JLUCast: Season 1 Finale, The Once and Future Thing

Time-traveling thief Chronos escapes into the past, and Batman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern must team up with Old West heroes, Jonah Hex, Bat Lash, El Diablo, and Ohiyesa (don’t call him “Pow-Wow”) Smith to stop him. But when Chronos begins unraveling the fabric of space and time, the League land in their own future, where they join the last of the JLU; Static, Warhawk, Old Bruce Wayne, and Batman Terry McGinnis!  Join Chris and Cindy as they wrap up Season 1 of Justice League Unlimited with “The Once and Future Thing: Part 1, Weird Western Tales”, and “Part 2: Time, Warped”!

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Clip credits:

Clips from Justice League Unlimited “The Once and Future Thing, Part 1: Weird Western Tales”, Directed by Dan Riba, and “Part 2: “Time, Warped” directed by Joaquim Dos Santos. Music by Kristopher Carter/

23 responses to “JLUCast: Season 1 Finale, The Once and Future Thing

  1. Fun show, Uncle Chris and Auntie Cindy.

    The first time I watched this episode (at age 7), I asked my dad what “M’s Dress” was, and he said that he would explain it to me when I was older. So I think the third speculation of M’s Dress (M for Monica) was the prevailing fan theory at the time.

    Terra-Man shows up in the DCAU! And just as they had done with other goofy comic book characters, the JLU crew stick with the core concept of an Old West outlaw with futuristic tech, and a winged horse, and make it work without being goofy like it was in the comics.

    I don’t think this was ever mentioned on your show (and if I missed it I apologize), but the end credits of the JLU episodes provide teasers of upcoming episodes. So the end credits for part one showed a scene that spoiled the upcoming appearance of “old man Bruce” in part two. However, the scene in the end credits is significantly different than what appeared in the second episode (namely, the inclusion of Wonder Woman).

    My dad wondered if the interrogation scene with Ghoul was originally written to happen before Wonder Woman faded from existence, or if a storyboard artist made a mistake in laying out this scene where “the Justice Leaguers glare at Ghoul” by thinking that all of the Justice Leaguers listed in the script (including Wonder Woman) was supposed to be present, and nobody caught the error until after the scene was animated (similar to Cheetah and Copperhead showing up in the police van at the end of “Injustice For All”). My dad didn’t think the producers would spend budget to intentionally animate an alternate scene for the teaser just so viewers wouldn’t ask “Where’s Wonder Woman? Did something happen to her?” for a week…

    Perhaps the League brought Enid with them to the Elkhorn Jail in the Rome Coliseum in case she was lying about Clinton’s location. They may have also thought that she may help them in case they needed to talk Clinton into giving up the belt.

    And Hal Jordan makes his first DCAU appearance (the second being as a statue in the Fatal Five movie)! My dad told me about a bit of outrage that erupted around this. Some was around the fact that this appearance was briefly spoiled on the ToonZone message board a few hours before the episode aired, which got the showrunners all up in arms. But much more outrage came from fans when they found out about the JLU action figure of Hal that was created in a very limited run as a Christmas gift exclusively for people who worked on the show (I wonder if Adam Baldwin received one…). Dad said it was one of the most blatant displays of fan entitlement he had seen before all the Zack Snyder nonsense…

    Looking forward to the wrap party.

    1. Nice catch Isamu! To be honest, by the time I’ve done all the snyopsisin’ and note-making, I’m usually not up to sticking around through the credits. I think your Dad was right (he rarely ever seemed to be wrong to me!) and the JLU crew pulled a Super Friends and animated WW when she was supposed to be gone. Much like Batman showing up with the team after he “died” in “Super Friends…Rest In Peace”.

      That Hal Jordan action figure fracas was UGLY. Still a sore point for action figure collectors and JLU enthusiasts. The guy who managed the Mattel JLU brand is now a YouTuber, and he’s still very divisive among toy collectors, often stirring hornets nest just to goose views, I suppose. No stranger to controversy!

  2. “wall of pure entropy”…
    Pure entropy! DOONH-doonh-doonh-doonh-dOONH!
    Pure entropy!

    Sorry. It’s stuck in my head now, and I wanted to share.

    Great job as always, Franklins!

      1. Hey, don’t lose that thought. I would be honored to serve.

        I remembered one other comment: Hal’s reaction when he pops in to the timeline reminds me of an an active duty officer I work with in my defense contractor job. He is similarly confident and succinct, and he hates long discussions of the problem. He would’ve had the exact same dialogue, except with “teammate” at the end.

  3. Word to the wise: if you’re traveling forward in time, your destination might be a Hereafter time where history records you got whomped with a ray and were never heard from again, or it might be a future that has another you who’s been keeping your seat warm the whole time. Time warps vary; check with your travel agent before booking your trip.

  4. Since Will Friedle was mentioned again this episode, I wanted to let people know that Will has a podcast that he does with his “Kim Possible” co-star Christy Carlson Romano, called “I Hear Voices” (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/i-hear-voices/id1612506139), where they interview fellow voice actors. Of possible interest to some, Will and Christy launched a nationwide contest to give some lucky person the chance at a voice-over career. The Super Awesome Contest To Become The Next Big Voice Actor runs through February 9. You can find the details in their January 9 episode “Christy & Will have big news!”

    Thanks for another remarkable episode.

    1. Wow, thanks for the info Brian! I had no idea Friedle had a podcast, let alone one with Romano! Kim Possible was one of those shows that my son watched, but I enjoyed it just as much. A very clever, fun show that appealed to a lot of age groups!

