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Summary:  When the Justice League declines to help them, Mr. Miracle and Big Barda recruit the Flash to help them free Kalibak from the X Pit and the clutches of Virman Vundabar, who seeks to legitimize his claim to the throne of Apokolips in Darkseid's absence.  The trio undertake this mission on behalf of Granny Goodness in order to save Oberon, Miracle's mentor, whom she captured to facilitate their compliance.  Once again surrounded by treachery and forces that seek his death, the world's greatest escape artist must overcome the ghosts of his past and escape the X Pit once more.

JL Mission Roll Call:  The Flash, J’onn J’onzz, Mr. Miracle, Big Barda

Featured Characters:  The Flash, Mr. Miracle

Villains:  Granny Goodness, Virman Vundabar

Supporting Villain:  Kalibak

 

Cartoon Network on “The Ties That Bind”:  “The world's greatest escape artist needs help from the Flash in order to break a deadly enemy out of an inescapable prison on an alien planet (courtesy of The World’s Finest).”

Bruce Timm on “The Ties That Bind”:  “[‘The Ties That Bind’ is] a complete 180 from [‘The Cat and the Canary’]; less noir angst, more Kirby craziness.  In fact, in many ways, it’s the most ‘Kirby-esque’ episode we’ve ever done.  Kirby fans won’t want to miss it.  […] We made a real effort not to ‘Timm-icize’ the new Kirby characters too much this time around.  You can thank Dave Johnson for the ultra-Kirby background designs; he really knocked himself out.

"We even tried to make the dialogue ‘Kirby-ish,’ more so than we’ve done in the past, from Oberon’s, ‘Ya goose-steppin’ harpy!’ to Barda’s, ‘You insufferable showboat!’ to Vundabar’s ‘Mel Brooks meets Von Stroheim’ rants.  The most Kirby-ish line, the ‘You dum-dums’ bit, was actually ad-libbed by Artie at the recording session.  We laughed our asses off, then quickly realized it’s exactly the kind of thing Kirby would have done, and kept it in.  We were so tempted to have the actors put the emphasis on the wrong words occasionally (one of my favorite Kirby quirks), but thought it would just sound like bad acting.  […] Don’t ask—just watch it (courtesy of DrawingBoard.org)!”

Bruce Timm on the episode’s original title:  “None of us ever liked ‘Miracles Happen’ as a title, but we couldn’t come up with a better one ‘til very late in the game.  We almost called it ‘Escape Velocity’ at one point, but liked ‘Ties’ just a wee bit better.  ‘The Ties That Bind,’ as some have noted, is a little on the ‘typical’ side, but it is appropriate for the episode.  We love to use titles that have more than one meaning whenever possible (‘The Return,’ ‘The Savage Time,’ ‘A Knight of Shadows,’ etc.), and that certainly applies in this case (courtesy of Toon Zone).”

J.M. DeMatteis on “The Ties That Bind”:  “The best part was having Michael Dorn [Worf on Star Trek:  The Next Generation], Ed Asner [Lou Grant on Mary Tyler Moore], and Arte Johnson [assorted characters on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In] doing voices—Star Trek meets Mary Tyler Moore meets Laugh-In meets Justice League?  That’s got to be one of the greatest pop culture collisions ever (courtesy of ToyFare Magazine).”

 

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Image courtesy of The World’s Finest.

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