Tabula RasaOriginal Airdate: October 04, 2003
Thanks to Zergrinch for the sneak preview.
If Tabula Rasa had been aired last season, I?m sure it would have been a much different episode. Amazo would have been a one-dimensional character hell-bent on destroying the League. Instead of copying powers, he would have been ?given? the powers of the current roster of the league. He would have wiped the floor with the League, until someone realized that if the just disbanded the League, he?d lose all his power. (Yes, this lame plot twist was used in an issue of JLA) Instead of a sleek grey android, he?d probably be the corny yellow/green/red-haired comic version, which is classic?but dated.
Instead, Tabula Rasa was the perfect example of how to take a classic villain and update him for modern times. The episode did a number of things well making it one of the best episodes yet.
The Entire Justice League
We haven?t seen all seven members of the League since Secret Origins. Sure Batman was sort of in Savage Time, but not really. In this case it made sense to bring in all seven members, if the villain?s main power is to copy powers. The more powers there are, the more fun it?s going to be.
Luthor and Mercy
It would have been easy to introduce Ivo, and completely bypass Luthor. Instead we not only get the return of Luthor, but the return of Mercy as well. The dynamic between them was easily as interesting as Amazo, and full of innuendo. I couldn?t really figure out what side Mercy was going to end up on. I would have liked to see Lex win out in the end, but the writers seem determined to keep him in jail. Still it was nice to see Mercy?s character evolve and grow beyond a lame Harley rip-off. I hope we?ll see more of her and Lex in the future.
The ?new? Amazo
Amazo has always been an overpowered android with very little character. In Tabula Rasa Amazo is an amazingly conflicted character that?s interesting to watch. The father/son dynamic between him and Lex could have been fairly clich?, instead Amazo?s ?evolution? added a new twist to an old story. The way he used the League?s powers with each other was great. Ever wonder what would happen if GL could move as fast as Flash? Or if Superman took a swing with Hawkgirl?s mace? Amazo was a fanboy?s dream come true.
J?onn?s telepathic powers have been pretty tame at best. In this episode he shows us why. He opens himself up to the entire city, and reels from all the random thoughts. He manages to control his powers by the end of the show, and hopefully we?ll be able to see more of J?onn?s telepathic ability which has always been his greatest asset.
The number of times an episode makes me say ?holy crap!? Is directly related to how good an episode is. Tabula Rasa contained tons of those moments.
- Mercy ? Whoa! Last we saw her she was just a chauffeur, and now she?s running Lex Corp? One of the more pleasant surprises of the episode.
- Amazo Copies Superman ? GL warns Superman to stay away, but there?s no way Supes is going to let one of his friends fall in battle. He arrives and saves the day?but as the first episode ends, we see Amazo replicate Superman?s shield, and we know that the League?s in for a lot of trouble. (oh and I think he used more heat vision that Superman has used in all episodes of JL combined)
- Batman uses kryptonite ? Amazo?s just beaten the entire League, the only one left is Batman. What chance does a normal man have against all the powers of the League combined? Batman shows why he doesn?t need powers.
- Amazo counters kryptonite ? You can?t fool him twice. I didn?t really get to see how Amazo stopped the big K, but I assumed he used GL?s ring. Then he flung it at Superman? This guy is a League stopping machine. Heck, even normal villains with brains don?t learn as fast as Amazo.
- J?onn lets Amazo copy his powers ? No don?t do it! Okay I saw it coming too, but still a creative way to ?defeat? both Amazo and Luthor at once.
- Lex blows up Amazo?s head ? Did anybody see this coming? Everybody always has a ?doomsday? device or ?backup? switch?but does anybody ever push it? Lex does.
- Amazo regrows his head ? I guess this might have been awesome, but I thought Amazo was long gone?after all if you?re going to kill of a character, it makes sense to kill off an android.
- Amazo flies away ? Amazo tells the Justice League that they?re beneath him? And flies off? How many villains tell the heroes that he just doesn?t care anymore? Not even Darkseid did that.
Overall Tabula Rasa was a perfect episode. It lacked the grandness of Twilight, but what it lacked in interplanetary battles, it made up for with character development. So far Season 2 is batting 1.000, and I don?t know if I?m overjoyed that Season 2 is so good, or pissed that we should have been getting episodes of this quality during the first Season. Still the writers showed us they?ve been listening to our complaints about the show, and deliver a solid episode.
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