"Static Shock: The Complete Third Season" DVD Talkback (Spoilers)

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James Harvey

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Toonzone
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#1
The third season of Static Shock makes its home video debut courtesy of Warner Archive!


Static Shock: The Complete Third Season
Studio:
Warner Archive
Available to Order: January 30, 2018

Synopsis: Static Shock's third season arrives dynamically double-charged as a new hero joins Static in his fight to protect Dakota, while the rookie hero demonstrates big-league-level experience. Virgil's journey to the hero elites begins with a Bat-bang as Static travels to Gotham City in pursuit of a Bang Baby that's fallen in with some seductively sinister "big sisters" - the Gotham City sirens Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn. But a Batman (and Alfred) assist is waiting in the wings. Then, Richie's knack for invention is revealed to be a Bang Baby by-product, and Richie becomes the high-tech hero Gear. But that's just the start to a season that sees Static in Africa alongside African super hero Anansi, plus our hero battling Brainiac alongside the Justice League and tackling Toyman with Big Blue himself, Superman. The season's end sees Static shaken to the core as he travels to the recent past to revisit the night he lost his mother.

Episodes: Hard As Nails, Gear, Static in Africa, Shebang, The Usual Suspect, A League Of Their Own, Part 1, A League Of Their Own, Part 2, Showtime, Romeo in the Mix, Toys In The Hood, The Parent Trap, Flashback, Blast From The Past

Bonus Episode: Superman: The Animated Series "Obsession"

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This thread is only for actual discussion of the DVD release. Please check out the The DC Animation Forum Talkback Collection Thread to access talkbacks for every episode of Static Shock, and also check out the related links below.

Related Discussion:
-Static Shock: The Complete Second Season DVD Talkback (Spoilers)
-Static Shock: The Complete First Season DVD Talkback (Spoilers)

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Yojimbo

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#2
Static Shock's third season was a high point for me in which I looked fondly back on prior to this release. Static's world began to expand - visiting Gotham City and going on vacation to Africa with his family - but also in the figurative sense. Static's crime fighting partnership becomes full circle as Richie Foley goes from the 'man in the chair' to a Bang Baby superhero named Gear, he further develops his friendship with Batman and they learn each others' secret identities, works with the Justice League to save the world from heavy-hitter villain Brainiac, and teams up with Superman against Toyman. The history of the show also expands as Static learns about his heritage in Ghana and meets the famous African superhero Anansi, becomes something of a legacy super hero when he meets Soul Power and Sparky, and the element of time travel is explored when Static meets his late mother Jean Hawkins on the night of her death during the Dakota Riots.

Like Batman Beyond, the series correctly, in my humble opinion, shifts away from high school and focuses more heavily on Static and Gear's exploits across Dakota. But something I was on the fence about is the shift from spotlight on the supporting cast to the guest stars. Robert Hawkins is reduced to a background character with some highlights in "Static in Africa" and "Blast from the Past" as is Sharon whose amusing banter with Virgil is dialed back aside from an occasional incident like "The Usual Suspect". Likewise, Frieda and Daisy are background characters used to sometimes move an episode's plot along like "Shebang", "Romeo in the Mix" or "Toys in the Hood". I admit time has not dulled my low opinion of Shebang and Lil Romeo's episodes but all together, season three of Static Shock was some of the best stories of the series and the step up in the quality of animation was a boon.

For those wondering about the details, collection uses a clear DVD case as opposed to the black cases used for seasons one and two. The interior sports the flip arm instead of the type of case where disc 1 and 2 were semi-overlain atop each other in previous releases. The cover art is bit too copy-paste in lieu of using old season 3 promo art but these Archive releases are done on a limited budget. The collection also glaringly does not have a subtitle track like the previous seasons (Argh!). There is a bonus episode on disc two, the "Obsession" episode of Superman: The Animated Series which is billed appropriately as the prequel to "Toys in the Hood" and concluding the story of Toyman and Darcy Mason. I'm hoping this means they may include at least the Justice League Unlimited season one finale "The Once and Future Thing" Part Two in a hopefully happening Static Shock The Complete Fourth Season release later this year. Though it would have been nice to have a retrospective with some of the cast and crew or like on the YJ Invasion Bluray a commentary track instead, but again I guess the budget rears its ugly head and it is appreciated they were able to squeeze something extra.
 

Dallas Kinard

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#3
Static Shock's third season was a high point for me in which I looked fondly back on prior to this release. Static's world began to expand - visiting Gotham City and going on vacation to Africa with his family - but also in the figurative sense. Static's crime fighting partnership becomes full circle as Richie Foley goes from the 'man in the chair' to a Bang Baby superhero named Gear, he further develops his friendship with Batman and they learn each others' secret identities, works with the Justice League to save the world from heavy-hitter villain Brainiac, and teams up with Superman against Toyman. The history of the show also expands as Static learns about his heritage in Ghana and meets the famous African superhero Anansi, becomes something of a legacy super hero when he meets Soul Power and Sparky, and the element of time travel is explored when Static meets his late mother Jean Hawkins on the night of her death during the Dakota Riots.

Like Batman Beyond, the series correctly, in my humble opinion, shifts away from high school and focuses more heavily on Static and Gear's exploits across Dakota. But something I was on the fence about is the shift from spotlight on the supporting cast to the guest stars. Robert Hawkins is reduced to a background character with some highlights in "Static in Africa" and "Blast from the Past" as is Sharon whose amusing banter with Virgil is dialed back aside from an occasional incident like "The Usual Suspect". Likewise, Frieda and Daisy are background characters used to sometimes move an episode's plot along like "Shebang", "Romeo in the Mix" or "Toys in the Hood". I admit time has not dulled my low opinion of Shebang and Lil Romeo's episodes but all together, season three of Static Shock was some of the best stories of the series and the step up in the quality of animation was a boon.

For those wondering about the details, collection uses a clear DVD case as opposed to the black cases used for seasons one and two. The interior sports the flip arm instead of the type of case where disc 1 and 2 were semi-overlain atop each other in previous releases. The cover art is bit too copy-paste in lieu of using old season 3 promo art but these Archive releases are done on a limited budget. The collection also glaringly does not have a subtitle track like the previous seasons (Argh!). There is a bonus episode on disc two, the "Obsession" episode of Superman: The Animated Series which is billed appropriately as the prequel to "Toys in the Hood" and concluding the story of Toyman and Darcy Mason. I'm hoping this means they may include at least the Justice League Unlimited season one finale "The Once and Future Thing" Part Two in a hopefully happening Static Shock The Complete Fourth Season release later this year. Though it would have been nice to have a retrospective with some of the cast and crew or like on the YJ Invasion Bluray a commentary track instead, but again I guess the budget rears its ugly head and it is appreciated they were able to squeeze something extra.
What about the A/V presentation?
 

