Lovely Bones DC Universe Archives, Part Four: World’s Finest – Time and Space

The Timeline of the DC Universe so far is as follows: From 1978 to 1989, full TV and movie series run through concurrently for Superman and Batman, along with miniseries for Wonder Woman, Green Arrow, Supergirl, The Flash, and Green Lantern.

The five seasons of World’s Finest will run from Autumn 1989 to January 2000.

The details of the four origin miniseries (and in turn a link to The Superman Movie Trilogy and The Caped Crusader series) can be found here:

Lovely Bones DC Universe Archives, Part Two: The Complete Origin Miniseries

The details of World’s Finest‘s first two seasons can be found here:

Lovely Bones DC Universe Archives, Part Three: World’s Finest – The New Frontier

Main Cast: Clark Kent – Omid Abtahi, Bruce Wayne – Wentworth Miller, Diana Prince – Jamie Chung, Wallis West – Mya Taylor, John Stewart – Mike Colter, Black Canary/Laurel Lance – Naya Rivera, J’onn J’onnz – Daniel Kaluuya, Lois Lane – Alison Brie, Olive Queen – Adrianne Palicki, Arthur Curry – Manu Bennett, Dr. Fate – Sofia Boutella, Vixen/Mari McCabe – Yetide Badaki, Supergirl – Narges Rashidi, with Jessica Henwick as Shining Knight, and Joel McHale as Lex Luthor.

Recurring/Guest Season 3 Huntress – Yu Aoi, The Question – Riz Ahmed, Tomorrow Woman – Betty Gilpin, Detective Chimp – David Hyde Pierce, Dr. Will Magnus – Michael Pena, Jessica Cruz – Natalie Morales, Kyle Rayner – Gael Garcia Bernal, Catwoman – Archie Panjabi, Steel – Ricky Whittle, Plastic Man – Aiden Gillen, Black Lightning – Adewale Akkinuoye-Agbaje, Ted Kord – Jordan Peele, Jaime Reyes – Elliot Fletcher(?)

Vandal Savage – Michael Shannon, The Key – James Urbaniak, Professor Ivo – Will Arnett, Funky Flashman – Paul Rudd, Chronos – Dominic Purcell, The Brain – Jared Harris, Monsieur Mallah – Said Taghmaoui, Jonah Hex – Ben Mendelsohn, Jason Blood – Samuel Anderson, Etrigan the Demon – Samuel Ramey,  Merlin – James Hong.

JSA: Johnny Quick – Fionn Whitehead/John Mahoney, Liberty Belle – Sofia Black D’Elia/Goldie Hawn, Captain Atom – Keith David, Alan Scott – Lee Pace/William Sadler, The Spectre – Diego Luna/Edward James Olmos, Hourman – Mandy Patinkin, Red Tornado – Lainie Kazan, Wildcat – Douglas Tait/Gene LeBell.

Doom Patrol: The Chief – Bryan Cranston, Robotman – Jon Hamm, Elastic Woman – , Negative Man – Samuel L Jackson, Crazy Jane Choi – Kim Min-hee, Dorothy Spinner – Tatiana Maslany, Rebis – Estelle.

Challengers of the Unknown: Ted Knight/Starman – Donald Glover, Rhiannon Choi/The Atom – Britney Young, Hourman – Mandy Patinkin, Ace Morgan – Tina Desai, Roxy Rocket Ryan – Melissa Fumero, Leslie Rocky Davis – Vincent Rodriguez III, Prof Haley – Rahul Kohli.

Season 4 Zatanna – Rashida Jones, Manhattan Guardian – Trevante Rhodes, Bulleteer – Sydelle Noel, Captain Marvel  – Marcel Ruiz/Justina Machado, Swamp Thing – Wendell Pierce, Mister Miracle – Matthew Montgomery, Big Barda – Rachel House, Mera – Sakina Jaffrey, Dr. Vulko – Jemaine Clement.

Circe – Alyson Hannigan, Solomon Grundy – Dave Bautista, Morgaine La Fey – Lena Headey, Klarion the Witch Boy – Jack Gleason, Felix Faust – Marc Alaimo, Dr. Destiny – Jeffrey Combs, Gamemnae – Kelly Hu, Ocean Master – Cliff Curtis, Cain – John Kassir, Ares – Vince McMahon, Medusa – Lucy Lawless, Black Adam –  Shazad Latif, General Wade Eiling – Kurtwood Smith, Amanda Waller – Yvette Nicole Brown, and Weird Al Yanchovic as the Music Master.

