JLUCast 15: “Tabula Rasa”

Chris and Cindy discuss the second 2-parter from Justice League Season 2, “Tabula Rasa”. Lex Luthor is on the run. Seeking help from his old aide Mercy Graves, he stumbles upon a child-like android called A.M.A.Z.O., with the ability to mimic the powers and abilities of anyone it sees. Will it help him destroy the Justice League, or will Lex’s manipulations push him too far?

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Clip credits:

Clips from Justice League “Tabula Rasa”, music and theme by Lolita Ritmanis

27 responses to “JLUCast 15: “Tabula Rasa”

  1. “Smurf ice cream” — Ooh, that sounds good. Was it made with real Smurf milk?
    (A)nthropo(M)orphic (A)utomaton with (Z)ero (O)dor!

    1. The vendor was a balding guy in a black monk robe, so it may have been made with real Smurfs!

      I like your acronym! He does kind of look like a sleek, jet-age bottle of roll-on deodorant…


    2. As a kid, I was fortunate enough to visit King’s Island and Hanna-Barbera Land every year for my dad’s company picnic. I can attest to the fact that the Smurf ice cream was absolutely smurfy. I can’t say for certain what it was made from, but I think I once found a small little white hat in mine.

      1. Ha! Just in case anyone is curious, Kings Island still has the blue ice cream, but everything in the kid area is now branded to Snoopy and the Peanuts. It’s still a lot of fun, either way. And it’s still delicious!


        1. Well, if they had to move on to some other license, so be it. I might have suggested a Dr. Manhattan Land to justify keeping the ice cream blue, but that might not have been as kid-friendly as Peanuts. It so happens I did move recently to the Cincinnati area so maybe I’ll find some reason to try the blue stuff when the park reopens.

          1. Dr. Manhatten Land? I don’t want to meet that costumed walk-around character, for obvious reasons. 😉

            Love your new handle. Now, the real question is, what does V.A.N.D.I.V.O. stand for, exactly?

  2. Hilljack and McGruff lol! That would make a great movie (like you were saying in the show) with Supes and Bats as buddy detectives, thrown together to solve a mastermind crime. Combine genres. Get a little humor in there without going camp. I’m just affably spit-balling off your idea.

    (like Luthor)

    1. HillJack and McGruff could be a follow-up comedy to the dourness of BvS, starring Henry Cavill and Ben Affleck!

      I like your acronym too! Mannequin instantly makes me think of that movie with Kim Catrall and Andrew McCarthy. Cue Starship!

  3. Hmmm….no cute acronym for Amazo. Just because I’m nerdy doesn’t mean I smart. **Sigh**

    I thought Mercy’s change in attitude may have been a throwback to Ghost in the Machine on Superman : the Animated Series. Mercy was fiercely protective of Lex the entire episode…until he betrays her near the end. The vibe I took from it was that since, in her own words, she was a stray, she had to put up with Lex after the betrayal because she had no where else to go. When she finally got the chance, though, Mercy was glad to turn the screws on Lex.

    Chris, you aren’t the only Bat-fan that didn’t like No Man’s Land. I try to be nice and positive, but I have no qualms on saying I absolutely hated it, and all those multi-part cross overs that dragged on through every issue of the Bat-Titles.

    Congrats to Cindy on the new job. I hope that she enjoys it.

    1. Gothos, you are probably right about “Ghosts in the Machine”. I haven’t seen that one in a long time, since I know eventually we’ll cover it here, since it sets up some story threads that are later pulled together on JLU. I had forgotten that was where Lex really put the screws to Mercy.

      I felt like No Man’s Land was the real hard swerve into me not buying the DCU conceit. I know they payed lip service to what Superman and the JLA were doing during the story, but I never bought it. It was also mostly dour and joyless, and sponged away the few remaining bits of super heroic daring do that were parts of the Batman books before. Basically, it’s when Denny O’Neil left the building. But that’s just me. I know others absolutely love it.


  4. The first part of this story has one of my favorite beats in the season. The League has their back against the wall and they’re desperate for Superman’s assistance, but Green Lantern tells him to stay the hell away. He’s analyzed the situation and he’s level-headed enough to know that things will get 1000 times worse if Superman comes to their rescue.

    But that’s also followed up by the fact that Superman DOES come to their rescue, but he doesn’t rush in like an idiot; he actually has a plan to neutralize A.M.A.Z.O. Terrific character work!

    Also, while I understand why Timm and the producers would favor a more streamlined design for the robot, I have so much love for the goofy comic book Amazo. His look is so weird but it works for me in the same way that Chronus, Signalman, and Killer Moth’s costumes work.

    1. Yes, I love the “don’t you dare show up here” moment, and then Superman showing up, but being SMART about it. It is indeed a great moment that builds the team dynamic that the creators are going to explore more and more this season.

      I love those goofy designs too, and Batman: The Brave and the Bold showed most of them would work in animation, at least with that show’s slightly skewed, more humorous angle.


  5. The CW Elseworlds crossover had written out an acronym for A.M.A.Z.O., but since the A.M. stood for “Anti-Metahuman”, I word change it for JL to say:


    But that is just a guess.

