A Petty Complaint About The Justice League: Stop Hitting The Flash!

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 14.472% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

Thanks to the glories of streaming Netflix, I’m now watching The Justice League cartoon (2001)… and it’s surprisingly thoughtful, for a kid’s show.  In particular, I really appreciate how most of the shows subtly give one character more of a stake in the huge battles to follow – sure, the whole JL has to get involved, but they find ways so that really, this is Green Lantern’s arc, or the Flash’s problem, or Superman having to learn a lesson.  Which is a good thing to learn for a writer with an ensemble cast, since unless you’ve got the space of a show like The Wire to have seventy characters bouncing around at once, you need someone to have emotional stakes aside from the generic “All of Earth is in danger, again.”
(Also, I love that there are no single-part shows.  If you have an event that requires Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, and the Martian Manhunter, you damn well need an hour.)
But there’s one problem that shows up in the show, time and time again, and it really bothers me more with every episode:
Stop hitting the Flash.
Seriously.  The Flash is the fastest man in the universe, and he keeps getting knocked out by gorillas.  By slow knights in armor.  By Aquaman’s waterguard.  What the hell?  The Flash should hardly ever be hit.  If he looks up and sees it coming for one second, he should be able to zip out of the way.
I mean, this is endemic to the show, because there’s infinite shots of, say, a truck being thrown at someone in close to slow-motion, and someone yells “Look out!” and like three seconds pass, and then wham, Green Lantern gets flattened anyway.  But come on, man, this is the Flash we’re talking about.  Even if we assume that he’s not in Flash mode all the time, he should have at least figured out by now to enter Flash mode whenever anything startles him. And yeah, he’s the callow comic relief, but shit, man, how many times you gonna get clobbered before you learn to fight?  Pain is a considerable incentive.
So yeah.  Don’t hit the goddamned Flash.  Or if you do, do it with something super-fast hurled by a superhero, or a bank shot, or something clever.  Not a monkey.


  1. Carmel J.
    Apr 16, 2013

    I am so glad you’ve discovered Justice League! I haven’t found a way that I enjoy the DC universe more, as I tend to choose other than Cape/Cowl in the comic shop. Please do not forget Batman: The Animated Series. The beginning is amazing, before the Executive Meddling set in, and it’s not bad even after that point. Batman Beyond is also great, especially for witty dialogue, and does actually crossover with Justice League a bit. 🙂

    • TheFerrett
      Apr 16, 2013

      Batman Beyond is one of my all-time favorites; I’ve been waiting for years for the rest to be on Netflix streaming.
      Man, The Joker Returns may actually be my favorite Batman story ever.

      • Carmel J.
        Apr 17, 2013

        Indeed. The whole DCAU is on my list of “Things to share with my kids someday”. I’m just waiting for the youngest to age just a bit more, but we’re almost there. My son has really liked what he’s seen of Batman so far.
        I’ll need to find the Animaniacs discs too to fully recreate after-school cartoons though. Batman, followed by Animaniacs. The combination explains a lot about my younger brother. 😉

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