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Summary:  Busted by the Justice League in a sting operation and diagnosed with terminal cancer, Lex Luthor vows to destroy Superman and his allies before his impending demise.  Escaping from prison with help from the Ultra-Humanite, Luthor hires a group of professional supervillains to carry out that task.  Calling themselves the Injustice Gang, they seek the Justice League's destruction, but rivalries and in-fighting threaten to destroy the fledgling team before they can carry out their mission...a situation made worse by the manipulations of their prisoner Batman.

JL Roll Call:  Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash, J’onn J’onzz, Hawkgirl

IG Roll Call:  Lex Luthor, Joker, Star Sapphire, Copperhead, The Shade, Cheetah, Solomon Grundy, Ultra-Humanite

Featured Characters:  Batman, Lex Luthor

Villain:  Lex Luthor

Supporting Villains:  The Injustice Gang

 

Cartoon Network on "Injustice for All":  “When Lex Luthor discovers that he has contracted an incurable case of kryptonite poisoning, he blames the Man of Steel.  Using his vast personal fortune, Luthor hires a team of the world's most powerful super-villains to destroy Superman and the Justice League.  He taps Joker, the Ultra-Humanite, Solomon Grundy, the Shade, Star Sapphire, Cheetah, and Copperhead to assist him in his diabolical efforts.  The entire Justice League must assemble to face their greatest challenge yet” (courtesy of Comics2Film).

Rich Fogel on "Injustice for All" #1 (circa 2002):  “We're very excited that 'Injustice for All' is finally airing this weekend.  Putting together Justice League's first season was like building a huge mosaic or jigsaw puzzle—each episode builds our understanding of the team and the world they live in.  With this episode being held back, we felt that a giant piece of the total picture was missing.  From the very beginning, we knew fans would want answers to the question of what Batman can contribute to such a powerful group, and how someone like Luthor could become a credible threat.  If this episode doesn't entirely answer those questions, at least it raises the issues.  We expect that Luthor will become an even greater presence in the second season, and so will Solomon Grundy.

“Stan Berkowitz wrote a script that bristles with character and wit, and Butch Lukic handled the complex fight choreography beautifully.  'Injustice for All' is packed with action, humor, inside references, and more supervillains than you can shake a stick at.  Hopefully, it was worth the wait” (courtesy of Toon Zone).

Bruce Timm on “Injustice for All” (circa 2005):  “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, Superfriends 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.  Then there’s the Ultra-Humanite.  Most of [the fans] 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 past year I’ve become this big Joss Whedon fan because I’ve discovered [Buffy the Vampire Slayer] 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, [but] you can’t have tragedy without a little bit of comedy" (courtesy of RetroVision CD-ROM Magazine).

Stan Berkowitz on “Injustice for All”:  “That was written before ‘Fury,’ but something happened regarding the promotion of a video game, so the episode was pushed back so it could coincide with the release of a video game.  So it hurt the narrative—you meet a splinter group of the Injustice Gang before you meet the Injustice Gang if you were watching the series in order of broadcast.  Then, of course, the ultimate irony is that the video game never came out.  The episode got a little more of a reputation because they held it back, but they weren’t holding it back for aesthetic reasons, but rather for promotional reasons.  If the video game had come out and millions had been made off of that, it would have been a great move.  That is why we don’t like to say too much about what we have coming up, because there are so many things that can screw things up.  Often they really are just pedestrian things.  It’s great to have fans who are that dedicated, but sometimes they manifest things into some kind of horrible or evil plan on the part of the network or the studio, and there really isn’t" (courtesy of RetroVision CD-ROM Magazine).

Mighty Isis on the "Injustice for All":  “Because of the sheer number of characters (the whole League, plus all eight members of the Injustice Gang) the episode is busy and moves quickly from moment to moment.  The fight scenes are grand melees, but are pretty easy to follow and are very action-packed.  Bruce Timm has already commented on the camp element in the script and it’s definitely present, so the story has a flavor that we really haven’t encountered before on Justice League.

“Without giving away too much, the plot revolves heavily around why a team like the Injustice Gang is destined to fall apart before it gets off the ground—it’s hard to conquer the world when each member’s ego is too big to get even the simplest tasks done.  The results are often funny, though I have a feeling some fans who don’t get the joke will balk at what might be seen as a deliberate weakening of these villains" (courtesy of Toon Zone).

DarkLantern on "Injustice for All":  “I especially liked how heroes and villains ‘traded partners’ during both melees, making it a true free-for-all, the way it should be.  [It was] definitely better than the Legion of Doom battles, where the Superfriends would usually face off with one arch-foe and then they try to verbally one-up each other.

“[As for the conclusion], Batman used a similar tactic to sway the Mirror Master to his side in the first Injustice Gang arc in Grant Morrison’s JLA.  It worked with the Humanite for the same reason it worked for McCulloch—they were both motivated by money.  Also, keep in mind that the Humanite really wasn’t all too interested in breaking out of prison and joining Luthor’s gang in the first place" (courtesy of Toon Zone).

 

Images

Screen Grabs from "Injustice for All"

  

Commentary

"This program was made possible by a grant from the Ultra-Humanite and viewers like you."

A public television announcer in "Injustice for All"

A quick aside:  while it was completed, "Injustice for All" was held from airing for nearly a year in order to coincide with the Justice League:  Injustice for All video game from Midway Home Entertainment (which was released, though two months after this episode aired).  Despite the havoc that this corporate decision had on Justice League's Season One, it is interesting to note that Part One of this episode aired on September 6, 2002, one day shy of the tenth anniversary of the first airing of Batman:  the Animated Series (the first episode, "Cat and the Claw, Part One" aired on Saturday morning on September 5, 1992).  Considering the timing, plus the fact that this episode heavily featured Batman and the Joker, I like to think that the line quoted above was meant as a thank you to the fan base that kept the DCAU—and its version of Batman—alive for a decade and counting.

Commentary coming soon!

 

Images courtesy of Toon Zone.

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