Justice League: Savage Time is a three part story arc of Justice League and serves as the first season finale. It is composed of the 24th, 25th, and 26th episodes, and it first aired back-to-back as a movie event on Cartoon Network on November 9, 2002.
The movie depicts the Justice League returning to Earth from a mission and discovering the ruthless, immortal dictator Vandal Savage in control of the entire planet. They must travel back in time and stop him from using advanced technology to win World War II.
The Justice League is returning to Earth from a mission in a distant galaxy; however, the Javelin's engines have run out of fuel, so Green Lantern is towing the vessel with his ring, which he mentions is running low on power. As they approach the Watchtower, Superman contacts Batman in the tower. Before they arrive, there is a blinding flash of light and when the light fades, Batman and the Watchtower are gone.
The League lands on Earth, in Metropolis and is shocked to find things changed: huge buildings, and Nazi-style flags everywhere. A squad of security officers appears and demands their identification. When The Flash makes a sarcastic remark, the guards open fire. The League runs, and are pulled into an underground hideout by Batman – only a different Batman, dressed in futuristic armor.
J'onn J'onzz quickly concludes that something has happened to alter time, but why the League wasn't affected isn't certain. However, it is deduced that the Lantern's ring may have shielded them from the effects. In this timeline, Bruce Wayne's parents were executed as dissidents by the fascist regime headed by Vandal Savage and Bruce now leads the resistance against the regime. When Lantern asks how long the regime has been in place, Bruce answers, since World War II, which the Axis Powers won.
The League, with Batman's help, infiltrates Savage's laboratory, and finds a time machine and it seems obvious that Savage has used it to alter history. The League decides to travel back in time and try to put things right. However, it is risky, as they have heard Savage's scientists saying that the portal will collapse in forty-eight hours. Batman decides to remain behind, saying that if they fail, someone will have to keep fighting against the regime.
The League arrives in the ravaged city of Caen, France, in the midst of heavy fighting between Allied and German forces. Right away they see what has changed: the Germans are equipped with "War Wheels" – enormous tanks with overwhelming firepower and crushing size, that even Superman is unable to stop by himself. As the Allied forces fall back, the League disables one of the tanks. They examine the electronic systems and find transistors, which weren't invented until after the war.
J'onn and Wonder Woman decide to fly to Berlin to find out more about the source of this weaponry. Meanwhile, in Berlin, word comes from the front that "heroes" with strange costumes and magical powers have been seen. Vandal Savage, the Führer, dismisses the stories as propaganda.
As Diana and J'onn approach Berlin, an American spy steals a German fighter. His plane is pursued and shot down; the spy bails out, but he is knocked out before opening his parachute. Wonder Woman catches him, and he awakens to see her bending over him. He introduces himself as Steve Trevor, and explains his mission. Allied intelligence believes the Germans are planning to invade England; Steve has stolen one of the Germans' encrypted communicators, and is due to meet a German code expert; if he can crack the communicator, he'll be able to listen in and find out when the invasion is set for. Wonder Woman and J'onn are surprised to hear that Savage – the dictator from the future – is the current Führer. He is apparently a scientific genius whose new weapons impressed the high command so much that they made him their new leader.
Wonder Woman decides to accompany and protect Steve while J'onn continues on and infiltrates the Germans' central command. In a secret laboratory, he finds a laptop computer and Adolf Hitler, frozen in a cryogenic tube. J'onn is surprised and incapacitated by Savage.
On the battlefield, as more tanks appear, the League works to evacuate the Allied forces. While carrying a wounded soldier, Green Lantern is knocked down. Hawkgirl goes to help him, but he hands off his soldier to her and tells her to leave him. Reluctantly, she complies. As the tanks bear down on him, his ring finally runs out of power.
The Allied forces are under heavy attack while trying to withdraw their forces from a beach. The remaining League members, Superman, Hawkgirl, and Flash, work hard to evacuate the troops. Flash is appalled to hear that Hawkgirl left Lantern behind, and runs back to find him. But Lantern, who has just managed to escape from the war wheels, but has been knocked unconscious and remains hidden.
As Superman and Hawkgirl work, a new threat arrives: a flight of Messerschmitts, on a strafing run. Superman and Hawkgirl take to the air to fight the planes, and they are aided by the surprise appearance of a squadron of ace fighters, the Blackhawks. The Blackhawks introduce themselves as an independent multinational team of pilots fighting against the Nazis. He asks for the League's help, and Superman agrees to meet at their island headquarters.
Lantern awakens, and is found by Easy Company, a squad of American commandos. Their job is to find and destroy the hidden airfield from which the Germans are planning to launch the invasion. Bulldozer is skeptical about Lantern's usefulness without his ring and tries to push him around. Lantern quickly proves that he is anything but useless, easily throwing the larger Dozer to the ground. Lantern told the squad that he learned that move from his time serving with the United States Marine Corps. Suitably impressed, unit leader Sgt. Rock officially welcomes Lantern to Easy Company, and together they set back out on their mission.
