Superman on Television
Justice League Action: Episode Reviews
Season 1 - Episodes 30: "Supernatural Adventures in Babysitting"Reviewed by: Marc Lax
Originally Aired: July 29, 2017 (U.S.)
Written by Ernie Altbacker
Directed by Shaunt Nigoghossian
Kevin Conroy as Batman (voice)
Damian O'Hare as John Constantine/Mr Anderson (voice)
Natalie Lander as Stargirl/Courtney Whitmore/Timmy (voice)
Noel Fisher as Klarion The Witch Boy (voice)
Rating - 3 (out of 5): While helping Batman clean up some thugs Stargirl keeps watching for the time on her phone. When Batman accuses her of texting during a fight Stargirl tells him she's checking the time because she has to... babysit! Shedding her Stargirl costume she arrives at the home of the Anderson family as Courtney Whitmore. Mr Anderson's son Timmy is thrilled to see her. Mr Anderson, who seems to be a professor of antiquities, leaves but not before warning his son to be very careful. His home is filled to the brim with antiques and very rare finds and tells Courtney to make sure Timmy doesn't break anything. When Courtney and the boy play hide and seek Klarion The Witch Boy flies through the window with his cat. He spots Timmy and tells him he'll play hide and seek but he must count to 8000. Timmy balks but Klarion keeps him quiet by promising to get him a smart phone. Klarion changes into Timmy when he hears Courtney call and tells his cat to search the house for The Magdalene Grimoire, a powerful book of ancient spells. While Courtney searches for Timmy, Klarion (Timmy) searches for the book. After a few misunderstandings Klarion finds the Magdalene Grimoire and uses the power to cause mayhem. Stargirl calls Batman. Will he come to the rescue in time? He does, but he brings along John Constantine!
For the most part I enjoy the supernatural side of the DCU. Whether it's Zatanna's backward spells, the rhymes of Etrigan the demon or even Deadman, I've had fun with those stories. The only problem here is the presence of John Constantine. I enjoy the character but he seems out of place in Justice League Action. It's not that his appearance isn't entertaining, it is, but to me Constantine belongs in the Vertigo universe, DC's darker more mature line of comics. In recent years Constantine has been brought into the DCU proper and while his presence is welcome there seems to be something missing. Constantine's book Hellblazer was one of the first to join the Vertigo line. Along with Neil Gaiman's Sandman and Swamp Thing, who has also showed up on this series feeling a bit out of place. I just feel that these characters are better served in a darker environment. The Justice League Dark animated film is a much better setting for these characters. It's not that they're not enjoyable here it's just I'd rather seem them done properly and not used for comic relief.
With that said this episode was entertaining. Stargirl has grown to be a likable character and can hold her own while fighting alongside the big guns of the DCU. She's still in training as seen in the episode's opening but is coming along nicely. Batman is certainly not the babysitting type, so when he sees that Klarion is responsible for Stargirl's troubles he brings Constantine along. After Klarion uses his magic to try and stop our heroes, which includes a portal with a few pretty devils to tempt Constantine and a Lovecraft like tentacled monster, the heroes make short work of Klarion and his cat, who seems able to change into a cat "woman," and send them flying into another dimension along with their tentacled friend. Constantine helps clean up the mess with a snap of his fingers and all's well that ends well.
One thing I must say about this series is they include every aspect of the DCU and a variety of different characters even as obscure as Space Cabbie. Not that I don't appreciate variety but while stories are varied and this show experiments with different genres and characters, the show seems better served keeping with its superhero roots. Still an enjoyable 12 minutes and it was sure nice of Batman to give Timmy his own smartphone!
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