Season 3 

1. Comfort and Joy

The Justice League gather together, sans support crew who are provided longer holidays, for their annual Secret Santa office party on Christmas Eve, before splitting off into separate vignettes following various members in their lives on their one day off. Dr Fate drew the short straw during the office party and so must participate in Lex Luthor’s latest charity function, awkwardly interacting with the rich and powerful and ultimately using their magic to intervene with an auction/raffle/competition. The Question and Huntress go on a double date at a fancy restaurant with Black Canary and Supergirl, which unexpectedly turns into a brawl and a mystery when an attempted shooting occurs at the restaurant. The Flash returns to Central City and reconnects with a college girlfriend, spending a romantic day together.

John Stewart, Kyle Rayner, and Jessica Cruz embark on an interstellar mission together in the hopes of being able to recover some remnant of the Guardians of Oa or the Lanterns. They eventually must call it off and retire to a bar on a small moon to continue their grieving and support each other. Superman is shown having returned from exile and living with Lois in hiding as a normal human, where they are visited by his parents (Kyle McLachlan and Molly Ringwald). Clark discovers J’onn hidden and observing them in town. J’onn promises to protect his secret and Clark invites him to join their family for dinner. J’onn is still cautious around humans, but he has positive experiences both with the family and with Smallville locals. He uses his shapeshifting to spread Christmas cheer as Santa Claus, until he realizes that he is accepted as he is. He reverts to his native form to travel with the Kents after Christmas, performing carols with them around town in his Martian language.

2. For the Warriors Who Have Everything

The Key infiltrates the Watchtower and sends several of the League into trances involving their hidden desires: Wonder Woman as a human adventurer, Bruce Wayne as a retiree defending his sons both blood and surrogate in Gotham, Black Canary works as a detective while planning to propose to Supergirl, John Stewart is settled down with Katma Tui on Oa, and Supergirl experiences the earthbound childhood and life that she envies Clark for having. Each individual must on their own confront the flaws of their fantasies and escape the illusory realities before finally banding together to face off against the Key. Realizing that his powers are too great for any traditional imprisonment, he is put into a stasis pod that is launched to spiral endlessly through the cosmos.

3. Flash in the Pan

With his ratings starting to flag, the Funky Flashman is desperate to court controversy and thus attention, and so on his latest broadcast he publicly attacks the Flash, one of the most beloved of all Leaguers, for her identity as a trans woman, of which some of her many admirers were unaware. His ratings balloon with the massive news coverage this acquires, and the resulting public outcry upsets Flash so much that she contemplates retiring from the League and superheroism altogether. Ultimately the rage of a bigoted few is drowned out by the love and support of her comrades and her many fans. Meanwhile, Supergirl and Black Canary participating in a city-wide ping pong tournament is interrupted by a lawsuit brought against Canary by a now reformed criminal for injuries inflicted upon them during her Birds of Prey days.

This sparks arguments among the loving couple as they struggle to figure out how to handle the situation. Wallis storms the Flashman’s building and engages in a broadcast debate with him that she wins, forcing him to apologize on air and lose his most loyal audience in the process, leaving the more fickle moderate listeners who were dropping him in the first place. Frustrated over this turn of events, the Flashman is visited at episode’s end by a shadowy figure, who makes a deal with him that will somehow revitalize his audience. Returning to his sound booth, the beginning of the Funky Flashman’s latest broadcast is heard over the end credits, him taking on a new leaf that quickly takes a turn for the disturbing as he preaches the doctrine of a strange New God.

4. Retirement Party

Black Canary’s mentor, Wildcat, veteran of the Justice Society of America, is given a retirement party at the Watchtower. Despite his lamentations about not hearing from the other JSA members in some time, much fun and frivolity is had during this celebration until Wildcat mysteriously vanishes into thin air before everyone’s eyes, which spurs the League to call their two greatest detectives into action: Batman and the Question. The two begin collaborating in their extensive research and investigation. Their first stop is with the Challengers of the Unknown, who reveal that Hourman similarly vanished without a trace. They assumed he was on some sort of personal mission not to be intervened with, but now see that something wrong is happening and they must aid the investigation as best they can. As the Challengers’ dimensional travel quickly brings the detectives to each of their next stops, speaking with Jesse Quick and Kyle Rayner among others, they ultimately determine that all of the Justice Society’s members have recently disappeared without a trace, staggered over time to reduce suspicion.

