The 5 smartest individuals on planet Earth are forced into a life-or-death mental games challenge in the Justice League Action episode titled “The Brain Buster”.
Air date: October 7, 2017
Written by: Geoffrey Thorne and John Semper
Directed by: Doug Murphy
Justice League superheroes in this episode: Mister Terrific, Batman
Where to watch the episode: Cartoon Network, Amazon
*Spoilers for Justice League Action Season 1, Episode 39 “The Brain Buster” in the review and recap below.
The episode starts with a robotic device breaking into prison to free Lex Luthor. In a fun nod to Superman II, Lex is playing holographic chess while locked up in his cell. Lex is enjoying defeating himself, but is willing to take a break if it means his escape.
Mister Terrific and Batman are looking into the breakout and discover the robot freed the Brain and the Calculator. The robot then finds Batman and Terrific and teleports them to a location with the others, apparently grabbing a collection of intelligent people.
Someone or something has gathered the 5 intellects together to challenge them to a series of brain games that they are forced to play. The first game involves a race to see who can create the prettiest look on what can only be described as a round Rubix’s cube.
The Brain is the first to be eliminated and after some pattern recognition tests, so is the Calculator. Mister Terrific tries to go after the game official, but is also eliminated for his attempt.. This sends Lex and Batman to the finals.
In the finals, Batman and Lex play a giant game of
Wizard’s chess. While the 2 compete, Mister Terrific uses his T-Spheres in an attempt to escape. When Lex wins the game of chess, the game master is revealed to be Mister Mind. After Terrific escapes, he frees Batman. The duo are able to save Lex from Mister Mind and it is revealed Batman lost on purpose to help Terrific with his plan.
Chalk this episode up as another wacky adventure of Justice League Action. I really liked the idea behind having “brain games” and gathering a quite random collection of DC Comics heroes and villains. The Calculator and the Brain don’t get much to do, however, which is a bit of a letdown.
This episode really showcases the 3-way challenge between Batman, Mister Terrific, and Lex Luthor. Having a mental standoff between the 3 was great. I also enjoyed seeing indirect references to the wacky lists of most intelligent people on Earth that are frequently mentioned in comics.
Mister Terrific saving the day was a great choice, as his intelligence is his greatest asset. And of course, Terrific gets to imply that he might be even smarter than the 3rd most intelligent person on Earth. After all, who do you think makes those lists?
Overall, this is another totally enjoyable episode of Justice League Action that is unique by having drama without resorting to punchy-punchy time.