Batman, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern arrive in Gotham City, except that it is 50 years into the future. They are greeted by a gang of colorful thugs called the Jokerz, and like Manning, they seem to be equipped with future technology as well. They tell their new arrivals that they have been expec
- Shayera was one cranky pregnant lady. Although to be fair, if I'd laid an egg that size...
Synopsis for "The Once and Future Thing, Part II: Time, Warped"
Future Time: Gotham City
Batman, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern arrive in Gotham City, except that it is 50 years into the future. They are greeted by a gang of colorful thugs called the Jokerz, and like Manning, they seem to be equipped with future technology as well. They tell their new arrivals that they have been expecting them. Another voice breaks in and says, "I bet you weren't expecting us!" The Justice League members see three heores emerge from the sky: an older version of Static, Terry McGinnis (the future period's Batman), and a Caucasian man wearing metal armor and wings who calls John Stewart "Dad", surprising him.
Terry tries to snap the arrivals to attention, saying they need to get out of there right now. Ghoul refuses to let them go and so throws a jack-o'lantern into the air that releases explosive flares which pelt away at Green Lantern's energy shield. But the shield doesn't last, and the heroes dodge the rest of the falling flares. Wonder Woman confronts a Chucko with the upper half of his body suspended by an anti-gravity magnet, riding around over a red ball, using what appears to be a double-bladed lightsaber as his weapon. The Dee Dee twins use laser whips on Green Lantern and seem to split into two more Dee Dees when one hits the ground or a wall. The metal-winged son of John Stewart tangles with Woof, who is outfitted with cybernetic forearms and sharp razor claws. Static fights a Bonk who is able to transform his right hand into a hammer, and Batman deals with a Ghoul who has a switchable buzzsaw forearm appendage. Eventually the heroes make a retreat with Static creating a blinding light show and Green Lantern generating a maze for the Jokerz to get lost in trying to find them.
The Justice League members and the three future heroes enter a dark building which is the only headquarters they have now since most of the Justice League is gone in the future time. Batman sees an older version of himself, Bruce Wayne, greeting him, surprised that he even managed to live that long. The metal-winged hero introduces himself as War Hawk, whose real name is Rex Stewart. John tries to ask Rex who his mother is, but Batman tells John the less he knows about the future, the better -- though Static carelessly clues them in by speaking about Shayera being a "cranky pregnant lady". Rex tells John that Static is joking, not that he understands why. Static tells them that, since Bruce Wayne survives to his old age, he has already lived through this event -- but the elder Bruce Wayne tells Static he has no memory of ever traveling in time. Batman notices that a bunch of old historical buildings are in the streets of Gotham, indicating that the timeline has been polluted. Elderly Bruce tells them that it is so polluted that history is becoming fluid.
Meanwhile, on board a historical ocean liner, David Clinton in his updated Chronos Suit scolds the Jokerz for letting Batman, Green Lantern, and Wonder Woman get away with the other heroes. He reveals that Chucko is the one who tipped off their era's Batman on their whereabouts and punishes him by banishing him to the prehistoric age immediately before a meteor wipes out all the dinosaurs. After dismissing the Jokerz by threatening to do the same with the rest of them if they don't finish off the Justice League, David tries to enjoy some private moments alone with his wife Enid. However, Enid's constant pestering about having David releasing her mother from where she was imprisoned gets on his nerves, saying Enid agrees with her mother saying that he would never amount to anything. David ends up scolding his wife, saying nothing he ever does pleases her and he's sick of it, before he departs, saying there's nothing his wife can do to change his opinion about her.
As the two Justice League teams continue to investigate who Chronos is and what he's doing, elderly Bruce Wayne comes across some visible evidence that he's causing severe damage to the space-time continuum and the degradation is increasing. Batman, meanwhile, creates a program that he records onto a disc and puts into his belt with the intention of uploading into the time travel device. Wonder Woman tries to tell the teams something when they witness her fading away, meaning that she no longer exists. Terry tells them that is time is running out, as visibly demonstrated by the viewscreen now showing a white wave of energy slowly approaching Gotham City, and that they need to find Chronos. Batman decides to go find one of the Jokerz the old-fashioned way. Terry tries to warn Batman that such ways won't work in their present time. Batman reminds Terry that criminals are still superstitious and cowardly, and that's good enough for him.
