Summary: Following an accident during a battle with Lex Luthor, the Flash accidentally transports himself, Green Lantern, J'onn J'onzz, and Hawkgirl to a parallel universe, where they meet the Justice Guild of America, a team of classic, old-school superheroes that John Stewart recognizes from the comic books of his youth. However, as the Justice League teams up with the heroes and experiences their vintage, 'Silver Age' world firsthand, they uncover a terrible secret, as well as unravel the mystery of the Guild themselves.
JL Roll Call: Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, The Flash, J’onn J’onzz, Hawkgirl
JGA Roll Call: Tom Turbine, Black Siren, Cat Man, The Green Guardsman, The Streak
IGA Roll Call: Sir Swami, Dr. Blizzard, The Music Master, The Sportsman
Featured Character: Green Lantern
Villain: Ray ThompsonSupporting Villains: Lex Luthor, The Injustice Guild
Cartoon Network on “Legends” #1: “During a fight with Lex Luthor, the Justice League is blasted into an alternate reality where they meet the Justice Guild of America, a group of old-fashioned comic book heroes whose exploits Green Lantern remembers reading about when he was a kid" (courtesy of Cartoon Network).
Cartoon Network on "Legends" #2: “While battling a giant robot, Green Lantern, Hawkgirl, Flash, and J’onn J’onzz are blasted into an alternate reality. In idyllic Seaboard City, they meet their doppelgangers, a group of old-fashioned comic book heroes called the Justice Guild of America. As they search for a way to get back to their reality, the members of the Justice League join the Justice Guild to battle villains like the Sportsman, Dr. Blizzard, and the Music Master. But as they team up with Cat Man, Black Siren, Tom Turbine, the Green Guardsman, and the Streak; Green Lantern begins to realize that there’s something peculiar about Seaboard City and its hometown superheroes" (courtesy of Toon Zone).
Shaun McLaughlin on "Legends’" pre-production: “It keeps being talked about. I think there’s an idea of what the episode is going to be about and a rough idea of where it’s going to fall in the schedule, but nothing’s set as to what or when or why or, as far as I know, even what members of the JSA we’re talking about" (courtesy of [website name removed]).
Rich Fogel on "Legends" #1: “This should be a fun one: 'Legends' is a loving tribute to those larger than life, all in color for a dime, Golden Age superheroes. This was a story that Bruce Timm and James Tucker discussed on a long flight back from Korea, and I loved the idea. Andrew Kreisberg’s wonderful script captures all the loopy logic of the old comics, including the ‘Earth II’ concept.
“Originally, we wanted to feature the old Justice Society, but DC had some issues with their use in this particular story, so we compromised and made the Justice Guild of America. With Bruce’s inspired retro designs and the terrific voice casting, I really like the way these new characters turned out...it would be fun if DC published a mock Justice Guild Annual sometime! In addition to being a rollicking, nostalgic adventure, 'Legends' is a thoughtful examination of what inspires true heroism" (courtesy of Toon Zone).
Timm on “Legends”: “At the
time we did the show, DC was going full-blast with their Justice
Society relaunch and, of course, since that Crisis
on Infinite Earths mini-series, there are no parallel dimensions in the DC
Universe, although I think that’s getting muddy now.
At the time, both groups exist on the same Earth and we thought, ‘That
doesn’t really give you the contrast.’ We
really wanted to at least honor the tradition of the fact that you would have
Earth-1 Green Lantern and Earth-2 Green Lantern and the Flash from both worlds
teaming up and you would get some contrast and interest out of that.
So we toyed with a bunch of ideas and nothing was really jelling.
James Tucker and I were both in
“Okay, here’s something I’ve never said before. This story owes everything to Roy Thomas; it’s really weird. Roy Thomas, being the huge Justice Society fan he is, is our direct inspiration for the Ray Thompson character in the story. It started with this idea, what do we do with the Justice Society? There was an Avengers story with the Kree / Skrull War and, at the climax of it, young Rick Jones somehow gets telepathic paranormal abilities and he conjures up his Golden Age comic book heroes; he brings them to life to fight the bad guys. I somehow remembered that little bit and came up with the idea: what if the ‘Justice Society’ exists in another universe where they are, in fact, ghosts; that they’ve been killed and this young comic book fan has used his enhanced mental powers to resurrect them. So that’s where I got the very basics of the story and that little germ is completely indebted to Roy Thomas. [Also], James and I both hit on the same idea at the same time: if the Justice Society was Green Lantern’s childhood heroes, when he finds out they’re ghosts and the Justice Society has to basically sacrifice itself and die again, we knew we would have a very strong, heart-breaking finale. So we loved the idea.