5. The Maltese Chimpanzee

The Question and Batman’s investigation of the JSA’s disappearance puts together another unsolved mystery told in flashback. In a late 1940s-set black and white noir homage/parody, Detective Chimp teams up with femme fatale and retired JSA hero Liberty Belle to investigate what appears to be a murder, one which leads them to Dr. Will Magnus, an inventor with a new team of Metal Men hoping to fill the gap left behind by the JSA. Their returning his disappeared robot inspires the doctor to aid them, repairing his creation and receiving testimony from it that leads further down the rabbit hole of Fawcett City’s criminal underworld. While their case ends in failure and tragedy, in the present it allows for Vic and Bruce to discover a vital clue: a photograph showing a mysterious man stalking Liberty Belle while she was with Detective Chimp.

6. Fearful Symmetry

Batman and Question continue their investigation as they are led to the JSA archives by Dr. Fate, the only remaining member. Scouring the Justice Society’s archives, footage from their heyday is uncovered that features a mysterious figure in the background, recognized as the same man in the picture from the Detective Chimp and Liberty Belle case, handily now featured in one of the Question’s conspiracy boards. This allows Question to connect the mysterious figure with a recent robbery committed by Chronos. The two detectives raid Chronos’ apartment, confiscating his time belt and turning him over to the law once more. Their conclusion is that the Mystery Man has used time travel to alter the timeline and remove the Justice Society as a threat from whatever his larger plan his.

The League decides to assemble a team that will use the belt for returning to the Justice Society’s heyday, protecting their lives in the prime of their careers, and uncovering the identity and plan of this man who is targeting them. This team consists of the detectives, Batman and Question, with his lover Huntress in tow, along with Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Flash, Green Lantern, and Black Canary, largely individuals that are personally affected by having lost the Justice Society. Dr. Fate explains that they will keep themselves safe and continue to aid and join the team throughout their adventures, due to their existence outside of linear time in their hidden pocket dimension. As the team awaits their morning departure on the mission, they privately bond over their nerves and fears.

7. Legends

As the time travel team prepares to begin their journey into the past, a gift arrives from Professors Ivo and Morrow, a new android named Tomorrow Woman, who will provide aid in their adventure through time. The League accepts this as a form of reconciliation for the consequences of Amazo’s creation and for Ivo’s actions in Gotham. The group is quickly awestruck upon arrival in 1946 as they experience the First Age of Superheroes firsthand and meet the younger selves of their idols and inspirations, who are still riding high after the end of the second World War: Johnny Quick, Alan Scott, The Spectre, Hourman, Liberty Belle, Captain Atom, Wildcat, and Doctor Fate, who has all of the same knowledge as the one in the present day and serves as a mediary between the two groups. The Society take the League with them on operations, exposing both the differences and similarities of experience between the First Age of Superheroes and the current one. 

The personal backgrounds of many of the modern League members put them into vulnerable positions when they attempt to be public heroes in 1946, forcing the Society to aid them in going into hiding. With both teams stuck in cramped quarters, tensions rise and conflict stirs between them, as the modern League is distracted from their true goals by being so overwhelmed with their various emotions, from grief to hero worship to dissatisfaction, while the Society finds themselves starting to distrust their mystical counterpart and new arrivals, much to Dr. Fate’s annoyance. Fate does their best to be patient as the League succeeds in dealing with their most serious emotional matters, such as John Stewart speaking with young Alan Scott about the Death of the Lanterns, but communication breakdown reaches a boiling point when the Mystery Man suddenly appears as a cohort of the JSA.

8. Family History

The accusations by the Mystery Man are short-lived as Dr. Fate is able to use their magic to demonstrate to the JSA how he falsely insinuated himself into their lives, but he is able to escape capture with a sudden disappearance. This incident enables the teams to reconcile and finally actively discuss the JSA Killer’s interference with their history. The panicked JSA takes comfort from their successors while the twin detectives, Batman and Question, embark from the hideout in street clothes to continue their investigation. Once calmed down, the JSA begin in earnest to aid the investigation, and in the process, the League learns from them far more about the secret history of their predecessors than they ever expected. Everyone reconciles with these troubling discoveries as best they can.

After Batman and Question finally return, Dr. Fate employs their magic to temporarily ‘unlock’ the JSA’s memories, allowing glimpses into the next several years to track the Mystery Man’s trail in stalking and killing each member. In the process, the League discovers the key change in the timestream that has caused the JSA to prematurely retire in public disgrace, rather than choose to pursue private lives in the early 50s, which put them in the isolated and vulnerable positions to be targeted by the JSA Killer: increasing anti-communist paranoia was suddenly redirected towards them, provoked in part by the wild accusations of Joseph McCarthy, all of which eventually led to a subsequent investigation by the House UnAmerican Activities Committee and the ordered dissolution of the JSA by Congress.

