Justice League of America (film)
For the theatrical film, see Justice League (film).
film directed by Félix Enríquez Alcalá
Justice League of America is a television film and an unsuccessful pilot produced by CBS and directed by Félix Enríquez Alcalá, based on a team of fictional DC Comicssuperheroes from the comic of the same name. The film centers on a female meteorologist who gains superpowers and is later inducted into the "Justice League", while the city of New Metro is held for ransom by a terrorist armed with a weather control device.
The film is interjected with mock-interviews of members of the Justice League, speaking about life as a superhero in the past tense, preceding the events of the film.
The protagonist, Tori Olafsdotter, is a meteorologist working at the Eno Meteorological Institute who will later become Ice. The city of New Metro is faced with a tornado controlled by a terrorist calling himself the Weatherman. The Flash dissipates the tornado using his super speed while the other members of the JLA use their powers to save civilians.
Tori stumbles upon a hidden device in the lab where she works. While investigating its use, she spills water on it and it strikes her with strange blue electricity. She is unharmed and leaves the lab for home freezing everything she touches. En route she sees a man drowning; when she attempts to rescue him, the water freezes around her. The JLA, believing her to be the Weatherman, abduct and interrogate her. They release her and Tori believes it was all simply a bad dream.
The JLA suspect that Tori's timid colleague Arliss Hopke is The Weatherman. New Metro is attacked again, this time by golf ball-sized hailstones, but Fire melts them all. The JLA infiltrate a party at the Eno Meteorological Institute looking for evidence that Arliss Hopke is The Weatherman. Tori however discovers that it is her boss, Dr. Eno, who is The Weatherman.
Tori takes this knowledge to the JLA and they in turn take her to their secret command center, an alien spacecraft hidden underwater. The JLA's leader J'onn J'onzz introduces himself to Tori and the other members of the League reveal their secret identities. Tori discovers that The Atom is a man with whom she has been flirting. The JLA attempt to train Tori to hone her freezing powers without much success.
Martin Walters, a young man who has been pursuing B.B. DaCosta romantically, watches a news broadcast about the JLA and sees that Fire is wearing earrings that he gave B.B. as a gift. Martin tells B.B. that he knows her secret identity. B.B. secretly alerts the JLA, and J'onn takes the shape of Fire and appears before Martin and B.B. "Fire" claims that B.B. is a close friend who lent "her" the earrings. Martin is embarrassed by his "mistake", and B.B. gently terminates his romantic interest in her, although she assures him that he's a nice guy and that he will find true love someday.
The Weatherman demands $20 million or he will engulf New Metro in a tidal wave. He attacks the Watchtower using a heat ray. The JLA escape and devise a plan to stop the Weatherman, leaving Tori behind. They are unsuccessful, but Tori stops it by freezing the tidal wave solid.
The other heroes apologize for leaving Tori behind, and offer her membership again, including a costume and the codename "Ice". Tori forgives them and agrees to their offer.
Meanwhile, the Weatherman plans his escape from prison.
- Matthew Settle as Guy Gardner / Green Lantern, a software salesman.
- Kimberly Oja as Tori Olafsdotter / Ice, a meteorologist working at Dr Eno's Meteorological Institute.
- John Kassir as Ray Palmer / The Atom, a science teacher.
- Michelle Hurd as B.B. DaCosta / Fire, a struggling actress.
- Kenny Johnston as Barry Allen / The Flash, unemployed.
- David Krumholtz as Martin Walters, an actor who has a crush on B.B.
- Elisa Donovan as Cheryl, Guy's girlfriend.
- Ron Pearson as Dr. Arliss Hopke, one of Tori's colleagues.
- David Ogden Stiers as J'onn J'onzz / Martian Manhunter, the leader of the JLA.
- Miguel Ferrer as Dr. Eno / The Weather Man, a rival meteorologist.
- Jason Weissbrod as Drazen
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (January )
The film's plot is based on the Justice League comic era of Keith Giffen & J. M. DeMatteis (writers). It was filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Reviews of the film have been negative. Common complaints are of the plot holes, poor special effects, bad costumes and that the League members deviated heavily from their source characters. Critics have also said the movie tried to be like "Friends with superpowers". Established JLA writer Mark Waid said the film was "80 minutes of my life I'll never get back."
Justice League of America aired on CBS in the U.S. on Sunday December 28,  It has been shown on television in the UK (Channel 5),Puerto Rico's WAPA-TV (Channel 4), Thailand (Cinemax), Brazil (SBT), Uruguay, Poland (TVN, TVN 7, TV4), Mexico (TV Azteca), South Africa (e.tv), Germany, India and Israel.Bootleg copies have been distributed through conventions, websites and file sharing networks.
|This article is written from the Real World perspective|
Justice League: The First Mission was the pilot of Justice League and an animation put together by the Justice League production team while shopping the series to Kids' WB!.
In this short, the Justice League battles several villains. The animation closes with a group shot of the League members accompanied by the title Justice League.
The character designs and some of the animation were recycled from existing footage of past DCAU shows, notably Batman Beyond, The New Batman Adventures and Superman: The Animated Series.
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Justice League (TV series)
For other uses, see Justice League (disambiguation).
US animated television series
Justice League is an American animated television series which ran from to on Cartoon Network. It is the seventh series of the DC Animated Universe. The show was produced by Warner Bros. Animation. It is based on the Justice League of America and associated comic book characters published by DC Comics. It serves as a prequel to Batman Beyond and as a sequel to Batman: The Animated Series,Superman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures. The series ended after two seasons, but was followed by Justice League Unlimited, a successor series which aired for three seasons.
Bruce Timm, who co-produced Batman: The Animated Series and Superman: The Animated Series in the s, became producer on an animated series focusing on the Justice League. The roster consisted of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern (John Stewart), The Flash (Wally West), Martian Manhunter (J'onn J'onzz), and Hawkgirl.
