Monday, September 20, 2004

JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED: You know what is about it? Or one aspect of it? It's what I thought Challenge of the Superfriends was when I watched it when I was much much younger. Or it's what I wanted it to be. Not that Challenge was ever particularly good. Watching it today, it's hard to argue it was anything but bad. Much better than the assembled crap of the Hanna-Barbera anti-pantheon, but still not very good. Paper-thin plots--well, JLU might have that too, actually. Interchangeable characters. Absurd crimes, like the Legion of Doom taking over the world and then robbing all the banks. I mean--you rule the world. Money isn't worth the paper it's printed on, but you're carting it off by the wheelbarrow, Legion of Doom. You make no sense.

But it had a million characters that I knew from the comics so it was good. I always hoped for it to come on, and not the Wonder Twins version, or the completely unwatchable Wendy & Marvin version. (They must've all been part of the same syndication package.) Now we have this JLU thing which takes the Justice League cartoons to the next level--much like how Challenge took Superfriends to the next level. The levels were just much lower at the time.

Let me just stress this again: the characterization is absolutely spot-on in JLU. In "The Return" Ray Palmer is as competent and dry-witted as a guy in a blue suit who can shrink himself real tiny can be. Lex is a jackass at the exact moment of his victory. It's the little things like this that separate JLU from Challenge, showing how much the genre has grown. And animation in general. I can only imagine how low the standards were that Hanna-Barbera could've been an industry powerhouse as long as it was. And since Turner bought their library, those cartoons will be on in perpetuity.

Don't blame me. I watched Voltron.

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