Savage interrogates J'onn in his laboratory and J'onn assumes that Savage, like themselves, is from the future. On the contrary, Savage explains, the laptop was sent back in time by his future self. On it is a message from the older Savage explaining that he realized that World War II was the best opportunity for him to achieve world domination. The computer contains schematics for advanced technology, as well as information about the Allies' future plans, such as the date for the planned invasion of Normandy. Savage turns J'onn over to be tortured for information.
Steve and Wonder Woman wait for his contact, Ernst, at an abandoned French farmhouse. Wonder Woman expresses surprise that an ordinary man, without special powers, is willing to risk his life for the war. He shrugs and says, "some things are worth dying for." German forces appear and Steve quickly deduces that Ernst was captured, and gave him away. He tells Wonder Woman to create a diversion while he takes on the soldiers, but instead she almost single-handedly defeats them. One of the terrified soldiers discloses Ernst's location.
On Blackhawk Island, Blackhawk explains that they're planning a bombing run on a large German factory, but they need the League's help to disable its anti-aircraft defenses. Meanwhile, Savage returns to his lab to find J'onn has escaped, and the laptop has been destroyed. Savage orders the planned invasion to proceed immediately but he is told that this is impossible while the stolen communicator is still missing.
Wonder Woman and Steve rescue Ernst from captivity, but the scientist warns them it is a trap. War Wheels appear, surrounding the jail.
Wonder Woman breaks off the outer casing of the communicator, then bundles Steve and Ernst under cover and flies out to attack the tanks. In the ensuing destruction, the jail is destroyed, and she gets Steve and Ernst away safely. The soldiers find the broken casing in the rubble. The High Command is informed that the communicator has been destroyed, and Savage orders the invasion to begin.
With the League's help, the Blackhawks destroy the factory (after Flash runs in and evacuates the workers). In the ruins, they find a jet engine, another piece of advanced technology. J'onn arrives and explains its and Savage's origins. Ernst taps into the communicator, and intercepts the invasion signal. When Steve asks where in England it will land, Ernst replies that the target of the invasion is the United States. Wonder Woman prepares to fly off, but Steve asks "what if I never see you again?" She kisses him, and he wishes her luck.
Easy Company finds the airfield hidden under an artificial hill, just as the invasion force is preparing to leave. Savage arrives to take personal command. Easy Company opens fire, and the planes make a rapid take-off. To the others' astonishment, Lantern runs out and boards Savage's flagship. The Blackhawks land and tell the League that they've also received word of the invasion. Flash streaks west, running across the Atlantic Ocean to warn the American forces, while the rest of the League flies to intercept the planes.
Aboard Savage's plane, Lantern sabotages critical systems and the plane loses radio contact and starts to slow down. Without instructions from their leader, the rest of the planes also slow down. Lantern is captured and tortured by Savage, but just then the League attacks, and Savage's planes return fire.
Wonder Woman arrives, re-grouping with Superman, Hawkgirl, and J'onn. Together, they manage to disable several of the planes before Savage's flagship restores communication; on his order, the planes ignite their afterburners, outpacing the League. However, the invasion force runs headlong into anti-aircraft fire from a flotilla of U.S. Navy ships, warned by Flash.
While the plane's crew is distracted, Green Lantern overpowers his guards, and shoots the controls, sending it down. As he struggles with Savage, J'onn, nearby, senses his presence and tells Hawkgirl. She flies to the plane, smashes open the windshield, and lifts Lantern out, just before it crashes into the ocean. Savage is last seen going down under a rush of water.
With Savage gone, and their numbers decimated, the invasion force heads back to Germany, but the remaining planes are set upon by the Blackhawks. Their job done, the League flies back to Europe. Back in Berlin, the high command receives news of Savage's defeat and apparent death. General Hoffman, Savage's most vocal critic, immediately moves to have Hitler reinstated as their leader.
The League arrives back in the present just before the time portal closes. The correct timeline Batman is there to greet them and Superman is so relieved that he hugs him. Later, Wonder Woman visits a retirement home and finds Steve, now an old man. He smiles, "Angel..." and they share a moment.
|Superman (Clark Kent)||George Newbern|
|Batman (Bruce Wayne)||Kevin Conroy|
|Wonder Woman (Diana of Themyscira)||Susan Eisenberg|
|Flash (Wally West)||Michael Rosenbaum|
|Martian Manhunter (J'onn J'onzz)||Carl Lumbly|
|Green Lantern (John Stewart)||Phil LaMarr|
|Hawkgirl (Shayera Hol)||Maria Canals|
|Vandal Savage||Phil Morris|
|General Hoffman||Grant Albrecht|
|Steve Trevor||Patrick Duffy|
|Sergeant Rock||Fred Dryer|
- "Justice League "The Savage Time" TALKBACK ". Toonzone.net. March 12, 2004. https://www.toonzone.net/forums/threads/justice-league-the-savage-time-talkback-spoilers.3578561/. Retrieved on April 18, 2018.
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