JLUCast 19: “A Better World” with Michael Bailey

Superman assassinates President Lex Luthor, and the Justice Lords take over their Earth, ruling it with an iron fist! They find another world to bring their brand of order to, but this one is inhabited by their own doppelgangers, known as the Justice League! Special guest Michael Bailey joins Chris and Cindy in a mega-sized discussion of one of the series’ best stories, “A Better World”!

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Clip credits:

Clips from Justice League “A Better World”, music by Michael McCuistion. Theme by Lolita Ritmanis

17 responses to “JLUCast 19: “A Better World” with Michael Bailey

  1. When you guys compared Tim Daly and George Newbern, you missed a very specific credit to Mr. Newbern’s career that puts him in as a legacy player to The role. And that’s the fact that he played opposite Christopher Reeve in Switching Channels with Burt Reynolds and Kathleen Turner.

    When Michael Rosenbaum’s Flash taunts Superman in the audio clip you played, You could actually take Flash’s comments and paste them into One of Lex’s confrontations with Clark in Smallville

    1. I will also add that regarding precedents for Rogue Leagues (as opposed to flat-out evil Leagues) There was the Destiny’s Hand storyline in the Jurgens run of Justice League America where Doctor Destiny created a take no prisoners version of the Satellite League based on a dream the Atom was having where Some of the Leaguers were all-in on the new approach while others such as Batman and green Arrow are starting to see that the approach the League is taking isn’t what they’re supposed to be about.

  2. So Mike appreciate that JL adapted Exile? Boy did he wish on a monkey’s paw!
    This was definently a great episode, and it had a huge impact on the direction of JLU.
    Superman and Batman not consulting the rest of the League on their decision to cut a deal with Luthor reminds me of Meltzer’s JL run, specifically how Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman formed their own little secret cabal where they made crucial decisions for the League without including or consulting the other members. It makes sense that Batman would behave this way, but is completely out of character for Superman and Wonder Woman. I think Meltzer was attempting to highlight the importance of the Trinity, but instead just made them look like elitist jerks.
    I’m looking forward to The Terror Beyond and Starcrossed. Keep it up, guys!

    1. Meltzer had a habit of really getting some aspects of the characters wonderfully right, but others so horribly wrong, didn’t he? Yeah, that “cabal” thing seemed a bit too “Illuminati” at Marvel for me, which I really don’t care for either. Stop making my heroes villainous! Use otherworld doppelgangers like this!

  3. It’s kind of funny how “You’re not ready for elections” is a sentiment that power-hungry conservatives and jaded liberals can agree on right now.

  4. I would dispute the contention that a mentally balanced Superman needed his parents alive at least for the early part of his container career, as the Earth-Two Superman seemed mentally stable despite both his parents dying during his late teens. But then again, there was that time when he confined the three surviving Kryptonian criminals of his universe to a kryptonite bubble floating in space that apparently led to their eventual demise. Shade of post Crisis Supes.


    1. Hey, George Reeves’ Superman left two crooks who discovered his secret identity in a shack on a snowy mountainside. They conveniently died shortly after he left to get them supplies. Coincidence? Of course, his mother (Sarah Kent in that version) was shown to be alive when he left for Metropolis…so not sure how that affects the theory.


  5. Great episode. I really enjoyed the part where you suggested that the Lords were keeping the League alive in an attempt to sway the League over to the Lord’s way of thinking. The potential financial rewards of creating a Justice Lords franchise aside, I think the Lords may have done this unconsciously in an attempt to assuage their own guilt. If they could convince alternate versions of themselves to adopt their philosophy, then this would help the Lords to justify to themselves all the horrible things they had done over the last few years (i.e., if these other heroes agree with us, then maybe we were right in the decisions we made). At least, that’s my explanation for why the League weren’t super-lobotomized.

  6. Even though I’ve heard it before, I still shake my head at the idea that Bruce Timm originally wanted to put the JLA in matching uniforms, I guess it proves that he is, in fact, creatively mortal like everyone else.

    Regarding this episode, I really do wish someone could get Michael Bailey to open up, though. So taciturn and reserved.

    1. As much as I love Timm, he’s done a few things I haven’t cared for. But his batting average is still insanely high. But yeah, I’m glad cooler heads prevailed with the “uniform” thing.

      I did all I could to get Bailey to talk more, but this was the most I could get out of him.


  7. Impressive pod cast. Most impressive. I always liked this episode. Hmm, I always thought of him as more like When Lois went to the auternet universe. Bats kind of looks like he did in the Joker wars.

    Glad they made the Flash the focal point. Yep John is kind of a player. Waaait Bats is ok with Killing but, WW isn’t? Nope sorry. WW snapped Max’s head. Bruce use to freak out at Huntress for being brutal.

