The key superheroes of the cartoon collection Justice League: Season One — Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman — are drawn in a stylized manner fascinating to both kids and the show’s sizable adult audience. Their upper torsos form inverted triangles, broad shoulders narrowing to tiny waists; Superman and Batman spring forth on legs whose musculature is both exaggerated and powerfully precise, while Wonder Woman’s hips have a lush roll to them. There’s always been a sexual subtext to comic books — those buff bods in spandex — made all the more erotic in its ostensible innocence: If Superman is a Ken doll for truth, justice, and the American way, then shadowy Batman is a kind of predator, and Wonder Woman a bustiered dominatrix, her golden lasso tying you down.
The mastermind behind these 26 Justice League episodes is producer Bruce Timm, who has revitalized superhero animation, leading talented teams of writers and artists to tap into the potent fantasies of children and boomers alike. JL and its current Cartoon Network extention, Justice League Unlimited, are steeped in comics history extending back to World War II (check out the ”Savage Time” story arc on disc 4, showcasing period fan favorites the Blackhawks). The tales are simple; the extras — three how-we-did-it commentaries by Timm and his crew; vivid sketched storyboards — entrancing.