DC Animated Universe
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"A League of Their Own" is the sixth and seventh episodes of the third season of Static Shock. In this episode, the Justice League Watchtower is struck by a cosmic anomaly that drains most of its energy. With the out-of-orbit station threatening to crash into Earth, the Justice League turns to Static to recharge it. However, the plot thickens when Brainiac manages to escape confinement and take control of the Watchtower. And since the League is investigating a false distress signal, Static and Gear are the only ones there to stop him.

Plot[]

Part I[]

Aboard the Watchtower, Batman is checking the stasis field shielding a left-over module from Brainiac from its environs. As Batman explains to Hawkgirl Brainiac's nature as a regenerative program, "a virus that won't die", an alarm goes off and Flash calls everyone to the control room. As it turns out, the Watchtower is in the path of a cosmic super string, and even with the shield up, most of the power is drained from the station's generator. Brainiac manages to take advantage of this, escaping from his drained stasis field and avoiding Flash's detection when he has a run-around to check all systems. To make the situation worse, the impact from the energy string has accidentally knocked the Watchtower out of orbit, and without power the station's thrusters cannot be utilized to remedy the situation. With no other options to recharge the core available, Batman suggests turning to Static.

While this is happening, Static and Gear have fallen into an ambush by Puff and her team of metahumans dubbed the "Meta-Men", consisting of Onyx, Hotstreak, and Carmen Dillo. Fortunately, the Meta-Men are quickly subdued when the Justice League arrives, and Static and Gear soon on their way to the Watchtower. Upon arriving, Static isn't too thrilled about what he'd been called up to do until reminded that the Watchtower is on a collision course with Earth, "quite possibly Dakota", and he begins recharging the Watchtower until Green Lantern arrives to finish the job.

The moment is interrupted by a distress signal from space. Since the job requires all the League members, they have no choice but to leave Static and Gear alone in the station. The two young heroes quickly take advantage of the situation and enjoy a pizza meal in the station's kitchen. Unfortunately, Brainiac takes this as an opportunity to flush the two into space. They barely make it out of the kitchen before Gear manages to override the kitchen door and shut it. Realizing something is wrong, the duo check the Watchtower's computer and find Brainiac taking over. As he explains to the heroes how he works (he collects a planet's knowledge and then destroys it), he begins to attack the two.

Once they manage to evade Brainiac and the robots he has assimilated, Gear sends a call to the Javelin to warn the League of Brainiac's escape, and they immediately make a U-turn. Jamming their frequency so Brainiac can't listen in, Batman tells Static to re-drain the Watchtower to subdue the virus. This plan proves easier said than done, as Brainiac catches them anyway. Gear plugs Backpack into the Watchtower's systems and downloads a song repeatedly, causing Brainiac to crash and allowing Static to complete the drainage.

The Justice League returns Static and Gear home, congratulating them on saving the world. When all is said and done, Richie stays behind at the gas station to close down but is attacked by Backpack. His personal robot has been invaded by Brainiac, who is still intent on pursuing his destructive plans and now decides to use Richie as his means to achieve his goal ...

Part II[]

In the days that follow, Virgil notices that Richie is acting rather strange. Meanwhile, back at the Watchtower, the Justice League has everything back online, but there has been an enormous and suspicious download that has taken place. Flash volunteers to go down and check with Richie, but he discovers that the boy has been assimilated by Brainiac and is captured. With both Richie and Flash missing, Static teams up with the rest of the League to find them. When they do, Flash ― already in Brainiac's control ― places circuitry boards onto everyone on the search party to assimilate them as well. When Static's falls off due to his electric aura shorting it out, Brainiac orders the League to take him out.

After Static evades the League and frees them from Brainiac's control, J'onn J'onzz reveals that he has tried to make contact with Richie while they were assimilated; Richie kept saying the same word: "control". When Static realizes Richie's referring to Backpack's remote control, he tells the League to hold Brainiac off just long enough for him to retrieve the remote. As they're preparing for this, Brainiac-Richie launches his new ship with which he plans to assimilate the Earth. When Static makes it into the ship, Brainiac captures the remote. But Static manages to short it out from a distance, shutting Backpack down and foiling Brainiac once again.

After the mess is cleaned up, the League clears Brainiac from Backpack and J'onn telepathically checks Richie to be sure Brainiac is no longer in him. John Stewart tells Static he'll be quite a handful when he joins the League.

Continuity[]

Background information[]

Home video releases[]

Production notes[]

  • Vic Dal Chele directed this two-part episode, though for unknown reasons no director was credited.[1]
  • Storyboard artist Brad Rader has stated that due to the fact this was the only chance he had to draw the animated Justice League, he compensated for the "lack of dynamic action" by "playing up the mood building" in his storyboards.[2]
  • When Batman hurls an explosive batarang at the Watchtower, it causes an explosion that is reused footage from the scene of the Superman: The Animated Series episode "My Girl", in which Mr. Eelan blows a vat of hot lead off its support.
  • When Brainiac's craft blows up, the resulting explosion is reused footage from "Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker", when the console that the Jokerz tried to steal blows up.
  • Though aired after each other, the events of "Blast From the Past" take place between these two episodes production-wise. That episode does not feature Gear who is possessed by Brainiac at the time.
  • Batman's character model in "Hard as Nails" and "The Big Leagues" was derived from The New Batman Adventures, but his design in this episode uses his Justice League model.

