Next year the dreams of millions of DC Comics’ fans will come true when the Justice League assembles on the big screen for the first time. While Warner Bros’ road to building the DC Extended Universe has been circuitous, their efforts to promote their DC superheroes in various different mediums has been a tremendous success.
The Flash, Arrow, and Supergirl, have their own multi-million dollar television playground on the CW network. While WB’s animated DC Comics’ films have been a model of success over the past decade. As they adapt classic stories from the pages of the comics and lay out a blueprint for future live-action adaptations, such as the upcoming Justice League Dark. While simultaneously providing more kid friendly programming such as Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Young Justice, and now Justice League Action.
Today, new details on the Cartoon Network’s newest superhero show have been made available via CBR and they should be a pleasant surprise to fans. Justice League Action will debut much earlier than many had anticipated, with the premiere episode set for Friday, December 16, 2016. Following the debut, the series will move to its regular Saturday air date on December 24th, however the time slot has not been specified at this time.
Additionally, the network released the official description of the premiere episode titled, “Shazam Slam.”
In “Shazam Slam,” the villainous Black Adam battles Batman on the Rock of Eternity and unleashes a horde of Djinn determined to turn the Earth back to its pre-human, volcanic state. Affected by the otherworldly powers of these primordial monsters, Batman becomes possessed and is turned into a giant flying Batmonster laying waste to the Hall of Justice, with only Superman capable of taking the fight to the Dark Knight. One by one, the Justice League – with the help of Shazam (voiced by Sean Astin) and The Wizard (voiced by Carl Reiner) – must hunt down and defeat each Djinn in order to yet again save the world from destruction.
The description gives fans an idea of the scope of the short-form series, while the participation of acting legends Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings) and Carl Reiner (Ocean’s Eleven), should signal the show’s level of quality and ambition.
There’s a definite synergy between DC’s animated programming and their cinematic offerings in the past. Typically, new characters make their debut in animation first to increase their visibility, before they are ultimately introduced into the cinematic universe. You have to look no farther than the animated Wonder Woman (2009) or Batman: Assault on Gotham, to predict the feature debuts of Diana Prince and the Suicide Squad. So the series’ debut villain being Black Adam – to be played by The Rock in the DCEU – could be a coincidence or a sign of things to come.
The short-form series will be broken up into digestible 11-minute episodes and will be targeting a younger demographic than the cinematic offerings. Animated series like these have always been a perfect place to indoctrinate younger viewers into the mythology of DC Comics icons like Wonder Woman, Superman, and Batman. While older viewers will certainly get a kick out of the impressive voice cast, featuring the talents of Kevin Conroy (Batman: The Killing Joke), Mark Hamill (Star Wars: The Force Awakens), Khary Payton (The Walking Dead), and more.
The next year is an embarrassment of riches for WB/DC, with the pending return of Young Justice, and the Wonder Woman and Justice League feature films in the pipeline. Things just keep getting better when you consider that there is less than a month’s wait until Justice League Action.
Justice League Action debuts on December 16th, 2016 at 6 pm ET/PT on Cartoon Network.