Image via WB/DC Comics/ Cartoon Network
Justice League Action is a new animated series from DC Comics airing on Cartoon Network. Each episode is roughly 15 minutes, but Cartoon Network put the first four into an hour video on their app. So, I will review them all together for this review. The episode release schedule is a little off because it started in the UK a month earlier than the states.
Episode one starts as Batman helps the wizard get his powers back from Black Adam and save Shazam. In the next section, Superman and Wonder Woman fight Parasite and Calythos. They call in Martian Manhunter for assistance. In episode three, Batman and Green Arrow fight another Djinn, Uthool. Batman meets Superman and Wonder Woman down at the Hall of Justice and Booster Gold traps Bats in the Training Area. They figure out Uthool became Batman and disabled Cyborg to disrupt the core of the Earth. Green Arrow joined Supes to help take down the imposter. Wonder Woman joins the fight and saves Batman and captures Uthool. They destroyed the Hall of Justice in the meantime.
In the fourth episode, The Trinity was chasing another Djinn when Superman and Wonder Woman lost their powers. John Constantine helps get the trinity to safety at his house with Green Arrow, Swamp Thing and Plastic Man. They all switched outfits to trick the Djinn. They stopped them until the Djinn released Black Adam. Batman showed up with Shazam. After the Justice League stopped Black Adam, Shazam joined the team and they built the watchtower.
Going into this, there was some worry about it just being like Teen Titans Go because of the length of each episode and the animation style, but I was pleasantly surprised. The animation was great and the story was more mature than most of the cartoon network lineup. With voice actors like Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill coming back, it brings a sense of legitimacy to the show. If you are a fan of a more light-hearted DC universe, then this is for you. It is great seeing Swamp Thing interact with Shazam and Plastic Man. Plastic Man in the first arc?!?!? You know they are going to dig deep for some nerdy sweatiness for this show.
An upcoming episode has Paul Dini, one of the masterminds of “Batman: The Animated Series” and “Justice League”, writing an episode. That should be a joy to watch. Unfortunately, there is a month between episodes. The next one isn’t airing until January 21st. It’s a bit odd, but maybe they weren’t sure how people would respond. The characters are very true to the source material and breaking it up into segments helps tell the story better. I’m going to score this first arc at a 90%. I think the overall story could’ve been a little tighter and I wish they didn’t destroy the Hall of Justice at the beginning of the series.