Justice League Unlimited

Season 3 Episode 11

Wake the Dead

Aired Saturday 10:30 PM Dec 18, 2004 on Cartoon Network
out of 10
User Rating
182 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Solomon Grundy rises from the grave as a mindless berserker, and when the Justice League can't stop him, they turn to a reluctant Hawkgirl for assistance.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

No results found.
No results found.
No results found.
  • There should have been a longer episode...

    "Wake the Dead" rounds out the current batch of three consecutive new episodes with a rehash of previous story elements - Hawkgirl's return after her departure in "Starcrossed" (which this episode's writer Dwayne McDuffie scripted), and the fate of Solomon Grundy in "The Terror Beyond" (which McDuffie also wrote...). We also get return of the Marvel/Defender-ish team of Dr. Fate, Aquaman, Inza, Hawkgirl, and Amazo from "The Terror Beyond." And the full introduction of a new Leaguer, Vixen.

    Vixen first. Her character is intergrated in fairly smoothly and she's given some moments to shine. It's relatively clear what her abilities are without exposition. The romance with regular Leaguer Green Lantern/John Stewart is a bit out of the blue, but we get some subtle moments with the return of GL's ex-girlfriend Hawkgirl and Vixen being sarcastic and eying the ex-couple when GL expresses some concerns. Hopefully her presence as the third side of the romantic triangle will give her (and actress Gina Torres) some returning-character power.

    Solomon Grundy returns, sort of, as a mindless rampager. Presumably the producers didn't bother to pay Mark Hamill to reprise the role when all any voice-actor had to do was growl a lot. He's reimaged a bit with glowing gold eyes and a lot of foaming at the mouth, and he's still presented (as he was in "The Terror Beyond") as a Hulk-clone, what with creating sonic booms with his fists and all.

    The Defender team is amusing - made up as it were with two characters "looking for themselves" (Amazo and Hawkgirl) plus...umm, Aquaman. It's not very clear why Aquaman is along, other then he presumably has a friendship with Dr. Fate. To those familiar with the comic book versions of the characters, this eems rather odd, and unfortunately we don't see any indication of such friendship here other then the fact they're hanging out with each other.

    As to the story itself, it's pretty straightforward. Dumb students awaken "chaos magic" (whatever happened to the kid grabbed by Grundy, anyway?), Grundy go on rampage, Leaguers try to bring him down. Again, there's an awful lot going on in this episode, what with the GL/Vixen/Hawkgirl triangle, some mention of the Thanagarian invasion and the public's perception of Hawkgirl, and the revelation of exactly how the vote went to dismiss her at the end of "Star-Crossed." There's also a fairly effective series of fight scenes. Relative newcomers and second-bananas Vixen and Aquaman aren't overshadowed by the "big guns" and famous faces.

    For the first time since the series went to the 30-minute 1-part format, however, we have an episode that should have been longer, despite all the content this has. We don't find out if Hawkgirl rejoins the League, for instance, and given that the next few episodes don't seem to focus on or even need her, it's not clear if she'll be seen much (or continue to appear in the opening credits). Amazo presumably returns after Grundy is dealt with, but that's kind of left hanging.

    The whole "Heroes exploring themselves" angle and Aquaman's involvement could have received another 10 minutes by itself. Yes, it might have been a little boring for the low-attention-span folks, but it's not like the fight scenes wouldn't have made up for it.

    Finally, there's more of McDuffie's trademark dialogue. He's arguably one of the most "quotable" writers on the show, and this time is no exception. Aquaman gets most of the good lines, but everyone gets at least one good line.

    Overall, this episode rates pretty highly (and the TVTome viewers seem to agree). It's a pity this couldn't have been a bit longer, but clearly that didn't hurt its popularity with the show's fans.moreless
  • Shayera has lost her warrior spirit and is forced to fight an old enemy or friend. I don't give away much. lol

    Hello I loved this episode of the justice league. I mean it shows a side of Shayera that we don't get to see to often. I loved the emotion behind it. Also even though it was probably obvious anyway. We now no for sure that Green Lantern loves Hawkgirl. My gosh Vixen should feel like crap, when Shayera is there, Vixen is paid no attention what so ever. I mean the pacing, the leaving the current girlfriend for one you have feelings for but won't admit, the not caring about her jealousy, and last but not least speaking up for her, in a boyfriend defense. Character development for Shayera and great relationship development in this episode.moreless
  • it is up to shayera to save the day, but she has to face the ghosts of her past in order to do so.

    this episode marks the return of Shayera after a few episodes of absence. in this show, we saw that she was trying to cope with the fact that she helped in the invasion that could have annihilated planet Earth from the face of the universe. after that, she was branded a traitor on Earth, as well as on her home planet. she felt she was a destroyer, and thus very reluctant to destroy Solomon Grundy, whom she helped save in a previous episode. now, she has to kill him, but it makes it feel better for her when she does so, and realizes that sometimes she just have to do what she have to do. sometimes in life, we might confront similar situations. in this episode, it was Shayera who must face hers.moreless
  • this is a good episode.

    this episode is about solomon grundy coming back to life and this time no one can stop him, and nothing can stop him exept hawkgirl and her mace, this episode was very exciting and had a very good plot to it too, this episode I wouldn't miss, this is a great episode.
  • A long time coming, but this episode finally saw the reuniting of John and Shayera and the return of Solomon Grundy.

    A long time coming, but this episode finally saw the reuniting of John and Shayera (my favourite character) and the return of Solomon Grundy. The first noticeable thing of the episode is the quality of the animation. A great step up from the previous episodes.

    The villain, Solomon Grundy returns, which is bizarre in itself, considering he was dead and all. One of the more enjoyable aspects of the DCAU is that when people die, they generally stay dead. Grundy was an exception, of course, but an understandable one. He’s been raised from the dead before, and is a zombie anyway.

