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Darkseid Descending!
Original Airdate - December 3rd, 2010
Batman assembles a new, motley Justice League to thwart a pending Earth invasion by Darkseid. The rag-tag group can hardly get along--let alone battle a near god--but when they become Earth's last hope, they have to learn to pull it together.

Directed by Michael Goguen
Written by Paul Giacoppo
Review by klammed
Media by Warner Bros. Animation
Cast
Diedrich Bader as Batman
Bill Fagerbakke as Ronnie
Tyler James Williams as Firestorm
Jennifer Hale as Killer Frost, Ice
Grey DeLisle as Fire
Tom Everett Scott as Booster Gold
Billy West as Skeets
John DiMaggio as Aquaman
Michael Leon Wooley as Darkseid
Nicholas Guest as The Question, Martian Manhunter
Will Friedle as Blue Beetle
James Arnold Taylor as Guy Gardner

Music
Theme Written and Performed by Andy Strumer
Music by Michael McCuisition, Lolita Ritmanis, Kristopher Carter
Media




Video Clips

 


Review
Teaser: Oh, this was funny. For fanboys who enjoy a sense of continuity and homage, what this show has shown itself to aim to please, we have Jennifer Hale voicing her fourth animated incarnation of Killer Frost, this time an ice queen left over frosty after the cold manner in which she was dumped by Ronnie Raymond, our coach/chemistry teacher. Huge mixture as well of Silver and Modern Age elements littered through the scene: Louise Lincoln as Frost with Crystal Frostís costume design, laptops in the classroom a la Batman Beyond, and of course the dreaded break up method.

Main Episode: After the big, dramatic two-parter that was Siege of Starro in the middle of the season, we come face to face with an adventure of similar epic proportions, but dealt with in a decidedly different way. ĎFor all intents and purposes, a godí Batman reminds us midway through the episode. You might be permitted, therefore, to think that once again we would see !epic and !drama (exclamation marks included), with nice, emotional, character driven moments. No such thing. Darkseid, Apokolips, New Gods, teasers leading up to it thrown into the mix, and what we get instead is homage to the Justice League International era, and that subversion of expectation that this show has come to embody.

Our dysfunctional, motley crew ascend into (descend onto?) the Justice League Watchtower. Blue Beetle acts like a fan boy tourist, while Ice in her absentminded way doesnít seem like the brightest spark in the universe, which by the way, brings great levity through the episode (listen out for her during the battle scenes as well). I thought Aquamanís reference to the previous League was a good touch, especially with this Aquaman commenting on how the previous team had not disbanded on the best of terms, and the direct shift to decidedly C-list heroes. Even Martian Manhunter is not presented as the noble, sombre character we are accustomed to, but a highly neurotic Martian who has isolated himself to the point where he pays more attention to the comparative trivialities of the Watchtower air-conditioning than, say, a world crisis. Reduction of the epic stature of the more renown heroes in the universe which we know to exist but have yet to truly appear must surely be followed by reduction in the presentation of the universeís most epic foe. What better way to do it than to pit him against less than stellar heroes?

There isnít much to say about the battle itself, because there wasnít much of a battle. After a sudden, stirring speech by Martian Manhunter, we get a cut scene to our heroes captured as the invasion forces trudge through the city past them. The anti-climax was in itself quite funny, and I personally enjoyed it as an alternative to the victorious battle scenes of Siege of Starro which we had earlier on in the season. They do get free, thanks to Batman, and head to an auxiliary Batbunker, and nice poke at the many Batman has seemed to have over the years at convenient reach. The careful, planned strategy presented in the nifty sequences with the over narration degenerates rather quickly due to the unwise, but perfectly in character actions of Booster Gold. Heroes being heroes, they do get the upper hand for a while, and we get some neat action sequences which help both in showing us the scale of the invasion, until Batman meets the fist of Kalibak, and Darkseid, for lack of better expression, descends.

Michael Wooley did a great job here as Darkseid, though the delivery seemed a bit stilted at times, Iím not sure if that in itself was intentional. His deliberate calmness was fitting though, in a being who essentially had nothing to fear. The Omega Effect beams gag was well played, I may have actually giggled at the screen. This would now be the second animated sequence in which Batman is able to dodge Darkseidís beams, though this time not as well as in the DCAU. Dues ex machine style, he gets dragged back to his own world, which might have been a little too convenient, but there were enough action scenes through this to suffice without dragging it out into another two parter. As this show is all about doing things differently, we donít have the big guns like Superman showing up in this episode (who knows, maybe he was on another part of the earth, maybe he was off-world). And kudos to the creators for not restricting themselves to the format they had tried with Starro or even .

The ending was just about as happy as you could get for this new, oddball team, with Jíonn and Skeets delivering the final punch line. While this episode may not be the most accessible in terms of enjoyment to those who havenít been weaned into the world of Batman Brave and the Bold, it is recommended nonetheless, especially those who have had the benefit of viewing the episodes prior. Darkseid Descending is another prime example of how this show takes, borrows, and mocks the superhero conventions we grew up with.

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