JLUCast 1: “Secret Origins”

It’s the debut episode of JLUCast, covering the entire run of the Justice League and Justice League Unlimited animated series! The Super Mates, Chris and Cindy, discuss the show’s long development, and the 3-part series premiere, “Secret Origins”!

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Clip credits:

Clips from Justice League, “Secret Origins”.

Theme from Justice League by Lolita Ritmanis. Additional music by Kris Carter and Michael McCuistion.

Opening theme to Twins of Evil by Harry Robinson.

Clip from Office Space.

60 responses to “JLUCast 1: “Secret Origins”

  1. Love the show already, can’t wait to hear what you guys think about episodes like “This Little Piggy” and “Kid Stuff.”

    1. Thanks! Since we’re probably several years away from those two, I can tell you right now, they are two of our favorites. “Kids Stuff” is my son’s absolute favorite episode, and “This Little Piggy” is in Cindy’s top 3 at the very least.


  2. What a great first episode I’m exited to hear youre thoughts on these episodes plus getting to revisit this Show.
    I remember the build up to the show and being very exited for
    This and justice league unlimited really made me a fan of the dc universe and was what got me into the comics.

    As for the episode In general
    It suffers from what a lot shows have in there first season there trying to find there groove with and some stuff will get ironed out in later seasons but overall I still find it good despite the flaws as you guys pointed out.

    On the imperium one of the things I like about this and the other dcau shows Is there orginal characters they would create.
    Which maybe couild be some good discussion on the orginal characters which this show did introduce some.
    While they were a stand in for the white martians they did serve their purpose as the first fors the league would face
    Plus I’m sucker for any body snatcher or war of the worlds type stuff
    Though I agree with some of the weakness that were brought up with them I’m kinda suprised they didn’t show up again while yes they were destroyed they could have had some reinforcements hidden away on another planet and they could have adapted the hyperclan parts from the comics with them disguising them selves as other heros and attacking the league but it probably would have bed stepping on familiar territory with the justice lords.
    Also felt the batman cartoon took the concept of them with there version of them called the joining and did it a better design wise.

    All in all a great first episode can’t wait for the next one.

    1. Hey thanks! Nice to hear from someone who came to the DCU through the show.

      Good call on pointing out new characters as they appear. I also should have pointed out the Imperium is similar to Marvel’s Kree Supreme Intelligence. I think I even referred to him as such in the episode!

      And I had forgotten about “The Joining” from The Batman! Good catch! And I like your Hyperclan idea for the show. Surprised they didn’t go there.


  3. Great first episode! I’ve loved every iteration of the Timm-verse. The first Justice League season was really good and it seemed to get better every year. Looking forward to lots of listening ahead.

  4. Huzzah! Kudos to the launch of this long-awaited podcast! Great job! Can hardly wait for the next one already. As for actual commentary, I’ll say that I always like the Invaders as a replacement for the White Martians, and I wish that had stuck and carried over into the comics and beyond. The whole “good guy or bad guy based on skin color” thing never sat right with me, even as a kid. Ah, well. I’m already digging the special features, too, like “Not So Superman” and “Magic Mace.” Thanks!

    1. Thanks Max! Good point about the skin color thing. That is a bit…troubling if you think too hard about it. Glad you like the special features! I’m sure they will be a lot of fun to keep track of as we move along. Maybe we should tally them by season’s end?


      1. There is a young couple who keep a running stat count on their “Scooby Doos or Scooby Don’ts” podcast. For example, how many times do they say “zoinks” or “jinkies”, etc. Do you guys have a favorite DC hero or villain who never made it onto the show? I was always a bit disappointed that we never officially got Black Manta.

        1. Yeah, that Batman/Aquaman embargo in later seasons was bunk. I think one of the huge omissions was of course, Firestorm. And as Shag pointed out on his blog, Firestorm was originally going to be the hero of Booster’s episode “The Greatest Story Never Told”.


  5. GREAT first episode CF and CF!

    I never knew Bruce Timm dabbled with the giving the JLers a uniform–that’s good to know that even the most talented people can sometimes come up with a real stinker of an idea.

    And while I never did quite full forgive Timm and co for dumping Aquaman, his reasoning was sound and since I love Hawkgirl so much it didn’t bother me as bad as it would have if it had been someone less cool.

    A wonderful first start for this series, so looking forward to future installments!

    1. Thanks Rob!

      Yeah, JL uniforms would have started this show off on the wrong foot. Remember that awful 90s Avengers cartoon? Pew.

      Aren’t you glad Hawkgirl got Aquaman’s spot instead of say..Captain Marvel? I know…too soon.

