- The Washington Times - Friday, June 8, 2007

The Justice League of America’s earth-based headquarters, the Hall of Justice, has been relocated to Prince George’s County.

Just outside the Beltway and at the entrance to Six Flags America’s Gotham City area, the structure houses the superhero team and helps guests become part of a wonderful tribute to DC Comics’ famed characters.

Since 1999, the park’s fans have known Six Flags’ Gotham area as a great locale to experience an eclectic selection of rides based on the Batman and Superman universes.

The latest Hall of Justice attraction cements the deal with living legends who take part in an action-packed minidrama for visitors — and what’s more, are ready to meet guests.

First, a reporter introduces the famed heroes Batman, Robin, the Flash, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern, one by one, with plenty of background on each. Yeah, I know, Robin was never part of the League; he was a Teen Titan. However, he was part of the animated “Super Friends” Justice League.



Next, it is revealed that the supposed journalist is (hint) the founder of the Legion of Doom. A quick battle of good versus evil ensues, but the League prevails, to the delight of the audience.

Now fans can meet and greet the superhero team, take a photo with team members and even get autographs.

In addition to the show, the heroes patrol the park and are part of a parade that finds Batman and Robin riding in a modified mini-Batmobile while others from the Justice League walk alongside the vehicle.

For the uninitiated superhero-loving thrill seeker, the Gotham City section of Six Flags is the place to find loads of illustrated odes to characters and sequential-art-themed attractions that include:

• Penguin’s Blizzard River: Batman’s fine-feathered foe lends his name to one of the tallest spinning-rapids rides in the world. Two large penguin statues mark the entrance to the attraction, set in a dock environment. Once aboard the striped inner tube, up to six riders take a journey down a 469-foot flume that takes less than three minutes and manages to soak at least a couple of the participants.

• The Joker’s Jinx: The Clown Prince of Crime has assembled a thrill coaster as twisted as his mind. After a high-speed send-off that blasts riders from 0 to 60 mph in three seconds, the attraction uses four upside-down loops in a daunting configuration to test wills. Not only is this my favorite coaster at the park for its track design, but it offers a giant Joker head sculpture at the entrance and warped fun-house mirrors as guests wait in line.

• Superman: Ride of Steel: Guests can feel what it’s like when their favorite hero dive-bombs foes as they plunge down 20 stories in one of the world’s most stomach-churning coasters. In about three minutes, riders fly through 5,000 feet of track, peaking at 75 mph. They barely have time to admire the massive “S” logo that led them to the heart-pounding experience.

• Batwing: Most might be impressed with this sophisticated high-tech ride, which enables guests to feel like the Dark Knight patrolling Gotham from the air. Attached to a hang-glider-like contraption that moves at more than 50 mph, humans are jetted head-first around more than 3,000 feet of track that’s loaded with twists and loops.

I appreciated the large, fact-filled color cutout monuments sited around the walk leading up to the ride. The monument group provides biographies on key members of Batman’s team, such as Batgirl and Robin, as well as his archenemies, such as Poison Ivy and the Riddler. There’s also information on all of the Caped Crusader’s famed vehicles, including a blueprint schematic of the Batwing.

• Two Face: The Flip Side: Harvey Dent’s schizophrenic persona sets the theme for an eye-watering coaster that puts riders through a 72-foot-high vertical loop and then has them do it all over again — in reverse. In keeping with the character’s scattered personality, the ride is located not in Gotham, but next door, in the Southwest Territory section.

My only beef with Six Flags’ Gotham City is that I could not find a place to buy a comic book. Universal Studios’ Super Hero Island in Orlando, Fla., Six Flags’ theme-park rival and home to Marvel Comics characters, has multiple shops well-stocked with single issues and trade paperbacks for readers of all ages.

The only gift shop in Gotham, located at the exit to the Superman coaster, offers plenty of action figures, statues and T-shirts, but not one book devoted to the characters so well celebrated at Six Flags.

See the Six Flags America’s Web site (www.sixflags.com) for pricing and hours of operation.

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