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The World's Finest Presents

The Call: Part 1

Episode #50 - The Call: Part 1
Original Airdate - November 11th, 2000

Superman drafts Batman into the League of Superheroes when he suspects there is a traitor among them. Batman ferrets out the traitor, and the reason for his treasonous behavior. It all comes down to a one-on-one battle between Batman and one of the greatest heroes of all time.

Media by Bird Boy
Review by Dick Grayson
Credits:
Story by Paul Dini, Alan Burnett
Teleplay by Rich Fogel, Hilary J. Bader
Directed by Butch Lukic
Music by Kristopher Carter
Animation by Koko/Dong Yang

Voices:
Will Friedle as Terry McGinnis/Batman
Kevin Conroy as Bruce Wayne
Christopher McDonald as Superman
Farrah Forke as Barda
Peter Onorati as Warhawk
Jodi Benson as Aquagirl
Wayne Brady as Micron
Lauren Tom as Green Lantern
Shannon Kenny as Inque
Tim Dang as The Driver
Chad Einbinder as Father
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Review

In Metropolis, tourists gawk at the Justice League Unlimited watchtower. Within, Micron, a JLU member who can shrink and grow, fights a training robot, then answers a call from an unknown source. There's a monorail out of control! Micron hurries to the scene. He rescues the driver of the monorail, then rushes to engage the brakes and turn the train from its path. That done, he goes to leap clear in the textbook last-minute escape, but a force field goes up over the door, barring him in, so he's inside when the monorail derails and crashes.

Meanwhile, in Gotham City, Inque has stolen an experimental airplane and the Batmobile is in hot pursuit. Batman shorts out the plane's electronics, and it goes down in a pond, but Inque escapes. She fights Batman, gets the worst of it, and then takes a bystander hostage. However, the bystander starts spinning around at incredible speed, scattering Inque to the four winds - it's Superman! The Man of Steel sports a stark black and white costume these days and has some gray hair, but he's still pretty tough.

Superman goes with Terry to the Batcave, where he asks Bruce if Terry can join the League. Bruce says it's not up to him; it's up to Terry. But Bruce wonders if he's supposed to be a replacement for Micron. Superman says no, Terry has what the JLU needs.

At the JLU Watchtower, Barda, an amazon from Apokolips, is angry with Superman for bringing Terry in without consulting his fellow Leaguers. Warhawk, an armored guy with wings, agrees. The new Green Lantern, a hovering bald child, says they shouldn't get angry, but Aquagirl agrees with Barda -- they don't know Terry, and Superman should have treated their opinions with more respect. But Superman tells them this isn't up for discussion -- Batman is staying and that's that.

Terry is a bit dismayed and suggests this might have been a mistake. But Superman says he needs someone he can trust. Micron is still clinging to life, but even with the League's high technology, it was a very close call. Superman wants Batman there to spy on the others, because he suspects one of the Leaguers had something to do with Micron's accident.

Aquagirl apologizes for the others, invites Terry for a swim, and then leaves him to study. Barda and Warhawk practice in the battle room, while Green Lantern meditates in a parklike chamber. Terry watches Aquagirl dart in and out of underwater hoops, then calls Bruce to tell him he doesn't like spying on heroes. When Aquagirl's monitor goes black, he instantly leaps to find out what's wrong. The water in her tank is boiling! He tries to unlock the tank, but the door is too strong even for him, so he rushes next door, steals Barda's Mega-Rod weapon, and blasts the door. Water gushes out, just in time, as Aquagirl has already passed out. Warhawk and Barda chase him and see Aquagirl rescued, but they suspect he was behind her accident. When Aquagirl explains he wasn't at fault, they blame him for not calling for help. They just don't like him.

Terry finds a vital part burned out in the tank controls. Superman confirms that there's a traitor in the League; every circuit in that part was fused solid. Later, the Leaguers send Batman out on patrol while they handle an emergency. Bombs are exploding across the city, and the League rushes to the rescue -- except Batman, of course, stuck on patrol.

Superman catches a falling cargo container off a sinking ship and pulls buildings off victims, as does Green Lantern. More bombs set a large building on fire, but Green Lantern catches the falling building with green hands. Aquagirl summons dolphins and a whale to save shipwrecked sailors. Superman sends Batman to help Warhawk rescue people from the roof of another building. Although flying ambulances are on the scene, they don't quite get everyone before the fire reaches the roof. Batman saves the last two people, but then Warhawk gets an emergency call and takes off. Batman didn't hear any such call, but takes off anyway, after him. Warhawk tells him to scram. Since Superman told Batman to stick with Warhawk, that's what he's trying to do. A missile comes arcing in from above, and Warhawk goes after it, redirecting the missile back into the air. Then, all at once, it explodes, and Warhawk's cracked helmet slams into the Batmobile's windshield.

Barda lands and accuses Batman immediately -- after all, Warhawk heard a call on the JLU frequency, but nobody else did, and they only have Batman's word that there ever was such a signal. Superman tells Barda to back down, but it's obvious Terry's not real popular at the moment.

Analysis
Paul Dini and Alan Burnett, the shining stars of the WB's Superman and Batman shows, have been lobbying for a JLA series for years. Each time, the suits told them no -- do more Superman and Batman. So now they've finally snuck the League in, under the umbrella of Batman Beyond!

Although two Leaguers bite the dust in this episode, it's hard to believe they're just going to throw the concept away after the current two-parter concludes. It's also hard to believe Superman is really a villain. The killer has used two fake JLU messages, a force field and a sabotaged computer -- we're clearly looking at a master technologist here. So why couldn't he fake up the image on the Batmobile's computer? That would make it a master technologist with a grudge against Superman. Hmm ... Lex Luthor, perhaps, or Brainiac? Sure hope so -- for all this show's dark, adult-oriented tone, it would still stink out loud if Superman became a bad guy.

Notes
The JLU comprises six members: Micron, who can shrink and grow; Aquagirl, daughter of Aquaman, who controls fish and can swim acrobatically; Green Lantern, with all the powers of the Green Lantern ring; Warhawk, who has an armored battle suit and wings, and a Hawkman motif; Barda, the wife of Mister Miracle, who is super-strong, can fly with jet shoes, and carries a Mega-Rod which can emit energy blasts or duplicate various tools. Superman appears to have the same powers as always.

There wasn't a body when Warhawk blew up. Think he's really dead? This critic suggests that Warhawk is the most likely villain, if indeed it is a traitor in the League, although I also think it's more probably some outside villain. We'll see!

Bonus Video:


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