Justice League Unlimited

Season 3 Episode 8

The Return

Aired Saturday 10:30 PM Sep 18, 2004 on Cartoon Network

Episode Fan Reviews (8)

Write A Review
out of 10
189 votes
  • The Return...of quality episodes?

    The Return gives us another sequel to not one but several previous episodes from earlier scenes. The most obvious is "Tabula Rasa" and the return of "Professor Ivo's Android" - not as catchy a name as Amazo, but then the voice actors might not be able to keep a "straight face" trying to say that name. We'll call him that heer though for convenience.

    But we also have references to "The Terror Beyond" and the return of Dr. Fate, who is just as enigmatic and clearly not quite in line with the rest of the League agenda-wise. Which is good - so far we've seen Leaguers who just show up and follow orders and as much as we know, they're all happy campers. The Question (in "Fearful Symmetry") is another chink in the armor - clearly you've got folks like Green Arrow wondering why he hides out in his quarters on the Watchtower. Dr. Fate doesnt' even do that - he teleports in and out as much as he likes.

    We have the return of Lex Luthor, who is clearly still kinda/sorta "reformed" after the events of "A Better World." Clearly the League has its doubts but it's hard for the audience to tell - is he putting on a front that he drops for the League who know him better, does he not try because he doesn't expect anything better from them, or is he just getting snarky because he's under pressure what with the whole "cosmic being trying to kill him" issue and all? It's as always a credit to Clancy Brown that he shades Lex Luthor in so many layers - in fact, the character is more subtle in Justice League then he ever was in Superman.

    And finally, we get the much-demanded return of Hawkgirl, last seen in "Starcrossed." Given the hints of mysticism tied in to Thanagar mentioned in "The Terror Beyond," it would make sense for her to go to Dr. Fate for assistance - where else is an alien with a unconcealable pair of wings going to hang out but in an other-dimensional mystic tower? If the team of Solomon Grundy, Aquaman, and Dr. Fate is weird, then now we have Hawkgirl, Amazo, and Dr. Fate. Umm, okay...

    With all the refer-backs, how does the episode itself stand up? Considering it's pieced together from plot threads from multiple previous episodes it stands up damn well. We get the Green Lantern Corps and Oa and finally get the answer to "Whatever Happened to Kyle Rayner?", Earth's Green Lantern from the Superman animated series. Amazo trashes Oa and heads for Earth, and the League mobilizes its forces. We get a little closer look at a few heroes then just brief shots: Starman, Dr. Light, S.T.R.I.P.E., Rocket Red, and Fire cut loose. They don't do much, but at least they don't stand in the background looking useless.

    We also get more of the Red Tornado. Unfortunately, it's not made very clear that he's an android and some folks found the shot of him being sliced in half and exploding rather startling. Presumably he'll be rebuilt (with or without explanation?) but his "death" here does come across as a misstep on the producers/writers' part. Amazo doesn't think much of other androids and consider them "alive"?

    Steel gets a few lines although not much of a personality, and Supergirl gets a few minutes to shine. With the regulars fading into the backgrouund except for John Stewart, that gives us The Atom - scientist, superhero, and all-around good guy.

    John C. McGinley is amazing in this part given that he has so relatively little to do. He's cocky, confident, competent, caring, and a bunch of other C words. McGinley and Clancy Brown put together a pretty good rapport and there's a lot of little things tossed in here that hint at the character - his ability to enter subatomic universes, his scientific expertise, the fact the power comes from his costume as indicated by the electrical sparks when Amazo hits him. Like the Question, he's another character that piques the audience's interest and one we'd like to see more of. he's already scheduled for another appearance this season, but his "early appearance" here is a bit of a surprise and a nice prelude to him going solo down the road.

    Finally we have Robert Picardo, often underrated until he showed up on Voyager, doing more voice work for Amazo himself. Amazo here doesn't really have a lot to do other then look big and menacing - instead of duplicating powers he simply is is power, which deprives the character of some subtlety. But his quest for purpose, and Lex Luthor's answer to his questions, is nnother good moment.

    So overall "The Return" ends up probably the best episode of the season to date in terms of sheer superheroing and continuation of themes. Fearful Symmetry does much the same thing, but it's a little more focused on character and less on the "big issues," but it also runs with some dangling plot threads from other episodes and spins them out into future stories. overall, an excellent conclusion to the "summer season" of the series.
  • Amazo returns, and he wants revenge

    from the previous seasons, we first see Amazo as this relentless android created by Luthor. in this episode, he seems to be the same as before, but in the end, we realize he just wants to be enlightened. this was shown by the disapperance of the planet of the Guardians. it turned out that he just teleported them to another dimension.
    overall, this is a very exciting episode. we get to see how almost each of the JLU members fight. this episode also marks the first appearance of hawk girl as shayira, who has seeked refuge in dr. fate's mansion to find meaning in her life.
  • this is a great episode.

    the episode is about the return of amazo and he can't be stoped this time and this time he wants luthor dead, this episode was very great, I wouldn't miss it,it had a great plot and story to the episode, it's a very cool and exciting, it's a good episode.
  • The Amazo android returns to Earth to seek revenge on Lex Luthor, and not even the League can stop him.

