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Recap / Justice League Unlimited S 3 E 5 Flash And Substance

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When the Flash gets a museum opened in his honor, courtesy of the grateful residents of his native Central City, four members of his Rogues Gallery take it upon themselves to kill him on the eve of the opening. Batman and Orion, who've come to witness the opening at Flash's invitation, must now help the Scarlet Speedster repel the villains — and they get to witness just how Flash operates on his home turf as a superhero.



  • 555/My Card: Linda Park tries to give Flash her phone number at the museum opening. He isn't really paying attention, so he just autographs it and hands it back to her.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: In the comics, the Rogues have a strict Thou Shall Not Kill policy that is strictly enforced by Captain Cold and their relationship with the Flash is akin to Worthy Opponent and even Friendly Enemy at times. Here, not so much.
  • Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering?: This exchange:
    Mirror Master: Here we are, the hardest men in town and we all have something in common.
    Trickster: Bilateral symmetry.
  • Bad-Guy Bar: The Rogues all hang out in one, and its location is well known to the Flash.
  • Batman Gambit: Batman fires a flare—not to hit the villains, but so it will enter the mirror and show Flash where he needs to go to escape.
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  • Boomerang Comeback: Captain Boomerang sends a swarm of exploding boomerangs at Flash. He snatches them out of the air and throws them away.
    "That should do it!" (the boomerangs come right back at him) *Face Palm* "DUH!"
  • Break Out the Museum Piece: By no means an antique, but Captain Boomerang snatches a boomerang from a mannequin display of himself.
    "Hey, been lookin' for that."
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: The Rogues are gunning for the Flash's head, which is taken seriously by everyone except the Flash.
    "Dude, the bad guys went down and nobody got hurt. You know what I call that? A really good day."
  • Call-Back: Several abound in this episode.
    • The Flash Museum shows a display of Flash racing around the world with Superman. This took place in the Superman: The Animated Series episode, "Speed Demons."
    • Flash's Lightspeed Bar standee, which Orion destroys when it startles him, references the episode "Eclipsed."
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    • The episode "Task Force X" and Captain Boomerang's involvement in the titular group are referenced when Boomerang himself tells his fellow villains that he got a deal that "got (his) sentence down to five years," and again when Batman tells Flash that Amanda Waller had informed him about Boomerang leaving the team.
  • The Cameo: The Bad-Guy Bar features several costumed characters aside from the four main Rogues: Mister Alchemy, the Turtle Man, etc.
  • Can't Act Perverted Toward a Love Interest: Linda Park, Flash's main love interest in the comics, drops several hints to him that she's into him, but he initially misses them, although this seems to be more because he was too busy focusing on preparing for an attack by his rogues. At the end of the episode, he realizes this and sheepishly starts fixing this.
  • Celebrating the Heroes: Central City opens a museum dedicated to the Flash in this episode.
  • Curbstomp Battle: Batman takes on Captain Cold, Mirror Master, and Captain Boomerang all by himself. He nearly gets killed, but does manage to help free The Flash.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Just like in the comics, the Flash's Rogues have access to amazing technology...that they used to commit petty robberies. The episode begins with them whining about their financial woes.
    Captain Cold: If I don't "visualize" a mortgage payment soon, the wife'll have me bagging groceries for a living.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Captain Cold manages to hold his own against Orion, defeating him by freezing him on the spot. For the record, Captain Cold is a normal human with no super-powers of his own and who relies on a cold-gun to fight, while Orion is one of the New Gods and has fought in close combat with Darkseid on at least one on-screen occasion.
    • In general, the three villains prove themselves to be quite a match for The Flash, Batman and Orion individually. Until the heroes fight together, that is, and hand the Rogues their asses.
  • Drink Order: Played for Laughs — after Mirror Master declares the Rogues to be "the hardest men in town", they order:
    Captain Boomerang: Arnold Palmer. (lemonade and iced tea)
    Trickster: Cherry cola.
    Mirror Master: Decaf soy latte.
    Captain Cold: Milk.
    (The others look at him oddly)
    Captain Cold: (embarrassed) My ulcer's been acting up.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: The Trickster feels this way after the guys reject his plan.
    "I mean what's so special about a 'disco of death?' Heck with 'em! I'm an artist! They're just robbing banks. Captain Cold, Captain Boomerang...probably would have gone for it if I was a captain..."
  • Evil Is Petty: The Rogues decided to take out the Flash on the day of the Flash Museum's grand opening because they blame him for their current money troubles (i.e. they would all be rich if the Flash wasn't always stopping their heists).
  • Exactly What I Aimed At: Batman fires a flare gun at the Rogues, only for it to bounce off the walls and into the Mirror Dimension. The oblivious Rogues gloat at how Batman missed, except that the flare was actually meant for the Flash, who was lost in the Mirror Dimension.
  • First-Name Basis: The Flash knows every single denizen of his City of Adventure by name.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: The Trickster for the other Rogues. When they're all at the bar you can tell that they're just tolerating his presence rather than actually enjoying his company.
  • Friendly Enemy: Flash is this with Trickster; they play darts together! In fact, their interaction provided this trope's page image at some point. It's also a source of confusion for the battle-hardened Orion.
  • Graceful Loser: After Orion says something has to be done about the Trickster, Flash tells him to turn himself in once he's finished his drink.
    The Trickster: [happily] Got me again, Flash!
  • Harmless Villain: The Trickster, to the point that none of the Flash's other rogues take him seriously.
  • Humble Hero: For all of his past boasting, Flash is sincerely appreciative of the honor he's receiving and thanks the townspeople.
