Justice League Unlimited

Season 4 Episode 9

Question Authority

1
Aired Saturday 10:30 PM Jun 25, 2005 on Cartoon Network
9.4
out of 10
User Rating
327 votes
18

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
While investigating Cadmus, the Question discovers a secret that threatens to shake the very foundations of the Justice League.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • The season long Cadmus arc finally falls into place in this brilliant and incredibly well written episode.

    10
    The Question has undoubtedly been one of the great successes of Justice League Unlimited. He is certainly an odd character: a cynical, blank-faced, fedora, and trench coat-wearing paranoid Ayn Randian conspiracy nut. He exists on the far fringes of the League and can easily be described as something of an anti-hero. His obsessiveness and paranoia are clearly flaws, but these flaws give way to a deep desire to serve the common good.



    He is certainly on of the most layered and compelling character in the series and that is nowhere more evident than in "Question Authority". The Question fits right in as the character that is trying to get to the bottom of the Cadmus conspiracy. When he gets to the bottom of it he discovers a secret that almost completely unhinges him. He comes to believe that Lex Luthor will instigate Armageddon after becoming president by killing the Flash and then being killed by an angry Superman. He decides to avert this disaster by killing Luthor before Superman can. This selfless, but perhaps lunatic, act fails when Luthor pummels the Question and reveals that there is more to Cadmus and the conspiracy than even the Question could unravel. The Question is captured and tortured only to be rescued by Huntress and Superman.



    Superman is in an odd position in this episode. He is the authority that the Question doubts. Why does he doubt him? Well there is certainly the predestination aspect. But there may be a bit more going on here. Perhaps the Question does not doubt Superman's ability to do the right thing. Perhaps he doubts Superman's being the person to do the right thing. After all, the Question thinks that the right thing to do is to kill Lex Luthor. Its just that a "well known crack-pot" has to do it. Who knows?



    Most of the action revolves around the Question, Huntress, Superman, and Cadmus. A minor subplot revolves around another Charlton Comics character Captain Atom. Captain Atom is forced to choose between the Air Force and the Justice League. The subplot works and makes for a great conclusion to the episode. It also demonstrates how the writers are really using characters intelligently. The minds behind Project Cadmus are brilliant even if they are insidious.



    This is no stand alone episode. It makes numerous references to other episodes of the show. From the relationship between the Question and Huntress started in "Double Date" to the dark secret of Superman featured in "A Better World". There is a also a nice scene between Superman and Professor Hamilton that references several events from earlier episodes and from the Superman animated series.



    The animation is of course excellent and the voice work is wonderful. Among the voice cast, Jeffrey Combs and Clancy Brown steal the show. Its also nice to hear Dana Delany as Lois once again.



    Overall: 10/10

    Standout Scenes: The Question confronts Superman and shortly thereafter Luthormoreless
  • wuestion discovers a plot that could destroy the justice league

    9.0
    this episode marks the start of a thrilling climax of the story of the justice league. for the first time, Luthor was able to hatch a plan that would effectively stain the name of the Justice League. however, he has one thing in his way: the Question. and things gets more thrilling when Captain Atom gets called back to the navy, wavering his support for the justice league. it looks like Luthor was also behind this, since it proved useful for him when Superman and Huntress rescues the Question. in this episode, we also get to see Question's face. now, how exciting could that be?moreless
  • Question has face!!

    9.2
    Good episode. I wasn't too sure about this Question character until I saw this episode. Didn't even know who he was until he took his mask off and it was actually a piece of clothe. Question is based around either Mr. A by Steve Ditko or Rorschach by Alan Moore who are both conspiracy theorists and don't have any super powers. Basically, Question is like Batman except not as cool and can't fight like him. It was pretty interesting how the producers wrote about the current conspiracy's like the JFK magic bullet.moreless
  • The Question Rules

    10
    Question Authority stands out because it turned a C-list level comic book hero into a mainstream superhero worthy of movies, books, and his own spinoff.



    Jeffery Combs owned this episode and defines the DC Animated Universe as much as Kevin Conroy and Phil Lamar does. This episodes marks the begining of the season finale and it does it well, and the open ending was the toping on the cake. Just wonderful through and through.moreless
  • I have a long Review.

    10
    The Question has undoubtedly been one of the great successes of Justice League Unlimited. He is certainly an odd character: a cynical, blank-faced, fedora, and trench coat-wearing paranoid Ayn Randian conspiracy nut. He exists on the far fringes of the League and can easily be described as something of an anti-hero. His obsessiveness and paranoia are clearly flaws, but these flaws give way to a deep desire to serve the common good.



    He is certainly on of the most layered and compelling character in the series and that is nowhere more evident than in \"Question Authority\". The Question fits right in as the character that is trying to get to the bottom of the Cadmus conspiracy. When he gets to the bottom of it he discovers a secret that almost completely unhinges him. He comes to believe that Lex Luthor will instigate Armageddon after becoming president by killing the Flash and then being killed by an angry Superman. He decides to avert this disaster by killing Luthor before Superman can. This selfless, but perhaps lunatic, act fails when Luthor pummels the Question and reveals that there is more to Cadmus and the conspiracy than even the Question could unravel. The Question is captured and tortured only to be rescued by Huntress and Superman.



    Superman is in an odd position in this episode. He is the authority that the Question doubts. Why does he doubt him? Well there is certainly the predestination aspect. But there may be a bit more going on here. Perhaps the Question does not doubt Superman\'s ability to do the right thing. Perhaps he doubts Superman\'s being the person to do the right thing. After all, the Question thinks that the right thing to do is to kill Lex Luthor. Its just that a \"well known crack-pot\" has to do it. Who knows?



