Episode #39 & 40 - The Terror Beyond Part 1 & 2 Original Airdate - November 15th 2003
After Aquaman frees Solomon Grundy, Hawkgirl and the Justice League are
convinced that the Lord of Atlantis has gone rogue. But when the trail
leads them to the mysterious Dr. Fate, they discover there is more to
this strange partnership than meets the eye.
Media by Bird Boy
Review by The Detective
Written by Dwayne McDuffie
Directed by Butch Lukic
Music by Lolita Ritmanis
Animation Services by DR Movie Co., LTD.
Maria Canals as Hawkgirl
George Newbern as Superman
Susan Eisenberg as Wonder Woman
Scott Rummell as Aquaman
Oded Fehr as Dr. Fate
Mark Hamill as Solomon Grundy
Rob Zombie as Ichthultu
Jennifer Hale as Inza
Kristin Bauer as Mera
William Hootkins as Commander
Sean Donnellan as Technician
Bruce Timm as Soldier
Wow. This episode really showed what Justice League can do when it wants
too. Intense battle scenes of truly epic proportions, wonderful
character interaction, and to top it all off a tear jerker ending.
But let's start at the beginning.
The episode opens with what looks like a scene ripped straight from the
Hulk movie. Solomon Grundy seems to have really taken a power up this
season along with Superman. Then Aquaman shows up to rescue Grundy. Cool
with me but don't think the guest star parade isn't over yet. In just a
few short moments the episode roster maxes out with appearances by Dr.
Fate and his wife Inza. No problem for me there. I'm a fan of both
Aquaman and Dr. Fate and while an unlikely pairing they're teaming
worked in the context of this episode and was a nice homage to the
Marvel team The Defenders which consisted of Dr. Strange, Namor and The
Incredible Hulk. I was worried this episode would end feeling very
crammed and over stuffed but that wasn't much of a problem except that
Aquaman jarringly drops out of the episode and then just as suddenly
drops back in. He did get to show off his extendable hook arm which was
a definite fun moment for me.
The magic based stories are some of the show's best and boy mystical
incantations are in full swing this episode. We also learn another facet
of Hawkgirl's mace, it's invulnerable to magic. The creative team is
doing a good job of developing Hawkgirl this season too, they didn't
take an episode, designate it, "Hawkgirl exposition" and cram it with
nothing but origin. No, they're taking a more subtle approach seemingly
leading up to something big. In this episode we learn that the
Thanagarians are a technological society, godless and faithless. This is
maybe one of her best appearances so far lot's of great character bits,
her bad cop routine, taking on Fate and her line, "I've got a gesture
for you but my hands are tied." She got to contrast with both Superman
and Wonder Woman as well.
This ep put the "action" in action show. Massive battle scenes that can
almost be overwhelming in their own scope, mass carnage, and one of the
best choreographed fights of the show, Wonder Woman vs. Aquaman. It was
pure artistry very well directed and animated. Towards the end of the
second half however the action and fights start to feel overcrowded to a
degree and when the end does come, it feels very anti climatic. Hawkgirl
smashes Ichtulthu and that's it. No massive explosion, no final moment
of triumph, nothing. It's almost as if you're using dynamite to build up
to a firecracker. It would leave one feeling very let down if it wasn't
for one thing;
Grundy. Indeed he is a very unlikely protagonist but within the space of
these two episodes Grundy is fully fleshed out. We get a wonderful
Batman The Animated Series noir flashback with a character actually
getting shot onscreen, some motivation for Grundy and by the time the
episode is over and Grundy meets his unfortunate end you're not really
noticing the anti climatic ending. Grundy's death has to be one of the
most striking things since Dan Turpin was murdered. The ending is
lovely, a pan of the heroes by Grundy's grave while a beautiful score is
playing in the background, a definite tear jerker moment.
Despite some minor flaws I am compelled to give this episode the highest
rating. Five Stars.