      Maybe I should enter that contest? 😉

      1. Agreed. Kim Possible was an excellent show. I never watched Boy Meets World, but I have encountered Friedle’s voice many times over the years in animation, including Batman Beyond. I did not recognize that he was attached to that voice until just a couple of years ago. He is an occasional guest on a Twitch stream that our daughter and I follow called Critical Role, which is a show where “a bunch of nerdy @## voice actors play Dungeons & Dragons.” Just last week, Friedle returned to voice his old D&D character in two episodes of the animated Amazon Prime series, Critical Role: The Legend of Vox Machina, which is an adaptation of the original livestreamed D&D campaign. Given where we’re discussing this, I’d be remise if I didn’t mention that Dark Horse also publishes a Critical Role comic book line. Sorry to run on like that, but several of my geeky interests intersected on this one.

        In regards to the contest, I didn’t want to single you out, Chris, but you did spring to mind when I learned about it. 😉

      2. ENTER! PLEASE
        We all think you’ve got a chance, and even if you lose, it’ll make a good story to share on air.

        Our kids are growing up, Chris. It’s time to start being crazy and taking risks again! Society expects it of us.

        (Visualize me, an overweight middle-aged white guy, with my arms folded eighties rapper-style, saying:)
        Don’t call it a mid-life crisis. It’s a second act.

  5. Thanks again for another great episode Chris and Cindy! One of the things that always stuck out for me about this episode was that it sort of feels like a microcosm of the evolution of the JL/JLU series. The first part feels like a call back to the original JL stories, where a few of the (original) members are up against the villan of the week while the second part feels more like the current JLU style story. The fact it is told over two parts and even includes the JL theme (with the western vibe) just sort of ties it all together. I had a few thoughts to share to see what your take is.

    1. So David Clinton starts off by taking only insignificant items that won’t be missed, but do you think that history won’t necessarily miss George Washington’s teeth (give the controversy around them) or that Batman wouldn’t miss one of his utility belts? I think taking these items signified his increasing boldness and the start of his belief that he is the true master of time and space. A bit of foreshadowing of his eventual ascension to Lord Chronos. Indeed it seemed reckless of him to escape to Elkhorn in 1867 and to be so easily captured. But I think the fact that he is able to steal back his time belt from Batman may be what pushes him over the edge.

    2. Does Clinton know that Bruce Wayne is Batman? He doesn’t really seem to acknowledge it and Bruce seems to be way too casual with the fact his face is exposed to Clinton. Always made me wonder how Bruce would handle it if Clinton was jailed in the present and realizes who Batman really is.

    3. Do you think Chonos was responsible for taking out the Watchtower and the Justice League using the future tech he supplied the Jokers? Never really thought about it until after listening to your episode. It would make sense though considering how he sort of sees himself in the future.

    4. So the ending. Yeah, that was pretty clever but overly sadistic of Bruce to get Clinton stuck in a time loop being repeatedly berated by his wife. Something like that would surely drive a man mad, but somehow Clinton doesn’t seem to realize he is stuck in this loop. Which doesn’t make sense because both Bruce and GL remember the events, so why doesn’t Clinton? Seems like a big logic flaw that is ignored to wrap everything up in a nice bow.

    1. Good call on the JL microcosm thing. I like it!

      1. Yeah, Washington’s teeth may be something he should have left alone, and may indeed point toward his inability to fathom what his actions do to the timeline, despite his “rules”.

      2. Well, Clinton would know of Bruce Wayne’s face as an 80 year-old man. He may not readily recognize younger Bruce.

      3. Yeah, I think that’s how he had to do it. It still seems a stretch that they could take out the whole League, but maybe he dropped some of them in different times and places too? Like Chucko?

      4. Good point that Clinton doesn’t recognize he’s reliving a moment he lived before, especially over and over. Maybe Cinton’s mind was so broken by that point, he wasn’t even thinking linerally anymore to begin with? He definitely seemed completely unhinged by the time he tried to reboot time.

  6. This story will forever be Wonder Woman saying “Those are the biggest, slowest bullets I’ve ever seen.” I love that so much.

  7. Great show, Cindy and Chris! I’ve just caught up on all the episodes. The JLU was on TV when I was in college/my early twenties, so I had (ahem) other interests at that time. But I’ve been watching it on HBOMax with my kids and your podcast has provided a lot of background and points of interest. The Once and Future Thing is one of my favorites. I’m a sucker for westerns and love it when the old west characters turn up in DC shows. Too bad we didn’t see Cinnamon and Super-Chief, too. And if they really wanted to kill some characters, the Trigger Twins had to be around town somewhere! I really wished they had spent both episodes in the west. There could’ve been train robberies, stage coach shoot ’em up chases… Maybe even have the JLU head to the Dakotas and visit the Gem Saloon. Now there’s a show for the kids!

    Like Chris mentioned, this episode reminds me of JLA issues #198-199. Not just for the story, but how I bought it for the fantastic George Perez covers and then got “tomahawked” by Don Heck when I opened it up! Also, speaking of the Justice League and westerns, there’s a great Elseworlds story called Justice Riders that I highly recommend if you’ve never read it.

    1. That’s awesome that you’re rewatching JLU with your kids! Yeah, some more time in the Old West would have been welcomed. I’d rather seen the Trigger Twins bite it instead of Terry!

      Holy Cow, how did I forget The Justice Riders! That’s a great Elseworlds! I’m slipping, I tell ya. Great call!

  8. You probably don’t read these anymore, but the ending with Chronos reminded me of what they used to do with Degaton pre Crisis. Every time he would be defeated, he would return to 1947 and Prof. Zee’s lab. He would remark how he had a fading dream last night where he ruled the world.
    Prof. Zee would say that’s nice, now be a good fellow and wash these test tubes.
    Also, in the I Mudd episode of Star Trek, Mudd is left on the planet of androids with hundreds of copies of his nagging wife. Possible reference?

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