"Injustice For All" is the 18th and 19th episodes of Justice League. It first aired on September 6 and 13, 2002.
Lex Luthor's criminal activities are finally exposed in a sting by the Justice League, when Luthor lords it over a Superman rendered helpless by Kryptonite, who turns out to be J'onn J'onzz in disguise, with Batman and Green Lantern recording the conversation where Luthor reveals how he smuggled weapons through customs, giving names of those he bribed. Batman gets the Kryptonite and places it in his belt. Luthor flees the LexCorp tower in a personal aircraft. Superman flies after him, but Luthor has an unexpected seizure, and Superman must act quickly to keep him from crashing.
Luthor awakens in a hospital bed. He claims the charges won't stand up in court, but Superman and a doctor inform him that he is suffering from an incurable form of blood cancer caused by long-term exposure to the Kryptonite's radiation. Superman asks Luthor if there's anything he can do, but Luthor, clearly blaming him, tells him that he's "done more than enough" at which Superman leaves him be. Luthor loses interest in defending his case, and so is sent to Stryker's Island.
Luthor is annoyed by the Ultra-Humanite, who occupies the cell next to his and is watching his favorite opera program on public broadcasting. The program announces that this will be their last broadcast as they have run out of funds, which Ultra-Humanite notes with a sad frown. However, Luthor communicates via their TVs and convinces the Ultra-Humanite to help him escape in exchange for a large sum of money. The Ultra-Humanite electrocutes two guards bringing him food, and uses one of them to open Lex's cell via the doors' retina scanners. Luthor uses dynamite to set a building on fire, delaying the authorities and the League. Once free, Luthor summons a group of other super-criminals: Cheetah, Copperhead, The Shade, Solomon Grundy, and Star Sapphire, for one purpose: to destroy the League.
In their first attack, Luthor's "Injustice Gang" lures the Justice League into a trap by pretending the Ultra-Humanite has taken hostages at the Metropolis Federal Bank, but quickly find that the League is too well-organized for them to overcome. Both sides suffer one casualty: Batman is poisoned by Copperhead's venom, while Copperhead is caught and arrested.
While Luthor berates the Gang about their failure and says he won't pay them, Solomon Grundy seizes him. Luthor tells him to go ahead to end his suffering, but he is released as the Joker appears. Still angry about the outcome of their unsuccessful joint endeavor to destroy Superman, Luthor orders him out, but the Joker says they need him, as he is the one who knows Batman best – and to prove his point, Joker plucks a bat-shaped homing device off Luthor.
Refusing to rest after being cured of the venom for fear of being considered the weakest amongst a team of super-powered beings, despite J'onn J'onzz's insistence, Batman follows the signal from his homing beacon to the Gang's hideout, but is ambushed and knocked out by Joker from behind. After having succeeded in attacking Batman, Joker gets the last laugh.
Batman awakens encased in full-body titanium restraints, and a stasis field shielding him from J'onn's telepathy. With various members of the Gang taking turns to guard him, Luthor takes Batman's utility belt to his lab. In case he needs more information, Luthor decides to keep Batman alive, despite the Joker's advice to do away with him immediately.
However, once left alone, Batman works his psychological magic on his guards. First, he goads Grundy and the Humanite into fighting each other about their respective shares of the payment Luthor has promised them. When Cheetah takes over, he listens with sympathy to her story of how she was forced to use her experimental genetic techniques on herself, which caused her metamorphosis into a cheetah-woman. Feeling a connection and a rush of attraction, Cheetah passionately kisses Batman.
Luthor manages to disable the anti-theft devices in the utility belt, and finds what he was looking for; a remote control for entry into the Watchtower. Shade, Sapphire, and Grundy infiltrate the tower, knock out J'onn, and plant a bomb. On Earth, Luthor has another seizure. Afraid that he won't live long enough even to see his revenge, he asks for help, and Humanite agrees (for an extra fee, of course, much to Luthor's dismay).
In the meantime, the League (represented by Superman and the Flash) try to interrogate Copperhead for information, but the mocking villain refuses to talk even when threatened with bodily harm by Superman, because the super "boy scout" (to quote Copperhead) has none of Batman's sinister determination. The League returns to the Watchtower. While they are attending to J'onn, someone telephones the Tower and warns them about the bomb. Conducting a hurried search, they manage to find it and Flash throws it into space seconds before it explodes. Seeing his plan has failed, Luthor takes out his anger on the Gang. Star Sapphire was the first to declare she was quitting with the rest of the gang who decide to quit as well and storm off. Luthor only manages to keep them around by offering to triple their pay.
In the Gang's hideout, it is the Joker's turn to guard (and taunt) Batman during the failed bombing. Disappointed to see that the plot has failed, Joker decides to disobey Luthor's orders and kill Batman anyway. Fortunately, Grundy arrives and forces the Joker away. Batman thanks Grundy and asks for a glass of water. Grundy gives it to him, and Batman spits it into the stasis field device, causing a short circuit. Immediately, Batman contacts J'onn telepathically, and J'onn thus learns the location of Batman and the Gang.
