Tuesday, November 27, 2012

This ain't yo daddy's Super Friends...


Hello all, I am back again with a new review and this time we are tackling cartoons. Yeah I know those are for kids.  Don’t care.   Today I am touching base on DC Comics biggest triumph on the little screen. So grab your tights, do some stretches to limber up and get ready to save the day.   This is Justice League.

Spoilers make Batman paranoid…

Growing up in the era of the Superfriends and Super Powers, DC superheroes came off as hokey, overbearing and frankly kind of a joke.  In 1992 with the first appearance of Batman the Animated Series, we saw a broken man remake himself to better himself and his city against forces of the absurd and insane.   In 1996 we see the shining city of Metropolis under siege by similar villains of Gotham but a champion from another world, Superman approached this bizarre men and women with super powers and tempered by compassion of honesty and courage.   Throughout both these series, a myriad of more obscure DC characters appeared but you never really got the full scope of whom they are and why they stood for justice.    2001 changed all of that in introducing characters that have been on the comic book pages for more than 60 years.   DC Comics writer Gardner Fox (Justice Society of America, Mystery in Space, Amazing Stories, Planet Stories and Justice League of America) gathered a cadre of different men and women all hailing from unique backgrounds with a common goal.  To dispense justice towards villainy and protect the innocent no matter the cost.

Animators Bruce W. Timm (Blackstar, G.I. Joe, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, Batman the Animated Series, Batman Beyond and Superman the Animated Series) and Paul Dini (Creator of Harley Quinn, villainess sidekick to the Joker) set out on a venture to create a cohesive Justice League for kids and adults to enjoy.  Dipping into more than 60 years worth of comic history as well as stories of their own; the duo managed to bring about some of DC comics greatest heroes and villains all under a 25 minute cartoon and a cornucopia of voice actors under the wing of veteran voice casting director Andrea Romano (Batman the Animated Series, The Adventures of Batman and Robin, The New Batman Adventures, Pinky and the Brain and Static Shock) Reigning in actors from previous series, Romano had her pick of the litter if you will.   Batman (Kevin Conroy of Batman the Animated Series, The New Batman Adventures, Batman Beyond, Justice League, Batman: Arkham City and Justice League: Doom) Joker (Mark Hamill of Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi,  Batman the Animated Series, Justice League, Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go! and The Super Hero Squad Show) as well as newcomers to the voice acting gig like Phil LaMarr (MADtv, Clerks Animated Series, Invader ZIM, Static Shock, Samurai Jack, The Proud Family and Wolverine and the X-Men) Susan Eisenberg (Justice League, Golden Axe: Beast Rider, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, The Super Hero Squad Show and Mass Effect 3).  

The main issues Dini and Timm had was to make these superheroes more human in the eyes of their viewers by giving them the very strengths and flaws we all have, deliver a thought provoking story and plenty of action all under one name.     No easy task when the fans are this demanding for their hero or heroine not getting enough lines or always deemed in reserve.   While you cannot please everyone, I think Justice League fans of whatever incarnation they grew up reading will be proud of this product and want to share it with other like minded folk.