9. The Crucible

The JSA of 1946 follows the JLI into their near future of 1949, to further investigate these shocking events for themselves. They arrive right before the trial that will forcibly dissolve the JSA and saddle them with one year prison sentences for contempt of court, which ruins their public reputations. The teams have to remain out of costume and work very cautiously to avoid attracting to much attention while they investigate. They are quickly able to prove the JSA Killer’s government connections, but their bold raid on his FBI office uncovers the essential missing piece in the puzzle: one of the JSA’s members secretly testified against the others to clinch the convictions in exchange for commuting their own sentence.

Shocked and devastated by this discovery, the JSA begins to descend into paranoia of their own until at last the guilt-stricken Red Tornado, Ma Hunkel, confesses. She admits to a quietly simmering resentment due to being the least famous, oft-ridiculed, and eventually first retired member of the team, which the JSA Killer  had learned of from his time undercover with them, and used against her once their hearings began. Although they are deeply upset, the other Justice Society members recognize that their failures to consider and respect her at the height of their glory. They can and will forgive her once the outcome of the trial is changed. These conversations are interrupted by the reckless anti-superhero FBI Agent King Faraday, who has been on their trail since the raid on the office he shares with his partner, the JSA Killer.

They inform him of the full scope of his partner’s actions, and while he can’t inform them on his partner, equally a mystery to him, he can intervene with the trial on the basis of wrongfully extracted testimony, saving the JSA from prison. The JSA’s convictions and forced-retirements have been prevented, but the damage to their reputations will remain until the HUAC investigation is avoided altogether by fully removing the mystery man’s interference from the timestream. Continuing their hot pursuit of the JSA Killer, the JLI send their heroes back to 1946 to keep the timeline stable while jumping forward in time to the late 60s to follow the trail of the remaining link in the HUAC incident, Agent King Faraday.

10. The Doom Patrol

In 1969, Agent Faraday’s investigation has uncovered the bizarre world of the Doom Patrol, the most secret and strange corner of superhero history. The Patrol join forces with the League against their nemeses, the Brotherhood of Evil, led by a disembodied brain in love with a Marxist French gorilla. The question of the Brotherhood clearly being the same kind of troubled social outcasts as the Patrol and how to handle that is discussed, but set aside when they take the town of Codsville, Maine hostage. The League is confronted with a painful choice about preserving the timeline upon realizing that the Patrol ultimately sacrifices themselves to stop the Brotherhood’s plot in Codsville. They choose to not obstruct these glorious weirdos’ greatest heroic feat, but realize they can avenge them once they witness the the JSA Killer recruiting the Brotherhood and removing them from the timestream for his new plot. 

11. The War Game

The League regroups with the 1980s iteration of the Doom Patrol as they get one step closer to determining the identity of the JSA Killer. They are pulled into a high-stakes Cold War conflict with potentially devastating consequences, that culminates in the shocking realization that this man goes by the name Vandal Savage and has a far faster record of appearing throughout history, evidently without the use of time travel. He ambushes the League and casts them into the midst of a vicious World War II battle as retaliation for their interferences

12. The Savage Time

The Justice League struggle to survive as they are scattered and thrust onto a battlefield in the Pacific Theatre, ultimately reuniting with each other as they work to restore peace.    Returning to the 1940s and the events that led to the JSA’s founding helps to bring the relationship between them and the League into sharper focus. They continue their research into the newly discovered Vandal Savage as they work against him to prevent drastically altering the events of the Second World War. When they find themselves unable to prevent his altering the future, their ultimate conclusion is that they need to defeat him at his own game, delving further back in time to stop him at his source.

13. Two-Gun Mojo: The team arrives in 1880s America where they encounter the Spirit of the 19th Century, Jonah Hex, and must aid him in fighting off a horde of undead and discovering the source of this epidemic before it consumes the American West.

14. Knight of Shadows: Traveling even further back, the team arrives in 1340s Europe, where Morgaine la Fey attempts to weaponize Jason Blood and his alter ego Etrigan the Demon, the Spirit of the 14th Century, against King Arthur and his wizard Merlin. The League is aided by the mysterious Shining Knight in defeating la Fey and stabilizing the time period, who chooses to come with them when Chronos’ device suddenly activates and pulls them back forward in time.

15. Question Authority

The League is rapidly shot forth into a disturbing alternate future Gotham from the 2030s, summoned by Vandal Savage. Until recently, Neo-Gotham had been split into chaotic sectors controlled by feuding street gangs, until Savage employed the wealth and power he had amassed over the centuries without the League or Society to stand in his way, seizing singlehanded control over the city and maintaining a tyrannical regime, purging or assimilating all that stood in his way. His forces consist of a mixture of supervillains extracted from out of time, including the Brotherhood of Evil, and cybernetically enslaved Neo-Gotham street criminals. Savage steals the time belt from the League as only some of them narrowly escape his fortress with their lives, the rest tragically left behind to be captured and imprisoned.

