"I Am Legion" is the first episode of the third season of Justice League Unlimited, and the 27th of the overall series. It originally aired on September 17, 2005.
Back in the city, Superman, Shayera, and Aztek help investigate Luthor's escape. Federal agent King Faraday re-appears, now the official liaison between the Attorney General's office and the Justice League. He explains that the League were not informed of Luthor's transfer because he was not deemed a threat, saying that they haven't had a peep out of him since the Brainac incident last summer .
Grodd explains that his organization is a sort of "co-op" for supervillains; Grodd provides them shelter, and allows them to organize teams for their own independent jobs, in exchange for a cut of the take. Luthor says he isn't interested in joining; his previous pursuits of money and power seem stale after his brief merger with Brainiac — "for a moment, I achieved absolute knowledge, godhood". Grodd comments on the tragedy of the whole affair, and laments that every piece of Brainiac was destroyed by the Flash. Then Grodd reveals his trump card: A fragment of Brainiac, the last one left on Earth. Luthor demands the piece, but Grodd will only agree if Luthor does a job for Grodd. As Luthor hesitates, it is revealed who Luthor is speaking to — An image of Brainiac that only he can see and hear, who tells Luthor that his programming could be salvaged from that piece. Realizing that he could reconstitute Brainiac and reunite with him, Luthor agrees to join Grodd's army.
In the Metro Tower, the new Earth-based "embassy" and headquarters of the Justice League that Superman proposed. While Shayera and Flash are doing monitor duty, Shayera notices Wally's crush on Fire, another fellow Leaguer, and teases him about it. Exasperated by his shyness, she determines to tell Fire about the crush herself, until a call comes from Faraday. Chuck Sirianni, the last surviving Blackhawk, says that he's received a remote alarm from the security system on Blackhawk Island, which is filled with advanced weapons and technology that they confiscated during World War II and afterwards. Seeing a likely lead to Luthor, Shayera, Flash, and Fire form a team to investigate.
On the plane trip to the Island, Fire shows interest in getting to know Flash better, but Flash is too flustered to respond. Shayera is about to intervene when the plane is attacked by two giant robotic vultures. The team abandons the plane and destroys the robots, with help from Chuck and his fighter jet. The four of them arrive on the island and make their way to the compound. Inside, Luthor is breaking into the compound's vault, and triggers more automated defenses to slow the team down.
The team gets past the defenses and confronts Luthor. They manage to defeat Dr. Polaris and the Key, but Luthor forces a stalemate by taking Chuck hostage. Luthor triggers the island's self-destruct countdown, and the villains escape, though Chuck manages to get away from them. Shayera chooses to stay behind and disable the self-destruct rather than pursue. They also notice that a box in the vault is empty.
Luthor and his cohorts return to the Legion's headquarters with their prize: The Spear of Longinus, which Hitler believed made its bearer invincible. Luthor asks what Grodd plans to do with it, and Grodd smugly retorts that he thought it would look good in his office. Grodd further explains that, as far as he knows, the spear is completely worthless — The whole mission was just an "audition"; A test of Luthor's abilities. Luthor initially laughs it off, but becomes outraged when Grodd reveals that Luthor still has to do something for him before Grodd offers up the piece of Brainiac. Luthor is furious and seething, but Brainiac's voice tells him he has to play along until they can get the piece of him back.
On Blackhawk Island, Shayera and Chuck pay their respects to the Blackhawks' memorial. Fire remarks that Superman will be upset that they let Luthor get away just to keep the museum from being destroyed. Looking over at Shayera and Chuck, Flash just smiles and says it was worth it.
- Chuck refers to Justice League, "The Savage Time", when the Justice League, including Shayera, traveled back in time to World War II and fought with the Blackhawks against the Nazis under Vandal Savage.
- Luthor refers to his brief merger with Brainiac, in "Divided We Fall", since which Luthor has been in prison.
- Agent Faraday reappears after his introduction in "Double Date".
- Luthor promises Grodd that he won't kill him, at least not yet. Grodd's death at Luthor's hands eventually occurs in "Alive!".
Home video releases
- Justice League Unlimited - Season Two (DVD)
- Justice League - The Complete Series (DVD)
- DC Comics Super-Villains: Justice League Masterminds of Crime (DVD)
- Justice League Unlimited - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
- Special features on the Justice League Unlimited, Season Two DVD's reveal that the storyline throughout this season, dealing with the new Secret Society under the command of Grodd, was heavily inspired by the Legion of Doom from the Super Friends. Season Two of Justice League Unlimited, which culminated with the episode "Epilogue" in the latest chronological event in the DC Animated Universe, concluded all current storylines and involved (and defeated) many of primary antagonists which had previously faced the Justice League, as the producers had feared it would be the last season of the series and wanted to wrap up all unresolved issues; when a third season was ordered, a new plot was required. The Legion of Doom was proposed, and originally dismissed, as the idea had previously been explored in the Injustice Gang and Secret Society, but was later adopted when it was decided to introduce a full adaptation of the previous organization, including the swamp hideout and large roster.
