"Eclipsed" is the thirty-ninth and fortieth episodes of Justice League. It first aired on November 8, 2003.
In an unnamed foreign country, an American special ops team is tracking an elusive criminal. Following his trail into what they believe is his hideout, they find themselves in a cavernous ancient ruin. They notice the word "CAVE" inscribed on the wall, which one of them realizes is Latin for "Beware".
At the end of the ruin is a large purple gemstone sitting on a pedestal. One of the soldiers reaches for it greedily, but then a bizarre figure jumps down: an old man who calls himself Mophir, dressed in ancient armor and wielding a sword.
Despite his age, he is amazingly swift and agile. He yells at them not to touch the gem, but they manage to subdue him.
The first soldier, Burns, picks up the gem. A moment later, he begins humming an eerie tune. Then he turns on the other soldiers and opens fire, causing the ruin to cave in. Burns walks out alone, carrying the gem, and humming the same eerie tune.
In Central City, Flash has gotten in trouble again. He's taken to doing product endorsements, drawing harsh criticism from talk show host "Glorious" Gordon Godfrey, who claims he, and the entire Justice League, are exploiting their roles as heroes for their own gain, and that they pose a much greater menace than any of the so-called villains they fight. Indignant, Flash makes a surprise appearance on Godfrey's show, but ends up humiliating himself and the League even further. Green Lantern and Wonder Woman are likewise outraged, both by Godfrey's comments and Flash's irresponsible behavior.
In the desert, Mophir emerges from the ruin, dons the boots of one of the knocked out soldiers, and begins tracking Burns.
Burns is picked up by a patrol, who takes him back to base. Once he has reached the base, he draws his gun on the driver and demands to know about man's deadliest weapons. Scared and confused, the driver says the best thing he can think of is a nuclear weapon, which can kill thousands, maybe millions. Burns considers it a start..
Doing his latest endorsement, Flash takes exception to the corny script and the snooty director. He rushes out of the studio in a huff, managing to collapse the set. To avoid paying damages, Flash's venal agent, Artie, sells the footage of the snafu to Godfrey's talk show, providing further ammunition for Godfrey's accusations.
On the base, the commanding officer, General McCormick, is preparing to exhibit a new device, the AFD, designed to protect against nuclear attack by stopping the fusion inside a ballistic missile's atom bomb. In the middle of the test, Burns breaks through the barrier around the exposed nuclear missiles. He is pursued and captured by the base authorities.
A short time later, when Burns is being interrogated, he claims not to remember anything, including the fact that his squad was taken out by friendly fire. As General McCormick watches the interrogation, he is now shown holding the gem. He walks down the hall, whistling the same eerie tune.
Seeing data on the AFD, he begins reviewing it, interested. Then he sees Godfrey's latest talk show, during which Godfrey rants that, if they wanted to, the "Just Us" League could destroy the world. The General asks a nearby colonel how to locate the League, and the colonel jokes he should put on a gaudy costume and threaten to hurt a lot of people.
Flash confronts Artie, wanting to know how Godfrey got hold of the embarrassing footage from the commercial shoot. Artie feigns ignorance. Their discussion is interrupted by an explosion from a nearby power plant. Flash joins Lantern and Wonder Woman in going to investigate.
General McCormick stands atop a tower, ranting that mankind's time will be forever eclipsed. True enough, he has donned a gaudy costume and face makeup that looks slightly absurd, but he is armed with genuine weapons stolen from the base, and the explosion reveals that he has set fire to the flammable gas in the sewers. Lantern and Flash take care of the fire, while Wonder Woman flies into the power plant to confront the villain. She easily disarms him, and he tells her to stay back, saying she can't have his precious black diamond, which has the power to destroy the world. Undaunted, she seizes the diamond from his grip…
Lantern and Flash arrive and find Wonder Woman about to drop McCormick from a high ledge. Surprised, they stop her, and ask if she is all right. She says she's fine and walks out, humming the eerie tune.
McCormick comes around and is interrogated at the local police station. He claims not to remember what he did, or why he is dressed in the bizarre outfit. He is equally confused to hear that the AFD is missing. He insists that it isn't a weapon, it can only be used for defense against nuclear attack. Wonder Woman is watching the interrogation from behind the mirror.
