"A Knight of Shadows" is composed of the twentieth and twenty-first episodes of Justice League. It first aired on September 20 and 27, 2002.
In medieval England, Camelot is under siege by an army of demons, commanded by the sorceress Morgaine Le Fay. Inside the castle, a knight named Jason Blood secretly opens the gate, letting her forces in. She embraces him as her love, then gives him a poisonous kiss that cripples him. As chaos envelops the castle, Merlin looks down on Jason and remonstrates; for his selfish and misguided love, he has doomed Camelot. Merlin curses Jason with immortality and possession by the Demon Etrigan, never to rest until he has defeated Le Fay and atoned for his crime.
A feeble, elderly man is wheeled out of a rare book shop. While Batman is investigating, Jason approaches him; the two men have met before. Jason explains that Morgan is seeking the Philosopher's Stone, that Merlin hid from her: it will give her the ultimate power she needs to conquer the world and give the kingdom to her young son, Mordred.
Batman and Jason follow Le Fay's trail to a castle in Britain. She animates suits of armor and escapes. While fighting them, Jason throws off his mortal body and assumes his demon form.
Batman and Etrigan are joined by the rest of the League. J'onn suggests that he try to locate Le Fay telepathically. As he reaches out, Le Fay seizes his mind and feeds it with an illusion: he suddenly sees himself on Mars, before the war that destroyed it, and re-united with his lost wife and children. Then Etrigan breaks into the illusion and it dispels.
Working in parallel, both Le Fay and the League deduce two leads to the Stone: the archaeologists who excavated the castle right after World War II.
Batman, J'onn, and Etrigan track down one, Henry Moss, who now teaches at a university. Along the way, Etrigan warns Batman that J'onn cannot be trusted now. Batman refuses to listen.
At the same time, Wonder Woman and Flash go to a costume party being thrown by the other archaeologist, Harv Hickman, now a wealthy magazine tycoon. At first their superhero costumes fail to impress the guards, but "Harv" immediately takes a shine to Diana (calling her a "goddess" because of her beauty and revealing armor), kisses her hand and welcomes her in.
Morgaine appears in Moss's home, who turns out to be J'onn in disguise. Batman and Etrigan attack, but Morgaine retaliates, and hits J'onn with another vision of his family. J'onn hesitates, giving her the opening to seriously wound Batman and escape.
Batman awakes in the Watchtower's infirmary. Etrigan has left to join Wonder Woman, but J'onn is there, and apologizes, confessing that the need to see his family alive again is almost too much for him to resist.
At Hickman's party, Diana is inwardly repulsed by "Harv's" narrow, self-centered views, but plays up the role of a vacuous model-type to convince him to show her the Stone, which he confides is the source of his wealth and fame. Just then, Morgaine arrives. Diana grabs the Stone, and Morgaine transforms Hickman into a giant worm creature to attack her. Diana and Flash fight against the creature, but Etrigan arrives and tells Diana to run, getting the Stone as far away from Morgaine as possible, while he holds her off. Diana reluctantly obeys, while Flash evacuates the party guests. When Diana escapes, Morgaine's rage causes a magical blast powerful enough to vaporize the whole (mercifully empty) mansion. Hickman, returned to normal, stumbles out of the wreckage in his shorts, and faints.
The Stone is locked up in the Watchtower's secure vault, and Flash congratulates the team on a mission accomplished. Etrigan refuses to relax.
A short time later, the Watchtower's lights go out, and Morgaine's demonic soldiers appear. Etrigan, Batman, Flash, and Wonder Woman defeat them with difficulty. When the dust settles, they see that the Stone is gone, and J'onn has left the Watchtower in a Javelin.
Morgaine makes her new base in London, magically transforming a museum and the entire city into a massive medieval castle complex. J'onn arrives, and is about to hand the Stone to her, when the League arrives via a magic portal opened by Etrigan. The League attacks, but are barely a match for Morgaine's magic, and Mordred soon reveals his own powers. Etrigan tries to overpower J'onn, who says that Morgaine has promised to use the Stone's power to resurrect all of Mars, including his family. Etrigan scorns this as a lie, but J'onn fights back with desperation, and manages to defeat the demon, but not before reading Jason's mind and seeing the memories of his fall to temptation.
Morgaine and Mordred manage to hold the rest of the League at bay, and she calls J'onn to her. After deeply thinking over what he saw in Jason's memories, J'onn surveys the destruction of the room, and the state of his teammates. As Morgaine reaches out to take the Stone, he crushes it to powder. Shocked, she tells him he has given up his only chance for happiness. He says, "the price was too high." Morgaine withdraws with her son, assuring him that they have lost the battle, but not the war. The building and London return to normal.
The League recover from the fight, and Jason has reverted to his human form. J'onn announces that he is resigning from the League, as his teammates can no longer rely on him. Unexpectedly, Jason is the one who urges him to remain, saying that J'onn, unlike himself, was ultimately able to resist Morgaine's temptation.