Yojimbo

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Shahdaroba
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#6
I mean how is the video quality? I noticed Season 2 seemed a tad bit more grainy/compressed looking than season 1.
Ah, ok. I hadn't thought of that. I'll pop in a disc from each season and compare then get back to you on that later today. Off the top of my head, the quality was very good.
 

Yojimbo

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#8
Awesome! I can't wait to see screenshots on WF of the crossovers in DVD quality!
I'm not really a A/V expert but after watching an episode from each release, season 3 is the best so far. Some of the fight scenes might have shown signs of compression. But I think season 3 might have been when they changed to digital for animating episodes so overall it was really good on my laptop and TV.
 

Dallas Kinard

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#9
I'm not really a A/V expert but after watching an episode from each release, season 3 is the best so far. Some of the fight scenes might have shown signs of compression. But I think season 3 might have been when they changed to digital for animating episodes so overall it was really good on my laptop and TV.
I believe the entire series was colored digitally, but starting with "The Big Leagues", every episode after - following production order - was "revamped" in appearance with better detail, animation and shading to better line up with the rest of the DCAU in appearance and overall quality.
 

Fone Bone

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2/12: I have it. Just haven't watched it yet.

3/27: Currently going through and treasuring this set. A detailed review will be forthcoming.

Mod Note: Double Post Merged.
 
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Fone Bone

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#16
Static Shock: The Complete Third Season

Static Shock Season Three was when the show tried very hard to be a regular DCAU cartoon, and not just tied into the franchise due to a single crossover. The animation style was changed to look a little more like Bruce Timm's style, while still keeping the old characters in the original designs. The animation feels like a mixture of the first two seasons and Justice League, and since the first two seasons look unlike any other DCAU season, it's a very interesting look, and very interesting that they were successful.

This is also the season that bumped Richie Foley up from tech guy to superhero sidekick. We'll talk more about that in his debut episode review, but it screamed network interference. And the show, God bless Dwayne McDuffie, decided to Simply Make The Best Of It instead of pulling a snit the way the Batman Beyond producers did for Max. I hate Gear much less than I should for this reason.

I like the new version of the theme song by Lil' Romeo (who also guest stars) and I like that the season eventually had origin stories for all of the new villain who appeared in it (Heavyman, Brainiac, and Professor Menace). Brainiac being in every opening title to season three amuses me for some reason.

The best episodes of the season are the season premiere which is a Batman crossover (Hard As Nails), and the one were Virgil travels back in time to meet his mother on the night she dies (Flashback). The worst episodes are Virgil at his most annoying (The Usual Suspect) and the horrid Superman crossover (Toys In The Hood). Season Overall: ****.

Hard As Nails:

Wow, that was super interesting 15 years later. It IS the best Static crossover, but I noticed several different themes that I didn't really pick up on over the air. Let's start off with the new animation style. I do prefer Static's old costume, and I miss the rubbery and cartoony character animation. When Rubberband Man returned in season 4, even with a cooler design, his animation was not what it was in seasons 1 and 2. But the interesting thing about the new designs is that they are not only designed to make the show fit into the DCAU better, but also to be firmly recognizable from the first two seasons, which looked unlike any other DCAU seasons. It splits the difference, and so subtly that you might not even register how hard it must have been to do that. The second thing I appreciate more was how and why Batman relates to Static. To be honest, at several points Batman seems like a crazy person for the things he says, but on some level he IS a crazy person, so it makes sense that he says what he does. First off, I love when he tells Static he can't let him take Nails, and Static is all, "Wow, really?... I mean... why not?" I think the precise reason Batman started to like Static is because he started pushing back on him in the way he didn't in his first episode. And frankly, Batman treating Static like a peer during parts of this episode is completely insane. He NEVER says "We'll do it your way for now," to any of the Bat-Family, and he is basically showing deference to a person he doesn't actually need to. This interests me because it sounds to me like Batman is making up the rules to this sort of thing as he goes along, and everybody is just too scared to correct him. Batman is a vigilante. He only has authority because he and the people he deals with believe he does. By definition. He actually doesn't. And deep down he knows he doesn't actually have the right to boss Static around. Which considering he's an adult, and Static is a kid, is absolutely nuts. Whatever else Batman is, he's committed to the bit. Were I him, I'd be calling Virgil's parents to pick him up. Wasn't that great? How Virgil is all like "Wow, you really ARE the World's Greatest Detective!" and Batman's all "Nah, nah, nah," and hands him his student ID which fell out of his pocket. He says "Maybe you shouldn't carry this while in uniform." On one level it is common-sense advice a seasoned superhero would give to someone a little bit new at this. On the other hand, he thinks it's a uniform, which goes back to the idea that Batman is secretly crazy. I think Paul Dini is an overrated writer and always have thought that, but he did an absolutely brilliant joke that I didn't get until years later. What is amazing about the joke is that Dini is white. It's not just a joke at white people's expense. It's probably a joke most white writers wouldn't even think to make. But when Virgil calls Alfred "Dawg", Alfred calls him "Dude" in return. Years ago, I thought that was Alfred being funny and a bit-old fashioned. In reality, it is Alfred being totally white and lame. He actually thinks young black kids say "Dude" to each other at this point in time. Alfred is usually shown as clever and sarcastic (see the callback to him telling Static he was Batman, in a way similar to how he did to Barbara Gordon in "Old Wounds"). But I like this joke because it shows how completely divergent Bruce's upbringing and experiences are from normal urban kids. Bruce seems a little annoyed that Virgil is worried that he doesn't know that "wack" means "crazy". Except Bruce is a guy with a butler who thinks black kids talk like Bill and Ted. Were I Virgil, I'd point out the "dude" and say "Doesn't hurt to check, man." "He's with the Titans". And thus a thousand DCAU conspiracy theories were laid. Just with Batman saying those four words. Richie did two interesting things in the episode. Which is more than usual since he's usually the least interesting character. The first interesting thing is good: He wonders aloud why anyone would go to Gotham. Which tells me everyone in the rest of the DCAU universally considers Gotham a total pit. It's like Aquaman's "Roll 'em up!" joke on Batman: The Brave and the Bold, except not actually funny. But it says volumes. The second interesting thing is annoying. He walks up to Allie and says "What's with the coat?" How's about none your business, Richie? Richie is nosy. Richie inserts himself into situations where he is not welcome. Richie needs to learn to mind himself and worry about his OWN problems. And considering he's surrounded by Superheroes and people who hide their true identities, this might be a concern in the future. I hated the joke of Harvey Bullock asking what Robin did with his hair. It's supposed to be funny, and make Bullock sound stupid. But Bullock is not actually THAT stupid, or at least he shouldn't be. A young white kid in an orange costume did not just transform into a young black kid in a purple costume. Sheesh. The thing I loved most about the episode back in the day was the fact that Batman unambiguously saved Static's bacon in the moment it counted. And that is refreshing because it is ALWAYS the other way around on Superhero shows. The hero of the show always saves the guest star to prove themselves. It's empowering that Static saves Batman and Robin from the Joker in an earlier episode. But it is also not the slightest bit plausible based upon what Batman and Robin have been able to get themselves out of on their own show. This episode took the tack that, yeah, Batman is gonna take the lead on the life-threatening, dangerous stuff this episode. Which makes it very refreshing. It also makes sense. Static's actual life is not usually in mortal peril on this show. Not really. It makes sense to have Batman take over when things get serious. I also adored Bruce revealing his identity to Virgil at the end. I recall SO many Batman fans at the time howling in protest, and I love the idea of them squirming about this. It's not the smartest or most responsible move Bruce has ever made. Stipulated. But just based upon this episode, Bruce IS making this up as he goes along, so it's also not out of character with that idea. I would not worry about this moment too much if I were Batman fans. I'd be much more concerned that Batman seems to reveal the identity at the drop of a hat on Justice League / Justice League Unlimited. Static is literally the least of his problems. I also like it because the reason he did it is left up to the imagination of the viewer. He tells Static it's because he's earned a little trust. My interpretation is that Batman did it because it was the best way to tell Static he approved of his methods. And very few heroes (outside of maybe the Flash) have methods similar to Static's. And Batman LOVES the Flash too. But I think part of Batman is envious at the way Static is often able to talk his villains off the ledge, and into doing the right thing. Because Batman is never able to do that. And lord (and Harvey Dent) knows that he's tried. I think Batman revealed his identity because he recognized that Static was a better hero in that specific regard than he would ever be. And that's the way Batman can say he thinks this without using those specific words. And maybe Virgil won't get that that's specifically why Bruce revealed the secret. He is just a kid, and might not overthink it beyond what Bruce claimed. But I think it IS the reason, and Bruce respects Static, because Static is the hero Bruce wants to be when he grows up. And I love that part of their dynamic. What were the problems of the episode? I think Ivy's character design was very badly animated. And while I liked the original song "One Step Ahead", I thought the version of Elfman's Batman theme sucked. I'm not talking about the hip-hop remix theme to tie Static into Batman. I'm talking when they used synthesizers at the beginning to try and sound like orchestrals. That still doesn't sound exactly right on modern equipment. But fifteen years ago? It is an "earsore". It sounds horrible on every level. Although the same might be said for the entire soundtrack to Justice League too! Just sayin'. We miss you, Shirley Walker! This was definitely the best crossover, and one of the high points of the season. And we're just getting started! *****.

