Superman Homepage reviewer Marc Lax reviews episodes from the “Justice League Action” Animated Series, airing on Cartoon Network.
Check out his review of the 29th episode of Season 1 in which, as the Justice League tries to protect the United Nations from Gorilla Grodd gorilla army, Mister Mxyzptlk pops up from the fifth dimension and thinks it would be great fun to put each of the superheroes’ brains into another hero’s body.
Originally Aired: July 22, 2017 (U.S.)
Written by Jim Krieg
Directed by Doug Murphy
Jason J. Lewis as Superman (voice)
Kevin Conroy as Batman (voice)
Gilbert Gottfried as Mr. Mxyzptlk (voice)
Natalie Lander as Stargirl (voice)
David Solobov as Gorilla Grodd (voice)
P.J. Byrne as Firestorm (voice)
Stephen Tobolowsky as Professor Stein (voice)
Rating – 4 (out of 5): While Superman and Batman help Stargirl in her training Gorilla Grodd and his army attack the United Nations. The three heroes seem to have things under control when Mr. Mxyzptlk pops in to cause mischief. After freeing Grodd and his friends Mxy decides to really mix things up and switches our heroes brains. Stargirl in Superman’s body, Superman in Batman’s, and Batman in Stargirl’s. Causing an “identity crisis”. When the rest of the team shows up to help, Mxy switches their identities which causes more mayhem. How will the heroes get Mxyzptlk to say his name backwards and end his reign of mischief?
Mxyzptlk has always been one of my favorite Superman villains. And Gilbert Gottfried’s version that appeared on Superman: The Animated Series was my favorite. Here he reprises his role though in a more traditional version. His likeness on The Animated Series was based on Mxy’s first appearance in Superman #30 in 1944 giving the character that classic Golden Age look. His appearance here is based on the Mxyzptlk that appeared during the Silver Age. This series uses the original trap to get rid of Mxy by getting him to say his name backwards (kil-tip-zee-zim). The post crisis DCU would change that for a while by letting Mxyzptlk pick a trap of his own choosing to get Superman to trip him up and make him vanish. In any iteration Mxy is still one of the most fun and unpredictable of villains.
This episode is a lot of fun with gags aplenty. Watching Batman navigate in a teenage girl’s body while having him experience some teenage hormones is particularly funny and Kevin Conroy pulls it off like the expert he is. While Batman still has the fight in him even in Stargirl’s body, Superman has a harder time as Batman. Not used to being in a human body Superman slips, trips, practically breaks his shoulder and nearly blows himself up. Stargirl doesn’t have it easy being a Superman but with the Superman’s help she tries to get her powers under control. Stargirl suggests calling in reinforcements especially Firestorm, which Batman thinks is an excellent idea. Zatanna, Martian Manhunter, Cyborg, Plastic Man, Flash and Firestorm along with Professor Stein show up and fall into Mxy’s trap swapping bodies (brains?) with each other. There’s a very funny gag involving Firestorm in SHAZAM’s body. Batman seems confident that the plan he had in mind will work. Which it does. The floating consciousness of Professor Stein gets to Mxyzptlk and makes him say his name backwards which sends the imp back to the fifth dimension. This frees the heroes who then get the drop on Grodd and the gang. Batman congratulates Stargirl for knowing Firestorm and Stein’s consciousness was the key. When he leaves she bashfully tells Superman she only suggested Firestorm because she always wanted to meet him!
Overall a fun episode with Kevin Conroy as Batman, Natalie Lander as Stargirl and Jason J.Lewis as Superman having a field day. Superman does seem a bit of a buffoon as Batman but given that he’s not used to being powerless and keeping with this episode’s absurd humor that’s to be expected. And special mention to Gilbert Gottfried as Mxyzptlk. Always hilarious! All around a delightful episode.
Check out the “Justice League Action – Episode Reviews” Contents page.