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Justice League: Doom DVD Review

03/04/2012

I love the DC animated movies. In fact, I think the animated are better than some of the live action ones made to date. I was super-excited when I heard that the newest movie would be following the “Tower of Babel” storyline, one of my favorites DC arcs to date. Perhaps I had built it up too much in my head because I was a little disappointed after watching Justice League: Doom.

First, I’ll start with the good news. All of the fan-favorite voice actors from the Justice League series are back as well as Nathan Fillion as the voice of Hal Jordan (from the Green Lantern animated films). It’s comforting to know that the brass at DC listened to what the fans wanted and brought the old team back together.

On to the bad news. While the old, familiar voice actors are back, the art was not. I wasn’t a fan with some of the design changes they made to the characters but that aside, the anime-ish style was a bit off-putting. And it may have just been me, but the coloring seemed to be really off. Maybe it was just my Blu-Ray copy, but there are spots (character close-ups mostly) where it seemed especially “pixilated” or something.

[WARNING SPOILERS START HERE]

The story itself was disappointing in that it only loosely borrowed from the basic plot of “Tower of Babel” but was touted as being an animated version of the story arc. Sure it was fun seeing the bad guys win a few for once, but there were a lot of plot holes. Bane learning that Batman is Bruce Wayne was biggie. It was a very climactic moment – it’s when you first realize that things are going to go right down the crapper for the Justice League. But it’s never resolved in the end. Bane knows Batman’s identity – what’s going to stop him from coming after him again and again? Or telling the Riddler, or Penguin, or the freakin’ Joker!?!?! Does Martian Manhunter pull a Zatanna and mind-wipe all of the villains? Is he just so inept that he forgets his most dangerous foe’s identity?

And that goes for Mirror Master and Flash as well. He kidnapped Flash’s grandmother (Iris?) and puts her in a booby-trapped box set to explode. Flash starts disarming it and gets a bomb attached to his wrist in the process. But what happens to Iris? Did he disarm the bomb before he rushed off? I would hope so. But he left her unconscious and trapped in box regardless. Again, no resolution.

The only one not targeted is Cyborg who is brought in as tech support by Batman to help foil the Royal Flush Gang at the start of the film. And that is one of the best scenes in the movie. Who knew a card-themed pack of criminals could do so much damage to the JLA?

[SPOILERS END HERE]

Another HUGE disappointment was the lack of a DC short. They are one of my favorite things about the releases but it was totally lacking one! Even though they are only 7 minutes, it’s a nice chance for one of the B-lister characters to get some screen time. Jonah Hex, Catwoman, even the Specter got their moment to shine and got my friends asking for more info about these guys.

As a side note, I bought the Best Buy special edition so I could get the exclusive figure. I don’t normally bother, but this one came with the Flash. He’s pretty cool for a “free” figure, though not the best. My brother has them all with the exception of the Public Enemies Batman that came out early on in the DVD releases.

MY SCORE: (C) It started off strong but failed to deliver what was promised. If you haven’t read “Tower of Babel” you may like it even more – but read it after you watch it for the contrast (and fewer plot holes). It was nice to have the old Justice League voice cast back for another run, though. And I hope this isn’t the last we hear from them.

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