Gear:

Okay, the two things that jumped out at me upon rewatching that are that Gear is annoying, and the show was lesser for bumping up Richie into a superhero. The second thing is that Dwayne McDuffie is a vastly superior showrunner to Bruce Timm. The comparison is almost embarrassing. But I'm going to make it and shame b.t. in the process. It's no less than he deserves. Gear screams network interference. That Kids WB did some focus groups with little white boys who didn't like the fact that a black kid always got to tell a white kid what to do. I'm sure none of them used those words. But I think that is the actual reason kids in those focus groups actually thought Richie should have superpowers. It might make little white kids feel bad unless the kid who looked like them was an equal and a partner, and not just the guy who made the gadgets. That's what this episode told the cynic in me. It also told me that Dwayne McDuffie is better to his characters than Bruce Timm ever was. What do I mean? If Gear WAS a network mandate, Dwayne McDuffie was superior to Bruce Timm because He Made The Best Of It. He probably was as unhappy with Gear as Bruce Timm obviously was with Max on Batman Beyond. Except Dwayne doesn't constantly feel the need to humiliate Gear and take him down a few pegs to let the audience know how much he sucks, and how he's wrecking things. What is especially disturbing with the fact that Timm's first instinct was to turn a young, black woman super annoying and always wrong, is that McDuffie could have done the same thing with the white character, and nobody would have blamed him. Batman Beyond fans always blame Max on the network, and think b.t.'s hands are actually clean about the subject. They aren't. And Gear proves that beyond a shadow of the doubt. I would argue that Richie is a more outwardly annoying character than Max. And his voice actor, Jason Marsden, was one of the few working voice actors at the time with a voice actually more grating than Cree Summer's. Instead of proving every week why the character didn't work, McDuffie at least had the grace to act like he did. And it makes for a better show. By far. And Gear makes me resent Max even more than I already did. Because I no longer blame the network for Max sucking. It was Bruce Timm's responsibility to make the character work, and he decided not to to spite the network. And that is why Batman Beyond: Season 2 is one of the absolute worst seasons in the DCAU. That is on Bruce Timm. Exclusively. Not the network. Gear sucks and hurts the show. But only slightly, and to the point that you barely even notice. I tolerate Gear. And it outrages me that I wasn't allowed to tolerate Max. Not only because Max is a black woman, but because Timm has never gotten the proper blame for the character he deserved. And McDuffie's respectful handling of Gear shows he deserves all the blame. How is the episode? Ebon makes everything better. He can't help it. I like when he sees Richie again he decides to trail him. He instantly knows there's "There there". Back in the day I snickered at the character's stupidity when he tells Talon "Lots of dawgs wear their hair like that." Upon second glance, he's actually being smart. He's playing Devil's Advocate. He wants to be sure, and doesn't want to terrorize a bunch of innocent people if he can help it. That will just get him caught. And that is why I love the character. You almost groan that he was fooled by the camera trick, but we don't actually know how things played out between the last act break and the tag. Maybe Ebon was already in jail, and that's why he never realized Virgil still wasn't in the cell. There are unanswered nitpicky questions at the end about Virgil's supposed "exoneration". But it's not like I wouldn't be able to come up with answers myself. I like that Static is not stupid. He's about to zap his way out and he instantly says "Wait. Maybe that's what they WANT me to do," and the show pulls back on Ebon watching Virgil on a monitor. Could you ever imagine JLU's Flash being smart enough to take a step back from the situation, and wondering whether or not escaping the trap is in his best interest? For Wally, it was "Use the superpowers first, ask questions later". And I like that Static is smart enough to think that this trap might be more layered than it appears. I might be more impressed with Richie solving the math problem on the board if the show had done like Futurama and put an actual complicated math problem on the screen, and really solved it. But in my heart of hearts, I know those are just random numbers on the board, there was no research involved whatsoever, and Richie just says a math phrase as if it is the answer instead of the total non sequitur it probably is in reality. I hate that I notice crap like that now, and it makes watching television from back in the day a lot less fun. Static mentions that the names Steel and Hardware are taken. Steel makes sense. He's DCAU canon. Hardware is the first time we've heard of this Milestone character. Like the Titans, he obviously exists in the DCAU and we just never met him. And I like the idea that there are a bunch of Milestone heroes operating in the DCAU in this time period that was just haven't seen. That army of heroes in Justice League Unlimited obviously did not pop up overnight. They all must have already been operating for years before they joined the massive league. And I like the idea that Hardware and the other Milestone heroes are out there, and we just never saw them because there was never a Static Shock Unlimited. It amazes me that this episode and this season don't suck. And it seems obvious in hindsight that the only reason it doesn't suck it because it didn't actually need to. McDuffie didn't exactly make lemonade from lemons with Gear. But he also didn't pee in the pitcher and ask kids to drink it the way Bruce Timm did Max. ***1/2.

