Earth’s seven greatest heroes unite against the threat of an alien invasion and decide to remain together to defend Earth against attacking aliens, sorcerors, super-villains, and any other threat that might arise.
Among their number are the Martian Manhunter, last survivor of Mars; Superman, the super-powered last survivor of the planet Krypton; Batman, the Dark Knight Detective; Green Lantern, wielder of an alien Power Ring; The Flash, the Fastest Man Alive; Hawkgirl, Winged Wonder and policewoman from the planet Thanagar, and Wonder Woman, Princess of the Amazons.
Starting with the third season, the show was retitled “Justice League Unlimited” and now the core members, under the guidance of the Martian Manhunter, command teams of specialist heroes brought together to deal with specific crises they are best suited to handling.
A Knight of Shadows (1) (Season 1, Episode 20 / 09.20.2002)
The sorceress Morgaine Le Fey and her son Mordred search for the Philosopher’s Stone, and the Justice League need the help of the Demon Etrigan to thwart her.
A Knight of Shadows (2) (Season 1, Episode 21 / 09.27.2002)
Morgaine and Mordred get the Stone and plan to transform England and restore it to its medieval glory.
The Balance (Season 4, Episode 70 / 05.28.2005)
When Felix Faust escapes the magical mirror in which he was imprisoned by Tala, Wonder Woman and Hawkgirl must go to Tartarus where Faust has overthrown Lord Hades and claimed the place as his own.
Centuries ago, during the age of Camelot, a nobleman named Jason Blood fell in love with Morgaine Le Fay, a powerful sorceress and half-sister of the legendary King Arthur. In an attempt to curry her favor, he betrayed his king and assisted the witch in her conquest of Arthur’s throne–an act that led to his murder by her hand. However, the wizard Merlin learned of his deeds and, as punishment for his treachery, mystically bound his spirit to Etrigan, a powerful demon from the underworld. Thus, Jason Blood was cursed, and would remain so until the day that he is able to atone for his deeds.
Today, the now-immortal Blood is known to the world as a leading authority of the paranormal but, should the need arise, he can transform into the Demon in order to protect humanity from mystical threats. Though they are separate identities, both share the same goal: the downfall of Morgaine Le Fay.
Nothing on “A Knight of Shadows”: “‘The Demon Story’ [the episode’s original name]… deals with how Jason Blood was cursed with the Demon [and gives the audience] some depth of the Demon and Jason Blood’s characters (courtesy of Toon Zone).”
The unholy spawn of the Archduke Belial and the demoness Raan Va Daath, the demon Etrigan was originally summoned to this reality by his half-brother Merlin, who sought his aid in protecting Camelot’s throne against the forces of Morgaine Le Fay. Despite his evil leanings, the demon fought valiantly against her forces, and might have overcome them had the nobleman Jason Blood not compromised Camelot’s defenses. Seeking to punish Blood–and desperate to find a way to restrain the barely-controllable demon and stop him from wreaking havoc across the world–Merlin mystically bound the demon Etrigan to Jason Blood, until a time when the fallen nobleman would be able to atone for his sins.
Today, Etrigan is still bound to Jason Blood, and can be called forth from Hell at will to fight the forces of Morgaine Le Fay or any others who dare oppose them. However, when not in Blood’s service, Etrigan resides in the underworld and is free to indulge in his wicked pursuits; finding new ways to rise in the elaborate hierarchy of Hell’s demons. In the end, one must not forget that Etrigan the Demon is still capable of committing any number of cruel and horrific acts, even though his connection to Jason Blood has tempered some of his darkest impulses.
Bruce Timm on Etrigan’s design #1 (circa 1999): “We were really consciously at that point trying to do a lot of Kirby stuff in [Batman Adventures Annual #2]. That was overt; we wanted to really put as much Kirby into it as possible without actually doing a swipe. […] That was one that I and Glen Murakami, who worked on that annual with me, we were really trying to achieve. Well, the thing with the Demon, especially, is that the character had gone through so many permutations in the DC universe since the Kirby days–they’d changed him so much–so I thought, ‘Well, gosh, he’s hardly even the Kirby Demon any more, so if we’re going to use him in the Annual, we should go back to the source and try to make it as true to Kirby as possible’ (courtesy of Comic Book Artist Magazine).”
Bruce Timm on Etrigan’s design #2 (circa 2004): “I really liked this piranha-head Etrigan, but Glen [Murakami] wanted to stay truer to Kirby. He was right, of course (courtesy of Modern Masters, Volume Three: Bruce Timm).”
DarkLantern on Etrigan’s missing penchant for rhyming: “While a rhyming Demon from the comics is preferred, I can understand why the producers and writers nixed the idea–it would have required more precious TV time for his dialogue, which would cut some of the action scenes down a bit (courtesy of Toon Zone).”