I’d been giving some thought to rewatching Justice League for some time. Maybe not the first season, which is fine, but mostly underwhelming, if I’m being honest. (“Legends” is legitimately great.) Definitely the second season, which starts off very well with “Twilight” and delivers some legitimate great television.
We know these characters, we know this team. There’s a comfortable familiarity here, both in the players and the stories that are told. But Bruce Timm and company have a real sense of the stakes, and this is what sets the second season apart – from episode to episode, there’s a real sense that almost anything can happen. And most of the time, it does.
The spectacle is worth the commitment. But there are very human elements in play here, too. This might be a team of demigods, but the concerns are very human (or Martian). It’s a very easy team to root for. These are some of the best versions of these characters, both noble and sympathetic. There is a real sense of what the heroes mean to each other. They may fly and make a mockery of fundamental science, but they are heroes we can believe in.
There is plenty of punching – nearly every episode features some kind of satisfying action, and creative solutions to conflicts abound. A great cast of villains is featured here; some are DC institutions, some are total surprises. Mild spoilers here: two of the best moments are given to Solomon Grundy and Vandal Savage, characters I wasn’t even aware of before the show. There’s so much to like here.
The Timm-verse animation style may not be for everyone, but I’m a fan of the streamlined designs. Huge shoulders and tiny waists forever. And the voice casting is immaculate; I write this knowing that I will never be as good at any job as Andrea Romano was at hers.
Now, the episode rankings:
- A Better World
- The Terror Beyond
- Only a Dream
- Secret Society
- Tabula Rasa
- Wild Cards
- Maid of Honor
- Hearts and Minds
I think the order is fairly secure, though ordering the top 4 is extremely difficult. “Eclipsed” and “Hearts and Minds” are fair, “Wild Cards” and “Maid of Honor” are mostly fun, and the top seven are all fantastic. I would accept the top three in any order, and “Only a Dream” is very close behind.
So what happens next?
The logical next step would be to move on to Justice League Unlimited. This may happen, eventually. The timing is poor, though; with the weather improving, I’m less inclined to watch TV and be indoors.
I’m open to other suggestions on TV, though it helps if the time commitment isn’t overbearing and the show is easily accessible.
Thanks for reading, everyone.