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Summary:  When Apokolips is invaded by Brainiac, Darkseid—whose forces are weakened following a skirmish with New Genesis—has no choice but to approach the Justice League for help.  A reluctant Superman agrees, and the League joins the fight against the Kryptonian menace as it prepares to strip the planet of its information.  Meanwhile, Batman and Wonder Woman travel to New Genesis and alert the New Gods of the events transpiring on Superman's behalf.  The Man of Steel is suspicious, and rightly so, as alliances come into question and the Lord of Apokolips discovers a possible shortcut to solving the fabled Anti-Life Equation.

JL Roll Call:  Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, J’onn J’onzz, Hawkgirl

Featured Character:  Superman

Villains:  Darkseid, Brainiac

Supporting Villains:  Kalibak, Desaad

 

Cartoon Network on “Twilight,” Part One:  “When a mysterious alien menace threatens to destroy Apokolips, Darkseid has no choice but to turn to the Justice League for help.  Even though Superman doesn’t trust his old nemesis, he reluctantly agrees to defend Darkseid’s world" (courtesy of Cartoon Network).

Cartoon Network on “Twilight,” Part Two:  “Darkseid’s longtime enemies on neighboring planet New Genesis, Highfather and Orion, believe Darkseid may be fooling the Justice League.  Meanwhile, Superman faces both Darkseid and another foe in a deadly battle that could destroy the Man of Steel" (courtesy of [website name removed]).

Bruce Timm on "Twilight" (circa 2003) #1:  “[In doing Justice League], we’re always looking for villains who are powerful enough to take on the assembled might of the Justice League.  We didn’t really do that many Superman-centric stories the first season; so, realizing that we’d kind of dropped the ball in our handling of him, we wanted to remedy that as soon as possible, and figured, ‘What better way to erase super-wimp than by throwing Darkseid at him?’

“For 'Twilight,' we knew that with the entire Justice League involved, we’d have to raise the stakes a bit.  Brainstorming with Rich Fogel and James Tucker, I asked, ‘What’s he after this time?’  Hatred of New Genesis and a desire to crush / humiliate Superman are fine motives, all well and good, but what’s his ultimate goal?’  That, in turn, led back to the original Kirby stories and…Well, you’ll see.  Weirdly enough, no one sets foot on Earth throughout the entire length of 'Twilight.'  We do spend some quality time on both Apokolips and New Genesis, so you’ll see quite a few Fourth World characters.

“I recently re-watched both 'Twilight' and 'Legacy'—not actually back-to-back, but within a few weeks of each other—and 'Twilight' easily holds its own.  In some ways I like it better:  the score is awesome, the battle scenes are pleasingly intense, the scale of the show is immense (both story-wise and visually), and the character interplay is nice and edgy…and not just between Superman and Darkseid.  [Also, we] re-establish the back-story as quickly and painlessly as possible for those Justice League viewers who, for one reason or another, never watched the Superman series" (courtesy of Toon Zone).

Bruce Timm on "Twilight" (circa 2003) #2:  “That's our big return of Darkseid show.  We had a bunch of really good story arcs with Darkseid in the Superman show, and we thought now was time to bring him back [in] Justice League, to see what other storylines we could explore with him.  The Superman shows were pretty good stories—the last Darkseid story, in particular, had one of the coolest Darkseid climaxes ever, where Superman basically blew up Darkseid's head.  We said, ‘How do we top that?’  We'll leave that to the fans to decide whether we did or not, but it's a really good show—really strong and emotional" (courtesy of The Pulse).

Bruce Timm on “Twilight” (circa 2004):  “I hadn’t intended on contributing that much writing to [‘Twilight’], but what happened was it was at the end of the first season—we were pretty much finished up—and, just in case we got a pick-up for a second season, Warner Bros. paid Rich Fogel to come up with a couple of episode ideas.  So he came up with a couple, and we had talked about bringing Darkseid back anyway, so one of the premises he came up with was ‘Twilight.’

“Initially, myself and James Tucker both were kind of reluctant on his pitch, just because we didn’t think pairing Darkseid up with Brainiac was necessarily a great idea.  There aren’t that many DC villains who are, on their own, big and strong enough to take on the entire Justice League, so we thought it was using up two big villains all at once when we should have one Darkseid story and one Brainiac story; Brainiac could easily have had his own Justice League episode.  We told Rich our misgivings about it and he said, ‘Let me work on it; I think I can make it work.’

