Justice League Action is back! “Luthor in Paradise” takes us into another new corner of the DC animated universe. We have our first look at the mythological side of the setting, by way of Wonder Woman’s homeland.
So far, the show has done a great job at highlighting all the many facets of the DC multiverse. It’s shown us the magical exploits of Zatanna and John Constantine. Other episodes have gone into the depths of space for the truly wacky cosmic stuff. And, of course, there has been plenty of good old-fashioned superhero action.
“Luthor in Paradise” starts high above the island of Themyscira. This is where Wonder Woman comes from, and it’s populated entirely by Amazons like her. They’re descended from Hera, the Greek goddess of women and marriage.
She put them the Amazons there to safeguard the world against the machinations of gods and monsters, and Diana (Wonder Woman) is their greatest warrior.
It’s kind of a mythological Hellmouth. Wonder Woman is Buffy.
Wonder Woman’s mother Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons, is holding court. About three seconds later, Lex Luthor busts in through a wall. He’s wearing his Iron Man battle armor, and doesn’t have much trouble dealing with the Amazonian guards.
They have swords. He has, like, lasers.
Lex demands Hippolyta turn over an artifact called the Oculus of the Argo. Hippolyta immediately offers Lex her staff, saying it will lead him straight to the Oculus.
Weirdly, Lex demands they fight instead.
Just then, Wonder Woman shows up and turns the tide. Lex brought backup, unfortunately, in the form of the sorceress Circe. Between the two of them, they manage to trap Diana in a pair of magical stone hands.
Hippolyta joins the fight at this point, but she’s defeated as well.
Circe takes the staff (which Hippolyta offered in the first place?) and the villains exit via magical portal.
Superman and Batman show up a little too late to do any good. After some Amazon drama, they free Wonder Woman.
The Amazons really don’t like when men show up on their island.
Exposition time! If Lex gets his hands on the Oculus of Argo, he’ll gain “The Power of Zeus”. Nobody wants that, so the Amazons open a portal so the heroes can give chase.
At length, Wonder Woman, Superman, and Batman follow Lex and Circe into the Fallen Realm, a “very bad place.”
Batman has seen worse, though. He says so.
The Fallen Realm is an M.C. Escher nightmare with lots of upside down floating islands and strange tendrils of smoke. Wonder Woman is clearly in her element, and schools a dragon that tries to chase the trio.
Meanwhile, Lex and Circe have reached the Oculus. Lex grabs it, and he does indeed gain the Power of Zeus. Also the Hair and Beard of Zeus. He loves the hair.
The Oculus manifests as a glowing circular device on his chest, making the Iron Man comparison even more obvious.
The heroes arrive, and Lex has a ball throwing lighting at Superman, throwing rocks at Superman, throwing Superman at things… The Power of Zeus is nothing to sneeze at.
We get lots of those great stylized action shots, this time of Lex kicking some Superbutt.
Eventually, Circe joins the fray and turns the heroes into trees. And they still manage to put up a fight, wiggling their little hands and fingers around! Wonder Woman catches Lex with her Lasso of Truth. Lex spills the beans that he’s going to betray Circe, and Circe switches sides immediately.
A little bit of action later, the Oculus is returned. Lex is in captivity. Circe is in captivity too (she’s evil, after all), and Hippolyta orders the heroes to leave before her guards filet them.
The Amazons really don’t like men on their island.
Trivia and Quotes in “Luthor in Paradise”
- The Oculus of the Argo is likely a reference to Jason and the Argonauts, although no such item appears in that tale. The other possibility is Argo City, where Supergirl was born on Krypton. That seems unlikely given the context.
- The Amazons’ distrust of men leads to some great lines from Diana and Lex Luthor.
- “Diana! These MEN are your friends?” “Um… More like sidekicks, mother.”
- Batman’s stealthy ways are becoming a running joke. He sneaks up on Hippolyta, speaking up from right next to her when she didn’t see him move there.
- Lex sure loves having hair.
- “I have all of his power! And all of his hair!”
- “Power! Strength! Lovely Hair!”
Voice actress Julianne Grossman. She’s no stranger to DC, having voiced Big Barda in Superman/Batman: Apocalypse and Etta Candy in the Wonder Woman animated film. She also voices Hippolyta in DC Super Hero Girls.
Info & Trivia
- Wonder Woman’s mother comes from a real Greek myth.
- The mythological Hippolyta was also Queen of the Amazons, though she had no children. This version has two: Wonder Woman and Donna Troy.
- Although she doesn’t have Wonder Woman’s armbands and lasso, she’s still a force to be reckoned with. All Amazons are immortal and superstrong.
- She’s also 3,000 years old and has been a warrior all her life. Her experience makes her dangerous to her foes.
- “A man? Here?” Luthor: “THE man! Lex Luthor!”
- Speaking to Circe about Luthor: “What can he do for you that you can’t do for yourself?”
- “I’d happily give her life and every other Amazon’s before I let the two of you have that kind of power.”
- “Diana. Tell your sidekicks never to address me directly again.”
Voice actress Laura Post, who has plenty of anime and video games under her belt. She also played Big Barda in the Apokolips episode of Justice League Action.
Info & Trivia
- Circe was a regular villain in the DCAU, appearing in Justice League Unlimited multiple times. Like when she demanded Batman sing in a magical nightclub.
- Like Hippolyta, Circe comes from genuine Greek myth. The mythological Circe appeared in Homer’s Odyssey, where she turned many of Odysseus’ crew into pigs.
- This version of Circe likes to turn people into animals, too. The episode references that when she makes a crack about “branching out” by turning the heroes into trees.
- Luthor seems to have tricked her into believing they would have a romantic relationship. This is pretty out of character for Circe. She’s usually the one stringing men along, not the reverse.
- “That’s right. The witch is back!”
- “For starters, I dig bald guys.”
- “I was going to turn them into animals, but I’m branching out.”
- (On taking some of Zeus’ power) “Mm, tingly!”