DC Animated Universe

"Grudge Match" is the ninth episode of the third season of Justice League Unlimited, and the 35th of the overall series. It originally aired on March 11, 2006.


Roulette informs Lex Luthor that Meta-Brawl's receipts have dwindled to almost nothing, due to the poor quality of the fighters left to her; together with the hefty cut that Luthor demands of all Legion of Doom members, she is having trouble making ends meet. She asks for the loan of a few Legion members to increase interest. Luthor, as always, is preoccupied with trying to resurrect Brainiac, but realizes that he needs funds to construct a new device. When an over-protective Tala starts threatening her, and Sonar goads them on, Roulette comes up with a new idea: an all-female fight card. Luthor contributes to that concept with a special twist: Since most villainesses are occupied with duties for the Society, other superpowered females have to be rounded up as participants...

Black Canary vs

Black Canary fights against Fire in Glamor Slam.

During a joint night patrol of the city streets, Huntress notices that Black Canary is so exhausted that she has trouble subduing a pickpocket, who manages to knock her down with a single punch at least three times. Huntress suspects something is up, but The Question is skeptical, and despite their mutual dislike, Huntress begins to stake out Canary. After witnessing her leaving her apartment in the middle of the night, and planting a homing device on Canary's motorcycle, Huntress follows her into Blüdhaven. After knocking out a number of guards, Huntress goes secret identity, entering a new, spiffy arena, where she is surprised to see Canary in a brutal fight against Fire, which the former wins. Roulette, acting as emcee, calls Canary the undefeated champion of her new enterprise, "Glamor Slam".

Huntress and Black Canary

Huntress informs Canary of Roulette's plan.

Afterwards as Canary is leaving, Huntress angrily confronts her, pointing out that she had nearly killed Fire. She begins asking if she's working undercover or being blackmailed and continues to demand an explanation, but Canary attacks her. In the fight, Canary's League communicator is smashed, and Canary awakens as if from a trance, but before she can recover her wits, she is knocked down by Huntress, and subsequently both of them are taken prisoner by Sonar, who is assisting Roulette. As they compare notes in their cell, Huntress and Canary realize that Roulette has been using Grodd's mind control technology, utilizing the League comlinks with ultrasonic equipment controlled by Sonar, to “recruit” female Leaguers to fight in her ring. Soon, Roulette and a doctor arrives to check on Fire, to which Huntress informs Canary over what she did while hypnotized. Canary and Huntress confront Roulette, who reveals that since now that they are free of her control, she has to get rid of them – and might as well make a show of it.

That night, Roulette announces a double-match: Huntress and Canary vs. Vixen and Hawkgirl. With difficulty, the two manage to remove the others' communicators and free them from the mind control, but are unable to call for backup due to Roulette disabling the communicators. Then Roulette reveals her final contender: Wonder Woman, who's more than powerful enough to take all of them down.

Huntress vs

Huntress and Black Canary have a friendly fight.

As Vixen and Hawkgirl fight a losing battle to hold off Wonder Woman, Canary and Huntress break out of the ring's cage and make their way to the control center. Sonar stuns Canary with his ultrasound equipment, while Huntress is surprised to find that Roulette is actually a skilled and deadly martial artist herself. She gains the upper hand, however, disables both her and Sonar, and orders the latter to switch off the mind-control signal. Below, Wonder Woman has Vixen and Hawkgirl thrashed and helpless, and the signal is interrupted only a split second before she smashes their skulls together.

Roulette and Sonar are arrested, and the rest of the League members are released. Canary thanks Huntress, and offers to try to get her reinstated in the League. Huntress thanks her, but declines. Before going home, the two women decide to have one last re-match.


Background information[]

Home video releases[]


Nightwing's cameo

Nightwing cloaked under darkness: another way to sidestep the Bat-embargo.

