Justice League Unlimited

Season 3 Episode 2

For the Man Who Has Everything

Aired Saturday 10:30 PM Aug 07, 2004 on Cartoon Network

Episode Fan Reviews (12)

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out of 10
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  • For the Man Who Has a Boring Fantasy Life

    I'm at somewhat of a disadvantage here in that I was around when this story was first released. As an adaptation it borrows pretty heavily, right down to the dialogue in places (i.e., "Burn!").

    Mongul is back in a season that looks to give us a horde of returning villains in exchange for all the new heroic faces. It's a little odd when the writers have to latch on to old villains (Mongul, Amazo, Mordred, Morgana) so the audience won't be too badly thrown by new heroes. He's...okay here. Eric Roberts suitably voices him as evil incarnate, although I don't recall him being quite so powerful in War World. Superman beat Draga, and Draga beat Mongul - yet here Mongul walks all over Wonder Woman and still has enough left to go toe-to-toe with Supes.

    The birthday idea makes a little more sense in the comics during the pre-Crisis era when this story was published, where Superman did have truly galactic fame. Here it seems a little odd (if not a full-fledged Goof) for him to be receiving birthday presents from alien admirers. It's not like Superman has a big rep outside of the Solar System, as War World itself demonstrates but is also consistent with the current varying series (which have rebooted Superman as starting his career recently in 2003, according to the Birthright mini-series).

    So the adaptation here fails to answer that point. Instead it shortens the original story, omitting all the aspects where writer Alan Moore had the imaginary Krypton literally falling apart with race riots, corrupt right-wing politicians (including Jor-El himself!), etc., as Superman subconsciously destroyed the place in his efforts to break free. Instead we get a very basic, "I have a family - I lost them." boo-hoo story which in this case is hurt a bit by the half-hour nature of the show. The rushed aspect of the format means that we find out what's going on about a minute after the initial opening and credit roll.

    Perhaps the story would have worked better to start with Superman waking up to his fantasy life, then show us Batman and Wonder Woman after the first commercial break. Showing us the sequence as it does reduces the impact of Superman's fantasy because we know from the beginning, before we ever see it, that Superman's in a hallucination.

    So I'm on the fence on the reduced format - this story seemed too short here but I'm not sure it's really worthy of a 2-part treatment, either. This one just seemed...padded, with lots of fight scenes (and Wonder Woman being brutalized and outclassed) and not really enough of the Superman/fantasy sequence for the audience to sympathize with Superman's loss.

    Batman is spot-on (except for throwing himself at Mongul early on - that seems oddly impulsive), although "cash" seems like a dumb present. Like Superman needs money, or can't crush a few coal chunks in to diamond if he did? Kevin Conroy never disappoints, and he packs a lot of emotion into his own fantasy and recovery. Wonder Woman really doesn't get a chance to do anything but play punching bag.

    That leaves Superman. It's hard to be too impressed with his rage here - we've seen it before directed against Darkseid in a similar situation of metaphorical "rape," and the fact that Darkseid and Mongul could be cousins doesn't help much. George Newbern does a good job of packing some punch into his farewell to Timmy...umm, I mean Van El. I'm not sure if it's supposed to be ironic or just sloppy that Clark doesn't get to say goodbye to the love of his life (or even have 'Loana' make a final appearance) or his dead father, but gets a good sendoff for the son he never had and has only apparently known for a few minutes.

    Overall, this story has some interest as a visualization/animation of the original Moore/Gibbons story, and it's an okay Justice League story, but as just a good story it kinda falls flat.
  • The new series shows it's not just going to be a fireworks display!

    While it's not exactly new territory for a sci-fi series to do the whole parasite-dream skit, it's taken to surprising depth in this instance, especially, all things considered, for a supposed "kids show".

    The plot is simple enough: Batman and Wonderwoman find Clark in the fortress with a plant stuck to him. Someone is behind it. Wonderwoman seeks out whoever is responsible, while Batman tries to figure out how to get the parasite from Clark's body without killing him.

    The interesting twist being that the plant grants Clark, or, erm, Kal-el to enjoy what he's always wanted - eternal bliss.

    Seeing Clark living the Krptonian dream isn't really a shocker, but the level of detail and the plethora of nods to Superman mythology make it an incredibly enjoyable character piece and a jolly good romp. Again, those who made the leap from JL to JLU will surely find enough plot and character to calm those uneasy feelings about the new format prohibiting any time for real drama. This is top stuff!

