Justice League Unlimited

Season 3 Episode 7

The Greatest Story Never Told

Aired Saturday 10:30 PM Sep 11, 2004 on Cartoon Network
out of 10
User Rating
185 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

While the sorcerer Mordru invades Metropolis and the League must attack en masse to stop him, gloryhound and erstwhile superhero Booster Gold ends up "crowd control" and does some world-saving of his own.

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  • Do! Something! Useful!

    The words of this review rather summon up the episode. We sit around for most of the episode waiting for Booster Gold to do something...well, useful. It doesn't seem like he really has to be the one who puts the nullifier-collar on - the female scientist seems just about as capable, and in the end Booster succeeds not so much through extraordinary bravery or superpowers then just persevering and trying to prove himself a hero.

    Instead we get some standard gags. No disaster would be complete without a pregnant woman and the hapless hero having to deal with her. There's also a couple of Wile E. Coyote-style "Drop things on Booster and get a laugh."

    But let's take a look at the episode from the beginning. We do get a neat recap of Booster's origin (assuming it's correct - in the comics he was a Pete Rose-type gambler/athlete). Which is more then some of the newer heroes in this year's JLU to date have got. Then we find out...well, he's a jerk. Sort of. It's never entirely clear why he gets treated so harshly. He doesn't seem any more money-obsessed then the Flash (in "Eclipsed"), he's no more of a lady's man, and at least he shows up to fight the bad guy when the League signals him. Remember when Hawk & Dove couldn't be bothered to show up for a mission because they were in a bar fight?

    Then a major threat shows up to destroy Metropolis and/or conquer the world...or something. The new bad-guy, Mordru, is pretty much of an enigma although that's pretty much the point of the episode since the focus is on Booster Gold. Booster gets (reluctantly) sent to help and ends up on crowd control with (the greatest insult of all) the Elongated Man. Even EM gets his moment and Booster is soon rescuing "aunts" and finds there's a real disaster in the works.

    From there it's pretty much comedy hijinks as BG deals with the crisis in a storyline basically borrowed heavily from Buffy the Vampire Slayer's "The Zeppo." Booster gets the girl, saves the day, and gets nothing but grief for his efforts but can rest assured that he has proven something to himself.

    Is the episode worthy of a half-hour? Pretty much - the focus is really on one character, although there are a lot of peripheral heroes in this one and even the Elongated Man gets a bit of personality here. It's another episode that doesn't need to be an hour, and probably wouldn't have fit well in the previous two seasons. While a lot of those episodes ended up as "Let's punch the bad guy(s). Then lets punch them again. Then lets go somewhere else and fight them again and win.", here the fight is peripheral. Which is kind of the point, although some of the fans of the show either don't get it or don't care that their expectations are being undermined.

    Overall I'm not sure we'd want to see Booster Gold "return," but we do get a "hero" here who has to prove himself and has a distinctive outgoing personality. Even if he's somewhat of a warmed-up Flash (who is absent this season to date, apparently due to Michael Rosenbaum's commitments elsewhere). As such, the episode isn't a total waste and if you're easily amused or like to see brief shots of a lot of superheroes doing something, you you should find something here to amuse you.moreless
  • booster gold saves the world, and nobody knows he did!

    this is one of my favorite episodes of JLU. i like the love story angle. Booster Gold is such a loser, but in the end, he wins a woman, and that's what makes this episode special. it is a funny episode, and shows that there could be some great heroes in the DC unvierse who are really very good but doesn't get much exposure due to the fact that they are not put in the limelight. the villain that they faced was also very strong. i wonder why they didn't let Booster help. they could have needed an extra hand.moreless
  • this is a good episode.

    this episode being about booster gold while mordru a socerer is attacking the city booster gold is stoping crowds of people from running into danger as it's the lowest possible heroic thing a hero could do, he realizes that scientists have a much bigger problem that a scientist was experimenting with small scaled black holes the black hole sticks to his body and every thing he comes in contact with get sucked up, this has a great plot, great episode.moreless
  • Booster Gold: the poor man's Green Lantern. So poor, they gave him a robot as a sidekick.

