"Justice League" Week: What are the Pros and Cons of "Justice League Action?"

Discussion in 'The DC Comics Animation Forum' started by James Harvey, Nov 15, 2017.

  1. James Harvey

    James Harvey The World's Finest
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    The big screen live-action Justice League movie hits theatres this Friday, November 17th (with November 16 early screenings) so there's no better time to discuss the animated adventures of the World's Greatest Heroes! Every day, a new Justice League-themed topic will be posted, so check back and share your thoughts! And now, let's see what Wednesday has in store!

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    What are the pros and cons of Justice League Action? Since we already have a discussion thread to discuss episodes, let's look at this in more of a general sense (ie: Does the short format work, do the characters work, what does this show do better than others, where does it stumble, etc).



    Discuss away!
     
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  2. Frontier

    Frontier Moderator
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    Pros:

    - Despite the 15-minute runtime the show is generally, more often then not, able to successfully deliver solid, enjoyable, and action-packed stories that leave you wanting more.

    - The comedy is generally on-point. At least one joke per episode is able to make me laugh out loud.

    - The animation and art is vibrant, fast-paced, and colorful.

    - A nice blending of all the different eras of DC, with Silver Age stories and concepts getting modern revamps and Silver Age heroes or characters getting fresh takes.

    - Bumping up DC characters into major roles they previously hadn't had in animation, giving tons of love to Firestorm, Space Cabbie, Stargirl, Mr. Terrific, and other relatively more obscure characters.

    - All the love the show gives to the New Gods characters.

    - Proving you can take characters like John Constantine and Swamp Thing and make them appropriate for a kids cartoon.

    - The voice acting. The show has a real star-studded cast featuring, not only VA's reprising their iconic roles, but newcomers and even celebrities coming in and doing their own great takes on classic and obscure DC characters. Even the most unexpected castings are able to work (Robert Picardo as Two-Face? Cloris Leachman as Granny Goodness!?).

    - The wonder that is Jason J. Lewis (and Rachel Kimsey isn't a slouch herself).

    - The Shane Glines character designs. Clean, simple, attractive, and memorable, Shane Glines' designs not only offer fresh takes on the characters of the DC Universe but also captures their personalities and iconography quite well.

    - The show doesn't shy away from romance or our heroes having romantic attraction to each other (or even for the villains).

    - The show's handling of Batman is exemplary. Does he appear in more episodes then anyone else and do his villains make up the bulk of the show's Rogues Gallery? Yes. But Batman never serves to make anyone on the League look foolish or incompetent and in general he's portrayed reasonably and as a team player rather then the "Bat-God" that can make the rest of the League look bad. Heck, in some episodes he's not even in it or needs to be saved by others. And any episode with Batman and Joker in it barely focus on Batman and Joker.

    - The Webisodes are awesome. They're even shorter then the main show but they're still able to capture what makes JLA work and also give us even more fun adventures with the heroes and villains of this universe.

    - The show is able to showcase that female characters, good or bad, can be sexy, glamorous, and feminine while still being capable and strong (but this has never really been an issue with DC cartoons).

    Cons:


    - The format of the show is not conducive to meaningful character arcs, storylines, or to really dive in-depth into the characters. Some stories can also feel a little under cooked by the runtime.

    - I wish the show could've done more arcs like the Shazam Slam storyline.

    - While I love his voice and design, this show's take on Darkseid is probably the least memorable depiction of the Lord of Apokolips. He's certainly the most easily bested.

    - While the show has a strong ensemble cast of DC heroes and villains, there are times when you wish the show would give more attention to certain characters rather then re-use others (even if I can appreciate and enjoy how much they showcase certain characters).

    - It would've been nice to see more classic DC friendships referenced or adapted into the show, like GL/Flash, GL/GA, or Atom and Hawkman.

    - No Aquaman or Mera.

    - Wonder Woman appearing in less episodes then the rest of the Trinity, all the more glaring given her movie came out this year. I also think it's a shame we never really get to see her interact with or bounce off other female heroes (or see female heroes interact in general).

    - Andy Richter as Chronos. I mean, I like Andy Richter, but his Chronos...

