Review: Justice League Season One

Check out this great new collection of the JLA's first year of cartoon adventuring.
For fans who went gah gah for Batman: The Animated Series, Batman and Robin and the Superman animated series, news that the Cartoon Network was planning a Justice League series was akin to manna from heaven.

We'd devoured every guest appearance of other DC Universe characters during those other shows and eagerly watched and re-watched the World's Finest episodes teaming Batman and Superman. But now, DC's "Top Seven" (with Hawkgirl taking the place of Aquaman) would be together each week in adventures of their own. It was like a smorgasbord of super-heroics every Saturday.

Although Superman had hosted Dr. Fate, Aquaman and Flash in his own series and Batman had met the Demon, the Creeper and others, this was the first time that we'd seen Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Martian Manhunter and Hawkgirl in animated form. Finally, we got to see how these very different heroes meshed their personalities, agendas and powers.

This 26 episode, four-disc collection of Justice League's first season contains the team's origin story—a face-off against the global threat of alien invasion ("Secret Origins"). It offers our first glimpse at the Batman's sometimes tumultuous relationship with the rest of the team and many other team dynamics which would come to full flower as the series progressed.

One by one members of the team are allowed to take the center stage which by power ranking alone you would think Superman would occupy every time. But the writing team led by Bruce Timm manages to move the Man of Steel to a supporting role in many episodes without diminishing his powers or abilities one iota.

Green Lantern is set up on charges of genocide in "In Blackest Night," an episode that gives the first hint of some romantic tension between John Stewart and Shiera Hall, the Hawkgirl.

Aquaman's Atlantean agenda clashes with the League's until they unite against a common foe in "The Enemy Below." Flash and G.L. share a humorous run in with the super-ape Gorilla Grodd in "The Brave and the Bold" and Wonder Woman faces exile from Paradise Island in "Paradise Lost."

In comic book history, the World War II era Justice Society of America served as the template for the Justice League. And in "Legends," Timm was kept from presenting the exact JSA in a Crisis-like crossover, but does an admirable job of imitating them and doing the Golden Age of heroes proud.

The Injustice Society rises in response in the JLA by organizing its own team dedicated to evil in "Injustice For All."

Other highlights of the episodes include the introduction of Metamorpho, the re-introduction of the Demon and "The Savage Time," a 3-part World War II adventure that serves as a season ender.

Special features include a creators' panel discussion, storyboards and design sketches and never-before-seen promos!

So for Justice League fans and for anyone who enjoys animated adventure with storylines that provide thought-provoking concepts and ideas, this set is for you!
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