If you have any doubts about the cleverness of “Justice League Action,” you need look no further than this new clip, which makes a somewhat-obvious allusion to “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” only to slip in a winking reference to 1980’s “Superman II” as a bonus.
In the scene, the Justice League are captives of Toyman (voiced by Ken Jeong), who plans pits them against each other in the fighting game “Blvd Brawlers 2: JLA.” Challenged by Cyborg (Khary Payton), Toyman agrees to a little “friendly competition,” with the villain controlling the Man of Steel and the hero playing as Batman.
After some fighting game-style intros and slogans — “I am Batman!” — the combat gets under way, with Toyman breaking out a surprise special movie: Superman peels off his iconic “S” shield and throws it, wrapping up the Caped Crusader.
“Hey! Superman can’t do that,” Cyborg says, echoing countless viewers of “Superman II,” where the Man of Steel does that very thing to immobilize Non in the fight with the Phantom Zone villains in the Fortress of Solitude. We’re even treated to a video-game version of John Williams’ classic “Superman” theme — right before Batman gets really serious.
“Justice League Action” premiered Friday in the United States on Cartoon Network. The series moves to its regular time slot at 7:30 a.m. ET/PT on Dec. 24.