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The World's Finest Presents

Destroyer

Episode #39 - Destroyer (Part 2)
Original Airdate - May 13th, 2006 - Series Finale

In a knock-down drag out battle on Earth and in space, the power moving behind the scenes of the villains is revealed leading to the most unexpected team-up in Justice League history.

Reviews by SJJ, Stu
Media by Bird Boy
Credits:
Written by Dwayne McDuffie
Directed by Joaquim dos Santos
Music by Kristopher Carter, Michael McCuistion, Lolita Ritmanis
Animation by D.R. Movie Co., LTD.

Voices:
Kevin Conroy as Batman
George Newbern as Superman
Susan Eisenberg as Wonder Woman
Michael Rosenbaum as The Flash
Phil LaMarr as Green Lantern
Maria Canals as Shayera Hol
Carl Lumbly as J'onn J'onnz
Clancy Brown as Lex Luthor
Michael Ironside as Darkseid
Daniel Dae Kim as Metron
Jennifer Hale as Giganta
Michael Beach as Mr. Terrific
Lex Lang as Atomic Skull
Videos



Screen Grabs
















Pans


Sound Clips
"Oh come on!" (MP3, 246kb)
"I hope you appreciate..." (MP3, 275kb)
"Problem?" (MP3, 83kb)
"Flee." (MP3, 331kb)
"Me? I've got a different problem." (MP3, 554kb)
"Oh yes..." (MP3, 347kb)
"Wait a minute..." (MP3, 187kb)
"A head start..." (MP3, 106kb)
Heroes Run (MP3, 305kb)

 


Review (SJJ):
So here we are. The finale. The final one. The end. Excited.

I bet you are.

And what a mixed bag it is. Two sides to this, my ill-metaphored sword. On one side, it's a shinning beacon to all that is JLU; it has action, it has heroes, it has battles. It has great animation, some really smart one liners and it treats all it's characters with dignity. On the other side, it is all slightly ill paced, utilizes the worst case of deux ex machina I've seen on TV and lacks a little character detail for my personal taste.

In a little more depth (or in the context of the plot, maybe a little less), "Destroyer" concludes the season arc "Legion Of Doom". Lex Luthor's Legion returns to Earth after accidentally unleashing the maniac god Darkseid instead of the maniac machine, Brainiac. The Justice League and the Legion Of Doom (or Secret Society as DC would prefer) come together in alliance to stop this threat as revenge thirsty Darkseid and his creatures invade Earth.

There isn't much more than this to the story, but then the whole episode is designed to be a virtual homage to all that is super-hero action. One shouldn't condemn this episode for the weak plot, it's all about action, action, action.

Action certainly comes thick and fast. It's fluid, dynamic and very exciting stuff. Some pretty nasty scenes there; a spear in Shayera's wing, a decapitation of one of Darkseid's many goons.. It's all fun, occasionally shocking and unlike some of the previous episodes, the action scenes feel well placed and not contrived. After-all, action is the whole point to the story.

While it means there is little in terns of story-depth, this approach allows the show to pay it's respects to as many characters equally and fairly. This seems rather appropriate for a show about a whole league of super-heroes.

In between the action, there is some nice dialogue and a couple of welcome character scenes. J'onn makes a return. The character has clearly evolved and as he intended, found a life. Good on him.

Those expecting any serious resolutions won't find any. This is JLU-alongside-the- Legion-of-Doom-versus-Darkseid-and-minions (his generic minions, don't expect any of his usual cohorts).

The focus battle is Batman, Luthor and Superman Vs Darkseid. The arena: The remains of "The Daily Planet" building. It's a damn fine fight. A particular highlight for me was Superman's small speech before he goes "extra super" on Darkseid.

The attempts from Batman and Luthor to distract Darkseid's attack on Superman give this feud an extra layer. Some may argue having a mortal like Batman knock a virtual god over is slightly unrealistic. However, considering how vital Batman has been to Justice League, it's nice to see him have some serious interaction. It's particularly good to see Superman and Batman working together again.

