JLUCast 22: “Hereafter”

When the Superman Revenge Squad fulfills their oath, and apparently kills the Man of Steel, the Justice League is left in a world without Superman. But the Man of Tomorrow is actually trapped on an alien world without the Justice League, and the only way to get back home is with the help of…Vandal Savage? Join Cindy and Chris as they discuss one of the series’ best two-parters, “Hereafter”!

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Clip credits:

Clips from Justice League “Hereafter”, music by Kristopher Carter, theme by Lolita Ritmanis. Clip from The Simpsons “A Fish Called Selma”.

31 responses to “JLUCast 22: “Hereafter”

  1. Like with Pirate Aquaman, Lobo is another example of a character I didn’t think worked in the comics but was great when converted into the JLU verse. Brad Garrett does a great job with the voice, and the take on the character is, IMO, fun, not grating or tiresome. Great Rao why didn’t DC just turn over their comics line to Timm and Co.?!?

    1. This makes complete sense for Lobo. The character is basically a sadistic cartoon in a universe full of superheroes anyway, right?

  2. This two parter was always a big favorite of mine.
    I agree with you guys that Lois would not have melted against Lex like that.
    On the other hand, there’s one thing that bugs me.
    When it’s all said and done and the Justice League now with Superman Returned, As the world is restored in the far future. As it does, Savage slowly ceases to exist. He fades out!….
    Why?!?
    He’s an Immortal! He would live to that time anyway whether the world was destroyed around him or had been saved and continued on to it’s peaceful future as we see at the end!

    1. My take is he’s erased by the new timeline’s Vandal Savage, who never destroyed the Earth, and who probably never had a redemption arc. It would have been interesting for there to be two Vandal Savages in one timeline, but the fade at the end is far more poetic. Just my two cents.

      Chris

      1. Given that this is Vandal Savage’s last appearance in televised DCAU continuity, it seems likely that whatever happened, it took him down permanently. There are so many extremely terrible things that can happen to someone who is incapable of dying; waiting out the last several billion years between the time the oceans boil away and the sun consumes the planet is only one terrifying fate.

        Given the name-drop of Ray Palmer, and the Dwarf Star matter mention, I’ll lay an arcade token down on, “Savage wound up shrinking faster than anyone present could watch or follow, and no-one ever found him again.”

  3. Thanks Franklins for another great episode! This episode of Justice League is easily one of my favorites and was so well done. I agreed with all of your analysis and critiques. Cindy is definitely not wrong about Lois’ interaction with Lex – this was my one grip with the episode. Some of my own thoughts on the episode:

    -Batman’s line to Weather Wizard about getting a strap for his controller made me think he’s been hanging out with the Flash a little too much. Dare I say we saw a bit of lighthearted fun from the Dark Knight?

    -Kalibak tells Batman he just flattened Wonder Woman, but then Superman tells Kalibak that he couldn’t take Batman. Sooooo, is Superman throwing some shade at Wonder Woman? Should she be hanging her head in shame that Kalibak laid her out so easily?

    -J’onn’s eulogy was very eloquent and touching. Every time I listen to it I get chills. Chris, nice point about the fact that J’onn delivering the eulogy as the other lone survivor of his race – I hadn’t considered that aspect.

    – Chris referenced that at that point Batman was the only one who knew Superman was Clark Ken but I believe that J’onn also knew. I mean he is telepathic and hints that he’s read their minds on more than one occasion, so why wouldn’t he know?

    -To Cindy’s question about why no other alien civilizations or the Green Lantern Corps came to Earth, my answer is they all wrote Earth off as a wasteland. Sure there was life on it but not intelligent life (save for the self-imprisioned Vandal Savage) and Vandal Save did claim that his gravity inventioned threw off the gravitational balance for the entire solar system, so all other sentient races may have just decided Earth wasn’t worth the time or effort.

    Thanks again for more great content Franklins – I can’t wait to hear your commentary on Secret Society!

    1. DCAU Batman wasn’t above an occasional quip to his foes, as seen in “Legends of the Dark Knight” when the kid who thinks Batman is very Dick Sprang is delighted to hear the “real” Batman throw a pun at Firefly.

      Good point on J’onn. We already covered “Comfort and Joy”, but it’s coming up in the airdate order in a few episodes. J’onn clearly knows Superman is Clark Kent then, and it doesn’t seem to be a big deal, so he probably did learn it from reading his mind earlier.

      Another good point about the GLs. They probably did just write us off. Probably not a bad idea.

  4. This episode, we meet the Superman Revenge Squad Marching Band Flag Team, doing their cheer and calling the roll, and I’m 100% here for it. Also, their matching PJs that they wore to their sleepover? Adorbs!!