Having lost half their group, the team is desperate to find backup as they search Neo-Gotham’s streets and evade Savage’s patrols, eventually encountering a cybernetic Batman named Terry McGinnis, with a still-living Bruce Wayne as his Oracle, who bring them underground to a ragtag resistance group. When Huntress discovers the grown son of Tobias Whale, her parents’ killer, among the resistance’s numbers, she is unwilling to work with them and fights with the remaining League-ers, who argue that this man is innocent to his father’s crimes. The prime timeline’s Bruce speaks of his and Leslie Thompkins’ encounter with Joe Chill back in his first years as Batman, advising Huntress to seek peace, while Neo-Gotham’s Wayne argues with h and displays a harsher, more cynical outlook. With the loyal Question close behind, Huntress ultimately resigns from the League, destroying their relationship with the resistance by assassinating Josiah Whale and deserting, returning to Vandal Savage and enlisting with him.

16. Time Bomb

While the small team of 20th Century Justice League struggles after being forced back onto the surface of Neo-Gotham by the resistance, Tomorrow Woman finds herself quietly reflecting and expanding her self-awareness until she suddenly realizes that she was designed by Ivo and Morrow, on orders from Cadmus, to destabilize and detonate, killing the Justice League outside of their own time. She informs the League that if they split in two teams to infiltrate Savage’s fortress as soon as possible, she can get the time travel tech back to them and do some good before she dies. Her team keeps Savage’s forces distracted, allowing themselves to be captured, while the other team retrieves Chronos’ device and escapes through time. Her ultimate self-destruction severely damages Savage’s facility and kills the Brotherhood’s Brain in the process.

17. Generations of Heroes

The surviving League members gather together a great assembly of superhero organizations from throughout time: the JSA, the Doom Patrol, the Challengers of the Unknown, and the current incarnation of Batman Incorporated, collectively known as the Legion of Super Heroes. They plan and launch an attack to break out the imprisoned League members from Savage’s damaged facility. The confrontation successfully liberated the prisoners, but ultimately ends in seeming tragedy as Green Lantern pushes Batman and Flash out of the way of an explosion from Chronos’ damaged time travel device, disappearing into the blast as he projects a shield around the rest of the heroes.

18. Time After Time

John Stewart’s molecules have been modified and are now randomly transporting him through time, at one point leading to the Stone Age. He does his best to send a message to Clark Kent through time, and encounters Savage once again, revealing his full origin as a hyper-intelligent, immortal caveman who has been plotting his manipulations and reign since the actual dawn of humanity. His ring having run out of charge, Savage seeks to finally eliminate his opponent before John teleports again at the last moment.

19. No Tomorrow

Returning back to Neo-Gotham in the 2030s, the Legion of Super Heroes has retreated to lick their wounds and mourn their loss. This extended episode explores their mourning and emotions. JSA’s Hourman uses his Hour of Power to return Tomorrow Woman to life, but only for the next hour. She serves as an everyday hero, lives life to her fullest, and chooses to offer inspiration to the Legion in her final moments. Their restored faith is rewarded when the still alive John Stewart emerges from a rip in the fabric of space-time with Superman in tow.

20. Hereafter

John Stewart has been teleported to a future earth many generations beyond Neo-Gotham, with humanity and possibly life itself seemingly ended. His isolation is paralleled with the retired Superman back in the unharmed “present day.” John encounters the still-alive, but tired, Savage and engages him in debate over his actions and the meaning of everything he’s experienced. Superman receives John’s message and happily resumes his heroic identity to come to his and the Legion’s rescue, flying out of Earth’s atmosphere at a rapid rate until he punches a tear through the fabric of space-time, taking him to where and when John and Vandal are. He convinces Future-Savage to surrender and go to the Phantom Zone, and takes John back to Neo-Gotham.

21. Heroes’ Welcome

Lantern and Superman join the Legion for the final battle against Savage and his forces. Huntress and Question, unwilling to go down with a sinking ship or rewrite their recent history, steal a time device and escape from the 2030s just as the fight between the Legion and Savage’s army commences. Meanwhile, Monsieur Mallah achieves clarity in his grief for the man he loved, realizing that in their desperation for refuge, they had led the Brotherhood into a betrayal of their principles by aligning with the fascist thuggery of Savage and his regime.  Realizing that the Legion’s victory would erase the Brain’s death and the Brotherhood’s mistakes from the timeline, Mallah leads the Brotherhood in alliance with the heroes against Savage, dying triumphantly in battle with the knowledge that he has set things right and will reunite with his love.

