Peeks: Early Thoughts on “Justice League Action”
Hey, have ya heard the news? There’s a new Justice League show coming to Cartoon Network. A little something called Justice League Action.
For the uninformed, Justice League Action is a brand new, quarter-hour series from Warner Bros. Animation that will be coming soon to Cartoon Network.
Featuring the return of Kevin Conroy as Batman, the Dark Knight will join with Superman and Wonder Woman and the rest of DC’s iconic team of heroes in a series that promises to put the action back in heroics. Whether defending the Earth, facing invaders from space, or battling the bizarre forces of magic, the always-rotating team of Justice League heroes, are up to any challenge. Episodes will be eleven minutes in length, meaning that the action will be tightly-paced and exciting. And awesome!
Along with Conroy, Cartoon Network have announced that several other beloved DC Animated voice actors will be contributing to the series, including Mark Hamill as the Joker (!!!), James Woods as Lex Luthor, Diedrich Bader as Booster Gold and much more. Sam Register (Teen Titans Go!) will serve as executive producer with Butch Lukic (Justice League, Batman Beyond), Alan Burnett (Batman: The Animated Series) and Jim Krieg (Green Lantern: The Animated Series) serving as producers.
-So after a decade’s wait, we’re finally getting a new Justice League show. Now you’d think folks would be happy about this news….
We of course have to get the usual barrage of fanboy wanking and complaints about JLA, mostly from 90’s Brats who are doing their usual yammering on about how this series is raping their memories or whatever. Before I give my own initial thoughts on this upcoming series, I’d like to address some these so-called talking points.
“Once again, it’s dumbed down for pre-teens. Another show made for 7-year-olds.”
Seriously, no shit, Sherlock. Cartoon Network is a KIDS’ programming channel. What did you expect? I honestly don’t get why so many people are so shocked and appalled to learn that a CHILDREN’S TV network puts out shows tailored for CHILDREN.
“It’s only 11 minutes, so it’s gonna be kiddie. You can’t tell a good action story in just 11 minutes.”
And you know this, how? Do you have a source to verify this info, other than the ass you pulled it from? How do you know what the show’s gonna be like when we haven’t seen a single frame of animation from it yet? Anyway, CN has been employing the 11-minute story format for YEARS now, so why is this such a shock to you? Sure, JLA probably won’t be as plot heavy as a half-hour show would be, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing; it could mean that the show will cut to the chase and just show balls-to-the-wall action, which can be entertaining when executed correctly. By the by, you know those shows Adventure Time, Steven Universe and Over the Garden Wall that fans keep telling me (and telling me and telling me and telling me and telling me) are so great and wonderful and deep and compelling and layered and blah dee blah? They follow the 11-minute format as well, so I’m failing to see your smegging point, aside from the one on your head.
And even if Justice League Action does turn out to be kiddie, so what? Again, the show is for KIDS. It should only matter if the cartoon is GOOD. You’ve got the movies, the comic books, the CW shows, the graphic novels and the DTVs for more mature DC fare; let the kids have their fun kids’ shows.
“They should just make it like the 90’s Justice League show. Or just bring back Young Justice. That show was great. That those shows are gone is just not fair to us fans.”
Yeah, about that. I just have one message to impart to those who still need grief counseling because the DCAU went away and those who are still mourning the loss of Young Justice:
Frankly, I think it’s a special shade of sad how some fans try to make the loss of a few kids’ cartoons out to be some sort of dire moral issue, when in reality there is none. You can bad mouth CN’s shows all you want, but the fact of the matter is that times change, eras change and audiences change, and most importantly, kids’ interests change over time. Right now kids enjoy the shows on CN, Nick and Disney. Why should CN cater to you and not to them? Why is it such a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad thing that networks like CN air what their audience wants them to? They are a network and a business; it’s their job to cater to what they think their biggest audience wants most, and that’s what’s airing on there right now. In the future, it’ll be something else. Justice League ran its’ course and kids didn’t glom onto Young Justice; the toys weren’t flying off the shelves (to the point where Mattel, the the company producing the YJ toys, eventually withdrew their support of YJ; not a good thing, considering how action cartoons rely heavily on toy and merchandise sales for survival) and it had a bigger following among adults than it did with kids, whose ratings and viewership are the ones which matter to CN; when that happens, the show’s gotta go. That’s how TV works, that’s how it’s always worked. (This is also an important lesson for those who are overly nostalgic and want everything to return to the 90’s: just because it worked then doesn’t mean that it’d work now.)
