The World's Finest Presents

Wild Card

Episode #48 & 49 - Wild Card Part 1 & 2
Original Airdate - December 6th, 2003

In the ultimate reality show, the Joker pits the Justice League against the clock and against the Royal Flush Gang as the Justice League races to find and disarm all the bombs he's planted along the Strip in Las Vegas.

Media by Bird Boy
Review by randomguy
Credits:
Written by Stan Berkowitz, Dwayne McDuffie
Directed by Butch Lukic
Music by Michael McCuistion, Kristopher Carter
Animation Services by Dong Woo Animation C.O., LTD.

Voices:
Kevin Conroy as Batman
Maria Canals as Hawkgirl, Old Woman
Phil LaMarr as Green Lantern
George Newbern as Superman
Michael Rosenbaum as Flash
Mark Hamill as The Joker
Arleen Sorkin as Harley Quinn
Khary Payton as Ten
Greg Cipes as Jack
Scott Menville as King
Tara Strong as Queen
Hynden Walch as Ace
John C. McGinley as Executive
 
Screen Grabs, Part 1






Pans, Part 1





Sound Clips, Part 1
"Nobody likes a brown nose" (MP3, 230kb)
"Why don't you just shut up?" (MP3, 266kb)

Screen Grabs, Part 2






Pans, Part 2


Sound Clips, Part 2
Harley and Batman Talk (MP3, 133kb)
"Do What?" (MP3, 298kb)
Review

The real problem with "Wild Cards", the way I see it, was that it spent 45 minutes barely going anywhere... and then it suddenly started kicking ass. "Only a Dream" had this problem, too, only to a lesser extent.

Sure, the first three-fourths had some cool features. The Flash actually kicked some butt, despite taking some of the standard "Oh, he could have dodged THAT!" hits. The Joker had some fantastic lines (and I loved him not-quite-breaking the fourth wall). The Royal Flush Gang was interesting, I thought using the Teen Titans cast was cute, and I enjoyed the Batman Beyond music that played when they appeared. I liked the Grandma at the slot machines. I also enjoyed how they kept us in the dark about Ace's power, leaving us knowing all the while that something was amiss. Very good stuff.

Oh, and the intro had me cracking up. I can't believe they went there. I was watching with a friend of mine, and as the camera panned slowly up the Watchtower with Hawkgirl's "Yeah... right there" dialogue, we exchanged these "Oh my god" glances. Number 3,456 on the list of things that Kids WB wouldn't have let them do...

Mainly, though, those first 45 minutes bored me. The reality TV bit got old after a while, the clock became annoying, and the animation was frequently very off (When Hawkgirl pumps GL's chest, there's no kind of depression in his body or anything, just her hands moving). The fights lacked intensity, and Harley felt totally extraneous, though I did love seeing her. Her voice, most of the time, was fine, but periodically it sounded really off. The episode was shaping up to be decent... like "Hearts and Minds" or "Tabula Rasa". Pretty vanilla, really.

And then those last 15 minutes happened. Gorgeous hallucinations, a chilling twist, a truly sadistic Batman/Joker fight, and Harley actually doing something interesting. I was quite happy. This was all very cool. I only hoped that there was enough time left for adequate GL/Hawkgirl closure.

And boy, was I pleased.

I'll go on record as saying that design-wise, I've never found a DCAU woman all that attractive (save maybe for BTAS Selina Kyle, who had a very 1940's kind of appeal). I certainly didn't expect Hawkgirl to be the first. And yet, she was drop-dead gorgeous. What a pleasant surprise. There's something fundamentally wrong with it taking 30+ episodes for us too see her without a mask, but I'll overlook that. The kiss scene was tender, adult, heartfelt, and genuine... at least, as heartfelt and genuine as you get with this sort of thing. Really satisfying stuff. I don't know what "Starcrossed" holds, but I hope they don't totally kill off this relationship, because I like it.

I kinda wanted Hawkgirl to make better light of the "differences" between her and John. "But I'm from another planet and I have wings on my back!"

Oh, and the very end, with the old lady and the jackpot ("Finally!)". F'ing brilliant. Really nice touch.

Four stars.

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