As she, Flash, and Lantern emerge onto the street, Mophir appears and attacks. Wonder Woman beats him off with ease, but Mophir flashes her with light from a large ruby, and she falls unconscious. Mophir raises his sword for the kill, but Lantern's ring knocks him unconscious. While Lantern takes Diana to the Watchtower for medical treatment, Flash follows Mophir, who is taken to the local asylum in a straitjacket. The doctors dismiss him as a raving lunatic, but as Flash is leaving, he hears Mophir say his mantra about mankind's time, just as McCormick did. Deciding to listen, Flash asks Mophir to explain himself...
Thousands of years ago, prehistoric men fought a vicious war with the Ophidians, humanoid snake creatures. As the war turned in man's favor, the Ophidians made a last-ditch attempt for victory: during a solar eclipse, they conducted a magic ritual that created the Heart of Darkness, imbuing it with the souls of the last of their warriors. Anyone who touched the gem would be possessed by their vengeful spirits, whose only goal was to wipe out the human race. The eerie tune hummed by the gem's victims is the incantation the sacrificed Ophidians chanted as their souls were taken. Mophir is the last surviving member of a clan of ancient warriors that erected the temple around the Heart and swore to guard it forever.
Flash asks how the possessing spirits can be driven away. Mophir says, two ways: First, with the light from his ruby; or second, by decapitating the possessed person.
Flash returns to the Watchtower and fills in J'onn, who comments that Diana has been acting strangely. After a brief talk with Diana, who seems to be normal, Flash returns to the others, who say that they have just discovered a breach in their security. They review the security tapes, and see J'onn removing the AFD from a Javelin. J'onn, confused, claims not to remember; Flash dashes off and returns with Mophir's gem, which he has brought with him. He flashes J'onn, then Diana, without effect. He flashes Superman – but then the gem is suddenly destroyed by a blast from Lantern, who is shown holding the diamond.
The possessed Lantern attacks with the ring's powers, but the League manages to overpower him and knock him unconscious, and the diamond falls from his hand. Hawkgirl recklessly raises her mace and smashes it to shards. This turns out to be a bad move, as the fragments scatter throughout the area and stick to every other League member, except Flash, the only one fast enough to evade them. Now Flash is the only one of them not possessed. He runs, with the others in pursuit.
While Flash hides, he watches as the others activate the AFD, and Lantern sends it hurtling towards the sun. Flash runs to a communications terminal and tries to phone Batman, but Superman catches up with him and destroys the phone, then severely injures Flash with his heat vision. Barely able to trick Superman, Flash runs to the Javelin bay, but finds the controls smashed and the other League members closing in on him. When the AFD hits the sun, the fusion on the surface of the star begins to stop, and a dark stain begins to spread on its surface. As the sun eclipses, people on Earth scream in panic, and Mophir laments that he has failed.
Flash escapes and limps to an engineering bay, where the others converge on him, all humming the Ophidian chant. Flash waits until they are close enough, then throws a switch and opens the cover on a huge power plant nearby, blinding the others with light that drives the spirits out and the shards of the diamond off their skin.
The other League members recover from the possession, but the threat to life on all Earth is still existent. After a quick analysis, J'onn concludes that the only way to reverse the damage to the sun is to create a wormhole near the stain that will drain away the anti-fusion matter. The Javelin is equipped with a wormhole generator, but it requires a near-lightspeed velocity to trigger it, the Javelin itself is too damaged to use in time, and Superman can't fly that fast.
Lantern comes up with a radical plan: He will take Flash into space, near the sun, and use his ring to provide Flash with a running path to pick up speed; their combined speeds may trigger the generator at the precise point necessary to open the wormhole. Flash makes one of his fastest runs to date, and hurls the generator at the stain. To everyone's surprise, it works: The wormhole opens and the stain is leached away, restoring the sun to life. On Earth, people cheer, and Mophir smiles.
Flash awakens in the Watchtower sickbay, weak and dizzy, but triumphant. Later on, the Justice League is honored at a public ceremony for saving the world. Godfrey's sponsors drop him, and his show is moved to an early-morning timeslot on a public access channel with hardly any viewers. Upon which, he sycophantically tries to salvage what's left of his damaged reputation by claiming to have been on the League's side all the time. Artie calls Flash to tell him his sponsors are eager to sign him on again. A little embarrassed, Flash declines to do any more endorsements, but as a payback measure recommends Mophir as a replacement - with somewhat predictable results.