  • An Ice Person: Captain Cold.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: The Trickster's design was partially based on Mark Hamill, who played the character on the 1990 Flash series, and reprises the role here.
  • Insane Equals Violent: Inverted with the Trickster - the mentally ill Rogue is the most harmless (although given that it's indicated that he only goes out and does supervillain stuff because of his mental illness it might be more 'played with' than 'inverted'). It's a pointed contrast to The Joker, with whom the Trickster shares a voice actor.
  • Is This Thing Still On?:
    Linda Park: Are we off? Jeez, he's [The Flash] a total babe. (fanning herself with her reading card) Like the entire track team at once. I can't believe you're not into him, Marla.
    Marla the camera person: ...Okay, now you're off.
    (Linda slaps the card on her forehead in embarrassment)
  • Lame Comeback:
    Flash: Mirror Master!
    Mirror Master: You're quick as ever.
    Flash: Yeah? Well you''re not really all there!
    Mirror Master: Oh, nice try. If you had another minute you'd probably think of a decent comeback.
    • He does come up with a better one after the battle:
    "While you're waiting for me to come arrest you, why not take some time and reflect on your mistakes! Hey, that was pretty good."
  • Lampshade Hanging: Wally has a drawer full of costume rings. He mentions to his companions that the trouble in using one is in trying to put the costume back in.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: A family-friendly sort; Mirror Master escapes into one of his mirrors, a split second before Batman throws a Batarang in its direction, shattering it, trapping Mirror Master in that particular mirror. Later he's seen badgering the police to make sure they sweep up all the pieces.
  • The Mentally Disturbed: Trickster, at least in this continuity, has super-villain delusions and relies on medication to keep himself in check. Flash actually has to point out to him that he's wearing his villainous costume for him to know he's had another episode of this.
  • Mook Chivalry: Played straight and then averted. The Rogues (except Trickster) each try attacking Flash on his own, and then (except Trickster, who goes off to sulk after getting no respect from the others) decide to join forces instead.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Several abound inside the Flash Museum alone, including the presence of Jay Garrick's (the first Flash in the comics) World War I helmet and Kid Flash's costume (Wally was the first Kid Flash in the comics). There's also the presence of the Flash's costume ring, which was used in the comics to store the hero's costume inside. Then there's Wally's CSI mentor/supervisor, who looks exactly like Barry Allen, and Wally mentioning his uncle is flying in.
    • Continuing a Running Gag in the comics: the Flash Museum getting totaled, even on opening night.
    • There's also a statue of the Turtle Man, Barry's first enemy in the comics. The actual Turtle Man can also be seen briefly at the bar.
    • Casting Mark Hamill as the Trickster, of course.
  • No Medication for Me: Trickster has gone off his meds, only taking them when he "feels down". Flash talks some sense into him about that, pointing out that he'd donned his supervillain costume without realizing it.
  • Noodle Incident: Mirror Master gets called out on two embarrassing incidents during the Rogues' talk in the Bad-Guy Bar.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Yes he actually did nothing in the episode, but the Trickster's ramblings about a Death Trap just after his fellow Rogues abandon him? It's actually a Cruel and Unusual Death.
  • Oblivious to Love: For a guy who's known for hitting on the ladies at every chance, Flash is amazingly oblivious to Linda Park's not-so-subtle crush on him; when she finally gets to outline it to him, he's a bit embarrassed and covers with a joke.
  • Offscreen Villain Dark Matter: Addressed after Captain Boomerang's attack on the Flash fails. He tries to get the other Rogues to chip in for the cost of the giant boomerang he used, noting that he has high expenses compared to someone like Mirror Master who can just "pull another mirror out of your blinkin' arsenal."
  • Only Sane Man: After two elaborate death traps fail, Captain Cold points out they're being stupid and should just gang up on Flash at the museum opening.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Batman accepting Flash's invitation to the museum opening is treated as this. Flash is actually quite stunned.
  • Pet the Dog: Flash has no problem snarking at his enemies, but he treats the Trickster kindly because he's aware of his mental history. Even the other villains don't treat him with that amount of respect.
  • Run the Gauntlet: The Rogues initially scheme to take potshots at the Flash one at a time. First was a trap by Mirror Master at a condemned roller disco, and shortly after that Captain Boomerang at the press conference. Eventually Captain Cold decides that they should just attack him all at the same time.
  • Sad Clown: Orion thinks the Flash is this, saying that "[he plays] the fool to hide a warrior's pain". Immediately defied by Flash himself.
    • The Trickster himself. After his plan is rejected, he has a drink at the bar and bemoans how he's treated. His conservation with Flash also demonstrates how confused the guy really is.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: The various Rogues were just chilling out in their hangout. Once Flash, Batman, and Orion enter, they all head for the nearest exits.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: The Trickster comes up with a ridiculous plan to grease the bottom of fake vomit and get the Flash to run over it so he slides into a wall of spikes. "And then...Everything explodes!"
    Captain Cold: know what? Taking turns is dumb.
  • Tempting Fate: Orion disses Flash and mentions that he'd never going to anything like the museum opening. One Death Glare from Bats later, and...
    Orion:'s not black-tie, is it?
  • Trapped in Another World: When Flash and Linda Park end up in the mirror dimension, the only way out is to find the right mirror to go through, which could take years even with Super Speed. Fortunately, they see Batman's flare guiding them to the right one.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Linda accidentally sets the Flash up for an ambush when using her compact, which the Rogues use as a portal into the museum under the noses of Batman and Orion.
  • Villain Cred: As Captain Boomerang looms over a prone Batman, he gloats that "this'll make my rep forever."


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