Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Day One Hundred and Eighty-three - Justice League: Season 1, Episodes 22 & 23, "Closer... but still just dumb slug-fests."
If you've followed previous entries for this series you'd know that I have an extreme dislike for how the show is written.
Unnecessary multi-part episodes, barely any real characterization, forced narrative, and the loss of that certain je ne sais quoi that was present in the Batman: The Animated Series and Superman: TAS. That feeling occasionally showed up in Justice League: Unlimited and Batman Beyond, but it hasn't been the same since the Millenium turned.
This particular episode is a bit closer than those previous to trying to recapture it, but is still mostly an exhibition of brute force as opposed to style and subtlety.
Centered around the creation of Metamorpho, an old Bob Haney hero from the 60's, the two-part episode is a revisit to the classic silver age hero/villain creation story that we've seen so many times before. Instead of a mystic artifact changing Rex Mason (voiced here by Tom Sizemore) into a shape-shifting pastiche of texture, it's a "mutagenic" experiment that his megalomaniacal boss traps him in as revenge for quitting and attempting to marry the man's daughter.
Talk about a jerkoff of potential father-in-law.
Of course, Rex reacts badly to being turned into what amounts to a monster and, after his hot fiance faints at the sight of him and her father aims him at a jealous friend, Metamorpho acts as a villain and goes after Green Lantern with murderous intent.
The majority of the second part is Rex coming to terms with his situation and finding out who the real culprit is, his prospective father-in-law, Stagg.
Honestly, this all could've been done in a single episode... just like it's been done countless times before in both the Batman and Superman animated series. Instead, it's stretched into forty minutes thanks to copious crime-fighting padding and superfluous conversations.
What the Batman and Superman series did in just a few seconds with minimalist dialogue, lurking eavesdroppers, and subtle twists, Justice League hams up with cheesy lines and unnecessary violence.
It's like every single one of the main heroes has to take an ineffective swing (or several) at whatever big bad manages to manifest just so we can see them do it. Instead of what should be a thirty second fight scene, we're forced to suffer through a five minute sequence of useless effort by powerhouses of the DC universe... all to pad time.
At least this was a story that felt worthy of the effort (unlike Fury and plenty of other previous JL episodes I've watched in recent months). It's nice to see a classic character given their due origin story. I just wish it had been done with a modicum of class.
Until tomorrow, Potatoes~