Jason takes his leave and walks off into the fog, cursed to keep seeking Morgaine until she is defeated. J'onn hopes that he will find peace one day. The scene then shifts to Jason walking alone in modern times. It then shifts to him in his appearance during his days at Camelot, walking towards the castle, symbolizing his wish to defeat her and die to reunite with his friends.
- Batman says "Whatever it takes" for the third time (in order of production). The first time he said it was in Batman: Mask of the Phantasm. Then in the Batman Beyond episode "The Call".
- Batman is shown to already know Jason/Etrigan, which was established in "The Demon Within".
Home video releases
- Justice League - Season One (DVD)
- Justice League - The Complete Series (DVD)
- Justice League - Season One (Blu-ray)
- The episode listing in the DVD release calls this episode "A Knight With Shadows".
- In J'onn's hallucination of Mars, the sun is the same size as it is on Earth. It should be smaller.
- Batman turned his head to the right when he should have turned it to the left when heard Jason blood voice as he entered the antiquarian.
- Morgaine's brooch warns her when Etrigan is near, yet it doesn't go off when she arrives at the archaeologist's home with Etrigan scouting in close proximity. It failed to detect him when he ambushed her at Hickman's mansion, as well.
- When J'onn comes to Morgaine from the Javelin, the color of Mordred's hat keeps changing from yellow to purple.
- At first, Diana places the Stone behind her, next it is shown in Diana's belt.
- Superman, Hawkgirl, and Green Lantern do not appear, but Superman is only mentioned by Flash while chatting with the two models.
- This story may be partially based on Martian Manhunter (Vol. 2) #28 as J'onn stops Morgaine from obtaining the Philosopher's Stone by destroying it. The main part of the story, however, is Morgaine separating Etrigan from Jason and taking control of him much like Klarion did in The New Batman Adventures episode "The Demon Within" with Morgaine's branding iron.
- Harv Hickman is an obvious parody of Hugh Hefner. Likewise, the indoor swimming pool Flash finds is obviously modeled on the famous "Grotto" from Hefner's Playboy Mansion.
- Michael Gough, the voice-over actor who plays Henry Moss, is not to be confused with the other Michael Gough, the English actor who played Alfred in the live-action Batman films by Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher.
- Morgaine's militia bear a strong resemblance to the Neo-Men ― a group of mindless soldiers which appeared in DC Comics' Camelot 3000 miniseries.
- Billy Zane, who voiced Etrigan in The New Batman Adventures episode "The Demon Within", is replaced in this episode by Michael T. Weiss.
- Michael T. Weiss (Etrigan) and Olivia d'Abo (Morgaine Le Fay) starred on Disney's "The Legend Of Tarzan" as Tarzan and Jane, respectively.
- At Harv Hickman's costume party there are several guests dressed as DC Comics characters. Those include:
- Batman (closely resembling an actor of 50 years later)
- Catwoman (similarly from the musical)
- Maxie Zeus
- An old-style Aquaman
- Doctor Bedlam
- Black Racer
- Vykin the Black
- Goody Rickles (a parody of Don Rickles)
- OMAC faceless agents
- Harley Quinn
- Devilance the Pursuer
- Phantom of the Sewers (an old Etrigan villain)
- The attendant dressed in a Batman costume is doing the Bat-Tusi ― the dance made famous in the 1960s television series Batman starring Adam West.
- Harv Hickman is transformed into a worm that bears a strong resemblance to "The Eater" from Kamandi #18.
- Morgaine's line "Youth is so wasted on the young" is a paraphrase of one of the most famous quotes by Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw.
- While trying to lure Harv who was transformed into a worm, Flash calls him "Cecil", which is a reference to Beany and Cecil, a '60s-'70s cartoon series about a boy and his sea serpent.
- This episode reveals that Martians are not mammals, as J'onn's wife had no breasts.
- Mordred's hat is miscolored to his hair color at several points in the episode'. First when he sits on the throne, and later when the Justice League land their jet on the palace.
Security Guard #1 (uncredited)
|Susan Eisenberg||Wonder Woman|
|Carl Lumbly||J'onn J'onzz|
|Michael Rosenbaum||The Flash|
|Olivia D'Abo||Morgaine Le Fay|
|Michael Gough||Professor Henry Moss|
Security Guard #2 (uncredited)
|William Morgan Sheppard||Merlin|
|Dave Thomas||Harv Hickman|
|Michael T. Weiss||Jason Blood/Etrigan|
Jason Blood: Gone, gone the form of man. Rise the demon Etrigan!
Flash: (Flash locks away the Philosopher's Stone) Ha! I'd like to see her try and get it now.
Wonder Woman: Flash is right. There's something unsettling about your friend. When he stares, it's like he's looking into my very soul.
Modred: Get out of my castle! (fire-blasts at Flash and Wonder Woman)