Superman Homepage reviewer Thomas Dreyfuss reviews episodes from the “Justice League Action” Animated Series, airing on Cartoon Network.
Check out his review of the 9th episode of Season 1 in which Batman and Blue Beetle are thrown back in time where they must stop Chronos from destroying Batman on his first night in Gotham where he faces off against Carmine Falcone and his men.
Originally Aired: December 10, 2016 (U.K.), February 18, 2017 (U.S.)
Written by Josie Campbell
Directed by Shaunt Nigoghossian
Kevin Conroy as Batman (voice)
Jason J. Lewis as Superman, Carmine Falcone (voice)
Rachel Kimsey as Wonder Woman (voice)
Jake T. Austin as Blue Beetle (voice)
Andy Richter as Chronos (voice)
Rating – 5 (out of 5): It’s a race against time itself as Batman (Kevin Conroy) and Blue Beetle (Jake T. Austin) must stop the time traveling criminal Chronos (Andy Richter) from whacking off the Dark Knight during his first major case: stopping the crime lord Carmine Falcone (Jason J. Lewis). Also, there’s an homage to Batman: The Animated Series and it’s awesome.
I mean, that moment is some excellently crafted fan service and I’ll get into why that’s so awesome but it’s not the crux of the story. That belongs to Jaime Reyes earning Batman’s trust as a crime fighter. As a fan of DC Comics, it’s been incredible seeing Jaime’s presence grow on television. Jaime’s been adapted on Smallville, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, and most definitely Young Justice: Invasion where he (and to a lesser extent, the lineage of those who’ve donned the mantle of Blue Beetle) get the spotlight for a whole season. So seeing Blue Beetle earn his place on the Justice League is a big deal for the teen titan. Speaking of the Titans, Jake T. Austin reprises his role from Justice League vs. Teen Titans and the forthcoming Teen Titans: The Judas Contract but his performance is a bit different here. This version of Jaime isn’t fighting the alien scarab on his back (Fun Fact: this episode marks the first time outside of the comics where we get to hear the name of the scarab, “Khaji-Da”, spoken out loud) and thus, is more confident in his super powered prowess and more outgoing to an adult authority figure like Batman.
Speaking of Batman, how about that sweet tribute to Batman: The Animated Series? Well, it’s really more of a tribute to Batman’s roots as the crew utilized the famous “Year One” costume, the 1939 Cadillac Series 61 convertible from the old Columbia Pictures Batman serials, and the Adam West wall scaling shtick for their take on a young, raw Batman. But all of it gets enveloped by the B:TAS theme song and topped with Kevin Conroy reciting the ever quotable “I am vengeance. I AM THE NIGHT! I. AM. BATMAN!!!” line as lighting strikes behind the rooftop where Young Batman is posing. There will never be another Batman: The Animated series but that moment came pretty close to capturing that nostalgic magic. Oh, and Blue Beetle ridiculing Batman for his previous comments about posing? Perfect.
As for everything else, that’s where thing’s get interesting. There’s nothing wrong with Andy Richter’s zanny performance but we never know why Chronos is going to such lengths to kill Batman. Jason J. Lewis voices Carmine Falcone (both “e’s” are silent as they should be) and despite only having a couple of lines, Falcone’s voice sounds remarkably indistinguishable from Lewis’ Superman. The time bomb sequence where Blue Beetle saved Batman by planning ahead and Batman used smoke to cloud Chronos clairvoyance were equally brilliant.
Overall, this was a fantastic episode of Justice League Action. It’ll be best remembered as “the one where they referenced Batman: The Animated Series yo” but what really carried the episode is Batman and Blue Beetle rubbing off of each other in unexpected ways.
Check out the “Justice League Action – Episode Reviews” Contents page.