The extended fighting between these factions concludes with a proud Superman, by his friends’ side once more, ultimately beating down this form of Vandal Savage at the height of his powers and taking both him and the 1940s Vandal to the same Phantom Zone prison as Future Savage to close his loop and erase all of his alterations from the scope of history. Once this is done, Doctor Fate magically mends all of his spacetime rips and warns Superman that he cannot open any more without risking total dimensional collapse. Needing a new way home, the Flash pushes her speed to its absolute limits, accessing the Speed Force and allowing herself to time travel, for the first and only time in the series, to return everyone to their proper time. The League expects to be embraced as heroes upon their return to the present day, but are disturbed to discover that they have somehow moved forward to nine months after they began their journey through time, rather than returning to the exact moment of their departure.

22. Flash Forward

The months-long absence of the majority of the Justice League’s heavy-hitters (everyone but J’onn J’onnz, Green Arrow, Aquaman, and Vixen) has been perceived as abandonment by the people, and ultimately resulted in the emergence of a political organization known as the Cadmus Party, riding the wave of public sentiment against the League. Led by Amanda Waller, the Cadmus Party elevates policies related to human independence from and oversight of superhumans. Unknown to the League, the world’s citizens, or the world’s leaders, the Cadmus Party represents the new public face of a secretive black-ops group within the US government. The Question and the Huntress are revealed to the audience as having returned to present day, privately enlisting with the secretive Cadmus Project in service under General Wade Eiling and in opposition to the League.

The returning League members, along with the new recruit from the Medieval era, Shining Knight, must cope with the consequences of their extended absence while desperately investigating exactly how this was able to occur, although they are soon forced to set that aside as they are confronted both by the comrades they left behind and the public at large. Their teammates share the civilians’ sense of abandonment, especially given the crises they had to face while the rest were gone. However, nobody among all those currently challenging feel as abandoned as one Lex Luthor does. In the wake of the long disappearance, the now fully cancer-free former super-criminal has lost faith in the group that were the foundation of his defeat and his redemption, and he has turned the resources and attention of his advocacy work towards the Cadmus Party and away from the Justice League.

The League’s leaders are forced to reckon with the facts, that political circumstances have drastically changed and escalated in their absence due to a number of factors involving an apparent attack by previously unknown superhumans on the United Nations. Damage sustained in that crisis has resulted in the Watchtower developing reinforced defenses and heightened security.  They are faced with the external pressures of heightened general public distrust, political activism from Cadmus, and damaged relations with their own teammates. The troubled but stable world they knew is gone, and it might be their fault.

Season 4

1. Child’s Play

While the Justice League continues struggling to navigate their shifted political circumstances and reputations both public and private, the sorceress Circe breaks her mystical colleague Morgaine la Fey out from the maximum security prison that she’s been wasting away in since the defeat of Solaris back before the Justice League had first formed. Circe introduces Morgaine to her colleagues Amanda Waller and General Wade Eiling, explaining that their experimental technology granted them access to Themyscira, where she made contact. She gleefully explained how Wonder Woman’s interference in affairs upon leaving the island of Amazonia has made many lives like hers worse, and offered the services of her magic towards their common goal of conquering Diana and all of her superhero allies.

She cast the spell that warped the Flash’s Speed Force and sent the Justice League into the near-future, giving Cadmus the opportunity needed to further develop their resources and build their case against the Justice League until finally going public. Circe and la Fey combine their magics to engulf the entire Earth in a youth spell, keeping the League distracted while they liberate various other magical villains from imprisonment, including Klarion, Calypso, Felix Faust, and Eclipso, and build them together into a magical cabal with Circe at the head. The tensions within the Justice League are only worsened during and by their time as children, escalating into a fight that nearly becomes a public crisis once they are suddenly returned to their adult forms by the sorceresses.

2. Public Relations

In the wake of what news channels are calling the “Young Justice Incident”, the League take the advice of their newly employed public relations advisor and reluctantly turn their attention wholly towards an arranged public debate with Cadmus representatives Amanda Waller and Lex Luthor, and away from actually investigating the cause and motivation of the worldwide youth spell. Circe’s magical cabal conspire their next move behind-the scenes with General Eiling as the televised League v Cadmus debate unfolds. Although the League achieve some success in the debate, they flounder against ‘secret weapon’ Luthor and particularly his citation of the connection between the League’s departure and the lawsuit against Black Canary. This renews tensions between her and her girlfriend Supergirl, leading to the two deciding to spend some time apart. As reward for his performance in the debate, Luthor is inducted into the inner circle of Cadmus

3. Fresh Blood

With the possibility of retirements or departures looming due to their recent personal conflicts, the League begins open recruitment and training efforts for new superheroes,  ultimately taking in their two most promising candidates, the Manhattan Guardian, a shield-bearing vigilante that reports on his own heroics through a tabloid paper, and the Bulleteer, a woman who intervenes in industrial and natural crises using her human bullet abilities that she gained in a bizarre and tragic incident.

