We have a launch date for Cartoon Network’s Justice League Action series – and a plot synopsis involving “The World’s Mightiest Mortal.”
On Friday, December 16 at 6 p.m., we’ll get our first episode of Justice League Action, the new humor-, action-, and DC-character packed show. The premiere episode will feature Shazam, voiced by Sean Astin, and the wizard, voiced by Carl Reiner, teaming with the Justice League to fight magical djinn in an effort to save the world. According to reports, Batman will be possessed and turn into a “flying Batmonster,” which necessitates Superman taking to the skies to take him down.
High stakes? Check. Famous voice actors? Check. Machinations that pit DC’s top two heroes against each other in a vicious struggle? Check.
After that premiere, Justice League Action will settle into a regular schedule, on Saturdays starting December 24, exact time still TBD.
Shazam is a great property to kick off what portends to be a fine new cartoon franchise. While the character has always been associated with the word “Shazam,” his name was originally Captain Marvel, and “Shazam” was the name of the wizard whose name he would shout to summon the magic lightning to transform young Billy Batson into “The World’s Mightiest Mortal.” “The Big Red Cheese” was often accompanied by other “Marvels” – Mary Marvel; Captain Marvel, Jr.; the Lieutenant Marvels (who are individually called, get this, Tall Billy, Hill Billy and Fat Billy); even a bunny rabbit version (Hoppy).
But he was a character of some controversy, first published by Fawcett Comics, whom the entity now known as DC Comics then sued for copyright infringement due to similarities with Superman. Ultimately, in 1954, the suit led to Fawcett settling with DC, ceasing publication of all Captain Marvel-related books and paying some monetary compensation. Years later, 1972, DC Comics itself licensed the Marvel Family of characters and published their new adventures — but due to a cease and desist from Marvel Comics, called the title of these books “Shazam!” Only recently has the character himself been rechristened Shazam, rather than Captain Marvel.
Which brings us back to Justice League Action and what may be the most exciting thing about it – the show’s apparent love of the DC vault of characters. Leading off with Shazam is a great first step, and we know from prior reports and clips that soon we’ll see the likes of Plastic Man, Blue Beetle, Booster Gold, and even Space Cabbie. Space Cabbie!
And, of course, let’s not lose sight of the fact that Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill are back as Batman and Joker respectively, along with a bunch of top voice talent!
Set your calendars for Dec. 16 to see if the magic lightning works on you.
Images: Warner Bros., Cartoon Network