    The plotline in a nutshell: Booster Gold is a glory-seeking heel who sees nothing wrong with asking Martian Manhunter "You're right. It's not all about the fame. What'd you pull down last year? After taxes?" When the world is in danger, such serious danger that said Manhunter fears for the survival of mankind, Booster is two steps away from pumping his arm in the air like Tiger Woods after an eagle on a Par 3 (he already gave in to the urge to shout, "YESSS!!!").

    Booster's hoping to save the day like a founding member and claim the glory/cash/chicks that apparently come standard with every superhero. Problem is, he can't do much world-saving when he gets stuck on crowd control. With a would-be vase-wannabe. As he goes on his rounds, fate persistently teases him with opportunities for heroism that are inevitably attributed to...Green Lantern. Bummer.

    Just when Booster seemingly is doomed to a nondescript life of bench-warming, he somehow manages to get called upon (by a very attractive female physicist, no less--who does he think he is, James Bond?) to do his superhero duty and save the day. Alls he has to do is stick a little collar on the doc's colleague, and the day...is saved! Just one problem...Mr. Colleague Fella's got a black hole in his chest that's sucking in everything in his path. Long story short, Booster Gold EVENTUALLY manages to save the day, rescue his personal MST3K commentator Skeet, and get the girl. He's so thrilled, even Batman giving him the old Dark-Knight-scowl can't even pull him down. Kudos to him.

    I love this episode because it's such a refreshing adjustment from the usual action that characterizes most Justice League episodes. Make no mistake, I LOVE anything superhero, especially action, but this is one of those episodes that I can watch repeatedly and not feel at all tired or jaded.

    Booster's repartee with Skeet is so perfectly written and ideally timed, as is all of the dialogue in the episode in general, that it feels like a sitcom that's capable of inducing laughter even without a laugh track. This is one of those episodes that you can just sit back and relax with, and I may even go so far as to say that it's one of the highlights of the season.moreless
  • A refreshing departure from the routine episodes of the series. We get to spend a funny, soul-crushing, yet heroic day in the life of Booster Gold!

    This episode was a refreshing departure from the cliched routine of the whole series. I was surprised and laughing out loud when I saw this well-written and acted episode. It was completely out of character with the whole epic tone of the series so far, and it WORKED!!

    It was a very personal story, centering around one hero, who's facing his own personal issues while tackling a problem which may not be the huge battle that everyone else is fighting, but means just as much if not more to him. WOW! WHAT A GREAT EPISODE!

    This episode was funny, with an outside-the-box plot that worked, tons of character development, and a strong focus on a single hero. This is just what the JLU series needs from time to time. Hopefully we can see more episodes like these in the future!

    Two Thumbs way up!

Susan Eisenberg

Susan Eisenberg

Wonder Woman/Diana

Phil LaMarr

Phil LaMarr

Green Lantern/John Stewart

Carl Lumbly

Carl Lumbly

Martian Manhunter/J'onn J'onzz

Kevin Conroy

Kevin Conroy

Batman/Bruce Wayne

Billy West

Billy West


Guest Star

Lori Loughlin

Lori Loughlin

Dr. Tracy Simmons

Guest Star

Jeremy Piven

Jeremy Piven

Elongated Man

Guest Star

Chris Cox

Chris Cox

Captain Atom

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • When Booster arrives at the subway and watches the various items getting sucked down below, the sign above the stairwell reads "Metro." When Dr. Simmons get's caught in the flow and Booster prevents her from entering the black hole, the sign changes to read "Down Town" with the addition of an arrow.

    • In the comics Booster Gold has a golden force field. Here he doesn't, but presumably his suit has armor that protects him. Fair enough...but then he flies through an entire falling building carrying Dr. Simmons - what protects her?

    • Why does J'onn call off the names of the assembled heroes one at a time to tell them to go to the teleporter, in the middle of a crisis where every second counts? He calls off the name of everyone there. Why doesn't he just say, "Everyone, go to the teleporter" - they're all going to the same place. It's almost like they wanted an excuse to put a name to all those previously unidentified heroes...

  • QUOTES (18)

    • Booster Gold: She's beautiful. And in distress. My favorite kind of damsel. Maybe today wasn't such a waste after all.

    • Wonder Woman: We need you.
      Booster Gold: It's about time!
      Wonder Woman: Not you. Him!
      Elongated Man: Squeaky wheel!
      Skeets: Maybe they needed a vase.

