This is a full episode recap, so if you don’t want to read any SPOILERS, please watch the episode before reading this.
(Hey let’s play a drinking game. Sip every time you see the word “Krolotean/Kroloteans” in this review! Just drink responsibly!)
On TV, G. Gordon Godfrey continues his verbal attacks on the Justice League, who have provided the governments of the world with scanners to detect the Kroloteans (sip) who are masquerading as humans. He questions how they were able to whip up this technology so fast and implies that they’ve had them all along and kept them secret.
In Metropolis, two teens enter Bibbo’s Diner. (Superman fans should recognize Bibbo as a longtime supporting cast member.) He freaks out and flees. The two teens pursue and change into their costumes. They are Bumblebee and Blue Beetle. They chase him into an alley, where Bibbo runs face to face into… Bibbo! The second Bibbo punches the first one out. Then the first Bibbo’s stomach pops open and the Krolotean (sip) inside flees into the sewer where he has an escape craft waiting. Blue Beetle argues with his armor again, causing funny looks from Bumblebee and Bibbo. The Krolotean (sip) makes it to a larger craft, filled with other Kroloteans (sip)… and Black Manta?
At Star Labs in Taos, Adam Strange, Miss Martian, Superboy and Beast Boy return from Rann. (If you missed last episode, you can read our recap here.) Miss Martian reports to Captain Atom, Wonder Woman, John Stewart and Nightwing that their mission was a success. Adam Strange also explains his plans for a Zeta shield to prevent any more aliens from using Zeta technology to beam to Earth. He assures Captain Atom that if they place the shield higher than the Watchtower, it will not effect the Justice League’s teleporters.
Miss Martian revels that the Kroloteans (sip) bribed a Rannian official in order for them to land their base on Rann. They then stole Sardath’s technology to beam to Earth.
The big reveal however is what happened during “the missing 16 hours” during which Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Martian Manhunter, John Stewart and Hawkwoman went missing five years previously, while under the control of Vandal Savage. (If you missed it, it occurred in the episode ‘Auld Acquaintance.’) These six heroes went to the planet Rimbor and went on a huge rampage, attacking everyone and everthing they could see while broadcasting in several alien languages that they were the Justice League from Earth. The League brought Earth to the attention of the Kroloteans (sip).
Wonder Woman is shocked and disturbed that she has no memory of this occurance. Captain Atom wonders how it is that Green Lantern John Stewart knows nothing about this incident. John states that Rimbor isn’t in his sector but that he will go to Oa and consult with the Guardians of the Universe and the Green Lantern Corp.
At the Hall of Justice, visitors are viewing the trophies of the League. (One of them looks like Virgil Hawkins a.k.a. Static. Coincidence? Hmmmm.) Catherine Colbert is conducting a tour and points out the remains of the Appelaxians, alien invaders who brought together the founders of the League, but overhears a tourist comment on G. Gordon Godfrey’s implication that the League is secretly in cahoots with the aliens. This scene, while fun, may seem like a throwaway, but it shows the public’s growing distrust of The League and the influence of G. Gordon Godfrey. That Godfrey has a glorious way with words, wouldn’t you say?
Miss Martian and Superboy meet with Batman who tells them that while the League and the Team have been going after the masquerading Kroloteans (sip), all have eluded capture. He also says that the Martian Manhunter has been telepathically interrogating a captured Krolotean (sip) for days, but as Miss Martian explained on Rann, simply translating their alien language is a challenge. However, as has been stated previously, M’gann’s telepathy is mightier than even J’Onn’s. In minutes, she has extracted the information that J’Onn has been unable to glean after days, that the Kroloteans (sip) have a rendezvous point inside a volcano on Malina Island.
A ship flies toward the island and enters through an underwater passage. Inside the volcano, the Kroloteans (sip) are building a new ship that nears completion. Inside the ship we see someone who appears to be Black Manta… speaking to Black Manta. The Black Manta on the ship says he has arrived with the final batch of Kroloteans (sip). The Manta on the view screen thanks the one on the ship and calls him his son. The Manta on the ship removes his helmet and it is revealed that he is… GASP, Kaldur’ahm! The missing Aqualad!
The Bioship in camouflage mode approaches the island with the Bat Family inside. Nightwing is at the helm. (What, can anybody pilot that ship now?) Aquaman and Lagoon Boy drop from the ship into the water. (The close captioning indicates that Lagoon Boy’s Atlantean name is correctly spelled La’gaan. Previously, it had been spelled Lagoon.)
Inside the volcano, a Krolotean (sip) reveals that their plan wasn’t foiled by the Earthlings, it was “the Competitor.” He argues that no one else would have hired Lobo, “the Main Man” to expose them. He also says he was attacked by a Competitor warrior.
Manta Lad checks the status of the various check points around the island but when no one responds from Sector Three, he goes to investigate. La’gaan and Aquaman spy on him, while Nightwing, Robin and Batgirl sneak into an upper level, but Kaldur sees them all and reports them, before firing a mighty blast from his helmet.
A guard spots Robin and fires upon him, bringing the rest of the Bats out of hiding. The Kroloteans (sip) deploy their spider mechs. Lagoon Boy puffs up to his tank mode and smashes one. Meanwhile, a sihouetted figure sneaks in and plants a bomb.
