Summary: When Huntress is thrown out of the Justice League for her attempt to kill crime boss Steven Mandragora—the man who single-handedly murdered her parents—she enlists the help of the Question to track him down. Standing in their way are Green Arrow and Black Canary, who are assigned to protect Mandragora so that he may testify before a grand jury. However, when the criminal escapes federal custody, what follows is a race to see which party can track down Mandragora first. Will the Huntress claim her vengeance, or is there anything that could cause her bloodlust to relent?
JL Mission Roll Call: Green Arrow, Black Canary, The Question, Huntress
Featured Character: Huntress
Cartoon Network on “Double Date”: “Green Arrow and Black Canary race to stop the Question and Huntress from killing organized crime lord, Tobias Whale (courtesy of The World's Finest).”
Dwayne McDuffie on the evolution of “Double Date”: “I pitched a ‘Birds of Prey’ episode where, after Batgirl breaks a leg, Batman orders her off the case and she creates Oracle in retaliation. Huntress and Black Canary do her legwork without ever meeting her in person and crack the case. Batman’s suspicious but can’t prove it. The story didn’t work out, but we did get the terrific Gale Simone’s ‘Double Date’ script instead (courtesy of DwayneMcDuffie.com).”
Gail Simone on “Double Date”: “Bruce [Timm and Dwayne McDuffie were] already digging [Birds of Prey, a DC book written by Simone that features Oracle, Black Canary, and Huntress] and they asked me [to write an episode]. This is kind of a thrill, because getting the chance to work on the JLU is rightly considered a very huge deal in animation—not many get the chance. Since my whole career seems like a bizarre fluke to begin with, it took a while to sink in. Then I jumped at it; Huntress and [Black] Canary animated? Come on, that’s gold.
“Originally we were looking at doing something even more like the current Birds of Prey but, due to some weird rights thing, Oracle / Barbara Gordon wasn’t available. So, rather than try to do a half-way Birds of Prey, they wisely went a different route. The cast was their idea, but I’m delighted because, as regular viewers know, they’ve done miracles with the Question, who was already one of my favorite characters.
“[The episode is] Huntress-centric; the thing about Huntress that I like is, with her, the ‘attitude’ thing that so many characters have isn’t just a pose. Under the right circumstances, she’ll not only cross the line, she’ll put a crossbow bolt through it. More than that, I don’t want to say, yet. But it’s a good time.
“They told me from the first email that they didn’t want me to try to match any previous tone in particular. They absolutely wanted it to sound like a ‘Gail Simone’ script—which is incredibly flattering, because I’m a huge fan of Dwayne McDuffie and Bruce Timm both. So that attitude was very Birds of Prey, I think. But I love the show’s set-up so much that I really wanted to do some nods to the weekly structure as well. I like the feeling of community that the show has created, which would be very difficult to carry off in the DCU comics. There are differences [to the comics], but it wouldn’t be too difficult to shoe-horn this story into the DC timeline…everyone’s a bit younger and, at this point in time, Dinah and Green Arrow have more experience than Huntress and the Question.
“My first draft was way too long and a bit too talky, but Dwayne’s a great teacher and I learned a tremendous amount. I really enjoyed it, and am very likely doing more animated stuff. The editorial process for the JLU is very, very respectful to the writer, but you do have more people to please. It’s like having six editors, but they’re good editors and it’s organized in such a way that it’s really no more difficult to work with than comics.
“Seeing the acting, [what] the artists, director, and storyboard guys did over my script was extremely impressive. The fight scene is one of the most brutal things I’ve seen on the show…very cool. And next, I loved hearing the talented actors say the dialogue. That’s a completely new thing for me, and it’s just incredibly cool to hear these characters come to life like that. Jeffrey Combs as the Question is awe-inspiring.
“JLU is a terrific show; I recommend all aspiring superhero writers watch it—what they accomplish with careful dialogue and great storytelling is astounding. [It’s fantastic how] they somehow managed to squeeze darn near the entire DCU into one concept, and it works beautifully. They can do a Steranko Mister Miracle, or an Alan Moore Superman story, they can have Jonah Hex and Shining Knight…it’s a DC fan’s dream. Plus, they strive for the perfect versions of each character. When you see their Captain Marvel or Booster Gold, it feels like the real deal. What more can you ask for?
“I’d love to do more JLU; I have a Queen of Fables story that I think would look amazing animated (courtesy of The Pulse).”
Bruce Timm on “Double Date: “‘Double Date’ is a thousand times better episode than the straight-up ‘Birds of Prey’ story we originally pitched, and as a bonus we got the funky Question / Huntress romance out of it, which ultimately added emotional resonance to the four-part Cadmus finale. ‘But we didn’t get to see Barbara Gordon one last time!’ you say…well, boo-freakin’-hoo! Sure, that woulda been a nice one-shot, but look at the big picture: we lost the battle and won the war (courtesy of Toon Zone).”
Dwayne McDuffie on the relationship between Question and Huntress: "Bruce Timm refers to it as the inexplicable relationship between the homecoming queen and the creepy nerd. That's about right (courtesy of Comic Buyers Guide Magazine)."
Birds of Prey Image
Commentary coming soon!
Images courtesy of Comic Art Fans and Toon Zone.
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