Batman finds Ghoul on the rooftop of a building and attempts to interrogate him by threatening to drop him down from the building while holding his leg. The elder Bruce Wayne, also present, is rather displeased with his younger self's method and throws Ghoul away from the building's ledge, approaching him with a rather mean scowl and a cane he's ready to use on the villain. Ghoul fearfully tells Bruce all that he knows about Chronos, but eventually the elder Wayne's patience is running out. Batman interrupts and tells Ghoul that he can't keep "his friend" held back any longer if he doesn't give them any useful information, so Ghoul tells them where they can find Chronos' wife Enid. Static and John Stewart watch, with Static commenting on Batman "playing good cop".
Enid is in an Egyptian pyramid eating bon-bons and watching televised couples dancing when she hears a scuffle going on outside, and then the door opens and the robotic guard is flung inside, sparking as he lands. As the heroes enter, John Stewart inexplicably changes into a Caucasian man none of them have seen before, who calls himself Hal Jordan and that he is "up to speed" on the situation. Batman warns the rest of the heroes that, because of time shifting, any of them could either change or cease to exist. Hal questions Enid about her husband's whereabouts, and she tells him that David, despite rumors about his going from place to place, always sleeps in the same place. She directs the heroes to the middle of a Roman coliseum where the Elkhorn jail is now located, and as Hal scans the building for any traps, he changes back to John Stewart, saying there's none that his ring can detect. John doesn't understand why Chronos would sleep in a jail cell of all places. Enid simply answers that a loser with a kingdom is still a loser.
As soon as Enid wakes her husband up from his sleep, he quickly activates a portal which transports the Jokerz to their location. During the fight that takes place, Static is swallowed up by a rift that opens up in time, Terry McGinnis is electrocuted to death when the multiple Dee Dees have him drawn and quartered by their laser lassos, and they are joined by more unexpected guests such as French Revolutionary War soldiers and a wooly mammoth from the prehistoric era. Batman and Green Lantern try to draw Chronos' attention to the fact that time is unraveling itself by the appearance of a white wave of energy consuming everything, covering the sky itself. Realizing he has the power to fix everything, David kisses his wife goodbye as he activates his Chronos Belt.
Chronos jumps back into the portal, with Batman and Green Lantern following. This time, he is headed for the Dawn of Time, as noted by the appearance of a hand at the end of the time tunnel. Batman surmises that if Chronos reaches it, he could change everything and even possibly make himself a god. Green Lantern manages to snag Chronos and draw him into the green bubble, where Batman inserts the disc into the Chronos Belt and uploads the program into the suit. Green Lantern exerts all his willpower into slowing down the bubble from reaching the hand at the Dawn of Time, and as he approaches the hand, everything begins to fade to black.
Green Lantern and Batman find themselves right back where they started, in the Watchtower talking with each other while eating lunch. Wonder Woman joins them, having no memory of ever being on a time-traveling trip with either hero; only Green Lantern and Batman have any memory of it happening. John Stewart sees Hawkgirl with a tray of food, still having a hurtful look in her eyes, and remembers what his future son Rex told about his mother. Batman tells Green Lantern that the program he uploaded into the Chronos Belt will make sure that Chronos never exists.
And in the future time that Chronos came from, every time David Clinton tries to escape hearing his wife berating him for making a time travel device that he can't find anything useful to do with, the device keeps repeating that same moment...over and over and over.
Appearing in "The Once and Future Thing, Part II: Time, Warped"
- Justice League Unlimited
- This episode and "The Once And Future Thing, Part I: Weird Western Tales" are included in the bonus disc for Green Lantern: First Flight.
- Warhawk's real name Rex Stewart is revealed in this episode.
- The episode's premise has a strong similarity to the 1994 DC Comics miniseries Zero Hour, and some slight similarities to Crisis on Infinite Earths, in particular the encroaching "white out" effect that heralds the destruction of the universe.
- Green Lantern's statement that the Green Lantern Corps prohibit anyone from seeing the beginning of time is a reference to the established law in the mainstream DC Comics enforced by the Guardians of the Universe which forbidden anyone from witnessing the beginning of time after the rogue Guardian Krona had done so and inadvertently creating the multiverse and unleashing evil to the cosmos. The image Krona sees is of a giant hand with cosmic energies swirling all over it like Batman and Green Lantern saw in this episode.
- The monuments stolen by Chronos seen during the episode are: Jupiter of Smyrna, the Trojan Horse, two Moai statues, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Queen Mary, the Parthenon, and the Great Sphinx of Giza.
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