The Bats coninue fighting the Light soldiers, but the big confrontation is Aquaman facing off against Kaldur, his former sidekick. Somehow Manta overpowers him, blast ing Aquaman in the shoulder and knocking him out. Manta radios his “partner” and reports that their base has been infiltrated. The Partner reports that the bomb is set to go off in five minutes and to get his men out. “The bomb will take care of everything else.”
(Commercial break and a really cute short joking about how Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman aren’t really Super Friends with the second stringers.)
Manta Lad orders a retreat. Nightwing calls in backup, Superman, Superboy, Wonder Woman and Wonder Girl. Superman fries a tank through the volcano wall and Aquaman says, “Nice aim.” “X-ray Vision. I cheated.” Superboy and Superman perform a “triple combo.” Awwww! In the beginning, Superman couldn’t even look at Superboy, now they’re executing combat maneuvers together? How sweet!
I loved seeing Woner Woman and Wonder Girl fighting side by side. Of all the sidekick relationships in the comics, those two seem to work together the least. Here, Cassie is star-struck by seeing Diana in combat and gets distracted. “A little less Fan Girl, a little more Wonder Girl,” Diana chides. But after Cassie trashes two tanks, Diana smiles affectionately.
Lagoon Boy charges Manta Lad, but it’s Aquaman who punches him so hard his helmet flies off. Aquaman and Lagoon Boy stand face-to-face with Kaldur’ahm and Aquaman laments that he didn’t want to believe that Kaldur had really turned traitor. What happened? Kaldur accuses the Team of letting his beloved Tula die. Nightwing states that “Aquagirl” was ona mission. La’gaan angrily tells them not to coddle the traitor who has joined forces with their king’s greatest enemy. Kaldur then reveals that Aquaman hid his father’s true identity from him, which Aquaman admits was an error in judgement. Manta Lad delivers a dreadful line, “Blood is thicker than sea water” before firing a missile at them. Superman steps in and intercepts it, but when the smoke clears, Manta Lad is gone.
Nightwing and Superboy track him down, but Kaldur says they can either stop him of save everyone from the bomb. Superboy lunges at him, but Kaldur overpowers him and escapes.
Wonder Girl and Lagoon Boy chase after the enemy ship, but Nightwing orders everyone to evacuate. Kaldur is picked up by the craft and they escape.
The League and the Team rally onboard the Bioship and find… two Kroloteans? (sip) “Hello, Meagan!” They morph into Martian Manhunter and Miss Martian and reveal that they were the Alpha Squad on this mission.
Despite not speaking Krolotean (sip) Superman tries to help them escape, but they don’t trust him and fire upon him. They are still firing upon him when the bomb detonates and blows the island to nothingness! The explosion is so massive it even engulfs the Bioship for a minute before M’Gann maneuvers them free.
The force of the blast sent Superman sky high. He plummets limply into the ocean, where he is rescued by Aquaman. Wonder Woman examines him and says he’ll be fine, but Superboy says that he won’t be fine with not having saved the Kroloteans. (Don’t sip, pour out a shot for the fallen aliens.)
The rest of the heroes are puzzled. Was Manta Lad helping them, or luring them into a trap. Nightwing reveals that the bomb was of alien origin, yet the Kroloteans (sip) knew nothing about it. Batman says he thinks The Team will have to investigate further.
Kaldur rendezvous with the Manta Ship, just in time for Black Manta to recieve a communication from Vandal Savage and The Light. Savage reveals that they have partnered with “The Competitor” who is pleased with the elimination of the Kroloteans. He welcomes Black Manta as a member of The Light, replacing the disgraced Ocean Master.
On the beach outside of Mount Justice, the Team are saying goodbye to many of their mentors. John Stewart explains that The Guardians insisted that the six accused heroes needed to turn themselves in to the Court of Rimbor. Hal Jordan and Guy Gardner have been sent ahead to assure the Rimbor government know that the heroes come in peace. There are several nice character moments. Wonder Woman explains that in addition to the six accused members, Hawkman is also going to accompany his wife and Icon will serve as their advocate, seeing as he is familiar with Intergalactic Trial Law. Superman calls Conner, “Little Brother.” J’Onn asks M’gann to water his plants. Finally, John whips up a Power Ring space craft and they fly off to face their accusers.
A huge episode for this series as we reach a turning point with the loss of the Kroloteans and the foreshadowing of the coming of a new alien threat, the “Competition.” We also discovered what the six League members did during the “missing 16 hours” which has been building for many episodes. But biggest of all, we discover that Kaldur’ahm has turned traitor and that Tula had become Aquagirl and died (as was true in the comics) and that his father is Black Manta (also true in the comics). That still leaves Red Arrow, Speedy, Kid Flash and Artemis unaccounted for. There are more fun Easter Eggs from the comics also sprinkled in, Bibbo, The Appellaxians and of course G. Gordon Godfrey.
The large cast means you have to only focus on a handful at a time, but the appearance at the beginning by Blue Beetle and Bumblebee seemed too short. I’m dying to learn more about The Team’s new members, but I guess I’ll just have to be patient. At least Wonder Girl got a few lines that helped flesh out her character, which I must say, is more in line with how she was originally written by her creator John Byrne. She’s bubbly and totally geeked to be a super hero and to be partnered with Wonder Woman. I like it!
All in all, another thrilling episode! Do you agree? Disagree? Are you drunk yet? Let me know in the comments below!