According to audio commentary on the DVD release of Season 2, the second-season finale "Starcrossed" was expected to be the final episode of the series. However, in February , Cartoon Network announced a follow-up series, Justice League Unlimited, which premiered on July 31, and featured a larger roster of characters.
Kevin Conroy reprised his voice role as Batman from Batman: The Animated Series (–), The New Batman Adventures (–), and Batman Beyond (–). Batman's costume was redesigned, but this time, his costume was a combination of his last three costumes. The same costume from The New Batman Adventures is retained, but with the blue highlights from the Batman: The Animated Series costume and the long-ears from the Batman Beyond costume are added to the costume. Tim Daly, who voiced Superman in Superman: The Animated Series (–) was initially involved but was unable to continue his role due to involvement with The Fugitive (a short-lived remake of the original TV series), and was replaced by George Newbern. Superman was initially redesigned to have a bit of a squint to his eyes and slight wrinkles that was also meant to make him look older, in addition to having a noticeable shining streak to his hair; he was redesigned to appear larger in physical girth than in the previous series. Fans did not like the older appearance and in the second season the streak was toned down to the point of almost disappearing and the squint was removed, in essence reverting Superman to his earlier animated look. As an in-joke, Superman's season one facial designs are used for an older Jor-El in the Justice League Unlimited episode "For the Man Who Has Everything".
Several actors who voiced members of the League's villains in previous DCAU shows also returned to reprise their roles, including Mark Hamill, Clancy Brown, Corey Burton, Ron Perlman, Arleen Sorkin, Peri Gilpin, Mark Rolston, Ted Levine and Michael Ironside as the Joker, Lex Luthor, Brainiac, Clayface, Harley Quinn, Volcana, Firefly, Sinestro, and Darkseid, respectively. Additionally, Michael Dorn returned to voice Darkseid's son Kalibak, Lisa Edelstein reprised her role as Luthor's former bodyguard Mercy Graves, and Brad Garrett reprised his role as the bounty hunter Lobo. Other villains were re-cast for various reasons. Brion James, who had previously voiced Parasite, died in and was replaced by Brian George. Due to budgetary reasons in the episode "Hereafter," Corey Burton replaced Bud Cort, Malcolm McDowell and Miguel Ferrer from their respective roles as Toyman, Metallo and Weather Wizard (although both Cort and McDowell would return for Justice League Unlimited). Maria Canals (who provides the voice for Hawkgirl) replaced Lori Petty as Livewire in the same episode.
Most of the characters retained their general comic book origins and continuity, with Wonder Woman being the notable exception. In the Justice League series continuity, the premiere story arc "Secret Origins" revises the plot of Diana's competition against her fellow Amazons to be the ambassador of peace to man's world, and she is referred to as a "rookie" superhero during her first encounter with the League. (Subsequent episodes touched on her attempts to adjust to her new world). In an interview segment on the Season One DVD, Bruce Timm stated that he initially ran into some legal issues in using the Wonder Woman character, but was adamant that she be used in the series. Additionally, the character of The Flash was portrayed as somewhat younger and significantly more brash than his comic book counterpart, taking on a number of personality traits of Plastic Man, who provides a similar comic relief function in the JLA comics. Charlie Schlatter, who voiced the Flash in one episode of Superman: The Animated Series, was unavailable to reprise the role and was replaced by Michael Rosenbaum. Major changes were also made to the Hawkgirl character. The character of Hawkgirl became romantically involved with the John Stewart Green Lantern as the series progressed. A romantic relationship between Batman and Wonder Woman was also "shown" (hinted at but never "official" unlike Hawkgirl/Green Lantern) by the show's creators, who disliked pairing Wonder Woman with Superman despite fan requests. Robin is not paired with Batman in this animated series like he was on Super Friends.
In addition to Conroy, Newburn, Canals and Rosenbaum, the rest of the main cast includes Susan Eisenberg as Wonder Woman, Phil LaMarr as Green Lantern and Carl Lumbly as J'onn J'onzz. Canals, Rosenbaum, LaMarr and Lumbly had all appeared on different shows within the DCAU, all appearing as different characters before their casting on Justice League.
Although the series itself is animated in traditional 2-dimensional style, the opening credits are rendered in 3D with toon shading. The intro is a "stock" intro used throughout the series until Justice League Unlimited premieres.
