DC Animated Universe

"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.


Lex Luthor escapes from prison and is rescued by a team of supervillains who bring him to a secret headquarters in a swamp. Grodd introduces his new secret society, The Legion of Doom.

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 Brainiac incident last summer.

Lex and Grodd

Grodd informs Lex of the Legion of Doom.

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.

Flash's crush on Fire

Flash is struck by cupid's arrow.

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 Island, Luthor, Doctor Polaris, and The Key are slowly navigating their way through the Island's defenses.

Flash and Fire

The obvious attraction between Flash and Fire.

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 Doctor 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.


Background information[]

Home video releases[]

Production notes[]

  • 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 by Dwayne McDuffie, and initially dismissed by Bruce Timm, who said "we’d done the Legion of Doom. We had the Secret Society and the Injustice Gang." To which McDuffie responded "No! We should do the straight-up Legion of Doom with Grodd, Luthor and the other guys living inside Darth Vader’s head." The team decided to do it as it provided a nice change of pace from the Cadmus arc, as well choosing to explore lesser-known characters and mythology of the larger DC universe.[1][2]
  • Writer Matt Wayne stated that they intended to use the name "Legion of Doom" on-screen, but they were overruled by the higher-ups at DC.[3] Despite DC Comics' imposition, the name "Legion of Doom" is used on the package of Justice League Unlimited - Season Two (DVD), and is referenced by the title of this episode.
  • This episode was written before Cartoon Network greenlit the production of the third season.[4]

Production inconsistencies[]

  • 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.


  • When Luthor is running away from the police and is backed into a dead-end (before being saved by The Key), his theme music from Superman: The Animated Series plays.
  • In the DVD commentary the production team stated that the original concept for The Key was that he would have been a Brainiac construct, allowing him to monitor the actions of the Legion of Doom and eventually re-merge with Lex Luthor during the season finale. This accounts for his prominence in this episode and his voice by Corey Burton. However, the idea was ultimately abandoned in favor of resurrecting Darkseid.
  • 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".
  • Grodd mentions Hitler's fascination with the Spear of Longinus, which is a popular myth regarding Hitler's obsession with the spear.[5]
  • 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. The Hammerhead Sharks, the Kraken and the Piranhas were part of his arsenal robotic fishes.
  • 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.


Actor Role
Maria Canals Shayera Hol
Fire (uncredited)
Blackhawk Computer (uncredited)
George Newbern Superman
Michael Rosenbaum Flash
Doctor Polaris (uncredited)
Agent (uncredited)
Clancy Brown Lex Luthor
Powers Boothe Grodd
Corey Burton Brainiac
The Key (uncredited)
Aztek (uncredited)
Seymour Cassel Chuck Sirianni
Scott Patterson King Faraday
Takayo Fischer Mairzey

Uncredited appearances[]


Shayera: Why would you even try to move a prisoner that dangerous without calling us?
Warden: Maybe because we thought we could do our jobs without help from the mighty Justice League.
Shayera: And yet... Here we are.

Warden: My people can handle this.
Agent Faraday: No, they can't. Your people are good, Luthor is better.

Grodd: The world's most powerful supervillains, banded together with one common goal.
Lex Luthor: They protect each other from the Justice League.

Fire: (Talking with Ice in the distance) I'm telling you, you should let it grow out...
Shayera: Why don't you just go talk to her?
Flash: Who, me? Talk to her? No way.
Shayera: Yeah, you'd probably be wasting your time anyway. I hear she's... You know... (long pause) Brazilian.
Flash: (sarcastic) Ha-ha.
Shayera: If you're afraid to talk to her, I'll tell her for you.
Flash: Don't!
Shayera: You are so very sad.

Fire: You haven't said a word the whole trip.
Flash: Buh...
Fire: I was hoping this mission would give us a chance to get to know each other a little better.
Flash: Um, umm, something...
Fire: I understand — you're very deep in thought, mentally preparing for the battle. No time for women — I understand.

Shayera: He told you to drop him?!?
Fire: He's a senior member of the team.
Shayera: You know he can't fly, right?

Shayera: Don't you ever scare me like that again! (walks off)
Flash: (to Fire) She loves me. She's like the big sister I never had. Only... Y'know, short.

Flash: War Wheels, robot condors. You got a pretty goofy security system here.
Chuck: Yeah. Good times.

Chuck: Whoever you guys are, you've got no business being in here.
Doctor Polaris: Sorta goes with the territory — we're thieves.

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)
Chuck: (to the Leaguers) I'm sorry. If I were 20 years younger...
Lex Luthor: You'd still be ancient.

Grodd: The Spear of Longinus. Hitler believed that whoever holds it is invincible.
Lex Luthor: What are you going to do with it? Sell it to the highest bidder? Keep it yourself and try to conquer the world?
Grodd: I was thinking it would look good on the wall in my office.
Lex Luthor: You mean you recruited me, sent me to an island full of death traps, and up against the Justice League. You made me risk my life, and all for nothing?!?
Grodd: Essentially... Yes.
Lex Luthor: (laughs) Monkey, I like your style.

Lex Luthor: I should kill you!
Grodd: But you won't.
Lex Luthor: No. Not today.


  1. Special features on the Justice League Unlimited, Season Two DVD
  2. DOING THE LEAGUE JUSTICE: Timm & Tucker Talk About New Season…And Just What’s Up With WB Animation? by Steve Fritz
  3. We had planned to have Flash use it as a hyperbolic way to refer to Grodd's new Secret Society in "The Great Brain Robbery". You know, "Luthor's got some kind of, I dunno, Legion of Doom" or whatever, and then we'd have the name stick. But a mid-level naysayer at DC thought the name was too corny, and that it must never be uttered.

    — Matt Wayne [1]

  4. [2]
  5. Was Hitler Obsessed with the Spear of Destiny? | Smithsonian Institution (si.edu)