    Brilliant. Maybe the finest episode of any animated American action/adventure series. The action scenes are truly thrilling, which is suprisingly rare in animated series. The exceptional direction builds a real sense of tension and desperation into the heroes\' plight. Dozens (hundreds) of characters are tossed into the mix, making the show a delight for hardcore DC comic fans, but that is just the icing on the cake. However, it is the final confrontation between Luthor and the android that just twists the episode into a higher level, adding richness and depth to what could have been a simple (albiet highly successful) action outing. Fans of Star Trek and similar series can probably see the ending coming a mile away, but it is rare to see it so well handled, especially in this format.
  • Can the Justice League prevent the all-powerful android Amazo from seeking revenge on the recently reformed Lex Luthor?

    Can the Justice League prevent the all-powerful android Amazo from seeking revenge on the recently reformed Lex Luthor? In every season, there are a one or two episodes that completely knocks it out of the park. “The Return” is truly astounding. It’s one of the best written episodes in the entire series. The writers went all out on this episode. Amazo is one of the most interesting adversaries in “Justice League”. After easily defeating the Green Lantern Corps, it is obvious that Amazo has grown more powerful. There is plenty of action. About two dozen heroes join forces to stop the android. Despite their great effort, the Justice League proves unsuccessful. In the end, it’s Lex Luthor who manages to stop Amazo. This is a perfect example of mind over muscle. Lex’s speech was quite overwhelming and insightful. Fans of Green Lantern will be pleased by the return of Kyle Rayner and other members of Corps. The Atom was nicely presented and offers some good bits of humor. The ending was great with a surprise appearance of Hawkgirl.
  • An end of the world scenario, where the many heroes of the JLU are pushed to the limit! How will they survive this one? It's all in a philosophical discussion about the meaning of life.

    This is one of the best JLU episodes, where the whole team gets to be utilized and shine. Though some people may not know from previous episodes who the Amazo robot is that comes back from space to destroy Luthor, his threat and power level are quickly shown.

    When every hero throws themselves at this robot to stop it, I'm awed. When Luthor comes up with clever devices and safehouses to hide from this threat, the inner spy child within me loves each moment. The plot is followed through pretty realistically on how the JLU would attempt to handle this kind of threat, with three lines of defense, heroic sacrificial moments, life and death decisions, and no holds barred action.

    Finally, the ending, where Luthor and the robot commence in a dialogue about the "meaning of life"! DeMatteis outdoes himself here with the writing, as I totally agree with Luthor that there is no meaning of life, and that we have to create our own meaning ourselves. Damn! I love it! Super-hero action, exciting adventure, dramatic suspense, and no philosophical inquiry. This show has everything, and this episode is a classic example of the best of the Justice League Unlimited.

  • Lex and Amazo grow a little more

    Well, this is definitely better than some of the other stuff they have served us this season. I think this is the first episode that there isn't a Star Trek Eureka moment since the season started. For those not aware, a ST Eureka moment is when the crew suddenly comes up with an amazing solution to fix the problem at the last minute. Usually, this moment comes exactly 50 minutes into the program.

    With the rest of this season there has been a Eureka moment at exactly the 25 minute mark (this is equivalent to the 50 minutes mark due to the length of the show) in these shows. One thing that was better about Justice League is that they didn't have to rush the ending. But then it sometimes dragged. Perhaps the best length would be a 45 minute JL show (including commercials).

    Sorry for the rant. Now onto the show.

    This episode is amazing, not because of Amazo, but because it is the start of the turning point to where Lex goes on to something bigger and less corrupt. He faces his biggest fear, other than death, and lives to tell about it. He manages to talk sense to a robot that has outgrown its programming, when the last time we saw the robot Amazo said he would kill Luther the next time.

    Well, okay, maybe that's actually a little boring. But Amazo does manage to destroy a whole fleet of Javelins (no wonder the Army’s worried about the JL) and many heroes without a scratch. I'm not sure how he manages to blast through the first set of defense so quickly, but he does.

    But it does beg the question, why not use J'onn's phase ability to just phase through the whole crew and travel right to Lex. Drama. That's all I can figure … Drama.

    Overall, this episode has tons of flaws. But it was entertaining.
  • No episode this season can match the greatness of this.

    This episode was purely one big throw down. Amazo, our favorite android from season 2, has returned, and is seaking answers from Lex Luthor. Thinking he comes back to kill Luthor, the Justice League decide to try and stop him.

    This episode, for the most part, focused on the Atom. Seeing him and Luthor going word for word was great. Atom just seems to be unintentually funny. One of the best scenes is when Atom shrinks himself and Luthor in an attempt to escape Amazo, only to appear in the hands of Amazo. The speech Luthor gives to him at the end is one of the things that make this episode a classic.

    The best part of this episode is they finally made good use of the other Justice League members. Steel, Supergirl, and Green Lantern also get some good screen time. And to top it off, we get to see the return of the Lantern Corp. , Flash was back in action (only to get blasted in his few seconds on screen), Dr. Fate returns, Shayera appears at the end of the episode, and we finally get to see Kyle Rayner! Along with that, the new members finally got some action. Even though Amazo threw them around like rag dolls it was great to see them in action. All in all, this is the best way to spend 22 minutes.