After a delay or two, we see the episode that seems to represent the "new format" - a full episode that has one old-school Leaguer and two newbies going off on a mission coordinated by J'onn. We don't have to have the whole set-up that we did in Initiation, which gives us more time to dwell on the new folks...theoretically.
The odd part is that we got more character development of the guest stars (Green Arrow, Captain Atom, Supergirl) in "Initiation," which had to set up the new concept, then we got here. And we only had two characters to cover here. Hawk and Dove come across here as what they often were in the comics - walking cliches representing their respective embodiment/viewpoints. Did anybody come away from this episode with any insight into these two? No? Didn't think so.
At best the two were an example of "joke" casting, with the guys from The Wonder Years in basically a role-reversal. Fred Savage is the aggressive one. But really they didn't serve much purpose here. Why are they the best choices for this mission? Particularly since they don't show up when summoned. Granted, this isn't clear - are all the Leaguers now supposed to be on duty 24/7? If they don't respond, why not get someone else?
The brief bit with J'onn is actually better - his appeal to Wonder Woman based on their changes since coming to the world.
That leaves Wonder Woman, who gets a bit of characterization here. One gets the impression that Hawk & Dove are here more as a plot point for her character development - she's tending toward violence but Dove shows her the value of Peace. In the comics, Hawk & Dove's dad originally was the balance between the two - here, it's Wonder Woman.
Ares makes an adequate villain - more of a planner (as he often is in the comics) then someone who slugs it out with the heroes. Not much to him here, or any real hints of his back story (for good or ill) with the Amazons and Wonder Woman. Hephaestus (voiced by long time cartoon-voice actor Edward Asner) makes more of an impression here - crafting the big threat and later providing some zest to the meeting between him and Wonder Woman.
What's up with hiring Patrick Bauchau just to waste him in a 30 second bit-part?
This seemed to be the first episode to suffer from the half-hour episode length. We really didn't find out much about Hawk & Dove, or be given a reason to care about them. Why they went with the male/male team, which got dropped from the comics decades ago, isn't really clear.
The bits about Wonder Woman's mother, and the return to Kaznia, touched on some previous elements in the series and provided a nice bit of continuity. There really isn't much to Wonder Woman's "characterization" here, since it pretty much arises out of nowhere and presumably will disappear again after she resolves her issue her.
Overall, this one was probably among the worst so far. The bar scene was padded and seemed unnecessary to provide a "intro" to the characters. There was way too much of the "blurring" F/X and no real computer animation this time around. The characterization was pretty two-dimensional and forgettable, and we weren't really given anyone to care about. Overall, I'd have to give this one a thumbs-down.