Main article: List of Justice League episodes
See also: List of DC Animated Universe characters
- George Newbern– Superman / Clark Kent, D.J. Rubber Ducky
- Kevin Conroy– Batman / Bruce Wayne
- Susan Eisenberg– Wonder Woman / Princess Diana
- Phil LaMarr– Green Lantern / John Stewart, Ed Reiss
- Michael Rosenbaum– Flash / Wally West, Arkkis Chumuck, Colonel Josef, André, Deadshot, Franzee
- Carl Lumbly– Martian Manhunter / J'onn J'onzz, Krizblack
- Maria Canals-Barrera– Hawkgirl / Shayera Hol, Livewire, Py'tar
- Grant Albrecht – General Hoffman
- William Atherton – Doctor Destiny
- René Auberjonois – Kanjar Ro, Guardian, Galius Zed, Desaad, Steppenwolf
- Fairuza Balk – Penny Dee
- Dorie Barton – Audrey
- Kristin Bauer – Mera
- Xander Berkeley – General Brak
- Serena Berman – Cassie
- Earl Boen – Simon Stagg
- Powers Boothe – Gorilla Grodd
- Julie Bowen – Aresia
- Max Brooks – Howie
- Kimberly Brooks – Mrs. Saunders
- Clancy Brown – Lex Luthor
- Ian Buchanan – Ultra-Humanite
- Corey Burton – Brainiac, Forager, Metallo, Toyman, Weather Wizard, Dr. Blizzard
- Cathy Cavadini – Dr. Mary
- Greg Cipes – Jack
- Enrico Colantoni – Glorious Godfrey
- Gary Cole – J. Allen Carter
- Rickey D'Shon Collins – Chris McGee
- Olivia d'Abo – Morgaine Le Fay, Star Sapphire
- Keith David – Despero
- Dana Delany – Lois Lane, Maggie Sawyer
- Michael Dorn – Kalibak
- Richard Doyle – Dr. Louis
- Brian Doyle-Murray – Artie Bauman
- Larry Drake – Colonel Vox
- Fred Dryer – Sergeant Rock
- Patrick Duffy – Steve Trevor
- Lisa Edelstein – Mercy Graves
- Ashley Edner – Trina, Jennifer
- Héctor Elizondo – Kragger
- Robert Englund – Felix Faust
- Shelley Fabares – Martha Kent
- Mike Farrell – Jonathan Kent
- Oded Fehr – Doctor Fate
- Carlos Ferro – Radocko
- Efrain Figueroa – Copperhead (1st Voice)
- Soren Fulton – Mordred
- Brad Garrett – Lobo
- Brian George –Guardian, Parasite, Mr. President, Morgan Edge
- Peri Gilpin – Volcana
- Michael Gough – Professor Henry Moss
- Richard Green – Orm
- Pam Grier – My'ria'h
- Julianne Grossman – Phillipus
- Kim Mai Guest – Katma Tui
- Nicholas Guest – Luminus
- Jennifer Hale – Giganta, Killer Frost, Sroya Bashir, Black Siren, Inza
- Mark Hamill – Solomon Grundy, Joker
- Neil Patrick Harris – Ray Thompson
- Dennis Haysbert – Kilowog
- Grant Heslov – Doctor Patel
- Michael Ironside – Darkseid
- Robert Ito – Mr. Hama
- Jeffrey Jones – Sir Swami
- William Katt – Green Guardsman
- David Kaufman – Jimmy Olsen
- Udo Kier – Music Master
- Ted Levine – Sinestro, Bulldozer
- Virginia Madsen – Sarah Corwin
- Jason Marsden – Snapper Carr
- Karen Maruyama – Tsukuri
- Bruce McGill – General McCormick
- Ted McGinley – Tom Turbine, Burns
- Stephen McHattie – Shade
- Michael McKean – Sportsman, Sergeant O'Shaughnessey
- Danica McKellar – Sapphire Stagg
- Scott Menville – King
- Alfred Molina – Gustav
- Richard Moll – Java
- Garrett Morris – Al McGee
- Phil Morris – Vandal Savage, Gorilla City General
- David Naughton – The Streak
- Rob Paulsen – Lightray
- Khary Payton – Ten
- Elizabeth Peña – Paran Dul
- Ron Perlman – Clayface, Orion
- Diane Pershing – Poison Ivy
- Robert Picardo – Blackhawk, Amazo
- Sheryl Lee Ralph - Cheetah
- Jan Rabson – Professor Erlich
- James Remar – Manhunter
- John Rhys-Davies – Hades
- Kevin Michael Richardson – General Wells, Imperium
- Victor Rivers – Hro Talak
- Eric Roberts – Mongul
- Mark Rolston – Firefly
- Stephen Root – Cat Man
- Scott Rummell – Aquaman
- Mitchell Ryan – Highfather
- Pepe Serna – Shifflet
- W. Morgan Sheppard – Merlin
- Tom Sizemore – Metamorpho
- William Smith – Draaga
- Arleen Sorkin – Harley Quinn
- David Ogden Stiers – Solovar
- Tara Strong – Sera, Queen
- Susan Sullivan – Hippolyta
- Dave Thomas – Harv Hickman, Ernst
- Lauren Tom – Chung
- Hynden Walch – Ace
- Tracey Walter – Mophir
- Michael T. Weiss – Etrigan the Demon/Jason Blood
- Maggie Wheeler – Antiope
- Michael Jai White – Doomsday
- Jose Yenque – Copperhead (2nd Voice)
- Keone Young – Dr. Chin
- Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. – Alfred Pennyworth
- Rob Zombie – Icthultu
From to , Warner Home Entertainment (via DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Family Entertainment) released the entire series of Justice League on DVD and Blu-ray, and presented in original broadcast version and story arc continuity order.
|Name||Disc||Release Date||Ep #||Notes|
|Season One||DVD||March 21,||26||Contains a set of 4 DVDs with all of the episodes from the first season as well as audio commentaries, interviews, and other special features.|
|Season One||Blu-ray||August 19,||26||Season One has been re-mastered and re-issued as a set of 3 Blu-ray Discs (in full p and with Dolby Digital surround sound) with everything included on the prior release.|
|Season Two||DVD||June 20,||26||Contains a set of 4 DVDs with all of the episodes from the second season as well as audio commentaries and a panel discussion involving the production team of the series (although the set packaging indicates a featurette hosted by voice actor Phil LaMarr, it is misprinted, the featurette is on Disc One instead of Disc Four). Despite the show having been produced in a widescreen format this release lacks anamorphic encoding.|
|Season Two||Blu-ray||July 26,||26||Warner Home Video released Season Two on a two-disc (50GB each) Blu-ray set.|
Warner Home Video also released another DVD set titled Justice League: The Complete Series. It contained all 91 episodes of Justice League and Justice League Unlimited on a disc set with the 15th disc containing a bonus documentary. This was later re-packaged and sold as a disc set without the bonus documentary.
- Individual releases
|DVD name||Release date||Additional information|
|Justice League||April 23,||Contains all three parts of "Secret Origins". |
A mini-DVD version of this disc has also been released.
|Justice on Trial||April 22,||Contains "In Blackest Night" and "The Enemy Below".|
|Paradise Lost||July 22,||Contains "Paradise Lost" and "War World".|
|The Justice League Collection||April 13,||Contains previous "Secret Origins," "Paradise Lost," and "Justice on Trial" DVDs|
|Starcrossed The Movie||July 13,||Contains "Starcrossed" in both widescreen and fullscreen. |
A mini-DVD version of this disc has also been released with only fullscreen.
|The Brave and the Bold||October 19,||Contains episodes "The Brave and the Bold" and "Injustice For All".|
|Challenge of the Super Friends to Justice League:||April 13,||Contains the previously released "Justice League" (Secret Origins) DVD |
along with two Super Friends discs in a slip-case.
|Justice League: 3-Pack Fun||July 19,||Contains "The Brave and the Bold" and "Injustice For All" |
As well as the Justice League Unlimited episodes:
* "For The Man Who Has Everything"
* "The Return,"
* "The Greatest Story Never Told,"
the Young Justice episodes:
* "Independence Day"
* "Welcome To Happy Harbor"
* "Drop Zone".