Static In Africa:

I love that the show is insightful (and geeky) enough to hire Carl Lumbly and Michael Jai White as Anansi and Osebo respectively. Lumbly played one of the first black television superheroes (Mantis) and White was one of the first black movie ones (Spawn) so in a show about Static appreciating the idea of black superheroes, they got the cred in at the ground level. Unfortunately, Virgil's lamentation that there are no black superheroes back home rings hollow when John Stewart pops up a couple episodes later, and it's obvious he's been around for awhile. I understand the inconsistency though. Static saying that to Anansi, and Anansi saying America already HAS black superhero role model makes the episode better. Which is why the show ignored it was DCAU for one of the first and only times. For the record, if they WERE going to do that in this episode, he probably shouldn't have referenced Steel or Hardware in the previous episode. When Virgil is calling an unimpressed Richie about how good it feels to be black in Africa, Richie sort of shrugs it off as Virgil being dumb. What Richie is suffering from is called white privilege. His skin color makes normalcy in society its default response towards him. As much as Richie loves black culture, he doesn't seem to understand how important that is for people, especially kids growing up. Virgil will not be given side-eyes in stores, or have women flinch and clutch their purse when he gets on a bus in Africa. And people like Richie don't get how it's the little things in society that he probably doesn't even notice, which is the thing that beats a black person down. Richie simply seems to think racism is something like what his father does. A person who uses insults and generalizations based on the color of someone's skin. But even if people don't do that, that wouldn't make racism go away. The attitudes and mindsets are hardwired into society, and it's institutionalized into the very fabric of every single thing in life. And if you're a black kid in Africa for the first time, you'd notice the difference, and I love that the show pointed out the differences to the white kids in the audience. Speaking of which, how great is the show for bringing up American slaves? It's doesn't offer a harsh opinion about the subject, so it's not getting on a soapbox, but just the fact that it is acknowledging it existed is one of the special things about this show, and it's also something that says Kids WB gave the show leeway about social issues most other cartoons would never get. And it's appreciated. Speaking of Kids WB, I remembered the "I am not that kind of Spider" joke from the previews back in the day. For the record, Anasi's webs are far cooler than Peter Parker's. I love that Anansi is quippy. He should be, as the spider is the trickster character in African folklore. He makes a joke that he doesn't want to actually make the bad guy he is going to defeat sad, and another one about Americans being flashy (pun intended). Plus, the way he flies upside-down as he and Static share the same disc is beyond cool. I like that Static doesn't wear his heavy jacket in this episode because Africa is so freaking hot. Which is a point in the episode's favor, simply because the coat design looks so much better, and they did without for an episode anyways. I love Sharon saying she'll miss Africa and Virgil saying he doesn't see how as she's bringing back half of it with her. For the record, Sharon is right that Virgil is dumb to take his shots in the arm. Yeah, it's embarrassing to get them in the butt. But it's also the only place on the body that a needle doesn't really hurt at all. So yeah, put a pin in your pride Virgil. Your not-sore arm will thank you later. Any bad things? I think Anansi's civilian disguise is terrible. His Spider costume has a mask over his eyes, and the top of his head. His civilian "disguise" is a bandana over his mouth while you can see his eyes. You get a villain who is paying attention, and one who is willing to put in the effort to track stuff like that down, you're pretty much giving away the entire face of the superhero identity in the space of seconds. It's good that Osebo is dumb. Anansi would be in trouble if he wasn't. I love Sharon stepping on Osebo's tail. What a dumb and funny joke, and probably something that says that whatever else Osebo is to the audience, he probably DID have a really thankless and sucky life due to his freakish appearance. Which is another cool thing about the episode. Sharon was probably NOT the first person who ever stepped on his tail. For the record, that fighting move is only slightly less dirty than kicking a guy in the yarbles. It's just about as unfair an advantage as someone being malicious enough to go straight for the sack. Heh. Really cool episode. ***1/2.

Shebang:

Definitely better than the second Shebang episode. There are a lot of things in the episode that are interesting in hindsight, that didn't interest me much over the air. Richie's face lighting up at the kiss on the cheek by Shebang takes on a very different subtext and meaning upon Dwayne McDuffie revealing on his website that Richie is gay. He is not only in the closet in this moment, but he is definitely overcompensating too. I sort of dread the idea of Richie having to come out to his intolerant father though. Maybe it's best that that wasn't explored due to the TV-Y7 nature of the show. Richie's saying "Static has left the building. Thank you very much," like Elvis says not only that Richie is new at talking to the media, but unlike Virgil, he's not very good at it. And I like that fact, which reminds me of why as much as I dislike Richie, I don't object to Gear more than I do. The show doesn't play the moment as if Richie is funny. He's awkward and uncomfortable, which makes his struggle with it more relatable than if he were actually charming. The other interesting thing is that people will probably not remember years later is that Hotstreak tearing up a theater because the movie sucked was a direct slam on Star Wars Episode I back then. It's less funny after Aurora, but the original subtext of Hotstreak doing that was the writers sort of jokingly saying he was right to do it. It was a direct critique on one of the most polarizing events in pop culture history up to that point, and this show took the side that people had the right to be P.O.-ed after the fact. I like that Virgil is the only person at the bowling alley to notice that Shanice missed the strike on purpose on the direction of her parents. I think a lot of Virgil for that. But not TOO much. Because the body language was obvious, and he should NOT have been the only one to put that together. Good episode. ****.

