Let me go on the record by saying my favorite day of the week as a kid was Saturday, and it was simply because of Saturday-morning cartoons. My little brothers and I rushed to the television to catch up on random animated adventures. Back then, the internet was not prominent yet, so you had to make sure you woke up just in time or else you missed the best shows. Simpler days by all means. But gosh, did I relish every Saturday-morning cartoon fest for as long as I could.
Of course, what kind of shows did I look forward to the most during those times? The superhero ones in particular. Batman, Spider-Man, Static Shock – you name it. I watched various ones.
These days, one could say I am in luck. Justice League Action airing on Cartoon Network gives me a generous gulp of nostalgia and more. The show premiered December 16.
Judging the Outer Costume
At face value, Justice League Action may come off as a bit too geared toward the younger audience. So in this regard, I have to agree. The animation goes for a cartoon-y look instead of a modern presentation. Everything, including the backdrops, appears straight from an old-school comic book from decades ago.
Animation capabilities are more advanced these days, so what gives, right? Some viewers, especially those who are older, may find this aspect off-putting. But for me, once you watch an episode or two, you realize it is not that much of an issue. In fact, I quickly grew to appreciate the charm for this throwback style.
Speaking of episode formats, Justice League Action opts for smaller, bite-sized ones that complete from start to finish in about 11 minutes. You find out the initial conflict, see which heroes and villains play a role and everything wraps up within this short amount of time.
Obviously, there are plenty of possible pros and cons with condensing these stories into smaller episodes. Plot devices have to move along quickly and expect plenty of action tossed in for good measure. Still, so far from what I saw from the premiere, I have enjoyed the episodes. These mini-episodes move fast, yet they are still often satisfying.
Underneath the Mask
At the end of the day, some fellow DC Comics fans out there may not like Justice League Action for what it technically is: rapid-fire depictions of their all-time beloved heroes and villains in short bursts. Sure, it would be cool for the show to have fleshed-out, perfectly paced episodes with a standard run time. Nevertheless, this is not the point of Justice League Action.
What do I see as a fan who loves this kind of stuff? Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman and a whole lot more getting a chance to entertain in a different iteration of this fantastic universe. Not to mention, more importantly in my book, it allows a new generation of future DC Comics fans to learn why these superheroes/villains are so great.
All I am saying is quite simple. Give the show a chance. It is the real deal, especially when the likes of highly respected voice talents such as Kevin Conroy (the definitive voice for Bruce Wayne/Batman) and John DiMaggio (the voice of Bender from Futurama) take part in the show.
Capture that nostalgia with Justice League Action. It is reliving the magic of Saturday-morning cartoons all over again. Superhero style.
Justice League Action images belong to Warner Bros. Animation/DC Entertainment.
Also published on Medium.