With Zack Snyder’s Justice League around the corner, now is a good time to revisit some of the League’s fondest memories. Of course, this will also extend to the DC animated universe (DCAU) and its numerous successful shows over the years. One of the best adaptations of DC’s superheroes, though, was Justice League Unlimited, which ran for 39 episodes between 2004 and 2006.
Featuring a plethora of colorful characters, references to previous DCAU entries, and intriguing storylines, it’s a show that’s still cited as a fan-favorite iteration of the League. That said, nothing is ever perfect in this world and the series did suffer from a few mistakes that were only picked up by the most discerning eye.
Look, none of these slip-ups make the episodes unwatchable or irrelevant by any means, but they’re more like trivia and spot-them-if-you-can moments. While we’re one hundred percent certain that there are many more of these littered throughout the series, we picked out the ones that made us wonder if anyone else at Warner Bros. picked these up when the episodes were produced.
With that out of the way, get ready for a slice of nostalgia, because here are the 15 Mistakes You Never Noticed In Justice League Unlimited.
15. Batman Teleports Around
The Dark Knight is known to lurk in the shadows and kind of creep around, but teleporting seems to be out of the realm of Bruce Wayne (unless he’s using a Mother Box, of course).
In the episode “Dark Heart”, Batman and the others fight the spiders on the ground. However, then we see him land with Superman. So, how did that happen? Was it a Batman from another timeline? Dammit, Barry, you did it again, didn’t you?!
Jokes aside, this looks like an editor mishap where the inconsistency should’ve been picked up in the final cut. Chances are that the original script called for Batman to be fighting on the ground with others and then a later change had him land with Man of Steel. Nonetheless, this mistake does make it look like he is boom-tubing around.
14. Mantis’s Disappearing/Reappearing Mother Box
In the episode “Question Authority”, New God Mantis visited Metropolis and decided to cause a little havoc on Earth. Interestingly, the first time we see him atop a building, he’s missing a major accessory: his Mother Box.
In the next scene, though, it appears on his hip, as if it had always been there. Maybe Mantis swapped it out with his Walkman for a second or something, but Mother Boxes aren’t meant to disappear and reappear like that. Also, you’d think an intergalactic traveler would pay closer attention to his transportation device since it’s his only way out of any potential sticky situation.
13. Green Arrow’s Hat Has A Mind Of Its Own
Oliver Queen might be worth billions of dollars, but we doubt that Queen Industries figured out the trick to make hats grow legs and run away when they want to. If you believe the episode “The Cat and the Canary”, though, Green Arrow knows how to make things disappear in a flash (pardon the pun).
When the original social justice warrior stepped into the ring to battle Wildcat, he dropped his quiver behind him and got socked by his opponent so hard that his hat flew off. The battle continued, with it being mostly one-sided in favor of Wildcat, but two items disappeared in the process: the hat and quiver.
12. Bizarro’s Backwards-Speak Fail
Starting off as Superman’s clone and adversary, Bizarro has long been seen as a misguided soul who was manipulated by others — notably Lex Luthor — but never truly evil. Nowadays, though, he has become a lovable, big lug who brings a certain charm to Superman’s stories.
When he first appeared in Justice League Unlimited, he possessed many of the characteristics we recognize, as well as the backwards-speak gimmick where he’s supposed to say the opposite of what he means. However, there’s a fail in the episode, “Ultimatum”, as he refers to Giganta as “woman me loves” when it should’ve been “woman me hates.”
11. Black Canary’s Missing Fishnets
Due to the high-pressure nature of an animated series, many shortcuts are taken and it’s one of the primary reasons that some characters don’t look the way you remember them in the comic books. In the case of Justice League Unlimited, Black Canary‘s famous fishnets were missing — and no, it wasn’t just because they’d be too inappropriate for a children’s series.
According to producer Bruce Timm, it’s due to the intricacy of animating the fishnets and budget. Drawing them in a still image is difficult enough, but it would cost a lot of money to create a special mapping CG program to render Dinah’s accessories in animation.
The gray jeggings that she ended up wearing weren’t so bad and certainly looked a lot better than Laurel Lance’s BDSM-inspired outfit in Arrow.
10. The Secret Society Was Never Referred To As The Legion Of Doom
Sometimes, it’s not even the animators or producers’ faults that something is amiss in a show, but someone else. Yep, you guessed it, it’s those damn bureaucrats that screw everything up with their stupid rules and reams of paperwork.
Despite the formation of the Secret Society in Justice League Unlimited basically being the Legion of Doom — and even the creators referencing it in the episode title “I Am Legion” — they were overruled by DC Comics and forbidden from mentioning the name on the show.
In a twist of fate and further proof that the suits know nothing, the name “Legion of Doom” was then used on the packaging of the season two DVD set. So, what was the point of that dumb rule in the first place? Sigh.
9. Galatea Not Being Power Girl
Let’s get one thing straight: clone stories suck. It’s a lazy trope and one that’s been done to death a million times over. So, when Supergirl’s DNA was taken and used to create a clone in the series, a few eye rolls would be forgiven.
Once the clone was unveiled, though, she looked a lot like Power Girl… but, here’s the thing: she wasn’t. No, this character was named Galatea and was a villain. Everything about her bore a resemblance to Power Girl, yet she never used the name. How bizarre.
While the reasoning for this change was unclear, we’re willing to bet that rights had a part to play here. Power Girl might not be an A-list character, but if she’s going to appear in the series, she should at least use her superhero name, right?
8. Wonder Woman’s Changing Eye Color
If you’ve watched the 1987’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series, you’ve probably spotted the ludicrous amount of times the Turtles’ bandanas were switched around and other color issues that plagued the show. Well, Justice League Unlimited wasn’t immune to this phenomenon, either.
The one character that suffered the most from this inconsistency was Wonder Woman, whose eye color changed from blue to black several times throughout the three seasons. While it’s undoubtedly a minuscule thing and fairly trivial to harp on about, it’ll give every OCD person nightmares for weeks on end.
Diana isn’t alone here, though, and several other characters were casualties in the war of the paintbrush. If you’ve got time, do yourself a favor and play the spot-the-changing-eye-color game whenever you watch an episode.
7. Green Arrow’s Arrow Count
While it’s important to suspend our disbelief when it comes to superheroes, there are still a few non-negotiables that we can’t ignore. For example, the number of arrows in a back-quiver.
Sure, Oliver Queen has an arrow for every occasion, but he still has a set number of them to use, right? Well, not according to the season one premiere, “Initiation.” As Green Arrow reaches for his third arrow after two failed shots at the nuclear-powered robot, we see there’s still at least one more remaining rod in his quiver. However, in the next scene… Poof! It’s gone and his quiver is now mysteriously empty.
6. The Number Of Fingers On Mongul’s Hands
Mongul is a powerful alien with notable superpowers. However, growing and losing digits doesn’t seem to be one of them in his regular continuity. In the episode “For the Man Who Has Everything”, the number of fingers on Mongul’s hands changes quicker than the next superhero movie idea at Warner Bros.
While his original design showed him to have four fingers (three digits and a thumb), many shots in this episode displayed him with five (four digits and a thumb). There’s no consistency as it keeps switching between five and four fingers throughout the episode.
5. Superman Breathing In Outer Space
While Superman is a godlike being and pretty much indestructible — unless you feed him a Kryptonite candy bar — we have seen instances where he struggles to breathe in space without an apparatus, like any regular mortal would.
The trend continues in Justice League Unlimited, where he spends a majority of his time in space using a breathing apparatus of sorts. In the episode “Flashpoint”, however, he’s suddenly able to cruise through the galaxy as if he’s got the top down on his Cadillac and enjoying the jams. Still, how did this change from one episode to the next?
We need answers here. Can the Man of Steel breathe in space or not? It would be appreciated if one definitive answer was picked and we stick to it moving forward, because this is getting too confusing.
4. The Color Of Brainiac’s Beam
Sometimes, even though two series are run by more or less the same people, there are still continuity errors. It could be from a storyline perspective or something more minuscule like the color of an item changing.
In the episode “Divided We Fall”, there’s a flashback that recreates a scene from the Superman: The Animated Series episode, “Ghost in the Machine”, and involves Brainiac zapping Lex Luthor with a yellow beam. However, in the original episode, the beam was blue.
The beam’s change of color isn’t a train smash, and it’s possibly an aesthetic choice made by the new production team — much like the same reason Zack Snyder changed the Flash’s lightening from yellow to blue in Justice League. Still, it’s hard to ignore when you compare the series side by side.
3. Deadshot’s Loose Handcuffs
DC Comics’ prisons aren’t exactly very good. Seriously, it’s amazing how so many high-profile criminals, who are in maximum security prisons, escape every other day, because the guards possess Scooby-Doo villain levels of logic and yet remain gainfully employed. Do these people not get screened for competency?
In another blatant instance of dumb-dumb, we see Deadshot handcuffed in the opening of the episode “Task Force X”. However, when you look at the handcuffs, they’re so loose that he could slip his hands out, take the guards’ smartphones and access cards, and head off to Tijuana without anyone noticing he was gone until next July.
Fortunately for Belle Reve Correctional, Floyd Lawton didn’t make a run for it and followed the rules like a good soldier. Maybe he realized that his proposed execution would’ve been screwed up by the prison, anyway, and there was no point running.
2. Aquaman Doesn’t Understand Chess
What do Atlanteans do for fun? Well, we’re willing to place a wager that it isn’t chess or math, judging by Aquaman‘s shoddy knowledge of the game and numeracy.
In “Wake the Dead”, Arthur Curry and Shayera Hol played a game of chess in Dr. Fate’s tower while Amazo watched on. Shayera didn’t seem all too interested in what was happening or the conversation, despite Aquaman’s taunts and goading.
He proudly boasted, “Check in five moves.” However, when you check Shayera’s pieces on the board and do a quick count, his statement is factually incorrect — it would actually take seven moves.
1. Batman’s Lips Don’t Match What He’s Saying
While we all enjoy the occasional muting of the TV and creating your own dialogue for fun, it’s not cool when a show’s audio is out of sync with the visuals. Sure, we do cut animated shows some slack because of the medium, but when you see the lips moving and blatantly not matching what’s being said, it’s annoying.
In the emotional “Epilogue”, which is often cited as one of the best Justice League Unlimited episodes around, Batman suffered a blooper. When Ace said, “I’m dying very soon, aren’t I?,” the Caped Crusader replied, “Yes. I’m sorry.” However, his lips movements were for “you are” in the place of the “yes.”
It’s meant to be a poignant scene, but this blunder turned this heart-wrenching affair more into a moment that could’ve been out of Kung Pow! Enter the Fist.
Are there any other major mistakes in Justice League Unlimited that we missed? Let us know in the comments!
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