A 4-disc soundtrack of musical highlights from both seasons of Justice League was released by La-La Land Records in July It is a limited edition of units and can be ordered at the La-La Land Records website. The set includes tracks from fan-favorite episodes like A Better World, Hereafter, Wild Cards and Starcrossed.
La-La Land are hoping to release a soundtrack for Justice League Unlimited as well, provided that sales of the Justice League soundtrack improve significantly and that there is sufficient demand from fans. A second Justice League volume may also follow if fans support the existing release.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (July )
The series premiere on November 17, , set a Cartoon Network record with over million viewers. This made it the channel's highest rated premiere ever, a record it would keep until September 13, , when the world premiere of Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins gathered over million viewers.
The show was aired in the Republic of Ireland on TG4 in both Irish and English from 6 September to 
The series has received acclaim. In January , IGN named Justice League/Justice League Unlimited as the 20th best animated television series of all time.
Cancelled film and reboot
Circa , Bruce Timm announced that a direct-to-videoJustice League feature film was in the works. The film was intended to make a bridge between the second season of Justice League to the first season of Justice League Unlimited. The film was planned to reveal how Wonder Woman acquired her Invisible-Jet, and also planned to feature the Crime Syndicate as the main antagonists, an idea that was originally conceived for the two-part episode "A Better World", until the Syndicate was replaced by the Justice Lords.Dwayne McDuffie wrote the script and Andrea Romano assembled the cast, but Warner Bros. finally scrapped the project. However, in , the film's plot was used for the non-DCAU film Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, but removing all references to the continuity of the DC animated universe, and replacing John Stewart with Hal Jordan as the Justice League's Green Lantern.
Justice League Adventures
DC Comics published a series of issue numbered comics based on the television series, between and
- Justice League Adventures: The Magnificent Seven (): Includes #3, 6, 10–
Links to related articles
15 Things The Unseen Justice League TV Pilot Got Wrong
You’d be hard pressed to find a comics or cinema fan not aware of the highly anticipated Justice League film due this November. What many of these fans might not know is that this is actually the second attempt at adapting DC Comics premiere super team – with the feature-length pilot for a CBS Justice League of America TV series pre-dating it by a whole decade!
The reason why most people are oblivious when it comes to the Justice League pilot is simple: it never aired in the United States (although it did see the light of day on some international networks). The rationale behind the CBS executives’ decision to bury the pilot is even simpler: it’s… uh, not very good (like, at all).
Granted, superhero fans today are spoiled when it comes to big budget adaptations of their favorite characters on the big and small screens, but even so – the Justice League pilot is an especially lackluster affair, even by ‘90s network TV standards.
From costume shop-quality costumes through to its bizarre, quasi-mockumentary format (seriously!), it’s almost as if the creative team involved were trying to tick every box on the “awful comic book TV show” checklist.
Whilst the storytelling and technical faux paus on display in this 86 minute atrocity border on limitless, we’ve rounded up the most egregious missteps here in this list of the 15 Things The Justice League TV Pilot Got Wrong.
15 Silly Costumes
Superhero costumes can be tricky to get right in live-action entertainment. With their reliance on form-fitting spandex and bright, primary colors, even the slightest misjudgement can end up making everyone involved look silly.
Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happens in the Justice League pilot, which actually errs on the side of being too faithful to the source material. The result is textureless outfits that – in contrast to the generally murky palette of modern DCEU get-up – feature eye-watering hues.
This also has the unfortunate side-effect of making our heroes’ costumes look embarrassingly cheap, like something you might see at a theme park (or even on the rack at a party store). Perhaps the biggest crime against superhero fashion is committed by Fire and Ice, who forego actual masks in favor of eyeliner! That ought to keep their friends and enemies guessing…
14 Shabby Special Effects
Look – even today, network TV shows struggle to match the big budget special effects employed by their film and cable TV rivals. But there’s no getting around the fact that the effects work in the Justice League pilot is especially sub-par, even when compared to similar shows from the period.
Heck, even Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman managed to pull off flying scenes that were respectable in the mids, and still look halfway convincing to modern eyes.
By comparison, the effects in the Justice League pilot – particularly Green Lantern’s ring constructs, Fire’s flame-based powers, and the team’s undersea base – looked shabby then, and hold up even worse today. And let’s not even talk about the make-up used for Martian Manhunter…
At the end of the day, maybe instead of doing their best with the limited resources available to them, the gang at CBS shouldn’t have bothered trying at all.
13 Weird Tone
To say that the tone of the Justice League pilot is uneven is putting it mildly. Ostensibly taking its inspiration from the s incarnation of the team, the pilot attempts to marry the quirky humor of the comics of that era with a straightforward action hero vibe.
If done well, the end result could have been a fun, breezy adventure series years ahead of its time – we might even be praising it as the inspiration behind Marvel Studios’ box office-breaking output today.
Instead, the Justice League pilot calls to mind an ungodly, Frankenstein’s monster-like mishmash of action and romantic comedy, succeeding at neither. Possibly the kindest thing that can be said about the pilot’s tone is that it was clearly a well-intentioned (if wildly misguided) attempt to emulate the hugely successful formula behind Friends.
Then, that probably depends on how much the idea of the world’s greatest heroes hanging around their apartments and struggling to hold down steady jobs fits with your own expectations for a Justice League TV show.
