My Rating: 10/10
Justice League (2001–2004)
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My Rating: 10/10
But I digress. Unlike the long running SuperFriends, the Justice League has superb animation and excellent story lines. I feel that the difference between the writing is this: On SuperFriends,the writers were probably all non comics readers who probably looked at them to give them ideas and they had to yield to the Broadcasts Standards and Practices. On JL, the writing is done by major comics fans and there is no holds barred!! We saw some serious butt kicking in this series. The first two seasons of Justice League consist of the original big seven. Batman is my all time favorite hero. Kevin Conroy is truly superb in this role and it was good to hear him as Batman again after voicing elder Bruce Wayne in Batman Beyond. While Batman was great in his own series, I loved him even better in this series as dark, grim, and aloof and I loved seeing which DC villains would encounter Bats. I got my wish seeing him go up against Kalibak and try to go up against Darkseid. The Flahs is my other favorite character and Smallville's Michael Rosenbaum really made this character so much fun with his hilarious one liners. Wonder Woman was superb. They couldn't have found anyone better than Susan Eisenberg to voice her over. Sounded like a college girl. As for Superman, I wasn't crazy about him in the beginning. I did not like Supes all powered down and I prefer Tim Daly for the voice, but Bruce Timm and company improved Supes and George Newbern started out lousy but got better with time and really did a great with Superman in the JLU seasons. The debut of J'onn J'onzz the Martian Manhunter was very well done. Carl Lumbly took J'onn from being one of the more kind, gentle, and sensitive members in JL to being a hard nose desk sergeant and dispatcher in the JLU seasons. The two most controversial to me were Green Lantern and Hawkgirl. It took a while, but I got used to John Stewart. Phil LaMarr used a great voice for a one time Marine Corp vet who is now a Green Lantern and he made a great leader. Hawkgirl had always been to me, a sidekick for Hawkman on SuperFriends, but here, she is a warrior from Thanagar and has the hot temper to go with it. It was great to see when she eventually took off her mask. Maria Canals gave an excellent performance. I also enjoyed the romantic relationship John and Shayera had as well as the hinted attraction between Batman and Wonder Woman. These big seven were awesome to watch in the first two seasons as Justice League and they were regarded as team leaders and founding members on JLU. I look at the pilot Secret Origins and the season two finale, Starcrossed as full animated movies as opposed to three parters.
In Justice League Unlimited, we FINALLY get to see more heroes, like Green Arrow, who before that only had one guest appearance on the original 1973 SuperFriends series. Here, we see him as a liberal hero of the people, out for the little guy. And for the first time, we get to see Black Canary,and to a lesser extent, Red Tornado and Elongated Man, two members I was hoping would have had bigger roles. But Bruce Timm and co. outdid themselves and gave so many heroes that I had never heard of. I am a DC Comics fan, but even I head never heard of Vigilante, the Shining Knight, Stargirl & S.T.I.P.E., Fire and Ice, Gypsy, Vibe, Captain Atom, the Question, and even more obscure characters like Sand, the Ray, Nemsis, Obsidian, the Crimson Avenger, and the list goes on and on. Way too many to name.
I loved the continuing story arc about the Cadmus organization and everyone's fear of the JL if they were to ever go rogue. They also had a nice tribute to the SuperFriends with the Ultimen who were ripoffs of the Wonder Twins, Black Vulcan, Samuraui, and Apache Chief.
Too many great episodes to mention, but I recommend the Justice League for anybody. From Secret Origins to the finale of Alive and Destroyer, these shows are so good, it's actually hard to stop watching them. All WB has to do is release the final season with Hawkman and the Legion of Doom and the DVD library will be complete. I only wish they could have used Plastic Man and Firestorm as well as Aquaman and Black Manta (not Devil Ray) in the final season and I wish we could have seen Nightwing, not Robin. Though Timm and Co. are no longer involved with the DC Unvierse, I will never again see an animated DC project nearly as good as Justice League and Justice League Unlimited. 2 Thumbs Up!!
Now in its fifth (and final) year, "Justice League," though often pitting the superheroes against invading aliens or super-villains bent on world destruction, has taken some departures from the typical cartoon by presenting some interesting romantic relationships between principal characters: the not-so-subtle romance between Green Lantern and Hawkgirl and the implied attraction between Wonder Woman and Batman. There has also been some rift between the heroes, on occasion between Batman and Superman. Like Superman, the Martian Manhunter has to deal with the loss of his home world and the death of his beloved and children. The Flash is along as the comic relief, as a superhero with a strong libido, always on the "hunt" for a female conquest.
