JLUCast : Fearful Symmetry

The Cadmus Arc starts here! Supergirl is suffering from strange nightmares, and Green Arrow is there to help. But so is The Question, who begins to unravel a conspiracy that will have long-lasting repercussions for the entire Justice League…and the world! Join Chris and Cindy as they kick off discussion of this epic storyline!

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Clip credits:

Clips from Justice League Unlimited “Fearful Symmetry”. Justice League Unlimited theme by Michael McCuistion

28 responses to “JLUCast : Fearful Symmetry

  1. Great Podcast; Honestly, I didn’t expect the Cadmus storyline to start dropping this early, probably because for some reason, I remembered JLU as having two seasons, instead of three.

    And yeah isn’t the first time said Shadowy Business Associate is involved in the cloning of a Superman Family member, besides his involvement in Bizarro, the year prior, in Teen Titans v3, #1 (2003), the revelation that he was the other DNA donor to Superboy/Kon-El landed.

    I also have to say that while the design of the Z-8 training drones is the same in earlier episodes, and Zeta’s initial Batman Beyond appearance, but when the Zeta Project show actually starts up, he has a significantly more humanoid head…somehow.

    I chuckled openly when Galatea threw Supergirl into the [Charlton/Charleston] “Chew!” candy bar billboard.

    1. Gah, how did we miss that Charlton/Charelston gag, notovny! Great eye! And after all the Charlton drops in Peacemaker, you’d think I would be on the lookout for them.

      Your confusion about JL having two seasons, not three probably stems from WB’s incoherent DVD release program. They put Seasons 1 and 2 on one set together, then Season 3 on it’s own. It’s maddening. Not as bad as the Super Friends nonsensical release pattern, but still annoying.

  2. Jeffrey Combs as The Question, another complete winner courtesy Andrea Romano (I feel like I say this every episode).

    Working with Ditko must have been so catastrophically difficult for everyone involved, because even the slightest comment would be seen by Ditko as an invite to go on and on about his objectivist nonsense. There must have been a ton of eye rolling from editors, writers, etc.

    I love that the show felt comfortable doing an episode without the big guns of the series, that was something the JLA comic struggled with for years, thinking they could never do an issue with Superman, Batman, or Wonder Woman.

    1. Andrea Romano was so good at her job, I have a hard time accepting other shows where she didn’t do the casting. I honestly have a hard time with Justice League Action because I really dislike some of the vocal choices on that one.

      I would guess that’s one reason Ditko toiled away at Charlton for years. Probably very little interfence from anyone on those horror and mystery stories. Of course he did go back to Marvel and do quiet a bit of work in the late 70s through the mid-80s, but by then I’m sure he was considerd an “elder statesmen” and the young uns respected him so much they just took the bad with the good.

      I kind of feel like both GA and Supergirl are solid top-tier “B” players on JLU, right under the original 7. But you’re right, the original comic very rarely did an issue without the big guns, after Superman and Batman moved beyond honorary status.

  3. I CAN’T Prove it but i’v GOT TO believe Steve Ditko loved Dick Tracy. IT’S in every suit he ever drew. Kinda like i can’t prove Jim Starlin loved Basil Wolverton but i cant imagine a universe where he does’nt

      1. I’m a big Dick Tracy fan and still read the strip daily. In many regards, the introduction of The Blank was a significant moment in the strip’s history as he was the first real villain whose physicality was more abstract than the criminals and gangsters who had battled the good guys previously. The Blank (Frank Redrum) debuted in 1937, a few years before Chester Gould began regularly introducing rogues whose physical appearance expressed their inner criminality and villainy.


  4. This was a great episode and a great prologue of what’s to come. You two did it justice (pun intended).

    Cindy, I agree that John and Ollie’s condescension toward Supergirl is apparent (see what I did there). Watch Google Scholar for my forthcoming paper, “Green: The Color of Misogyny and Ageism in the So-Called ‘Justice’ League”. There will also be plentiful JLU and JLI references, of course, along with examination of relevant aspects of military, police, jock, and rich white male liberal cultures.