The Usual Suspect:

I didn't have a strong reaction to this episode one way or another when it aired, but years later my impression is distinctly unfavorable. Virgil rubs me the wrong way at several points in the episode. I don't begrudge him targeting the wrong person for being the monster (that's what the episode is all about) but he is such a heel in so many other ways too. Him demanding Sharon cook him breakfast isn't just rude, it's sexist. It's the move of a pig. And since Virgil hasn't been portrayed that way before (he is usually courteous to other women besides Sharon) I noticed it. A lot. And it sucked. I also was a little outraged at him makes a snarky joke to the boyfriend upon his car being destroyed. You know what, Virgil? Uncool. The guy is literally an innocent victim, and even if Static saved his life, he is allowed to be upset about his car being destroyed without Static rubbing it in. And Virgil is not usually that guy. And he was here and I hated him for it. I found the moment where the cop finally says to call for back-up unintentionally funny. I don't know why it seems like they are going for some pathos on a moment that SHOULD be a joke, so the scene lands with a thud on both fronts. Are there any things I liked? There were two things that I found successful, one of them big and one of them small. I'm more impressed with the smaller thing, but the big thing was great too. The big thing is at the end Marcus tells Sharon that Tamara is wrong and he DOES know what it feels like to be a monster, and have everyone judge him for that. And that's what the entire episode is about, so I love that the writers allowed him to say that. I would have preferred it if he had been allowed to say it to Tamara right when she said it, but people shouldn't be expected to be insightful when they are scared for their lives. Speaking of which I love Richie reminding Virgil that STATIC can take Marcus. But if he wants to preserve the identity, he's going to have to do some of Virgil's trademark sniveling and running away. Normally, I'd think that joke was beyond mean, but Virgil was such a punk this episode, he had it coming. I love him reminding Sharon at the end that they are surrounded by cops, and her saying not a jury in the world would convict her. I know if I were on that jury, I wouldn't. The second small thing in the episode I loved is something I loved because it's completely unnecessary, and I doubt most people would even register it. But it's the stuff that I obsess over. But when Richie is done playing basketball he definitively ends his conversation with Virgil with a "And that's that" conclusion, and as he leaves the room, throws the basketball behind him. And he misses. I love that. I don't know if anyone will understand why I love that, but if Horatio Crane had just said what Richie said so cleverly and confidently, he would have sunk the shot to punctuate his awesomeness. Then The Who would start screaming. But Richie Foley is NOT "That Guy" and never was. And it amazes that this seems to be the only DCAU show that does specific character things like that, that I only take notice of years later. I loved that moment, and I love that the writers don't even draw attention to how clever it is. It just exists to make me even more grateful for Dwayne McDuffie years after his death, and Len Uhley, who wrote the episode. It was awesome. But all things being equal, I think this was a bad episode, just because Virgil was so poorly behaved. And I don't like feeling this way about him. Ever. **.

A League Of Their Own:

This episode was significant. It's not actually good in my opinion, but it definitely pushed the limits of what the show has done so far. And the two parter is an irresistible premise. Part 1 is a Justice League episode guest starring Static, and Part 2 is a Static Shock episode guest starring the Justice League. This is also the only two parter of the entire series. If you want to get technical, the first two episodes of season one, and the last two episodes of season four seem to take place right after each other too, but this is the only ep that actually hits us with a "To be continued". Secondly, this is the first episode with a teaser. The show did these all the time, but this is the first episode that did that. The theme song is for some reason Full-screen too. Speaking of the theme song, one of the things I love about the episode is the Brainiac Robot. Because that is in the opening theme of every episode of season three. People always sneered at this show's tenuous seeming DC connections, but it had a legit DC character in every intro for the entire third season. I'm guessing DC might have actually given them grief for it as that was the only moment of the intro to be remade with clips in season four. But it shows the show is DCAU and embracing it. Speaking of Brainiac, I have qualms with his portrayal this episode. First off, Superman should be here. As far as the kids in the audience who have never seen Justice League before, Brainiac must be Batman's Big Bad. Superman's absence is the elephant in the room. I assume they wanted him and Static to formally meet in the episode he guest starred later on, but Toys In The Hood actually sucked, so that notion was a wash. He needed to be here. Secondly, what was with the robotic modulation of Brainiac's voice? They actually bothered to pay the money to bring back Corey Burton and we cannot hear that magnificent emotionless and smug voice? I would have killed to be able to hear Burton's normal Brainiac threaten to bring the funk down. Who wouldn't? What is this episode thinking? Also, let's be blunt: The animation in this two-parter sucks. Static Shock has always had a lower budget than Justice League, but it usually doesn't deal with spaceships and stuff. And it blew it because the animators had no practice at that. But to be honest, the animation in the first two seasons of Justice League seems outdated compared to modern techniques too, some of which were actually pioneered by Justice League Unlimited. So when you notice the animation is even worse than THAT, you REALLY notice it. I love that the League pretty much saves Static and Gear's butts at the beginning. They were literally pondering calling the police, and then Batman uses a pack of flame retardant on Hotstreak like the punk he is, and I laughed at how lucky these guys usually are in only having to face Static and Gear. For the record, them saying Static barely defeated each of the villains on their own would sound more credible if Carmen Dillo was not on the team. Carmen is a Bang Baby similar to Ferret in being the random Bang Baby Static beats up at the beginning of an episode that isn't actually about a Bang Baby. He is beyond worthless as a villain, and should be treated as such. They should have put Kangorr or Talon on the team instead. I love that Batman consents to the selfie at the end, which is another thing that proves he likes Static an unusual amount. And of course Flash gives Green Lantern rabbit ears in the photo. I laughed at Static and Gear saying "Riiiight..." upon Flash asking them if they were old enough to be alone by themselves. Were I Batman, that particular line-reading by Phil Lamarr and Jason Marsden would have immediately made me call Alfred to babysit. It's actually weird that Batman doesn't do that. It's at this point I'm thinking he probably likes and trusts Static a bit TOO much for his own good. Still, I love the fact that contacting Static was entirely Batman's idea. Which is as it should be. Decent episode, but it's only decent. But it did do a lot of things differently for the first time. ***1/2.

