• Justice League That Other Face Columns 

    Boomb Tube: Justice League of America (Part 2)

    By James Johnston | December 5th, 2012
    Posted in Columns

    Welcome back to Boomb Tube! This week, we continue our analysis of the TV pilot for 1997’s Justice League of America. Abandon all hope ye who enter here.

    To recap last week: New Metro, the most stupidly named city in the world, is threatened by a super villain named The Weatherman (AKA EvAl Roker) who is manipulating the weather, while a young scientist named Tori at the local meteorological institute is transformed by lab accident into Ice, who has the powers of ice. Simple stuff. Meanwhile a bunch of wackos known as The Justice League kidnap Tori, try to convince her to join them, give up, and go back to having nonsense plots about their boring love life. Tori then finds out that her boss with a goatee is EvAl Roker because of course he is, and that’s where we left off.

    Tori evades EvAl Roker by running away and freezing the door shut, which causes Roker to give up and not call the guards or anything. She knows that I’m the terrorist attacking the city and also she just manifested ice powers, she probably won’t do anything else to hinder me!” he thought to himself. Anyway, back at the Justice League headquarters of a really crappy apartment, everyone makes puns about how great The Flash is at being a maid, including his response to “How did you get that stain out?” of “I flashed it out!” Who thought that made sense? Did the director sleep with the writer’s wife and this was his form of vengeance? Because if so, I think the director also slept with everyone’s spouse in the costume and special effects department. Speaking of, The Atom answers the door and she tells him of her boss’s true identity.  Tori goes on about how you think you know some people, but they turn out to have some weird double life. The man who kidnapped her the other night nods in agreement.

    Meanwhile, Bea has her forgettable subplot where a young version of Martin Scorsese hits on her a lot. I made this joke last week, but it was only on this viewing that I realized that the guy’s actual name was Martin. Either I didn’t notice before, or this movie is warping its content to offend me as much as possible. After Martin tries to buy her, Bea escapes to go rekidnap Ice with the rest of the League so they can bring the girl they’ve kidnapped once back to their real hideout underneath a grimy bridge. Their sketchiness gotten to the point where I’m going to be really disappointed if they don’t kick a hobo to death outside a Radioshack after all. Then, a chubby Martian Manhunter shows up.

    Glad to see they at least got the Oreos part right. Martian Manhunter explains that he’s the leader of The League and was the disguised Roker who Tori ran into. Apparently, MM crash landed on Earth from Mars but decided to stay because he loves freedom. J’onn then attempts to convince Tori to join the League but she doesn’t believe in herself or something. The League trains Tori by telling her to freeze a droplet of water, which she fails to do but she manages to freeze the room around her while the water remains in a liquid state. The room is cold enough for people to see their breath, but one droplet is still staying liquid. That’s the dumbest science since anything else in this show. An interview segment with the rest of the League consists of them explaining why they love Martian Manhunter. Green Lantern says it’s because he’s green. Fantastic. There’s also a fun conversation between The Atom and Ice where they discuss how they wanted to be scientists to better mankind, but they felt like science didn’t help mankind at all and the real path to human progression is dressing up like an idiot and punching stuff. As someone who is aware that cures to diseases are things that exist, I highly doubt the truth behind that sentiment. Wait, speaking of punching stuff, I just realized that not one fight occurred in this entire movie. Everything was solved by walking around bad guys or saving idiots from weather accidents. These guys aren’t doing anything that a Batman could do during his lunch break.

    Continued below

    Meanwhile, at another useless plot point, Martin sees the Justice League on the news and notices that Fire is wearing the same earrings that he gave Bea earlier! It’d be one thing if Bea was wearing a mask or something, but she’s literally wearing just some make-up. Not even full “Nic-Cage Preparing for Ghost Rider Facial” make-up. Just a teensy bit of green facepaint. At least Arrow has the decency to wear a hood. Martian Manhunter helps out fire by disguising himself as Bea because he has literally nothing else to do besides stop a terrorist who controls the weather and proves Bea isn’t Fire to some teenager by setting some chairs on fire which WHAT?! Martian Manhunter’s entire deal is that his only weakness is fire! Oh, who cares. The writer’s wife already took the kids with her so I suppose this is just the home stretch.

    EvAl Roker remembers that he had a plan to destroy a city in order to get more funding for his institute (???) so he gets back on that after Martian Manhunter’s Superdickery-style misadventure. Roker met with Tori and she stole his weather manipulator machine and brought it to the headquarters, realizing too late that it’s a tracking device. EvAl Roker than fires a laser at the League headquarters which EXCUSE ME?! He’s a meteorologist! Where the hell did he get a laser? It’s never brought up by anyone that Eno just fires a laser from space, they’re just like “Oh man, another day, another death ray from the heavens!” I take back everything I said about EvAl Roker. His deus ex deathray makes him the true hero of any story. He also has a five day forecast where the suns are replaced with skulls and it is just adorable.

    The League now has Roker tracked down, because the movie’s almost out of time, and split up to both control the damage and catch Eno. The following picture happens.

    Green Lantern has a showdown with Eno, but Eno just throws his second weather machine a about 50 feet away. This causes Guy to give up. Tori saves the day when, after everyone told her to sit down and not touch anything, she stops the  wave heading to New Metro on her own by freezing it. After throwing EvAl Roker in the slammer (which he breaks out of because he has ANOTHER HIDDEN LASER), Ice is officially inducted into the Justice League, and my brain stopped properly functioning.

    So to recap: This movie had one character who had magic lasers, weather controlling machines, and a goatee and they didn’t make him the central focus. They couldn’t have failed harder if the director had sent the writer pictures.


    James Johnston

    James Johnston is a grizzled post-millenial. Follow him on Twitter to challenge him to a fight.


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