    But then they get down to business and attack Metropolis, assuming that it’s just Superman who’ll respond? He’s the only one they WANT responding, sure. Revenge and all that. It’s just, if these five had been paying attention to the Justice League adventures up ’til now, you’d think they would have noticed that sometimes just a contingent of the League is in attendance for a mission, and if you’re a villain going out doing villaining, you can’t count on which League members will show up for the obligatory punch-punch — it’s never the same heroes week to week.

    OK, those are just details that don’t matter really. “Hereafter” is a masterful examination of Superman, gives Superman some exciting challenges, and nicely helps us better understand him while also fitting tightly to how we already understand the character.

    At the same time, because I nerd out so much over time travel, it’s bugged me for years that (1) Toyman — of all people — managed to accidentally whip up a time-displacement zapper, (2) then making a time-displacement zapper going the return direction was a task centuries in the making for the much more accomplished Vandal Savage, (3) despite knowing of Toyman’s invention, Savage did not, while discussing with Superman his own time doohickey, mention either incorporating Toyman’s stuff or expositing why he couldn’t, and (4) this guy had already used time travel (“The Savage Time”) so it feels weird to have this episode unfold as if only by the 321st century Savage finally completes a time machine. I’d have appreciated for one or two of these threads to somehow get tied together to make a great episode even better.

    Notes:
    – Metallo will get his Malcolm McDowell groove back sometime during the Unlimited days.
    – However many times you’ve seen Hereafter, multiply that by three and that’s how many times you’ve watched the Kalibak/Lobo exchange (“Say it, say it” / “Uncle” / “I can’t heeear yooou”).
    – Livewire is Leslie Willis, whose name resembles Wesley Willis — one of those underground musicians that just college kids would have known about. College kids and the writers of the “Livewire” episode of Superman, Evan Dorkin and Sarah Dyer. They must have named the character so that some of us in the audience would catch the reference. Of course then “Leslie Willis” is used as the alter ego anytime Livewire shows up somewhere, like on the Supergirl TV show. I gotta think that — thanks to Livewire’s occasional media appearances — every so often, someone may look up the character and trivia about her, possibly backtrack to Wesley Willis and hear one or two of his songs, and even though Livewire hasn’t taken off a la Harley, maybe some of those novelty-type songs will get some nice extra exposure for that reason even now, some 17 years after Mr. Willis’s passing.
    – Rock over London; rock on Chicago. Justice League, the world’s greatest super-heroes!

    Doug’s Action Figure Corner: the Hereafter Superman figure overall looks pretty good, especially having some newly tooled body parts since the fur outfit was going to rule out just repainting the standard body. But stand him next to a common Superman figure from the JLU line, and the heads are too different: the bearded Superman head has his eyes placed differently and so forth. Details, details. Still worth the purchase price, though.

  5. Maybe Savage couldn’t replicate Toyman’s “stumbled upon” time travel technology because of the state of the world? Maybe some of the devastation destroyed some components he needed to create it? He does point out Toyman had no idea what he had made. And maybe Toyman borrowed some tech from Intergang or something. I know I’m explaining away a plot hole, but it’s what I’m here for!

    I never knew that about Live Wire. Interesting!

    I need to get me that Hereafter Superman at some point…

  6. Impressive podcast. Most impressive. Thought y’all did this one already. Ah well cool. This was a fun show to watch. And cool to see a Supes episode. And even though he lost his powers he could still fight. Wasn’t always the case in comics. Glad to see Mike Dorn was back. He was pretty cool. Live wire I’m ok with her not working. The character is fine and Lori is a good actress. Liked her as Tank Girl. I meet her at a con once. She was fine. Not great. She moved around a lot before talking the photo. Had to like move around in a circle. So her personality is as is on tv. She talked to the folks in front of me for hours. And just kin of did te photo for me and then moved on. So she was ok.

    Meet LeVar Burton there as well and he was cooler as was Trish Status. But Lori Petty was fine. Toy Man was good in this as in all the cartoon. Not so much in the comics. Was cool seeing the Green Lantern core there. Em…. the slap. Some times it gives a better mental sting than a good right cross. I’ve hit some good right cross that won fights, but sometimes the look of shock on a dudes face when you hit him with a back hand slap. Er the Pimp slap. As it’s called. Just gives that mental what the beep look on a persons face. Granted balling ones fist and back fisting them can hurt more physicaly. Or an uper cut to the jaw.

    But this was more a shock shot to get how her emotions must of been and she wanted to shot that feeling at Lex. So it works. Supes being all Connan in the future world as he teams with Vandal was cool. Also Lobo was great in this. Sorry I liked Lobo… till the 90s. Lobo’s back was a great comic. Still glad this was mostly a supes story. And glad Supes went back and saved his time line. Hmm, not nesaserly would it fit in Qutum Mechanics version of time travel. Some time travel story work like back to the futurte ware time can be changed. And others have the fixed point bit from Doctor who. Till some one finds a way to time travel I guess well just say this is how they did it.

    Heck we have stuff DS9 folks would kill for in out back pocket. So who knows ware science and tech will go? Can’t wait to hear the next episode,

    1. I guess if a celebrity guest encounter at a con is “fine” one can’t really complain too much. Sure it’s great when you have an actual connective moment with a celebrity, but it beats a nasty one that then taints their work for you for all time. I have never actually had one of those, fortunately, but I have hears soul-crushing horror stories.

  7. With regards to Lois and Lex, don’t underestimate the allure of a clean shaven head.

    Also, it may have been a digression, but I agree with your praise for the new Superman and Lois series. I swear that I’ve seen interactions between my wife, myself, and our preteen daughter played out beat for beat on that show. Love it.

    Thanks for another great episode.

    1. My one gripe about Superman and Lois is the amount of underage teen drinking going on. I know teens sometimes drink, but the Kent boys are 15 tops, and that seems REALLY young to show them with their peers guzzling beer out of Solo cups. I watch the show with my 13 year old daughter and really don’t appreciate the show not at least acknowledging the kids are doing something wrong. Okay, in the pilot the party led to some super-powered catastrophe, but the last episode the drinking was never even addressed by Lois or Clark.

      Dad gripe. Sorry!

      1. I respect nearly all Dad gripes. Malfeasance in any story intended for children or all-ages viewing must result in negative consequences and/or correction. And even better if they show kids who refuse to participate. Perceived norms that “everybody’s doing it” are dangerously misleading. Parents need all the help they can get.

  8. As always I agree with Cindy with the whole Lois thing, the sad thing is that she could have decked Lex and then hug one of the League (or the Kents). You could even have kept the Lex line and it still would have worked just as well.

    But y’know everything else is so good I’d forgive them, though they need more Kara(s)! 😀

    1. Your post made wonder, how would these episodes have been if Kara had showed up at the Watchtower to replace Clark? And she gets in over her head with the villains, trying to honor Clark’s memory, and the League has to show her how to operate in a team dynamic? It would have had less conflict than having Lobo, but would have actually helped bridge her prominent role in JLU.

  9. Daaaaaaaaaaamn, Cindy. Tell us how you REALLY feel about that Lois and Lex scene.

    Poor Chris. Getting hit not only on his vaccine arm but on the same spot?! Talk about taking one for the team (or the podcast, as the case may be).

  10. I couldn’t agree more with you two, Mr. and Mrs. Franklin. “Hereafter” is definitely one of the stronger episodes of the series. It is one of the best examples of the two-part format of seasons 1 and 2 being put to good use. While I have other episodes that are more of my personal favorites, I hold this one up as being technically the best of the series as every aspect of the episode, from the writing to the finished animation, is firing on all cylinders.

    Just good storytelling in every way…even if Lobo (a character for whom I don’t give two figs) features prominently in it.

  11. Thank you for covering this again. Dwayne McDuffie was a giant. This was simultaneously one of the best Superman stories and one of the best Justice League stories ever told. Batman came off pretty great, too.

    I’m going to admit up front that Mrs. Entropy, who doesn’t usually go far bad boys, has a special appreciation for Vandal Savage in this. It’s some combo of the Phil Morris voice, the McDuffie script, and the DCAU model sheet. I just appreciate it when my competition is fictional.

    I couldn’t agree more on Lobo. He was funny at first, but when they added “science fiction Pol Pot” to “dudebro on a space Harley,” they lost me forever.

    I especially enjoyed y’all’s analysis of how Clark’s farmboy roots helped him, as well as the mention of that great old Action Comics story that was part of the foundation for this.

    Please continue your never-ending battle to find your joy and help us find ours, Franklins!

    1. Thanks Captain! I will have to ask Cindy what she thinks about Savage in that regards. We do know Phil Morris has a “voice like butta” so chances are, she agrees.

      Thankfully we have a lot more wonderful Dwayne McDuffie to cover!

      Chris

      1. Agreed, Chris! One more thought: I’m really glad Tomar-Re was clearly visible as one of the Green Lanterns in attendance, since according to a backup story in Superman #257, Superman literally owes his life to Tomar-Re. As you probably know, Tomar-Re delayed Krypton’s explosion long enough for Kal-El to be born and for Jor-El to build the rocket, though he and the Guardians failed in their efforts to prevent it altogether.

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