    Most of the action revolves around the Question, Huntress, Superman, and Cadmus. A minor subplot revolves around another Charlton Comics character Captain Atom. Captain Atom is forced to choose between the Air Force and the Justice League. The subplot works and makes for a great conclusion to the episode. It also demonstrates how the writers are really using characters intelligently. The minds behind Project Cadmus are brilliant even if they are insidious.



    This is no stand alone episode. It makes numerous references to other episodes of the show. From the relationship between the Question and Huntress started in \"Double Date\" to the dark secret of Superman featured in \"A Better World\". There is a also a nice scene between Superman and Professor Hamilton that references several events from earlier episodes and from the Superman animated series.



    The animation is of course excellent and the voice work is wonderful. Among the voice cast, Jeffrey Combs and Clancy Brown steal the show. Its also nice to hear Dana Delany as Lois once again.



    Overall: 10/10

    Standout Scenes: The Question confronts Superman and shortly thereafter Luthormoreless
Amy Acker

Amy Acker

The Huntress

Guest Star

J.K. Simmons

J.K. Simmons

General Eiling

Guest Star

Jeffrey Combs

Jeffrey Combs

The Question

Recurring Role

Chris Cox

Chris Cox

Captain Atom

Recurring Role

Clancy Brown

Clancy Brown

Lex Luthor

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (3)

    • When the Huntress comes to the Question's apartment to check up on him, a lock suddenly appears on the door as she's opening it.

    • As was seen in "Fearful Symmetry," the Question wears a mask. Why did his captors let him keep wearing it? At the very least they could have cut open a mouth hole, even if it was chemically bonded to his skin. There's no indication they made any attempt to remove it, even though his arms are cut and bleeding.

    • How did Cadmus and/or Lex Luthor get hold of the tape of the alternate Lex Luthor and Superman? The Justice League itself might have been able to get it, but why would they have given it to the government, even to get Lex's pardon (in "A Better World (2)")?

  • QUOTES (10)

    • Captain Atom: Is it me or are the world conquerors getting mouthier?
      Superman: He's from Apokolips – they're all pretty chatty.

    • Huntress: I'm not even in the Justice League any more. You're lucky to have me along.
      The Question: Hardly. You're drawn to my eccentric charm.

    • The Question: There's three terabytes of data here. I'll be busy for days. (Huntress grabs the disk from him) Ohh. Dinner and a movie?
      Huntress: It's a start.

    • The Question: I want you to understand something, Luthor. Although my distaste for you as a human being is brobdingnagian, what I'm about to do isn't personal.
      Luthor: What are you babbling about?
      The Question: Everything that exists has a specific nature. Each entity exists as something in particular and has characteristics that are part of what it is. A is A, and no matter what reality he calls home, Luthor is Luthor.

    • Luthor: President. Do you know how much power I'd have to give up to be President?

    • Luthor: That's right, conspiracy buff. I spent $75 million on a fake presidential campaign, all just to tick Superman off.

    • The Question: (babbling) Topically applied fluoride doesn't prevent tooth decay. It does render teeth detectable by spy satellite.
      Dr. Moon: Tell me what you know.
      The Question: The tips at the end of shoelaces are called "aglets." Their true purpose is sinister.
      Dr. Moon: Tell me what you know.
      The Question: There was a magic bullet. It was forged by Illuminati mystics to prevent us from learning the truth!

    • Huntress: Question's been missing for almost a week. Just before he disappeared, he was behaving oddly. I mean, oddly for him.

    • Superman: What are you talking about? Humanity doesn't need protection from us.
      Professor Hamilton: I used to believe that. I thought you were a guardian angel come to answer our prayers. But Lucifer was an angel too, wasn't he?

    • Question: (babbling) Secret messages... encoded in amino acid chains in carb-free breakfast bars.

  • NOTES (10)

  • ALLUSIONS (5)

    • The Question: Everything that exists has a specific nature. Each entity exists as something in particular and has characteristics that are part of what it is. A is A, and no matter what reality he calls home, Luthor is Luthor.
      The Question's line of reasoning is an exact recitation of the Law of Identity - a philosophical concept widely attributed to Aristotle, and one of the founding principles of objectivism. This is also a reference to the objectivist viewpoint of the original Steve Ditko Question. "A is A," in particular, can be attributed to objectivism stalwart Ayn Rand.

    • The Question: I want you to understand something, Luthor. Although my distaste for you as a human being is Brobdingnagian, what I'm about to do isn't personal.
      Jonathan Swift originated the word in his book, Gulliver's Travels, in which Lemuel Gulliver meets the huge inhabitants of Brobdingnag, has bequeathed us this awkward adjective.

    • The Question: There was a magic bullet. It was forged by Illuminati mystics to prevent us from learning the truth!
      Illuminati refers the the Illuminated Ones, a secret society, which is the subject of many, many conspiracy theories.

    • Dr. Hamilton: Lucifer was an angel, too, wasn't he?
      Lucifer, generally speaking, in the Christian tradition was cast out of heaven along with a third of the host of angels when he led a revolt against God. Known as the morning star, he was the first and most loved among the angels, but after his betrayal he ruled in hell as the devil.

    • The Question: There was a magic bullet. It was forged by Illuminati mystics to prevent us from learning the truth!
      The "magic bullet" the Question mentions refers to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. While Oswald was convicted as the assassin, the zigzag route the bullet traveled led conspiracists to believe that there were was more then one assassin, with Oswald used as a scapegoat in a government coverup. The bullet has since then been christened as the "Magic Bullet."

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