REVIEW: Justice League: The Action Starts at Twilight

Thu, July 3rd, 2003 at 12:00am PDT

TV/Film
Xum Yukinori, Contributing Writer

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The new season of "Justice League" kicks off Saturday, July 5th at 10:00 pm. Xum Yukinori provides this look at "Twilight", the two-part opener:


Darkseid wears his battle scars from "Legacy" proudly.


George Newburn conveys the vicious hatred his character has toward his fire-eyed foe.


Batman steals some scenes with stern ferocity (as well as cranky indignity).


"I'm gonna need a longer grapple." The episode pays homage to the civil conflict between the "Bug" society and the gods of Supertown.


J'onn and Hawkgirl share a tender subplot.


Superman's rematch with Darkseid ends disturbingly different than their last battle.

Superman: "You don't know Darkseid like I do."

Batman: "We know he used you. Humiliated you. Brainwashed you. Wound you

up like a tin soldier and turned you loose against Earth. Cry me a river!"

"Twilight," the long-awaited "sequel" to the Superman episode "Legacy,"

starts the second season of Justice League off with a bang. With plenty of

action, drama, emotion, and even a few death scenes (off-screen, and partly

off-screen).

The story revealed thus far involves Darkseid requesting Superman and the

Justice League's aid in dealing with a mysterious menace threatening Apokolips.

Of course, the plot is much more involved than that, and with the cryptic menace

revealed a mere eight minutes into the episode, I won't go into too much story

detail in this spoiler-free review. Instead I'll focus on what I feel is the

highlight of this episode. Namely, the rematch between Superman and Darkseid in

act four.

George Newburn has definitely nailed the portrayal of Superman throughout

this episode, and definitely conveys the vicious (and I mean vicious) hatred his

character has toward his fire-eyed foe. And I think many fans will agree that

Superman is no longer the "wimp" he appeared to be during much of season one.

Their fight ends dramatically – and disturbingly -- different than their

last confrontation in "Legacy". We see a frighteningly different side to

Superman's character that we haven't seen before. Though the tension in this

climactic battle is cleverly balanced by the malicious Darkseid having the last

word.

The other Justice Leaguers have their moments. Batman steals some scenes with

stern ferocity (as well as cranky indignity). Wonder Woman's "attack" by the

playfully smug Lightray was completely unexpected. And J'onn shares many

tender scenes with Hawkgirl in a subplot that finally starts to delve into her

origins -- and opens the door to a mystery that, I am told, will span throughout

the second season.

The original title of this episode was "Twilight of the Gods," and I'll

admit that I expected to see more New Gods featured in this story (though there

is one "large cast cameo" pan shot). However, the story does present a

respectable nod to the civil conflict between the "Bug" society and

the self-righteous gods of Supertown from the Jack Kirby comic stories.

From the opening space battle to the heartfelt ending, I've enjoyed every

minute of this episode -- despite a few scenes which, compared to the Darkseid

episodes on STAS, could have been a little bigger and with a little more

grandeur (like Darkseid's "Zero Hour" moment in act four). But make no

mistake, Justice League is still the best animated series produced on

American television today, and "Twilight" brings the second season to a

sensational start.

Tune in to Cartoon Network at 8:00 p.m. for two hours worth of "Superman: The Animated Series" featuring the man of Steel's confrontations with Darkseid in "Apokolips Now" and "Legacy." Then watch "Twilight" on at 10:00 pm, the first two episode of the new season of "Justice League."

 
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