Justice League 1.1 FAQ
What’s it called?
We’re not sure who authored the initial installments, but Stan Berkowitz and Rich Fogel are credited as series story editors.
Not superstar animation scribe Paul Dini?
Dini, vet of many a recent animated DC franchise, is sadly not in the mix this time around.
When does it air?
The first three episodes air back-to-back Saturday on the Cartoon Network, starting at 7 p.m. Future installments of “Justice League” will air full-screen on Monday and Friday nights – but the Sunday-night repeats will be shown in widescreen.
What does TV Guide say?
Debut: DC Comics' greatest superheroes - some of whom saved the world many a Saturday morning in the Super Friends cartoons of the '70s and '80s - fight evil as the Justice League in this sophisticated, action-packed series. In tonight's 90-minute opener, which examines the group's origins, a disarmament treaty leaves Superman as Earth's primary protector. But when a mysterious meteor shower heralds an alien invasion that he alone can't stop, he calls on Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, the Flash, Hawkgirl and J'onn J'onzz the Martian Manhunter, a telepathic shape-shifting hero who holds the key to understanding the aliens. Voices...Batman: Kevin Conroy. Superman: George Newbern.
So as the series begins, there is no Justice League?
No. And there won’t be until the end of the series’ third episode.
Do the world’s superheroes even know each other?
Most at least know of each other. The only superheroes unknown to the others are Diana, who leaves Thymescera for the first time ever in episode two, and J’onn, a 1,000-year-old stranger new to Earth. Interestingly, I don’t recall any of the characters employing the terms “Wonder Woman” or “Martian Manhunter.”
Tim Daly’s not voicing Superman? How’s the new guy?
Strange. It’s hard to get used to Superman’s voice being so much higher than Batman’s.
Is Clark married to Lois?
We don’t even learn if Clark knows Lois. We do learn, however, that the so-called Man of Steel sleeps alone.
Is Green Lantern a free agent (like Alan Scott or Kyle Rayner) or is he working for a bunch of little blue guys on Planet Oa?
The only clue on this: when we first meet him, GL says he just got back from dealing with “an uprising on Rigel 9.”
Is GL vulnerable to wood or the color yellow?
He doesn’t appear to be good with yellow.
Do Superman, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter and Wonder Woman make fun of Hawkgirl because Hawkgirl’s only power is flight?
Hawkgirl goes unmocked, largely because she is also highly adept at destroying heavily armored spacecraft by smacking them with her mace. (And, hey, at least her big power isn't fish-telepathy.)
What’s the big bad like?
Like production design in search of a character. Enormous meteors crash into Metropolis, from which emerge skyscraper-sized tripedal machines spewing death rays. While all of this certainly evokes “War of the Worlds,” the look of these war machines would seem to be heavily influenced also by Paul Verhoeven’s “Starship Troopers” aliens.
Death rays? Is this why half the globe atop the Daily Planet is missing?
How’s it start?
There’s a 3.5-minute teaser depicting an American astronaut named J. Carter (get it? get it?) stumbling upon an enormous Martian edifice buried deep beneath the planet’s surface. The story then jumps to two years later at a WayneTech substation in Metropolis.
So which superhero do we meet first?
Bruce Wayne, back in the batsuit. Followed closely by the Man of Steel. Who turns out to be of little use at first.
What’s the Batman/Superman relationship like? Does Clark treat Bruce like a vigilante interloper?
No, but they do behave a little condescendingly toward one another. At the end of their first scene together, Batman doesn’t seem thrilled when Superman offers him a Jimmy Olsen signal watch, but world’s greatest detective isn’t arrogant enough throw the device away. When Superman says he’s got to go, Bats asks: “Another key to the city?”
Who do we meet next?
The Flash has a cameo in the first episode doing an interview with a video journalist named Snapper Carr (!). Wonder Woman is also glimpsed in episode one. J’onn is the first to join Bruce and Clark, toward the end of the first half-hour. Green Lantern and Hawkgirl don’t appear at all until episode two.
When does Diana first slap on the tiara?
Beginning of the second episode.
How’s the invisible plane look?
Really invisible. (There doesn’t seem to be one.)
How do all the superheroes converge?
They receive a telepathic summons from J’onn.
The speed (when Superman and the Batplane are in the air, it really feels like they’re burning through the machs). The satellite HQ. The fact that Hawkgirl seems to be Hawkman in hotpants. The way J’onn disables the aliens by thrusting his hands through their chests. The way the animators let Diana tower over most of the boy leaguers. The happy absence of SuperMarv. Were I still 10 and “Justice League” airing Saturday mornings, I think I’d be pretty excited about it.
What’s not so good?
I’m not 10 and “Justice League” airs on school nights. If you’re looking for the brainy and propulsive storytelling that’s categorized the JLA comic book since Grant Morrison revitalized it a few years ago, seek elsewhere. This series, if one is to judge by its first three episodes, would benefit mightily from leavening the series’ many fight scenes with meatier characterization. The villains (at least in this first installment) are personality-free. Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman are two-dimensional at best, and the other leaguers don’t even fare that well. The Flash inherits Plastic Man's role as class clown, but his jokes are appallingly rudimentary.
Well, is the three-part opener at least as good as that recent “Batman Beyond” two-parter with the near-future Justice League?
Not nearly. But the season is young. Lex Luthor, Solomon Grundy, Vandal Savage, Sgt. Rock, Blackhawk and Steve Trevor lurk in the wings …
Herc’s rating for “Justice League” 1.1-1.3?
The Hercules T. Strong Rating System:
I warn you not to defy me!! Mmm!! Cookies!!