Justice League Unlimited

Season 5 Episode 7

Patriot Act

Aired Saturday 10:30 PM Feb 25, 2006 on Cartoon Network

Episode Recap

During World War II, the American hero known as Spy Smasher arrives to steal the "Captain Nazi Formula" that the Germans plan to use to convert a test subject into an undefeatable super-soldier. The scientists fight back and a fire breaks out, but Spy Smasher is able to grab the serum and makes his escape in a submersible plane. In the present day, General Eiling examines the project file and considers things..

Eiling meets Amanda Waller in a restaurant to talk about the Cadmus project. Waller has mellowed concerning the League but Eiling believes the League still poses a threat and humanity is "surrendering" to them.

Mr. Terrific is coordinating Watchtower activities and directs more heroes to deal with a supernova, which will take more time then anticipated. He then calls the remaining heroes on the Watchtower – Green Arrow, Stargirl, S.T.R.I.P.E, Vigilante, and Shining Knight – and informs them they are all that are left, and that he has a special assignment for them, filling in for Superman.

They find out that unfortunately the assignment is taking Superman's place in a commemorative parade in Metropolis. Stargirl in particularly is highly verbal in her complaints, and the crowd is equally disappointed that they got a bunch of minor heroes instead of the Man of Steel.

Eiling sneaks into a Cadmus base but is soon detected and forces the scientist to open a vault containing the Captain Nazi serum. They reluctantly agree but point out the serum has had unpleasant results on the animal test subjects. Eiling doesn't care and injects himself, undergoing a monstrous transformation into a super-strong juggernaut. He is now invulnerable to bullets and ignores the guards, respecting them for doing their job. He escapes and leaps into the night.

At the parade, Stargirl and Shining Knight start wowing the crowd under Vigilante's direction. They are just starting to make an impression when Eiling arrives. A fight breaks out when Eiling finds out that Superman is absent. The police are helpless against him, as are Vigilante's and S.T.R.I.P.E.'s weaponry.

While Shining Knight deflects thrown cars, Vigilante deputizes several local boys, the Newsboy Legion, into helping them get the civilians clear. Shining Knight goes to rescue some trapped people while Eiling demands to fight Superman to prove he is enough to protect the planet and the world doesn't need the Justice League. While S.T.R.I.P.E. goes one-on-one with Eiling, Green Arrow calls for backup and Mr. Terrific starts to summon the reserves.

Eiling defeats S.T.R.I.P.E. and starts to rip his armor apart, but Johnny of the Newsboy Legion distracts him with a wrecking ball. He attacks the boy but S.T.R.I.P.E. throws himself in the way as a short-lived distraction. Stargirl hits the General to thwart the killing blow, and Vigilante rams the behemoth with his cycle as a distraction. Stargirl tries to haul Eiling away with an energy lasso but he grabs it and yanks her down to earth. Shining Knight rides to her rescue and is briefly successful but then Eiling knocks him away. Green Arrow and Vigilante move in but Vigilante is knocked out.

The promised reserves arrive – Crimson Avenger and Speedy. The General is unimpressed and knocks Crimson Avenger out despite his gas guns. Green Arrow and Speedy team up to unleash a barrage of arrows but Eiling quickly disposes of them.

Only the Shining Knight is still standing, and confronts Eiling with a tale of how he refused to obey King Arthur's orders a thousand years ago and spared a village – an act for which his king later thanked him. Eiling is unimpressed and knocks out the Knight, but the citizens now rally against him. The Newsboy Legion points out that he is the only superpowered individual present, and he's the only threat. Unwilling to harm civilians, Eiling vows they will come around to his point of view but he won't kill them today. Disgruntled, the General leaves.

In the aftermath, the Leaguers recover and the citizenry start to rebuild, while assuring the heroes that they are still needed. As they leave, the Newsboy Legion fight over which of the heroes is cooler.



Speedy first appeared in More Fun Comics #73 (Nov. 1941). Roy Harper, Jr., was the orphaned son of Roy Harper Sr., a forest ranger who died saving a Navajo medicine chief, Broken Bow. Broken Bow trained Roy Jr. in the use of the bow and arrow, and eventually came to the attention of wealthy millionaire Oliver Queen. He ended up helping Green Arrow against a burglar, and Queen adopted him and revealed he was actually the heroic Green Arrow. He took the name of Speedy because he beat Green Arrow to the draw and battled at his mentor's side during the Golden Age. They joined the Seven Soldiers of Victory as regular members. This Speedy, later identified as from Earth-2, was sent through time, returned to the present and apparently retired, and was killed during the Crisis on Infinite Earths.

In the Silver Age Speedy was updated along with Green Arrow and established as part of Earth-1. He joined the Teen Titans shortly after its formation as a group of youthful sidekicks. Roy dealt with a heroin addiction in the 60s and has since matured considerably. He has a daughter, Lian, after an affair with the villainous Cheshire. Speedy has helped out various incarnations of the Titans and worked as a government agent. He later took on the name of Arsenal and employs a variety of pistols and other projectile weapons. This is his first appearance in the WB animated universe.

