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Summary:  Wonder Woman returns to Themyscira to find that sorcerer Felix Faust has attacked the island and turned everyone into stone.  In order to save her mother and fellow sisters, Diana agrees to help Faust recover pieces of an artifact that will help him attain Ultimate Knowledge.  However, all is not what it seems, and Faust has an ally…

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

Featured Character:  Wonder Woman

Villains:  Felix Faust, Hades

 

Cartoon Network on “Paradise Lost”:  “Returning home to Themyscira, Wonder Woman finds that a powerful sorcerer named Felix Faust has turned her mother, Hippolyta, and the rest of her Amazon sisters into stone.  Faust promises to free Themyscira from his evil enchantment if Wonder Woman agrees to help him find the lost fragments of a mysterious ancient relic" (courtesy of Cartoon Network).

Rich Fogel on "Paradise Lost" #1 (circa 2002):  We will finally get to spend some time with Wonder Woman and learn more about her Amazon heritage.  […] This is also a very emotional story where Diana is tested at every turn.  No one will ever view Wonder Woman the same way after they've seen 'Paradise Lost'" (courtesy of [website name removed]).

Rich Fogel on "Paradise Lost" #2 (circa 2002):  “The story turned out great and, as director Dan Riba points out, it plays like a Ray Harryhausen epic with lots of monsters and lots of magic.  This story also puts Wonder Woman squarely in the spotlight.  When her home on Themyscira is threatened, she is forced to make some hard choices.  Susan Sullivan is wonderful as Hippolyta, Wonder Woman’s mother.  When Part Two came back from overseas, we were blown away by what our friends at KoKo had done.  It’s amazing!  This show should be a treat for anyone who enjoys adventure, myth, and magic" (courtesy of Toon Zone).

Rich Fogel on "Paradise Lost" #3 (circa 2002):  “I wanted to do a magic-based story as a change of pace from all the sci-fi epics we’ve been doing on Justice League, so Felix Faust seemed like a natural place to start.  I also liked the structure of the original Silver Age Faust story from Justice League of America #10, in which the mad sorcerer forces our heroes to go and retrieve magic relics for him, but something was still missing.  I talked to several writers about this idea, and Joe Kuhr had a take [that] I really liked.  He brought up an idea that relates to the history of Themyscira in the comics, and when we incorporated that into the plot, everything else fell into place.  Joe did a great job on this one, and so did director Dan Riba and his crew…I’ve watched it several times, and I still can’t believe some of the stuff they pulled off.  Incredible!  We also get a real sense of Diana’s background and her Amazon heritage.  By the end of this one, I don’t think anyone will ever underestimate her again" (courtesy of [website name removed]).

Joseph Kuhr on Wonder Woman in "Paradise Lost":  With bigger-than-life characters I think it's important to let some of the air out to make them easier to relate to.  For example, in 'Paradise Lost,' Wonder Woman decides to go home for the first time since leaving Themyscira against her mother's wishes.  The princess loses her ‘superior-than-thou’ vibe when, like a high schooler who took mom's car and stayed out all night, we see her desperately trying out different stories to tell mom when she gets home" (courtesy of Toon Zone).

DarkLantern on Wonder Woman in “Paradise Lost”:  “Even an inborn power like flying can take a lot out of you; a jet is good for long distances.  [Which is why], even though Diana can fly, she traveled back to Themyscira in the Javelin-7 in ‘Paradise Lost’" (courtesy of Toon Zone).

Bruce Timm on the Wonder Woman / Superman fight:  “Probably the big centerpiece of Part One is the big Wonder Woman / Superman fight that takes place in the second act.  This goes back to taking a hint from the comics:  there was a large size comic that came out in the 1970s; it was Wonder Woman versus Superman and it was, basically, kind of a hokey reason for them to get together and fight.  That’s something that comic book fans have a tendency to talk about amongst themselves anyways, so you’re always wondering who’s stronger or who would win in a given fight.  You know, it’s like, ‘Oh, if Plastic Man and Elongated Man fought, who would win?’  So, we thought that it would be really fun to do and we came up with a very clever way of getting them to fight each other without knowing that they’re fighting each other.

