– by Daryll Benjamin –
So last blog, I did a countdown of my favorite Justice League/Justice League Unlimited episodes, but in my haste, I left out probably the single (double) episodes that made the most impact on me. I think that was an act of kismet BECAUSE now I can give it the spotlight it deserves.
Legends (Season 1 Episodes 8 & 9) (Would have been in the Top 5 of my rankings)
Hawkgirl, Flash, Martian Manhunter and Green Lantern get caught up in an explosion while on a mission and it transports them to a seemingly idyllic world where the heroes that John grew up reading are real. But if it was truly idyllic, why are there active heroes? And seemingly stuck in the 1940’s-50’s?
So why does Legends hold such a spot in my heart?
1) To see the “Justice Guild” a.k.a The Justice Society of America on screen absolutely blew my mind! Sure the group & individual member names are different (Green Guardsman, Black Siren, Cat Man, The Streak & Tom Turbine) but longtime comic book fans like me knew EXACTLY who they were… a la Watchmen vs the Charlton Heroes. Hell, the next time the JSA were on screen as a group was 8 years later, 2010, in Smallville.
2) I was John Stewart. EVERYONE was John Stewart in this episode at one time of their life. To be standing next to and working alongside your heroes is everyone’s dream at some point. I was Ray Thompson. EVERYONE was Ray Thompson too. A youthful dreamer who only saw the best in his heroes and didn’t want to hear otherwise. It was literally my “innocent” fandom brought to life.
3) His name may be mud right now, but I have to give credit to Andrew Kreisberg for the script of this episode which handled a lot of mature subject matter, women’s rights & racism included, in a manner that didn’t warp young minds but adults who watched couldn’t believe a cartoon was handling this without being heavy-handed. I know my dad asked me about the The Streak’s talk with John Stewart in disbelief. He couldn’t believe that got allowed on a kid’s show. And hell, I know a lot of FanGals that cite Hawkgirl’s response to Flash giggling over “cookies while the men talk” as a moment where they went all in.
4) I’m a sucker for superhero team-ups. Sue me. Hahahahaha!
There you go. There’s so much about this Justice League run of Timm, Dini & McDuffie that is endearing and what they did not only created fans back then, but will create fans for years to come!
BONUS: Just saw Justice League in theater an hour ago. Here were my first tweets:
But what raises it above the shortcomings is a) DC/WB FINALLY embracing its rich history (if you don’t Geek Out during a specific flashback then I know u a fake) & b) cast actually had great chemistry and it comes through. Comics Fans, it a must see. 💯
— Daryll Benjamin (@DaryllBenjamin) November 17, 2017
And that’s all I can say w/o spoiling. Everyone enjoy your weekend at the movies. 👍🏾 #JusticeLeague 😎
Thx for reading all!
Until Next Time, Keep Fantasizing!