12 Shoddy Action Scenes
When you hear the words “Justice League”, you immediately think of outlandish feats of derring-do and titanic battles, with the fate of the world hanging in the balance, right? Well, unfortunately, the creative team behind Justice League didn’t get the same memo, as the action scenes in the pilot stink (and that’s being generous).
On paper, it all sounds suitably epic. The pilot opens with the Flash wrangling a tornado using his super speed, and it closes with Ice saving the day by freezing a massive tidal wave. Not only do both of these sequences sound amazing, they’re also exactly the kinds of set piece you’d expect to see as a fan of the Justice League comics.
However, in execution, these big moments are unimaginatively staged and poorly realized (thanks to the aforementioned shoddy visual effects). Whilst some fans (rightly) criticize modern superhero fare for featuring superpowered brawls that overstay their welcome, the truncated, under-choreographed action scenes on display here prove that sometimes less isn’t necessarily more.
11 Lazy World Building
The main problem with the world building in the Justice League pilot is that there isn’t any. Rather than taking place in Green Lantern’s home town of Coast City or the Flash’s ‘hood Central City – or any of the other fictional cities in the DC Universe – the show is set in “New Metro.” This wouldn’t be such an issue, except that New Metro turns out to be the most generic place on the face of the earth.
Not only does the pilot’s main environment lack any real character, but there’s no real sense of the team operating in a living, breathing world. In addition to dearth of references to the wider DC Universe (more on that later), the majority of the action in Justice League takes place on the same small sets. This lends the would-be grand adventure an almost suburban feeling, particularly when combined with the previously discussed underwhelming tone of proceedings.
10 Uninspired Casting
The cast in the Justice League pilot aren’t actually bad actors – in fact, the performances across the board are actually fairly solid. That said, while Kimberly Oja sketches out a decent line in “wide-eyed newcomer” as Ice and Michelle Hurd brings likeability to Fire, several of our players seem miscast in their roles.
John Kassir leans too heavily on the “geeky scientist” side of the Atom’s character, lacking the physique or youthfulness to capture Ray Palmer’s adventurous traits. Kenny Johnston makes for an affable blue-collar Flash, but his bulky frame and slightly dopey line readings don’t really call to mind the razor-sharp, lithe Barry Allen.
Then there’s David Ogden Stiers as the Martian Manhunter. Stiers is something of a TV legend, thanks to his portrayal of Major Charles Winchester in M*A*S*H, so there’s no denying his acting chops. But it has to be said (and there’s no delicate way to put it): he’s too overweight to play the traditional uber-ripped Martian Manhunter.
Elsewhere, Matthew Settle is charming and brash enough as Green Lantern, while Miguel Ferrer as villain the Weather Man is his usual dependable self in a criminally underwritten part (again, more on that later!), but no one was taking home an Emmy for their work here.
9 The Weak Roster
Superman! Batman! Wonder Woman! Expect to see none of these icons in the Justice League pilot. Unable to secure the rights to DC’s Trinity, CBS instead opted to run with a second-string roster for the League, based on the line-up that appeared in the cult-classic ‘80s comics.
This would have been fine, had the Justice League pilot managed to replicate the “big action, bigger laughs” feel of those books, but as we’ve already covered, this wasn’t the case. This means we’re left with a team made up of no-name heroes, with no unique hook to make us want to watch them.
Think about it: if you can’t tune in to see the Man of Steel or the Dark Knight in action, you’re going to expect something pretty special from the heroes who do appear, in order to pick up the slack. Sadly, that’s not the case with the Justice League pilot, which does little to make characters like Fire or the Atom household names.
8 Limited Scope
It’s been hinted at in passing already, but it can’t be emphasized enough: the Justice League pilot has zero scope. Seriously – those hunting around for large-scale adventures and majestic heroes should look elsewhere.
We’ve already made note of the cheap-looking, tiny sets and sub-par action scenes – both of which contribute strongly to watered-down quality to the show – but the absence of any sense of scale in the Justice League pilot mostly comes down to the bland direction by Félix Enríquez Alcalá.
A quick scan of Alcalá’s CV reveals that he’s since worked on a several high profile shows – including House and Battlestar Galactica – so it’s very disappointing to see just how uninspiring his take on the DC Universe’s premiere superteam turned out.
There’s barely any attempt to frame shots or stage the action in a way that conceals the budgetary constraints of the show, or to lend our heroes any mythic weight. In Alcalá’s defence, however, even the greatest director on the planet would probably “phone it in” when confronted with sheer number of problems attached to this production…
7 Corny Dialogue
The dialogue in the Justice League pilot isn’t just bad – it’s genuinely cringeworthy. No superhero joint would be complete without at least some cheesy lines (it’s part of the fun), but the script for this show is a veritable fromagerie!
Whether it’s the Atom and Flash discuss how to get stains out of their costumes (seriously!) or Green Lantern whining about how being a superhero impacts on your relationships with the fairer sex, the Justice League pilot is a dead cert to make you groan.
Beyond the corniness of the dialogue, there’s also the awkward attempts by screenwriters Lorne Cameron and David Hoselton to make the team sound relatable. Whilst it makes sense to humanize these fantastic characters, listening to the Flash rattle off the pathetic details of his unemployed life is something most fans can do without.
6 Series Groundwork
A good pilot doesn’t just provide a stand-alone introduction to a series’ characters and world, it also sets the stage for the wider series going forward. In what won’t come as much of a surprise to anyone who has made it this far down the list, the Justice League pilot fails to lay much in the way of groundwork.
True, this first outing sets-up Ice as the rookie member of the team – presumably something meant to be explored further in subsequent episodes – and there’s the suggestion that the Weather Man villain will return to plague the team again.
But other than that, there’s no sense of a wider plan for the direction of the show overall. What the pilot really needs is a suggestion of a shadowy threat facing the team, as well as a better developed “will they / won’t they?” romantic sub-plot. Without these, there’s not a whole lot enticing viewers back for future episodes – although considering that the pilot flopped, this one’s a moot point, really.
