The World's Finest Presents

Doomsday Sanction

Episode #16 - Doomsday Sanction
Original Airdate - February 19th 2005

While Superman battles Doomsday in the heart of a Volcano, Batman discovers an elaborate conspiracy to destroy the Justice League.

Review by Bird Boy
Screens and Audio by Bird Boy
Pans by Borg4of3
Credits:
Story by Dwayne McDuffie
Teleplay by Robert Goodman
Directed by Dan Riba
Music by Michael McCuistion
Animation Services by Dong Yang Animation

Voices:
Kevin Conroy as Batman
Susan Eisenberg as Wonder Woman
Carl Lumbly as J'onn J'onzz
George Newbern as Superman
Michael Rosenbaum as Flash
C.C.H. Pounder as Amanda Waller
Michael Jai White as Doomsday
J.K. Simmons as General Eiling
Armin Shimmerman as Dr. Milo
Robert Foxworth as Professor Hamilton
Juilet Landau as Tala
Screen Grabs









Pans




Sound Clips
"I agree, he's wound a bit tight..." (MP3, 153kb)
Review

I love being surprised. I love walking into an episode with some pre-conceived notion from the quick episode log that it’s going to be another run-of-the-mill Justice League Unlimited episode and then have it be one hell of a “blockbuster” episode. This episode packed way more of a punch than I originally thought it would; the major involvement of Waller and Cadmus, tying into events we haven’t seen since Batman: The Animated Series and Superman: The Animated Series—it was definitely a lot more than I expected from it.

First up is the continuity. A large array of references were in this one: Dr. Hugo Strange (BTAS “Strange Secret of Bruce Wayne”), Dr. Langstrom (BTAS “On Leather Wings” / “Terror in the Sky”), Dr. Milo (BTAS “Moon of the Wolf” / “Cat Scratch Fever”), Phantom Zone projector (STAS “Blast to the Past”), Volcana (STAS “Where Theres Smoke”), Justice Lords / Doomsday / Luthor’s interest in politics (JL “A Better World”), Galatea (JLU “Fearful Symmetry”), Cloning (JLU “Ultimatum”), General Eding / Watchtower laser (JLU “Dark Heart”) and Batman’s kryptonite (JL “Tabula Rasa”). All directly referenced (sans Volcana, who was more of mentioned in passing about Luthor funding Hardcastle’s past meta-human experiments), make for one giant continuity sandwich with a side order of fries. It really was one of the most appealing parts of this episode; the way it tied all the way back into Batman: The Animated Series’ first season is nothing short of extraordinary, especially with making one of it’s most minor characters, Dr. Milo, one of the key points of the first act.

The episode opens up with a great intro with Batman sneaking into Waller’s home, shutting security cameras down along the way and finally ending up in the bathroom right as Waller finishes. The scene ends with her setting the alarm off in the building and her hand shaking, showing that her encounter with Batman did actually faze her. A rather nauseating roundtable discussion from both the Justice League and Cadmus follows, seeming like it’d never end (turn-a-rounds are a nice trick, especially when they transition into other scenes, but it went on for a bit too long in this one). Doomsday’s intro is soon shown and then the big lava-brawl starts. As brutal as Superman’s fight with Mongul in “For The Man Who Has Everything”, this fight took Superman’s “limits” to a new level; attempting to lobotomize Doomsday and then tossing him into a volcano, it seemed he was willing to kill Doomsday and sacrifice himself in the process. While this goes on, Batman handles a nuclear missile headed for the exploding island, fired by General Eding in an attempt to kill Doomsday, along with Superman and the islanders (with the included drug-trafficking ring, it was “killing three birds” as Eding put it).

While the topic of the nuclear missile is still fresh in your mind, let me soil it with this thought: CGI. This show has always had some of the downright worst CGI effects. They tear you out of the episode with their sometimes jittery or completely stiff movements and their overall “shiny” coating. It’s cost-cutting to be sure, but when Batman was racing after the CGI nuke with his CGI ship on a regular, animated background, it flat-out looked horrendous. I can handle CGI when it’s not done in excess, but was really featured in this episode a lot; if that missile and ship were just animated regularly, it would have looked so much better.

Animation was pretty stiff in the episode as well. Some stale facial expressions and mundane poses and odd running (Doomsday’s exiting of Cadmus’s hallway into the hanger comes to mind) bring the episode down another notch. The music was great and there were some particular cues in it that sounded wonderful. You don’t hear much complaining about the music in Justice League Unlimited; it’s not so “computerized” sounding now and that is a great thing.

But, for the small notches that the CGI and animation brought it down, the story brings it back up and then some. As previously mentioned, the ties into continuity make this show feel more tied into the DC Animated Universe. The Doomsday aspect surprised me, as I didn’t expect to see him show up again, with Timm once saying he didn’t much care for the character, but it was awesome to see him square off against Superman. The Phantom Zone projector’s return wasn’t expected and the end scene with the “big three” left an odd feeling that Batman wasn’t at all happy with the way the League was going. After seemingly feeling “at home” in the League, he seems to have turned the other way and began seeing what Cadmus was talking about…

Overall this episode was pretty much what fans wanted from the very beginning. Whether you’re pulling Kingdom Come references (you know who you are…) out of the episode or just enjoying the ride, the Justice League Unlimited crew has definitely set us up for an awesome ride this season.

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