  6. Oddly enough, this podcast led me to seek out the old “Super Powers” show online. One episode in, it has held up surprisingly well! ……any podcast on that series coming up? :)

    1. I wouldn’t be opposed to that! Love the final Super Powers season…and the Ruby Spears Superman series a few years later. Definitely the bridge between classic SF and the Timm stuff.


    2. Two possibilities: Eventually covered by that Fourth World podcast that’s in the rumor stages. Or something JLMay should be looking into.

      Oh you mean the cartoon show? Same thing?

      1. I think he was talking about the cartoon. That deserves a Saturday Morning Fever if nothing else. There are only like 8 half hour episodes. The previous season isn’t bad either.

        The first two Super Powers comic mini-series just came out in a trade paperback. Fun stuff! One of our podcasting pals was going to cover those in depth, but that was several years back. Not sure if there are still any plans for it.


        1. Yes, I did mean the cartoon, with Cyborg, Firestorm, and the gang. I didn’t know there were only eight episodes, though. I watched three of them recently, so I guess there’s not much left to that. Too bad, as I’m digging it. It’s better than my dim memories of it, in fact.

  7. Great launch!

    To me there was something of Neon Genesis Evangelion to the ship/monsters, really weird designs, and I loved it.

    Phil Lamarr is a great voice talent, and I fondly remember watching Justice League an Samurai Jack (who he voices) back to back on whatever slot they were in.

      1. And Phil also was the voice of Hermes Conrad in Futurama, which is even further afield from the DCAU. But for fun, try picturing John Stewart with a Jamaican accent. Heh-heh!

        Samurai Jack was a treasure. Lots of great animated shows in this period.

    1. My daughter got to meet Phil Lamarr at a local convention and he was super nice to her.

      In addition to his role as Samurai Jack, he was also in “Pulp Fiction”! He was in a blink and you’ll miss it but memorable role. He was in the backseat of the car driven by Samuel Jackson with that idiot Vincent Vega (John Travolta) riding shotgun. I think you all will know the rest…

      1. Yes, I do remember him in Pulp Fiction. I didn’t want to cover all of the cast’s resumes in the first episode, because I hope to do “Watchtower Files” on the main cast as we go along. But thanks for the reminder!

  8. Terrific first episode. Love the gestational history of the show. Also really digging the little focused categories you have about the episode.

    Thanks for playing the DCOCD promo too!

  9. From the top this was a great first episode, though that isn’t surprising. You both are veterans at this point and the quality of your previous shows continues here.

    JUSTICE LEAGUE and JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED is my favorite media representation of the DC Universe ever, so I’m happy that y’all decided to cover these amazing episodes. I like the format you’ve chosen and the audio clips are the icing on the cake.

    Re: Superman. Sigh. I actually feel kind of bad that I have issues with the early treatment of Superman on this show but holy crap did they do the whole “take down Superman first so we won’t have to deal with how powerful he is…uh…I mean to show how powerful the villain is! Yeah! That’s the ticket!” thing that they pulled again and again and again. Poor J’onn got the same treatment though I guess I can feel lucky that Superman didn’t get Panthroed in the final seasons and relegated to monitor duty before leaving entirely. Other than that I was happy with how Superman was treated. I mean I got a kind of, sort of adaptation of the EXILE story from the Superman books in the late eighties! What sorcery is this? My favorite Superman story arc on my favorite show? Boo yah!

    I am going to agree with Chris about George Newbern. I think Tim Daly was amazing as Superman but Newbern brought a slight edge to the Man of Steel on this show. In my head the change in attitude comes from the events of the final episodes of S:TAS but no matter the reason I thought Newbern was more of a first season George Reeve Superman. One of my greatest disappointments with the show is that we never got the chance to see Superman actually tell Darkseid to go to hell in the first episode of the second season. It always cuts away. But that’s a minor and admittedly weird problem to have. Newbern’s Superman had more of a sense of humor and more of a “Superman has had enough of your s***,” style anger and I don’t think the show would have been the same without him.

    Oh, and in a fun IT ALL COMES BACK TO SUPERMAN way you can actually see Newbern and Christopher McDonald (Jor-El and future Superman) in a wacky Vestron Pictures comedy from the late eighties called Paramedics. I’m not actually saying you should see if because it’s kind of a warmed over Police Academy with paramedics but if you want to see them perform bad eighties hip hop there you go.

    Re: the mullet. I’ve officially stopped being upset by this. So it’s all good, Cindy. If people want to call it a mullet that’s fine. They’re wrong but that’s fine.

