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The World's Finest Presents

The Balance

Episode #18 - The Balance
Original Airdate - May 28th, 2005

Wonder Woman and Hawkgirl must put aside their feud and go to the depths of Tartarus when the evil sorcerer Felix Faust establishes dominion over Hades.

Review by Bird Boy
Media by Bird Boy
Story by Stan Berkowitz
Teleplay by Dwayne McDuffie
Directed by Dan Riba
Music by Lolita Ritmanis
Animation by Dong Yang Animation

Maria Canals as Shayera
Susan Eisenberg as Wonder Woman
Carl Lumbly as J'onn J'onzz
Michael Rosenbaum as Flash
Robert Englund as Felix Faust
Bob Joles as Hades
Juliet Landau as Tala
Jason Bateman as Hermes
Wayne Night as Abnegazar
Susan Sullivan as Hippolyta
Michael T. Weiss as Jason Blood

Screen Grabs


Sound Clips
"Beats the alternative." (MP3, 186kb)
"Is it Tuesday?" (MP3, 89kb)
"'cause I'm a stud." (MP3, 104kb)
Zatanna's Lines (Backwards) (MP3, 139kb)
Zatanna's Lines (Forwards) (MP3, 139kb)
Hades talks to Diana (MP3, 226kb)


Occasionally I’ll watch an episode of a show once and hate it; a repeat viewing will sometimes yield something different. Oddities before make sense and cheesy dialogue isn’t so bad. For example, the latest Star Wars film, Revenge of the Sith. A second viewing cleared up a lot of confusion and a lot of qualms with the acting weren’t as bad. “The Balance,” while not as drastic, fits this example rather well. Once thought to be a boring piece of crap, I realize it adds new layers to Wonder Woman’s character, something we’d seen little of since Season 1 of Justice League, has humor, action, great readings by the cast (Juliet Landau as Tala is a new favorite of mine, the delivering on “…or just keep tormenting me?” was great) and even a nice slip in of “hell” in, via Zatanna’s backwards moaning.

The dissention between Shayera and Wonder Woman in the beginning is great fun to watch; obviously Wonder Woman still harbors ill will towards Shayera and when they’re forced to work together, you know things will eventually work out in the end. And of course they do, albeit with a strange sounding line (“We’re like oil and vinegar; we go together but we don’t mix.”) that even now I still find as one of the strangest things I’ve heard come out of a cartoon characters mouths. It makes perfect sense, but in their setting and after just having a rousing battle, it just sounds odd.

One thing that was kind of a let down was the use of Annihilator; after his awesome hijacking from the Watchtower in “Task Force X”, he’s reduced to magical mace fodder in the last few minutes of the episode. Seems like a waste for all the Task Force X went through, but hey…at least we got a cool episode out of his hijacking.

On the flip side, one of the best things of the episode was Wonder Woman. Not only did she get new powers, but her origin (tried and true from the comics, albeit with a twist of Hades helping sculpt her from clay) was thrown in as well. We haven’t heard jack from Wonder Woman’s origin since “Paradise Lost” and nothing from Themiscrya since “Fury” (albeit a brief appearance of Hippolyta in “Hereafter”) and this gave a nice fresh breath of depth to her character. Some may continue to complain, as fans always will, but I’m happy; the last of the big three to finally have her origin locked down and in satisfying fashion.

Speaking of the “big three” for a minute, fans may pick out Wonder Woman’s security code (“003”) as she asks the computer for an override and enters Shayera’s room. Being one of the “big three” and usually depicted as the third of the three (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman), I thought it was a neat little addition.

No real qualms in the technical departments. Animation was a bit stiff at times, but fluid for the most part. As I mentioned before, the dialogue was pretty strong throughout and the music was great as well.

Overall, it had its ups and downs and repeat viewings definitely help the enjoyment. It’s a departure from the overall Cadmus arc this season, but we got some depth to Wonder Woman, in addition to Wonder Woman and Shayera patching things up.
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