JUSTICE LEAGUE ANIMATED: Part 10, The Making of Episodes 18-21

JUSTICE LEAGUE ANIMATED: Part 10, The Making of Episodes 18-21

In the tenth installment of this ongoing behind the scenes look at the making of Justice League: The Animated Series, we focus on episodes 18-21, consisting of the two-part "Injustice For All," and the two-part "A Knight of Shadows."

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Episodes 18-19

“Injustice For All”
Part 1 Original Airdate: September 6, 2002
Part 2 Original Airdate: September 13, 2002
Written by Stan Berkowitz
Directed by Butch Lukic
Guest Starring: Mark Hamill (The Joker/Solomon Grundy), Clancy Brown (Lex Luthor), Ian Buchanan (Ultra-Humanite), Stephen McHattie (The Shade), Olivia d’Abo (Star Sapphire)
PLOT SUMMARY: Luthor, who’s dying as a result of his constant exposure to Kryptonite he keeps on his body to ward off Superman, breaks out of prison and joins with a number of other villains to take down the Justice League. The Joker, in particular, relishes the opportunity to finally be rid of Batman.
PRODUCTION NOTES: Bruce Timm considers these episodes their total nod to Super Friends and that show’s Legion of Doom. “One of the things we talked about doing from early on was taking Luthor out of the corporate boardroom and putting him in the mad scientist outfit; bringing him back to his old school Luthor when he was the crazed renegade scientist. In the comics he was always the supervillain. We had done a lot of stories of Luthor as the corporate evil tycoon, and that’s all well and good but we did it for a number of years on Superman. Now it was time to change up, especially versus the Justice League, who are these brightly colored, larger than life individuals. We thought it would be a tricky thing to have corporate Lex in charge of a group of supervillains convincingly. So we decided to have some fun and put him in that damned green and purple power suit and have some fun.

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"That was the show that infamously got delayed for various reasons. The fans on the Internet knew about it, and the more it got delayed the more rabid they were to see it. They started building it up in their head that this was the big, epic Justice League show of all time and it was never our intention to make it that. We really wanted it to be a romp; again, and I hate to use this phrase, Super Friends done right. There’s some fairly broad comedy in it. James Tucker and I giggle like kids when we see the scene where Luthor is going through Batman’s utility belt, he lifts it up over his head, he’s squinting at it and shaking it, trying to get stuff out of it. It just makes me laugh out loud. Literally, though, the fans just thought it was lame.

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“Then there was Ultra-Humanite,” he says. “Most of them can’t wrap their heads around an intelligent, suave, giant mutated ape. But, again, it’s total DC Comics. You’ve got to embrace the weird. We had a lot of fun with that show, and that’s all it was meant to be. We got to a point in the script when Luthor has been betrayed by Ultra-Humanite, he turns to him and says, ‘Et tu, Humanite.’ It’s so bizarre and so hokey, but we love it. And it also goes back and forth between humor and drama. There’s the whole Luthor getting cancer from Kryptonite bit, the Joker is played pretty fast and loose, but there is that scene where he’s left alone with Batman and he pulls out a switchblade and is getting ready to carve Batman up. I think it’s a good mix. The weird thing about it is that just within the last year I’ve become a big Joss Whedon fan because I’ve discovered Buffy on DVD and have been devouring it. Just a total fan. At the time, I had maybe watched one or two episodes of Buffy, but when I look back at ‘Injustice Gang’ it has almost a Joss Whedon kind of mix of humor and drama. It’s trying to find that balance. Buffy can get pretty broad, it can get pretty out there and I’m comfortable with that. A lot of fans have resistance to it, because they just really want you to treat it seriously all the damn time. You can’t have tragedy without a little bit of comedy.”

For the rest of this installment, please click HERE.
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