If you live in North America there is a decent chance you have yet to see an episode of the new Justice League Action cartoon even if you wanted to. It is not scheduled to debut until this Friday (Dec 16th). But if you have access to the UK feed of the Cartoon Network, it has been on for several weeks. I do have such access and that has allowed me to watch the first half dozen or so episodes.
So how is it?
Well, it is very well made. The animation is top notch and when you can tout Kevin Conroy as Batman and Mark Hamill as the Joker, you know the voice cast is excellent. That voice cast is also quite large as the number of characters that have appeared so far is extensive. Outside of the Superman/Batman/Wonder Woman trinity, we’ve also seen: Martian Manhunter, Parasite, Hawkman, Mr. Mind, Lobo, Firestorm, John Constantine, Zatanna, Swamp Thing, Solomon Grundy, Joker, Mongul, Flash and teenage bug guy, aka the Jamie Reyes Blue Beetle.
Each episode is only 10 minutes long, so needless to say they pack a lot of characters into that 10 minutes. That amount of time doesn’t lend itself to much plot development. As such, the show lives up to it’s name with the Action part. Each episode is pretty jammed packed with action. The plots are usually pretty straight forward and mostly set ups for all that action. If you are a fan of simple super hero vs super villain slug fests, this show is for you.
The tone of the show is a little more kid friendly than the DC cartoons myself and Tom have been watching of late (those being The Animated Series of Batman and Superman) and as mentioned the focus on development of plot and characters is almost non-existent. There are no origin stories. A few episodes have the focus of a newer hero auditioning for a position in the Justice League, but otherwise all the characters seem to be quite established in their roles.
All the episodes have been enjoyable and those 10 minutes do tend to go by fast. Two that have stood out to me so far have been “Galaxy Jest” and “Time Share”. The main story of “Galaxy Jest” revolves around Joker and Superman and takes place on an alien space craft. It’s interesting to see Joker in non-Gotham surroundings and how he plays off Superman and other galactic beings. “Time Share” may be my favourite so far. Hard to argue with the most Batman-centric episode so far, but the real fun comes in seeing a Year One type Batman and numerous throwbacks to Batman The Animated Series.
If you are looking for a deep, character redefining, ground breaking, more adult oriented series, then Justice League Action may not be for you. But if you want to drop in on some of your favourite DC characters and watch them use their powers to smash super villains in 10 minute instalments then you should definitely check it out.