The Crimson Avenger

The Golden Age Crimson Avenger first appeared in Detective Comics #20 (Oct. 1938), appearing in that comic prior to Batman. A wealthy newsman, Lee Travis decided to fight crime with the aid of his valet Wang. Taking the name of the Crimson Avenger, Travis originally wore a costume similar to that of the pulp hero The Shadow, and used guns to mow down his opponents. He later donned a more traditional skin-tight outfit and used a "wirepoon" gun. After being blasted through time with the other Seven Soldiers of Victory then returned to the present, Travis retired but died trying to prevent terrorists from blowing up a city with a rigged oil tanker.

Since then another Crimson Avenger has returned and claims Lee Travis possessed cursed guns that forced their user to avenge the innocent, and can never be removed or discarded. She claims that Travis somehow broke the curse (thus explaining his change in costume and weaponry), and she came into possession of the guns. How much of this is true has never been verified as of the time this episode originally aired.

Lee Travis possessed no apparent superhuman abilities or weaponry (see above, however), but was a skilled marksman, inventor, and combatant. This is his first significant appearance in the WB animated universe.

The Seven Soldiers of Victory

The Seven Soldiers of Victory was DC Comic's second group of superheroes (after the Justice Society). Also known as the Law's Legionnaires, they first appeared in Leading Comics and like the JSA, were a rather loosely knit team. They would typically meet together to investigate a single crime, then split up into smaller teams to investigate various leads, then reunite at the end of the story to deal with the main villain.

The Seven Soldiers' membership consisted of the Crimson Avenger, Green Arrow, Speedy, the Star-Spangled Kid, Stripesy, Vigilante, and Shining Knight. The Crimson Avenger's sidekick Wing was an unofficial eighth member. The group was somewhat unique unlike the JSA in that it had several sidekicks as members and that they had no superhuman heroes on the team.

After a number of adventures the Seven Soldiers fought an opponent who dispersed them through time, where they remained until the combined forces of the JLA and JSA reunited them decades later. It was revealed that Wing had died in that last battle The Soldiers alternately retired or went into semi-retirement.

Until Crisis, which eliminated all Earths but one. Since there was no Golden Age Green Arrow or Speedy, a vigilante known as the Spider replaced Green Arrow and Speedy was replaced by Vigilante's sidekick Stuff. A group of superheroes briefly took on the name of "Seven Soldiers" in the 60s in honor of the departed team, some of the original members have reunited to aid the JSA, and a new meta-series comic by Grant Morrison features an entirely new team as well

While not identified by the name "Seven Soldiers" in this episode, the team of non-powered superheroes here is intended as homage to the original Seven Soldiers. Stargirl takes the place of the Star-Spangled Kid, as she does in the comics. In the comics, S.T.R.I..P.E. is the original Stripesy.

The Newsboy Legion

The Vigilante's "deputies" are modeled after the Newsboy Legion, the Jack Kirby-created characters who first appeared in Star Spangled Comics #7 (1942). This World War II team originally consisted of Tommy Tompkins; Anthony "Big Words" Rodriguez (the one wearing glasses who was the team genius); Johnny "Gabby" Gabrielli; and Patrick "Scrapper" MacGuire (the tough kid wearing the cap). For most of their adventures throughout the 1930's and 40's they were accompanied by an adult Jim Harper who was secretly the heroic Guardian. They were lated joined by Walter "Flipper Dipper" Johnson Jr., in Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #133 (1970), though this incarnation doesn't seem to include the latter two characters from the comic books. It was originally claimed that the new Legion, employed at the Cadmus Project, were the remarkably similar-looking children of the 1940s members, but it was eventually revealed they were clones created by Cadmus. A new version, possibly outside of the mainstream DC continuity, have appeared in the 2005-06 Seven Soldiers maxi-series, with a different roster. This is their first appearance in the WB universe.

Spy Smasher

The Spy Smasher was one of the original Fawcett Comics superheroes who was introduced in Whiz Comics #2 (1940). Created by Bill Parker,
Alan Armstrong was a non-powered hero who used detective skills, a wide variety of gadgets, and the "Gyrosub" which was a combination airplane/car/submarine. When DC Comics purchased the rights to the Fawcett line of characters, this rather obscure character made infrequent appearances until the recent "Power of Shazam!" series in the 1990s. Though this is the first appearance of Spy Smasher in the WB animated universe, this is not the first time he has appeared on screen. Kane Richmond starred as the title character in the 1942 Republic Pictures serial Spy Smasher.

Captain Nazi

Captain Nazi first appeared in Master Comics #21 (Nov. 1941) and was Albrecht Krieger, chosen for test subjects by the Nazis and transformed into the super-strong Captain Nazi. He fought both Captain Marvel and Bulletman back in the Golden Age, and was partly (and inadvertently) responsible for the creation of Captain Marvel Jr. His origin has varied somewhat with various DC reboots, but as of the time this episode aired, he appears to have been in suspended animation up to the modern time then recently released. He has been a member of several villain groups, and appears to have died as of Batman #647, but it's unlikely that will be permanent. Captain Nazi possesses super-strength, speed, and invulnerability, and any resemblance between him and any World War II heroes at Marvel is purely coincidental. This is his first appearance in the WB animated universe.