Upon receiving this DVD, one thing really jumped out at me (much like the Batman Beyond: Season Three release). On the packaging shrink wrap was a sticker saying, “The Final Season.” True, we all knew these were the final seasons, but that sticker, as odd as this may sound, sort of made it seem . . . final. That my collection is now complete.
True, the collection will never be truly complete, as various characters made appearances or cameos on other shows, but it feels complete to me. I don’t need Gotham Girls on DVD, nor do I believe that “Lost Episode” is worth having (or even a lost episode . . . it’s just video game cut scenes). Having Justice League Unlimited: Season Two is great, and perhaps I should get back on topic before I stray anymore. Let’s see what the official synopsis has to say about this release, shall we?
After years of foiled plots and repeated beatings, the galaxy’s worst villains finally have a plan: strength in numbers! Led by Lex Luthor, the Legion of Doom prepares to dominate the universe. First order of business: destroy the Justice League. Featuring the original seven Leaguers – Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Martian Manhunter, Green Lantern and Hawkgirl – plus many other favorites, each episode showcases these heroes in battles like you’ve never seen. And just when you think they’ve faced the most unimaginable evils, a dark figure from the past resurfaces to exact revenge on all of them. Do yourself some justice and bring this legendary compilation of the series’ final 13 episodes home today!
And there you have it. The Justice League faces off against the Legion of Doom (despite never actually being called that in the series). We got a wide variety of episodes this season, more than any that came before. It felt like the creative team jumped right into the sandbox and let loose. True, the season does feel slightly unstructured, and it seems a bit jarring after how precise the previous two seasons were. That’s not a complaint by any means, just an observation. The show also touched upon several plot threads from earlier seasons, a nice touch for the fans who have been with the show from the beginning.
It’s hard to describe this season, a season that no one expected to get. The best was I could describe it is . . . an encore. After the main performance, the “Cadmus” arc from the previous two seasons, the creators took a bow and were ready to call it a day. But the network wanted more, and we got it. This season was fun encore where the creators get to indulge in what they wanted. No doubt they knew this would be the last thirteen episodes, so why not? I think they deserve it, and they pulled out some great material. Sure, there’s a couple episodes that may not be up to snuff with the others, but it’s a great season. Alot of fans got to see what they’ve been waiting for (it’s odd to see how so many fans were obsessed with seeing that bizarre “Wonder Woman spin,” but then again, I find Wonder Woman to be a bland and pointless character).
There are some really stand-out episodes. The season opened solid with “I Am Legion,” and continued on from there. There were some clunkers, namely “Far From Home,” but I found the season to be considerably solid. Each episode either put the team into a completely new and bizarre situation or revisited aspects of the shows to continue old plot lines. And, at the same time, the season was somewhat tied together with the whole “Legion of Doom” subplot which slightly connected each episode.
Is it the best? No. Not at all. I think the second season of Justice League and the “Cadmus” storyline hold firm as the best this series had to offer (hell, I even liked how the “Cadmus” arc came to an explosive finale). I found that sometimes the animation in this season was a bit weak, or the story-telling wasn’t as sharp as with past ones, but it really served well as a nice curtain call for the series and the DCAU in general. Sure, the curtain may not stay closed forever, but for now, Justice League Unlimited: Season Two works as that last trip through their universe before closing time.
As for the disc itself, I found it satisfactory. I’m not going to complain about the packaging since there’s no point. They used the same stock art, some of it hopelessly outdated. I’m not going to defend it because, personally, I don’t care enough to. I will say that since there wasn’t alot of Justice League Unlimited stock art to use, I can understand being limited in their choices. And sure, it doesn’t seem like they’re trying at all, but there’s not much we can say about it. This wasn’t a high-priority release for Warner Bros., and the budget wasn’t all that big, so they did what they did. Life goes on. What matters are the episodes.
And how are they? As far as I can tell, the audio and video are great. The usual interlacing remains, but the print itself is clean. The audio sounds great, especially during the two-part finale. I wish I had more to elaborate on, but really . . . I don’t.
Since this is the first Justice League/Justice League Unlimited box set to not include a commentary, how does the set hold up? Pretty damn nice, actually. The thought this collection had a nice amount of extras. The look back at the “Cadmus” arc was excellent. There were some great nuggets of information in there and the dynamic in the roundtable, spearheaded by Mark Hamill, was damn enjoyable. The other featurette, where the creative team takes a close look at a batch of episodes, felt like a nice edited commentary. It felt like alot of the dead-air was cut out, leaving the real meat and bones of the information fans may be interested in.
The final extra, the music-only track to “Destroyer,” is flat out awesome. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve listened to this track. It’s wall to wall music and it’s damn excellent.
Overall, I’m pleased with this collection. I think it’s a great way to send-off the DCAU (for now) and there’s something for everyone, it seems. The DVD itself is a fine presentation for the show. Yes, you can find faults with it (some outdated stock art, etc), but what counts is on there. Yes, they could have included, but the same can be said for just about every other DVD release out there. There’s always something that the fans will nitpick about, or claim “must be on there,” but I find the final product here to be well done. I also had a complete blast revisiting these episodes. It’s a great set, and quick to digest. This release is a no-brainer pick-up. For fans wishing to cap off their Justice League or DCAU collection, look no further. Highly Recommended.