When you commit to writing about an entire season of television, you even write about the holiday specials. That’s how it works.
“Comfort and Joy” is pretty light fare, easily the least consequential episode of Justice League. I’ll probably leave it out of my end-of-season episode rankings, but it’s not bad. It’s a decent enough Christmas episode and fun to see the heroes unwind a little, each by their own definitions.
After an opening that sees the JL save a distant planet by means of a gravitational device, they split up and go their separate ways. John sticks around, though, and Shayera follows. What ensues is solid creative use of a Green Lantern ring: decorating the snowman, snowboarding down a mountain, generating a battalion of hands to win a snowball fight. This segment is only disappointing because John isn’t always this creative with his ring. Shayera being completely serious about a snowball fight is completely in character, though.
The Flash story sees our hero visit an orphanage, and subsequently run off in search of the season’s hottest toy, Rappin’ Poochie, um, DJ Rubbaducky. This toy is obnoxious enough to be believable, though I’m disappointed that nobody uses the term ‘fartboxing’ here. Flash and Giant Albino Frasier Crane, um, the Ultra-Humanite are a good contrast, though, and the two showing up at the orphanage in ‘costume’ is a good visual. Plus, Flash giving UH an aluminum tree is a decent resolution to their whole segment.
Shayera and John spend the second part of their winter vacation in an industrial galactic bar. Shayera, being the delicate flower that she is, fits right in, and the inevitable brawl is how most good dates end, I think.
Finally, Superman insists on taking J’onn home to Smallville for the holiday, to spend it with the Kents. Their hospitality is positively Midwestern, though the heartbreak of being rejected by their cat is devastating. But the gag of the Kents using lead foil to preserve the surpise of their gifts is solid, and J’onn getting an oversized sweater is a time-honored tradition. J’onn utilizing his shapeshifting to fit the sweater is a nice touch, though. The episode ends with J’onn in his true Martian form, singing, the cat having come to love him for no apparent reason, as cats do.
This is definitely more recap than review, but the only real development is John and Shayera spending time together outside of a mission and actually getting along. I’m not sure this warrants further examination, but it is fun, and enjoyable to see our heroes show some personality.
- I do like the Kents, and having J’onn stay in Kara’s room – remembering that Kara exists – is decent continuity.
- It does seem weird that Shayera knows where this sleazy space bar is, despite being transported across the galaxy away from Thanagar. I guess we’ll get to Shayera’s history soon enough.
- Batman apparently volunteered for Watchtower duty on Christmas, being too dark and edgy and badass for something like Christmas.