You 90’s kids had your time to be catered to by CN, and those pining for Justice League, Young Justice and the like, those shows are available on DVD now, it’s not like the appearance of a new Justice League cartoon has caused those other shows to blink out of existence. Buy ’em, rent ’em, stream ’em and enjoy.
But by far THE most frequent complaint I’ve been hearing about JLA is this:
“This is just gonna be like Teen Titans GO!. FAIL.”
“So this is just Teen Tians GO! with JL characters.”
“Bah! This is just gonna be Justice League GO!: another stupid cartoon that’s Justice League in name only that thinks barf and fart jokes are funny!”
If I may put in my 2 cents here, I’d just like to say:
By Odin’s beard, will you guys STOP saying this show is going to be a clone of Teen Titans GO!? You don’t know that. All we’ve seen of this show so far is one poster. One. Frelling. Poster. You’ve all learned all this stuff about the show’s style and content and exactly what it’ll be like just by glancing at a single image?? Wow! The internet is full of precogs!
Carnac: “A job, a date and a life.”
Ed: “A job, a date and a life.”
Carnac: “Name 3 things that rabid fanboys and girls who bad a mouth a show before seeing it are in desperate need of.”
-Also, side note: on the subject of Teen Titans, I’d like to quickly address the following:
“Teen Titans GO! is a disgrace. It’s too goofy and silly. The original Teen Titans show was serious.”
This statement is erroneous on 3 counts:
- The 2003 Cartoon Network Teen Titans: TAS was NOT “the original Teen Titans show”. The very first TV adaptation of Teen Titans was the series of animated shorts produced by Filmation studios, starring Speedy, Wonder Girl, Kid Flash and Aqualad. Yeah, I know a lot of younger people didn’t see those cartoons, but this is history, people. 5 minutes on Wikipedia could tell you that.
- Teen Titans: TAS was NOT super-serious. At all. It had some intense, dramatic moments, but for the most part, it was goofy, very simplistic and very much watered down for younger viewers. Teen Titans: TAS was a silly show that was occasionally intense, not an intense show that was occasionally silly. I think some folks’ nostalgia tends to cloud some folks’ memories.
- My problem with Teen Titans GO! isn’t that it’s a comedy or even that it’s silly. It’s that it’s base and unfunny, the plots make no sense, it rambles and falters, rarely coming to any logical conclusions and its’ characters act like sociopathic, amoral douche-nozzles. But at the end of the day, it does its’ job: keeping kids entertained, so it’s ultimately not worth raising a big stink about. TTGO! is swill, but it’s easy to ignore. Just change the channel or leave the room when it comes on.
Now that we’ve heard from the fan-wankers, these are my initial thoughts on Justice League Action: I’m not bothered with it not being Justice League: TAS since we’ve already seen that; I’d rather get something new. The shorter episode length doesn’t bother me either; we’ve gotten DC shorts before, and some of them have been quite good, plus I have a notoriously short attention span; if the show is good, I’ll watch it, I don’t care if it’s only 5 minutes long. I really don’t see JLA going into TTGO! territory; for one thing, folks like Alan Burnett, Jim Krieg and Bruce Lukic are involved, and they haven’t let us down, so I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. For another, CN already has TTGO!, why would they make another show that’s just a clone of that when they already air the original? If anything, JLA seems to be giving me a strong Batman: The Brave and the Bold vibe, and I’m cool with that ’cause I enjoyed B:TB&TB.
Kid-centric superhero shows aren’t an issue to me at all; the way I see it, shows like The Super Hero Squad Show, Super Friends and DC Super Hero Girls are like gateway drugs: they help introduce kids to these franchises in a way that they can handle and easily adapt to, and if said kids are interested enough, they can move on to the heavier stuff as they grow and mature. I say we withhold judgment of JLA until we’ve seen more and have more to go on.
Oh yeah, and for people who think a lot of these current superhero are tailored for 7-year-olds? So were the original comics. When you strip them down to their bare essence, the very concept of superheroes: dudes and chicks in tights fighting good VS evil battles against nasty alien invaders, crime bosses and super-smart gorillas, is at bare bones level, silly, goofy, ridiculous and far-fetched.