JUSTICE LEAGUE - TABULA RASA

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Amazo Vs The Justice League In 1951 Robert Wise directed the sci-fi classic, 'The Day the Earth Stood Still'. Sometime in 2004, though, the creators of the Justice League Animated Adventures -- i.e. DC Comics -- decided to amalgamate this movie into their 45 minute cartoon. Here. Check it out. Its amazo-azing, baby!


Justice League - Tabula Rasa


THE STORY:
Salutations, adventure seekers. Have I got one dozy of a question for you!

What lumbering brute do you think has similar looking wings to Hawkgirl, the endurance of Wonder Woman, the speed of the Flash, a power-ring like Green Lanterns, plus the strength of Superman as well?

Yeah. I suppose on a certain level you could hypothesize that the Martian Manhunter does possess some of these abilities. But it's not him I'm referring to, dear reader. Oh no. I'm sorry to state that J'onn's 'telepathic talent' is playing him up at the moment; and he doesn't seem to know what to do with himself. Rather, I'm talking about someone else Lex Luthor inadvertently ran into after his battle with the Justice League.

You see, following this fleeting fight, in haste, Lex goes to the current head of LexCorp -- a lady called Mercy -- for some help in repairing his battle-scorned body-armor. But alas, she can not aide Lex with his plight; all she can do is direct him to one of his old allies instead -- Professor Ivo.

But alas -- again -- Ivo can't seem to help Lex either. He's dead. And all he has left dawdling around in his dusty old laboratory, is a lumbering grey android called A.M.A.Z.O., who can replicate the powers of whomever it comes into contact with.

No. You're not thinking what I'm thinking, are you? Surely Lex wouldn't be cruel enough to dupe A.M.A.Z.O. into fighting the League on his behalf? Possessing their powers one by one for his own nefarious' ends! 

Oh, dear! Then that's most probably why what next transpires all kicks off when Batman transforms' a strength into a weakness. As Martian's see the light - the League puts up a very good fight - a villain eventually shows his face - and by his own accord, an android jumps up into deep outer space.

The end. For now.




THE REVIEW:
Now if I was going to be somewhat sardonic about 'Justice League - Tabula Rasa', I'd call this animated adventure a rather predictable tale that was one-half naive and one-half buoyant. Yet, if I was going to be nice about it, I would call it a very delightful stepping stone story which manages to entertain us, intrigue us, and present us with homages and innovations that felt slightly too simple by default.   

The Day The Earth Stood Still
Well, if you've ever eaten a barbequed-orange before, dear reader, you'd know perfectly well what I mean by this remark. After the first bite you'd say to yourself 'Yeah. It tastes like a warm orange'. Next, after the second bite, you'd then say to yourself 'It's sweet like an orange, but its barbequed aftertaste does give it an extra nice twist'. And then, from then on in, you get used to its flavor, and just savor it for what it really is.

Do you see what I'm trying to get at, folks? This cartoon is like a barbequed-orange. It takes some getting used to before you can get used to it.


Amazo in Justice League Tabula Rasa


Of course I do mean this with all due respect. Because I really did enjoy all of the 'flair' this flick had on offer. Such as: (1) The way A.M.A.Z.O. looked like the robot from the film 'The Day The Earth Stood Still'. (2) How the overall narrative progressed in bite sized portions, with each segment dishing a section of plot a piece at a time. (3) The fact that A.M.A.Z.O.'s original creator, Professor Ivo, was acknowledged in this cartoon. (4) The manner in which the action scenes actually had some pretty decent choreographed set pieces on offer. (5) A.M.A.Z.O.'s jovial tone when he tried to imitate Wally's personality. And (6) How Batman's devious ways initially got the League out of trouble.

On the reverse side of this though, I wasn't too sure about that scene where Batman tried to play the same trick on A.M.A.Z.O the second time around -- I thought that was slightly out of character for him. Plus I wasn't too keen on the Martian Manhunters section of the story either -- because it felt slightly disjointed within the confines of this particular adventure, and it did bother me that his 'telepathic glitch' wasn't also given an 'origin' of sorts.


Justice League Tabula Rasa


Amazo in Justice League Tabula Rasa
Still, you can't win them all, can you? So before I bugger off to reviewer land, here are some Amazo-azing facts. (1) This episode first aired on the same day Poland apologized to France for claiming they found newly produced French surface-to-air missiles in Iraq -- the 4th of October, 2003. (2) Amazo and his inventor, Professor Ivo, were created by the writer, Gardner Fox, and the artist, Murphy Anderson, in the comic book, 'Brave and the Bold', #30, June 1960. (3) Throughout his villainous career, this mechanized menace has allied himself with the 'Injustice League', the 'Secret Society of Super Villains', and even the 'Justice League' themselves. (4) During the brief 'Hourman' ongoing series -- which ran at the tail end of the nineteen-nineties -- it was revealed that Hourman was linked to both Amazo and the Justice League member, the Red Tornado, via his own physiognomy. (5) At one time or another, Amazo has also been called: Professor Ivo's Amazing Android, The Android, Timazo, Humazo, and Hourmazo. (6) I kid you not; Professor Ivo once created a son for Amazo -- called 'Kid Amazo' -- who was given the conflicted human guise of Frank Halloran. (7) In the current New 52, it has been alleged that Amazo is somehow associated with the father of Cyborg, Silas Stone. (8) Amazo has starred in numerous television based cartoons, plus a video game called 'Justice League: Chronicles', and the direct to video animated adventure 'Batman: Under The Red Hood'.


 Amazo 1st Apperance Amazo in HourmanAmazo Vs The Justice League


Overall 'Justice League - Tabula Rasa' was a fairly decent animated adventure. It was great in places. Predictable in others. But by in large it was a fairly nice cartoon of the Saturday morning variety. Sweet. Like a barbequed orange.

THE RATING: B