4. Only in Dreams: Doctor Destiny strikes as the League sleeps to torment them with their worst, most surreal nightmares, intending to manipulate them to lash out against each other and the world, and they’re only able to be saved by Martian Manhunter.

5. The Enemy Below: Ocean Master and Gamemnae collaborate to harness chaos magic and weird science into one bizarre, new monstrous entity known as Mordru that assaults Atlantis and weakens the barriers between a Lovecraftian realm and Earth’s dimension.

6. Mischief of the Music Master

Cadmus sends the Music Master after the Justice League to manipulate them into turning on each other, exploiting the already present tensions past the breaking point by casting a spell that forces them to break into song expressing their honest feelings. This ultimately forces them to figure out how to cooperate again so that they can work as a larger unit against the greater threat at work. 

7. Wake the Dead

As the League begins to function as cohesive team once more, Shining Knight is left feeling like they’re stuck as the odd person out, having been newly introduced to everyone after being brought back from the past. They get an opportunity of leadership and proving oneself when the sorcerer Felix Faust works to summon Solomon Grundy from his swamp. This conflict ultimately leads to the failure to prevent Grundy’s resurrection and the discovery that she is Ystina and not her mentor Sir Justin as she claimed.

8. House of Mystery

In a Halloween episode narrated by Cain, Shining Knight struggles to earn the League’s trust back as she leads a team into the reality-warping, ominous House of Mystery to chase after Grundy and Faust. In the process, the team comes across both old ally Swamp Thing and the enigmatic Mr. Mxyzptlk (Paul F Tompkins), who casts them to the wind split up across a variety of realms.

9. Challenging the Unknown

The Challengers of the Unknown call into action their newest recruits to aid in searching for and reuniting the reality-warped Justice League team. These additions are recent arrivals from and representatives of the Fourth World, a higher plane of existential reality removed from the network of interconnected dimensions. These ambassadors from a corner of the Fourth World known as New Genesis, Mister Miracle and Big Barda, work together with the rest of the Challengers, as they gather their newfound allies and arrive on Earth to warn the remaining League of Circe’s larger plan. Circe intends to completely disintegrate all barriers between all realms, seeding chaos, reclaiming the full power of magic from the pre-Modern era, and achieving vengeance against humanity and Themyscira in the process.

10. Finest Hour

The Challengers help to establish a stable, continuous portal that will function as a multi-dimensional pathway through the various magical realms in pursuit of Circe and her cabal. The League formally splits into the Ground Team, consisting of: Batman, Superman, J’onn, Flash, Black Canary, Green Arrow, and the two new recruits, who will remain on Earth and directly protect it from near-future magical threats, and the Pursuit Team: Doctor Fate, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Supergirl, Vixen, Green Lantern, Zatanna, and Shining Knight. The Challengers’ android Hourman, deeply grateful for the League’s role in protecting him and his comrades during his time in the JSA, ultimately sacrifices himself by giving up his power source to keep the portal operating for the extended time necessary.

11. Cage of Eternity

Upon entry into Captain Marvel’s realm, the League learns that this world has been invaded and conquered by mysterious figures calling themselves New Gods, hailing from the Fourth World, a higher plane of reality removed from the network of interconnected dimensions. The lair of the Wizard Shazam, the Rock of Eternity, has been seized and repurposed as a prison for both Shazam and Captain Marvel, harnessing their power to fuel the New Gods’ campaign of conquest through the various magical realms and dimensions. Both Circe’s Mystical Cabal (namely Solomon Grundy and a few others) and the Justice League recognize this as a threat to their operations, and are forced to work together to pre-emptively strike against the New God leaders.

12. Traversing the Realms

The New God leaders regroup while the League travels through a number of minor realms to help Captain Marvel in regaining her powers, including visiting Medusa in Tartarus to get info on Circe. Meanwhile, Circe reports to the recurring leader in shadow on the actions of his New God minions, causing him to respond in anger against them. Circe sends Black Adam in pursuit of the League to halt their travel towards her lair. With Diana and much of the League absent from Earth again, Ares liberates Medusa and numerous other monsters from Tartarus, sending them to strike human cities and Themyscira to destroy the Amazons and his old god brethren alike.

