Superman on Television
Justice League Action: Episode Reviews
Season 1 - Episodes 1-4: "Shazam Slam"Reviewed by: T.A. Ewart (aka liheibao)
Originally Aired: December 16, 2016
STORY BY: Patrick Rieger (Parts 1 and 4) and Heath Corson (Parts 2 and 3)
DIRECTED BY: Jake Castorena
Carl Reiner as The Wizard (voice)
Chris Diamantopoulos as Green Arrow and Nyorlath (voice)
Crispin Freeman as Martian Manhunter (voice)
Damian O'Hare as John Constantine and Abnegazar (voice)
Dana Snyder as Plastic Man (voice)
David Lodge as Calythos and Warden (voice)
Diedrich Bader as Booster Gold and Uthool (voice)
Gary Cole as Black Adam (voice)
Jason J. Lewis as Superman and Rath (voice)
Kevin Conroy as Batman (voice)
Khary Payton as Cyborg (voice)
Mark Hamill as Swamp Thing (voice)
Max Mittelman as Jimmy Olsen/Parasite (voice)
Rachel Kimsey as Wonder Woman (voice)
Sean Astin as Billy Batson/Shazam (voice)
Rating - 3 (out of 5): I am totally unsure about Justice League Action. There are some pleasant moments, moments that its target audience should be enthusiastic about. However, there is also much abounding that makes me wonder why they decided to make this series, other than to have it be the precursor to the coming Justice League film. It is not its own series. Justice League Action borrows heavily from what has come before in terms of Justice League Unlimited and Batman: The Brave and The Bold. The series, at least the opening four episodes that were linked together to make an hour long debut, doesn't seem to know whether or not it is an ensemble piece, or a back-door pilot. Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman are the cornerstone characters, interacting with other heroes such as Captain Marvel and Martian Manhunter. Still, the other players aren't very conducive to the overall mix, making more of a trinity show, as opposed to a proper Justice League experience.
Plot-wise, the show rehashes the same worn formula of having super-powered beings lose their powers, and slough their way through the proceedings. Heroes are also possessed so they can fight each other, because the actual villains are just fodder, one can only surmise. The most curious decision is to involve Captain Marvel, a superhero that can immediately connect to children, and use him to the bare minimum. The decision making of the show is perplexing to say the least. Most viewers will be happy to just have a show with superheroes in full swing, but that, unfortunately, is all too common with fans. We will accept what's given, mostly because we do not have alternatives. If there were two Justice League cartoons to choose from, the more certain, more realized one would win out. Instead, we have what we have, and like the lads I grew up with, the boys of lesser means, we were always happy for whatever we were given. We will be happy with Justice League Action. We have no other choice.
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