We watched the first ten episodes of Justice League Action, the newest Bruce Timm animated series for DC Comics. Was it worth the watch? Read on!
With the announcement of this series, the excitement was palpable. So when it finally did come to our screens, there was a big hope that we would get a call back to the golden years of Bruce Timm’s animation domination during the mid-’90s to the early 2000s.
After watching it…well, it definitely will be very divided about how they feel about this new entry.
First of all the good – bright, poppy colors, which is something that is sorely missing from the live action TV-shows, so that was a welcome choice. The series definitely lives up to the “action” moniker of the series, with great fluid animation and fantastic choreography. There are some really nice moments of fight brilliance that feels like this is how they would fight.It has some great quips and funny moments in general (though there are some juvenile ones as well, but will talk about that in a second). Great voice acting, especially with Mark Hamill (as Joker, but also as Swamp Thing), Kevin Conroy (as Batman of course), John DiMaggio (as Lobo! The Main Man himself…), and all the rest as well. Also, I love this Wonder Woman, who feels like she should really connect well with girls (and boys of course, but WW feels like a great role model for girls).
Unfortunately, there is the bad – the ten minute run-time means that the series doesn’t have the depth that the previous Justice League and Justice League Unlimited series had. Also, the series is definitely skewed to a younger audience, so most of the characters are very one-note quippy and make very obvious jokes, very different from the original JL/JLU series which had fun moments, but it felt more mature.
And then there is the ugly – There are some weird design choices (which, compared to some brilliant design choices makes me wonder if they are deliberate or were in a rush) and the animation takes a hit when it isn’t action-oriented (an unfortunate thing, but since they focus on the action, which, as I mentioned, is gorgeous, seems to be a reasonable trade-off).
The main thing to take away from this series – it is genuinely good…but it is for a new generation of TV watchers (a younger audience to boot). There are some hints that they might try to go longer than their regular 10 minute episodes (which are well written, very dense, but are essentially done within those ten minutes, meaning no depth can really be established), but for now, it makes the episodes very digestible, but ultimately a bit too light for nostalgia fans.
I am happy with the series because it seems bent on introducing each and every character in the DC Universe (it had Space Cabbie! Why? How? What? And it was a good episode as well, so it was such a weird, but ultimately rewarding choice) and am really pleased with the action sequences (and some of the jokes too, have to admit).
So yeah, if you are in the mood for a bit of a light-hearted take on the Justice League (not as light-hearted as Teen Titans Go, but still way more comedic than the original series), go for it, I don’t think you will be disappointed at all.