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The World's Finest Presents

Flash and Substance

Episode #31 - Flash and Substance
Original Airdate - February 11th, 2006

Batman and Orion see a different side of the Flash when a rogues’ gallery of villains attacks the museum that is opening in his honor.

Review by Stu
Media by Bird Boy
Credits
Written by Matt Wayne
Directed by Joaquim dos Santos
Music by Michael McCuistion
Animation by Dong Woo Animation Co., LTD.

Voices
Michael Rosenbaum as Flash
Kevin Conroy as Batman
Ron Perlman as Orion
Mark Hamill as Trickster
Donal Gibson as Captain Boomerang
Alexis Denisof as Mirror Master
Lex Lang as Captain Cold
Kim Mai Guest as Linda Park
Lani Manella as Mayor
Video

Screen Grabs











Pans




Sound Clips
"I'm gonna kill you ugly, Flash." (MP3, 113kb)
"Yeah?" (MP3, 98kb)
"I'll try to get with him." (MP3, 271kb)


Review

It’s always nice to be surprised in an episode of Justice League Unlimited. Given that these episodes haven’t aired anywhere else other than the UK at present time of writing, I came in with the knowledge that this was a Flash episode, and that The Trickster would appear and nothing else. Now, to me, Flash has been a highly amusing character, so I was curious to see how a whole episode dedicated to the Scarlet Speedster with members of the JL tagging along would work. Given this season’s previous track record (i.e., disappointing), this episode of Flash And His Amazing Friends had its work cut out for it before the episode began, as quite honestly, I was dubious of the whole thing and it had a lot to live up to.

Suffice to say, my worries were needless. It proved to be a nice, small fun episode that did a fantastic job showcasing the world The Flash lives in. Just about everything is covered here – his secret identity, his work outside the JL, his villains and most importantly, Central City. While the idea of a Superman Museum would no doubt come across as corny and old hat, it works perfectly for the attention-loving Flash.

One of the coolest things about this episode was the chance to finally see some of the Flash’s rouges animated. Flash is often seen only slightly below Batman and Spider-Man in those “Who has the best rouge’s?” polls, so it was great to finally see someone other than Gorilla Grodd or the ultra lame Weather Wizard animated. Mirror Master, Captain Boomerang and Captain Cold all do a great job here, but the undisputed star of the rouges is The Trickster.

My only experience with the character was Mark Hamill’s wonderful portrayal in The Flash television series, and he was equally brilliant here. There was obviously a lot drawn from the TV show, as The Trickster even looks like Hamill! As with any Hamill performance, this one doesn’t disappoint. It’s not quite as out there as I was expecting, he doesn’t play it as a full on, crazy mad man, more like someone who’s just a little loopy. It’s actually closer to Hamill’s normal voice than I’ve ever heard him play before – Joker, Hobgoblin, Wolverine, Gargoyle and the others have all been exaggerated voices, put on it you will. Here, he almost plays it straight, and it’s still utterly flawless. It seems, even after 14 years voicing characters in the DCU, Hamill is still peerless. There’s little denying that he is the very best ever. The entire interrogation scene is simply masterfully executed from all involved, everything from the script to the staging to the performances. They’ve really gone for Whedon-style quirky humour in this show, with the opening bar scene being the prime example, I can’t imagine something like that happening on Batman: The Animated Series. “Almost Got ‘Im,” it wasn’t.

The villains were fine here (special mention must go to Alexis Denisoff for his performance as Mirror Master!) as did the ‘back up’ members of the JL. Batman was a wise choice… because he’s Batman. I won’t bother explaining the sheer awesomeness of this shows version of Batman because if you’re reading this, you’re already well aware that Batman is the balls. Orion was a wise choice too, I originally thought he wouldn’t fit at all, but his arrogant, almost smug opinion of those around him really fit in with the theme of the episode. Whilst Flash may be the odd one out up in the Watchtower full of superheroes, in Central City, everyone else is out of their place – this is his turf. This episode is simply Flash’s finest appearance in the DCU to date, possibly save for him laying the smack down on Brainthor in the outstanding "Divided We Fall."

While the episode may appear as filler to some due to its complete lack of the Legion Of Doom, it truly is a great episode and at this point, it completely destroys the previous episodes in the season by comparison. If the seasons continues with episodes this strong, then we can be assured that JLU will be going out with a bang.

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