Hello, my friends. Hard to imagine that it’s been a whole calender year since this series started, but it has. Welcome once again to another entry in…
This series has come a long way since being born alongside this very blog. In just one year, this series has looked at this line of films from its start in 2007 and has reached its mark up to 2011. We once again have a venture involving the DC Universe’s greatest superhero team. So far, they’ve overcome ’50s prejudice to help stop a great being and even crossed into an alternate universe to stop their alternate evil. Now, a different shade of villainy awaits them in a tale called…
Originally released on February 28, 2012, this film is loosely based on a story line from the year 2000 called “Tower of Babel”. Written by Mark Waid, it was originally published in JLA #43-46. Let’s dive in and see how this series puts its own spin on the tale.
We open to a crime in progress as Bruce Wayne a.k.a. Batman (voiced by Kevin Conroy) arrives at the diamond depository where the Royal Flush Gang has broken in and are stealing precious diamonds. He eventually gets their attention as a fight breaks out.
Batman manages to hold his own against the Royal Flush Gang before his fellow comrades, the Justice League, show up to help him out. Upon their arrival, they’re forced to split up and go after the individual members of the corrupt family of thieves.
Going after Ten (voiced by Juliet Landau) is Hal Jordan a.k.a. Green Lantern (voiced by Capt. Malcolm Reynolds himself, Nathan Fillion). After a small pursuit, G.L. fires from a cork gun construct and manages to get Ten off of her hover board and successfully capture her.
For Kal-El a.k.a. Superman (voiced by Tim Daly), he tangles with the behemoth known as Ace (voiced by Bruce Timm). The Man of Steel easily withstands the mighty android’s fierce punches as he puts it down with a swift “I Am A Man” punch to the gut, deactivating Ace one and for all.
Meanwhie, Queen (voiced by Grey Griffin [credited as Grey DeLisle]) is being pursued by Diana Prince a.k.a. Wonder Woman (voiced by Susan Eisenberg). She tries attacking with a barrage of razor-sharp cards, but the eternal face of the Amazons defects the entire attack with her bracelets and her lasso before using her signature weapon to tie up Queen and defeat her.
For Batman and Barry Allen a.k.a. The Flash (voiced by Michael Rosenbaum), they’ve got the task of trying to defeat Jack. The problem: he’s held up in a safe where the small space makes super-speeding right in out of the question. As such, Batman uses his batarangs as a distraction while the Flash vibrates through the wall and appears right behind Jack where the super-speedster is able to bring him down.
The only one who slips through the Justice League’s grasp is King (voiced by Jim Meskimen). Despite the Martain Manhunter (voiced by Carl Lumbly) using his transparency, King uses his staff to deliver a powerful shock to dispose of ol’ J’onn J’onzz.
King manages to escape from the building, but he runs into and is instantly defeated by Victor Stone a.k.a. Cyborg (voiced by Bumper Robinson). The rest of the JLA quickly follow as they arrive with the rest of the defeated Royal Flush Gang.
He tells the Justice League that Batman invited him since there was a suspicion that the Royal Flush Gang used an advanced piece of technology to help out with their crime. It turns out that the machine allowed them to pass through the wall in order to get in. He also states that this sophisticated piece of machinery is way beyond what the R.F.G. would normally use.
Wonder Woman uses her lasso to try and find out who gave them the high-tech machine, but King replies with the fact that he doesn’t know. Even after the Martian Manhunter uses his telepathy to scan each Royal Flush mind, the result is the same: each of them has no clue who gave them the machine.
With no other leads to turn to and Cyborg needing extensive time to analyze the projector’s technological prowess, Batman takes his leave with his grappling hook.
Upon arriving back in the Bat Cave, the Caped Crusader is confronted by his butler Alfred (voiced by Robin Atkins Downes). Before allowing his master to go back to work, he asks that he gets some medical attention, nourishment and some sleep.
After Batman and Alfred depart from the cave, a flash of light shines within the Batmobile as a familiar villain climbs out of the car. It turns out to be Mirror Master (voiced by Alexis Denisof) who managed to get in by hiding in the rear-view mirror. He approaches the Batcomputer and attaches a LexCorp device onto the console. After downloading certain files for his boss, he manages to get back into the Batmobile and back into said mirror.
We then cut to a swamp where a group of super-villains have gathered together. Suddenly, a certain craft rises from the waters to let these diabolical foes in.
Upon entering the Hall of Doom, Star Sapphire (voiced by Olivia d’Abo), Metallo (voiced by Paul Blackthorne), Bane (voiced by Carlos Alazraqui), Cheetah (voiced by Claudia Black) and Ma’alefa’ak (also voiced by Carl Lumbly) meet the guy who invited them in the first place.