    - This is kind of less a con but more just a tad disappointment on my part that the show wasn't able to feature or get to even more characters then it already did. Particularly for characters who were referenced or made cameos but never got their own significant appearance.
     
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    #2 Frontier, Nov 15, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
  3. hobbyfan

    hobbyfan Well-Known Member

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    Seeing as I'm way behind in watching.......

    Pros: The League is back on TV. Period.

    Cons: One 15 minute ep per week? Too early in the morning, and CN would rather continue to shove Teen Titans Go down the viewers' throats than give Justice League Action a better time slot and more airings. The network has a long, long way to go to fix that.
     
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  4. BigFatHairyDeal

    BigFatHairyDeal Defender of the Universe

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    Cons:
    1. If you like dramatic stories, this just isn't going to be your cup of tea.
    2. Too short. I don't think many people would say that the ten minutes or so of actual run time is optimal length for superhero stories. Also, there are no multi-part episodes, so everything has to be one and done.

    Pros: Pretty much whatever isn't a con is a pro. Other than nitpicking, like saying I wish the budget were 50% higher so that they could improve the animation, I find such little wrong with this. It's a comedy, but it feels smartly written. It's mostly respectful of the characters and their histories. The little online shorts pack a lot of punch. The animation is distinct and clean. The comedy works for me on so many levels. I've been kind of down on DC in other media lately (comics, Hollywood, video games), and this has been by far my favorite during that time.
     
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  5. Rick Jones

    Rick Jones fan-man
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    Pros:

    The character designs. I really dig those. Batman is the only one that I ever wish they'd tweak a little.
    The cast are a really nice mix of voices.
    Despite being a very comedic show, they capture the feel of the DCU and it doesn't feel like a parody.

    Cons:

    The tone and format of the show don't really lend themselves to wow moments and strong action.

    Sent from my AT7-B using Tapatalk
     
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    #5 Rick Jones, Nov 15, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017
  6. Dudley

    Dudley Moderator
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    Ya know...I actually like the short format, it’s kind of a throwback to older action cartoons like those Hanna-Barbera made that had their superhero shows part of the same 30 minute block. Granted they were three 7-minute segments, but it still applies.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  7. Yojimbo

    Yojimbo Yes, have some.
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    Did Frontier know about this thread ahead of time? :p

    Pros, me me it felt like a modern successor to Super Friends and all the classic animated series.

    I'd say the biggest con is the one time slot.

    The 11 minute format sometimes is a con because at times story bits need more context. And it forces smaller stories in scope.

    They're banking on Plastic Man and Booster Gold a lot lately while characters like Shazam, Swamp Thing, and Blue Beetle have fallen to the wayside.

    My biggest concern I guess is there won't be a definitive ending like The Brave and The Bold (no spoilers! if you've watched the last few).
     
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  8. Frontier

    Frontier Moderator
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    Nope. Totally spontaneous ;).
     
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  9. Daikun

    Daikun Long Live the Fighter!
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    Pros:

    -This show didn't receive the same treatment as CN's other reboots. While still somewhat comedic in tone, this show does feel like a successor to Justice League, not Justice League Go.

    -Best treatment of Batman that DC has given him in years. Instead of treating him like an invincible know-it-all messiah who overshadows the rest of the heroes, they actually knock him down several pegs.

    -The webisodes are really good. They compliment the main show well, although I feel like they end way too soon. I feel like those could be 3-5 minutes rather than 2, or better yet, fleshed out to full episodes.

    Cons:

    -The 11-minute format often leads to pacing issues. It sometimes feels like each episode has to rush to a finish line in the last couple of minutes.

    Other than that, I have trouble finding cons with this show. I could list the horrible time slot, but that's a fault of the network, not the show itself.
     
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  10. M.O.D.O.K.

    M.O.D.O.K. Scientist Supreme
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    Pros:

    * The designs are very smooth and recognizable. They get the "iconic" aspect of the characters right, and stand out on their own. Shane Glines's work shines through again. The animation itself is servicable, but considering we can't even decent animated fight scenes in action cartoons these days, I'll get what I can get.

