No, not that one you loved as a teen/kid/maybe adult… that new one they’re making that’s going to bring back Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill for runs as Batman and Joker. The one where they all sort of look like they’re still teenagers. It’s called Justice League Action.
Ugh. I hate being pessimistic. Especially since I literally just made a post about a positive optimistic genre. But, I’m pessimistic about this new series. It’s not hard to have a good animated series if you treat your viewers, rather they be kids or adults, with respect. That is, you acknowledge that they can handle more than mindless jokes and very basic themes. Legend of Korra did it, so did Young Justice, the original Teen Titans, Earth’s Might Heroes, Spectacular Spider-Man. Need I go on? Hell, if you think those leaned a tad too much on young adult themes to be attractive to kids, then how about Gravity Falls and Adventure Time? It’s possible. Unfortunately, it seems they don’t believe that so we end up with shows like Ultimate Spider-Man (you give Ultimate a bad name), Teen Titans Go!, and Avengers Assemble. They’re all streamlined, don’t carry the sort of character development the former do, and the writing is basic. Basic as fuck.
I mean, at least we can confirm the voice acting on this show will be top notch. No doubt about it. But the hype being billed as “each eleven-minute episode jumps in with lightning-paced action and heroics,” makes me think there won’t be much room for anything beyond: here’s an issue, fight it out to solve it, let’s move on. Sam Register (Teen Titans Go!) as the executive producer leaves me anxious but Butch Lukic (Justice League, Batman Beyond), Alan Burnett (Batman: The Animated Series), and Jim Krieg (Green Lantern: The Animated Series) all leave me hoping that maybe we’re going to get something good out of this.
Alright, so 11 minutes isn’t a lot of time to give us much character development so I’ve got a very thin wish list on things I’d like to see. So far we’ve got the Holy DC Trinity confirmed as well as Lex Luthor and Booster Gold confirmed. My primary two requests (both that I am confident will not be fulfilled) are that we get more than two women in the main Justice League line-up (I’m assuming we’ll also get Hawkgirl, and if we only get Wonder Woman, my goodness I might not even give this show a watch), and that we get more than only Cyborg/John Stewart’s Green Lanterns as non-white members of the line. Likely if Cyborg is in it, he’s subbing in for Martian Manhunter and if Stewart is in it, he’s subbing in for Hal Jordan. I’d be even happier if this was a throwback to Justice League Unlimited and every episode was just a different group of heroes solving issues. It’s an easy gateway for the show to make use of its wide range of heroes and giving us more than the heteronormative white dude in it. Hell, if you need to, race bend. Nothing in Barry Allen or Wally West’s book dictates they’ve got to be white (and Flash proved that) so yeah, give us something else, please. At the very least I’ll be able to look past the probable mediocre writing if we’re getting a realistic diverse array of characters in the Justice League and in the large scope of villains they’ll face.
It’s worth mentioning that in the background of that picture you see a lot of rough caricatures of the characters. I think see three women. The rest are guys. Impossible to tell if any of them are non-white.
In any case, I’ll be keeping up with the build-up to this one. Here’s to a new good superhero-centric cartoon because we’re dearly missing some.