It’s been six months since Man of Steel was crumbling box office’s worldwide, so it wouldn’t be a shock if there are plenty jonesing for more from the house not owned by Disney. So, throwing solo efforts aside — like WB has thus far with the Superman sequel, ehhh… — DC decides to keep the fangirl-and-boys from mobbing the animated division as well with a feature on the entire group.
Justice League: War is based on the comic book created by a couple guys you may have heard — Geoff Johns and Jim Lee — delivering the New 52 to animation. Inspired by the first 6 issues of Justice League, this War follows Superman (Alan Tudyk), Batman (Jason O’ Mara), Wonder Woman (Michelle Monaghan), Flash (Christopher Gorham), Green Lantern (Justin Kirk), Shazam (Sean Astin), and Cyborg (Shemar Moore). While Shazam takes the place of Aquaman from the comic book, it has since been revealed that the King of Atlantis will indeed make waves in the next JLA movie.
So calm down, purists! Curry will get his time to represent.
And why would all these mighty heroes need to unite, but to fight a supervillain.. oh.. named Darkseid (Steve Blum)? An intergalactic wormhole has been opened so Darkseid can funnel in a crazy and damn ugly group of cyborg aliens to take over the planet. I think that’s what they are. Can anyone tell what those damn things actually are?!
What makes this JL film different from previous incarnations is the fact that, this time out, none of the superheroes have met previously. With that, War offers the freshness and originality of discovering these characters all over again. Some join quite harmoniously to battle the threat before them, and others…well, let’s just say it’s a good thing there’s a shitload of aliens to kill!
Yet, despite the majority of the movie showcasing an all-out battle, all of our heroes are given significant “screen time” to display their powers. One of the feature’s most pleasant surprises was the abundant amount of humor. Yes, of course, I’m referring to the continued “out-dicking” of Green Lantern and Batman. The sarcastic wit of the writing team allows these otherwise fratboy moments to play enjoyable.
Wonder Woman has the naivety of a little girl in a giant playground, where everything is just new and amazing as she tears through aliens with her sword. If nothing as dire or as vicious as Flashpoint, the movie does have its share of serious moments. Cyborg‘s origin story in particular — with young Victor having to deal with a neglectful father who appears more interested in science than his son — is quite sad. And despite the fact everyone and their mama knows the deal, the Divine one promises you’ll still feel for Bruce when he reveals his dire reasoning for fighting crime.
With Justice League: War taking the lead-off spot in DC’s new series of animated movies, there’s no question I’ll be looking at the next one to steal second base. There was a pure delight in seeing all of these crazy heroes on the same screen, so far that it took me back like a little kid waking up early on a Saturday so that he wouldn’t miss a second of “JLA.” Except now, we got Rudy a.k.a. Raphael a.k.a. Samwise Gangee having us all spouting out: SHAZAM!
(Q&A on next page…)