JUSTICE LEAGUE ANIMATED PART 7: BTS on Episodes 1-5
In the seventh installment of Voices From Krypton's comprehensive behind the scenes look at the making of Justice League Animated, the episode guide itself begins with the three-part "Secret Origins" and two-part "In Blackest Night."
For Part One, please click HERE., For Part Two, please click HERE., For Part Three, please click HERE., For Part Four, please click HERE, For Part Five, please click HERE., For Part Six, please click HERE.
Original Airdate: November 17, 2001
Written by Rich Fogel
Directed by Dan Riba & Butch Lukic
Guest Starring: Gary Cole (J. Allen Carter), Jason Marsden (Snapper Carr), Susan Sullivan (Hippolyta), Kevin Michael Richardson (General Wells
PLOT SUMMARY: The Justice League comes together when Martian J’onn J’onzz arrives, warning earth of an imminent attack by his people. Through a number of near-impossible challenges, the League proves triumphant and elects to stay together as a unit to protect earth.
PRODUCTION NOTES: “This was a tough one,” admits Bruce Timm, “because we had a lot of ground to cover. We basically knew we would be cheating the audience if we didn’t do an origin of the Justice League story, so we pretty much had to do that. I will say that this is one of those episodes that I kind of wish I could do over. Parts of it work and parts of it don’t. I think the structure of it is kind of off; I think the first half-hour is really good and exciting, and you’re not sure where it’s going. But it started falling apart somewhere in the middle of the second episode when we go into the Martian flashback. By part three, the action scenes weren’t paced properly – something that was all of our fault’s -- and it felt like it was just time to wrap it up. You know, the Justice League escapes and kicks some butt, but it just kind of limped to a conclusion, I felt. It gets the job done, I just wish it had been just a little bit more rousing than it actually is.
“Another big part of the problem,” he continues, “is that we had three different Justice League teams in different parts of the world, but they’re all in pretty much the same environment. Each one of them was inside one of those alien earth defiler machines and there was a lot of repetition. I really wish we had figured out a way to make each one of those little pocket parts of the story be radically different from every other part. Fortunately we took it as a good learning experience. Whenever we did a three-parter from that point on, we made sure that when we split the team up into smaller teams, that each one was in a completely different kind of location and environment and were doing different parts of the story. ‘Savage Time’ and ‘Starcrossed’ are huge improvements in that department. In hindsight, probably the biggest mistake was delaying the creation of the Justice League until episode two.”
“In Blackest Night”
Part 1 Original Airdate: November 19, 2001
Part 2 Original Airdate: November
Written by Stan Berkowitz
Directed by Butch Lukic
Guest Starring: James Remar (Lead Manhunter), Kurtwood Smith (Prosecutor), Rene Auberjonois (Kanhar-Ro/Galius), Garrett Morris (Al McGee), Dennis Haysbert (Killowog)
PLOT SUMMARY: An alien race that has framed Green Lantern for murder puts him on trial, but an investigation by the rest of the Justice League reveal that it’s a cover-up for this race’s attempts to destroy the Guardians of the Universe on Oa.
PRODUCTION NOTES: According to producer Stan Berkowitz, the most enjoyable part of the episode is its “kangaroo court aspect.” Explains the writer, “Just presenting a legal system that was basically a farce. I don’t know where I came up with that idea. Actually, come to Los Angeles some time and take a look at our legal system – I think that was my inspiration. I think what happened was Rich Fogel came to me with the idea of adapting a comic story that involved Hal Jordan, but he wanted it switched over to John Stewart. We had to modify it a lot, which takes a lot of patience. But the thing that stands out is taking a few pokes at our legal system.”
Admits Bruce Timm, “It’s got a few logic holes in it, but that comes with the territory I suppose. We were pretty happy with it when we got it back. You can definitely see that we were trying to step up our game just in terms of spectacle, especially in part two with the big battle on Oa with the thousands of Manhunters versus the Justice League and the Green Lanterns. We were pretty impressed ourselves with what they were able to pull off overseas, just because we’d never really done action set pieces that had that many characters in motion at the same time. But I think it came out really well.
“I was a little bit reluctant when the story was first pitched to me,” he adds, “to have the first Green Lantern story to be one in which he’s taken down a peg. I thought it might not have been the best way to introduce him as a character to show him in disgrace. Ultimately I think it worked out kind of well because it showed his grace under fire and his willingness to accept what he had done and the consequences of it. I think it’s a pretty good character display for him. Overall, I’m pretty happy with that episode.” Look for Part 8 of this series on Friday February 1, 2013
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