Sunday, October 23, 2011
Let me start by saying that I know nothing about Red Tornado. I know nothing about Red Torpedo. I know nothing about Red Inferno. I know nothing about Red Volcano. I know nothing about T.O. Morrow. As ignorant as I am of the DC mythos, I am even more ignorant in the mythology of Red Tornado. Up until now, he was that robot that got blown up in an episode of "Justice League Unlimited."
This was an awesome episode. It was a crash course in all of this without ever feeling like an info-dump. From a writing stand point, it felt less like exposition and more like an organic part of the story. That sort of thing is hard to do, but it really worked. Two episodes built up to this, and the pay off was stunning. It takes great writing to make me care about a glorified toaster oven, but this episode did it.
I also liked Zatanna. I liked her a lot. I'm assuming that was Lacey Chabert doing her voice. The cast list attached to the end of the episode was obviously for an episode set down the line, so I don't know. But if it was, it was nice to hear her again. Both her and Vanessa Marshall as Black Canary. I'm hoping we hear more "Spectacular Spider-Man" alumni later on.
Zatanna was a lot of fun, and I liked her chemistry with Robin. I was actually a little disappointed when the episode ended with her seemingly not joining the team. I would like to see more of her and I think she fits right in. I can think of one character I wouldn't mind swapping out in exchange, but that's neither here not there.
I thought Red Volcano made a pretty menacing villain. That scene where he was tearing T.O. Morrow apart was pretty brutal, although I had guessed that Morrow was a robot based on how young he appeared as opposed to how long ago those flashbacks took place. I got an Ultron-vibe from Volcano, and if he is anything like Ultron... or the Coyote robots, I doubt he's gone for good.
I thought the flashbacks to the Justice Society were fun, and added a lot of history to make this world feel more real. I also couldn't help but be reminded of Watchmen" while watching that. And was that the Alan Scott Green Lantern? Cool.
If there is one nit I had about this episode, I don't think Wally's plan to talk to Ivo in the hopes of finding Morrow was a dumb idea at all. In fact, the idea made so much sense, logically, I'm rather surprised Batman didn't think of it. Someone tell Wally to think of dumb ideas to solve more problems, we'll have world peace and an end to hunger and crime in no time.
The script for this episode was personally penned by Greg Weisman. Now, a few years ago, he was writing a "Red Tornado" mini-series for DC, which got shelved. I wonder how much of that found its way into this episode. Because if the two were anything alike, that makes the comic's cancellation even more of a shame.
Overall, I'm not sure which episode of the season is my favorite so far. But it's a tie between "Humanity" and "Targets." Great episode. Like I said last week, the extra credit is being turned in.