    • Skeets: I'm here to help, sir.
      Booster Gold: Am I glad to see you. I need any data you have on childbirth. Now.
      Skeets: Scanning. According to my files, first we boil water, then tear up several clean sheets--preferably ones we no longer wish to use for bedding.

    • J'onn: I fail to understand your obsession with fame.
      Booster Gold: Not fame. Megafame! Much more than like...your level of fame. No offense...but you've got a hard-to-pronounce name, it doesn't stick in the mind. Now 'Booster Gold' - don't you just love saying it?
      J'onn: That is the attitude that keeps you on the sidelines.

    • Booster Gold: It doesn't matter what we do here. The battle is over there. We're not helping.
      Skeets: This is untrue. "They also serve who only stand and wait." John Milton.
      Booster Gold: Oh yeah? I got one for you. "This. Stinks." Booster Gold.

    • Dr. Simmons: That was pretty... super-heroic of you.
      Booster Gold: Well, all in a Judgment Day's work.

    • Booster Gold: They were right. Some superhero I turned out to be. If anyone knew the truth. If she knew the truth.
      (long pause)
      Skeets: I've got nothing.

    • Booster Gold: How are you feeling? How many fingers am I holding up?
      Imminently Pregnant Woman: Do! Something! Useful!

    • Booster Gold: (about the pregnant woman) Maybe you should handle this ?
      Dr. Simmons: Why me?
      Booster Gold: You're a doctor.
      Dr. Simmons: I'm a physicist.
      Booster Gold: Yeah...?

    • Booster Gold: I thought they didn't have flying cars in this time period...

    • Young Boy: Thank you, Green Lantern.
      Booster Gold: I'm not Green Lantern! I'm Booster Gold! If I were Green Lantern, my costume would be green, now wouldn't it?!? I have officially hit rock bottom.

    • Elongated Man: "We don't need two stretchy guys." This is so not fair. I mean, I realize Plastic Guy is in the League too, I'm not dissing the guy's skills. But I've got it all over that guy. One time I disguised myself as a vase. For three days.
      Booster Gold: No you didn't.
      Elongated Man: Okay, maybe not. Who'd want to, anyway? But I am a detective, which means I'm like Plastic Man and Batman rolled into one.
      Booster Gold: Is there any chance you could stop complaining for five minutes?

    • Booster Gold: I was thinking maybe I'd go out on point.
      Batman: Crowd control.
      Booster Gold: Crowd control. Who says you don't have a sense of humor?
      Batman: Crowd. Control.
      Booster Gold: Now wait just a... (Batman glares) Got it.

    • Booster Gold: This is it, Skeets, my big chance. If I can take down this "Mumu"...
      Skeets: "Mordru."

    • Booster Gold: Who is that?
      J'onn: The Dark Lord, Mordru.
      Booster Gold: You okay? You sound nervous or something.

    • Booster Gold: You're right, it's not just about fame. What did you pull down last year, before taxes?

    • Young Boy: Can I have your autograph?
      Booster Gold: Sure you can!
      Young Boy: I thought you were Green Lantern.
      Skeets: I would like your autograph, sir.
      Booster Gold: Shut up, Skeets.

    • Skeets: Booster Gold - Protecting his past to ensure your future!

  • NOTES (7)

    • This episode along with "For The Man Who Has Everything" and "The Return" was released on DVD as Justice League Unlimited: Joining Forces.

    • This episode was meant for Firestorm (Ronnie Raymond), who was killed off in the comics before this episode and season aired. His replacement, Jason Rusch, had yet to appear in the comics. So Booster Gold was chosen to replace him.

    • Character bios: Booster Gold, Mordru, Elongated Man

    • For some reason during the show's original airing, the end-credits were shrunk to a half-screen and clips from preceding episodes were shown in the top half.

    • Besides "regulars" J'onn, Batman, Green Lantern, Superman, and Wonder Woman, other Leaguers present include Shining Knight (and his steed, Winged Victory), Dr. Light 2, Fire, Ice, Vigilante, the Thunderbolt, Hawk & Dove, Aztek, Elongated Man, Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E., Vibe, Supergirl, Captain Atom, Atom-Smasher, Blue Devil, Rocket Red, Starman, Crimson Avenger, Wildcat, Huntress, Dr. Mid-Nite, and the Ray.