- According to writer Matt Wayne, this episode was written before Cartoon Network greenlit the production of the third season.
- Doctor Polaris calls himself a ferrokinetic. Ferrokinesis is the ability to manipulate and control iron-based metals, like Queen and Marvel Comics' Magneto. Polaris' power as shown in the episode is actually the one he has in the comics, magnetokinesis—the ability to manipulate magnetic fields around metals susceptible to magnetism.
- When Fire is talking to Superman on the monitor, she doesn't have her gloves on, but in the next shot, when she's speaking with Ice, her gloves are back on.
- The title refers to a demon-possessed man described in the Bible. He was inhabited by a multitude of demons, and proved so strong he could not be restrained. He called himself Legion, "for we are many". Thoth Khepera had previously referred to herself as Legion in Batman: The Animated Series, "Avatar".
- Several visual references are made to "The Savage Time" including the "War Wheel" tanks. Inside the Blackhawk museum is one of Vandal Savage's portrait posters, and one of his Nazi-style flags.
- The costumes on display in the museum are references to Blackhawk lore. The display on the left features villains:
- Killer Shark debuted in Blackhawk #50. He was a pirate who piloted a number of sea-animal inspired boats and planes, and commanded a small army of raiders.
- Queen Killer Shark was Zinda Blake, Lady Blackhawk. In Blackhawk #200 (and several later issues), Killer Shark drugged and brainwashed Zinda to believe she was his queen.
- King Condor was a bird-themed villain, first appearing in Blackhawk #142. The King Vultures were part of his arsenal of robotic birds.
- The Hoopster was a stage magician named the Great Hoopla, who performed with flaming hoops. Though the white costume featured in the museum was the one featured on the cover of his debut in Blackhawk #135, he used a fake beard and glasses as a disguise in the issue itself.
- The display on the right of the screen displays some of the Blackhawks' costumes:
- The old blue, worn from their debut, as well as in "The Savage Time".
- Chop Chop's coolie uniform. Chop-Chop was originally a stumbling sidekick character, created by Will Eisner in a similar vein as the Spirit's chauffeur Ebony White. He was a stereotypical Chinese short-fry cook at first, but was later retconned to be the son of a Chinese chief who seemingly collaborated with Japanese invaders, but led a double life as freedom fighter White Dragon.
- The red and green uniforms, introduced in Blackhawk #197, was the start of a revision to the Blackhawk brand, as the team's original premise of World War aces was outdated 20 years after the war.
- The red and blue "New Blackhawk" costume was introduced in the revival issue Blackhawk #244. After their last costume switch in the mid-sixties, the Blackhawks had a brief stint as super-powered heroes. It was generally reviled, and let to a cancellation of the title in 1968. In 1976, the series was revived, but lasted only seven issues. The series was revamped in 1982 by Mark Evanier and in 1988 by Howard Chaykin; both the current comics Blackhawks and the DCAU Blackhawks are a mix of these two teams.
- Zinda Blake was the first Lady Blackhawk, debuting in Blackhawk #133. A wealthy American adventurer, she made her way into the male bastion of the Blackhawks where previous one-shot women like Sheila "She-Hawke" Hawke and Sugar, the Blonde Bomber had failed. In the Zero Hour crossover event, Zinda was brought to the future; she currently serves with the Birds of Prey in the titular series by Gail Simone.
- The self-destruct sequence is aborted with seven seconds to spare. This may be a homage to the James Bond film Goldfinger in which a technician helps Bond disable a cobalt bomb with seven seconds left.
- Part of her teasing of Flash's crush on Fire has Hawkgirl calling the woman "Brazilian". This could be a double-entendre: while Fire is indeed of Brazilian descent, the nickname could be a play on the world "lesbian" or "bisexual", hinting at Fire's close, almost romantic friendship with Ice in the comics. Flash's worried look at Shayera's initial comment, before she finishes it, would seem to imply this further.
- The robot that initially attacks Luthor, Polaris, and The Key is virtually identical in silhouette (if not full appearance) to the titular character of The Iron Giant.
|Maria Canals|| Shayera Hol|
Blackhawk Computer (uncredited)
|Michael Rosenbaum|| Flash|
Dr. Polaris (uncredited)
|Clancy Brown||Lex Luthor|
|Corey Burton|| Brainiac|
The Key (uncredited)
|Seymour Cassel||Chuck Sirianni|
|Scott Patterson||King Faraday|
Fire: (Talking with Ice in the distance) I'm telling you, you should let it grow out...
Fire: You haven't said a word the whole trip.
Shayera: Don't you ever scare me like that again! (walks off)
Flash: War Wheels, robot condors. You got a pretty goofy security system here.
Chuck: Whoever you guys are, you've got no business being in here.
Shayera: We going to do this the hard way, Lex? Please say yes.
Flash: Now why is it you always find the keys in the last place you look?
(Lex is holding Chuck hostage)
Grodd: The Spear of Longinus. Hitler believed that whoever holds it is invincible.
Lex Luthor: I should kill you!