    And when Batman becomes infected? It raises what was otherwise a solid 9er to a 10. It was extremely cruel to have Bruce live out those moments yet again but this time seeing his father prevail, only to have him taken from him yet again. Powerful stuff.

    Overall, one of the best episodes from Justice League Unlimited.
  • A bad attempt at warping Superman in the storyline of "Perchance to Dream", an old Batman the Animated Series episode where Bruce was taken into his fantasy dream world by the Mad Hatter, it was a great episode, but this wasn't.

    After watching "Initiation" I was hoping that the next episode would be much better. This episode was even worse than Initiation! Seeing how this storyline has been used over and over again, this episode was highly predicatble. The only twist was that Superman was having the fantasy dream instead of Batman, and instead of a dream machine being placed on Superman's head, Mongul used an alien known as the Black Mercy. Even the Wonder Woman fight scenes with Mongul and the reference to "War World" wasn't enough to keep this episode out of the red. A highly disappointing episode and a disgrace to the league.
  • Superman is put into a trance by a soul-sucking plant that allows him to live out his life's desire. And its up to Batman and Wonder Woman to save the day and the man of steel.

    Very revealing of the characters and their deeper wishes. Neither Batman nor Superman's heart desires are shocking: the former for his parents to have never died; and the latter for his planet to be restored. The touches of Kansas in Superman's world are interesting and so is his wife that strongly resembles Lois Lane, with the exception of hair color. Guess Superman has a thing for redheads. Someone should tell Lana. Sadly, Wonder Woman's true desires are not shown, but it is likely that they involved the home she had been banished from. The episode is about the hard choices superheroes sometimes have to make between the world and family. This is never shown more clearly than Superman's last touching scene with the son he could have had, though Batman's choice to give up his dream with his parents alive is equally melancholy. But the superheroes do make the right decisions, the bad guy gets his payback, and Superman has a very interesting birthday.
  • What does a villain give the man who has everything? An alternate reality, of course!

    First off, if you haven't seen Batman Begins yet, go watch it three or four times and then watch this episode. (it makes this one particular sequence absolutely hilarious)

    Alright, anyway you get to see what Kal-El's life might have been like had Krypton never exploded. It's kinda funny too since his wife looks like a mix between Lois and Lana, and her voice belongs to Lois as well. :)

    But in the meantime, you also get to see a villain in this episode that you haven't seen since War World, which is really nice. (not to mention the fact that you get to see one of the few times that someone insults Wonder Woman's fighting skills, all for being a woman.)

    As a final note: What does the one of the world's richest men give the man who has everything? Cash! (What were you expecting, a gift card? ;))
  • This one of my favorite JLU episodes. It has character development, and a deep story to it.

    In this episode Wonerwoman and Batman take a trip to the Fortress of Solitude to give Superman a gift for his birthday. When they arrive they realize that he is being strangled by a parasite but Supeman acts like he dosen't even know it. Superman is having visions and dreams from his past, in the way he would have liked them to turn out, but little does he know that this was all a trap from Mongul. In the real world Mongul gets in a fight with Batman and Wonderwoman. This episode is just good all around as far as action, drama, and character development are concerned but what I really enjoyed in this episode were the flashbacks to Batman, Wonderwoman, and Supermans past (they all wind up getting the parasite attached to themselves at one time). It is a very emotional episode that taps into what our superheros wish they could have had in their pasts instead of the brutal things they all had to face. This is a great memorable episode.
  • this episode has a great plot.

    this episode was great, it being supermans birthday and wonder woman and batman bring him present's and they find a alien like plant is feeding him thought's of what he wish his life to be, as wonder woman and batman try to get the plant off of him they relize that there's no way to get it off, as mongoul walks in wonder woman start's fighting him as batman tries to get it off, and this story plot is a very good one, great episode.
  • It feels like I'm watching a really great drama.

    Batman and Wonder Woman are heading towards Superman's place to deliver him presents for his big day. But a bug type of creature is implanted onto his chest, making him fantasize continually on his most precious desires. In his case, he dreams about having a wife and a kid that he dearly loves. Mogul seems to be the culprit behind this, and Wonder Woman goes and battles him. Batman tries taking it off, and his words seemed to have reached through, as Superman snapped back to reality. But the creature backfired on Batman and was implanted on his chest now. He fantasizes about his dad protecting him and his mom from a generic robber. With the help of his friends, he is able to take it off. Superman is now battling Moguel, and Wonder Woman now throws the fantasizing teasing creature onto him.