This seems a good time to take a break from the good, and speak of the bad. Overall, there isn't much of this, but there were certainly some issues in this episode.

I still question (for those who read my review of the previous episode, "Alive") as to whether Darkseid needed to return. He offers nothing new here at all. It's Darkseid after Superman again and the fight is like an extended version of their last encounter in "Twilight". It's good, but with all of DC's literature at their disposal, did we need a forth reckoning? Wasn't "Twilight" major finale strong enough?

Furthermore, his invasion forces are toned down to stupid drones and until his final attack on Superman, he doesn't seem that much more impressive than before. After so many world threats, this doesn't really FEEL much above the norm for JLU, despite seeing such a large roster here.

Personally, I feel that characters that are godly in nature tend to be restrictive. A story can only offer a certain amount of resolutions for such one sided battles. It seems, by "Destroyer", that DCAU have exhausted all angles on Darkseid. It's good fun, but nothing new is done with the character.

The deux ex machina in the final moments comes from the power of anti-life. The problems are two-fold. Its introduction, application and resolution are lightning fast. This really gives some pacing issues with the rest of the episode. It also means it falls for the danger of any such device; the audience feels slightly cheated after such a gigantic buildup.

The second problem is there is no explanation to this device or its effect. If this was a continuing series, you could forgive that, however as a finale in which it's used to resolve the whole story dilemma, it bewilders.

If you know your DC, there probably is no problem - you probably have the background knowledge required to understand the use of anti-life. However, a television show should cater for it's whole audience in the same way a school essay should work on the presumption the reader has little to no knowledge of the subject. In the end, the whole event feels very messy, unwanted and unresolved.

That said, we can now go back to the good. The ending is very touching. Some well executed comments (Superman's remark to Batman about getting old neatly points towards the next stage of the saga - Batman Beyond) and a wonderful montage of all that is JLU, visually and aurally. It's a lovely "heroes heading off into the sunset" type of finish. While some fans would rather have more resolution details, I feel we know all we need to. We know Batman, Superman and JLU carry on into the future. We know that Lantern and Shayera will have a child who joins the JLU. We know there are many more battles out there to fight in the interim between now and Batman Beyond.

So enjoy. It is overall, a great half hour. As I said, in some ways the ending is a little frustrating and one wonders whether having Clark simply beat Darkseid would have been a better ending to the big fight - even if it would have been a little more simplistic. I personally felt that Superman's final blows to Darkseid were an effective enough climax not to warrant any external intervention.

What's more to say? Oh yeah, Grodd and Tala don't come back. Nor do the captive half of the Legion from "Alive". There may have been no obvious deaths for the JLU team, but there were certainly serious casualties in this final epical battle.

A good end to an overall strong season. Not as strong as "Divided We Fall" and a little bit disappointing in relation to the seasons arc (Luthor does disappear mighty fast), but still a solid ending to a solid season. Regardless of the minor issues, JLU certainly was an epic series with an epic finale. Now, go and watch Epilogue again. I think this is the right time to do so.

Review (Stu): After 39 episodes and many hours of entertainment, Justice League Unlimited comes to its end here. Given how the season has ranged from absolutely brilliant to mind numbingly boring, I was really hoping for something special to cap an uneven season. On a personal note, this episode felt special for the sole fact that I had to get up on a Saturday morning to watch it! I haven't done that since Spider-Man: The Animated Series ended 8 years ago!

Finale's are difficult top crack at the best of times but when you've got a 14 year history and an entire legion of fans expecting you to top "Divided We Fall", it was never going to be an easy task. Justice League Unlimited is arguably the biggest superhero cartoon of all time and there simply isn't enough time or money to do everyone justice in a single episode. One does wonder they used an all villain story beforehand though, especially as it could've been the perfect opportunity for many characters to get their final lines and such. Fret not though, whatever DC's versions of True Believers are called, as in the end, it simply didn't matter, this was an awesome finale, and did as good, if not better job as expected.