      1. Well, I can’t take credit for that. The A.Z.O. part was from the Elseworlds show.

        “Zootomic” is a word. It refers to the comparative study of the anatomy of animals, which I guess A.M.A.Z.O. sort of does?

        It’s a bit of a stretch, but not as much of a stretch as the acronym the CW Flash show used for F.I.R.E.S.T.O.R.M.

  6. Impressive podcast. Most Impressive. Tabula Rasa a fitting title for this episode. Since Amazo is a blank slate to start with. Ah Super Man being Super Man…. I may die of shocks. Ah Mercy awesome character. Love how she gives it to Lex. Oy… maybe she shouldn’t stand that close to him. Still interesting intro to Amazo. And em I think Ivo is kind of…. died maybe. Well saves them money on paying a voice actor. J’ohn going threw every ones thoughts and fliping out…. what is he new here? Can’t imagine what he’d do watching-tube…. did I mention I have a U-Tube channel?

    Ah Amazo I think only gets an impression of who a person is when he copies their form. Other wise when he took on Supes form He’d realize they couldn’t be evil. Or Diana’s. Either one if he got nothing but bits of whom they are. So Luther who be able to hide who he really is till he had Man Hunters powers. Yeeeaaah Lex plays Amazo like a grand mother. Ah Supes and Bats in a car like a Cops Stake out. It’s funny. hmm, maybe he did just take energy from the Lantern with his fake ring. Heck if he can do all this… why not have him get this power?

    Was awesome seeing Supes use his brain. He hasn’t even done that in comics in years. Last I saw it was The Bat Man Super Man comics ware he and Bats are decleared public Enemies. Smart of Bats to use Supes weakness against Amazo. Not Bat Gwad as he latter became, but useful. Ah The Stark Armor bit was cool. Lex in his mad Scientist get up. Ah so helping normal people get their kid back helps J’ohn getting back his realization he has to help people. Oy, Lex terrible way to treat the only person helping ya. lad she hangs up on him in the end.

    Huh blue prints to Amazo…. Reminds me of the blue prints I sent off of Kitt. Yeaaaah as a kid I bought the Knight rider blue prints. A bit that was in a chremercheal of Knight Rider with David H. acting as Mike Knight. Was a silly thing to get, but as a kid I got it. LOL Amazo acting like the Flash is funny. Flash saving Supes was pretty cool. And I can see Clark being taken out by this. It doesn’t nerf Supes it just a thing that would beat him. Speaking of smart things. Smart of J’ohn to let Amazo scan his powers. Since then he could read Lex’s mind.

    So he can see who he really is. Interesting that he adapts to the bomb in his head. Guess he had learned of it when he read Lex’s mind. Maybe making a fake head and putting the bomb in the fake head. hmm well Lex got what he devised. Though weird when he puts on the power suit to go against Dark Side. Ah the gold bit works. I like him better when he meets Dr. Fate and Auqa Man. Hee Hee good joke by Supes at Lex’s expense. Can’t wait to hear the next pod cast.

    1. I kind of assumed Amazo had “evolved” past the bomb working, but you may be right, and he somehow put his “mind” elsewhere, anticipating Lex would push the button once he read his mind. Either way works.

      Those KITT blue prints sound cool! I was always a sucker for those sort of things!


  7. Great show, guys!

    Love the Rich Fogel intro. Is he now your good friend like Dick Donner is?

    While I would normally never criticize the work of TImm and Co., I will say their redesign of Amazo is soooo dull. I can see not going with his goofy look from the comics, but a featureless grey robot just did not do it for me.

    And for my money Amazo stands for:


    1. I don’t think we’ll use Rich’s intro with every show, but since we were covering feedback on his appearance, I figured it was appropriate. Hopefully he’ll return to the show, and we can use it again!

      I never thought of Amazo’s look here as dull, but… yeah, I guess it is. I chalked it up to them really going for the “blank slate” idea, and the Super-Adaptoid, honestly. Nice acronym, by the way!


  8. Thanks for another great episode. I found this to be an interesting take on the AMAZO character. He had a real Frankenstein’s Monster kind of feel to him (i.e., the monster as depicted in the novel rather than the Universal movies – no offense to the beloved movies).

    Ascends to
    Zenithal (i.e., of or relating to the zenith)

  9. Congrats on the new job! How are you liking it so far? How much was/is it affected by the pandemic?


  10. I want to make comments on the episodes and the podcast, but I’m stuck thinking of dad-gum acronyms, which I stink at. Nonetheless:

    Actively Motivated Assimilating Zany Offspring

    I’m conflicted about Amazo’s design here. On the one hand, I’d like for him to pull in more colors when absorbing powers, not just grey-on-grey logos, to spice things up. But on the other, the blank look enhances the creepy factor. So not sure which way I’d go. But I do like Amazo’s look from the first season of Young Justice, showing that the classic design can work in that series’ style.

    J’onn didn’t fit as “rotating chairperson”, but I want to give him extra props for his plan to win the battle by letting Amazo absorb his telepathy. A great subtle gambit, and it paid off. Nice!

    Is it just me, or is the skeeviest that Lex has been portrayed in the Timm-verse? Seriously, his interactions with Mercy, so gross!

    Thanks for another great show, Franklins!

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