    * Strong voice cast. Having Kevin Conroy do a more lighthearted series is refreshing. Mark Hamill hams it up as usual. Rachel Kimsey is fun as Wonder Woman, and Jason J. Lewis is a revelation as Superman, as well as several other roles. The guest cast is also a lot of fun, for the most part.

    * A great combination of action and humor. I've been starving for more action cartoons in general, and this show definitely satisfied that craving. The tone of the show reminds me of Brave and the Bold, which is a good thing.

    * There's a lot of great nods to the greater DC Universe, as well as plenty of other shows and movies. Again, like Brave and the Bold, there's something that'll please everyone, and there are some obscure characters showing up.

    * The shorts are a great idea and fit the show so well. Considering this show didn't escape the 26 episode curse, it's great to see some additional content that basically still feels like the show.

    * This show's greatest strength is just how concept-focused it is. There's plenty of great ideas and twists to DC mythos that I'm surprised aren't used to often. Joker being kidnapped by Mongul to be a space comedian, Superman being put to the test under a Red Sun, a reformed Riddler tracking down and helping to rescue Batman, etc. Don't even get me started on the shorts!

    Cons:

    * For being a Trinity-focused show, they sure gave Wonder Woman the short end of the stick. Batman, Superman, and even some of the guest heroes like Firestorm, Space Cabbie, and Booster Gold had more focus than her. Also, we got A LOT more of Batman and Superman's supporting cast and villains than WW's. This is disappointing, especially after the movie's success and how a lighthearted show like this could handle some of WW's more bizarre enemies.

    * I felt the female heroes in general got short-changed. Besides WW, we got some focus on Zatanna and Stargirl, but that's about it for major focus. You could count Vixen's lines in your hand.

    * A couple of the voice roles fell a little flat to me. Cloris Leachman's delivery as Granny Goodness, save one episode, felt very dry and didn't fit with the other performances. James Woods also sounded off a few times.

    * This one's more nitpicky, but I wasn't a fan of the Superman/Wonder Woman. The chemistry just wasn't there and I didn't appreciate the show throwing Lois Lane and Steve Trevor under the bus for it.
     
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  11. Fone Bone

    Fone Bone Matt Zimmer

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    Pros:

    -Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill are back, baby! Hamill is especially a delight because he quit the role of the Joker until The Killing Joke roped him back in. As much as that movie sucked, I will at least be grateful for it for that.

    -Probably the easiest DC cartoon to get into and enjoy. You don't have to have ever seen a previous episode to get what is going on.

    -Jason J Lewis makes an exemplary Superman. Where has this guy been all this time?

    Cons:

    -It doesn't NEED to be a comedy the entire time, does it? I think variations in tone from episode to episode would have definitely made the show more appealing and well-rounded to me.

    -Dana Snyder as Plastic Man is easily the biggest miscast of the series. He is outright awful. They should have simply hired Tom Kenny again.
     
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  12. hobbyfan

    hobbyfan Well-Known Member

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    I OD'd on Justice League on Saturday. Watched the episode, "Phased & Confused" On Demand, then wished I hadn't. Watched the Mark Hamill show ("Missing the Mark") on YouTube, which was too short, and in between went to see "Justice League" at the theatre.

    Booster is being treated like a tool again, which is wrong, but that's because of the perception created by the 1980's Giffen/DeMatteis/Maguire Justice League books, but even worse. Any of us can write better than that.
     
  13. Capt.Traphouse

    Capt.Traphouse Sexiest Thing Since Sex

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    Simple, fun stories that really dig deep into the DC universe. It doesn't take itself too seriously and each episode feels unique.

    Voice actors feel like they're having fun. Superman has a charming, engaging, honest but dutiful personality that is just missing from the movies and is completely Christopher Reeves. This is my favorite portrayal of my favorite DC hero.

    Like the push to promote younger and more diverse heroes like Blue Beetle and Cyborg. Stargirl is great too.

    The action is fun, fast and zany. It fits the tone and the artstyle perfectly.

    Cons:

    Darkseid is awful. Incompetent, uninteresting and weak. The complete opposite of Lex Luthor, Joker, Black Adam and other charismatic villains. He's my least favorite part of the show.

