Justice League Unlimited

Season 3 Episode 9

Ultimatum

0
Aired Saturday 10:30 PM Dec 04, 2004 on Cartoon Network
8.6
out of 10
User Rating
170 votes
10

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
A new team of heroes, the Ultimen, help the Justice League defeat fire monsters that are attacking an oil rig. But the Ultimen soon discover that a dark secret lies at the heart of their origins and their sponsorship and turn against the League.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • A Challenging homage to old Superfriends...

    7.0
    This one was...interesting. For one thing, we get a good chunk of the "Old Guard" - the absence of Hawkgirl and Flash so far this year mean we've got a lot more focus on Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, either on their lonesome ("For the Man...") or with one teammate (Green Lantern in "Kid Stuff," Aquaman here). There wasn't really much emphasis on the "team" element or interaction here, although some subtle stuff seeps in.



    Both Batman and Aquaman seemed to have mellowed a bit - not surprising if they've decided they're going to be part of a team - two teams if you count Aquaman working with Dr. Fate's "subteam". Batman has only really been seen with the "old guard" original Leaguers - perhaps a subtle hint of who he prefers to work with? Aquaman here particularly shines - he defeats two of their opponents. He and Batman, as relative outsiders, seem to have a good working comraderie here, which seems natural.



    Superman seems a little "off" - as if he were irritated he were being upstaged by heroes even more like "boy scouts" then he is. Wonder Woman seems rather mellow this time around in marked contrast to "Hawk and Dove" - apparently the whole anvilicious "peace" lesson she learned there sunk in.



    But the main focus is on the Ultimen (perhaps a slight stab at Marvel's "Ultimates" line?). We get a pretty blatant stab at the PC-ish heroes that were introduced to the old Superfriends series: Apache Chief, Black Vulcan, and Samurai, as well as the androgynous Wonder Twins. They're all relative well-presented except for Juice who seems to be the obligatory "guy we couldn't do much with in 22 minutes" and only has the minimal dialogue necessary to avoid crediting (and paying more) an actor.



    All the other Ultimen get their minute or so and there are a few stabs at action-figure/superhero marketing. Maxwell Lord, their marketing guy, is somewhat of an enigma. His Australian accent comes and then permanently goes (??), and it's not clear whether he cares for the team, is manipulating them, or what. Professor Hamilton is continuing his cloning project that we last saw in "Fearful Symmetry" (wonder where he got the cell samples). And we get Amanda Waller, a fearsome face to those who know her from the comics. Unfortunately, she's shown as quite a bit more of a villain then in the comics.



    Giganta and Bizarro show up in a throwaway scene that really only serves to give Wonder Woman and Long Shadow a chance to talk afterward. Why is Long Shadow off on his own? Bizarro was last scene six years ago in Superman: The Animated Series> guarding his own world and appears here without explanation. Given his relatively minor appearance here, and the fact he would have probably got bored guarding a pet, he doesn't really need much explanation for why he's here, particularly since it's the basis for another Superfriends joke (he and Giganta were members of the Legion of Doom, which fought the Superfriends).



    Generally this was a "fun" episode that also let the writers move the whole "government conspiracy" story arc along. It looks like we'll get a bit more of that in next week's "Dark Heart." Again, it's not a story that needed more then a single episode to tell - padding it out to a two-parter would have been more of a waste then anything. As always, the writers manage to cram a lot of characterization and action into 22 minutes, and some of the first two seasons look awfully padded by comparison.



    Overall, a generally good episode - good for a laugh for old-timers like this reviewer, excellent characterization, and with enough flash to impress the younger types.moreless
  • this is a great episode.

    9.0
    with the episode being about the justice league fighting monsters and another team called the ultimatum kill all the monsters befor the justice league can and the ultimatum being goverment lab experiments one of the team members gets a new power so the goverment wants to get rid of the ultimatum and create another of the same team, but the ultimatum escape and try to kill the justice league, this is a great episode.moreless
  • The JLU must deal with a band of new-yet-stangely-familiar superheroes sponsored by Maxwell Lord.

    8.5
    Brilliantly fun homage to the JLU\\\'s cheesy Saturday Morning origins. Those who grew up on the Super Friends are in for a real treat with the number of subtle and not-so subtle callbacks worked into the new heroes, the villians, and the dialogue. Best of all, they do all this without breaking the format of the show, and in fact this proves to be an important stepping stone for the series arc.moreless
  • JLU pays homage to its roots.

