Justice League Unlimited

Season 2 Episode 21

Wild Cards (1)

Aired Saturday 10:30 PM Dec 06, 2003 on Cartoon Network
out of 10
User Rating
153 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

In the ultimate reality show, the Joker pits the Justice League against the clock and against the Royal Flush Gang as the Justice League races to find and disarm all the bombs he's planted along the Strip in Las Vegas.

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  • Batman discovers too late that Joker has bought TV time in Vegas. Joker reveals he has hidden a bomb somewhere on The Strip which will detonate in 24:51 (what'd you expect from him, a round number?). But Joker has a back-up plan: the Royal Flush gang.moreless

    Great writing places Joker as one of the deadliest villains around - not just for Batman, but in general. The story takes place mostly from the Joker's twisted narrative, which is comically fitting for the cartoon medium - and pretty funny at times, too. It's also about as close to Joker's psychopathic tendencies as one can get in Saturday morning television. The Joker has always been watered down in cartoon depictions because we obviously can't have him killing and torturing mercilessly while kids are scarfing down their Froot Loops, but you get the obvious feeling - especially as the episode progresses and Ace has not yet been revealed - that the Clown Prince has a definite, errr, "ace" up his sleeve. The episode's a well written, comic mystery which can succeed in comic books as well as it does for kids TV.moreless
  • This episode is utterly insane, being narrated the entire time by the psychopathic Joker, with a clock constantly ticking away. And I freaking love it!

    This has to be one of my favorite episodes of the entire series. Everything about it is totally amazing, from Mark Hamill\'s voice acting to Joker\'s hilarious yet terrifying lines to the 24-style intensity of a clock constantly ticking.

    I\'ll start with the story. At first, it appears to be quite simple. There\'s a bomb in Las Vegas and it will go off in 22:50 unless the Justice League stops it. By about the 18-minute mark, Batman disarms the bomb. But then we get the first of the two twists. There are 25 other bombs in the city, some real and some fake. The ticking clock adds a greater level of intensity, something perfect for someone like me who watches 24 religiously. The Royal Flush Gang is also a nice added touch.

    Onto the voice acting, and what can I say except that Mark Hamill is truly horrifying and hilarious at the same time as Joker. I utterly love it. His constant narration is hilarious, as is his punch lines. I about died laughing when he called Superman the \"big blue buffoon\". Another funny example is when he talks about how GL discovers that the bomb underwater is a fake. He says, \"I was hoping someone would drown trying to disarm it. C\'est la vie.\" The JL themselves are good, though there is nothing that totally stands out to me. It was a nice touch to have the Gang voiced by the Teen Titans, but Scott Menville did not match King at all. And don\'t forget the lady who just wants the darn slot machine to finally pay off.

    Even though this episode is mainly funny, it still manages to throw quite a curveball for a cliffhanger, with one of the bombs going off and GL being seriously hurt. It was an unexpected ending, and provided a great setup for Part Two. And with that, I conclude the review of Part One and move on to Part Two.moreless
  • With the Joker taking control of Las Vegas for his own twisted purposes,The League tries to disarm hidden bombsin the City while holding off the attacks of The Royal Flush Gang.moreless

    With this episode of Justice League,you have not only the return of the Clown Prince of Crime,but you have an action packed "Introduction" of the Royal Flush Gang(voiced as an injoke by the cast of Teen Titans) and the possible start of Green Lantern and Hawkgirl's relationship...

    The episode begins with Batman discovering a large amount of airtime bought by the Joker in Las Vegas,who begins to televise the "Death of the Justice League".He's placed a number of bombs in the City and only a small amount of time to find them and save the city.Ofcourse he can't take on the League himself,so he reveals the Royal Flush Gang.The quintet of superpower youths are a even match for our heroes(including some hard hits by Ten towards Superman).

    If you're familiar with Batman Beyond's Royal Flush gang,they you'll be happy to see the Gang's "Origins",as explained by Joker...And on the subject,Mark Hamill does another great turn as the J-Man here.However since he doesn't directly fight anyone until the 2nd Part,he's actually seems alittle downplayed.Without ruining anything else,the Joker's REAL plan later in the episode is pretty twisted...and in anice touch,we have a character "de-masked" at the end which adds a big happy end to a no holds bar episode.

    One of the more entertaining highlights of the Second Season of Justice League.moreless
  • Wild.

    This episode was a great episode and one of my personal favorite from season two. this episode also marked the last appearance of the Joker in the DCAU.

    The debute of the royal flush gang in this timeline is a higlight of the episode and one of the reasons to watch it.

    It was genius putting the TT crew in to voice all the members of the Royal Flush Gang, they where ment to play them.

    This episode had it all, great plot, awesome animation, and some nice humor and drama.

    I would give This episode a great score and for making me laugh.moreless
  • Joker is a genius!!!!

    I have to say this is the best episode of Justice League that isn't Unlimited. Okay the episode is about Joker in Las Vegas scattering 25 bombs, one real while rest are fake in the city and the Justice League has to find the real bomb and destroy it. Of course the Joker is funny as always and i'm quite happy to see Harley Quinn in this episode as well. Joker has always been my most favourite villain and this episode shown more his evil.

    And i got to say the Royal Flush Gang are a great addition to the show. At least now i know where the gang from Batman Beyond come from. Also its great to know that the 5 original cast of Teen Titans guest starred in this episode as the Royal Flush Gang.

