Batman, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern chase a time-travelling thief into the past and team up with some local "superheroes" of the era to deal with an outlaw who has used the thief's futuristic technology to take over an Old West town.
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Green Lantern/John Stewart
Sheriff Ohiyesa Smith
Bruce Wayne is once again shown to have blue eyes, as he did in The New Batman Adventures. In the previous Justice League episode Maid of Honor, his eyes were dark, as they had been in Batman: The Animated Series.
When the three League members catch Dave Clinton stealing Batman's belt, Clinton drops it on the floor and leaves. However, at the end of the episode, he still has it.
In the scene where Batman is sitting at the table with GL, and WW is behind him, the alarm goes off. The camera quickly zooms into a view of Batman's face and Wonder Woman behind him. If you look at Batman's right "ear" he moves his head to the left, and leaves part of the ear hovering in mid air.
When the three League members catch David Clinton stealing Batman's spare utility belt, he drops it on the ground beside him and escapes. When the League members chase after him, the belt is nowhere to be seen.
When Green Lantern plows through the gate at the ranch, there's a cord hanging from the skull hanging above it. When the angle changes to have the gate in the background, the cord is no longer there.
When GL is "beaming" the futuristic debris away, the bubble itself is green but the ray going from his ring to the bubble is miscolored yellow.
When Sheriff Smith confronts Manning, he tosses away his guns. Then he fights him, knocks him out, bends over to take the chrono-belt, and the guns are instantaneously back in his holsters.
When Bat Lash and Manning square off against each other, you can see the three Leaguers behind them toward the saloon doors, Wonder Woman sitting on the left, Batman with his back square to the window behind him, and the piano off to their right, behind GL. Then they cut to a close up of the Leaguers and the piano is gone, and Wonder Woman and Batman are kind of sitting slant-wise toward the window. Then they cut away and back and in the next shot the piano is behind GL again. Then after Bat Lash is taken out Wonder Woman has her back almost directly to the window where Batman was about 20 seconds earlier. Then Wonder Woman leaves and Batman's back is finally directly against the window.
In the poker game, Manning spreads his cards - the four kings have the K indices on the upper-left/lower-right corners (correctly), but the A indice of the Ace is on the upper-right/lower-left. All five of Bat's cards (which include 4 aces) have the indices correctly on the upper-left/lower-right corners.
When the intruder alert goes off, only three Leaguers respond, even though at least six other members were in the immediate vicinity, including another founding member. We've also seen that the satellite has its own security, which would presumably respond to an alert.
While the thug on the velociraptor is shooting at Batman, who is using the body of a robot as cover, his gun fires as a revolver, however in the next shot it's suddenly shooting like an SMG.
Smith: Be careful - there are some of the strangest things down at that ranch.
Green Lantern: Don't worry, we've got a lot of experi... (pterodactyl screeches overhead) I'm sorry, what were you saying?
Bat Lash: Shoot, I wanted one of those fancy ray guns.
Jonah Hex: Ain't dependable - they jam.
Batman: Six guns, six of us. Nobody miss.
Jonah Hex: Fancy gun belts you've got there. I'm thinking you folks are time travellers.
Batman: Where would you get a crazy idea like that?
Jonah Hex: Experience. I've had an interesting life.
Green Lantern: What's the plan?
Jonah Hex: Plan? We put him in the ground.
Wonder Woman: You're with us. (rips off another cell door)
Bat Lash: That's a healthy gal.
Green Lantern: I'll get the door. (Wonder Woman rips it off) Or that.
Bat Lash: Do you mind? I'm trying to plan an escape over here!
Clinton: How's it going so far?
Bat Lash: I'm working on it...
Wonder Woman: We have to help that man.
Batman: That's not what we're here for. Someone's tampering with history - the stakes are much higher than the life of one card shark.
Wonder Woman: Then it's settled - we'll break him out after sundown.
(Green Lantern snickers)
Manning: Hang'em at dawn.
