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The World's Finest Presents


Episode #50, 51, & 52 - Starcrossed Part 1, 2 & 3
Original Airdate - May 29th, 2004 - Series Finale

When a Thanagarian force arrives and occupies Earth, Hawkgirl is torn between loyalty to her homeland and love of her adopted planet.

Media by screw on the head, Bird Boy
Review by Maxie Zeus
Part I:
Written by Rich Fogel
Directed by Butch Lukic

Part II:
Story by Rich Fogel
Teleplay by John Ridley
Directed by Dan Riba

Part III:
Written by Rich Fogel, Dwayne McDuffie
Directed by Butch Lukic

Music by Michael McCuistion
Animation Services by Dong Yang / Koko Enterprises

Kevin Conroy as Batman
Maria Canals as Hawkgirl
Phil LaMarr as Green Lantern
Susan Eisenberg as Wonder Woman
Carl Lumby as J'onn J'onzz
George Newbern as Superman
Michael Rosenbaum as Flash
Victor Rivers as Hro Talak
Hector Elizondo as Kragger
Elizabeth Pena as Paran Dul
Efrem Zimbalist Jr. as Aflred
Jason Marsden as Snapper Carr
Javier Grajeda as Hawk Sentry

Screen Grabs

More on the Screengrab, Pan and Audio Clip Page


Two and a half years ago, Justice League premiered with "Secret Origins," a story in which Earth's mightiest heroes (and two from other planets) joined together to defeat an invasion from outer space. Now, with "Starcrossed," another interstellar invasion shatters the League and wraps up the series in high style with its most exciting and engrossing adventure.

This time the attack comes from a putatively friendly direction. An armada from Thanagar—Hawkgirl's homeworld—drops from the skies and saves Washington D.C. from an attack by a Gordanian warship. The expedition's leader, Hro Talak, warns the leaders of Earth that the Gordanians, Thanagar's mortal enemies, are preparing an invasion of Earth and offers Thanagarian protection in the form of a garrison and planetary force field. But Batman (who never was one to believe in coincidences) discovers that the Gordanian attack was only a ruse and, sneaking aboard the Thanagarian flagship, finds evidence that the occupying forces have other motives. Alerted to the breach in their security, the Thanagarians quickly change footing and enforce a military occupation upon the Earth. And the Justice League—whose weaknesses the Thanagarians have studied and prepared for—are quickly defeated and imprisoned.

That's because their plans have been laid well in advance, and Hawkgirl stands revealed as their agent and advance scout. And John Stewart's sense of betrayal is not improved when he learns that his sweetheart and Hro Talak are, shall we say, an item.

"Starcrossed" works on many levels, but at its simplest and most visceral it's a knockout action story. The series has had its highs and lows when it's come to group-on-group melees, but "Starcrossed" easily puts every other Justice League fight in the shade with combat sequences that are so fluid, so expertly cut, and so epic in scope that they leave you gaping, gasping and laughing all at once. And it's not just in the aerial combat sequences, with their sky-filling fleets of cartwheeling attack fighters and rank upon rank of Thanagarian legionnaires, descending like pagan angels, that amaze. There is a Justice League prison break that is (hold on while I mix my metaphors) storyboarded with the crispness of a mathematical proof and executed with the dazzle of a musical dance number. And there is a taut, dramatic and bone-crunching one-on-one duel at the climax that will rattle your teeth.

As drama, the episode is tense and suspenseful. Hawkgirl's apparent treachery is a blow to everyone on the League (Green Lantern, grimly, even seems to take it in somewhat better spirit than some of his teammates) and also to those of us in the audience who thought her the most fun and attractive of the bunch. Is her loyalty to Thanagar as deep-rooted as it seems? That's a spoiler I won't reveal, except to say the final scene is unexpected and deeply affecting. But the scripters (led by Rich Fogel, with able assists by John Ridley and Dwayne McDuffie) mean you to have your doubts about her, and there's a climactic moment at the end of Part I that, for all its simplicity, is appalling in its brutality.

Finally, "Starcrossed" doesn't stint on those pleasures that are minor within the scope of the story but which will deeply gratify fans of these heroes. The script is also tightly written, with dialogue that is efficient and characteristic of its speakers. The humor—of which there is not exactly an abundance—is mostly unobtrusive and arises in throwaway moments. And the story, without stopping dead, gives each of its heroes a moment to shine.

In only one respect is "Starcrossed" not particularly lustrous. The story tries to work on the theme of divided loyalties and to develop a conflict between necessary ends and the unattractive means to them. Unlike the White Martians of "Secret Origins," the Thanagarians come not as world-conquering evildoers and stand accused of nothing worse than ruthless self-interest. Still, in the context of this story, that's enough to make one slightly impatient with some of the dramatic scenes between Hawkgirl and Hro Talak, and every viewer will hiss loudly at the invasion force and cheer lustily when the League opens a can of whup ass on them.

The League will be back later this summer with a new iteration on the series, Justice League Unlimited—fortunately so, otherwise the ending-which-is-not-quite-an-ending to "Starcrossed" would be nearly unbearable. But it will, in light of this episode, be a new series with a new Justice League. August 7 cannot come soon enough.

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