Monday, August 02, 2004

They showed GYPSY! TWICE! Get the FUG outta TOWN! WOO HOO!

Sorry. That was my insane gibbering fanboy manifesting itself on Saturday night as I watched the premiere epsiode of the new incarnation of Cartoon Network's Justice League franchise, Justice League Unlimited. Of course, I'm sure you're all aware that the gimmick this year is that the JLA have opened the doors to the teeming hordes of super-people out there, in order to create more merchandising opportunities for CN and DC, I mean form a evil-fighting task force that is legion in number. And while I have my doubts about the viability of this move (I just don't see how they'll give all these characters enough screen time to be satisfying, and that trick never works when they try it in the comics-anybody remember Justice League Task Force?), based on episode one it seems to be working OK so far.

In this episode we get Green Arrow, who makes an immediately favorable impression and could serve as exhibit A of what I was talking about in the previous paragraph- now when will we get to see this cool character again? Captain Atom, who provided some nice humorous moments with his uptight military persona contrasting against GA's less structured, shall we say, approach; The Dini/Timm Superman Adventures Supergirl, who made me a bit nostalgic for those mid-to-late 90s Sunday mornings on WGN, and John Stewart, with a shaved head and stylin' new goatee. They are dispatched to investigate some sort of disturbance in China, which turns out to be some sort of giant robot which I could swear I've seen before, most likely in a Superman book...but I don't buy Superman books, so who the heck knows. Anyway, it turns out to be a rousing adventure and a fine showcase for each of the principals. Nice bit of continuity from last season, with the radiation-addled Stewart calling out Hawkgirl's name. The biggest fun, though, was reserved for the scenes in the satellite, which allowed us fanboys to "name that superhero" as a veritable slew ton of them, as the likes of Atom Smasher and Grant Morrison's Aztek, The Ultimate Man rubbed shoulders with Zatanna and Vibe. Yes, Vibe. The Timm-style Black Canary made an impressive first appearance, causing my inner geek to go all Tex Avery. And did I mention that THEY SHOWED GYPSY! TWICE!
Nits to be picked, only one, and here be spoilers, so I apolgize in advance: the Chinese Army gives Cap Atom what appeared to be at least a dozen containment rods, for insertion in the Big Bad's chest hole, which was supposed to shut him down. Draw your own subtext here. Anyway, everything gets all fubar'ed, and Green Arrow dispatches him by shooting one half of a rod into said orifice! One half? Did I miss something here? Did they give Cap all those rods 'cause they were looking to get rid of a bunch they had lying around in the way? And all it took was one half of a lousy stinkin' rod! Minor point, I know, but it bugged me. But that was all. Looks like Justice League Unlimited is off to a great start, and I look forward to Ditko representin' in the next couple of weeks. And they showed GYPSY! TWICE! I love Gypsy, dont'cha know...what? You didn't know? Oh, sorry. I've loved that character ever since the late, unlamented JL Detroit years. She's a swee-tee.

I also caught the premiere, beforehand, of the third season of Teen Titans, and it was of the same quality as the previous two. I suppose either you love this cartoon or ya hate it, and I'm a lot closer to the love camp. It's energetic, whimsical and fun, although it often drives me into a nitpick frenzy. We finally get around to seeing the betrayal of Terra, a seminal event for those who remain devoted to the Wolfman/Perez edition of the comic-book Titans, and I thought it was well done. Plus, even two years later that Puffy Amiyumi/Andy Sturmer theme song kicks ASS.

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