5 Lack of Easter Eggs
Part of the fun of superhero movies and TV shows is spotting the various easter eggs and references to the source material included for hardcore fans. Unfortunately, the Justice League pilot suffers from a distinct lack of nods to the wider DC Universe and its history, which is a real let-down.
Perhaps the only real shout out to the comics is a photo of a fighter jet owned by Green Lantern, alluding to Hal Jordan’s career as test pilot (although he goes by Guy Gardener, the Lantern of the show is actually a composite of several Lanterns from over the years).
That’s it, that’s all we get: a framed picture of a plane. No hints at the existence of other heroes or their secret identity alter-egos, no mentions of other fictional cities in the DC Universe, and no suggestions of previous adventures taken from the comics. Would it really have been so hard to slip even a couple of these into the script?
4 Lame Villain
If a team of heroes is only as good as the villain it faces off against, then the Justice League of the pilot isn’t very good at all. Essentially an adaptation of the Weather Wizard from the Flash comic books, the Weather Man is the epitome of a generic bad guy – there’s nothing unique or compelling about his motivations or personality.
Even worse, the creative team behind the pilot seemed embarrassed by the very concept of a colourful antagonist for the team to fight. This is kinda inexplicable, given the hyper-flamboyant tights worn by the League members, but the end result is a less-than-intimidating villain wearing street clothes.
If you’re looking for additional proof of how much the Justice League pilot downplays its main baddie, look no further than the way the Weather Wizard has been given the much less exciting moniker, the Weather Man. Honestly, what’s he going to do: inaccurately predict the weather forecast for the week ahead? This evil monster must be stopped!
The Justice League pilot doesn’t exactly light the world on fire in the plot department. For starters, the Weather Man’s evil plan is back-breakingly basic – he just wants to hold New Metro to ransom, or else he’ll unleash his weather machine on the city. Yeah, it’s pretty much a weak attempt at a Bond villain’s scheme (or maybe even Doctor Evil), and sets a low bar for the rest of the script.
There’s also a bizarre sideplot involving Fire being stalked by an eager young fan (which isn’t played as creepy, for some reason), as well as the several narrative threads revolving around our heroes’ struggles to hold down steady jobs.
This reaches its apex (or nadir, depending on how you look at it) with Fire waddling around the screen dressed in a giant banana costume, at which point you’d be forgiven for turning off your TV in disgust.
Whenever comic book characters are adapted for film or TV, it stands to reason that some changes will have to be made in order to make them work for a different medium and audience. Even so, the extent to which the characterizations in the Justice League pilot vary from their four-color counterparts is so extreme, they’re practically unrelated.
Take the Flash. Not only does the show feature the Wally West version of the character, only to sub in the Barry Allen version’s secret ID, it also makes him a bit of doofus. Or how about Green Lantern, who possesses a weird mixture of traits taken from several different Lanterns from the comics, giving him a much less distinctive personality in the process.
Perhaps the most outrageous flub is the pilot’s interpretation of the Martian Manhunter, which doesn’t even jibe with elementary school science, let alone the character’s original backstory.
According to the comics, the Manhunter’s main weakness is fire, but in the Justice League pilot, not only is the big guy not phased when attacked by a heat ray, he describes degrees as “like a beach day” where he’s from. Because, y’know, Mars isn’t colder than Earth, or anything…
1 Mockumentary-style Interviews
Another “surprisingly ahead of its time” aspect of the Justice League pilot gone horribly wrong is its inclusion of mockumentary-style, to-camera interviews intercut through the episode.
Ever since The Office popularized the mockumentary format in TV comedy, there have been plenty of imitators with little interest in accurately simulating its “real-world” mechanics (looking at you, Modern Family). But way before any of these – heck, before The Office itself! – the Justice League pilot was completely throwing any sense of verisimilitude out the window entirely!
Think about it: who is filming these interviews? How come they know our heroes secret identities? Why isn’t the rest of the show shot like a documentary? These questions and more immediately come to mind as soon as the first interview cut-away rolls around, but those looking for answers shouldn’t get their hopes up.
What else did the Justice League pilot get wrong? Let us know in the comments!
Next10 Worst Things Scarlet Witch Ever Did In Marvel ComicsAbout The Author
Leon Miller is a freelance writer at Screen Rant, contributing regular list articles covering a wide range of pop culture subjects. A lifelong comic book reader, he is also an avid fan of film and TV, and enjoys providing commentary on all three visual storytelling mediums. In addition to his work for Screen Rant, Leon is an up and coming writer and artist in his own right, and you can view his portfolio on his website, The Pop Culture Studio. Originally from Australia, Leon currently resides in London, and when he’s not writing, drawing or sleeping, he’s likely to be found checking out all the sights Europe has to offer.
Pilot justice league television
The Justice League Of America TV Pilot: Where Are They Now?
was a weird year for comic book stuff. With Batman & Robin coming out that summer and Superman Lives entering pre-production, no one could have guessed how drastically the landscape was about to change for comic book media. At the time, DC Comics ruled the roost. Marvel had focused on animation and a few small films in the early '90s, but ongoing financial issues led to the House of Ideas filing for bankruptcy. The financial woes would reach their climax Marvel was purchased by Toy Biz, but it would be several years before a Marvel bankrolled project would reach the big screen or television again.
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With their successful Batman film series and the popularity of Grant Morrison, Howard Porter and John Dell’s JLA relaunch, DC took the property somewhere no one expected: the small screen. Justice League of America was ordered to pilot by CBS but failed to be picked up. The pilot became a staple of the convention circuit much like Marvel’s unreleased Fantastic Four film. The pilot has been mostly, quietly forgotten by fans and creators alike, but the stars are still active. So, to commemorate 20 years of a bootleg convention legend, CBR asks today: whatever happened to the stars of Justice League of America?
