JLU: First Thoughts
With two seasons of Justice League already under our belts, what should we have expected from the third season of our favorite cartoon? The second season was basically the first one done perfectly. It would have been easy to have the same expectations for the third season, but the creators decided to take the show and run in a completely different direction. Hawkgirl? Gone. Hour long spectaculars? Cut in half. The Magnifcent Seven? More like seventy. After just one episode here are my thoughts on the changes between Justice League, and Justice League Unlimited.
Note: This isn?t a review of the entire episode, but one focusing on the changes between this season and the previous three.
Green Arrow Episode = Awesome
I?ll start with the most controversial change. I?ll go on the record of saying I like the larger rosters. We get to see more heroes that would never have made it onto the screen before, and we get to see the writers go nuts with some of the more interesting powers in the DCU. This doesn?t come without a cost. Out of the main cast of seven, only Green Lantern had a role in this episode, with Superman, Batman and Martian Manhunter having just bit roles. I imagine we?ll lose character development and the in-depth relationships that were built heavily during the first two seasons as well. Sure I might like it now, since I?m a huge Green Arrow fan (boxing glove arrow!), but when some hero I hate gets their own episode?we?ll see how I feel then.
It?s hard to see the characters we followed for two seasons take a back seat to a roster of new heroes, but if we face reality there?s no way we would ever seen Green Arrow, Captain Atom, or a lot of other heroes without taking this direction. If you?re only a Wonder Woman fan, or only a Flash fan, you will be disappointed. Obviously not every leaguer is going to make an appearance in every episode.
That's a lot more than seven
Thirty Minute Episodes
I like this change a lot. For those that think it?s not enough time, remember that Batman, Superman and Batman Beyond were always told in half-hour timeslots, and they all worked out fine. I enjoy the faster pace of the episodes, and it goes well with the expanded roster. It gives more heroes their time in the spotlight, and if we bump into a hero we don?t like, or the rare bad episode, it?s only 30 minutes long instead of an hour. I?d much rather have fourteen half-hour episodes, than seven hour long ones.
We obviously lose a lot of time that could be spent on character development, and just get straight to the action. It?s likely we won?t see much if any continuation of Batman/Wonder Woman or Hawkgirl/Green Lantern. If you were a fan of seeing these plots every week, it?s likely that the episodes will be more self contained. I?m looking forward to more action oriented episodes, but if you?re not, you won?t like this new direction nearly as much.
It isn't easy being green
New Theme Song/Intro
You?ll either love it or hate it. I was never crazy about the opening animation of the first theme song, and actually thought the old JL intro fell short of the BTAS, STAS, and BB intros. (especially the BB one) The guitar riffs and rock, might not be what you were looking for, but I think it fits the theme of a faster and more action oriented show. I also like how they removed the computer animation from the intro, and put in animation that?s specific to each episode.
A good replacement over those CGI animations
I think it?s unfair to compare Justice League to Justice League Unlimited. The two shows have a completely different tone, and there are some things that each does better. Slower plots and character development are sacrificed for more characters, faster pacing and more action. Is one better than the other? It really depends on your preference.
I guess that?s a cop out answer, so I?ll say I prefer this new direction. I?m more excited about this season than if it was just a carbon copy of the previous two. I?m stoked to see the ?other? characters of the DC universe, and have always thought JL should have been more of a action based team. I will miss the strong characters they?ve built in the first two seasons, and some of the more complicated plots, and it?s unfortunate that we had to give those up to get something new, but I?m willing to try something new. I?ll also say that every time I doubted Timm and co. they?ve always proved me wrong, so I?ll go along for the ride this time?as long as they don?t disappoint in the season finale *wink*
...Yeah.....who needs Hawkgirl?