“To make a long story short, he turned in his outline—I still didn’t think it worked.  We went back and forth on how we thought we could fix it, and there were other structural problems, I thought, that the show had.  Rich had put in all this stuff with the New Gods, with Highfather, and I was all for showing them more, because we had never actually done that much with them in Superman.  We had done a flashback to the whole ‘Pact’ thing, but Highfather never even spoke.  So I thought it was a decent idea to do that, but he had so little screen time over the course of the story and it seemed to be a tangent away from the rest of the story, which was all about Superman and Darkseid, and I thought it was throwing the story out of kilter.  So that was one of the things we tried to address.

“This went back and forth for a while.  I just felt that the script wasn’t quite everything that it could be, and especially since it was going to be our Season Two premiere, we wanted to make sure that it was gangbusters.  Just out of frustration—I wasn’t getting my point across or whatever—I took the script and, rather than try to discuss it back and forth like we normally do and then let Rich have a pass and me make notes on it, I took it home one weekend and did my own polish pass on the whole script.  I still think it had some of the same structural problems that it originally had; I still think Highfather’s kind of pointless in the story, but at least some of the other scenes have a lot of zing to them.  The stuff between Batman and Superman in Rich’s draft—I hardly changed anything structurally, I just went in and punched up some of the dialogue in some of the scenes I thought were underdramatized.

“[The concept of Superman and Batman switching roles] was all there in Rich’s original idea.  He kind of dances around the issue a little bit, I thought, in his version of it, so I dotted the ‘i’ and crossed the ‘t’ just to make sure it was very clear as to what was going on.  I must reiterate:  that script is mostly Rich’s; I just went in and gave it a polish more than anything" (courtesy of Modern Masters, Volume Three:  Bruce Timm).

Bruce Timm on “Twilight” (circa 2005):  “One of the high priorities for Season Two was to bring Superman back to full stature.  If anything we may have overcompensated a little bit with some of the lines, but nobody could accuse him of being a wimp after this one.  We also wanted to, as our Season Two opener, do as big, expansive, and epic a storyline as we could.  Bringing Darkseid back was definitely something that people had wanted to see, so it certainly made for a good stunt for the Season Two premiere.  I think it all worked out well.

“[In addition, ‘Twilight’] was a good spin on [Superman and Batman’s] relationship.  I particularly love Superman’s line at the end where he tells Batman that he’s not always right.  That’s another thing we get accused of quite often, that Batman is the one with all the answers, and he can take down the entire Injustice Gang all by himself, what does he need the Justice League for, and so on.  That was a good bit to have Batman eat a slice of humble pie at the end" (courtesy of RetroVision CD-ROM Magazine).

DarkLantern on “Starcrossed” foreshadowing:  “Interestingly, the [“Twilight”] script says something along the lines of:

J’ONN:  You miss your home world very much.

(Hawkgirl stares at him, concerned.  Did he read her mind?)

J’ONN:  It doesn’t take a telepath to…

“And J’onn was trying to be reassuring during Brainiac’s hall-o-screens scene—but if Brainiac did have info about Thanagar, that would be a bad thing; remember what [Brainiac] does to planets he studies.  And, hey, did anyone notice one of the screens showing Bizarro’s world?  Poor Bizzy" (courtesy of Toon Zone).

DarkLantern on “Twilight”:  “Just to clarify:  Brainiac didn’t say he was going to blow up, he said that the ‘absorption process’ (for lack of a better term) will, ‘Soon reach critical mass,’ and, ‘There will be no stopping it.’  Darkseid was fine with that because that meant the process will become irreversible and would eventually destroy the universe, which was his plan all along (and that must give us an idea of how powerful Superman is, since he is the key in enabling Brainiac to do this).  Brainiac didn’t say he was going to blow up until Batman serendipitously freed Superman from the ‘circuit’—that was not part of the plan" (courtesy of Toon Zone).

 

 

Images

Screen Grabs from "Twilight"

 

Commentary

Commentary coming soon!

 

Images courtesy of Toon Zone.

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