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Ultimen

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The Ultimen (Wind Dragon, Juice, Long Shadow, Shifter, and Downpour).

The Ultimen were created by Project Cadmus to have a team of superheroes loyal to the United States government.

History

The Ultimen were test tube babies, created in Cadmus laboratories by Emil Hamilton and possessed complete sets of false memories (most likely implanted there by Dr. Hugo Strange, the only member in Cadmus with such knowledge). When Wind Dragon began exhibiting unexpected changes in his powers, Cadmus discovered that the clones were unstable.

After discovering that they were merely the current batch from a perennially doomed experiment of creating superpowered clones with implanted memories, the Ultimen rebelled and went on a rampage against both Cadmus and the Justice League. They were reasoned with by members of the League and stopped their rampage. Long Shadow, who had tried to stop the rampage, left with the Justice League while the remaining members were returned to Cadmus.[1]

With that, the original Ultimen were out of the picture (final fates unkown). It was never revealed if the sentient Ultimen first encountered by the Justice League were able to be saved by Cadmus or the League, in the case of Long Shadow. But in case they did all die from massive cellular degredation (as presumed), the Ultimen died for nothing as caged lab rats in Cadmus captivity while Long Shadow was given a hero's death, nobly giving his life for the honor and glory of the Justice League during his last moments.

Some time later, Project Cadmus manufactured and activated an army of Ultimen clones in order to support Galatea's assault on the Justice League Watchtower. While retaining the Ultimen's powers and expertise in using them, the clones were essentially mindless, possessing no free will so as to be used only as living metahuman weapons of destruction (which, ironically, was what the original Ultimen feared the government wanted them to be all along). The clones served to distract the League while Galatea went after the reactor. However, the assault failed as the League successfully defended their home in a massive battle.[2]

Members

Background information

  • The Ultimen bear strong resemblances to the original characters created for the SuperFriends series in the 1970s and 80s (with the exception of El Dorado, which was not updated).
Ultimen SuperFriends Similarities
Wind Dragon Samurai Air manipulation
Juice Black Vulcan Electricity manipulation
Long Shadow Apache Chief Self-magnification
Downpour and Shifter Zan and Jayna (The Wonder Twins) Assume and control any form of water (Zan/Downpour)
Assume any animal form (Jayna/Shifter)
  • The League members appearing in this episode were the same four characters that comprised the original SuperFriends team: Batman, Superman, Aquaman and Wonder Woman.
  • The Lava Men are similar to the creatures from the SuperFriends episode of the same name.
  • The Ultimen's headquarters resembles the Hall of Justice, headquarters of the SuperFriends.
  • Dwayne McDuffie claims that "the beast that threw itself against the bars" is a nod to the Wonder Dog.[1]
  • The Ultimen suddenly developing convenient new powers is probably a nod to observations that SuperFriends writers seemed to be making up powers for the show's original characters as they went along.

Appearances

Justice League Unlimited


Project Cadmus
Members
Leader Amanda Waller
Sponsor Lex Luthor
PR / Manager Maxwell Lord
Division Heads
Genetics Emil Hamilton
Psychology Hugo Strange • Moon
Splicing Milo
Mysticism Tala
Military Tactics Wade Eiling
Agents
Captain Atom • Doomsday • Galatea
Ultimen Downpour • Juice • Shifter • Long Shadow • Wind Dragon
Task Force X Captain Boomerang • Clock King • Deadshot • Rick Flagg • Plastique

Footnotes

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