Bat Lash: Don't I get a trial?
Manning: Sure. You're guilty. My town, my rules.
Green Lantern: Has the shower been invented yet? Someone should tell this guy.
Wonder Woman: These shoes are killing me.
Batman: You fight crime in high heels.
Wonder Woman: High heels that fit.
Wonder Woman: Those are the biggest, slowest bullets I've ever seen.
Robber: You circus folk?
Wonder Woman: Not exactly.
Green Lantern: Anyway, why are we always talking about my love life? What's going on between you and Diana?
Batman: Nothing. She's a respected colleague.
Green Lantern: Uh-huh...
Batman: I don't have time to pursue a relationship. My work is too important to allow any distractions. Diana is a remarkable woman, she's a valued friend. She's... standing right behind me, isn't she?
Wonder Woman: Don't let that stop you--keep digging.
David: I'm careful to only take things that wouldn't be missed.
Enid: Like your spine?
The final shootout scene was storyboarded by Kevin Altieri, a series director on the original Batman: The Animated Series. He left Bruce Timm's production team shortly before Superman: The Animated Series began production.
The future Batman (Terry McGinnis), Static, War Hawk, and the Jokerz appear very briefly at the end of this episode - see part 2 for more information. Green Lantern recognizes Static from their encounters in the Static Shock series starting with "A League of Their Own (1)" and continuing up through "Fallen Hero" (see also Analysis for part 2).
While Batman, Wonder Woman and GL are riding with the Old West heroes, the original Justice League theme can be heard (with a Western motif) and the team rides forward in silhouette like in the original opening credits.
Other heroes briefly seen in the cafeteria: Gypsy, Stars/Stargirl, Booster Gold, Skeets, Supergirl, Steel (Hank Heywood, not John Henry Irons), Elongated Man, and Shayera/Hawkgirl. Shayera is now wearing either a black-and-white civilian outfit or what may be a new costume (although it lacks headgear).
The full title of this episode is "The Once and Future Thing." After that appears on-screen, there is a new screen-caption that says Part One: "Weird Western Tales". This is the first time a multi-part story has had sub-titles, much less sub-titles given in this manner.
Peter Onorati (briefly) reprises his role as War Hawk from the Batman Beyond episodes starting with "The Call (1)" (even though he has only one word of dialogue here). Adam Baldwin assumes the role of Jonah Hex - previously Bill McKinney played Hex in Batman: The Animated Series.
Previews at the end of this episode are from the next episode, part 2.
The opening clips of this episode are a montage of various episodes - the same ones seen in "Wake the Dead". This appears to be the new "regular" opening credits.
Weird Western Tales has been the titles of several different runs of a particular DC comic. Many of the stories have not been so much supernatural as just...strange and weird. Or not even that - more as if the idea of gambler Bat Lash was "weird." Several DC Western heroes with no weird/supernatural powers (including Bat Lash) had series in the book.
The Pterodactyl sailing across the Western landscape is a visual reference to the classic 1969 B movie The Valley of Gwangi, the most famous film to feature cowboys taking on dinosaurs.
Play on the title of the novel, The Once and Future King by E.H. White. It tells the story of King Arthur, from his childhood to his reign to his death.
The noise the robot pterodactyl makes seems to be a spot-on use of the audio from the old Jonny Quest series, specifically the episode "Turu the Terrible."
The Western Team: Line of riders
The line of heroes riding along, as well as the rewriting of the original Justice League theme as a Western, along the lines of Elmer Bernstein, are certainly a homage to the movie and TV series The Magnificent Seven.
Bat Lash: My pappy always said . . .
The Maverick brothers on the series Maverick always used to claim that their pappy told them something or another.
David Clinton: Things to steal
Clinton's checklist of things to steal (excerpt from his personal digital assistant): M's Dress, Napoleon's Vest, Washington's teeth, Batman's Utility Belt. Given the fact he shares a last name with a U.S. President, the thief might be targeting the famed blue dress of Monica Lewinsky.
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