Thursday, May 23, 2019

DC Superhero Girls #Beeline

I know that I am beginning to sound like a broken record (a dated reference if there ever was one) but this new take on DC Superhero Girls is a ton of fun and I love it.

As I have said since its debut, the show is a great mix of action and humor. There are deep cuts to the DCU. There is a dollop of adult humor and references, the sort of things to keep the grown-ups happy. And there are messages of pride, empowerment, and inclusion ... but the stories drive the messages, not the other way around.

All the kudos to Lauren Faust for this injection of adrenaline into this franchise.

Take, for example, the latest long form episode airing on the Cartoon Network, #Beeline.

This is a story of Bumblebee learning to be strong, be proactive, and embrace being a hero, someone who puts the well being of others over herself. But we have to get there.

We also get a version of the Legion of Doom and end with a classic superhero trope, the villains and heroes running towards each other.

But the episode opens with a dramatic shot of the heroes running towards the camera, racing to get somewhere 'before its too late!'

What is the threat?

It turns out the 'threat' is that they are going to be late for the ferry to take them back into town. Babs has a work shift. Kara has a concert to go to. The team races and makes it just onto the ship. That is, everyone except Karen/Bumblebee who lagged behind and missed.She had the opportunity to jump for the ferry ... but was too afraid to take it.

You can feel how low she is feeling by those slumped shoulders and her looking at the ground.

And yes, I like that the ferry's name is S.S. Tardy, another reminder to Karen that she was late.

And then, as she walks home the long way, the creative team puts in more little Easter eggs to build that feeling of despair.

Ads about hair dryers 'blowing it'. Safes that 'fail'. Vacuums that are named 'u-suk'.

These small flourishes are great.

On the way over the bridge, she spies a group of super-villains: Poison Ivy, Catwoman, Star Sapphire, Livewire, Giganta, and the most maniacal Harley Quinn I think I have ever seen.

Seriously, Tara Strong's Harley Quinn cackles her way throughout this episode in the most fascinating and scary way!

Harley doesn't want to take a math test the next day and the best way to stop that from happening is to blow up the bridge, stopping her teacher from making it into school. So she tasks KitKat, Pinky, Green Bean, Sparky, and Meathead to plant bombs everywhere. And she'll handle the plunger. Love those nicknames!

By the way, there is no doubt that the inspiration for this Catwoman is Eartha Kitt from Batman '66. That;s perfect.

Karen knows she can't let the villains succeed. And she knows who has to stop them ... anyone else.

We see her try to recruit any of her more confident friends to head to the bridge. But they're all busy.

Diana can't figure out her smartphone.
Supergirl is at a concert (some of the scenes here look like repurposed footage from #HardRock). Batgirl is at work.
Green Lantern is protesting. (Her thinking 'there are bombs on the bridge' is a metaphor for protesting is hysterical!)
And Zatanna can't go out crimefighting without her cape, which she can't find in her messy room.

So it is up to Bumblebee herself.

Back at the bridge, she steels herself and basically dives into Harley before the plunger can be plunged. The bridge is safe!

And Bumblebee learned a lesson ... she can do it. She is a hero!

Of course, it does mean she is alone against a gaggle of super-villain girls.

But before Giganta can squash her, someone steps in.

I love this scene of Wonder Woman stopping Giganta's fist with her open hand, ripple lines of force flying off.

That's cool!

The whole team is there!

Zatanna found her cape and rallied the troops!

I love how Zatanna floats in cooing that she found her cape while everyone else assumes their hero pose.

Yep. Zatanna is Rarity.

And then we get some action as the heroes and villains skirmish.

Supergirl taking on Giganta! Yes please!
And I love how Supergirl seems to be the only girl who gets the afterimages super-speed look. No one is that fast! It is something of a trademark. And here she props up Bumblebee saying she knew Karen had it in her!

But also good to see Zatanna and Star Sapphire face off. And Batgirl and Catwoman.

We pan back to see the two groups, including Bumblebee who has dusted herself off and joined the fray, run towards each other, the show ending in a burst of light!

Love this trope.

You know what I was feeling!

Great show all around. Hope folks are watching!


Anonymous said...

Couldn't one of the girls have picked Karen? Well, I guess she could have flown to the ferry on her own, so maybe she didn't want to.

"and the most maniacal Harley Quinn I think I have ever seen."

Oh, look, someone remembers Harley is a VILLAIN.

Supergirl vs Giganta was real great, although I'd prefer this Legion of Doom included a Supergirl villain (and I wouldn't call Livewire one).

Great episode, but did you see #SuperWho?"? It looks like we have Superman and Supergirl antagonizing each other again. Ugh.

William Ashley Vaughan said...

"By the way, there is no doubt that the inspiration for this Catwoman is Eartha Kitt from Batman '66. That;s perfect."

I think you mean purrfect. I love this new Catwoman too. I also like that even though this isn't a Supergirl centered episode, she still has a noticeable supporting role. She isn't just shuffled off into the background or completely ignored.