I was excited to see Darkseid once again, because let's not fool ourselves; he's the ultimate villain. As much as I love Luthor or even Joker, they're physically no matches for The League and despite whatever plan they come up with, when it comes to one on one, the heroes will hand them their ass. But Darkseid is different, to me at least. If any of the normal guys came up against him, he could crush them almost instantly. All in all, this means we're gonna get a hell of a Superman fight, as he takes on his greatest enemy. Luckily, Joaquim Dos Santos directs, and once again, he is in fine form.

I remember being slightly disappointed by Darkseid in Twilight, specifically how he moved. The visuals weren't there weren't anywhere near as cool as they were back in Superman, and I thought he lacked presence. It sounds odd, and fanboy nitpicky, but even the way Darkseid walked in Twilight was far too ‘mere mortal' like. Thankfully, Darkseid is back to his best here, and his new Brainiac heavy design is certainly a treat. Michael Ironside returns to voice the Lord Of Apokolips and manages to make dialogue that could sound corny work perfectly. “Let's go” had me pumped throughout the commercial break. There's something about his booming voice that simply brings out the best in scripts, weak or strong.

Superman vs. Darkseid has never disappointed before and this battle was their best to date. It was an interesting twist to throw Batman and Luthor into the mix, but it wasn't an unwelcome one. As odd as it sounds, I don't think I would've cared for it if Green Lantern or Captain Atom were involved. Batman acts as a strategist here, and Luthor is there to help Batman beat up Parademons. The talking in between the punches really does help emphasize the fight here, it's good to see that they haven't forgotten exactly who is fighting here, and they're still interested in telling stories with their characters, even if the episode is basically everyone in the League battling Parademons. I absolutely loved Superman's “I live in a world of cardboard” speech and then promptly laying the smackdown on Apokolips' Lord and Savior.

I thought the Anti Life equation would work in the episode somewhere, but I thought they might actually attempt to explain it and even possibly use it against Darkseid. One couldn't help but feel slightly jilted, especially considering Luthor apparently committed suicide to use it against Darkseid. Had he gloated at the end of it all or even said something about this being his revenge for stealing Brainiac away from him, it could've worked better, but no dialogue, a weak explosion and no real conclusion left me feeling slightly disappointing. In the end though, everything else was pretty much spot on, so I found myself with very little to complain about by the end of the episode.

I know some people will complain that there's too much fighting in the episode, but I felt it was worth it to see everyone get their due. I originally wasn't sure if I cared if everyone got a spot or not, but when I didn't see Flash cameo at the end of the last episode, I had a terrible feeling of dread that he wouldn't appear. I actually cheered when he showed up on screen, and literally laughed out loud at his “Why don't you just throw it into the sun?… Yeah, that was a pretty stupid idea. Given how he's essentially been ignored all season, it was nice to see The Question kicking some ass. Given how he's ignored in the current comics and there's nothing cooler than this version, I feel he's going to one of the characters I miss most.

So, now it's all over, how did it do overall? I admit to being hesitant when they announce that the show was being revamped, but it's been too good a series to dismiss that now. I found a lot of the new characters they introduced to be more interesting than the original 7, and we've seen some of the best storylines ever in the DCU unfold in this series. At the end of the day, this is quite easily the best show on TV, and it's going to be missed terribly. With The Batman seemingly peaked and dropping in quality, Teen Titans ending on a whimper and the new upcoming DC cartoons sounding like manufactured drivel for a network that can't even do a simple thing like stick to the market it was created for, it seems that there are dark days ahead for animation in general. The DCU has been a constant success both critically, commercially and personally for 12 years and it's as good now as the day as the day Batman rode "On Leather Wings" all those years ago. A true testament to the talent behind the show who've yet to let us down even if the rest of their very medium has.

Thank you gentlemen. It's been an honor.

Bonus Video:

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