Summary: On the run from the Justice League and with his armor in desperate need of repair, Lex Luthor calls upon Mercy Graves, who is now running LexCorp in his absence. She directs him to the residence of former LexCorp employee Dr. Ivo, but Luthor arrives only to find his dead body...and the nanotech android he left behind. Taking advantage of the android's naiveté—as well as its ability to duplicate the super-powers of anyone it can see and record—Luthor manipulates it into attacking his enemies. Faced with an opponent that can utilize any and all of the League's abilities, the Justice League must survive a two-pronged attack from both the android and Luthor himself.
JL Roll Call: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash, J’onn J’onzz, Hawkgirl
Featured Characters: J’onn J’onzz, Mercy Graves
Villains: Lex Luthor, AMAZOSupporting Villain: Mercy Graves
Cartoon Network on “Tabula Rasa”: “J’onn J’onzz has a crisis of conscience while Lex Luthor gains control of AMAZO, a powerful android who can copy the powers of the entire Justice League" (courtesy of Cartoon Network).
Stan Berkowitz on “Tabula Rasa”: “Starting with Season Two, I just felt I was doing a better job on the show. No one’s ever commented on that very twisted relationship that Luthor has with Mercy that began in a Superman episode. I remember reading an early draft and saying, ‘There’s literally no story here.’ Then I argued, as story editor, that there should be more of a relationship between Mercy and Luthor; that he treats her like a dog and she likes it. At that point, it was a story about a girl who had no one; a street urchin brought in by Luthor and now she’s just a devoted dog who will do anything for him, and no matter how badly he treated her, she’d be there for him. ‘Tabula Rasa’ started with that and then moved forward the relationship. In fact, she takes over his business when he goes to prison, but she still has a soft spot for her abuser. Obviously she has a weird sexual kink for him, he knows it, and she fights it. At the end, she’s able to get beyond it. We couldn’t even suggest they were sleeping together, but to me it was pretty obvious" (courtesy of RetroVision CD-ROM Magazine).
Bruce Timm on “Tabula Rasa”: “The Amazo character was one of those villains from the comics that got a lot of screen time in the DC Universe, so we thought he was a villain we should probably use. Unfortunately his design in the comics was really old-school, real garish and bizarre and not very modern at all. We knew we had to change the design quite a bit, and the name is a little corny and old-school as well, so we tried to avoid using the name out loud, but we kept the central motif that he can absorb the powers of any of the superheroes, which is the starting point of the episode. We also wanted to do more with Lex, since we had gone through all the trouble of making him as supervillain in Season One, [and] there are always depths of depravity to explore with Lex. It was also good to bring the Mercy Graves character back from [Superman], because she was a character we’ve always liked. There’s a lot of good juicy soap opera stuff in it" (courtesy of RetroVision CD-ROM Magazine).
Rich Fogel on "Tabula Rasa": “After [J’onn J’onzz’s] experiences here, you’ll understand why he prefers to spend so much time alone up on the Watchtower. One of our main goals for these new episodes was to deepen our understanding of our heroes and further develop the relationships that were set up in the first season. […] I think 'Tabula Rasa' is a great start for what promises to be a memorable and compelling new season of Justice League" (courtesy of [website name removed]).
DarkLantern on “Tabula Rasa”: “AMAZO’s departure from humanity mirrors J’onn’s side story in this episode. J’onn was also considering turning his back on humanity after seeing much of the overall selfishness and dishonesty among humans during his mind scan. Fortunately, J’onn had the chance to see the nobility of humans during the search for the lost girl. AMAZO had no such opportunity. When AMAZO said, ‘None of you have anything to offer anymore,’ he was wrong" (courtesy of Toon Zone).
Rich Fogel on Batman’s kryptonite stash: “After the events at the end of the Superman series, where Darkseid had manipulated Superman, we thought that Batman would want to have an advantage in any situation in case it was needed" (courtesy of ToyFare Magazine).
Screen Grabs from "Tabula Rasa"
Commentary coming soon!
Images courtesy of Toon Zone.
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