    Geez Clark and Lois. Hmm it is a bit SS. And more Hyperon and the woman from the newspaper job he had than Lois and Clark. Lex has a cool machine. Glad the Flash stoped him though. Hey he was late, but ys got to peee ya got to pee. Long sleeves are good for combat? Nope. Their good to give you appoints something to grab on. As are the leggings. Spusifackly Spandex. Oy. I have a cat woman costume it’s a pain to move in. Look at UFC. They are way more WWs main costume than this.

    It’s why there is Gi and no gi Ju Jitsu. Trust me. There are tons of moves to attack the legs and aems, but it doubles when you add long pants and covering to arms. Even if it’s a Rash guard. Nope only good long sleeves are for is not getting weird stuff from trees. and wild life. Or not leaving skin fleaks. Since we have 3 layers of skin. And we lose one each day. 3Bruce’s suit probly is codded so it doesn’t leave threads etc. Just like the paper suit a cop wares when doing CSI. And why their are few of them on a real crime sean. But, no there is no combat reason for long sleeves. Or leggings.

    Other than my Harley costume. Most long sleeves stuff makes it more difficult to move not less. It’s good for a motter cycle crash. But, not fighting. I’ve been in Judo since I was 9. and I have 37 years in the M.arts. 32 in Aikijujutsu. At no point has long sleeves been helpful. Maybe Diana was hanging with Brainiac and Solomon Grundy and thought she wanted pants too.

    Moving on. Doomsday got owned. Yep Supes would never do this but cool win. This, the video game and Bright burn always make my eye twitch a bit. Supes would never act this way. Heck he stops Shazam from killing Black Adam in that one short. While he does get a bit cranky here. Not to Super villainy level.Just no. So the Snider cut of JLA is one I will skip. I don’t need Black Suit “evil” Supes. Awsome Flash exacted an escape plan. Oy the inmates being labadamized. But, fits how the Justice Lords act.

    Yeah bats is right to give up so he can reach his counter part mentality. Kind of like his fight with Cap when they both realize neither can beat the other. And work together to save their teams. In THe JLA Avangers cross over. Oy Super man robats. But, glad they beat them. Poision IVy. She fit ok hear. Lord ats turning works since this is a bit based on Mirror Mirror, but that went Bad for Spock or Mirror Spock as we find out in the DS 9 mirror mirror. So this might not go as well as hoped. The Hero’s beating their twisted counter parts was cool. As was Lex teaming with Supes. As they will latter against Dark Side.

    Em Supes works with Lex to Stop a bigger threat. Ok an Amidite threat. Yeh Supes lifting the Flag is always cool. Oh Green Arrow of that world is probly still on the island. Maybe the Justice Lords stopped any boats from going near it. I can see Bats having a plan to keep him out the way. Yeah Lex was a good Prez in the xcomics…. till the end. I love world finest, but no. What a Black hole in the comment section? I’ll just stand here next to Maximilian , Vincent and Bob. And watch out so we don’t inverse it. 😀

    Cool episode and can’t wait till the next pod cast. And I look forward to the next House of Franklinstine as well Wait….. didn’t ya’ll give it to the mouse in the last episode? How will it come back? Will it be restricted? Or will this be the Son of the House of Fracklinstine?

  8. Oh almost for got. Was cool hearing Mikey Mike B. But, wait did he say they were all from earth Save Supes? Pour Hawk Girl and the Martian Man Hunter. Sigh. Still was cool hearing ya’ll talk about this epoised.

    Moving on. Ah the hair thing. I don’t know about WW, but if some one grabs my hair in a fight…they pull back a nub. And she could just put it in a poiny tail. And go to town. Maybe she was just trying a new look to catch Bruces eye. ( Or the tiara wasn’t keeping it out her eyes enough.)

    Any way cool pod cast.

  9. Great episode. Regarding the justice Lords. Years later in the Justice League Beyond 2.0 and Batman Beyond 2.0 digital first comics they had a storyline where they went back to the Justice Lords Universe. Decades later it showed how that world had changed after the Cartoon episodes. Good story worth checking out.

  10. These episodes are fantastic! So much to love about them.

    I do wonder about the metaphysics of the Justice Lords meeting the Justice League. Yes, they’re different people, and yet they’re also themselves. It’s not too hard to fight yourself, as seeing that as necessary to grow and change. But maybe lobotomies or lethal force is too far, as it evokes suicide? Well, that makes my head hurt, so that’s enough of that.

    Maybe this was mentioned, but Lex was able to make a gadget in like 5 minutes that could take away the J Lords’ powers. And he never thought to do that before? There’s any number of times he could have beaten Superman with that. Sure, an explanation can be no-prized, but he acts like it would have worked on the League’s Superman, and we never see or hear about this weapon ever again. And I hate to dwell on it, because it made for an elegant end to the story, Supes and Lex teaming up and ending the Lords. So from narrative perspective, it’s great. From an ongoing story perspective, I can’t unthink it now.

    Fantastic podcast, gang! The three of you made for great listening and discussion. Till next time!

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