Justice League Unlimited

Season 1 Episode 17

Legends (2)

Aired Saturday 10:30 PM Apr 28, 2002 on Cartoon Network
out of 10
User Rating
167 votes

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Episode Summary

The League aid the Justice Guild against their arch-nemeses while trying to unravel the secrets of the Guild's world.

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  • The Justice League discovers the terrible truth behind the Justice Guild and their world.

    The Justice League discovers the terrible truth behind the Justice Guild and their world. As much as I enjoyed the first part of “Legends”, the second part truly astounded me. Though “Justice League” had a very rocky first season, “Legends” was one of the few episodes of the first season that still grabs hold of viewers today. The episode is a fine example of the show’s creative storytelling and rich character development. The story is well structured and delivers one surprising twist. There is also a good balance of drama, action and humor. Green Lantern becomes quite heart broken upon discovering the serious truth behind this strange alternate universe. It’s hard to forget those who had a profound effect in our lives. I was amazed to the revelation of the mastermind behind this great deception. The collapse of this comic book reality and the Justice Guild was a very emotional and well executed scene.moreless
  • Hawkgirl, GL, Martian Manhunter, and the Flash are still stuck in an alternate universe. While hepling out the Justice Guild, the League finds out a dark secret involving the Guild and their reality.moreless

    Hawkgirl meets GL and Martian Manhunter back at the Justice Guild headquarters, and tells them about the graves. GL refuses to believe it, and flies away.

    Hawkgirl meets him at the grave, and GL accepts the fact that they are dead. Now, the two of them start to look for some answers.

    Meanwhile the Flash and Black Siren are still fighting a Mr. Freeze-like villian. Flash had the advantage, until a runaway TNT truck threatened to crash into a bus full of nuns. Flash saved the nuns from the truck, but as soon as he turned around, the villian froze him along with Black Siren.

    The four villians meet back at their lair, arguing about who stole the best item. They agree that the Mr. Freeze-like villian has the best prize, for he has captured the Flash and Black Siren.

    Meanwhile, GL and Hawkgirl are searching the town for anwers. They interrogate an ice cream truck driver, who they noticed never stops. He gets nervous and tells them that HE might hear them and that he can't say anyone. Then he speeds away.

    This makes GL and Hawkgirl even more curious. They go to the library, only to find that all of the books are blank. When they decide to go to the basement to check the newspaper archives, they are met with a brick wall.

    Hawkgirl smashes through it, and they find a subway accident. An old newspaper gives them some real answers. It was published forty years ago, the last day a Justice Guild comic book was published. It tells them that the Justice Guild died in a nuclear war.

    The Justice Guild saves the Flash and Black Siren after a short battle. They meet Hawkgirl and GL back at the Justice Guild headquarters.

    Hawkgirl and Green Lantern confront them and show them the newspaper. They tell them that nothing in this town makes sense. Hawkgirl adds that danger springs up whenever someone gets too close to the truth, just as a giant robot starts attacking the town.

    Martian Manhunter suggests that they ask Ray. (a little tag-along kid who has been there throughout the episode)He uses is psychic powers to reveal Ray's true form. Ray is really the source of all of these illusions.

    The war had mutated Ray's DNA, giving him psychic powers, allowing him to create illusions and re-shape reality. He chose to resurrect the heros he worshiped as a child.

    With the help from the Justice Guild, the League defeats Ray. The entire reality fades, and so does the Guild. Much to the League's surprise, all of the people in the town were real, they had just been under Ray's hold.

    The League finds Tom Turbine's machine to get them back to their world. GL powers it with his ring and they are able to get back to their reality.

    The episode ends with GL mourning over the deaths of the Justice Guild. He tells Hawkgirl that it's stupid to feel like this. She said that they gave their lives for them and it was real enough for her.

    This may be the first little hint there is something going on beteen Hawkgirl and Green Lantern. Great charater development.moreless
  • Solid conclusion to an interesting story arc....

    The second part of this two part story opens with the villains openly boasting that they'll prove their mettle by pulling off crimes at the behest of the heroes opposing them. From here, the episode quickly moves through fairly standard battle scenes ( though depicting the villains using a blimp(!) was a nice touch. However, the viewer also concludes that everything they see is an illusion on some grand scale perpetrated by a non assuming character lurking in the background.

    For people watching this episode, there are many things going on to hold their attention. For the kids, they'll appreciate the humorous stylings of the villains and their plots to achieve their goals. The young at heart crowd would appreciate the sight of two group of heroes teaming up to fight a common menace that has been shown many times in the comics of the past.

    For myself, the real high point of this episode is when the members of the Justice Guild realize the truth even as they watch the Justice League members battling for their lives against the menace responsible for their illusionary existence. The Justice Guild decide, with only a brief moment of hesitation, to take on the menace as well even if it costs them their current existance....which it does.