    • Chris Cox (briefly) takes on the role of Captain Atom, played by George Eads in "Initiation".

    • Plastic Man gets a mention, although he hasn't been seen before and isn't seen here either. As in the comics, here he and Elongated Man have a "We don't need two stretchy guys in the League - which is more useful?" rivalry going on. The bit about Elongated Man saying, "Who'd want to?" (disguise themselves as a vase) is another in-joke jibe, since it seems to be the reason ("He's more versatile!") that Plastic Man is a regular JLA member in the comics and Elongated Man is a backbencher.

  • ALLUSIONS (11)

    • Skeets: This is untrue. "They also serve who only stand and wait." John Milton.

      This episode made use of the literary work by English poet, John Milton (1608-74). The quote used by Skeets is an excerpt from a piece on Milton's own blindness - a condition he fought throughout his life.

    • Composite Superman/Batman
      The brief shot of Superman and Batman merged together into a half-and-half form (with Wonder Woman in there somewhere judging from the voice) is a visual allusion to the Composite Superman, who was tied to the Legion of Super-Heroes (the same group that Mordru fought in the comics). In the comics a petty 20th century criminal, Joe Meach, got hold of mysteriously-charged statues of the Legion of Super-Heroes that Superman had from his days as Superboy, and managed to gain the powers of every Legionnaire. For reasons not entirely clear he decided to take on the form of a half-Superman/half-Batman being (but with green skin?) and fought them both. An alien later took on the same form and tried to defeat the two heroes as well.

    • Minor Characters Taking the Stage
      The idea of focusing on minor characters and seeing what happens in the background while the main story unfolds isn't particularly new - the movie Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead focuses on the title characters while the main story of Hamlet goes on. Probably the best known example to s.f./fantasy viewers is the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "The Zeppo," where Xander has his own adventures and saves the day while the rest of the gang fight the Apocalypse.

    • Living Black Hole
      The idea of a person becoming a living black hole in the DC universe isn't an uncommon one - the best-known one is Chunk, physicist Chester P. Runk who managed to lodge a black hole in his own body (whoops). He has since become a friend of the Flash. Another more villainous gravity-wielder is Black Mass, a physicist named Geoffrey Thibodeux who created wrist bands that him increase his mass through gravity manipulation.

    • The Superbuddies
      In the comics in the Formerly Known as Justice League, comedy 6-issue mini-series, both Booster Gold and Elongated Man are members of the Superbuddies, a team of League members who end up together to make a buck and/or help the world. The comic by Keith Giffen basically plays things for laughs, and the wacky adventure here wouldn't be amiss in the mini-series. Captain Atom and Fire are also members of the team.

    • Skeets: Booster Gold - Protecting his past to ensure your future!
      This is reference to the famous Time Squad motto: "Enforcing the past to protect the future."

    • Defeated Robot: Appearance
      The defeated "Iron Giant" from the beginning of this episode bears a strong resemblance to the WB's Iron Giant movie.

    • Booster Gold: Energize!

      The often-used "go-ahead" phrase used in various Trek incarnations when someone wants to teleport. Like Dr. McCoy (and Green Arrow in "Initiation"), Booster doesn't like teleporting.

    • Skeets: My gosh – it was full of stars.
      Referring to the famous line of dialogue from the movie 2001 - A Space Odyssey.

    • Title
      The Greatest Story Ever Told was a 1965 movie about the life and death of Jesus. It was a big production like Ben-Hur, starred the Swedish Max Von Sydow as Jesus (where he had to deliver the lines phoenetically), and featured cameos by the likes of John Wayne, Sidney Poitier, and Jamie Farr.

    • Skeets: "Those also serve who only stand and wait." - John Milton.

      Skeets quoting Milton to Booster is also similar to a scene from the Disney science-fiction film The Black Hole, in which a group of astronauts and their chatty robot assistant confront an insane scientist against the backdrop of a black hole in space. The scene also involves an intelligent robot, in this case V.I.N.C.E.N.T., consoling an over-eager wannabe hero, crewman Charlie Pizer, over a less-than-exciting duty. Pizer is left to guard the protagonists' ship while V.I.N.C.E.N.T. and the rest of the crew investigate another ship. When Pizer grumbles about being left behind, V.I.N.C.E.N.T. misquotes Milton, saying "They also serve, those who stand and wait."