DVD Review: Justice League – Season One (2001)
When I first heard about the idea of a Justice League TV show, I was all for it. I was a little miffed that the show came with the price of the cancellation of Batman Beyond (which I loved), but I could look past that. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see a single episode of the show when it aired due to some time constraints. Thank you, DVD!
I have to say now that I’ve had a chance to view the entire first season, Justice League really doesn’t seem like anything special. It definitely feels like the show’s creators (the same guys that did Batman: The Animated Series and Superman: The Animated Series) just weren’t ready to do a show of this size. The plots for each episode seemed a little sloppy and the characters just didn’t seem like themselves.
I mean, if you’re going to do a show about the Justice League, the top superhero team in the DC Universe, you need to make it almost epic in scale. The situations need to be dire enough that all of them are needed. If it’s just the Trickster robbing a bank, The Flash can handle that on his own. While that might have been the case for one or two episodes, it definitely wasn’t the feel for the entire season. I just felt let down.
Add to that the fact that at least half of the voices didn’t fit the characters at all and we’ve got a problem. First off, Superman sounds (and looks for that matter) tired. He sounds like someone that just ran up a flight of stairs ALL THE TIME. My biggest problem came with Phil LaMarr as Green Lantern. I’ve loved LaMarr’s other voicework, but this just sounded like GL was the show’s token black guy. I half expected him to shout out “Man, dat’s wack” or “Word” whenever something happened.
The episodes were presented as multi-part stories which was a bit better in addressing the adventures of the team. It’s tough to fit a story with this many characters in just 23 minutes so it was good that they made the stories 2 or even 3 parters. You need that extra time to get more into the story. I felt that they just didn’t use this time wisely.
There’s one aspect of the show that I’m still trying to figure out if I like or not. The show didn’t dwell or even touch on the origin stories for most of the members of the Justice League. It’s like they just assumed you knew them all already. That may be the case for Superman or Batman, but does anyone really care enough about Hawkgirl to know her story? While I’m mostly up to speed on these guys, this might have been a little oft putting for new viewers. Then again, how much do you really need to know about a chick with wings and a big mace?
Justice League isn’t a bad show though. Don’t get me wrong. This is mainly the nitpicking of a huge comic book fan here. The episodes can be fun and there’s nothing like seeing all of your favorite DC heroes on the screen at once. I’m told that the show gets better with the next season and then the sequel, Justice League: Unlimited, so I’m holding out hope that things shape up a bit more.