    And i got to say this is the greatest plan that the Joker come up with. Hope he come up with more brilliant ideas.moreless
George Newbern

George Newbern

Superman/Clark Kent/Kal-El

Maria Canals

Maria Canals

Hawkgirl/Shayera Hol

Kevin Conroy

Kevin Conroy

Batman/Bruce Wayne

Michael Rosenbaum

Michael Rosenbaum

Flash/Wally West

Phil LaMarr

Phil LaMarr

Green Lantern/John Stewart

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • Superman here reverts to his somewhat weaker first-season incarnation - when fighting Ten he pretty much forgets he can fly, use heat vision and super-breath, etc.

    • If Ten can't feel pain, why didn't his skin burn to a crisp? Joker should have listed resistance to injury and super strength as Ten's powers along with inability to feel pain.

    • If Ten was as strong as Superman, or at least strong enough to fight him hand-to-hand, then why couldn't he get out of the military training place? Unless he had a glaring weakness like Superman's kryptonite or Martian Manhunter's fire, then the military people wouldn't be able to keep him in unless they had him under permanent lockdown (fully encased in pure titanium and stuff like that).

  • QUOTES (12)

  • NOTES (6)

    • Character bios: The Royal Flush Gang, Harley Quinn, The Joker

    • Mark Hamill reprises his role as the Joker from Batman the Animated Series, Batman Beyond (Return of the Joker), Birds of Prey, and previous Justice League episodes. Arleen Sorkin reprises her role as Harley Quinn from Batman Animated and Return of the Joker.

    • Wonder Woman and J'onn J'onzz don't appear in this episode.

    • The voice actors who play the Royal Flush Gang in this and part 2 are the five actors from Cartoon Network's Teen Titan series. Khary Payton (Ten) plays Cyborg, Greg Cipes (Jack) plays Beast Boy, Scott Menville (King) plays Robin, Tara Strong (Queen) plays Raven, and Hynden Walch (Ace) plays Starfire. There are similarities between each actor's characters - both Ten and Cyborg are super-strong, Jack and Beast Boy can change their shapes, Queen and Raven can throw things with their minds, Ace and Starfire both have big glowing eyes and a childlike manner, and King and Robin are both the leaders of the group.

    • For the first time this season we get an actually preview of the next week's episode "Comfort and Joy" - earlier episodes used brief spots from other season 2 episodes (even after those episodes had aired) but without explanation or context.

    • When Cartoon Network premiered this episode, they aired the two episodes back-to-back, without inserting closing credits at the end of part one or opening credits/recap at the beginning of part 2. They still listed the title and writer/director credits, though.


    • Joker's Alias: Gwynplaine Entertainment
      The Batman confronts the network executive and reveals that The Joker has bought airtime under the alias "Gwynplaine Entertainment". Gwynplaine is the protagonist in Victor Hugo's novel The Man Who Laughs. Bob Kane and Bill Finger gathered the visual inspiration for The Joker's character based on Conrad Veidt's portrayal of Gwynplaine in the 1927 film adaptation.

    • Submarin Casino
      This casino sign features briefly in the opening shot of Las Vegas - may be a reference to the Sub-Mariner, a member of the Defenders over at Marvel who Aquaman played substitute for in "The Terror Beyond."

    • Costume Theft?
      Jack's costume looks a bit like the original black-and-red outfit the Elongated Man of DC Comic fame wore (with the colors changed but the pattern remaining the same). Ten's costume looks like the one worn by Tempest of the New Doom Patrol. Elongated Man will later appear (although in his purple/whtie costume) as a JLU member.

    • Amos Fortune Casino & Resort
      In the comics, the Royal Flush Gang was created by Amos Fortune, a Justice League villain with the ability to manipulate probabilities and create "good luck." He has nothing to do with this RF Gang.

    • Freaks with super powers:
      The title of the episode, and the fact it featured five characters with "natural" super powers, may or may not be an in-joke reference to the Wild Card anthology series created by George R.R. Martin, which featured an alternate Earth where an alien virus gave certain individuals inherent super powers such as invulnerability, magnetism, etc. The books in the series all had a card motif and are highly recommended, although many of them have scenes and dialogue of an adult nature.

    • Teenage Superheroes:
      The Royal Flush Gang, angsty teenagers with superpowers brought together by a bald guy, may or may not be an in-joke gag on the X-Men. You've also got one member who wears red and can magnetically manipulate powers, as well as a pyrokinetic. And the visual distortions at the end bear a strong resemblence to those created by Proteus, a mutant with the power to bend reality.

    • Green Lantern: Old-Fashioned Submarine
      Green Lantern is shown racing to some kind of underwater theme hotel with a scale model of the Nautilus, the submarine of Captain Nemo from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, under attack by a giant octopus. However, in the second shot another scale model is in a canal in a mock duplicate of Venice - probably a reference to the Nautilus that appeared in the movie The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

    • The Joker: And they would have gotten away with it too, if not for me meddling with the kids!
      When referring to the government's treatment of the metahuman kids he eventually "rescues", the Joker plays on words with the famous last line of almost every captured and unmasked Scooby Doo villain and/or ghost at the end of one of the gang's mysteries. The Joker even appeared in at least one Scooby Doo episode when Batman guest-starred