Loosely based on Mark Waid’s JLA comic book story arc, “JLA: Tower of Babel”, Justice League: Doom is the latest in the line of animated DC Movies from Warner Brothers. Adapted and written by Dwayne McDuffie, Justice League: Doom features Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash (Barry Allen), The Green Lantern (Hal Jordon) and Martian Manhunter battling Metallo, Bane, Cheetah, Mirror Master, Star Sapphire, Ma’alefa’ak and Vandal Savage for the fate of the world.
Let’s face it; Batman/Bruce Wayne is a dick. He doesn’t trust anyone, he lurks in the dark, plays with bats, puts together comprehensive scenarios to take down his fellow Justice League members…that sort of thing…
Justice League: Doom, begins with Batman tracking down the Royal Flush Gang, who are busy breaking into a diamond/jewel vault using technology that is way out of their pay grade and allows them to pass right through walls. Batman reports into the Justice League, where Superman orders him to wait for backup before engaging. Batman being Batman, he ignores Superman and goes after the gang on his own. This leads to a battle where Batman gets the snot kicked out of him — but the JLA shows up in time to help him out and capture the Royal Flush Gang. Cyborg also comes along to verify that the technology being used is well beyond the Gang’s ability to create. With a new mystery on their hands, Batman wants to immediately start investigating where the technology came from, but the JLA tells him to go home and get some rest.
Unhappy by this, Batman reluctantly returns to the Batcave, where Alfred agrees with the League and forces him to get some rest. Neither realize that Mirror Master has hitchhiked his way into the cave via the rear view mirror in the Batmobile. Mirror Master uses a device to pull files from the Batcomputer, files Batman has created for each member of the JLA that list, exactly, how to take them down, should they ever go rogue. Using those files, Vandal Savage contacts Metallo, Bane, Cheetah, Mirror Master, Star Sapphire and Ma’alefa’ak, offering them the information and a massive amount of money, so they can once and for all take down their adversaries within the League. But Savage has a plan beyond killing the JLA. He wants them out of the way so that plan can move forward without interference.
Okay, so – Justice League: Doom has a lot of action, which is good, but it feels rushed to me — like there is little substance to the story. The animation is okay, though Wonder Woman’s nose is weirdly flat, and Superman looks to me like he has a cupie doll face. The producers of the movie have reassembled the cast from the Justice League series, sans Phil LaMarr as Green Lantern/John Stewert, replaced by Nathan Fillion as Hal Jordan/Green Lantern. Also, Michael Rosenbaum voices The Flash, but it’s not Wally West as seen in the show, but rather his predecessor, Barry Allen. There are differences between the comics and the movie, but that’s to be expected. Overall, it’s a decent flick that skirts the surface of who Batman is and how he thinks. He’s on this team of superheroes and he has contingencies to take each and everyone of them down. The betrayal the team feels at learning this, the rift it causes between the JLA and Batman, is huge.
Superman: You put all these plans together should any of us go rogue. But what about you? Is there a plan should you turn?
Batman: Yes. It’s called ‘The Justice League’.
Long time fans will be happy to have Kevin Conroy back as Bruce Wayne/Batman, and Tim Daly as Clark Kent/Superman, Susan Eisenberg as Princess Diana/Wonder Woman, Carl Lumbly as J’onn J’onzz/Martian Manhunter and Michael Rosenbaum as Barry Allen/The Flash. I think having these veterans who have already established themselves in these roles lends a strong consistency and continuity to these films.
There are a 2 DVD versions and a Blu-Ray available. Your basic, single disc edition includes a first look at the next animated film, Superman vs. The Elites, and will run you between $14 & $16 depending on where you pick it up. The Blu-Ray edition will run you between $16 & $25 depending on where you pick it up, and includes these special features:
- A League of One: The Dwayen McDuffie Story (36:35) Friends and family of the late Dwayne McDuffie, including Stan Berkowitz, Matt Wayne, Charlotte McDuffie, Andrea Romano, Denys Cowan, Sid Jacobson, Bruce Timm, Joe Kelly, Dan DiDio and many others talk about his brilliance (he went to college at age 10) and everything he contributed to comics (from his work on Deathlok, Damage Control, Milestone and more).
- Guarding the Balance: Batman and the JLA (18:54) A look at Batman’s decision to keep safeguards against each member of the Justice League. Writers, authors, professors and others talk about the idea of “absolute power corrupting absolutely.” How do you keep the power in check?
- Sneak Peek at Superman vs. The Elite (6:32) The next DC original animated story is based on the story of Superman taking on the Elite (beginning in ACTION COMICS #775). What happens when Superman is called into question? The movie will be released Summer 2012.
- Cyborg: His Time Has Come (6:08) Geoff Johns, Mike Carlin and Marv Wolfman talk about his creation and why now is the time for him to be a bigger part of the DC Universe.
- Justice League Unilimited Episodes (“Wild Cards, Parts 1 & 2”).
- Audio Commentary
- DC Digital Comic Book – Justice League Of America: Tower Of Babel (JLA #43)
Finally, for a sneak peek, here is the official trailer: