The DC Animated Chronicles: Justice League Secret Origins
In preparation for the release of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, we are celebrating the rich history of DC Comics by detailing their characters’ history and legacy through animation. In something we’re calling, The DC Animated Chronicles.
While the Justice League (mostly known as the Superfriends) were a common sight on television in the 70s and 80s, there were very few stories that actually tackled how the team was formed. Even after appearances by Green Lantern, The Flash, Aquaman and countless other heroes on Batman: TAS and Superman: TAS, it would take nearly a decade after the premiere of the Timmverse for us to see the Justice League formation.
How does it all come about? And was it worthy of the League?
Batman and Superman team up to deal with an alien invasion, and a telepathic message leads the duo to a military base housing future ally J’onn J’onzz.
I’ll be up front, the show has some growing pains, but it starts on an extremely solid foundation. The first episode really focuses on Batman and Superman as our entry characters into this universe since we knew the most about them and their dynamic coming into the series. But it doesn’t waste any real time in introducing the rest of the cast. There’s really no slow roll-out aside from Martian Manhunter, almost all other heroes enter the picture in the same scene.
They are able to get away with this of course because they had the rest of the show to flesh out characters, develop and evolve relationships and really give us a rich history of the DCU.
As for the enemies, the White Martians can be an interesting set of villains, but they aren’t really used to their fullest potential here. Instead, we get what has become commonplace for comic team-ups, just a generic alien army that is dispatched once you discover their one major weakness and work together.
Also, the fake-out of Batman’s death wasn’t needed. No one in the audience would really buy that Batman would die in the very first episode of the series since as noted above, it’s based off of his and Superman’s previous animated adventures.
Easily. The formation of the League and the reveal of the Watchtower.