    There may be a delay in publishing. I didn’t get the impression Dr. Schwartz-Levine and Dr. Coletta were too anxious to do a peer review for me.

  5. The DCAU Question is the best Question.

    As for Galatea, I thought it was a pretty clever name. It literally means “she who is milk white”, which is the color of the costume, and in the Pygmalion myth is a statue given life by Aphrodite. The prototypical Wonder Woman, you might say, but in the context of the Cadmus Project, an artificial woman.

    1. Agreed on the DCAU Question, hands-down.

      The Galatea legend was a blank for both Cindy and I, strangely. But what a great way to use the visuals of Power Girl, and give the fanboys that knowing wink.

      1. Also, Galatea was brought to life because Pygmalion loved her so. I think Hamilton has some strong feelings for his creation.

  6. Why is every clone of Power Girl always a bad guy (or girl)?

    The timeline is a little fuzzy, being from the long, long ago, but I think I saw this version of “Pee Gee” the character before I actually knew of the comic. I wasn’t always a big fan of the character, but I guess it was destined to happen! 😀

    Whilst I’d say the Renee verse just edges him out for me, this is definitely one of the best versions of the Question out there. To be honest, probably most of the DCAU characters are more or less the definitive version in my head. And I suspect I’m very much not alone on this one!

    1. Yeah, I think a generation of non-comic reading fans DEFINITELY consider this their “canon” when it comes to DC. Hence all the backlash against the 2011 Green Lantern movie: “Why’s he white?”.

      And then there’s plenty of comic readers with a lot of history in the various versions of the DCU who still prefer this version…like me!

  7. Definitely loved this episode.

    I was amazed that Supergirl was such a key story element and really got the spotlight again, so quickly after the first episode. But when I saw Galatea I was really gobsmacked. Both Kara’s from the comic, there, before my eyes. And what a brawl! Amazing. I like how Kara is more of a brawler than anything else, not a trained fighter.

    The big win is the Question here. He is brilliant in all the episodes he is featured in. I love the scene with him singing the boy band tune while tossing the garbage can through the door. I was a huge fan of the O’Neil/Cowan comic so this episode was like two great Anj tastes that tasted great together.

    Great coverage of this episode! Love this show!

    1. Thanks Anj! Seeing a very PG-like version of Kara definitely floored me when I first watched this 18 years ago. I never thought they’d go there!

      I too like that Kara seems to be a brawler. But maybe Pa Kent should have taught her some of his old Army training on the farm!


  8. Impressive podcast most impresses. I always liked this episode. And the evil power girl character was kind of fun. I guess this is what Earth three power girl would have been like. Though it is interesting that they named this episode after the poem Tiger Tiger. Is he good collection of heroes. And I did like this version of the question. I have like the actor since his many roles in Star Trek. Most notably where he was almost the first officer on enterprise. Unfortunately right is that she was getting good it got canceled. So he was only able to be a recurring guest star on the show. Though from what I heard the plans were he was going to join the crew. With the character he was planning. He was also very good as it a villain on DS nine. Still here is great as his character. And I like him and Huntress together. The character of course.

    In the cartoon Huntress and the question or a great couple. But just being my favorite characters made this kind of cool. Though it seems in the comics at least for a while her main pairing was with Man of all people. Though I hate to admit that kind of worked to. This is a better showing four evil power girl and how she will be treated later. Though she is still pretty good in both. And how they started the whole Kadmis storyline. Back with DC understood while there was a good guy just she had darker methods. Until everything went to foobar with her. I’m not thrilled with how she’s treated in recent DC stuff. Though adding her a daughter in the new peacemaker thing was kind of cool. I’m glad they did a lot with Supergirl. Up until she was pulled out of the series to be sent off with the Legion. Though her and brainy are good together. Here was pretty good. Again we do here at least one episode where Supes is called Clark. Just around people who this makes sense. And yes it does make sense that she would go to her friend instead of her cousin. But like the last episode of this would’ve ended quickly had she gone to Superman. And since she thinks she’s going crazy.