    The fights in the episode were great. Some of the stuff reminded me a lot of Superman: The Animated Series they were that good. It’s nice to see 2 big strong dudes beat the hell out of each other. As long as it’s not done every week, it can make for an entertaining episode.

    It was nice to see The Not-Quite-The-Defenders group again. A smaller group within a League, who we aren’t so sure we can trust, is a great little thing to keep an eye on for; mysterious almost. It’s especially interesting when you consider Aquaman’s attitude towards League members in some of the previous episodes.

    And finally, the revelation of how the vote went in Starcrossed; it was kept from us a long time, and it’ll be interesting to see the further developments. Will Shayera join the League again? Will see start seeing John again? All stuff to make me tune in next week. A fine episode, which saw a lot of nagging questions answered.moreless
Phil LaMarr

Phil LaMarr

Green Lantern/John Stewart

George Newbern

George Newbern

Superman/Clark Kent/Kal-El

Carl Lumbly

Carl Lumbly

Martian Manhunter/J'onn J'onzz

Maria Canals

Maria Canals

Hawkgirl/Shayera Hol

Bruce Timm

Bruce Timm

Solomon Grundy

Guest Star

Oded Fehr

Oded Fehr

Dr. Fate

Recurring Role

Gina Torres

Gina Torres


Recurring Role

Jennifer Hale

Jennifer Hale


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (9)

    • When Vixen leaps over the police car and on to a traffic light, it's red, flashes very quickly to yellow, and then to green. Stoplights go the other way around (green-yellow-red), or switch to flashing red in an emergency.

    • As Aquaman talks about a "proper challenge," he moves his queen forward - it's one column to his right (viewer's left) of his knight, and somewhere near the middle of the board. Then they cut to a shot of Hawkgirl and the Queen is all the way to Aquaman's right in the second-to-last last column, about four columns away from the knight. Then they go to a shot facing Amazo and the Queen is back where it was, but now there's a white rook on the edge of the board near where the Queen was, which Aquaman then moves to put Shayera in check.

    • Shayera's name is consistently misspelled "Shiera" in the closed-captioning (the end credits confirm it's Shayera).

    • Aquaman moves and says "Check in five moves." It's actually four moves. In fact, after he moves, putting his opponent into check would have to be an even number of moves.

    • The chessboard changes substantially between when Aquaman and Hawkgirl play, and a (presumed) few minutes later when Amazo and Aquaman play. In the first scene the chess board is flush with the edges (watch particularly when Dr. Fate reassembles it) and the table legs are straight, but later there's a border around the board thick enough for the pieces to rest on, and the legs are arched between each other.

    • When Amazo plays Aquaman, the game is once again a mish-mash. Aquaman moves a pawn and Amazo takes his king. If moving the pawn had put Aquaman in check he couldn't have moved it. If Aquaman was already in check, he couldn't have moved the pawn - he had to do something to prevent capture of the king. Also, in chess you don't take the king - a declaration of checkmate is sufficient.

    • After Hawkgirl rescues the people in the car, the bridge and the octopus are behind her. She turns to face GL and the bridge is still behind her. Then they cut to a shot of Hawkgirl and GL from almost the exact same angle but a little more straight on, but the bridge disappears behind them.

    • When Vixen faces off against Solomon Grundy, Superman swoops in and hits the monster screen-left and he goes flying that way. Then Solomon hits a bunch of cars that presumably explode. Then they cut back to Superman from the same angle and the explosions are going off behind Superman rather then to his left.

    • Apparently Vixen can cause physical changes in her body without touching the Tantu Totem - she grows claws as she leaps at Grundy. But then when rescuing the boy with both arms full, why can't she take on some kind of flying/gliding power rather then make a rather precarious leap to safety?

  • QUOTES (17)

  • NOTES (8)


    • Those...ummm, guys Defending things
      As noted in the analysis for "The Terror Beyond (1)", Dr. Fate's sub-team bears a strong resemblence to Marvel Comics' The Defenders. The similarity is further enhanced here, as the sub-team gets Amazo, a gold-metallic humanoid figure with cosmic powers who seems a bit like the Silver Surfer, a...ummm, silver-metallic humanoid figure with cosmic powers who was also a member of the Defenders. Hawkgirl, as a member of the sub-team here, fills in for Defender members Nighthawk (winged flight) and Valkyrie (violent weapon-wielding female). Also, the sub-team hang out at Fate's Tower, much as the Defenders hung out at Dr. Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum.

    • First College Student/Alan: Geez, Stu, did you forget your dice again?
      Referencing Dungeons & Dragons, the die-rolling role-playing game of college geeks everywhere.

    • Model Statue:
      As the students are trooping out of Alan's room, you can see a model on the bureau, screen-right, that appears to be of the comic character Hellboy (the right hand that's a club is a giveaway).

    • Poster:
      The poster on the wall to the center right, as one of the students says, "That was so cool," is of Swamp Thing, DC's iconic primordial muck monster. The college student whose room it is is named "Alan" - possibly a reference to Alan Moore, who reconstructed Swamp Thing and gave him a revised origin in Saga of Swamp Thing #20.

    • Hispanic Mother: God bless you, Chica Halcón.
      "Chica Halcón" is "Hawkgirl" in Spanish. Maria Canals, the actress who voices Hawkgirl, is Hispanic. It is also one of the prominently displayed names on the multi-lingual packaging of Mattel's Justice League Hawkgirl figure. The action figure stated Chica Halcon more than a year before it was used on the show.

    • Shayera: Your favorite movie's Old Yeller - you know exactly what he's talking about.
      Old Yeller was a movie about a stray dog and his owner, who in the end has to kill the suffering dog, similiar to how Hawkgirl has to kill Grundy.