  • When he opens a container of ice-cream, Question triumphantly declares "32 flavors". This is in reference to the "31 flavors" slogan used by Baskin-Robbins, an American global ice cream parlor.
  • Dick Grayson has a blink-and-you-miss-it cameo as Nightwing, marking his last appearance in the DCAU, shown watching from a rooftop as Canary and Huntress drive into Blüdhaven, which was Nightwing's base of operations in DC comics in the late 1990s.
  • This is the first and only episode to show Huntress without her mask.
  • Last appearance of Huntress in the DCAU.
  • Last speaking appearances of Black Canary and Question.
  • There are several inside references to the unspoken tension between Shayera and Vixen, over John Stewart: Vixen remarks that she and Shayera were just starting to get along, and during the fight with Wonder Woman, there is a moment when Shayera nearly kills Vixen by accident with her mace, and both of them look stunned.
  • The episode shares many plot points with the episode "Gladiatrix" of the live-action Birds of Prey series, including female metahumans being recruited against their will for a fight club, right down to the use of Huntress and Black Canary as the main heroines.


Actor Role
Amy Acker Huntress
Morena Baccarin Black Canary
Clancy Brown Lex Luthor
Corey Burton Brainiac
Sonar (uncredited)
Maria Canals Hawkgirl
Fire (uncredited)
Jeffrey Combs Question
Meta-Brawl assistant (uncredited)
Susan Eisenberg Wonder Woman
Juliet Landau Tala
Virginia Madsen Roulette
Gina Torres Vixen

Uncredited appearances[]


Roulette: Lex, darling. I'm having some serious financial problems, and I'm afraid you're to blame.
Lex Luthor: Well, don't look at me to bail you out, Roulette. I'm the one who skims you!

Roulette: You're playing with fire, witch!
Tala: Who's playing?

Roulette: The new Meta-Brawl! All girl fights, all the time! We'll call it "The Glamor Slam" or "The Belles of the Brawl"!
Sonar: "Chickapalooza"!

Question: The deeper mystery here is "why do you even care?" Isn't this the woman who beat the snot out of you a few months back?
Huntress: She got a lucky shot in! (pause) Okay, five or six lucky shots.

Question: A-ha! As I suspected... thirty-two flavors.

(On the phone)
Huntress: So, what are you wearing?
Question: Blue overcoat, fedora...
Huntress: You really stink at this.
Question: ...orange socks?
(she hangs up)

Roulette: Let the pain begin!

Huntress: They've had you up every night working the arena. No wonder you've been fighting like a girl. (pause) You know what I mean.

Roulette: Of course, you two aren't under my control any longer, which means I'm going to have to eliminate you. In the ring, of course. Why just shoot you when I can sell tickets and lay odds?
Huntress: You're scum.
Roulette: No, no, my dear. I'm an entrepreneur.

Roulette: Huntress and Black Canary versus two new contenders! Vixen, the beauty with the beast powers, and the Thanagar thrasher... Hawkgirl!

Huntress: Looks like we're in this together.
Black Canary: If you call me "girlfriend", I'm gonna dropkick you into the next county.
Huntress: Now, don't go all sentimental on me.

Vixen: I don't wanna hurt you, Shayera.
Shayera: But I wanna hurt you!
Vixen: Just when we were starting to get along...

Shayera: I don't think I wanna know.
Vixen: We're all in a cage match fighting to the death.
Shayera: Yeah! See?

Roulette: Yes, that's really Wonder Woman, ladies and gentlemen! It is on! Can even these four beautiful bruisers stand up to the Amazon powerhouse herself?

Vixen: Anybody got a plan?
Shayera: Yeah, try to stay alive.
Huntress: Anybody got a good plan?

Sonar: In another thirty seconds, your brains will be so scrambled, I'll be able to serve 'em up with bacon.

Huntress: Do I kill the signal or you?

Black Canary: You know, if you want, I can talk to the League and get you back in.
Huntress: Nah, I do fine on my own.
Black Canary: Thank you, Helena. If you hadn't...
Huntress: You would have done the same.

Huntress: You know, I was totally whipping your butt back when they caught us.
Black Canary: Pff. In your dreams!
Huntress: Like I'd waste my dreams on you...