Mar 2012 07

“Justice League: Doom” is the newest addition to DC’s slate of animated films.  It has a lot of positives going for it including the action, voice acting, animation, and plot set up.  Unfortunately, there are a few key components that will keep this film from being enjoyed by more casual fans of the Justice League.  But if you have been a fan of any of DC’s previous efforts then you will not be disappointed with the latest installment.

The plot line is simple.  Vandal Savage has decided that he is going to take over the world by putting the Justice League out of commision, if not permamnently, for a very long time.  How exactly would you take down Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash and the others all at one time?  Of course Batman would know.  He has created contingency plans to take down all current and past Justice League members just in case any of them would go rogue.  Who will step up to save the League and will there be enough time to stop Savage’s plan of attack?

I love the set up of this film.  Batman is an outsider and will never trust anyone outside of a select few.  That fact is particularly showcased here when the League discovers that Batman’s plans are working against them all.  The story also gives a little bit for every fan of a particular character. though not much.  I feel this is both a positive and a negative.  Yes, we do get each member and one of their enemies in a fight, but it is not enough for any one character.  I know plenty on Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman.  But my knowledge on Martian Manhunter and Green Lantern’s villains are just not there, and this film does not help me learn any more on those characters.  They are only there to provide an obstacle for our heroes.

The voice acting is always one of the best parts on any Bruce Timm production.  Andrea Romano has nailed these characters perfectly.  This time she brought back all of our favorite voices from the animated tv series.  The only switch in Nathan Fillion in as Hal Jordan/ Green Lantern, which was a highlight for me.

My biggest complaint is that the film is missing a second act.  We are given the set up and fights to take down each of our heroes.  And then we are given the fight at the end.  There was definitely more possibility to explore the repercussions of Batman’s actions with the rest of the League.  Overall, the film feels more like an extended episode of the tv show.  Not a problem for me.  I watched the show religiously and just love seeing these characters in action.  But a casual fan will not get nearly the enjoyment of the film.

Special Features

  • A League of One: A Dwayne McDuffie Story:  Sadly McDuffie past away recently and this DVD/ Blu-Ray is dedicated in his honor.  This is a great short documentary that features the writer and artist.  More than just showcasing all of the work he has done, interviews are done with writers and artists who have been influenced by McDuffie.  It is easy to see that the comic world lost a great talent.
  • Cyborg: His Time Has Come:  Before this film, I did not know much about this minor character in the Justice League universe, but I certainly do now.  We are given a brief history of the character, as well as all of the components that make the character so great.  I hope that we get to see more of him in the future.
  • Guarding the Balance: Batman and the JLA:  This goes more in depth to a topic that I wish was explored more in the film itself.  What happens when power is abused?  How do you trust the most powerful people to keep the people’s best interest in mind?  Interesting stuff but I wish Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman discussed it more in the film.
  • “Superman vs. The Elite” Sneak Peak: This is one of my favorite parts of all these DVD/ Blu-Ray releases.  I love to see one is coming up next from this team of producers.  I am not a huge Superman fan, but this story definitely intrigues.  What if a new group of heroes comes into Metropolis to rid the city of crime?  What if the population likes these new heros and their crime fighting ways more than Superman’s?
  • Bruce Timm’s Top Picks:  Bruce Timm is  a genius.  Plain and simple.  He has created some of my favorite tv shows of all time.  It is always fun to see what episodes he chooses to showcase that supplement the film.  “Wild Cards” stars Joker who has moved to Vegas due to a new primetime tv special that he is the star of.  The Royal Flush Gang is also featured.

The day that a new DC Animated film comes out is always an exciting time for me.  DC and Bruce Timm have created something very unique.  For the past several years they have released animated movies of some of the most beloved DC comics.  Some is a comic fans dream because Bruce Timm has proven time and agian that he loves this material with his work on “Batman: The Animated Series”, “Superman: The Animated Series”, and “Justice League: Unlimited”.  There is one glaring problem with this whole scheme which is that they are targeting a very specific audience.  I only hope that they continue to churn out great work so that this series of films can stay in stores.  So if you are a fan of any of these characters, do yourself a favor and pick this up in stores now.


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