“The more we started talking [about] this show, the more we thought the guy who resurrects the Justice Society [should be] their version of Snapper Carr, who was a sidekick to the Justice League back in the day. So the story just started to snowball and then, at a certain point, remembering the Roy Thomas connection gave me the idea for the ghost Justice Society. It totally made sense that if this was an alternate universe where Roy Thomas was one of the last survivors of a nuclear war and, somehow, got amazing mental powers, that’s exactly what Roy Thomas would do—he would resurrect his childhood heroes, the Justice Society. This is exactly the kind of in-joke story that Roy Thomas himself has done throughout his entire comic book history. It’s a big loop.
“It’s one of those controversial episodes. Some people just don’t get it—people who just want their superheroes to be dark and serious all the time, just don’t get it. It’s not so much we’re lampooning the Justice Society, it’s lampooning old-school superheroes in general. It’s literally lampooning every pre-1965 comic book hero. There was definitely a cultural shift when Marvel started making great strides with the college market and stuff; comic books really started maturing rapidly and comic books were never the same after that. So this was our nod to the way things used to be; the innocence of childhood.
“What I love about it is that the first part is so light and fun, and you get that shocker ending when Hawkgirl finds their graves. Even though we’re still having fun while they’re fighting the wacky villains, once the truth comes out the story just gets deeper, darker, and sadder. By the end I think it’s really emotional" (courtesy of RetroVision CD-ROM Magazine).
Rich Fogel on "Legends" #2: “[In] the JSA story, we ran into some issues with DC over the use of those characters. The solution was to invent a new ‘classic’ super-hero group. Although at first we were disappointed that we weren’t allowed to use the beloved JSA characters, it worked out well in the end" (courtesy of Toon Zone).
Rich Fogel on 'Legends' #3: “There seems to be a lot of anticipation and excitement about 'Legends'—our tribute to those wonderful Golden Age heroes. This story was inspired by Gardner Fox’s ‘Crisis on Earth II’ stories, and writer Andrew Kreisberg perfectly captured the fun and innocence of those tales. In addition to introducing the all-new Justice Guild, this episode features some of our most outlandish and colorful villains ever…wild, weird, and more than slightly twisted, 'Legends' was a true labor of love. This one is for the inner geek in all of us" (courtesy of [website name removed]).
Dan Riba on “Legends” (circa 2005): “It’s obvious [we were] doing our take on the Justice Society, [but] we had been told to shy away from the original characters. We love that Golden and Silver Age stuff; that’s really what we were imparting, that modern comics are different. We [also] wanted to place this story in an idealized environment—a Mayberry meets Pleasantville kind of thing. It had to feel like it was late 1950s or early 1960s, but the television version of that era" (courtesy of ToyFare Magazine).
Phil LaMarr on “Legends”: “I think that [revealing the Stewart read comic books in his youth] was a conscious nod from the writers. They did that once they realized I was a big geek like them. Once you find that fact out, it doesn’t seem out of character [for John], but if someone was to tell you beforehand, you would be like, ‘Really!?! John Stewart reads comics!?!’ Once you see it in play, it all makes sense.
“[As for the scene where the Streak tells Stewart, ‘You’re a credit to your race’], when we read it in the script, it was just like, ‘Whoa,’ and you do a double-take, but that does make sense [given the time period that the Justice Guild was from]. That’s just an aspect of those characters that, if you were to portray them [as existing in the present day], it’s a flaw you wouldn’t necessarily choose to show" (courtesy of Back Issue Magazine).
Maria Canals on "Legends": “It’s an episode where we go back to the ‘50s and we’re with the ‘50s superheroes, and you can really see how we react because we’re more modern. There’s this part where they’re asking me to bake cookies, and my character, Hawkgirl, is like [shifting into character], ‘There is no way I am baking cookies.’ She’s a very independent woman. There’s a lot of humor in that one, and I really enjoyed it" (courtesy of [website name removed]).
nothing on the Injustice Guild: “The villains are more like the ‘60s Batman TV show Rogues Gallery—which is to say, they remind me of Eggman, King Tut, or even Louis the Lilac—not that these are the bad guys mind you. It’s just my impression of the characters […] I don’t want to spoil the names of the bad guys and what not, but it’s a really fun episode with a great little twist to it" (courtesy of Toon Zone).
Stan Berkowitz on "Legends": “Of all the episodes we’ve done, 'Legends' is the one with the most drastic difference between Part One and Part Two—both in terms of visuals and story tone. That’s all I’m going to say about it" (courtesy of Toon Zone).
Screen Grabs from "Legends"
"I have long hypothesized that there are an infinite number of parallel dimensions, each containing its own planet Earth. Each Earth occupies the same location in space, but vibrates at a different speed."
Tom Turbine in "Legacy"
Commentary coming soon!
Images courtesy of Toon Zone and The World's Finest.
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