A League Of Their Own (Pt. II):

Oh, my God! The animation on this Brainiac ship and it exploding was awful! Now realize this is the ONLY time we saw the Brainiac skull ship with tentacles in the entire DCAU and weep. I cannot tell if Gear is stupid for taking off his helmet in the Watchtower in the last episode, or lucky. Probably both. I have to call foul on the idea that Static has a Lil' Romeo CD. Yeah, Lil' Romeo does the new theme song. But in the early 2000's when this takes place, no high school male would be listening to that particular musician. Lil' Romeo's fans were a LOT younger back then, and definitely not of the older teenage male variety. So while they are name-dropping him for the solid he did for the guest appearance and theme song this season, Virgil and Richie sound unusually lame for it. I love Virgil whining to Batman when Green Lantern benches him. I love the amount of authority Static places in Batman. As far as Static is concerned, Batman is the reasonable League member. Which strikes me as incredibly funny. The power of friendship line at the end was unusually corny, even for Flash. I'm a bit embarrassed Dwayne McDuffie apparently wrote that. We learn later in both "Future Shock", and "The Once And Future Thing" that Static DID in fact join the League as an adult. I love that Brainiac still has that rap thing in his head as he tells Static and Batman that they are in his house now. Again, I would have LOVED to have heard that line delivered in Corey Burton's normal voice. Static versus the League was handled pretty flawlessly in my opinion. It's obvious Static cannot take any of the members of the League in a fight. His mission instead is to short out the mind control devices. Static defeating the League is a stretch. Him saving the League is not. Very clever writing there. A McDuffie specialty. I love Hawkgirl telling Static that the whack on John's head was "Just a tap". And that is pretty much their entire 'ship right there. This is the only episode in the entire series with a recap at the beginning. Like part one, this is decent, but decent is all it is. But I have fond memories anyways. ***1/2.

Showtime:

All things being equal, I think Static Shock was probably the greatest and most diverse show of Kevin Michael Richardson's career. I mean, he's not only serious as Robert, and heavy as Onxy, and cool as Kangorr, but he's silly as Bernie Rast too. Rast was a welcome addition to the season, that I would have not minded seeing more of. He's the dude who when the villain admits he's only became a villain because Rast ignored him, takes a phone call during the Scooby Doo reveal. That was awesome, and I love that Rast isn't actually punished for that. He's just a jerk, and jerks are allowed to exist if they don't break the law. Static saying he didn't know there was a TV show based on him was a meta moment, but unfortunately it was also a bit corny and obvious. Bernie saying that now would be a good time to cut to commercial right before the act break was much funnier. And there aren't even any commercials on the DVD! But it made me laugh over the air. I feel like the mystery of who Starburst was sucked. Aside from David Faustino voicing both him and Brandon, he didn't modulate his voice any, and Bradley was pretty much the only suspect. Even Scooby Doo is smart enough to give any given episode at least two other red herrings. When Puff talks about "Silent but Alarming" I was like "Silent but Deadly" would have been funnier. But I imagine that wouldn't pass muster with the censors for two reasons. Superman and Batman are again namedropped as existing, which is another thing that proves that from this season forward the show is fully committed to saying it is a part of the DCAU. For the record, when Richie asks if anyone has seen a brother with some self-respect, I realize Virgil gives him far more leeway about crap like that than a white person should ever be entitled to. Someday, Richie is going to say something that racially tone deaf to a black person who doesn't love him, and they'll righteously raise holy hell over it. Virgil is doing his friend no social favors in the long run for not correcting his offensiveness on this matter immediately when it happens. It was a good episode. Bernie Rast makes everything better. ***1/2.

Romeo In The Mix:

I'm not going to be kind. But I'm not going to be cruel either. The best thing to do for these celebrity guest appearances on the show is to try and remain objective and figure out what worked and what didn't. I can't imagine trying to stay objective for Hoop Squad in Season 4, but I can do it for this episode. First off, Lil' Romeo had much younger fans back then than the characters in Static Shock would be. His fans were the kids watching the show, not the kids IN the show. Which is why I really liked the joke of Hotstreak insisting the autograph is for his sister. It doesn't make up for the fact that Static has a Lil' Romeo CD himself according to a previous episode, but at least the episode is sort of poking fun of that with Romeo's blessing. Honestly, child musicians bother the crap out of me. Even more than child actors. There are ways for child actors to grow up healthy if the adults they are working with have a mind to make sure of that. Most adults working in Hollywood DON'T have the mind to do that, but it can be done, seeing as the entire cast of The Wonder Years is well-adjusted as adults (and Danica McKellar is Frieda on this show!). But you can't for a child musician. He's riding around in limos and basically having zero structure during his entire day and the show pretends there is no problem there. The episode doesn't even hint at an adult presence at all, which is concerning. I'm glad Romeo Miller is a happy and well-adjusted adult himself now. But the fame could not have helped. And the episode doesn't portray it as abnormal. Part the appeal of the Shaquille O'Neal episode is that Shaq is just a big kid who hates playing the celebrity game. It's nonsense, but it makes the character more likable than one who dresses up as Static and delivers a painful rap. My least favorite moment was him crossing his fingers behind his back as he lies to Frieda and Daisy. I hate that. It's the show pretending that if a kid does that, it's actually honorable to lie and no big deal. That's not true. That's a lie kids tell each other rather than facing up to how much they suck. Instead of Frieda and Daisy being (rightly) furious at the end, the show acts like the crossed fingers already ended the subject. And that pisses me off. I like when Romeo is referring to his posse he means his lawyer. Because I think Leech is an idiot for thinking Romeo is in a gang. He's fourteen and mega-rich with little kids for fans. How would that work exactly, Leech? Show your math. Idiot. Bernie Rast was somehow even funnier in this episode. Neither Static nor Richie point out that Rast screwed them over in the very last episode, which is another clear indication the DVD set is organized by airdate order rather than production order. But I love Bernie demanding somebody get him Robin or "the green kid from the Titans". This was when Teen Titans was already on the air, but it was new and not knocked out of DCAU canon yet. What this means is that the DCAU Teen Titans most definitely includes a Beast Boy. But isn't Tim Drake's ROBIN in the Titans too? Is this a recent development? Is that why Rast doesn't know it? Leech's teeth freak me out. What an ugly design. When Bernie says that he wants Romeo's fans to know he's just a regular dude, Romeo says they already know that. Uh huh. Says the fourteen year riding around in limos and playing videogames in the middle of a schoolday. Do you know what I love? And it shows the value of Dwayne McDuffie. Romeo likes and appreciates Gear too, and immediately let's him know it. A lesser show would have had him call him Gizmo the way Rast does, but even if Romeo is all about Static, he still recognizes that Gear is a major part of that. If I could meet a member of the Bat-family, I'd want it to be Batman. But I'd appreciate meeting Nightwing, Robin, or Batgirl just the same. I like that Romeo is scared of the plaster demon dummy in the studio. I think an adult might have again objected to that, but I actually think that's a thing an adult SHOULDN'T object to. It's not just a matter of vanity. Romeo put himself into a dangerous situation. Even if something dumb scared him for no reason, the reason he was scared was legit. It's because he realized for the first time that the situation was serious and possibility life-threatening, and he might not have gotten that in his head without the demon dummy. I would have loved to have seen this moment in the Shaq or A.J. McClean episodes, but those guys are adults, and probably would not like to be shown as acting scared. I love the moment where Leech declines to drain Gear because he assumes he has no powers. That was a mistake. If he had drained Gear's intelligence, he might have actually figured out a way to win. This was a clever way to show the villain underestimating Richie. Honestly, years later, this strikes me as slightly worse than it did over the air, simply because it doesn't age well or hold up, and I am self-aware enough about morality and writing ethics to object to the crossed fingers for the correct reasons. But it's also not terrible, and is in fact way better than the actual Superman crossover. If DCAU fans tolerate "Toys In The Hood", this shouldn't bother anybody all that much. Average. ***.

