Today we dive in 2014’s first DC Universe Animated Movie-following late 2013’s “Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox”.
This time, we officially enter the New 52, and look at the Leagues first meeting, in JUSTICE LEAGUE: WAR – based on the first six issues of “Justice League” from Geoff Johns and Jim Lee-which kicked off the New 52 in September 2011.
How does the animated feature stand up to the source material? Let’s jump past the break and go to War…
So Justice League War is based off of the first six issues of 2011’s “Justice League” book-which kick started the New 52. It takes Batman: Under the Red Hood out of the running for quickest turnaround from comic to animation-and launches a continuity of its own.
So how is it?
This is actually exactly how I want my live action Justice League movie to be. I watched this with my sister-who is less than a passing comic book fan. She knows the important stuff because she lives with me, and is dating Rich (yes, the same Rich from this very site!)
It’s perfect for people like her-who are new to comics and superheroes. It gives a “just enough” introduction to each character to get a decent understanding of them:
Green Lantern – arrogant fly boy given powers by a galactic police force.
Batman – Brooding detective whose always one step above the rest.
Superman – Demigod, who may be a little bit naive and slightly arrogant in his own way
The Flash (Barry Allen) – Central City CSI who has super speed
Cyborg (Victor Stone) – college football star whose dad works at STAR Labs. His dad is more into his work than him, so when he confronts him about it-he is caught up in an accident that makes him half man half machine.
Wonder Woman – Ambassador from Paradise Island, flanked by Steve Trevor to meet the President. Warrior.
Shazam (Captain Marvel) – orphan boy who lives in a foster home, has magical powers that turns him into a full grown superhuman when he yells “SHAZAM!”
The big three, Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman need ABSOLUTELY no introduction. I’ve written before how Superman and Batman are two of the most iconic characters ever. This movie does a really good job of giving each character enough of an introduction. This is a JUSTICE LEAGUE movie..not a Wonder Woman movie.
With that said, the team unites because Darkseid has decided to invade Earth. The movie opens with Green Lantern chasing a Parademon through Gotham City-before confronting Batman.
The story is very much structured by each of the team members doing their seperate thing-and than meeting up to unite and eventually (spoiler?) save the day. The action is intense and non stop-with very minimal lulls at all. This doesn’t take away from the narrative-as they dialogue and interactions between the League pushes the story along nicely, and keeps things interesting. There’s never really a scene that stops the movie dead for needless exposition. It starts with action, gives you a quick explanation of the box the Parademons are using (mother box) and moves on. Each character’s interaction with each other furthers the plot along.
Theres alot of violence in this one-just like Flashpoint. In Flashpoint, Aquaman is beheaded by Wonder Woman, and Professor Zoom is shot in the head by Thomas Wayne. In “War”? Darkseid breaks Hal Jordan’s arm in a pretty graphic manor, Victor Stone gets blown up and rebuilt in a pretty Guyver esque nano armor fashion. Darkseid gets both eyes stabbed out, Superman and Green Lantern brawl, Wonder Woman beheads a slew of Parademons while bathing in their blood. It’s pretty damn intense.
Again-all this carnage and action doesn’t feel forced or senseless. The League is BATTLING AN ENTIRE ALIEN ARMY.
The inclusion of Shazam was interesting, as in the comic book – the team includes Aquaman, and Shazam isn’t introduced until the early 20’s of the new Justice League book. In here-he’s a founding member-who even gets to steal Flash’s quip from the comic about being the “Super Seven!”
The voice cast isn’t bad. I thought everyone was spot on-except for maybe Superman-as he was a little too arrogant and egotistical for my liking. Hal was hillarious, even going as far as calling Batman a ‘total douchebag’. The interactions between he and Batman were fantastic.
Overall, Justice League War is a fun, awesome ride. Totally worth the price of admission.
It will be available on DVD and Blu Ray on February 4th. You can download it NOW from iTunes – if you get the bundle release with “Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox”.
The original storyline is collected in “Justice League Origins” – which you can find at your local comic book store. If you live in Lake or Porter Counties in Indiana-I reccomend our friends at Galactic Gregs (Valparaiso), Lightspeed Hobbies (Portage), Amazing Fantasy (Crown Point), and Heroes Haven (Michigan City). You can also pick it up digitally via Kindle and ComiXology right now, from your iPad, iPhone, Android, or Windows Device!
Check us out next time, when I review the Hasbro STAR WARS BLACK SERIES BOBA FETT figure!
– John “Pariah” Olesen