Justice League Action is the latest animated series to be set in the DC universe. Unlike earlier series that were roughly twenty two to twenty four minutes long and had seasons of no more that twenty or so episodes, this series has forty, yes forty, episodes running roughly twelve minutes each in what is called its first season.
If you’re looking for the far more dark reality of Batman: The Animated Series or much of the two Justice League series, you won’t find it here. This is a much lighter take on the DC universe than those were, so consider it to be the video equivalent of popcorn literature.
The animation style is reflective of that, being slightly more cartoonish then say Young Justice was. Gone is the grim, slightly depressing universe of most DCU animated shows. Part of the way they’re achieving that is to use a lot of the third tier characters that have traditionally not gotten a lot of screen time no matter what the series was. Booster Gold, a hapless time traveller from the future who is only being a hero to get rich and famous, is one of these, as is Plastic Man, who no one ever considers a hero. I’ll stress that both do redeem themselves over the course of the series. (Booster is voiced by Diedrich Bader, who was Batman in Batman: The Brave and The Bold, a series even lighter than this is.)
Batman, voiced by Kevin Conroy of Batman: The Animated Series fame is front and center here with the twist that his seriousness is often noted by the other characters. In the episode where Brother Blood infects the Batmobile with a demon, even he indulges in ice cream at the end of that adventure though he spurns the offered treat at first.
Over the nearly six and a half hours of animation, they do tell a coherent story, so watching them in order even though each episode is generally self-contained is a good idea. I’d say some episodes work better than others and very few didn’t work for me. If you watched much of the two Justice League series, you’ll no doubt notice that stories there get re-used here.
There’s forty episodes on the iTunes season pass but fifty two on the two DVD set. I think the difference is that there was a bunch of shorts, and I mean really short, episodes released on YouTube, that might be the extra material.
It’s fun, it’s fast paced and it’s as I noted above popcorn video. If you like the DCU setting and characters, I’m quite sure you’ll find much to enjoy here.
(Warner Animation, 2016 – 2018)