    If it weren't for a particular thirty second moment, this episode would have passed for average. However, the moment when Superman realizes that all of this could just be a dream, and telling his son about it was kind of ironic in a way, but also extremely dramatic. By far one of the most dramatic things I've watched. It's just one of the best drama scenes I've ever seen. It honestly is that great that deserves my endless ranting about it. But other than that, I see everything else as a build up to that one scene. The fighting, like in all of the Justice League episodes, are your daily "I hit you then you hit me" rinse and repeat fights that get boring pretty quickly.
  • I cannot believe all the nay-saying going on!

    I remember the comic-book story this episode was based on. It was one of those giant-sized SUPERMAN ANNUALS. And, I found this episode to be a mostly faithful adaptation of same!

    Sure, some elements in the original story had to be omitted by the scriptwriters. But, that's only because this was going to be a half-hour one-shot! Not the first half of a two-parter. In hindsight, maybe it should have been. But, then again, everyone's hindsight is 20/20. Isn't it?

    As for Superman's birthday being (quite literally) universally known? I don't think the writers were referring to his actual birth on Krypton. Or, even, the anniversary of his adoption by the Kents! More likely, Wonder Woman and Batman--and, yes, even Mongul--were observing the anniversary of when Superman first appeared on the public scene. The "birth," symblically speaking, of Earth's first modern superhero!*

    *As opposed to Spy Smasher and other costumed "mystery-men" of the 1940's .*

    Considering everything the Justice League has done on behalf of certain extra-terrestrials since its formation, I don't find it strange, at all, that some of them might be prone to showing their gratitude by sending its arguably most powerful member a gift in commemoration of that anniversary.

    Thus, in my estimation, this episode is a perfect (as in completely flawless) ten!
  • Adapting an early superman comic, several of the Justice Leaguers celebrates Superman's birthday.

    I have fond memories attached to this story arc, since I actually read the comic book when I was a little kid. And it actually was quite a tear jerker for me back then.

    Unfortunately, due to the show being limited to 30 minutes, we can't quite pack all the details into this show the same way the comic book did, and show the culmination of Superman's rage towards Mongul. In fact in many ways it weakens the the story arc a little.

    The only build up here is that Superman must lose his own son and normal family to be Superman again, which while significant, is not nearly as powerful as in the comic where Kal El came to realize that his whole life, not just his son was a sham. But on it's own, the episode was a very powerful one which showed a side of superman that we always knew but frequently forget... His yearning for a semblance of a normal family life.

    People will often site their own children as their greatest achievement and their pride and joy. Kal El is no different. His son is the very culmination of everything that he wants out of his life. And quite frankly watching Superman force himself awake is quite a strong moment for me. But once again, compared to the comic book it pales by comparison due to the extensive build up.

    I find it rather curious that they decided to take out Robin and have Wonder Woman perform the same role as what he did. (Instead brute forcing the plant off of Batman, he had special gloves to tame the plant)
  • On Superman's birthday, Batman and Wonder Woman travel to the Fortress of Solitude to give him a present, only to find him in a clutches of a mysterious plant, nonresponsive, courtesy of Mongul, who plans to take over the universe, with Superman as his on

    If there ever was an episode where there was lots of one-on-one fighting, this was the one. First Wonder Woman vs. Mongul, then Superman vs. Mongul. Wonder Woman held her own against Mongul but he worked her over, and bad! One of his quotes was "You just voluntered, to be the first on your planet to die!". Batman eventually got the plant off of Superman-and onto himself! You seldom see the savage side of Superman (see Twilight), but it came out on this episode. he beat Mongul so bad, even he thought Supes was gonna kill him.
  • This is character development at it\'s best

    Talk about an amazing episode! This is character development at it\'s best: when it\'s done in a way that isn\'t flashback, or long, boring monologues. This episode lets you know just what\'s inside Superman\'s mind (second only to batman in reclusiveness), and you will feel it. You will want to jump into the tv and punch Mongul right in the face. The inclusion of Batman\'s past is also brilliant. In a series that uses two or three parters so much, it\'s good to see that a thirty minute story could have such an impact. You must watch this episode! Go!