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Justice League Action- First Impressions and Childhood Nostalgia for Batman: the Animated Series

Left to right: Poster for “Justice League Action,” from DC Comics; Famous still from “BTAS” intro, from Giphy

 

Instead of just writing a review, I can only provide first impressions at this point. I’m still experiencing sensory and nostalgic overload, so writing about everything I’ve seen thus far in review form would be far too lengthy. Not to mention, I know I’m going to watch these a hundred times!

So far, I’ve watched about 5 or 6 eleven minute episodes of Justice League Action.  It was pure bliss. If you know me, you know that anything Batman animated is sacred to me. And because it’s so sacred, this is is exactly the reason why I’ll be the first to criticize anything Batman animated that comes out (Especially anything new). The around-the-corner year of 2017 will be exactly a quarter century since  Batman: The Animated Series first premiered on a young TV network called Fox.  Swooping into my north Jersey living room at age 7, I’ve been a firm believer in the Bat ever since. I was the ripest age of impact for such superhero kids programming. And, I’m here to tell you that Justice League Action brings the same genius and excitement back full circle. Both literally, and from the point of view of the 7 going on 31 year old writing this.

 

 

 

To start, we get the Bat himself, Kevin Conroy. Ya know, the brilliant Julliard trained actor who voiced my second father as a child? Also back on the voice cast is a man so talented, that you forget he’s truly a man of two worlds–or galaxies. He made us believe he could both whine about power converters in one sci-fi/fantasy saga, and then voice the most notorious and iconic villain of American superhero mythology: Mark Hammill is once again voicing the Joker. So, far, Conroy/Batman has been in much more of the show than Hammill/Joker, but that does makes total sense. The new series is about our titular heroes: the Justice League. Not just Batman. Still, Hammill brings it as always. His extensive range of laughs and personality quirks for the character is fascinating to go crazy and watch. Finally, the legendary writers and producers behind BTAS are back as well.  Writer/Producer Alan Burnett and writer Paul Dini are back on-board with JL Action, both gurus of BTAS’ beginnings. 

And it shows. Performance and production quality across the board, it’s more than clear that these folks care about Batman. They care about the Justice League. Their sandbox is the DCU. I heard an interview with Conroy recently from the wonderful History of the Batman podcast, an official production of Meltdown Comics out in LA. At one of Meltdown’s panels, Conroy talked about the tone that has been masterfully achieved for JL Action. He said that for his own character of Batman, it’s been a blast to bring a bit more irony and humor to the same dark and brooding personality he helped create back during BTAS. And irony, humor, and flat out fun are exactly what you get when you jump into Justice League Action. It’s a simple and joyous ride for anyone who loves DC. Or Batman, Or fun, in any form.

And, just as the title tells us, action is exactly what we get. With only 11 minutes to tell each story, the show wastes zero time exploding into spectacle and action. However, again, performance, dialogue and writing have in no way been compromised. A truly impressive balance has been struck by the people behind this cartoon.

The torch of the Greek gods has been passed. Shows like Justice League Action are yet another important iteration of the stories that make us who we are. Similar to what Conroy discussed in his panel interview for Meltdown, these are the stories that help us make sense of the world around us, and set an example of idols and strong heroic figures we should all strive to be. The Greeks had Hermes. We have the Flash. They had Poseidon. We have Aquaman. Same dudes, different names. And shows like JL Action continue this beautiful, historic legacy of humanity’s stories.

Check out Kevin Conroy’s Batman and Mark Hammill’s Joker for yourself, in this awesome clip from Justice League Action. 

  • Tune into Cartoon Network for more Justice League Action 
  • Also stay tuned here at ComicBookIntl.com for more reviews and content for JL Action

 

 

One thought on “Justice League Action- First Impressions and Childhood Nostalgia for Batman: the Animated Series”

  1. Donna Fischer says:

    Well done

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