"Comfort and Joy" is the forty-seventh episode of Justice League. It is the only stand-alone (i.e., half-hour) episode in the series. It originally aired on December 13, 2003.
On an alien planet, the Justice League works together to assemble a machine that will prevent it from colliding with another planet, thus saving its population. Their mission is a success, and the League looks forward to the Christmas season – except perhaps J'onn J'onzz and Hawkgirl, who are unfamiliar with Earth's holidays.
Green Lantern and Hawkgirl
Green Lantern, noticing the beauty of the snow-covered planet, decides to stay behind. He tries to show Hawkgirl the fun of playing in the snow, and they get into a furious snowball fight. She responds by showing him her idea of a celebration: taking him to a rough bar on an outlying alien moon. They raise a glass together, then Hawkgirl touches off a massive bar fight.
Flash makes his annual visit to the Central City orphanage, to ask the kids what they want for Christmas. They eagerly show him a commercial for a toy, "D.J. Rubber Ducky" but Flash finds all the stores sold out. He runs directly to Japan, and manages to get the last one from the factory. Returning to Central City, he is distracted by Ultra-Humanite, on a destructive rampage through a modern art museum. In the ensuing fight, the toy is destroyed when the Humanite falls onto it, and Flash is devastated. Touched, Humanite calls a truce and agrees to fix the toy and surrender himself. He accompanies Flash to the orphanage, though wants to go to jail quickly after this. Flash is surprised to find that Humanite has modified the toy, which previously spoke in rap lyrics and made flatulent noises, to give a musically-accompanied narration of The Nutcracker ballet.
Superman and J'onn
Clark Kent insists that J'onn accompany him home for the holidays. His parents, Jonathan and Martha Kent, welcome J'onn, but he still feels slightly uncomfortable. He takes a walk on the streets of Smallville on Christmas Eve, impressed by the cheerful friendliness of the passers-by. Telepathically hearing a little girl question the existence of Santa Claus, J'onn flies up and lands on her roof, reaching down the chimney to eat the cookies she left out. His final stop is a church where inside people are singing carols.
Humanite returns to jail, where Flash thanks him for his help. Humanite notes he welcomes any opportunity to bring culture to children. Flash gives Humanite an aluminum Christmas tree, which Humanite finds surprisingly touching and tells him he hadn't owned one since he was a lad.
In the bar, John had passed out from the fight; Hawkgirl kisses him on the cheek and wishes him a Merry Christmas.
Clark awakes on Christmas Day, and listens with his parents as J'onn, who has reverted to his natural Martian form, sings a hauntingly beautiful song in his native language while caressing Streaky.
- This is the first of three instances that J'onn appears in a form resembling his classic comic book alter ego, Detective John Jones. He also assumes this appearance in "Starcrossed" and Justice League Unlimited, "To Another Shore".
- When Clark asks where Kara is, Martha says she is skiing with Barbara. Batgirl and Supergirl had met in The New Batman Adventures episode "Girl's Night Out", and remained good friends afterward.
Home video releases
- Justice League - Season Two (DVD)
- Justice League - Season Two (Blu-ray)
- Justice League - The Complete Series (DVD)
- When Superman and J'onn first arrive at the Kents' house in Smallville, Clark still has his styled curl hanging from his forehead, but is dressed as Clark Kent. In the next frame, it returns to the normal hairstyle he wears as Clark.
- Jonathan's description of young Clark's powers conflicts with the continuity of Superman: The Animated Series, "The Last Son of Krypton, Part II", which shows that Clark did not develop his superpowers, including his x-ray vision, until he reached adolescence.
- Batman and Wonder Woman do not appear, but Superman remarks that Batman chose to spend the holiday on monitor duty in the Watchtower.
- Final appearances of Ultra-Humanite, Martha, and Jonathan Kent in the DCAU.
- One of the stuffed animals on Kara's bed resembles Zook, J'onn's sidekick in the sixties.
- The episode pays tribute to J'onn's fondness for Oreo cookies, well-established in the comics.
- Hawkgirl's welcome to the alien bar is reminiscent of the traditional greeting for Norm Peterson on the television series Cheers.
- The carol being sung in the church when J'onn arrives is "It Came Upon the Midnight Clear"
- The Ducky doll begins its narration accompanied by the well-known "Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy" from Pyotr Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker.
- This episode establishes the facts that the Kents wrap their presents in lead to prevent x-ray vision peeking, and that, thanks to his parents, Superman still believes in Santa Claus.
- Carl Lumbly improvised the Martian lyrics to J'onn's song at the end.
- On the alien moon Green Lantern and Hawkgirl visit, one of the aliens has the head of classic gangster film star Edward G. Robinson on a robot body.
|Phil LaMarr||Green Lantern|
|Carl Lumbly||J'onn J'onzz|
D.J. Rubber Ducky (uncredited)
|Mike Farrell||Jonathan Kent|
Store owner (uncredited)
|Shelley Fabares||Martha Kent|
|Kimberly Brooks||Mrs. Saunders|
|Robert Ito||Mr. Hama|
|Steve Wash, Jr.||Little Boy|
|Amber Hood||Little Girl|
Jonathan Kent: It's good to have you home again, son.
Jonathan: Okay, everybody! I'm turning on the Christmas tree!
Hawkgirl: (Entering a bar) Hey, guys!
Ultra-Humanite: You'll be happy to know, Flash, that your words, jejune though they were, did not fall on deaf ears. I appreciate the sentiment behind them, and therefore call a truce in honor of the season.
(as J'onn sings his song)