15 MATTHEW SETTLE (GREEN LANTERN)
Justice League’s Green Lantern is a weird amalgamation of previous Lanterns. Despite Kyle Rayner having been the de facto Green Lantern for three years at the time of the pilot, here the only reference to Kyle is the Green Lantern logo and GL’s right glove, a stylized bracer. Beyond that, the Green Lantern here wears Guy Gardner’s uniform and has his name, but Hal Jordan’s look, social life and romance problems.
Actor Matthew Settle was just starting out when he took on the role of Gardner, bringing a down-to-Earth aloofness that humanized this incarnation of Green Lantern. Since then, he’s had a number of roles, notably as platoon leader Ronald Speirs in the acclaimed mini-series Band of Brothers and as a member of the main cast in the long-running CW series Gossip Girl.
14 MICHELLE HURD (FIRE)
As Fire, Michelle Hurd is spectacular. Stunningly gorgeous and fiercely powerful, her performance is incredibly memorable. The creative staff must have seen it too, as Fire gets one of the more highlighted stories as she contends with Martin’s ongoing affections. Hurd was already a seasoned actress prior to Justice League with appearances on Another World and still works regularly today.
Hurd was most recently turning in appearances on Hawaii Five-0 and Ash vs. Evil Dead but did manage to jump ship to another superhero franchise: Marvel’s cinematic universe. Turning up in the second season of Daredevil, Hurd plays District Attorney Samantha Reyes, a character who was crucial in the growth of Frank Castle into The Punisher. Since then, she’s also been making appearances on NBC’s Blindspot and doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon.
13 DAVID OGDEN STIERS (MARTIAN MANHUNTER)
David Ogden Stiers is perhaps the most tenured actor to be a part of the Justice League pilot. With an almost year career, he made small appearances on shows such as Rhoda and Mary Tyler Moore before a six-year stint on the hugely successful M*A*S*H. He joined the Justice League pilot as The Martian Manhunter, the mysterious leader of the League, but the cheap costuming and his larger physique proved distracting for fans.
Since then he’s continued to work in Hollywood, appearing in a series of Perry Mason telefilms and with a recurring role on The Dead Zone alongside Anthony Michael Hall. Ogden Stiers also had a successful voice acting career, with roles in Disney’s Lilo & Stitch franchise and as Mr. Maellard on Cartoon Network’s Regular Show. He also returned to DC characters in , voicing Solovar on Justice League Unlimited.
12 KIMBERLY OJA (ICE)
Kimberly Oja might be the most interesting of all the Justice League of America cast members thanks to her continued absence from the spotlight. Far from her first role, Oja made a number of appearances early in her career on shows such as Wings and Dave’s World, and the Sega CD title Double Switch before taking on the lead role of Ice.
Oja’s Ice is one of the most shining in the pilot. Timid and awkward, she was intended to be the character the audience related to and finally got her costume and codename by the film’s end. Following the pilot, Oja went on to star as Kimberlee Clark on the FX raunchy comedy Son of the Beach and as the conniving Taryn Baker on The OC. Since then, however, Oja has all but vanished from Hollywood, last appearing in the film Channels.
11 KENNY JOHNSTON (THE FLASH)
The treatment of The Flash on Justice League of America might be the most confusing thing about the show. Though named Barry Allen, his characterization skews closer to that of Wally West during the brief period where he was broke. Barry here is unemployed, evicted from his apartment as the episode opens and his primary arc is that he can’t find a job.
Kenny Johnston was tasked with bringing Barry to life for the project and does a great job with the material he’s handed. Barry here is earnest, relatable and remarkably human. Johnston’s remained a working actor over the years too, picking up small parts in independent films, having just finished Lost Fare and recently had a role in The Meanest Man in Texas.
10 JOHN KASSIR (THE ATOM)
Horror fans know the name John Kassir instantly as the voice of the sinister Crypt Keeper on HBO’s classic Tales From The Crypt series. For his turn as The Atom, Kassir is a foppish high school science teacher who spends much of the pilot pining over Oja’s Olafsdotter. With a mildly revamped origin (this Atom had his body altered by a radioactive meteor rather than building a size-changing belt), he’s one of the more personally successful League members in the pilot, and Kassir does an excellent job with the role.
Kassir has obviously kept himself busy over the years, though primarily doing voice-over work. With roles on hit shows such as Rocket Power, As Told By Ginger and The Looney Tunes Show, whilehe may not have had the same level of public, live-action success of his other co-stars, Kassir has had a quietly successful life post-Justice League.
9 DAVID KRUMHOLTZ (MARTIN)
Martin Walters only has a small role in the pilot as a casting director with an obnoxious crush on Fire, even accidentally figuring out her secret identity. It’s a memorable role, but a blip in the long-running career of actor David Krumholtz. Debuting in with a bit part in the Michael J. Fox vehicle Life with Mikey, Krumholtz has been a working actor for nearly 25 years now.
Appearing in small roles throughout much of the '90s, he’s possibly best remembered for appearing in The Santa Clause franchise as lead elf Bernard, or for his five year run as Charlie Eppes in the hit thriller Numb3rs. Though he has yet to find success on the scale of Numb3rs again, he is finishing up a role alongside James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal in the upcoming series The Deuce.
8 ELISA DONOVAN (CHERYL)
Fans obviously recognize Elisa Donovan from her role as Amber in the hit film, Clueless. Rebounding from a battle with anorexia, her career was just hitting its stride when she was cast as Guy’s long-suffering girlfriend Cheryl in the Justice League pilot. At the time she was reprising her role from Clueless in the television series of the same name, which she would star in for three years.
Donovan continued to have a healthy career throughout the years, with turns on Sabrina, the Teenage Witch and the lead role in the streaming comedy series In Gayle We Trust. Donovan gave birth to her first child and married her long-time boyfriend in , and has continued to work in small roles and plays over the years, including a one-woman show, Sweet Dreams.
7 ROBERT GALLO (BARRY’S LANDLORD)
Robert Gallo only has an incredibly small appearance in the pilot, totalling less than a minute of screen time. He’s Barry’s unnamed landlord, seen throwing all of his belongings off a balcony. The New Jersey-born Gallo is more known for his stage career, especially his one man show King of the City, where he plays infamous gangster Al Capone.
