Recap / Justice League Unlimited S 3 E 4 To Another Shore

In Scandinavia, a glacier thaws partially, and the remains of a Viking ship are discovered frozen inside.

Aboard the Watchtower, Diana is preparing to attend a summit on global warming on behalf of Themyscira. She tries to convince J'onn to go with her. Until this point, J'onn has spent nearly all of two years in the Watchtower as Monitor. Diana scolds him for spending too much time "cooped up" and challenges him to interact more with humanity. J'onn insists that he is needed on the Watchtower, but Diana points out that Mr. Terrific is more than capable of running things himself. Diana leaves for her summit, but tells J'onn they're not done talking and he is left to contemplate Diana's words.

At the Legion of Doom's headquarters, Grodd calls a meeting of several supervillains. Lex Luthor reports that he's been using his scientific genius to augment the abilities of several Legion members. Grodd then hands out a mission: The Viking ship is that of Prince Jon, a legendary warrior who was cursed with invulnerability by the gods due to his illicit love affair with a valkyrie, so as to prevent him from dying in battle and thus reunite with his love. If the Legion can steal and reverse-engineer his corpse, then they should be able to create that power for themselves.

At the conference, Diana is not doing well, largely because of her frustration with the other delegates' refusal to accept the scientific consensus on the effects of global warming. She mentions her mother may try a military solution, upsetting the other delegates, and causing her to say as a last resort. When she steps outside to gather herself, she notices Special Agent King Faraday enjoying a piece of bubble gum, who mentions he is there as part of the U.S. Vice President's security detail. Then a rumble shakes the meeting place and she suits up.

At the base of the mountain, Heatwave is melting through the ice to free the ship, while Giganta, Devil Ray and Killer Frost hold off the local security guards, who warn them that if they continue, the mountain will collapse. Diana battles with the Legion members, but is severely wounded by a poisoned stinger from Devil Ray. Agent Faraday and his men provide reinforcements, but Diana has to call the Watchtower for help. After a brief argument with J'onn (who is still reluctant to leave the Watchtower), Diana insists that she needs J'onn's abilities, so J'onn and Green Arrow beam down.

The League regains the advantage, but J'onn wonders why the Legion hasn't retreated when they could have. J'onn tries to read Giganta's mind, but it unexpectedly shuts down on her, with J'onn catching a psychic backlash. What little he was able to read of her mind tells him enough of the Legion's plan to know that the Legion cannot be allowed to take the ship. Just then, Heatwave has melted enough of the ice for a submarine controlled by the Legion to grapple the block of ice holding the ship and pull it free. The tremors causes a huge avalanche to roll down the mountain towards the summit building.

The League divides: Green Arrow boards the submarine, Diana dives underwater to try to free the ship, while J'onn seizes Killer Frost and flies her to the top of the summit building, telling her to stop the avalanche with her powers or else be buried along with him in it.

Fighting the effects of the poison, Diana engages Devil Ray underwater, and manages to crack his helmet, forcing him to surface. Green Arrow disables a good number of the sub's crew, but is finally taken prisoner. However, the Legion's sub is surrounded by a trio of U.S. Navy subs led by Faraday, and the crew are forced to surrender. Up top, Killer Frost manages to stop the avalanche and save the summit building, though she is exhausted by the effort.

Diana recovers from the poison, thanks to an antidote found in Devil Ray's belt. The ship is recovered and the Legion members are taken into custody. When discussing Giganta's mind wipe, Diana mentions that Metallo had his brain shorted out as well when John Stewert questioned him regarding his dealings. Diana and Green Arrow agree that the recent villain activity is a sign of something bigger, but J'onn tells them that they will have to solve the mystery without him. Diana claims her people know of the legend of the Viking Prince. Between Diana's words and the lonely fate of Prince Jon, J'onn has come to realize that if he does not learn to live with humans, he will be alone forever, living far longer than humans.

Diana insists on giving the ancient Viking ship a proper burial rite sending it and the remains of Prince Jon into the sun. Meanwhile, J'onn takes his leave and beams down to Earth, taking on the appearance of a human male and disappears into a crowd.

Tropes:

  • Continuity Nod: Diana makes reference to her mother, Hippolyta, and their reconciliation since Diana's heroic actions in "The Balance". Diana jokingly says that she'd rather "take another day trip to Tartarus" than attend the conference, which is just what she did in that episode.
    • J'onn is unable to fully read Giganta's mind because Gorilla Grodd managed to short out her brain. The same thing happened in the previous episode, "Chaos at the Earth's Core" when Green Lantern tried to interrogate Metallo. This pattern was mentioned by Green Arrow at the end of this episode and confirmed in "Alive!".
    • Before J'onn bids his comrades farewell, Flash gives him a hug, much like how he hugged Hawkgirl when she resigned from the League at the end of "Starcrossed". This seems to support the theory put forth in "A Better World" that Flash is the "heart" of the League.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Grodd makes reference to his "ultimate goal", which is later revealed in "Dead Reckoning".
    • Lex Luthor working on Devil Ray's suit. A later episode will reveal he augmented all of the villains' powers and made certain he could override them to protect himself.
  • Man Hug: Flash hugs J'onn goodbye.
  • Mythology Gag: When Diana transforms into Wonder Woman she uses the old Lynda Carter effect: spinning into her uniform. This may be an homage from the producers to the earlier television Wonder Woman, most likely from storyboard artist/producer and avid Lynda Carter fan James Tucker.
    • For the story of Prince Jon, Bruce Timm recreated panels in the style of Joe Kubert. Most of the poses and appearances are based on artwork found in Our Army At War #162. Other scenes include:
      • He fought Torgunn, the Claw in The Brave and the Bold #16
      • Jon's battle against the Ice King is from The Brave and the Bold #18
      • The shark fight is also from The Brave and the Bold #16, though it is mirrored.
    • The fight with the Ice Dragon from The Brave and the Bold #5
      • Odin's design is based on Baron Thorvald, one of Jon's more persistent villains.
  • Nigh Invulnerable: Odin cursed Prince John with this so that he could never die an honorable death in battle. Grodd hopes to steal John's corpse so they can reverse-engineer his invulnerability.
  • Put on a Bus:
    • Wonder Woman says that Atlantis has withdrawn from the world assembly over the climate change studies. This, of course, is due to rights to Aquaman and his supporting cast suddenly getting tied up and needing to explain why he won't be around this season.
    • J'onn departs the League at the end of the episode. He does not reappear until the series finale, "Destroyer".
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Devil Ray is in no way like Black Manta.
  • Trick Arrow: "And Black Canary said a buzz-saw arrow was self-indulgent."
  • Viking Funeral: Diana gives the prince the ultimate viking funeral, by hurling his longship into the sun.
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