The Hess Report

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Geek With a Capital "G" 

I know this marks me as a Grade A geek, born and raised on the corner of Geek St. and Geek Run Road, in the north side section of Geekopolis, but I watched the pentultimate episode of Cartoon Network's Justice League Unlimited with the girls yesterday, and it completely ruled. It really seems to me that the (American) 1/2 hour animated series is having some kind of golden age right now.

Maddie started watching Justice League when she was five, and we still watch it from time to time. I realized that I had simply assumed that Lucy wouldn't be interested, so I never asked her if she wanted to watch it too. She's old enough now not to be confused by what's going on, and to get almost all of the funny bits, so I asked her if she was interested. She was, so the three of us watched it together.

It was always a passable cartoon, but we hadn't watched it more than two or three times this season. I had read, though, that this season was really good, and that they were pushing some of the boundaries found in traditional American animation, regarding both animation style and the complexity/continuity of the plot. Having watched it yesterday, I can only say that man, they were right.

Things that were great:

"Less talking. More hitting."

Maddie wondering if Superman was really going to kill Lex Luthor ("Of course not: he's Superman," but he sure looks like he wants to.)

Wonder Woman using a jet as a javelin.

The anti-Superman/Batman/Flash/GL/Hawkgirl/WW.

The Lex Luthor/Brainiac hybrid creature.

Lucy explaining Brainiac's name: "He's a Brain Maniac." Which, duh, I'd never thought of in twenty-eight years.

And one of the things that always gets me in fiction, either in motion picture format or written, is when a character does something out of absolute necessity and desperation, and without realizing it they push themselves completely beyond the limits of anything they had thought possible, and when they look back on it they see that they did something truly incredible. Well, that's what the Flash did in this episode. Dude, isn't his only power to, like, run real fast? Yep. Isn't he kind of not too smart? Yeah. But he does that sort of thing I just mentioned, and it completely rocks. I mean, you suspect what he's doing, but you're not sure, and then they give you a point-of-view shot and he is indeed doing what you think he's doing, and you're just geeking out like crazy, because it's probably one of the coolest things you've ever seen animated. And then you think, yeah, but if he did THAT, then THIS would be happening, and they cut to showing just what you were wondering about, and you know that they thought the exact same things when they made this whole sequence that you did while you watched it. And that's geekdom for you.

By the way, I probably ought to put some curlicues, ornaments and gold leaf all over my capital "G", just to make sure it's big enough.

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