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Justice League Unlimited - Fearsome Symmetries

When JL names an episode after a line in William Blakes' Song of Experience poem "The Tyger." A poem that serves as a dark mirror to his poem from the Songs of Innocence, "The Lamb," well... When that episode centers around a long running character being cloned.... When that episode plays off of concepts from the run of the all the different series... When the series creators start talking about this is the episode where the season's arc begins.... When...well, that makes for interesting contemplation.

Tygerish lambs and lambish tigers. Supergirl and Powergirl. Kara and Galatea. Who is the tygerish lamb and who is the lambish tiger, well that's up to discussion.

A real farmer’s daughter type with a grip like a vise. Blonde and blue eyed and wholesome pure Midwestern alien/alien clone from another planet. Uber(wo)mensch and Nitsche quotes. Wait no. It’s the Question that quotes Nitsche. The Uber merely fly.

Burning bright in the forests of the night.

With the introduction of the character the Question, we begin to explore plots and conspiracies within the JL-verse. This year it seems that rather than a threat from the stars, our characters will face off against a threat that has always been there. A threat hidden behind secret government organizations and trench coats.

 This was an episode from a mature universe.

What hand dare seize the fire.

A meaty red sauce of reference and possibilities. I just wish I had every episode from every series on DVD so I could do justice to the thing. Superman. Batman Beyond. Zeta.

I have teasing memories of Volcana’s episode from the Superman series. When she broke free of the government organization that made her what she was, I can’t quite remember - was the head of the program her mentor or her lover. Well, it was a kid’s show, so probably mentor with implications in her voice.

The Royal Flush gang, from S2 JL, created by a “secret government group.” Ace with her mental perambulations. All gathered and created by secret government groups.

Not conspiracies. Conspiracy. Single.

The military robots that attacked our heroes from the Zeta series of robots. In Batman Beyond, a later model will be designed to assassinate the enemies of the state for some secret government group. Designed to assume the identities of others. To infiltrate. A thing that will one day become a who. Wake up” to consciousness and decide that “he” doesn’t want to kill any more.

General Hardcastle who led the defense against Superman’s finale attack. Leaving behind his military skin. Inside his cabin, it is night, while outside the sun shines.

On what wings dare he aspire

Oh, the wonderful long range repercussions.

Superman should cry Batman a river. In the Superman series finale, Darkside planted tangling vines that root beyond simple conquest.

Superman was brainwashed into thinking that Darkside was his adoptive father and Apocalypse his burning home. Lost to himself Kal-el attacks everything that he loves. There’s a lovely moment when Professor Hamilton, who had been friends with Superman throughout the entire series, confronts the newly awakened Superman. The broken Supergirl between them. Fear. Anger. The good doctor, perhaps, realizing for the first time, just how powerful Superman is.

I often wondered when Superman mentioned Star Labs in JL how that relationship was repaired. How pleased I am to know, umm…no, it wasn’t.

That was the moment that Hamilton turned and this episode showed the fruit of that turn.

“Your kind are fickle.” “They want their own super powerful alien if it happens again.”

Galatea – Tea – Power Girl – a maiden brought to life by Aphrodite in answer to Pygmalion’s prayers. A maiden brought to life by science in answer to fearful prayers.

Clone stories always play intriguingly with the question of what if. Identical people given different circumstances becoming…in this case entangled on changeling shores.

Kara’s fear that in her sleep she is committing horrible acts. That she is becoming other than herself. Tea’s determination to destroy her progenitor/self that plagues her dreams. Both fears reflecting on the violation that set these particular events in motion: Superman’s brainwashed attack on Earth in the Superman series finale. Leading to the theft of Supergirl’s DNA.

Galatea – Who wears Supergirl’s face.

The eye soul windows and the conscience that bites. Kara sitting up from her sleep remembering Galatea's actions. Burning twin holes in the Kent’s wholesome lost lamb sheltering roof.

Dost thou know who made thee?
Who Gave thee clothing of delight?

Alien probes, when the uber is the alien. A little Agar. A little DNA. Tomatoes; leading to Fearful Symmetries .

The Question – Who has no face. Tilts his head and the points of his round hat cast eye shadows. And a brief aside, damn I love Jeffrey Combs.

The Question doesn’t go through Supergirl’s trash, he goes through everyone’s trash. He believes, he questions, he distrusts. Connecting cabals and bland generic boy bands.

To wonder at the Question’s identity is almost to wonder at Rorschach’s in The Watchmen. He wears faces and identities and he sings. Songs of Innocence. Songs of Experience.

“What do you think of the pre-packaged pop the kids listen to?” And I wonder if the point isn’t that the adults are supposed to hate it. The lines between pins and connections.

Gods and cabals and broken girls consumed by fire.

Softest clothing wooly bright;

No Uber mask, although Supergirl does wear little white gloves.

Coffee Bars, Third World Unrest, Global Warming. The super friends in their little club up above the blue marble world and files in dark shadowed places.

I can’t wait to see where they go with this.

and William Blake

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