DCAU #395: Replay

IN THIS ONE... A former child star creates an evil twin of Static.

CREDITS: Written by Brooks Wachtel (wrote for RoboCop: Alpha Commando); directed by Denys Cowan.

REVIEW: If Johnny Morrow/Replay's voice calls attention to itself, it's because the child star is voiced by Neil Patrick Harris, himself a child star, and this could be Doogie Howser's story (it isn't). But beyond the stunt casting, I don't think this story has very much going for it. It's fine and all, but the accidental evil twin thing detracts from the villain's own abilities, and is an old comic book trope. The world turns against our hero because of his twin's actions? Been there, done that.

And the plot is a little tortured to be sure. To coincide with Replay's powers, there's part of an abandoned fair ground next to the mall, just so the first sequence can take place in a disused all of mirrors? And of course Replay wants to take revenge on a TV studio, because an action sequence there will allow a fight between two Statics to be broadcast and exonerate our hero. None of this is surprising.

What IS surprising is that the villain doesn't have temporal powers. He's called Morrow, like TOMORROW, and his codename is Replay. Rewind, rerun... there could have been something thematically linked to television in there, but it doesn't really work. Perhaps if his duplication powers were a little more video-like, I dunno. And does it strike anyone else as upsetting that his doubles seem to have a mind of their own, and are actually "killed" when he dismisses them? Really weird. Should I also mention this is the first time Virgil's dad gives Static a positive review? It comes out of nowhere. As does the bit where Static is apparently sitting alone on a fancy restaurant terrace. What is up with this episode?!

IN THE COMICS: Replay is original to the animated series.

SOUNDS LIKE: Johnny Morrow AKA Replay is not Neil Patrick Harris' last super-villain; he would eventually play Dr. Horrible for Joss Whedon. Police Chief Barnsdale is played by Dennis Haysbert from 24 and The Unit.

- Aside from the special guest star, there isn't that much to this episode.



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