    Re: Cindy pointing things out. Glad I’m not the only one married to a woman with this power. I guess I’ll have to come up with another name for Rachel and maybe we could team-up for a double date of Cindy and Rachel peppering us with observations that we have no answers for. This was especially funny back at DragonCon in 2017. I was on a panel about SUPERMAN VS THE ELITE and the writer of the movie (and the comic it was based on), Joe Kelly, was on the panel. Rachel was in the audience and asked some Logic Lass type questions and he answered them patiently. I thanked him after the panel because usually I get asked these questions and it was nice to have the writer there to help.

    (BTW- Rachel loves this show. She would actually watch it on her own while I was at work and we went through this period during the first season where she would accidentally spoil some element of the episode before I got a chance to see it. Good times. And I mean that.)

    One last thing; I don’t know if y’all had the channel Boomerang at the time this show came out but the weekend before Justice League premiered Cartoon Network’s sister channel had an entire weekend full of episodes of the various iterations of the Super Friends and the Fleisher DC shows from the sixties. To be fair they ran two eight hour blocks of the same shows and then went to two other eight hour blocks so it wasn’t a true 48 hours worth of vintage DC animation but I managed to fill three six hour VHS tapes over the course of that weekend that I would watch again and again because this was before any of this material was available beyond the four SUPER POWERS labeled tapes of the eighties. Between the cartoons they would have shots of Super Powers toys as a kind of “You’re watching Boomerang’s DC marathon” and that ad you played for Justice League which I pretty much memorized after watching those tapes so many times. It was an awesome way to get excited for JUSTICE LEAGUE.

    1. Well, at least we know the Timm team DOES make up for “Not-so-Superman” by season 2, and that Superman/Darkseid slobberknocker. And I personally think Superman gets pretty specific on why he’s so angry with the Lord of Apokolips myself. And then there is the final episode of JLU, and one of Superman’s best moments EVER. So, we’ll get there…eventually.

      Glad I’m not alone on Newburn’s Superman portrayal! I have the Michael Bailey seal of approval on a Superman thing…that can only be good. I will forgo any further talk of a mullet.

      I do recall Boomerang doing that marathon! I had totally forgotten about that! I loved the “Boomeraction” bumpers with the Super Powers figures. Heck I loved all the old HB toy bumpers. Current Boomerang is like a close-out store for Cartoon Network. Other than running classic Tom & Jerry a lot, it basically sucks.

      Thanks for listening Mike!


  10. Quick nerd word: J. Allen Carter is a multi-tiered name play. Sure, you caught the Jay/Alan/Carter connection, but there’s also the connection to famous UFO investigator J. Allen Hynek (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._Allen_Hynek). Then, while looking up the correct spelling of the name, I found the DCAU Wiki article (http://dcau.wikia.com/wiki/J._Allen_Carter) which suggests that J. Allen Carter is a call-out to Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter of Mars!

    Holy moley!

    1. Didn’t know about the UFO investigator,nice catch! I did mention John Carter of Mars. I just want to point that out, because I’m still mad at myself for not mentioning the Captain Marvel serial in my history of the character on FW Team-Up last year. 😉


  11. Late to the game! But work week of despair is over!

    Great episode and so excited for this show. There is so much DC goodness in this show from beginning to end.

    No surprise, I am excited for you to reach the JLU episodes as Supergirl is present and a big part of the Galatea, Amanda Waller arc. Heck, we even get some Super Friends and Suicide Squad in that season too!

    Count me in for every episode!

    1. Yes, I’m excited to get to JLU too Anj! But I honestly haven’t gone back and watched much of JL proper since Andrew was a wee lad. So it’s kind of like revisiting an old friend as we go along.

      We’ll definitely be calling your office when we finally get to Kara’s appearances here!


  12. Normally I’m music-blind, but I trust you about this “Twins of Evil” thing. In the episode-specific music, though, wasn’t there a touch of Holst’s “Mars”?

  13. Great first episode, Franklins! So happy you guys are doing this… you’re closing my podcast gap to the point where I won’t have to listen to anything other than the Fire and Water network! Woo hoo!!

      1. The Fire and Water Podcast Network: Your one stop shop!

        No seriously, there are a ton of great podcasts out there. More than I’ll ever be able to listen to! But I am very proud to be a part of this network and friends with the fine folks who create them.


  14. I was ready for this podcast the day it was announced, and gotta say, it didn’t disappoint. Off to a very good start. Now you just need to make an official “Logic Lass” segment in the show. The pressure’s on, Cindy! :)

    I think it’s great that this podcast is made out of love for the JLU, and the nitpicks stem from that. Not to tear it down, but just because you care about the series that much. Based on the comments so far, that goes for your listeners as well.