Production gallery[]

Storyboards[]

Production inconsistencies[]

  • No director is credited for both parts.
  • The Flash's circuitry board is placed on his back; however, when he is chasing Static, the board cannot be seen.
  • When Backpack takes a picture at the end of the first part, Richie is shown with straps on his torso, which are actually Backpack's legs and shouldn't be there.
  • Flash reacts as if he didn't know about the gas station in part II, yet the League dropped Static and Gear off there at the end of part l.
  • In the space fight, J'onn is wearing a jet pack even though he has the ability to fly.
  • J'onn asks Green Lantern and Hawkgirl to provide him cover for when he phases in, yet after he says that, Green Lantern and Hawkgirl just stay in the exact same spot and watch J'onn phase in.
  • Brainiac somehow already knows Static and Gear's civilian identities (even though they never told him).
  • As J'onn is about to phase into the Watchtower from space, he's wearing a spacesuit. Yet, when he phases himself inside, the spacesuit is gone.

Trivia[]

A League of Their Own Promo (Blue)

"A League of Their Own" promotional piece.

  • This episode was originally envisioned as a Teen Titans crossover, but the new show wasn't going to be ready in time so the Justice League idea was pitched instead.[3][4][5]
  • Despite Brainiac being voiced by Corey Burton, his voice is pitched down to the point of nonrecognition. Burton thought it was unnecessary, though his assumption was that due to the show skewing to a younger audience the producers "wanted to make the villain of the piece more monstrous and foreboding than an eerie, creepy presence."[6]
  • Corey Burton admitted to being surprised at how "hokey" the script was in comparison to Justice League, explaining "the lines made him come across as a hands-on-the-hips, challenging-the-universe, stereotypical villain as opposed to this vast cool intellect."[6]
  • Phil LaMarr has stated that this episode "legitimized" the show, and made him "feel like Static Shock was part of the legacy of the super hero entertainment that I grew up watching and reading."[7]
  • This episode was recorded in the same room that Justice League records were normally held.[7]
  • Dan Slott has noted that, in an instance of parallel thinking, the plot to this episode shares many similarities to his story "Local Hero" in the DCAU tie-in comic Justice League Adventures #13.[8] Dwayne McDuffie chimed in that due to production schedule this was entirely coincidence.[9]
  • Wonder Woman and Superman don't appear in this episode (despite the fact that Brainiac is Superman's enemy).
  • This is the first time Phil LaMarr pulled double superhero duty as his main DCAU roles, Green Lantern and Static. The second is on "Fallen Hero" where Static and Green Lantern spend a great deal more time talking to each other.
  • When he takes over the Watchtower, Brainiac tells Static and Gear that "all of this base will soon belong to me", which may be a variation of the popular meme "All your base are belong to us".
  • Richie's look when he has cyborg implants on his face resembles the Cyborg Vera's look from Superman III. Coincidentally, that movie was intended to feature Brainiac in early development.
  • When being attacked by John Stewart, Static refers to him as "Lord of the Ring", a reference to J.R.R. Tolkien's book series The Lord of the Rings.
  • This is the show's only two-part episode.

Cast[]

Actor Role
Phil LaMarr Static/Virgil Hawkins
Green Lantern/John Stewart
Jason Marsden Gear/Richie Foley
Carmen Dillo
Kevin Conroy Batman
Michael Rosenbaum Flash
Carl Lumbly Martian Manhunter/J'onn J'onzz
Maria Canals Hawkgirl
Corey Burton Brainiac
Kimberly Brooks Puff
Jean Smart Maggie Foley
Danny Cooksey Hotstreak

Uncredited appearances[]

Quotes[]

(Static and Gear are ambushed by the Meta-Men)
Gear: Uh, bro? Who do we go after first?
Static: The police!

Flash: You know something, sweetie, you've got an odor problem.

Carmen Dillo: If I knew Static was friends with the Justice League, I wouldn't have joined you boneheads. Not even to do laundry.

Static: Yo, Batman, thanks for the help. But, don't you guys have a galaxy to save or somethin'?
Batman: We need your help, Static.
Static: Say what?
Batman: We need you to come to the Watchtower.

Hawkgirl: Hey, remember your promise to stay in the corner.
Gear: But...
Hawkgirl: (points) In. The. Corner.

Brainiac: You are only delaying the inevitable.
Static: You keep saying that like it's a bad thing.

Static: (after shorting out Batman's control disk) Hope he's not mad when he wakes up.

Flash: (to some girls after initially passing them by) Hello, ladies.

Static: Hawkgirl, Batman, Flash, J'onn... Who am I missing?
(gets shot in the back with a Power Ring blast)
Oh yeah, the Lord of the Ring.

Static: Gear, this is no time to download music.
Gear: Oh, yes, it is. Downloading this song a billion times is filling up the station's memory. Brainiac will crash. Just like my home computer does if I try to do too many things at once.

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