None other than Vandal Savage (voiced by Phil Morris). With Mirror Master by his side, he lays down the ground work of his plan. Even though he has no personal vendetta against the members of the Justice League, the five invites plus Mirror Master do. The JLA would also stand in Vandal’s way of achieving a much higher plan that he has in store. He offers up a huge bounty to those who will be able to offer their assistance in bringing the Justice League down. After much convincing, they’re all on board with the idea as they agree to form this alliance.
The plan is set in motion as Bruce Wayne is informed by Alfred of a terrible deed that has occurred. He arrives at the cemetery and sees in horror that someone has dug up his parents’ graves. When he asks what happened, the caretaker informs him that he doesn’t know. Unknowing to Bruce, the caretaker was actually Bane who easily gets the jump on him. Bruce gets beaten up very quickly as Bane throws him into his parent’s grave and buries him alive.
We then proceed to a dockside bar where the Martain Manhunter is celebrating his birthday under his earthly disguise of John Jones. As his fellow police friends present him with his birthday cake, John’s martian weakness to fire makes him blow out his candles before a single note of Happy Birthday could get sung. Shortly afterwards, a waitress gives him a glass of soda and says that a woman at the counter bought it for him.
After thanking her for the drink, he has a quick sip of the beverage. The two of them get into a conversation before suspicion greatly arises as the woman tells him to “use your martian vision”. As such, he uses said power on her.
To his surprise, the lady in red is actually Ma’alefa’ak in disguise. John is then informed that his drink was laced with magnesium carbonate, a salt compound that’s hazardous to martian biology. As a natural reaction, his body will require several hours in order to sweat it out of his system as he reverts back to his actual form and tells his fellow officers to get the civilians to safety. Shortly afterwards, Ma’alefa’ak tosses a lighter from behind the crowd and ignites the Martian Manhunter. His friends try to put the blaze out, but a fire extinguisher and covering J’onn in a table sheet are incapable of helping as the disguised Ma’alefa’ak casually walks out with a smirk.
Meanwhile at another dock, Wonder Woman is fighting Cheetah aboard a maritime ship. During the fierce clash of female combatants, Cheetah manages to land a scratch on Wonder Woman’s arm. After realizing that the particular hit was laced, she pursues the ferocious feline off the ship only to suddenly find multiple versions of her adversary right in front of her. Not willing to back down, she began her assault.
Over in Central City, Barry Allen is with the police as they investigate a crime scene. Just then, a fellow officer informs them that Mirror Master has hijacked a maglev train. As such, Barry takes his leave as he changes into his Flash outfit and speeds off towards the crime in progress.
After reaching the train and freeing three tied-up officers, the Flash confronts multiple Mirror Masters. After dispersing the various holograms with his super-speed, he finally confronts his foe. Mirror Master then presents a challenge to him called the “Hostage Box”. Inside the clear containment is an old woman who’s unconscious but alive. Failing to save her in time before the activated countdown runs out results in her death. As such, the Flash reaches through a small hole in the box to speed through the combination lock. However, the woman was just a hologram as a device bolts onto his wrist. Mirror Master tells him that it’s a bomb that has a blast radius of three miles. The Flash is told that if he tries removing it or do nothing within one minute, it’ll explode. The only thing that’ll prevent it from blowing up is if he keeps running. If he decelerates at any point, then KABOOM! Upon the completion of his exposition run, Mirror Master disappears since it was just a well-made hologram. As such, the Flash runs out of the train in order to prevent his newly-latched bomb from exploding.
Meanwhile, Green Lantern arrives in front of a salt mine that’s blocked off by the FBI. He’s informed that a group of heavily-armed militiamen called the Identity Brotherhood has taken over in order to use it as a base during a “Second American Revolution”. To make things worse, they’ve already claimed the lives of a dozen people and they also have hostages. After being informed on the situation at hand, Green Lantern heads in to take care of business.
Making his way deeper and deeper into the mine, the Emerald Warrior easily protects himself from enemy gunfire as he continues to put the various members of the Identity Brotherhood down. He then comes across four miners bound and gagged right under a mining drill as a brotherhood member activates the mining machine. As Hal finds out that the cut-off command is somewhere else in the mine, he uses his ring to knock the fiend out and then saves the miners by destroying the drill. After showing them the way out, one of the miners tells him that their bookkeeper named Carol is being held hostage further down.
Shortly afterwards, Green Lantern makes his way to the deepest part of the salt mine. Once inside, two more I.B. members open fire while a Loader speeds right towards him. For a moment, Hal hallucinates and see the vehicle as a extraterrestrial monster, but he quickly snaps out of it and uses his ring to flip the vehicle over. However, he then comes across the Brotherhood’s main leader who has Carol as his hostage. Green Lantern tries to talk him out of it, but it proves to be for naught as the leader activates a detonator that blows up a pile of explosives from behind.
