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I wanted to like it, I really did.
So, let's get the positive points out of the way so I don't look like a massive troll. The art style and the animation is great, really some of the best western animation I've seen in a long time. I like how they injected a deal of maturity into the series, it makes it feel more memorable. And some of the character designs are admittedly rather good.

Now for the big problems...I really don't like these characters. Some of the characters are just too scowly and angsty for me to care about (Superboy) are just outright annoying (Miss Martian) or just...bland (Aqualad.) I kind of liked Robin and Kid Flash, they were harmless for the most part. By far the worst incarnation of a character is Superman. I love the guy, one of my favourite superheroes. In this series, the paragon of justice and goodness is turned into a jerk who doesn't like Superboy for vague and rather unexplained reasons, and he's made look like a bad guy so Batman can look better by comparison. Most of the Justice League, with the exception of Billy Batson, are jerks for that matter.

And then there's The Light. It's kind of hard to root for superheroes when it seems that NOTHING they do ha any effect on the villains. The Light are just a generic cabal of Supervillains, and EVERYTHING always goes their way ("Hm, the Justice League destroyed all our bases and captured 90% of our operatives. JUST AS PLANNED! ONWARD TO PHASE 2!"). They're really the kind of villain I hate, the 'super-awesome bad guys' who always manage to outwit the heroes and are never defeated, because of reasons.

So, yes, Darkness Induced Audience Apathy claimed me. While I will admit the characters get some decent development, for the most part I just couldn't bring myself to care. I've heard rather mixed things about the second series, but I doubt I'll watch it. From the sound of things the characters just grow more unlikable.

I know this show has a sizable fandom, and I'm trying not to stomp on what they like. I just couldn't get into this show personally.
The characters were indeed like that, but the show gave adequate reasons for why they were like that. It made sense. Making happy, go lucky characters for the sake of it is not something I consider a requirement for a show to be enjoyable. I also like that Superman freaked out about the prospect of having a "son" to care for. We don't get to see stuff like that from him much, which is why I normally find him to be a really boring character in most other series. His conflicts are usually about dealing with his power and the morality of the responsibility it brings, which has been done to death and back.

As for the Light, I approve of villains that are finally competent, even if they come off as too competent now and then. The usual dynamic in superhero shows, where there's a new villain every week who gets thwarted by the end of the episode and is either never heard from again or comes back later with a new, equally lame, plan is really overused, so tying all those villains into a grand master plan gives some compelling context. Having capable villains behind the regular ones makes the few victories the heroes manage to score feel much more valuable and their whole struggle more genuine.
comment #19884 McSomeguy 16th Jun 13
Superman freaking out just made no sense to me. It just goes against every incarnation of the character, and the show itself can't be consistent on the matter. Superman wanted Captain Marvel on the League because he thought he was a Kryptonian, so apparently he's excited to meet other Kryptonians. Oh but wait, Superboy doesn't count because they needed to give him something to angst over.

When LEX LUTHOR of all people comes off as a better person than Superman, then it's a pretty damn clear sign that the writers need to go sit in the corner or go back to the drawing board.

And there's a difference between having a villain that's competent, and a villain that can't be beat. Dr.Doom is a competent villain because, while he has his victories and comes off as more intelligent than his foes, he is still beaten on several occasions. The Light on the other hand, every single time the superheroes get a 'victory' it turned out to be a part of the Light's stupidly convoluted plan. They suffer very few losses and virtually no setbacks, because everything inexplicably always goes their way because of magic.
comment #19885 Asger 16th Jun 13
^ I agree about superman, he's usually too black and white, either too perfect (as the OP said, a paragon of justice and goodness) or a dictator in alternate universes. I also agree about the villains, as it gave a sense of tension that is lost most of the time in these animated comic stories, specially by often times pairing the young teens against enemies that gave their seniors a hard time. However I did started getting annoyed at the light in season 1, as it seemed that everything always went exactly as planned, which thankfully they fixed in the second season, giving it a feeling that despite the losses the main goal was achieved instead of even the losses were planned. Some even succeeded because of the backup plans, etc. with all coming down to the next to last episode.

Personally I didn't consider Aqualad bland, he had several issues that came with being a leader (which were later passed on to Nightwing), however like superman he lacked many, if any real flaws.
comment #19887 marcellX 16th Jun 13
@Asger

Didn't Lex said that the issue was that SB was made by cadmus, and that it conflicted with supes Black And White Morality. Personally I liked that they acknowledge an issue that has been criticized for decades (that he's basically Jesus) even when here he was a secondary character. Lex didn't come off as a better person, but as a "manipulative" person, while he may had been right about superman, all he did was take advantage of this fact to in turn take advantage of superboy, I mean the guy's plan was to make him an addict. Also while I agree with the all according to plan issue, that only happened to the Light's group plan, other groups or individual Light members were usually foiled.
comment #19888 marcellX 16th Jun 13
@Asger

That's not inconsistent. Captain Marvel wasn't engineered from Superman's own DNA. Feeling conflicted about your role in the life of a living thing that someone else involved you in creating without your knowledge is legitimate character drama. Yes, it goes against Superman's usual Incorruptible Pure Pureness, but I consider that a good thing because I've seen too much of it already, and when that's subverted it usually ends up on the other extreme end of the moral spectrum so this was a nice medium, as far as I'm concerned. Besides, he warmed up to the idea eventually.
comment #19889 McSomeguy 16th Jun 13
The problem, at least for me as a Superman fan, that the 'drama' around Superboy just gives the Hate Dumb more flak to throw at Superman.
comment #19890 Asger 16th Jun 13
Seriously? Why do you care what the Hate Dumb thinks?
comment #19892 McSomeguy 16th Jun 13
The Superman in this show does seem more preferable for people who don't like him as he is normally portrayed in Comicbooks, so longtime fans like myself will naturally roll our eyes and be disappointed at it in the reverse.

I had no problems with Superboy, Aqualad, and Miss Martian. In fact I find it says alot about how good a character Aqualad is that the only complaint that can be labeled at him is "he's bland". Wally and Artemis I find myself being irritated by as the series wore on.

The Light was a good idea that sadly reused the All According To Plan trope to Hand Wave any and all losses and defeats far too often.

comment #19893 VeryMelon 16th Jun 13
^

It did, at times, feel like that, but I kept thinking that it would make the eventual payoff sweeter, and it did.

And it wasn't exactly hand waved. They didn't just say "all according to plan" and leave it at that. We got to see that plan play out and how everything came together.
comment #19897 McSomeguy 16th Jun 13
For what it's worth, the Light finally does go down HARD in Season 2. Two of their members are arrested, one is killed, two are forced to flee never to return, their plans are pushed back, their existence is implied to be publicaly exposed. Their not out of action, but they are crippled for the time being.

Superman also finally warms up to Conner in the Season 1 finale. After Superboy frees him from brainwashing despite having reason not to he finally admits that he was overly harsh to the kid, and they form a pretty good bond (more of a big brother little brother).

The team plays a long con well, and during the final ambush they counter ambush the light's ambush.

There were a few instances when the Light lost (Coldhearted, Usual Suspects, and most notably Summit.)

The series ends with the league being promoted to equal status due to how well they beat the light.
comment #20463 DARTHYAN 5th Aug 13
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