    Outside of Batman, the Big 3's villains aren't given too much love. Wonder Woman has had no one outside if Circe. Superman has Lex and Lobo but Zod, Mongul, Brainiac and Darkseid all got pretty weak portrayals imo. I also hate Brainiac's design.

    I'm not really a fan of the New God's outside of two so their focus isn't really my cup of tea.
     
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  14. Light Lucario

    Light Lucario Moderator
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    Pros:

    It balances out the comedy and action pretty nicely. It is mostly a light hearted comedy series, but it doesn't feel like action is an afterthought or that it's all about comedy like TTG is.

    Most of the episodes work pretty well within the eleven minute episode format. There are times where it feels like the ending is too sudden or that they could have stretched it out a bit, but they're generally able to tell a nice entertaining story within that short amount of time.

    It's also pretty easy to binge watch the show because of the eleven episode format. That's one reason why I haven't participated in more discussion on the show since I usually just watch the episodes as they're uploaded on their On Demand section. I feel like that's a better way to watch the show in a way. Since you can jump into any episode without any knowledge of anything that happened before, aside from the three part premiere I guess, waiting every week or so for one new episode doesn't quite work for me. It's kind of nice just to spend an afternoon watching the month's worth of episodes instead.

    The voice acting is great. Kevin Conroy as Batman is always fantastic and it's nice to hear him in a more light-hearted Batman role. Mark Hamill is still terrific as the Joker and is clearly having fun with his lines. Superman, Wonder Woman, Firestorm and Star Girl are also really good.

    They do a good job including various DC characters. Batman and Superman tend to get the most attention, but they've thrown some focus to some of the lesser known DC superheros.

    Cons:

    There isn't an on-going storyline, but I kind of have mixed feelings about that. On one hand, not every show needs to have an ongoing storyline and the show is structured to have little continuity probably so that it would be easier for kids to jump into it. On the other hand, it's kind of weird to not have some on-going storyline when you have the entire DC universe and characters at your disposal. They could definitely make a on-going storyline work within the eleven minute timelimit. Both Steven Universe and Adventure Time have been able to do so. I can see why they didn't do this, but it still kind of a shame.

    While I do like the shorts, or at least the ones I've seen, most of them would have been better if they turned into full episodes. Missing the Mark and Beep Beep would have been fantastic premises for full episodes rather than shorts.

    I really don't like Booster Gold in this series. He's so incompetent, rude and inconsiderate most of the time that I wonder why they even bother keeping him on the team. He has saved the day a couple of times, but he's just insufferable in this series. Not to mention they kind of go back and forth as to whether or not he is good at being a hero. One episode he proves to Batman that his time travel actions actually stop monsters, but then in another episode his actions led to dinosaurs evolving into their own society. Plastic Man can be incompetent too, but at least he's more well meaning in this actions and I can usually get a laugh out of him.

    I also wasn't a fan of the whole Superman/Wonder Woman pairing. It might be more of a nitpick, especially if the relationship was just for one episode, but they don't really have any chemistry and it felt forced due to how I think that they were a couple in the New 52 continuity. I'm not sure about that given that I don't read comics, but that did come to mind when I first watched the episode.

    It's an overall fun light hearted show and I do hope that they'll have another season in spite of Cartoon Network's treatment towards it.
     
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  15. Yojimbo

    Yojimbo Yes, have some.
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    I'd add two more cons to my post - not enough Wonder Woman on her own w/o Batman or Superman and too much Gotham and Metropolis -- I love a little bit more when a show explores different cities on Earth for example.
     
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  16. Frontier

    Frontier Moderator
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    I don't think Coast, Central, Star, or even Gateway City have warranted even a mention...the only other major DC city I can think of that they've mentioned is Bludhaven :sweat:.
     
  17. Yojimbo

    Yojimbo Yes, have some.
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    Of Earth, yeah, they only mentioned Bludhaven, Mount Olympus, and Gorilla City. The greater DCU, mentioned so far were a couple planets like Tamaran, Korugar, Thanagar, Mars, Warworld, and New Genesis.
     
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