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30 May 2013

JUSTICE LEAGUE - THE TERROR BEYOND

By David Lee Andrews   Posted at  08:00   MOVIES

Solomon Grundy
Solomon Grundy, born on a Monday. Christened on a stark and stormy Tuesday.  Married on a grey and grisly Wednesday. Took ill on a mild and mellow Thursday. Grew worse on a bright and breezy Friday. Died on a gay and glorious 45 minute animated adventure made sometime in 2004. I thank yooouuuu.


Justice League - The Terror Beyond


THE STORY:
Wait a Goddamn minute! What the hell is going on here? Solomon Grundy is a bad-guy, right? So why does a good-guy -- namely Aquaman -- save him from some governmental troupes, before taking him to the wizard, Doctor Fate, so he can use him in a strange incantation? Furthermore, why are Superman, Hawkgirl, and Wonder Woman, all told to p*ss off, when they then track these chaps down in mid-hocus-pocus?

Well dear reader, after a bit of a ruckus between these gaggle of goons -- where one by one they zap, warp, and slap each other into submission -- I'm happy to say that all of these questions are eventually answered for us.

You see, fin-head, pale-face, and chrome-dome, came together in the first place, so that they could all tap into their joint mystical abilities, and then warn off an age old evil entity from beyond the stars. However, now that the Justice League has accidentally stopped them from performing this task, it's left the Doc temporarily depleted, and Aquaman running back home with his fins in-between his legs.

Don't you worry though, folks. Hawkgirl has a pretty good idea how to rectify this strange situation. And that's most probably why what next transpires all kicks off when a gaggle of goon's take's this fight to an age old evil entity from beyond the stars. As the League saves face - Aquaman knows his plaice - Fate fly's high - and all in all, Grundy goes 'bye-bye'.




THE REVIEW:
By in large 'Justice League - The Terror Beyond' was a fairly good cartoon to watch. In many ways it reminded me of a animated version of an old Roger Corman film, where a mystic has to ally himself with a couple of clowns to warn off an evil spirit. Granted, this cartoon doesn't really play out in that precise manner. Oh no. I'm afraid not. Because as per usual with this type of 'Saturday Morning' fodder, it brought along with it, it's usual pitfalls as well.


JUSTICE LEAGUE THE TERROR BEYOND Death


Aquaman, Doctor Fate, and Grundy
Now I'm sure you know the type of things I'm referring to, dear reader. Such as the deliberate attempts at extending the basic premise with unnecessary fighting, delayed exposition, plus your 'bog standard' run of the mill long winded segways that will eventually resolve itself once all the main protagonists are on the same page together.

However, on the reverse side of this argument, this cartoon also had a lot going for it too. Like the inclusion of Doctor Fate, Inza, Grundy, and Aquaman for instance. Plus the manner in which Hawkgirl and Grundy's friendship crystallised some sort of resolution to the overall tale, and Grundy's 'Hulk' imitation.

'Grundy Smash' -- that was a blast!


JUSTICE LEAGUE THE TERROR BEYOND Screenshot


Doctor Fate
Yeah. You've got it in one, buddy. 'Justice League - The Terror Beyond' is a very ying-yang animated adventure, which is ideal for someone who prefers action and pathos, more than they do substance and depth. But wait a sec. I don't want to put you off of this piece completely  No way, Jose! As I just said, it's a yarn that is fairly good on the surface, yet, underneath it all -- well -- here are some related facts to stop me from being rude about it. (1) This episode was first broadcast on the same day that the Canadian runner, Ray Lewis, and the American actress, Laurence Tisch, passed away -- the 15th of November, 2003. (2) At one time or another, good old Grundy has been a member of the 'Legion of Doom', the 'Injustice League', the 'Suicide Squad', the 'Injustice Society', the 'Secret Society of Super Villains', plus the 'Black Lantern Corps'. (3) Both Aquaman and Doctor Fate debuted in the same ongoing comic book anthology series -- called 'More Fun Comics' -- although the Doc came out in issue #55, May 1940; whilst fish-face came out in issue #71, September 1941. (4) Whereas the writer who co-created Aquaman, Mort Weisinger, also devised such heroes as Green Arrow and Johnny Quick, the artist who co-created Aquaman, Paul Norris, devised the comic strip, Brick Bradford. (5) Solomon Grundy wasn't born on Monday; he was Alan Scott's nemesis born in 'All-American Comics' -- #61, October 1944 -- and created by Alfred Bester and Paul Reinman. (6) So far there have been about five version of Doctor Fate published throughout his comic book career. First there was the 'Kent Nelson' version: created by Gardner Fox and Howard Sherman in 1940. Then there was the 'Strauss' version: created by J. M. DeMatteis and Shawn McManus in 1987. After that there was the 'Hector Hall' version: created by Geoff Johns and David S. Goyer in 2006. Next there was the 'New Kent' version: created by Steve Gerber and Justiniano in 2007. And presently there's the 'Khalid' version: created by James Robinson and Brett Booth in 2013. No. Don't worry. I haven't forgotten about the 'Jared Stevens' version or the 'girls' either. But Jared was no doctor -- just 'Fate' -- and the 'girls' were possessed by the spirit of Nabu. (7) One of Solomon's origin's entails him being a late 19th century merchant called Cyrus Gold, who was murdered and tossed into Slaughter Swamp -- near Gotham City -- only to re-emerge fifty years later, as the pace-faced plumb that he is today. (8) To date, Aquaman has had six ongoing series cancelled due to low sales. Number seven seems to be going strong though.


  Solomon GrundyDoctor Fate and GrundyAquaman


Now wasn't that a nice bunch of facts, comic book fans? Plus I suppose this was a pretty decent cartoon too. Not outstanding. Not abysmal. But decent. Because overall 'Justice League - The Terror Beyond' is a naive and pithy flick, which is one half steeped in history, and the other half steep in... errr... no. Best not say. That would be rude. Right, Grundy?




Say no more.

THE RATING:B-

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