    Family would not be her first choice. It probably should be but at a young age people make mistakes. I did like when questions started humming that song when he broke the window to the door. The they were going for the element of surprise may be green arrow should have shut down the security or found when he gave him him after he passcode maybe held the door open. This is kind of announced that sells right there. It works out well enough in the end. Though the question is lucky there was enough of Supergirl inside of evil power girl that she would kill him. It does remind me of the Gail Simone and John Byrne run on Superman. Where Black Adam turned his back on Superman because he knows he won’t give in the back of the head. Though this is a bit more of a gamble. To be honest I think this is the only version of the question that I like. I read a few issues of his and the crossover he had with steel. And when they tried to make him more like a certain watchmen that was based on him.

    For whatever reason it just didn’t work for me. I didn’t miss when Fem force thought they had a license to this character and he briefly appeared with blue beetle. Again they thought they had the rights to both of them. They changed blue beetle into red scorpion I think or may have been scarab. And just remove the question. While the question is similar to Mr. a. The look is very different and the question is deftly less of a psycho. Mr. a is probably closer to what Alan Moore was going for with a certain watchmen character. But, it is probably close enough to be the question. The bits of this are pretty funny. Of coarse recess he goes through everyone’s stress like it’s no big deal. I’m guessing she had a wrapper for the peanut butter crackers was a peanut butter sandwich? At which point what evidence would be left? If there’s no wrapper. I think she’s beyond the age where she doesn’t eat the crust on the end of the bread. Unless she is paper plates and there is a little bit of peanut butter on it. The fight against the guards was pretty cool and it did show that the droid that eventually became Zata.
    I liked that cartoon as well. I’m slightly cited the better. But, it is what it is. The part where question almost kills the guys a little shocking. Because his comic book counterpart was the guy who would stop Huntress from going over the edge. Since it first she does have a tendency to be a bit more of a vigilante. Though interesting that in that later episode of the double date he’s the one that stops the Huntress from killing. Or at least talks her out of it enough to where she decides not to kill the whale. When they have that double date with black canary and green arrow.

    1. Yeah, Jeffery Combs is great, isn’t he? It ocurred to me I never once mentioned he was the (very creepy) voice of the redesigned Scarecrow on The New Batman Adventures! I’m going to have my DCAU license revoked!

  9. Thank you, Franklins, for a fun recap of one of my favorite JLU episodes. I had no idea until listening to this episode’s Watchtower Files, that, excluding the short-lived Rick Veitch series, I’ve read every DC comic featuring Vic Sage as the Question! I guess that makes me an ever bigger fan than I previously thought I was!

    Like many of your other listeners, I will agree that this is the most entertaining version of Vic Sage to follow. I love the detail that this version is an unapologetic fan of “pre-packaged teen pop lite”. I like to think that Vic spent lots of time listening to pop music, looking for sinister messages, and just wound up becoming a fan of the genre! As one who unironically listens to and loves the Backstreet Boys debut album, I can relate!

    1. I love the indosyncricy that the Question loves pop music too! Such a great little wrinkle. I like your theory as to why as well. Jibes with why Batman was so familiar with a certain song, as we’ll see in a few episodes!

  10. Great review Franklins, as always!

    This was my first exposure to The Question aside from reading his entry in a Batman RPG I had at the time. And hey, he was a lot of fun! He goes on to become a pivotal character in the series, and the voice alone helps bring what could have been a wacky character into a a more nuanced, honest portrayal.

    As a Supergirl fan, this episode is basically the kind you make the popcorn, you sit down, and you watch. I liked the Supergirl clone Galatea, as it combines some of the Connor Kent plotline while giving something for Power Girl fans to latch onto.

    [deletes rant about how much he can’t stand Power Girl and the cult surrounding her mammaries]…

    1. I hadn’t thought about the Connor Kent cloning connection (alliteration!), but that storyline was still pretty new at the time, so it may have had an influence.

      I’m glad you deleted that rant about PG, or Symbol Pending may have gotten upset! Ooohhhh….

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