REVIEW: THE SUPER POWERS TEAM: GALACTIC GUARDIANS

CAST (VOICES)

Adam West (Batman)
Jack Angel (A.I.)
Rene Auberjonois (Star Trek:DS9)
William Callaway (Darkwing Duck)
Peter Cullen (Transformers)
Danny Dark (Melvin and Howard)
Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters)
Stan Jones (Tranformers)
Stanley Ralph Ross (Babe)
Mark Taylor (Melrose Place)
Frank Welker (The Simpsons)

A look at what makes this incarnation vastly superior to prior efforts reveals a cast of individuals who would continue going on producing beautiful DCAU efforts even up through today: Andrea Romano (Batman: Animated series, Batman Beyond, Justice League, JL Unlimited, The Batman) directs the voice talent here and story editor Allan Barnett (The Batman) appears on the roster as well. Clearly this show was the stepping-stone to what would eventually become the DCAU as we know it today. Plus, thanks to reworked character models from none-other than famed comic artist José Luis García-López, the team received a much-needed makeover which coincided with DC comic books at the time.Lucy-Locusts-lucy-lawless-37131768-850-709The writing matured to include much more space-scenarios with  an improved scientific understanding throughout. Rather than carbon copy characters in different costumes, for the first time we receive individual personalities, struggles, and conflicts of each of the members of the Justice League of America (which are renamed the Super Powers Team here to better reflect Kenner’s corresponding toyline).The villains are given their proper due as well and, much to my appreciation, are used to near perfection. The Penguin, Lex Luthor, Brianiac, Darkseide, Felix Faust, The Royal Flush Gang, and even the Scarecrow make wonderful appearances. The show’s writers seemed also to finally have figured out that the only way to balance out a cast as diverse and powerful as the Justice League, separation is a necessity (a technique later mastered in Justice League). Many episodes focus on only one or two members of the Team which allows for far better story arcs and character development. Gone are the Wondertwins  and signed on is Cyborg who, like his comic book character, is quite well done and allows the younger set an opportunity for appreciation.Capt3ure_zpsfb4b8813

Episodes that stand out are The Fear, whereby for the first time we receive a Superfriends episode with our heroes out of costume and also Bruce Wayne’s backstory masterfully told without ever showing a gun onscreen. Death of Superman also comes on strong considering just a few short seasons earlier the word death was strictly prohibited. Here it shows up in the very title of one of the episodes which just so happened to be one of the hottest selling comic books of the era. In conclusion, The Super Powers Team: Galacatic Guardians was perhaps the biggest step in the right direction for the Superfriends franchise possible. Sadly this would be the last series but at least it went out on a high.

 

 

 

REVIEW: LEGO: JUSTICE LEAGUE VS BIZARRO LEAGUE

CAST (VOICES)

Troy Baker (Dragon Ball Z)
Nolan North (Hulk Vs)
Diedrich Bader (Batman: The Brave and The Bold)
Tom Kenny (Spongebob)
Khary Payton (Teen Titans)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
James Arnold Taylor (Batman: The Dark Knight Returns)
Tony Todd (The Flash)
Kari Wahlgren (Star Wars: The Clone Wars)
April Winchell (Extreme Ghostbusters)
Lego JusticeLeague vs BizarroLeague

After a Bizarro makes a disastrous attempt to save kids on a playground who don’t need saving, Superman decides to take Bizarro to a new world he’s discovered which he has named Bizarro World. Flash forward one year and an attack on Lex Corp brings the Justice League to investigate, only to discover that Bizarro has stolen the duplicate ray and makes twins of the entire League. Now the heroes and their twisted twins must team up to defeat Darkseid and save Bizarro World.

While this short film follows LEGO Batman: The Movie , it’s not a direct sequel to those and doesn’t include anything related to the Brainiac tease that ended that film. It is more of a sequel to the Batman Be-Leagured TV special (more on that in the special features.) Between that first Lego Batman movie and The Lego Movie, there are some pretty big shoes to fill and this film does an admirable job. The voice work is good, with Troy Baker returning to play Batman and Tony Todd as Darkseid. While Lex Luthor is a minor character, I did miss Clancy Brown’s take on the character.

The rest of the cast rounds out the heroes and villains nicely so it’s a small gripe. The animation is once again very well done and we get a good mix of heroes and villains in bit parts. While the main cast is comprised of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Cyborg and Guy Gardner’s Green Lantern as well as their bizarro counterparts, we’re treated to Hawkman, Flash, Green Arrow, Plastic Man, Gorilla Grodd, Penguin, Deathstoke, Captain Cold and Giganta. It’s one of my favorite parts when all the characters keep popping in, making me wonder who else they might include, but at that point it’s off to Bizarro World and there aren’t any more surprise guests (well, I won’t spoil the end for you).

The special features are pretty decent, with a large selection of audio and subtitle languages, the usual trailer they squeeze on for other releases and three short pieces. Me Am Bizarro: The League of Opposites is a behind the scenes with some of the principles behind the film and a history of Bizarro and some insights into the production. Batman: Be-Leagured is the TV special that the main feature follows. It’s inclusion is important, it’s seems like it’s been relegated to a bonus when you should watch it first if you haven’t seen it. The final short is Be-Leagured Bloopers, which is just some goofy “out-takes from the TV special.


Overall it’s a pretty good release with the film being solid and thankfully keeping it brief at 49 minutes. Any longer and it would have overstayed it’s welcome. It’s a good addition if you’ve enjoyed the other Lego movies and the Batzarro mini-fig pack in is a cool extra.