In another part of the hideout, Humanite devises a treatment that temporarily stabilizes Luthor's condition, which involves encasing Luthor's chest in a containment suit. Grundy comes running to tell Luthor that the League is on their way. Before preparing their last ambush, Luthor decides they first need to take care of the traitor who tipped off the League. He checks the surveillance videos and sees Cheetah kissing Batman. When Cheetah tries to run, she is stopped by the Joker, and Grundy drags her away even as she screams that she's innocent.
The League enters the hideout and attacks. They seem to be winning, but Luthor appears in an armored battlesuit that harnesses the kryptonite radiation his body has absorbed. Luthor is about to use his new weapon to kill Superman, but Humanite sneaks up behind him and neutralizes Luthor's armor with a "killswitch" device. Humanite thereafter promptly surrenders, revealing himself to be the real traitor.
The Joker decides to run, but not before finishing Batman off once and for all. Joker runs back to the cell, but finds that Batman has already freed himself from the restraints, which he could actually have done any time before then. Batman then easily knocks out the Joker, who now realizes once again that the joke is on him. With Joker crumpled unconscious on the floor, Batman gives him a smirk.
As Luthor and the Gang are taken into custody, it is revealed that Batman had successfully appealed to the Humanite while the latter was guarding him alone before the Joker's arrival for the Watchtower bombing. After Batman promises to uphold their deal - paying double the fee Luthor was offering - a satisfied Humanite allows himself to be taken into custody. Batman's teammates are perplexed, but Batman merely smiles in satisfaction.
Back on Stryker's Island, Luthor pounds on the wall of his cell, yelling that Humanite will pay for his treachery. Humanite, who is watching his opera program with the volume turned up for Luthor's "benefit", serenely ignores him. The program is back on the air, and as a satisfied smile crosses Ultra-Humanite's face, concludes with the announcer stating, "This program was made possible by a grant from the Ultra-Humanite, and viewers like you".
- This marks the temporary end of Lex Luthor's career as a "legitimate" businessman, after which he's either a prisoner or a fugitive from justice until being pardoned in "A Better World".
- Luthor confesses to J'onn J'onzz (as Superman) that "Stavros" from the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Fire From Olympus" accepted a bribe while working for a shipping company. Whether he worked for Maximillian Shipping Company is unclear though.
- The harmful effects of Kryptonite on humans were first referenced in the Superman: The Animated Series episode "World's Finest", when it is revealed that all the multiple owners of the Laughing Dragon statue died prematurely due to Kryptonite giving off low-level radiation.
- Batman kept the Kryptonite he obtained from Luthor in this episode and used it against Amazo in "Tabula Rasa".
- Luthor's disdain towards Joker is due to their first encounter in the Superman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures crossover "World's Finest".
- Shade refers to his participation in this Injustice Gang in both "Fury" and "Secret Society".
- Although Lex's condition has stabilized, he continues to wear the chest plate designed by the Ultra-Humanite in subsequent episodes, until his cancer is finally revealed to have been cured by Brainiac as part of Brainiac's plan to "upgrade" them both.
- Chronologically, this is the Joker's first appearance in the DCAU since The New Batman Adventures episode "Mad Love", though his survival in that episode was previously confirmed in Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker.
- It's odd that Cheetah ended up siding with Lex Luthor's loyalists in the Legion of Doom mutiny that took place later in the Justice League Unlimited episode "Alive!", as Luthor ordered Solomon Grundy to execute her in this episode when he thought she was the traitor. It must be possible that after finding that Ultra-Humanite was in reality the traitor, Luthor apologized with Cheetah for his accusations in this episode and she accepted.
Home video releases
- Justice League - The Brave and the Bold (VHS)
- Justice League - The Brave and the Bold (DVD)
- Justice League - Season One (DVD)
- Justice League - The Complete Series (DVD)
- Justice League: 3-Pack Fun (DVD)
- Justice League - Season One (Blu-ray)
- There is some confusion because this episode was produced before, but aired after, a later episode.
- The chunk of kryptonite changes size between shots. At first, Lex Luthor can keep it in his hand, but when Batman gets it, it's small enough to fit in a (considerably smaller) pouch pocket.
- The sign of the facade of the Metropolis Federal building is misspelled "Fedral".
- In the Watchtower, an animation error causes Hawkgirl to have two left wings for a brief period of time. Though she moves, her wing is "split" into one that moves along with her body, and one that stays in its original spot.
- When Batman talks with Cheetah, his utility belt reappears.
