Superman on Television
Justice League: Episode Reviews
Season 3 - Episode 5: "This Little Piggy"Reviewed by: Barry Freiman
"This Little Piggy" Should Have Stayed Home
If you answered "Wonderful" the last time someone asked you how your pork was, you wouldn't be too far off from the plot to this week's trippy episode of JLU, "This Little Piggy". Except the episode isn't wonderful, just the pig is: Wonder Woman.
There's a bunch of cool moments for comic book fans with new heroes being introduced right and left, and the return of Zatanna for the first time since she was the first DCU guest-star on BTAS a decade or so ago. But the half hour falls flat on its premise: Sorceress Circe turns Wonder Woman into a pig in bullet-deflecting bracelets and, to fix things, Batman has to sing a torch song. No sh*t.
Now, I'm sure that, when this idea came up in a production meeting or after Bruce Timm lost a bar bet, everyone had a real hoot and yes, it's all based on the actual myth of Circe including Batman's dealings to get the pig spell un-done. Batman Kevin Conroy finally found a way to sing in character after playing Batman for 12 years. And the humor of its being a swine song as Conroy is singing his swan song to the role of Batman with the new "The Batman" 'toon premiering next week with a new actor voicing Batman, isn't lost on me. It's just a little too cutesy for my taste, almost juvenile, and too much like the episodes fans feared would be churned out with shorter stories and a larger cast. Given that this is probably Paul Dini's final time writing for the animated universe, I'm willing to forgive him his indulgences, but I don't have to be happy about it.
What does work in the episode, not surprisingly, is the character of B'wana Beast. Having made his debut in the 1950's anthology title, Showcase, he's portrayed here as Dr. Doolittle with the manners of, well, an animal. I hope he appears again.
Another short segment demonstrates how fun the concept of JLU is even when the story it accompanies falls flat. The Crimson Avenger, the Red Tornado, and the Elongated Man all assist in the effort to find the missing Wonder Pig - all three of these DCU stalwarts make their animated debuts.
I'm thankful Superman missed out on "This Little Piggy". So, for that reason, I'll award the episode one speeding bullet, which it earns in reality because the sub-par story still had some cool character moments. In the big scheme of things, Paul Dini and Bruce Timm are the Adam & Eve of the animated universe and, for that reason, they deserve a final indulgence - but this had better be it.
Something super - and hopefully better - this way comes. Next week, Supergirl returns. Reason enough to have hope.
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