door is gonna keep me from my meddlin’!
Drew: “Look at what I designed for you. It’s specially tailored to show as much cleavage as possible. Just like in the comics!”
Justin: Yes, because all girls naturally sew! “You guys really know how to lay it on thick” WHOOOOOOOOO! The GL’s ring is also a holographic projector.
Drew: “But what if I’d said no?” “Well, then we would have had to kill you, Ice. But thankfully, you said yes!”
Justin: Fire takes off to see her ex-stalker and his new jailbait girlfriend.
Drew: Lady Luck thinks Martin’s cheerleader girlfriend is Clare from Heroes.
Justin: Heh might be! If the school is on a field trip, shouldn’t you be with them Atom?
Drew: Kids don’t need mentors. Just a magic snow-making lady.
Justin: You get no chance of parole if you’re convicted of weather manipulation. The cops just suck at frisking.
Drew: “I pledge allegiance… to the Martian Manhunter… and swear to do whatever the bald green alien asks of me. Amen.”
Justin: It’s the last scene! Where’s the lingerie?
Drew: Also, they initiate her in regular clothes, not a costume? Don’t these guys have any standards?
Justin: There’s no way these actors could’ve done this final scene without busting into laughter. With the Edward Scissorhands music and all.
Drew: There’s no way they could’ve done it with any self-respect, either.
Drew: And I was right about the cleavage-baring, too.
Justin: They just stand there with their hands raised like, forever. “How, White Man! Your scalp is mine!”
Drew: God forgive me, I want this to be a show now. In the worst way.
Justin: Oh my goodness she looks like a bad hooker.
Drew: As opposed to a good hooker?
Justin: Well, there are your hookers with a secret, hookers with a heart of gold, and Julia Roberts hookers.
Drew: Don’t forget Elisha Cuthbert porn stars, too. Rowr!
Justin: We all need Heroes in our lives. But it’s on haitus.
Drew: Look, Ice had to do a few things she wasn’t proud of before the Justice League came calling. Don’t judge her!

[In Conclusion]
Justin: Any final comments from the Justice League expert? Your thoughts?
Drew: Thoughts… oh Lord. Uh…
Justin: That was swimmingly bad, but also kind of consistently bad… the tone of the show was almost Saved By The Bell meets Batman.
Drew: Well, someone decided to take the superteam specifically designed to be the greatest heroes in the world and make them the cast of Friends.
Justin: You think that having an alien mentor with advanced technology would solve Barry’s financial problems, by the way. I know it was a pilot, but MM was underused to a criminal degree, and the final huge showdown was all Ice’s show.
Drew: I can kind of see what they were going for — not the modern Justice League, but the 80s one, where they spent as much time playing pranks on each other as saving the world — but it just fails. Aside from the fact that the timing and humor that works in comics doesn’t translate well to TV (and vice versa), it’s pretty hard to recreate a successful comic by completely reinventing all of the characters. The Giffen Justice League was zany, but they still got the job done and had some dignity. In contrast, these guys’ personal lives are worse than Peter Parker’s, every one of them. And that’s just sad. The reason (non-animated) superhero shows rarely work is largely economical- in a comic, you can have a massive interstellar fleet destroying planets in every panel for 22 pages and all it will cost you is the artist’s salary. But TV requires special effects to depict the same thing, and that’s more than most shows can afford. So you can understand why they chose to adapt the more humorous, squabbling 80s League… but they didn’t capture any of the humor or magic of Giffen’s characters, so they might as well not have bothered.
Justin: Between the miniskirts, bowties, stalkers, awkward conversations and cheesy effects, they were 100% right for canning this. Although, you never know — might’ve been a hit series with the tweener crowd.
Drew: And I know I mentioned it earlier, but I’ll reiterate- why THESE versions of the characters? There already is a sensitive, caring Green Lantern in the comics. There’s an unreliable, goofy Flash. But Guy Gardner and Barry Allen aren’t them. And why Fire and Ice instead of, I don’t know… Wonder Woman and Hawkgirl? I like both Ice and Fire as comic characters, but we’re not talking a lot of name recognition among the general public.
Justin: So how faithful was this adaption to the comics?
Drew: Faithfulness of adaptation? D-. Thrilling adventure series? F. But hilarious sitcom potential? A++, my friend. None better. Do you think, when they were making it, the director and actors realized what a train wreck it was? Or was someone actually thinking, “My God, we’re going to be RICH.”
Justin: JLA writer Mark Waid once called this unreleased TV pilot “80 minutes of his life he’ll never get back.”
Drew: I guess he liked 7 minutes of it. Probably the part with Ice in an unbuttoned sweater vest.
Justin: I have no idea… I mean, comparing it other bad 90’s comic book adaptions – Fantastic Four, Captain America – this wasn’t as shameful. Just really hokey.
Drew: Yeah. You can’t call it the worst superhero adaptation ever… but it’s sad that you can’t. Really, really sad.
Justin: Although doesn’t the JLA have Superman and Wonder Woman?
Drew: Yes, the JLA has Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, all the big names. Maybe they couldn’t get the rights.
Justin: Are any of these guys made up?
Drew: None of the heroes are completely made up, which I’ll give them credit for, because most superhero shows and movies inexplicably add a new, exclusive character. There’s no “Weatherman” that I know of in the comics, although he might have been VERY loosely modeled on the Weather Wizard, a Flash villain.
Justin: I guess we learned that Juicy Fruit was the biggest brand name of them all.
Drew: Yeah, how much money did Juicy Fruit spend in sponsorship that they’ll never see again?
Justin: Thanks for sharing the pain.
Drew: No problem, my friend. Against all odds, I enjoyed it. (Kinda.)

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