Sunday, May 13, 2012

Movie Review: Justice League: Doom

Since The Avengers movie seems to be the big thing right now, and since I detest actually going to the theatre nowadays (fat ass + narrow seats = uncomfortable), I thought I'd watch and review another recent super-hero flick: Justice League: Doom.

This is the latest in the DC Universe animated movies, and like most of the recent ones, is only related to any of the others on unique tangents and cameos. The whole series is basically an offshoot of Justice League and Justice League Unlimited, the popular animated series on Cartoon Network. There are bits and pieces of iconography from that series all over the place, but this tale is really a combination homage to two things: Challenge of the Super Friends and Mark Waid's legendary JLA story "Tower of Babel". 

The "Doom" of the title is the Legion of Doom, named after Lex Luthor's halfwit team from the Super Friends cartoon. This time, however, it is led by Vandal Savage, the immortal villain. A modern version of Cheetah is the only holdover from that team, which features Metallo, Bane, Ma'alefa'ak, Star Sapphire and Mirror Master as the arch-enemies of each Leaguer. 

As a nod toward the recent "New 52" revamp, former Teen Titan Cyborg is thrown into the mix. A good chunk of the story is a variation on a plot line in "Tower of Babel": The Batman has contingency plans to neutralize each member of the Justice League, should such a thing become necessary. The aftermath of a staged robbery by the Royal Flush Gang affords Mirror Master the opportunity to get into the Bat-Cave and steal those plans, which Vandal Savage modifies into death traps for each member of the League (which are not the same as in the original story). 

While in "Tower of Babel", Ra's Al Ghul destroyed the most basic of communication abilities in all over the planet. Vandal Savage plans to ignite a solar flare that will devastate half the planet, with him and his Legion of Doom becoming masters of the survivors. 

This movie was as action-packed as most of the other major entries in the DCU Animated line. There's a lot of the same character design work as the previous Justice League movie, Crisis on Two Earths, but the movie isn't directly related to that. There's not a lot of backstory that a viewer needs to know to jump right in and enjoy this great movie. 

If I had to rate this flick on a ten-point scale, I'd easily give it an 8. I think it is a good segue for anyone interesting in the Justice League and perhaps interested in looking at the New 52 comic line. Mind you, the Justice League comic book is a pale shade of most of the other titles, it is still probably the most accessible due to all the familiar faces.


by Rich Meyer

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