    This one moment speaks volumes about the characters depicted in this episode. For myself, it shows that though they weren't real, the Guild's members still upheld the values they had when they did exist. It's not often that you see the issue of death dealt with realistically in a cartoon but this episode tries to do so in a context that is both direct and noble.

    Though it might be easy to dismiss this episode due to the hokey dialogue and such, it would do the writing and style of it a great disservice. Truly, an episode that can be pondered, and appreciated, in many ways.moreless
Maria Canals

Maria Canals

Hawkgirl/Shayera Hol

Carl Lumbly

Carl Lumbly

Martian Manhunter/J'onn J'onzz

Michael Rosenbaum

Michael Rosenbaum

Flash/Wally West

Phil LaMarr

Phil LaMarr

Green Lantern/John Stewart

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

    • It seems rather convenient that when the Green Lantern finally powers the turbine that it is set to take them back exactly to their original universe.

    • Why didn't Green Lantern power the turbine at the beginning of the episode? Other then to just hang around and be buds with the Justice Guild, there doesn't seem to be much reason.

    • So, now that Lex is a good guy (as of the second season and "A Better World") will they ask him to recreate the process that sent them here and provide some...well, supplies, food, clothing, etc.?

    • The survivors don't seem to have aged at all in the forty years since the end of the war. It's possible they are the children of earlier survivors (although the Ice Cream Truck Man's dialogue implies he himself was around for 40 years), or were children themselves when the war came. Still, this isn't made very clear, and it hardly seems like they were in a position to reproduce and have children while trapped in the illusory setting.

    • The ice cream truck is still intact when the rest of Ray's illusory world fades when he is knocked unconscious. It seems in pretty good shape for being 40 years old!

  • QUOTES (9)

  • NOTES (3)

    • Wonder Woman does not appear in this episode, and Superman and Batman only appear briefly (and without dialogue) near the end.

    • This episode is dedicated to the memory of Gardner F. Fox, one of the mainstays at DC Comics and who worked on the original Justice League comic. He also scripted the first JLA/JSA team-up in Justice League comics. Fox was primarily responsible for the creation of the DC "Multiverse" that consisted of numerous multiple dimensions. The concept was first introduced in Flash #123, "The Flash of Two Worlds", and the storyline is more or less exactly the same as in the comic.

    • "Holy hostages!" and "old chum" are both references to the Batman 60's Series. Coincidentally, TV Land ran a 60's Batman marathon starting the day after this episode first aired.


    • Green Guardsman getting attacked by a TV antenna
      In the 70s revival of the Justice Society, on which the Justice Guild was based, the Golden Age Green Lantern's alter-ego, Alan Scott, was a TV executive who was wrapped up in various efforts to mess up his career and his station.

    • Turned into snowcones
      The Flash's comment to Doc Blizzard about him turning them into snowcones may be a jab at the truly silly cliffhanger of the 60s Batman episode "Green Ice." In that episode Mr. Freeze does indeed try and turn Batman and Robin into snowcones (whatever the heck that means... ).

    • Catman saves the day!
      After the other Guild members go down in battle against the Injustice Guild, Catman manages to single-handedly defeat all four villains despite his lack of superpowers. This seems to be a nod to the fact that Batman has often been portrayed in a similar fashion in many of the recent JLA comics, and even in this series. Since Catman is somewhat of a knockoff/homage of Batman, it seems only appropriate that he do the same thing here. This little mini-fight may also be an allusion to Wild Hunt - JSA #10 (second series). In this issue Wildcat (the hero upon which Catman is based) takes on the Injustice Gang single-handedly (including the son and daughter of The Icicle and the Sportsmaster - the "real" versions of Dr. Blizzard and the Sportsman, respectively) and wins - he even rides a motorcycle past a dirgible in one scene, just like here.

    • Ray Thompson = Roy Thomas?
      Roy Thomas was an editor/writer at DC who was heavily involved with their Golden Age comics such as All-Star Squadron, Young All-Stars, and Infinity Inc. in the 80's. Some have contended that casting him as a villain unwilling to let go of the past in "Legends" may be some kind of slam on the writer himself, since most of those projects have folded, sometimes due to the lack of support by his superiors at DC.

    • Name That Hero!
      Green Guardsman's real name is "Scott Mason" (in the comics, the Golden Age Green Lantern is Alan Scott). Black Siren's real name is "Donna Nance" (in the comics, the Black Canary is Dinah Lance). Tom Turbine's real name is apparently...Tom Turbine. The names of Catman and the Streak on the gravestones are not clearly visible, although Catman's obscured gravestone looks a lot like "Tom Blake", which was the name of the villainous Batman villain of the same name in the comics.

    • The Robot Rog:
      The giant robot that attacks the Guild looks like Rog, a robot created by the Chief of the original DC Doom Patrol, and later used by Morden and later Monseiur Mallah (an intelligent gorilla) as part of the Brotherhood of Evil.

    • Hawkgirl: Curiouser and curiouser.
      This line is uttered by Alice in Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, who just like the League, found herself in a strange world.