“I know, some of the fans on the Internet were saying, ‘Well, how could Wonder Woman beat Superman?’  She doesn’t actually—we never actually come down and say what exactly their respective power levels are, but we’ve always kind of assumed that she’s almost in his class.  I mean, she’s a pretty strong character and she has a lot of the same power levels and abilities that he does:  she flies, she’s super-strong, she’s super-invulnerable, [and] super-tough.  You know, we certainly thought that they would be a pretty even match in a fight.  It’s important to realize also that—at a certain point—he realizes what’s going on and holds back.  So, it’s pretty much a draw, even though she gets…the better of him [a little bit] during the fight" (courtesy of the Justice League:  Paradise Lost DVD).

Bruce Timm on “Paradise Lost” (circa 2003):  “Especially early on, we really wanted to…push the widescreen, Hollywood movie kind of feel and have big, earth-shattering events and, y’know, once these guys go into battle, we really wanted to rock the house.  At the time, this was the largest scale fight scene that we had ever attempted and we were actually really, really nervous about it because some of the things that we called for on the storyboard.  I mean, when you see the army of the dead come rising up and it’s literally an army—it’s hundreds of zombie warriors [and] every single one of those zombie warriors has to be drawn by hand.  So we were very, very nervous that the show would just fall apart, animation-wise.  We looked at the board and went, ‘Wow, this is going to be great, but can they animate all this?’

“We all breathed a huge sigh of relief when the show came back and it…they literally pulled it off.  They didn’t skimp on anything—I mean, they probably used their computer to double the size of the army, or quadruple the size of the army, but there’s a whole lot of pencil mileage going on in that big action set piece" (courtesy of the Justice League:  Paradise Lost DVD).

Bruce Timm on “Paradise Lost” (circa 2005):  “The little montage flashback sequence to Hippolyta and Hades was quite nice, but the thing that I remember most about ‘Paradise Lost’ is that we were trying to step up the spectacle level, in the third act especially.  When I saw the storyboard, what the artist had done, I kind of gasped and thought, ‘There’s no way they’re going to be able to pull this off on a TV budget,’ but the story really needed that kind of huge scale.  So we took a deep breath, shipped it off to Korea , and crossed our fingers.  We were so relieved when it came back that not only was it not crappy, it was actually very, very good.  This huge army of zombies, the portal to Hell, and all the effects, massive columns breaking loose and getting sucked into the portal—we were pretty blown away ourselves" (courtesy of RetroVision CD-ROM Magazine).

Bruce Timm on re-using footage from “Speed Demons”:  “You’ll notice that right before the ‘re-use’ footage, Flash is running away from Faust.  We needed to have him coming towards Faust, but just didn’t have the shot, and asking for all-new animation that late in the game is pretty much out of the question, gets very expensive.  ‘Paradise Lost’ was only the [fifth] Justice League episode, so we had very little footage to choose from, but remembered that shot from [the Superman episode] ‘Speed Demons,’ plunked it in.  My film editor and I were worried the shot stood out like a sore thumb (the film grain is a dead giveaway), but we ran the footage for several people including the episode’s director, Dan Riba, and nobody noticed it, even on repeat viewings.  The eagle-eyed fans, however!

“In hindsight, we probably shoulda just gone with the iffy continuity, left out the ‘Speed Demons’ footage.  Ah well, live and learn" (courtesy of Toon Zone).

 

Images

Screen Grabs from "Paradise Lost"

"Paradise Lost" Image #1 | "Paradise Lost" Image #2

 

Commentary

Commentary coming soon!

 

Images courtesy of Bat313, Cartoon Network, and Toon Zone.

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