Action League Now
After I started watching DC Super Hero Girls, I thought it would be worth checking out the other current DC kids television show: Justice League Action. Previously, I had only seen YouTube clips of the show and had a few chuckles. The collection on iTunes has 49 episodes with most of them being about 12 minutes. The first one is the exception being 4 parts in one; with the League hunting down villains of Captain Marvel/Shazam. 49 episodes is a commitment, but it helps that they are short.
The show is definitely less serious than the previous Justice League and Justice League Unlimited shows, but the stories do have stakes. They never venture into the campy, like Superfriends and other cartoons from that era. It helps having Kevin Conroy back in the Batman role. His voice lends a gravitas to the cartoon that might not otherwise be there.
Jason Lewis plays his Superman with a bit of a wink to the camera. Almost calling to mind George Reeves. He lands some dad jokes and is the big blue Boy Scout that you’d expect.
I was recently talking to someone not from the United States about the difference between Sesame Street and The Muppets. While there are some character crossover, The Muppets is for all ages whereas Sesame Street is for kids. I’d describe Justice League Action (and DC Super Hero Girls) as more of an all-ages cartoon rather than one strictly for kids. A good example of a Superman show for kids is Krypto the Superdog. Simpler plots, lower stakes, more exaggerated characters. It’s much harder for an adult audience to enjoy Krypto than it is Justice League Action.
My biggest complaint about the show is Superman’s costume. I imagine the creators wanted a “modern” look to Superman to match what kids may have seen in the Supergirl show or from the Man of Steel movies. But to me, the no trunks look makes the costume boring. I think rather than making the show look modern it instead dates the show. Especially now that Superman is back in the trunks in the comics.
Despite this one nitpick I’ve enjoyed the show so far. I can’t wait to get to the Mr. Mxyzptlk episode.