After emerging from the blast, Hal begins to search through the rubble. Unfortunately, the woman didn’t survive the great explosion. As a result, Green Lantern starts to feel distraught about not being able to save her. Just then, Star Sapphire (a.k.a. former lover Carol Ferris) comes in to exploit Hal’s newfound and ever-building fear. Broken from this moment, Hal’s ring slips off his finger as he gives in to the horror of the moment.
Over in Metropolis, a crowd of on-lookers are overseeing a bad situation that’s playing out on the rooftop of the Daily Planet. D.P. photographer Jimmy Olsen (voiced by David Kaufman) is covering the incident alongside reporter and fellow employee Lois Lane (also voiced by Grey Griffin/DeLeslie). To their horror, the man on the rooftop that’s threatening to commit suicide is fellow co-worker Paul Ackerdson, a former White House beat before he got downsized. Lois is able to contact Clark Kent who’s covering a budgetary meeting and inform him of the situation. With the deadly situation about to play out, he heads off towards the area as Superman.
He quickly flies over to the Daily Planet to confront the distraught reporter. Paul warns Superman not to come closer or else he’ll his own life via the gun. As such, Supes complies with his order. Superman makes sure to comfort the upset reporter by letting him know that despite the fight for truth and justice to be overwhelming at times, it’s not worth quitting and that even uses a line from the All-Star Superman comic (which is a nice touch) to let Paul realize that “You’re stronger than you know”. Convinced, the reporter lowers his gun as Supes flies onto the Daily Planet to retrieve the weapon.
Just then, Paul shoots Superman. However, Kal is shocked to see that he’s actually bleeding. It turns out that it wasn’t Paul Ackerdson at all, but Metallo in disguise and it was a kryptonite bullet that pierced the Man of Steel’s skin. The man formerly known as John Corbin then finishes things off by unleashing his kryptonite heart. As a weakened Superman falls off the building and hits the ground hard, the Justice League’s dismantlement has been completed.
Shortly afterwards, Bruce Wayne awakens to the pre-recorded sound of Bane’s voice as he finds himself buried alongside his parents. With his’s father’s corpse beside him, he takes out his car keys and begins to punch away at the casket door in a race against asphyxiation.
Meanwhile, the Legion of Doom celebrate their triumph over the Justice League. Afterwards, Ma’alefa’ak mentions of the master plan that’s in the works. Vandal Savage says that all of them are welcome to join, but its involves wiping out half to two-thirds of Earth’s population and it would make their $100 million bounty useless.
Upon his grand vision, he tells his fellow cohorts his back story. 80,000 years prior, he was once a neanderthal caveman from what would become the southeast Asian island of Sumatra. On one fateful night, a meteor shower graced the evening sky and one of those space rocks would fall onto the ground. While his fellow cavemen fled, he stayed put since it was a cold night and he could bask in its warmth. Overnight, he would absorb the meteor’s radiation and gained an advanced level of intellect. Surprisingly, it also gave him immortality.
5,000 years later, a volcanic eruption nearly wiped out every human being. With his highly-advanced intellect, Vandal Savage became the leader of those who survived. Over time, he helped the human race become Earth’s dominant species. Because he believes that humans have become “prideful and belligerent”, that’s why he’s going to wipe out nearly half of Earth’s population.
As such, Vandal Savage gives his fellow cohorts the opportunity to rule over the remainder of the human race alongside him. When Bane asks how he intends to annihilate so many humans, Savage opens a retractable door and shows off the missile that will do just that.
Meanwhile, Bruce continues his efforts to try and dig himself out of his parent’s grave. He nearly gives up from the throbbing pain of his extensively bloodied hand and near-asphyxiation, but a look upon his father’s corpse reminds him of the promise he made long ago to his parents. This gives him the extra energy to keep going as he ultimately makes it back to the surface. Knowing full well of the events that’s transpiring, he sets out to fix them.
Meanwhile, Wonder Woman continues to fight a seemingly-endless army of Cheetahs. After Cyborg arrives alongside the S.W.A.T. team, we learn that the actual feline fatale escaped a long time ago. It turns out that Wondey was actually beating up any nearby civilian and then the specialized task force. When one of the officers sees her in a seizure, Cyborg activates his body scanner. It turns out that Wonder Woman’s pulse, blood pressure and respiration are critically high and that she’ll die if she keeps this up.