- Although Cheetah is dragged away to be executed, she is seen imprisoned in the van along with the rest of the Gang after they are taken into custody, and appears in future episodes of Justice League and Justice League Unlimited. How she escaped is not explained on-screen. However, Bruce Timm explained that Cheetah was in fact supposed to be killed off, and was merely "spared" due to an animation/continuity error.
- Likewise, Copperhead is also shown in the van in the last scene, despite having already been captured in Part I.
- Luthor destroys the large monitor screen when the bomb fails to destroy the Watchtower and then later uses it to show Cheetah kissing Batman.
- This episode marked the first appearances of Lex Luthor and the Joker on Justice League.
- This episode also marked the first appearances of The Ultra-Humanite, Cheetah, Copperhead, The Shade, Solomon Grundy, and Star Sapphire in the DCAU.
- In production order, this is the first episode since "Secret Origins" where the entire League appears. "Fury" was produced after this episode, but aired well before.
- Each member of the Injustice Gang belongs to the rogues gallery of one of the members of the Justice League in the DC Comics except for J'onn J'onzz and Hawkgirl:
|Batman||Joker & Copperhead|
|Green Lantern||Star Sapphire & Solomon Grundy|
|Superman||Lex Luthor & Ultra-Humanite|
- During the final battle between the Justice League and Injustice Gang, Hawkgirl can be seen crashing into statues of the Wonder Twins Zan and Jayna. DCAU versions of the Wonder Twins appear as Ultimen members Downpour and Shifter in the Justice League Unlimited episode "Ultimatum".
- Luthor says, "Et tu, Humanite?". This is a reference to the famous line from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, spoken by Caesar to Brutus, whom he realizes has betrayed him.
- Joker's last words to Batman before falling unconscious are "You're dethspicable!" a la Daffy Duck.
- Lex's Kryptonite poisoning was a major story arc in the comics, received as a result of wearing a chip of Kryptonite on a ring for several years. Luthor avoided dying by transferring his brain into a stronger, younger clone of himself (with a full head of hair). However, his clone body aged prematurely, forcing Luthor to sell his soul in order to avoid becoming a permanent cripple.
- Luthor's purple and green outfit is modeled after his character's look in the original Super Friends cartoon. Luthor's battlesuit is also based directly on one made famous in the comics.
- During Batman and Joker's final fight, a slowed down version of the Batman: The Animated Series theme plays.
- Luthor's tactic of weakening Superman with a chunk of Kryptonite, fleeing in an airship when confronted by reinforcements and having an accident was previously used in the Superman: The Animated Series episode "Brave New Metropolis", the only difference being that that specific Luthor was from an alternate dimension and crashed into a monument and was killed.
- Copperhead calling Superman "Boy Scout" is a reference to Superman always being known as the boy scout in mainstream comics. On the Justice League Unlimited episode "Clash", it seems he's taken to being called that and is upset that Captain Marvel is apparently the new one.
- The Joker's pun about "Bat-Car Keys" and "Bat-Breath Mints" is a possible joke reference to the tendency of the older DC Comics and the 1960s Batman TV series to fit the prefix "Bat-" to every piece of equipment used by Batman, including Bat-Ropes, Bat-Cuffs, and even such outrageous items as the "Shark Repellent Bat Spray" from the motion picture Batman based on the aforementioned TV series.
|Maria Canals|| Hawkgirl|
Police Dispatcher (uncredited)
|Susan Eisenberg||Wonder Woman|
|Phil LaMarr|| Green Lantern|
Prison guard (uncredited)
|Carl Lumbly||J'onn J'onzz|
|Michael Rosenbaum|| Flash|
|Clancy Brown||Lex Luthor|
|Olivia d'Abo||Star Sapphire|
|Mark Hamill|| The Joker|
Solomon Grundy (uncredited)
|Jason Marsden||Snapper Carr|
|Sheryl Lee Ralph||Cheetah|
J'onn: So much for your image of the benevolent businessman. This is the end of an era.
Joker: You're not going to leave him like this, are you?
Copperhead: I keep telling you, I don't know anything! I'm just an innocent--
Cheetah: How do you know so much about me?
Joker: Hello, Kitty! (Joker knocks Cheetah out) And they say I'm not a team player.
Luthor: Why so surprised, Superman? It's a basic rule of business: Turn every weakness into a strength! - Of course, that's a lesson you may not live to appreciate.
Joker: Whoopsie! Time to run. But there is still one unfinished piece of business.
“ It was a mistake — she was supposed to be dead — the implication being that Grundy '[pulled] a Lenny' on her.
Well, my co-producer James Tucker kept saying we should bring her back, [and] I kept saying, 'No, she's dead, she has ceased to be, she is an ex-Cheetah', and, lo and behold, someone pointed out that she was in the paddy wagon — all in one piece, apparently still breathing — at the end of "Injustice for All", D'oh!
So, James got his wish: she'll be back in Justice League Unlimited. Don't know how she got away from Grundy, though.
— Bruce Timm