Toys In The Hood:

I hate this episode. For much different reasons than most DCAU fans who don't watch the show. But unlike them, my complaints are legit. A lot of DCAU fans thought that an episode this terrible made the Superman: The Animated Series franchise look bad. First off, I don't care if that's true. The show was already off the air for several years when this aired. As far as I was concerned, the episode getting Static fans into Superman TAS was a little too late. Plus, face it, after the amazing Season 1, that show did a crapton of terrible episodes too. Many no better than this. No, I object to this episode being terrible because somebody checking out the show because Superman is in it, will think this is an average episode of this show. Unlike most DCAU fans, I don't object to the episode making Superman: The Animated Series look bad to DCAU fans. I care about it making Static Shock look bad to Superman fans. The entire goal of these crossovers is to get Static Shock extra viewers. Sometimes, the viewer likes the crossover enough to stick around for the regular show. And that described me. Until Batman and Robin guest starred in season 2, I never really saw or registered the show. But once they did, I got caught up and obsessed on it in its own right. What angers me is that if this were the first crossover, I might not have done that. It works against the interest of the show in getting people who don't ordinarily watch it to tune in. Because it's not actually a bad episode of Superman: The Animated Series. It's barely Superman: The Animated Series at all (to be blunt). But it's a bad episode of Static Shock, and will give people the wrong idea about the show. Let us now itemize the suck. I think the thing that REALLY sucks is that not only did the show not use the John Williams' Superman cue, they didn't use the Shirley Walker one either. They just have synthesizers randomly bleat a few unrelated chords and act like that's acceptable. The Static Shock version of the Batman Theme isn't all that hot either, but it's at least the Batman Theme. This is about as painful to listen to as the joke music cue for the Abandoned Gas Station Of Solitude in Season One. Except that was SUPPOSED to hear the ear wrong, and sound out of tune and off-key. What's this episode's excuse? I also have no idea why they picked Obsession to do a sequel episode to. Remember when I said Superman had its share of sucky episodes? Obsession was one of them. Darci Mason is not a villain I needed wrap-up with. I get the logic of using Toyman. He's the only one of Superman's rogues Static can believably take on. But they did NOT have to tie this episode so heavily into a previous episode of a series that wasn't even airing on Kids WB at that point. And the fact that it was a sucky episode makes it especially annoying. Toyman is NOT a villain that needs a complex backstory when he randomly shows up on another series. Justice League Unlimited proved this in "Alive!". He's just a creepy little dude who plays with killer toys. That's all the show needed to do. Sheesh. Third, while I find it a bit refreshing that nobody learned anybody's identity the way they did in the Batman episodes, part of me hates that because it makes Superman's team-up with Static entirely impersonal. Static and Richie had some actual pathos when teamed up with Batman, the Justice League, Batman Beyond, and Green Lantern. There are no stakes because Static doesn't really want to impress Superman the way he does Batman, and Superman doesn't care about Static the way Batman does. And it lowers the stakes of the episode entirely. I can also point out that this episode had unusually bad dialogue and jokes. Static calls Superman "Superdude" and Superman says "I have a Super headache." I practically screamed at my TV "Stop saying 'Super'!" The writer is TOTALLY trying to make fetch happen. I seem to recall the episode got a lot of crap back in the day for the poor animation, but honestly, I like it more in hindsight than I did over the air. Yeah, it's not as good as Superman's show. But because they are using the digital color palate instead of cels, the animation on Superman and Toyman is more colorful than it ever was on the original series. It might have even been more colorful than Superman ever was on Justice League too. I like the fact that his design has visibly blue eyes for the first and only time in the entire DCAU. This also reminds me that even though the animation on this show in the last two seasons was NOT as fluid as it was in the first two seasons, it was also a lot more eye-popping and colorful. I almost don't mind how choppy and badly animated it is. I would love to have seen a Superman series where the character is that colorful. Interesting fact: I'm not positive, because you might or might not be able to include Justice League's Comfort And Joy in this observation: But this is probably the most screentime George Newbern has ever had as Clark Kent. One of the (very few) things I disliked about both later Justice League series is that the secret identities were used so sparingly. Which was another cool thing about the Static Shock crossovers. Props to the episode for actually paying the money to get Bud Cort back. I fart in Justice League Hereafter's general direction. Seriously. The guy had no career at this point. How expensive could he have been? Granted, there were still five other members of the Superman Revenge Squad that that show also cheaped out on, but considering Toyman's specific role in that episode, Bud Cort should not have been one of them. I thought Darci melting on camera was entirely gruesome at the end, and far too gruesome for this show. That's acceptable for a Batman ending, or a Batman Beyond one. Not one for a show with this young a target audience. And supposedly Static cannot stop the plastic soldiers because electricity does not effect plastic. That's stupid and untrue. Plastic does not CONDUCT electricity. But it can get scorched or melted by it if the jolt is large enough. Something doesn't need to always conduct electricity to be affected by it. How is it that I know this and the writer doesn't? This episode is probably the worst of the season. It's definitely the worst DC crossover, and would be the worst crossover ever if Hoop Squad didn't top it a year later. *.

