Cartoon Network was in full force Friday night, showing six episodes, including new episodes of Young Justice, Thundercats, Generator Rex, and what might be the best episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold ever! Enough with the palaver - on with the synopses and clips!
Batman makes only cameo appearances in this episode, an episode made up of four solo shorts featuring Adam Strange, the Flash, ‘Mazing Man, and the Creature Commandos. This clip shows Adam Strange, ever the sweet boyfriend, waiting to take Alanna a gift, but the often punctual Zeta Beam is malfunctioning and transporting everything from dogs to refrigerators to Rann. Why does this series have to go away in one more episode? This four way split episode shows how great a DC anthology series could be – there are a wealth of stories to be told, from the funny to the obscure, with a half hour show being a great way to introduce DC characters to a new generation.
We get to see several members of the Justice League in this episode, including the DC Trinity of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, as they fight off an alien invasion. With the League away, Young Justice is called into duty. In this clip, we see Iris West-Allen reporting during the alien invasion of Coast City only to be saved (for the moment) by the Flash and Zatara, along views of Green Arrow and the Black Canary fighting off alien invaders across the globe in Taipei.
In part two of a four part clone trooper-centric storyline, the newly introduced Jedi General Pong Krell (a Besalik, the same species of alien that tended bar in the beginning of Attack of the Clones) butts heads with Captain Rex as he leads the 501st Legion into a dangerous Umbaran base. This clip shows off General Krell's straightforward tactics, tactics which don't hold clone trooper lives in high regard. Does this storyline begin the transformation of highly regarded clone troopers into disposable storm troopers?
Berbils last week, pacifist elephantine bipeds this week. In this episode, the Thundercats are on the trail of the first stone, but the residents of Elephant Village can't remember its location. In this clip, a villager teaches Lion-O how to use Sight Beyond Sight, causing Lion-O to call forth a swarm of wraiths that attack the village.
I'm sorry, but this wins the award for best episode title ever. Writers of every form (including me), quit being clever, you will never surpass that three word gem of a phrase. Season two of Generator Rex is coming to a conclusion, and in this episode, Breach returns, but this time, Breach has a new power – she can open portals through time. This clip shows Generator Rex tangling with Breach, only to have a Tyrannosaurus Rex dropped on him.
Ben 10 comes in strong with aWilliam Butler Yeates reference in the episode title, an episode about a giant floating island of garbage twice the size of Texas, the Pacific Island Vortex. The governments of the world unleashed a plastic-eating bacterium on the garbage island, leading to a series of giant size animal mutants (think the second issue of Planetary). Ships are disappearing, and the crew is sent in to investigate. This clip details the origins of the island, and Kevin makes one of a number of Captain Planet references in the episode (I counted four). I don't know much about Ben 10, but I like this Kevin guy.
In the second episode of the re-dubbed anime series, the X-Men are looking for a mutant boy who has disappeared, only to learn he has been captured by the U-Men and turned into an Akira-style monster. In this clip, Cyclops and Wolverine split off from the rest of the group on motorcycles hit the mean streets and do detective work, only to find anti-mutant racism at every turn.
The great influence of my pre-teen years returns. The duo is the same age, but they seem a little wiser, a little less crude. Maybe I've just become a horrible person during their decade long absence. This episode is a little over a week old, but I wanted to include in because of this clip in which Beavis and Butt-Head decide the best way to earn the eye of the opposite sex, after watching the Twilight films, is to become vampires. They still make fun of music videos too (they trash MGMT's Kids in this episode), but they've added MTV reality shows like Jersey Shore to their hazing repertoire as well.
Professor Brother Steve reaches the ultimate goal of all academic instructors – a license to chill (i.e., tenure). Meanwhile, The Dean is spotted visiting his favorite strip club, one that specializes in geriatric women, leading to a certain someone trying to bribe their way into tenure. In this clip, Steve receives tenure and thus becomes un-fireable in a cryptic ceremony. This may be the most realistic view of academia every put forth in animated form. I applaud you Mr. Brad Neely (or in my world, Honorary Doctorate holder Brad Neely).
China, IL airs Sunday nights on Cartoon Network, Beavis and Butt-Head airs Thursday nights, and Marvel Anime: X-Men airs Friday nights on G4TV. Ben 10: Ultimate Alien, Generator Rex, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Young Justice, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, and Thundercats air Friday nights on the Cartoon Network. Clips courtesy of Cartoon Network, G4TV, and MTV.