    Kevin Conroy is the nicest guy. I lucked into meeting him at a Dallas Comic-con a couple of years ago, solely because I was in the area for a trip for work. Got a signature and a photo with him. Just the best!

    So the next JLUCast will be out next week, right? Right????

    1. Thanks Tim! I will be sure to mention next time, that Cindy was named Logic Lass by our pal Martin Gray in feedback to a Super Mates episode years ago. So you can thank Martin for that!

      Very jealous of you meeting Mr. Conroy! Someday….

      Alas, JLUCast will be mostly monthly, for the foreseeable future. We want to give each JL episode its due, so best not to rush it.


  15. Hey Cindy & Chris, I just finished listening to the episode this morning, and wanted to leave some words of thanks and encouragement on the new project.

    My now-wife and I were in college when Justice League debuted, and like you guys, it was “appointment viewing” or “tape and watch later viewing” for us as well. Before we started dating, my wife was not into comics, but she had started to be exposed to them thanks to my comics habit as well as watching the occasional episodes of STAS, New Batman Adventures, or Batman Beyond with me. Justice League was her first exposure to the wider world of the DC Universe, and as a primer to that world, JL does a really good job. I intend to use it in the same way with my kids.

    I’ll be brief, but I do want to say as the resident Hawkfan of the old loosely affiliated DC character blogosphere, I do agree that Hawkgirl’s mace is wildly overpowered in these early episodes. I believe that comes from a desire to showcase the new characters and demonstrate that they can hold their own against Superman. To steal a Marvel phrase, I will “No Prize” it away by saying that Nth Metal has may strange properties which can effect other materials in unusual ways! How’s that for a weaselly answer?

    In any event I really enjoy Hawkgirl’s presence on the show, as she is plainly informed and influenced from Tim Truman and John Ostrander’s Shayera Thol from the Hawkworld series — a smash first, ask questions sometime next week hardcase who has never met a confrontation she doesn’t like. While Hawkman does not fare overly well in this show (a running theme in a lot of DC media adaptations), Shayera has a great turn in this series.

    Thanks for the fun show, very eager to hear the next one!

    1. Thanks Luke! Yes, good call on Hawkgirl being based a bit more on the Truman/Ostrander Hawkworld version.

      As for Nth Metal, that works as well as anything. They kind of explain it that way later, but a line or two pointing it out in the first season would have helped.

      We’ve already recorded episode 2, and Hawkgirl goes full badass there!

      Thanks for listening!


  16. Has anyone been having a problem listening to this episode? I usually listen to fire and Water shows on Podbean, but this episode only plays for a few minutes before cutting off. Even if I download the episode from that App, or this site, that seems to keep happening?

    1. Hmmm, sorry Zackery, I don’t have a clue why that would happen. I have checked with my more tech-minded F&W comrades. Maybe they will know the answer?

      If you send me your email address at supermatespodcast@gmail.com, I will send you the MP3 file if you would like.

      Sorry for the inconvenience, but I appreciate you listening…or at least trying to!


      1. Thanks for your offer of sharing the Mp3, but I finally got the episode to play. Not sure what happen there, but I guess it was just one of those things where the episode finally played when it wanted to!

  17. Great first episode, guys. Definitely looking forward to this as it goes forward as it will be some years before I get to this show in my own podcast.

    As a Superman guy, my early problem with the show was the “not so Superman” stuff. Even the Superman series seemed to have that issue as I always thought he was taken down too easily by some of the threats he faced there, but the amount of time Superman is taken out in this show is ridiculous.

  18. Enjoyed hearing your take on Secret Origins, which I wrote. In response to Cindy’s complaint about Carter’s sensitivity to the sun, we actually did have long discussions about it. At one point, we had a scene where Batman discovered that he wore a heavy SPF skin cream to allow him to be out during the day, but it got cut somewhere along the way. There was a lot of heavy lifting that went into telling this story and introducing all the characters, and some things that we would’ve liked to have in there were left on the cutting room floor.

    Keep up the good work!
    Rich Fogel

    1. Wow, thanks for the kind words Rich! And thank you for listening!

      And I totally get such plot elements like the Carter thing getting left out along the way. Cindy and I love JL/JLU, and we hope that comes across, even if we get a little critical from time to time. You guys did phenomenal work on the series. Thanks for all the entertainment!


      1. Your appreciation for the show comes through loud and clear. The criticism, both positive and negative, reflects your passion. I love that!

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