Superman Homepage reviewer Marc Lax reviews episodes from the “Justice League Action” Animated Series, airing on Cartoon Network.
Check out his review of the 46th episode of Season 1 in which Green Arrow, who is determined to finally throw a successful holiday party for the Justice League, finds his plans thwarted when Plastic Man brings a tranquilized super villain to the gathering.
Originally Aired: December 2, 2017 (U.S.)
Written by Paul Dini and Tim Sheridan
Directed by Doug Murphy
Kevin Conroy as Batman (voice)
Jason J Lewis as Superman (voice)
Rachel Kimsey as Wonder Woman (voice)
Chris Diamantopoulos as Green Arrow (voice)
Charlie Schlatter as The Flash (voice)
Lacey Chabert as Zatanna (voice)
Dana Snyder as Plastic Man (voice)
Fred Tatasciore as Solomon Grundy (voice)
Rating – 3 (out of 5): It’s the annual Christmas party down at Centennial Park in Metropolis. Presents, Christmas tree, decorations and Santa Claus! Before a little girl named Keely can ask Santa for a teddy bear for Christmas Solomon Grundy crashes the scene with Green Arrow and Plastic Man in hot pursuit. After going a few rounds with Grundy Green Arrow shoots an arrow that blasts Grundy across the park. Keely notices the giant Teddy Bear on the stage rise come to life so she approaches. While she gets excited to see the bear come to life it’s revealed that it’s Grundy in disguise and Keely gets scared and runs. With that Green Arrow lets loose several tranquilizer arrows and takes Grundy down. Green Arrow tells Plastic Man to take Grundy to STAR Labs and on his way back pick up the ice for Green Arrow’s Christmas party. Plas seems a bit confused and GA realizes he’s forgotten about the party. After Plas tells GA he’ll get some pizzas to make it up to him GA says that he’ll get the ice and walks off in disgust. Several minutes later at GA’s home all the heroes are schmoozing at his ‘North Pole/Santa’s village’ like Christmas party, while GA runs ragged serving hors d’oeuvres and drinks for everyone. But they all notice GA is a little distracted. It seems that every year he invites Batman to the party but he never comes. GA still holds out hope and keeps running to the window thinking he hears Batman. Zatanna tells Flash that GA wants to be best bros with The Dark Knight and is disappointed every year when he never shows. Flash gets a flash of an idea and zips out of the party. Zatanna shakes her head because she knows what’s coming next. The door flies open and there standing on the threshold is the Flash holding in his arms…Batman with a giant red bow on his chest! Batman’s not happy! A startled Green Arrow drops a tray of drinks when he sees Batman actually came to his party. But Batman just pushes GA out of his way and walks off. Maybe now that he’s here he needs some spiked Egg Nog? While Superman uses his x-ray vision to see what kind of presents he got (it seems mostly socks) Plastic Man arrives with a guest. Solomon Grundy! Seems that STAR Labs was having their Christmas party at the same time (much to Green Arrow’s chagrin) so Plas decided instead of interrupting their festivities he’d bring Grundy along seeing as how he was filled with tranquilizers. Bad mistake. A groggy Grundy sees the piles of food on the table and proceeds to wolf almost everything down. After a threat from Batman Plas gently seats Grundy on the couch and tries to distract him with “Tom and Jerry” Christmas cartoons. As everyone is exchanging gifts with their secret Santas (Flash and Plastic Man generously giving tiny teddy bears), Superman walks over to Grundy and hands him a teddy bear. No one should be without a present on Christmas. A moment later there’s a news flash. Footage from Green Arrow and Plastic Man’s run in with Grundy in the park is being shown. With that Grundy snaps out of his stupor and busts out of the party. Where is he going? Will the heroes be able to stop him?
While this is a very festive and funny episode it’s the same old story of the raging monster becoming a gentle giant and learning the true meaning of Christmas. Solomon Grundy has been portrayed as purely evil, as a raging monster, as a clueless hulk, and even an intelligent villain through his many decades. Here he’s a cross between raging and clueless with a little bit of heart. Green Arrow having a man crush on Batman is amusing but just comes from out of nowhere. It’s just an excuse to get the anti-social Batman to the Christmas party so he can have his almost weekly appearance on the show. It’s still funny though! Batman’s rage at the Flash and the red bow on his chest is worth it. But in the end it’s just a typical heartwarming festive Christmas show done in the “Justice League Action” style.
Batman is the first hero out to track down Grundy, the other heroes are close behind. While Batman struggles with Grundy Wonder Woman spots the teddy bear that Superman gave to Grundy as a gift. This sparks something in GA who, with the Flash, takes off. Batman has Grundy pinned down when GA and the Flash arrive with little Keely. It seems Grundy just wanted to apologize for scaring her earlier and give the teddy bear as a present because no one should be without a present on Christmas. The wind picks up and it gets colder prompting most of the heroes to go to the STAR Labs Christmas party down the street (much to Green Arrow’s chagrin). Before flying off Batman tells GA albeit sarcastically (mayb ) to be sure to invite him for next year’s party. With that GA runs after the other heroes hoping they’ll return to his shindig while Batman flies the Bat Plane across the moon. And to all a good Knight!
I did have fun with this episode. Green Arrow serving bat signal croutons in hope of his man crush showing up and Batman tied in a red bow made for some good laughs. Though I question why the Grundy take down was left to Batman alone. I mean he uses Plastic Man as a sled for speed to catch up to Grundy while the Flash is standing right there. And Superman who’s the strongest is the last to arrive and they all seem to just watch. Batman is formidable enough to subdue Grundy but it would have been much faster and easier with help. Oh well, just nitpicking. Happy Holidays!
Check out the “Justice League Action – Episode Reviews” Contents page.