13. Streets of Fire

Batman, Flash, and Superman lead and mobilize their Justice League Ground Team to defend various cities from the monsters’ assault, but are spread too thin to transfer over and help defend Themyscira, while struggling with challenges of their leadership from Green Arrow and the new recruits. Ares himself is ultimately defeated by Superman and Flash working in tandem. Flash travels through the gateway as fast as possible to get the urgent news to Diana.

14. Yearning Souls

Diana is wracked with grief upon receiving the news about the Amazons. John Stewart consoles her, speaking about his own experiences losing the Lantern Corps. The Pursuit Team camps out, allowing for extensive introspection and discussion amidst them. Diana begins her solo retreat back through the gateway towards Earth, receiving a loving, respectful send-off from her friends.

15. Shining Bright

Mordru’s return brings the Lovecraftian dimension’s barrier down entirely, forcing the Ground Team League to regroup as Cadmus and the United Nations mount their own defenses against the monsters. Arrow sets her differences with her comrades aside and mentors the new recruits in how to function as a mortal warrior working in tandem with the superpowered. While the rest of the Pursuit Team are still resting, Shining Knight earns her keep in a solo stand-off against the New Gods’ retaliatory strike.

16. The Power of Shazam!

Captain Marvel and Black Adam clash to determine the fate of the League’s passage through the realms. Wonder Woman reaches the final leg of her journey back to Earth. Marvel and Adam reach a stand-still that Marvel is unwilling to seize upon for permanent punishment or removal of Adam. She encourages the others to go ahead of her after serving as a renewal of moral inspiration.

17. Eyes of the Gorgon

Diana arrives on Earth as the only one who can challenge Medusa, the last-standing monster in Ares’ army. She ultimately sacrifices her eyesight and her code to end Medusa’s reign of terror permanently. Afterwards, she returns to the Watchtower for recovery. With Black Adam also in recovery, Solomon Grundy leads a zombie army in a last-ditch effort to prevent the breaching of Circe’s lair.

18. Ground Soldiers of Victory

With Ares and Black Adam defeated and Grundy captured, Klarion stands as the last of Circe’s lieutenants and chooses to abandon her, hoping to seize the opportunity of the chaos on Earth to conquer and rule it single handedly after earning the people’s love and trust for defeating the monsters where the League could not. The Ground Team works as a completely cohesive force in their successful efforts to combat Klarion’s magic and monsters. Afterwards, they force him to seal Mordru’s tears in the Lovecraftian dimensional barriers.

19. Eternal Darkness

Grundy is employed as a guide through the nightmarish lair dimension Circe has been using, but the various delays have allowed her the time to activate the mass barrier dispel ritual at last, placing vastly more obstacles in their way towards her. A variety of mortal human figures unrelated to the League are briefly portrayed in vignettes dealing with the previous Lovecraftian presence, cleaning up the remaining monsters on Earth in their own ways.

20. The Terror Beyond

The swarm of monsters, untethered from natural boundaries, quickly surges through the various realms in a wave of devastation, forcing Captain Marvel and Black Adam to join together as allies for the time being, re-enter the fray of combat, and hold the monsters off as best they can, for the sake of preserving the fabric of reality and by proxy their own survival. Grundy and Ystina bond as they continue their journey into Circe’s massive, gnarled temple and eventually must work together to convince Aquaman that he must not abandon their mission and that he can trust his compatriots to protect Atlantis. As they finally arrive to confront her, Circe summons the ultimate godly monster of Trigon.

21. So Fate Demands

The League remains occupied with their efforts to topple the god Trigon while Ystina, Grundy and Dr. Fate are sent out to find the ceremonial site at which they can shut down Circe’s spell. Grundy develops a protective streak towards Ystina and ultimately volunteers to serve as the vessel for Fate’s counter-spell, in a bid to restore not the physical presence of his soul, but the moral and spiritual essence of it. Ystina is moved and pained by Grundy’s sacrifice after saying goodbye to him, and celebrates the restoration of the realm’s barriers, just as the New Gods begin their attack upon the temple.

22. Miracles of the Mighty

The crossfire of Circe’s army, the Fourth World army, and Trigon all in conflict with each other allows the League some respite as they deal with this massive power struggle. Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman eventually arrive at the scene of warfare to aid in the toppling of Trigon, which in turn triggers the collapse of the temple and the nightmare dimension channeling from it. Diana gets in her last words and actions against Circe before saving her and her other mortal followers from the collapse, which in turn incapacitates the distracted Fourth Worlders. They finally arrive back on Earth and reunite with the rest of the League, facing much destruction across the world but a renewed loyalty from humanity. Cadmus, however, expands its influence and resources by taking command of the relief and recovery efforts.

World’s Finest – The Final Season is forthcoming!