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In Justice League Unlimited, there's a running plot where the Justice League and a shadowy US federal department called Project Cadmus which is led by Amanda Waller start butting heads with each other. The situation gets really tense when someone remotely controls the Justice League's space-based Watchtower and fires the tower's fusion cannon on an abandoned Project Cadmus base. After Waller orders a response against the Justice League, Batman drops in for a visit which consists of this scene:

Here, Batman refers to three people who are smart enough to remotely control the fusion cannon in order to fire it. While the third person he alludes to is clearly Lex Luthor, Batman mentions that the other two people were already on the Watchtower. Who are these two people?

  • I would assume that he means himself and Superman. – Valorum Aug 31 '18 at 18:33
  • @Valorum Was Batman on the Watchtower? I'm also willing to assume there are significantly more than 3 people smarter than Superman. But, I'm making a distinction between "knowing how to do it (because of inside info)" and "smart enough to figure out how to do it". – Ellesedil Aug 31 '18 at 20:22
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dcau.fandom.com elaborated it quite well:

When Batman confronts Waller, he tells her that the fusion cannon was taken over by remote control and that "There are maybe three people on Earth smart enough to pull that off". Waller quickly guesses that he means Luthor but they do not mention the other two who were "already on the Watchtower". Batman probably means the Atom and Steel, both top physicists who try to repair the Watchtower's reactor before being assaulted by Galatea. Captain Marvel even suggests calling on either of them in order to check out Luthor's suspect energy generator in the episode "Clash".

And Atom and Steel both did work on Watchtower.

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I'm not sure for certain, but I can venture a guess that the other two people who are smart enough to remotely control the fusion cannon and where both on the Watchtower are:

1: Batman himself: We see clear evidence in this scene that Batman knows the inner workings of the fusion cannon, so he would be knowledgeable enough to be capable of firing it. (Knowing Batman, he already has a contingency that will allow him to fire it remotely).

2: The Atom (Doctor Ray Palmer): The Atom is among the extensive list of superheros present in Justice League Unlimited. He is also commonly ranked as one of the most intelligent people in the DC universe. He is especially proficient in atomic manipulation, and likely had a leading role in the design and creation of the fusion cannon.

Other possibilities could be Cyborg (Victor Stone), though not listed as a character shown in Justice League Unlimited. Or, Blue Beetle (Ted Kord), which is only ever briefly mentioned in Justice League Unlimited.

  • Was Batman on the Watchtower when it fired? It's not clear to me if he was. If he was not, then this would actually exclude Batman given the criteria he gave to Waller. Atom totally makes sense though. – Ellesedil Aug 31 '18 at 20:23
  • @Ellesedil As far as I know, It doesn't expressly show him there or not, but we can assume that if he knows which 3 people can fire it remotely, 2 of which where on the Watch Tower, and the 3rd was Lex, we can assume he was on the watch tower when it happened, and that he is one of the people who knows how to fire it remotely (it would be way out of character for him to allow someone else to know how to fire it remotely and him not know to himself). – onewho Aug 31 '18 at 20:28
  • Since we're making assumptions, I would have assumed Batman would have entered the scene in the tower's control room or some other critical area once it fired, and then help with opening the launch doors since he clearly had some place to be (Waller's office) right then. But, we only really see Martian Manhunt and the Flash as far as original members in the Watchtower. Not seeing Batman here if he is on the tower would be weird. – Ellesedil Aug 31 '18 at 20:39
  • @Ellesedil Not seeing Batman doesn't rule him out of being there. Also ships in the hanger are not the only way to travel to and from the Watchtower; there is also the teleportation deck that could have been used... Honestly you're arguing an mute point; if any one person knows how to fire the cannon remotely it's Batman. – onewho Aug 31 '18 at 20:58

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