Summary: When Supergirl begins having vivid nightmares of herself performing unspeakable acts—nightmares that even J'onn J'onzz can't explain as mere dreams—the conspiracy theorist known as the Question recommends that she investigate any time that she cannot account for. With Green Arrow in tow, their inquiry surprisingly bears fruit, as well as the attention of several parties that wish to keep their dealings private. In the end, questions are answered and a shocking secret is unearthed as the Justice League gains their first awareness of the mysterious Project: Cadmus.
JL Mission Roll Call: Supergirl, Green Arrow, The Question
PC Roll Call: Dr. Emil Hamilton, Galatea
Featured Character: Supergirl
Supporting Villain: Dr. Emil Hamilton, General Hardcastle
Cartoon Network on “Fearful Symmetry”: When Supergirl begins having some very disturbing dreams, she gets help from Green Arrow and the Question to figure out what is happening. It turns out she may not be dreaming after all (courtesy of Toon Zone).”
Bruce Timm on “Fearful Symmetry” and Zionist conspiracy theory: “If you’re actually suggesting that I or one of my collaborators is sneaking Hitlerian hate-bait into Justice League Unlimited, that is to say, if you’re implying that we are putting forward some kind of racist agenda, I have to say I find the allegation deeply offensive. First of all, linking coffee bars, boy bands, etc. to the Question’s cock-eyed conspiracy theory was intended to show just how off-base some of his conclusions are. I mean, come on, it’s patently ridiculous. We were poking fun at classic conspiracy theory paranoia in general, not trying to resurrect the vile old saw about a supposedly vast Jewish conspiracy controlling the world behind the scenes.
“Second, I’m not sure where and when the ‘coffee bar’ stuff originated in the story’s development process, but I have the feeling Stan Berkowitz came up with it. Seeing as how he and Bob Goodman (who wrote the final script) are both Jewish, I very much doubt that either of them were doing any Jew-bashing, regardless of whether or not they were even aware that Starbucks is owned by two Jews (I myself had no idea that was the case).
“Third—and this is something a lot of people seem not to realize—just because the Question believes there’s a vast shadowy world-controlling cabal ‘going back to ancient Egypt’ doesn’t mean that there actually is such a thing in the ‘real’ world, or in the JLU’s universe. We’re playing him as someone so obsessively paranoid as to be almost borderline delusional. Take everything he says with a huge grain of salt.
“Lastly, I myself am half-German, therefore I’m probably a bit extra-sensitive to the ‘anti-Semite’ charge but, going back as far as STAS, the ‘Apokolips…Now!’ episode which I co-wrote: if I were anti-Semitic, would I have bothered to insist on giving Dan Turpin a Jewish funeral, and even hiring a rabbi to sing the Kaddish (courtesy of Toon Zone)?”
Bruce Timm on the Question’s vocal performance: “Funny ‘Uh Oh’ story: we originally wanted Question to be singing the second verse: ‘Uh oh, fell in love again / Last night after I swore off men.’ Not that we wanted to imply that Question was gay […] we just thought it woulda been funnier, as if he’s not even noticing what he’s singing.
“[Broadcasts, Standards, & Practices] actually allowed it, and Jeffery was game. Unfortunately, the syncopation of the music kinda fights the rhythm of the lyrics at that point—‘last NIGHT af-TER i swore off MEH-ennn’—and it was just a bit too hard for Jeffery to get the hang of it, so we just had him do the first verse instead.
“The fact that Jeffery isn’t a trained singer (like, say, Kevin Conroy) actually makes the bit even better, I think. I love when he strains for that really high part: ‘IT JUST HAPPENED / yyyou walked in my doo-oor…’
“It’s a great little character bit—one of my favorites in the entire DCAU canon—gotta credit Bob Goodman for that one (courtesy of Toon Zone).”
Bruce Timm on the “shadowy conspiracy guy”: “Much as I’m enjoying the ‘is he or isn’t he?’ speculations, it’s not Lex. It’s just some conspiracy-connected walk-on underling, whom we will never see again on Unlimited. I thought it was pretty clear that he was carrying out someone else’s orders, something I can’t see Lex doing. That he’s bald is an unfortunate oversight on our part; it’s not even an intentional red herring, just sloppiness caused by haste. That’s the problem with conspiracies, you start looking askance at everything…not that that ever happens here at Toon Zone.
“Sorry, but it is an entirely random coincidence. The storyboard artist (Butch Lukic) just happened to draw the guy bald, the model sheet was based on his board drawing, and I approved it without giving it much thought beyond, ‘Hey, sinister bald guy in shadows, cool!’ Oddly, it didn’t occur to me that people would think it was Lex. Also, I don’t think we knew ourselves at that point what Lex’s ultimate involvement with Cadmus would be, the whole Cadmus thing was still in the very loose planning stages when we wrote ‘Fearful Symmetry.’
“For the record, the voice actor is Roger Reese (who also played ‘Lasser,’ the reporter in the episode) doing double duty, not ‘Clancy Brown trying to whisper.’ Would I be crazy enough to pay Clancy Brown a full voice over fee to come in and record one word of dialogue? True, I did hire Mike Farrell to finish half of Jor-El’s sentence in ‘For the Man Who Has Everything,’ but that was for seven whole words, the dollar-to-word ratio was significantly better (actually, even there, we had Mike voice the HERBIE-esque Brainiac too, to justify the cost of bringing him in).
“Anyhow, to reiterate: it’s not Lex, it’s not Hugo Strange, it’s not Victor Fries, it’s not the first DCAU appearance of Egghead, it’s not Yul Brynner, it’s not Dr. Evil, it’s just some guy […] I swear on a stack of Atlas Shrugged, it’s not Luthor (courtesy of Toon Zone)!”
Commentary coming soon!
Image courtesy of The
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