The writers get to show more of the human side of those that are considered "super". Even Superman got to show a little emotion when confronted with longtime enemy Darkseid" in the two-parter "Twilight". The Man of Steel would've murdered the villain if Batman had not intervened. In an episode about a parallel universe, the Superman of that world even did away with Lex Luthor.
The show has a stellar cast of actors supplying the major characters' voices with a roster of guest talent (CCH Pounder, Michael Ironside, Robert Picardo, Hector Elizondo, Mark Hamill, Clancy Brown, and others) that is second to none.
The show, though not a ratings juggernaut (due to frequent changes in airing times), is a treat for the boomer generation and is a welcome addition to the mythos that DC Comics created over six decades ago.
One of my favorites is the episode with King Aquaman wherein all the Justice League members cannot do anything to persuade the would be assassin to confess and then Batman who possesses no super powers somehow gets the perpetrator to spill the beans. I thought that was simply awesome.
My other favorite episode was when the League faced somewhat counterparts from a comic book world. Once again well written and thought provoking. The episode with the android who (no matter what the Justice League did) was no match for them really was great. I commend all the writers of the show for their creative style and talent and I want this show to go on forever.
"Justice League" is what I always wanted "The Superfriends" to be. No lousy sidekicks, no space monkey, no ludicrous plots involving Martian brain creatures. It was like watching the comic book. I like the way they have presented the characters and the fact that there is tension - they maybe friends, but those relationships get strained. A powered down Superman, excellent had to be done. A stand-offish Batman, perfect. Jon J'onzz? Yeah... great character, perfectly voiced too!
However, I was happy to see that used the John Stewart GL- the DC universe's karmic kicking bag - and the Wally West Flash instead of using Hal Jordan and Barry Allen. Hal and Barry (especially Barry) were just too perfect too much of the time. I like them and they always have a special place in my comic book memories, but Stewart and West (as flawed heros) are better characters. In fact, I'd like to see them with their own shows someday. Wally West is a great character if you go in depth, rather than just leaving him as comic relief.
I hope Warner Brothers keeps this up, superlative job!
Even so, this show TOTALLY blows me away every time I watch it. EVERYTHING about it is dead on PERFECT. Kevin Conroy, as always, is great as Batman, as is George Newbern as Superman. Hawkgirl is a great addition, and boy can she hold her own!! But the character that has emerged as my favorite is J'onn J'onnz, aka Martian Manhunter. I love the character design and animation of him, and I don't think they could have gotten a better actor to voice him than Carl Lumbly (who played Stalker in a few episodes of Batman Beyond).
The composing team also does a great job with the music, and I REALLY hope that somewhere down the road, they release a CD of this music.
I'm absolutely delighted that Cartoon Network airs JL in letterbox format as well as full-frame. I, for one, prefer letterbox as it gives the show a more epic and cinematic feel.
Simply put, JUSTICE LEAGUE rules. Period.
By thy side,
Unlike marvel's animation(s), the Justice league is a bit more darker for most and there are some episodes that might in some cases be a bit deeper in the undertone of death and murder, heck even the villains are crazy and wickedly dangerous (I mean with deadly intent on getting rid of each and every single group)...later on in unlimited there are some certain sexual innuendos shown in some episodes not too bad for kids to not watch but just bits and pieces and hints...but all of this add up is NOT a bad thing reason being that it keeps up the pace to the story and adds not only tension but keeps all the characters different and unique without making them all the same unlike marvel's animation(s).
Finally, When watching this show you get the feel of danger and sometimes hopelessness for the team; there are times where they are at their worst and feel that it can only get bad by the minute I mean they get the snot beaten, tortured, and possibly near death but they seem to come out on top and you see it point blank without hindrance to the violent display...kind of like life imitating art or comics again something most marvel animation series before JL tends to censored without putting reality at play JL and JL: unlimited pulls no punches and hold nothing back...the bad guys are bad guys and even sometimes the good guys can step over the line and again....truth in fiction and that's not a bad thing! My only grip to this show is that most of the coolest DC characters don't get much screen time (I.E. Steel, booster gold, etc.) They have their time on some episodes but after some time you rarely hear from them and then they become just figments in the background but who's to say that Green lantern isn't the bad-ass and batman is just in one word, "awesome" it just would be great to also see a connection with steel and superman which was only shown on Superman the animated series on here...not so much. but in the end, this show has a lot of merit to being one of the best thrill ride of animated series that I've seen in a long time so if I had to choose between X-men or JL hands down I'm going for JL for great stories, awesome action with great music, not to mention when having the stereo kicked up feels like you're in a movie theater watching awesome displays of adventure straight from the comics and in the end you can't go wrong...