Off stage, Gallo has appeared in a number of projects over the years, though he’s yet to find any real mainstream television or film success. On television, he made appearances on shows such as Hunter, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, and Rizzoli & Isles. On the big screen, he’s had turns in smaller films such as In The Mix, American Born, and Sinners. In he appeared in the film Ascension as Mr. Fuentes.
6 FÉLIX ENRÍQUEZ ALCALÁ (DIRECTOR)
Bringing the League to life is no easy task today, and in an era where special effects were still just coming up, it was even harder. Tasked with steering the ship to completion was Félix Enríquez Alcalá, a director who had been working in TV for years. Having worked on shows like Lois & Clark and Earth 2, he’d proven he had the chops to work with projects that rely on heavy special effects and far out concepts.
Since then, Alcalá has continued to bring home quality projects. Though he still worked on science fiction projects like Battlestar Galactica and Stargate Universe, he found greater success directing more human dramas. With lengthy runs on ER, Southland and Covert Affairs, he quickly established himself as one of the genre’s most reliable and consistent directors. Félix Enríquez Alcalá is still directing TV today, having worked on Madam Secretary and Shades of Blue in
5 LORNE CAMERON & DAVID HOSELTON (WRITERS)
David Hoselton, who also served as an executive producer, was one of the show’s writers, alongside Lorne Cameron. Both had worked together on films such as Like Father, Like Son and First Knight, but were still relatively early in their careers when they joined on. They based the show on the classic Giffen/DeMatteis era of the League and added a sense of relatability to the heroes through one-on-one interview segments sprinkled through the pilot.
The two have remained active in Hollywood ever since. Both took on writing jobs afterward, including The Extreme Adventures of Super Dave and Disney’s Brother Bear films and the popular Over The Hedge franchise. While Cameron stuck with family friendly shows such as Handy Manny, however, Hoselton opted to move into dramas and served as a producer and occasional writer for much of House, MD’s run.
4 JUDY KAIN (JUDY THE REPORTER)
Blink and you’ll miss the appearance of veteran actress Judy Kain in the pilot. After foiling a second Weatherman plot with assistance from Ice, Judy appears as a reporter who interviews the League (inadvertently leading to Martin discovering Fire’s dual identity). She was gone as quickly as she arrived, and you’d be forgiven for not recognizing her at first.
Kain’s been a busy actress over the years, with appearances in commercials and on television shows such as The Odd Couple and The Fosters. She’s also a published author with I Booked It!, a self-help book aimed at actors working in commercials. Judy is also the face of Keep It Real Acting, a studio which works with students to teach them the craft of acting. She recently finished work on a new series to potentially air in , Home.
3 JASON WEISSBROD (DRAZEN)
Jason Weissbrod makes an incredibly brief appearance in the pilot as Drazen. Now, you hear that name and you probably think “Wow, that must be a cameo of some old, unheard of DC Comics villain” and you’d be wrong. Drazen is a student in Ray Palmer’s class who awkwardly takes over as Palmer runs out in the pilot’s opening sequence.
Weissbrod has had a career in film over the years, with small roles on popular shows like Veronica Mars and iCarly, but it’s his work outside of film that’s the most notable. As the co-founder of Spectrum Laboratory, Weissbrod works with children who are on the autism spectrum and helps them discover the same love of film that brought him to acting. Several performances are available on the Spectrum Laboratory YouTube page.
2 RON PEARSON (DR. ARLISS HOPKE)
Something of a red herring for the pilot, Ron Pearson’s Dr. Arliss Hopke is an awkward and apparently vindictive scientist but is quickly cleared up as a scientist just trying to get a project approved. While he seems to fall off the face of the Earth at the halfway point in the pilot, Pearson has remained busy in the intervening years.
Pearson has made a number of appearances in film and television, including a recurring role as a cop on George Lopez and as Doug Rickets on the last two years of the UPN series Malcolm & Eddie. Pearson also makes a living as a stand-up comedian, appearing in the religious stand-up special Apostle of Comedy and its sequel, Apostle of Comedy: Onwards and Upwards. He also takes jobs as a keynote speaker, doing presentations for big companies like McDonald’s and Toyota.
1 MIGUEL FERRER (THE WEATHERMAN)
Ogden Stiers may be the most tenured actor on the cast, but Miguel Ferrer is easily the most recognizable. Already known years before the pilot for roles in Star Trek III, Robocop, and the original run of Twin Peaks, Ferrer joined the cast as The Weather Man, an obvious pastiche of The Flash rogue Weather Wizard.
Ferrer continued to find success afterward. He got to voice the proper version of Weather Wizard in the Superman episode "Speed Demons," as well as Martian Manhunter in the animated feature Justice League: New Frontier and found long-running success as Dr. Garret Macy on NBC’s Crossing Jordan. Ferrer lost a battle with throat cancer and sadly passed away in January , but his final roles as Deathstroke in Teen Titans: The Judas Contract and Albert Rosenfield on the relaunched Twin Peaks were released posthumously.
Is there anyone else we missed? Let us know what YOU know about the JLA pilot in the comments!
NextSquid Game: 10 Characters That Changed The Most Between The First & Last EpisodeAbout The Author
Christopher Baggett is one of CBR's Gaming Features Editors and a Live Content Producer. He's been with Comic Book Resources since after spending several years writing for several other websites. He first started writing for the web in the mid-'90s with his website, Anime HomeWorld, which was later renamed The HomeWorld. A comic book collector since he was a teenager, he's also become an avid gamer and content creator with a series of Let's Plays on YouTube and a series of running streams on his Twitch channel, You Shall Be As Games , as well as CBR's own Twitch page. His first published comic book work is in the anthology "Advanced Death Saves: Fallen Heroes of the Kitchen Table," which is available now on Comixology. You can find Christopher on Twitter as @JCBaggee.
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