- "Just-Us League" was used as a joke by Hawkgirl on the episode "Twilight" after J'onn points out how the two of them, Wonder Woman, and Superman are orphans and exiles (not knowing about Batman yet).
- The commercial for Lightspeed Energy Bars features a host of Flash's rogues, two of which—Mirror Master and Captain Boomerang—appear later in Justice League Unlimited, in "Task Force X" and "Flash and Substance". Also in "Task Force X", Lightspeed wrappers are used to conceal the components of a gun Deadshot (voiced by Michael Rosenbaum) had in a lunch box.
- A box of the energy bars appears among the supplies Superman salvages in "Hereafter, Part II".
- Flash's last "standee" is destroyed by Orion in "Flash and Substance".
- A reference to Flash's endorsement ventures in this episode was made in "Clash" as Superman admonished Captain Marvel after the media misconstrued Marvel's comments as an endorsement of Lex Luthor for President. Among other rules, Superman scolded, "We don't sell deodorants on television," prompting an embarrassed Flash to look away.
- The two cops questioning General McCormick are the same cops that interrogated the Flash in "The Brave and the Bold, Part I".
- Cousin Spunky from the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Baby-Doll" can be seen in the audience in Godfrey's last show.
Home video releases
- Justice League - Season Two (DVD)
- Justice League - Season Two (Blu-ray)
- Justice League - The Complete Series (DVD)
- When General McCormick fires a missile at GL, Flash and Wonder Woman, it hits a street-lamp causing an explosion that is reused footage from Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, when the Joker targets Batman with the defense satellite and blows up a Cinema.
- Batman does not appear, though Flash attempts to reach him by phone when the rest of the possessed League is after him.
- Mophir is voiced by Tracey Walter, who had a small role in the 1989 Batman film as "Bob", the Joker's right-hand man.
- Tracey Walter (Mophir) and Bruce McGill (General McCormick) previously appeared together in the psychological horror film The Hand.
- When Superman is under the influence of the Heart of Darkness and he burns the Flash with his heat vision, a dark, slower version of the Superman: The Animated Series theme starts to play.
- General McCormick's "gaudy" costume is based on that of Eclipso, a villain of the "Eclipsed" storyline from the comics and an enemy of the comics' Mophir. Also, while the main villains (the evil spirits that possess the League members) are never referred to by name, they are also based on the villain Eclipso.
- In the comics, Glorious Godfrey is an evil New God sent to Earth from Apokolips, who has powers of hypnosis and mind manipulation, which he uses to turn public opinion against the Justice League, or to welcome Darkseid's invasion.
- When preparing for his run towards the sun, Flash uses the phrase "Cosmic Treadmill". In the comics, this refers to an actual machine, a treadmill-like device that uses Flash's hyper-speed to achieve a time-warp.
- During his talk show Godfrey refers to a book called "The Innocent Seduced" by a "Dr. Frederic". This is a reference to Seduction of the Innocent, an influential book written in the 1950s by Fredric Wertham which accused comic books of corrupting minors.
- Flash's reference to "Hard Traveling Heroes" is possibly a reference to the story arc of the same name starring Green Arrow and Green Lantern.
- In the commercial for Lightspeed Energy Bars, Flash says, "Thanks, yo". In the later episode "Secret Society", Clayface (impersonating Flash) says "yo" while talking to Batman, which tips Batman off that it was Clayface "overplaying his part".
- The theme that plays when Godfrey's show cuts to a commercial break is a shorter, quicker-paced version of the main theme of the Teen Titans episode "Car Trouble".
|Susan Eisenberg||Wonder Woman|
|Phil LaMarr||Green Lantern|
|Carl Lumbly||J'onn J'onzz|
|Michael Rosenbaum||The Flash|
|Enrico Colantoni||Glorious Gordon Godfrey|
|Ian James Corlett||Sarge|
|Brian Doyle-Murray||Artie Bauman|
|Bruce McGill|| General McCormick
|Victor Williams||Snooty British Director|
Flash: Yeah, but... we're the good guys!
Flash: This bites! Your commercial's stupid, you're a no-talent hack and your doughnuts are stale! I'm outta here fast, fast, fast!
Glorious Godfrey: Role models? Look, I've seen showgirls with more modesty than this so-called "Wonder Woman".
Wonder Woman: And what's wrong with the way I dress?!
Flash: Where do these nuts come from?
Green Lantern: He torched the sewers.
Possessed Green Lantern: You've lost, human.