I just returned from a few days on the road, which means a few days in hotels, which means a few evenings of watching television. Since I don't have a TV, this is a big treat.
Usually I watch a lot of Law and Order, which is always on, but the best part this time was catching an episode of Justice League on the Cartoon Network. I've seen it a few times before, and it beats the hell out of the Superfriends I grew up on. Not only is the animation crafty, the show is written by witty people who know and love the characters and the whole sensibility of comic book superheroes.
This week's episode featured a ten-foot android deceived by Lex Luthor into believing that the Justice League are bad guys. It emerges that the android acquires superheroes' superpowers by looking at them, so before long it's as strong as Wonder Woman and as fast as the Flash. The League wisely decides to have Superman hang back, but when the android is about to smash Hawkgirl to bits the big blue boy scout zooms to the rescue. He blindfolds the android with a hunk of metal, but before long the android rips that away and catches a glimpse of Superman, leading to some building-smashing that's pretty cool if you like that sort of thing.
Then the show becomes very smart. Batman turns up and we get a look at Batman through android-o-vision.
“You don't have any powers,” says the android.
“No,” says Batman. “But I have this.” He reaches into his utility belt, and produces something green and glowing. The android starts looking woozy. “You get the powers,” says Batman, “but you also get the vulnerabilities.” The android falls into a river, to come back for more trouble later.
Hawkgirl comes up to Batman. “You carry krypotnite with you?”
“I think of it as insurance.”
Now that's the real Batman. None of this “Robin, try using the bat-foam” nonsense. Kids watching this show will learn the important life lesson that you do not fuck with the Batman.