    7.1
    I\'m a little torn on this episode. On the one hand, it was great to see JLU acknowledge where it came from and do an episode just for the viewers who grew up watching Super Friends. Anybody who enjoys these superhero shows likes to feel like they\'re part of some elite group. At the same time, it adds a grown-up dimension to the characters originally created just to provide ethnic diversity; they\'re now the creations of a society that wants to be protected from monsters and super-villains, but isn\'t sure it can trust the Justice League to do that. Every innocent bystander in every corner of the universe seemed to depend on the Super Friends and think they were a bunch of swell dudes, so this was a nice touch.



    On the other hand, the (re)creation of characters meant time was being taken away from existing ones fans might have wanted to see get some time in the spotlight. A friend of mine spent the whole show waiting for Dr. Light to get some attention, and she never really did. Other than what they represented, the Ultimen simply did not interest me that much. Plus, note Downpour attacking Aquaman with his water powers. Does attacking Waterman with water sound silly to anyone else?



    But as I said, a little torn. A solid episode all around, making it kind of disappointing we didn\'t see more of Longshadow.moreless
  • The Justice League meets a new group of superheros, The Ultimen, and the force behind them.

    9.3
    Amanda Waller. What a character. From the moment she walked inot the room and assumed control, i knew that the Justice league had a ture foe. For a woman devoid of superpowers, she makes due with an incredible intellect, a sharp air of command, and a suprior knowledge of secret matters. The way she was able to face dwon batman was truly incredible. However, had Waller not been in the episode, my review would be lower. Wind Dragon got on my nerves from the very beginning. Can you say pompous? Long Shadow's relationship with Wonder woman was somewhat enigmatic, did she like him, or were her feeling maternal? nevertheless, this episode is well worth watching.moreless
George Newbern

George Newbern

Superman/Clark Kent/Kal-El

Kevin Conroy

Kevin Conroy

Batman/Bruce Wayne

Susan Eisenberg

Susan Eisenberg

Wonder Woman/Diana

James Sie

James Sie

Wind Dragon

Guest Star

Gregg Rainwater

Gregg Rainwater

Long Shadow

Guest Star

Tim Matheson

Tim Matheson

Maxwell Lord

Guest Star

Scott Rummel

Scott Rummel

Aquaman

Recurring Role

CCH Pounder

CCH Pounder

Amanda Waller

Recurring Role

Jennifer Hale

Jennifer Hale

Giganta

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (4)

    • When Shifter and Downpour play poker, they only have four cards each in their hand. Poker is played with five or seven cards.

    • Max has an Australian accent during the news interview, but there's no sign of it for the rest of the episode. Why would he fake it for a public appearance? Alternately, if it's real why does he "forget" it later?

    • When Superman asks Long Shadow about Project Cadmus near the end, Superman is to Shadow's right and Wonder Woman is across from Shadow, Batman is to his left, and Aquaman is absent. Then the Army show up and suddenly Wonder Woman is to Shadow's left, Superman is across from him, Aquaman is to his right, and Batman disappears. Then a jeep pulls up and Batman reappears and is between Shadow and Aquaman.

    • Whenever the posters of each seperate Ultiman are displayed, there is no poster of Shifter.

  • QUOTES (13)

  • NOTES (6)

  • ALLUSIONS (4)

    • Ultramarines?
      This episode bears a strong resemblance to Justice League #24-26 - "Executive Action," "Scorched Earth," and "Our Army at War." In that story arc the Justice League fight a team of purported superheroes secretly given powers by the government, unaware that their powers are killing them and as a result try to kill the League. In both, Aquaman fights a water-form opponent who is a literal "aquaman" and the League eventually talks their opponents into surrendering and/or aiding them.

    • Cadmus Project:
      The Cadmus Project is a reference to the Greek hero Cadmus, the legendary founder of Thebes. After slaying a dragon, Cadmus followed Athena's orders and sowed the dragon's teeth. From each tooth grew a great warrior. Cadmus threw a stone among them and all but five were slain in the fight. These five, known as the "Spartes," assisted Cadmus in founding Thebes.

    • Bizarro: Bizarro here to save the dayyyyy!
      The quote is a reference to the classic cartoon Mighty Mouse. His theme song includes the famous saying "Here he comes to save the day".

    • Wind Dragon: Don't despair, old chum...
      Addressed to Batman. This is a clear homage to the '60s Batman starring Adam West. One of his famous phrases was "Old Chum". This was also said by Batman in the SuperFriends cartoon

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