War World | Episode 12

Aired: February 24, 2002
Heroes: Hawkgirl, Superman, Green Lantern and J'onn Jonzz
Supporting: Draaga
Villains: Mongul
Objects: Javelin, Power Ring, and Nth Metal
Places: Justice League Watchtower and War World
Beasts: Robots and Pit Croc
Written By: Stan Berkowitz
Directed By: Butch Lukic

War World | Episode 13

Aired: March 3, 2002
Heroes: Hawkgirl, Superman, Green Lantern and J'onn Jonzz
Supporting: Draaga
Villains: Mongul
Objects: Power Ring and Nth Metal
Places: War World
Beasts: Robots
Written: Stan Berkowitz
Directed By: Butch Lukic


Summary written by VortexInfinite

Some asteroids are just too big for Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck. That's why you call the Justice League. When a gigantic space rock threatens the Earth, J'onn and Superman place a bomb on it to turn into millions of tiny, harmless space pebbles. But they activate it too early. Before Hawkgirl, their monitor on the Watchtower, can warn them of dangerous hydrogen pockets in the asteroid, the rock explodes and sends Superman and the Martian Manhunter almost a light year away. Hawkgirl gets a good talking to by Green Lantern before they set off to search for them.

Before they can find the fallen heroes, Supes and J'onn are picked up by the evil tyrant Mongul's henchmen. Seeing that Kal is a Kryptonian, they decide to make him a gladiator on the artificial planet, War World. The games on War World are the only source of happiness for the peasants of Mongul's world, since they lack just about every basic comfort and necessity. Mongul, who must have been a long-removed cousin of Caesar, believes that all it takes to be a good leader is to give the commoners good games. He is starting to get angry because that's exactly what has been missing ever since he acquired Draaga, the most popular gladiator ever. The fights just don't last long enough.

But "the Kyrptonian" puts up a fight and defeats Draaga when forced into combat after helping J'onn escape. When Superman is ordered to kill Draaga, he refuses, angering both Mongul AND Draaga, who wants an honorable death. Mongul tries to kill Superman on War World in front of the audience as an example, but J'onn, disguised as a peasant, begins a wave of support for the man from Krypton and Mongul is forced to spare him. Superman is placed back in chains and when offered a way out by his fellow prisoners. He tells them to save Draaga instead.

After dealing with many seedy space pilots, Green Lantern and Hawkgirl find themselves on the planet Draaga was sent to. Seeing that he has burned an "S" on his chest to remind him of his shameful defeat, they inquire about War World and Superman. He agrees to navigate if they take him with them. When they arrive, he knocks out his benefactors and begins his search for Superman.

The only presence Superman has in the streets, however, is his symbol which has been spray-painted by fans across the world. Since Mongul can't kill him outright, he threatens to destroy Draaga's home planet if Superman does not confront him in battle -- and lose. Reluctantly, Superman agrees and the "battle of the millennium" begins.

In an attempt to save his friend, J'onn tries to stop Mongul's goons from firing the Death Starish cannon that is aimed at Draaga's home world. But the atmosphere prevents him from using his powers to their fullest extent and he is cornered. Green Lantern and Hawkgirl intervene and destroy the weapon. Afterwards, they head to War World where the fight with Mongul has been interrupted by Dragaa. Superman tells the ex-gladiator about Mongul's plan and Draaga decides to focus his anger somewhere else: on Mongul's face. The king gets his crown knocked off and the crowd goes wild back on the home planet. Superman and his fellow Leaguers leave Draaga to reclaim his honor as a peaceful leader on a troubled world.


Review written by VortexInfinite

Perhaps the worst thing about this episode is how it got overplayed. I must have seen this eight times already and it DOES get better, if tiring. You begin to realize that the idea is pretty good. War World is an important part of the Superman mythos and Mongul is the prime example of a villain you love to hate. It also highlights Superman's honorable personality and provides a conflicted character who is a good person at heart with Draaga.

But the actual execution of the plot stinks. J'onn is useless seeing as how his powers have been diminished by an undefined substance in the atmosphere. Superman is far too submissive in this episode and Hawkgirl's destruction of the Death Star, er....Mongul's cannon is ridiculous. No power mace can make an energy blast revert into the weapon. It isn't Link's sword from the Legend of Zelda games.

Animation is pretty half-assed too. You'd think in the age that succeeded shows like Beast Wars and Reboot, two completely 3-D shows, they could find a way to make crowds more realistic using CGI as was done on the big screen in movies like The Lion King and Hunchback of Notre Dame. Nope, the crowds are bland gray figures blurred together. And when they MOVE...it looks like something a kindergartner would make if he flipped his drawings real fast. The scenes in the poorly-lit dungeons aren't pretty to look at either.

War World is not pleasing the first time you see it and is barely tolerable the next hundred. It actually bears a likeness to the ugly, decrepit streets of Mongul's planet. Again, a little more thought and a little more effort goes a long way. This episode will be forgotten as more (and hopefully better) episodes grace the television screen.