Even the Justice League deserves a softball once in a while. There are only so many great threats out there, even in the DCAU, who are capable of posing issues for the entire league. So it makes perfect sense that some weeks there will ‘only’ be an immortal would-be tyrant instead of a demigod to contend with.
“Maid of Honor” seems like a bit of a letdown. I say ‘seems’ because objectively, this is a decent episode. It has the misfortune to follow three phenomenal episodes, though, and its scale is decidedly more modest. Maybe it’s a solid ‘B’ instead of a definitive ‘A’, but it’s still good. It is a chance to breathe a little, which is welcome.
The episode does allow us to spend some time with civilian Diana, who is something of a sensation now. “Wonder Woman”, they call her, apparently. It’s debatable whether Diana in Man’s World would make for a good episode, I think, but I could stand for some more bits of it like this one. Plus, we get to see Bruce Wayne for the first time in a while.
There’s a good moment early on, when the terrorists come for Princess Audrey, where Bruce prepares to rush off, presumably to change out of his disguise. But seeing Diana spring into action – that poor dress never had a chance – allows him to enjoy a drink and a show. Bruce only gets to have a little fun, though. Diana, on the other hand, gets to play at being a spoiled party girl for a long night.
I will personally mail you $5 if you honestly believe Princess Audrey didn’t kiss Diana during their night out.
The fun only lasts so long, though. There is a conspiracy afoot, and it comes to a head as Diana meets Audrey’s fiancée – Vandal Savage. The charade doesn’t even make it to a commercial break, as Colonel Vox – our would-be military spook – appears and connects most of the dots. Our conspiracy is brisk: the king is poisoned and a shotgun wedding arranged in short order.
The scene Audrey and Savage’s wedding takes place against the backdrop of Diana laying waste to the Kasnian army outside the castle is well coordinated. Note: if you need to object to a wedding, throwing a tank into the ceremony is a good way to do it.
The rest of the episode moves briskly. Savage is able to drop his benign pretense and unveil his space gun, though there is little doubt he’ll win out here. I don’t dislike Savage as a character, but he really has to be two steps ahead of the league to have a chance. (Having John Stewart recognize the railgun is a nice character moment.)
Things end with relative ease. The Watchtower team of Flash and the Johns take down the railgun with only one near-casualty, and Savage is neutralized without much trouble. Princess Audrey shows a little leadership here, and the nations of the world only needed to be threatened for it to happen.
My sentiments at the beginning of this review might give the impression that I found this episode to be a disappointment, but that’s hardly the case. It just feels smaller than the others so far, which I think is apparent to anyone. It may honestly be the weakest episode of this season, too, given how consistently excellent the episodes are. But it still has a lot to like. Any episode that ends with Diana trying to take Batman dancing can’t be bad.
- The voice casting is ridiculous in this one:
- Vandal Savage: Phil Morris, who you know as Jackie Chiles, or maybe John Jones in Smallville.
- King Gustav: Alfred Molina!
- DCAU utility players Corey Burton and Jennifer Hale have bit parts here.
- Oh, and the minister is voiced by Dan Castellaneta.
- I appreciate that Savage explains his history here: it’s brief, and while I’m sure most viewers recognize the character, it helps to have an explanation of why he survived “The Savage Time”.
- I enjoy Diana having a little fun with the princess. We get so few glimpses of the league outside of their day jobs, it’s nice to have some character building. Especially for Diana, who missed out on last episode’s trip into everyone’s psyche.
- It makes complete sense that Diana would become a celebrity overnight.
- Savage going full villain after unveiling the railgun is fun:
- I almost forgot about Audrey’s club boys, which she picked up after being in the club for all of thirty seconds. Just look at these guys.