"Alive!" is the twelfth episode of the second season of Justice League Unlimited. It originally aired on May 6, 2006. It acts as the first half of the series finale.
At the Legion of Doom's base, Lex Luthor is attempting to reactivate the sole piece of Brainiac, but it fails once again. Tala urges Luthor to simply give up, but he tells her that this is science, something she doesn't understand. Tala counters that transmutation is exactly what they need, so Luthor allows Tala to work her magic on the piece. It fails to revive Brainiac, but it does allow Luthor to see a vision of where Brainiac's asteroid was destroyed. Using this knowledge, he orders the Legion to begin modifying the base.
Once the modifications are complete, the Legion are assembled in the meeting room. Toyman asks to know why they should be helping, and Luthor says that in exchange for their help, they will become Luthor and Brainiac's lieutenants in the new order they will create. Goldface becomes hostile, but Luthor causes him some pain with a device in his belt. When Atomic Skull asks what their plan is, Luthor reveals that they have modified the Legion headquarters into a spaceship, with the cloaking field being a hyperspace field.
In his cage, Grodd becomes aware of movement, as Tala enters. She wants to release Grodd and kill Luthor. Assembling other dissidents, Grodd demands that Luthor turn the base around and surrender. Soon, a massive fight breaks out among the members of the Legion. However, the Luthor loyalists triumph.
Luthor himself engages Grodd in combat. Even with enhanced metal gloves, Luthor is no match for Grodd's brute strength, and is nearly beaten to death. But he taunts Grodd as a mindless brute, goading Grodd into unleashing his telepathic powers - which is what Luthor has been waiting for. With a touch of his belt, he turns Grodd's mind control powers back onto himself, making Grodd an unwilling puppet. With no choice but to obey Luthor's commands, Grodd kneels and calls Luthor his better, then loads himself into an airlock. Luthor bids Grodd farewell, then releases him into space.
Luthor prepares to execute the remaining mutineers. Killer Frost earns a reprieve by stepping away and doing it for him. The only other one left alive is Tala, who begs for her life, pleading insanity. Smiling, Luthor tells her not to worry, she still has an important part to play...
Arriving at the coordinates, Luthor sets up collectors to bring in the debris which houses Brainiac's essence. Luthor plans to use Tala as a mystical conduit to bring Brainiac back to life, a process which will kill her. Once they are ready, he orders Toyman to throw the switch. However, time is momentarily frozen and the entity Metron appears, urging Luthor not to go through with what he is attempting, saying that it will have consequences for the entire universe. Luthor dismisses him, saying that he's on the verge of godhood and nothing will stop him. Back in normal time, Toyman throws the switch, and Tala crackles with energy, shrieking in agony.
As a figure appears within the smoke of the containment device, Luthor exults to the Legion, "meet your new lord and master!" The smoke clears, and there stands... Darkseid. He thanks Luthor for resurrecting him, saying that while Earth will suffer, they will be granted a small mercy—a quick death. With that, Darkseid destroys the Legion's base.
On Apokolips, the forces of Granny Goodness and Vermin Vunderbar are preparing for a last battle for control of Apokolips. As the armies charge, Darkseid teleports into the field without the use of a Boom tube. Shocked at the sight of their dead master, both factions quickly regain their senses long enough to bow down and repledge their loyalty. When Bernadeth asks for Darkseid's commands, he tells them that he is temporarily halting his search for the Anti-Life Equation to take revenge on Superman by destroying Earth. Kanto respectfully reminds Darkseid that to attack Earth would break his pact with Highfather, and invite retaliation from New Genesis. Darkseid, however, is not concerned with reprisals—once he is finished with Earth, New Genesis is next.
At the Metro Tower, a staffer runs into the control room, telling Superman he needs to get out to the front door now. As Superman and other members of the Justice League head outside, they discover Lex Luthor and the remaining members of the Legion of Doom, as Luthor announces that they have a "little problem"...
- Darkseid makes his first appearance since his apparent death in Justice League, "Twilight."
- Likewise, Apokolips is shown to be in the same state of civil war referenced in Justice League Unlimited, "The Ties That Bind."
- This episode is different from others in that it focuses on the efforts of the villians. In fact, we do not see any members of the Justice League until the very end of the episode.
- On the DVD special feature, Dwayne MacDuffie suggested that Tala deliberately manipulated her magic to resurrect Darkseid rather than Brainiac as her final "screw you" to Luthor.
- Also on the special feature, Bruce Timm said that Grodd's death was sufficiently ambiguous that "we could bring him back if we wanted to."
- Last appearance (in any form) of Brainiac.
- Last appearance of several supervillains, who are presumably eliminated as follows:
|Goldface||Frozen and blown up|
|Shade||Frozen and blown up|
|Rampage||Frozen and blown up|
|Parasite||Frozen and blown up|
|The Key||Frozen and blown up|
|Copperhead||Frozen and blown up|
|Hellgrammite||Frozen and blown up|
|Lady Lunar||Killed in the mutiny|
|Silver Banshee||Killed in the mutiny|
- Luthor's line, "We have a little problem..." appears to be a tribute to the identical line from the classic black comedy film Dr. Strangelove. In one of the film's many famous scenes, the line is spoken by the U.S. President, trying to find a tactful way to tell the Russian premier that a rogue Air Force general has ordered an unauthorized nuclear strike on Russia.
Grodd: (his last words) You twisted little pink rat-hole of a hominid, I'm not done with you! I'll get out of this, and when I do...!
Toyman: Twinkle twinkle, Brainiac. Tala's gonna bring you back.
Bernadeth: What is your will, my lord?