The Parent Trap:

All things considered, I find Shebang totally annoying. Her threatening to out the identities shows that she is low down, and has no class or ethics about this sort of thing. Even Richie and Virgil are confused. Would she actually do that? Doesn't that break every rule you can think of? For the record, Richie doesn't treat Shanice all that nice either, if he's complaining she's not laughing at his dumb jokes while her parents are missing and presumed criminals. Back in the day when I first saw Heavyman, I squealed with glee to finally learn the deal about the scary monster in the theme song. It's amazing it took until episode 11 to find out his story. And it's Ron Perlman! Speaking of Heavyman, is it Heavyman or Bigfoot? The credits list Heavyman (and Static does refer to him that way once) but during the rest of the episode he is Bigfoot. This is the biggest DCAU name conundrum since Mighty Mom / Rolling Pin. I love the notion that the collars aren't designed to shock the parents. They aren't even designed to explode. They are designed to inject poison into their necks. As seen in my complaining about Darci melting, that seems far too gruesome a concept for this show. Except we don't actually see it, so it's okay in my book. It makes this much more nervewracking to me than if they were merely trying to deactivate a bomb. I laughed at Richie and Virgil putting on the wrong masks in the headquarters when Shebang comes out of hiding. I don't understand why Shanice's parents had such a hard time saying the word "born". Whether she was a test tube baby or not, she WAS born at some point, and her mom would not be using an inappropriate phrase. In fact her using the frame of "came along" almost makes it sound like she is detaching her parenthood from her daughter which strikes me as wrong too. I rolled my eyes at the notion that Static's disc is now randomly big enough to carry two people. Similarly hard to believe is Gear using the computer program to get Heavyman's face from Koenig. Because I am just not seeing it, and neither would any reasonable computer program. I don't love the episode because I don't love Shebang. But Ron Perlman and theme song clarity make me forgive a lot. ***.

Flashback:

Rachel MacFarlane doesn't do a ton of non-Seth MacFarlane related voicework, but I was always tickled to hear her voice back in the day because I recognized it as from Olivia from Family Guy and loved the voice. This episode is amazing. Best episode of the season and contender for one of the best episodes of the series. Ebon's plan for a second Big Bang is terrible. There is no way he could control something like that. On the other hand, it would cause panic and chaos which is 100% his goal. So it is both the dumbest plan ever and the smartest at the same time. I love that the episode uses the idea that Virgil is losing the memories of his mother. That means, even if he can't save her life at the end, now that he has those new memories that he's old enough not to ever forget, he won a huge victory regardless. Interestingly, I love that as smart as Gear is, he doesn't put his foot down and tell Static it's a no-go on that particular mission. They are all pretty much in uncharted waters as far as what they can accomplish are concerned, but I like that Richie holds back his warning about the probable doomsday risks because he wants his friend to have his mother back. Just the fact that there is no scientist screaming that Virgil is endangering the world makes this episode superior to many time travel stories. They'll figure this out (and the right thing to do) themselves. And the episode is right to take that tack because they do. They actually improved things so that Jean knows her son becomes a superhero before she dies. I don't think this uses Block Universe time travel rules and is in fact an alternate timeline. Just because DC cartoons don't tend to use Block Universe rules to begin with. Time Zone retconning herself from getting superpowers by stealing her own bike is genius, as was Richie opining not to think about it or your head will hurt. Which is good, because this episode had even more paradoxes attached to it than usual because of that specific ending. So, yeah, pay no attention to the plothole behind the curtain. You'll just hurt yourself. I like that Ebon is the villain. He's Static's Big Bad so it makes sense he is present for his most personal mission yet. It strikes me as a shame that Virgil does not point out a simple truth to Jean: She can't help ANYONE in the future if she's dead. Maybe it's okay if the Universe lets her take this one night off, so she can help it for the rest of her entire life. And I understand why Virgil doesn't say that. Because he's a kid, and not smart enough to have that wisdom and perspective. But if he had, she would have definitely stayed put. My one nitpick is showing the clock hands going backwards visibly fast when time was rewinding. I wouldn't object to that if it was being rewound days at a time, but events seemed to be moving backwards in real time, which meant the clocks needed to stand still, at least as far as the eye was concerned. But that's my only real complaint. This is one of my favorite episodes of the series. *****.

Blast From The Past:

Not to be confused with the Superman: The Animated Series episodes "Blasts From The Past". That was cheesy, corny, dumb, and enjoyable. It's a genuine guilty pleasure in the way the Brain Puppets episode last year was not. I am allowed to think this is stupid and enjoy it too. It's not TOO Brain Puppet stupid. I love another theme song character origin story, this time for Professor Menace. In the theme he wears goggles, and here he wears a mask. Interestingly, in the theme he is defeated by Gear. But I loved them giving Soul Power the actual win at the end of the episode. I love that Menace turned out to be the old guy in the home annoyed with Morris' stories. It's just so stupid and so perfect at the same time. No complaints about that. None. I mentioned how low Shanice seemed for being willing to blab Virgil's secret, so you might call Morris threatening to do the same thing as just as bad. I don't agree. Unlike Shebang, Soul Power had no connection to Static, and didn't personally owe him a thing. It's less than ethical. But unlike Shanice, it's not an actual betrayal. Besides Virgil does him one worse: He actually makes fun of the car! That just is not done! I would show a similar level of disgust had Virgil kicked him in the yarbles. Could you imagine Batman's reaction if somebody talked trash about the Batmobile? Soul Power is far more chill about that than the situation actually calls for. Menace's gimmick of being an old guy pretending to be young reminded me of Mad Mod from Teen Titans and still does. Both of those episodes aired around the same time. That Soul Power dance was SO embarrassing. If you ever think the show made Robert TOO perfect and noble, and gave him TOO much dignity, watching him do that will disabuse you of that notion quick. It will make ya cringe. Guaranteed. What a fun episode. ****.
 
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