As the S.W.A.T. officers retreat, Cyborg heads in to try and calm Wonder Woman down. However, she sees him (just like everybody else) as Cheetah and her warrior mentality leads to her attacking him. During the fight, we find out from Cyborg that when Wonder Woman received her scratch, a cluster of nano-machines entered her blood stream. It then affected her auditory and visual centers so that anyone she came across would look and sound like the feline fatale herself.
Eventually, Cyborg is able to cure Wonder Woman by using his sonic emitter to shoot out a specific frequency that neutralizes the nano-machines within her.
After making it back to the Bat Cave, Batman learns that Superman has been shot with the kryptonite bullet and that human surgery is unable to cut through his kryptonian skin to get it out, the Flash has a bomb bolted to his wris, and the Martian Manhunter is stuck in an inextinguishable flame. As such, he prepares to head out via the Batwing since the JLA is under attack. When Alfred asks by whom, the shocker comes when Batman says “By me”.
As Batman flies off in the Batwing, he continues to try and contact any available JLA member. Wonder Woman replies alongside Cyborg as the Dark Knight requests for her to bring him along since he’s not part of the team. He then orders Flash to head out towards the nearest iceberg and vibrate through it at just the right speed.
By this point, the Martian Manhunter has dived into a large body of water. Even so, he continues to violently burn up. Wonder Woman and Cyborg arrive in her Invisible Jet as the Amazonian princess dives in and injects J’onn with Aluminum Oxide. Not only is it harmless to his alien body, but it counteracts the Magnesium Carbonate within his system. Afterwards, the three of them fly off and await further instruction from Batman.
Meanwhile, the Flash makes it to an iceberg and starts running through it, causing the bomb to snap off from his wrist. The speedster makes it out just in time before it manages to explode.
Batman then heads out to the salt mine where Hal is still grief-stricken. He reveals that “Carol” along with the entire Identity Brotherhood were nothing but androids and that it was set-up so that it looked like Green Lantern made a bad call. Also factoring into this was that he breathed in a synthesized variation of Scarecrow’s fear gas since fear contradicts strong will. With this realization, Hal puts his ring back on to join the fight.
Afterwards, nearly every single Justice League member arrives in Metropolis where Superman is clinging to life due to the kryptonite bullet. Flash is at a S.T.A.R. Labs facility in Kyoto, Japan trying to get a kryptonite scalpel, but time is of the essense. As such, Batman gives Cyborg a piece of kryptonite to use alongside a minimum blaster shot and use it as a laser cutter. With a big-enough cut across the chest, the Martian Manhunter shapes his fingers to go inside Superman’s chest and retrieves the kyptonite bullet. With the cursed piece of rock out of his chest, Supes’ powers kick in as the cut on his chest heals and he regains consciousness to the delight of the crowd.
After our heroes have gathered together on the orbiting satellite known as the Justice League Watchtower, Batman reveals that the series of coordinated attacks were based on his safety protocols. It turns out that for a long time, the Dark Knight studied every former and current league member behind their backs and created these contingency plans only as a means to subdue a teammate should they ever go rogue. As expected, the other members are appalled by Batman’s actions.
The Caped Crusader then plays security footage from within the Bat Cave that shows how Mirror Master broke in and retrieved the contingency plans. Motion detectors didn’t active since he was in hologram form. Connecting this with how the Royal Flush Gang acquired the machine to phase through walls, Batman states that his files contain a tracing algorithm that shows where they went. It turns out that the Legion of Doom’s headquarters is located with the Bayou Swamps of Louisiana.
Deep within the swampland, Vandal Savage tells the Legion of Doom how his missile fits into his master plan. He’ll launch it into the sun, leave behind a magnetic resonance, in order to create a solar flare. It’ll head towards Earth and kill everyone that’s on that particular side of the planet. In addition, advanced technology will get wiped out alongside the unfortunate humans.
Unfortunately for them, Martian Manhunter was able to overhear and transmit every single word of said plan back to HQ. On cue, the Justice League plus Cyborg teleport in as they prepare for final battle against the Legion of Doom.
While the members of the Justice League throw down with the Legion of Doom, Cyborg manages to reach the console and override the launch countdown. However, Vandal Savange manages to deliver a successful stab in the back and tosses the teenage hero off in order to reset the missile launch.
Wonder Woman and Cheetah get locked in physical combat as their brawl ultimately makes its way towards the weaponry where the feline fatale tries using a laser blaster to strike back. However, the Amazonian princess’ bracelets easily deflects the shots as she uses her lasso to knock the gun away so that she can deliver the knockout blow.
The Flash heads out into the swamp where Mirror Master has created numerous holograms of himself to stand up and fight. The speedster easily slices through each and every illusion until he reaches the actual M.M. and tricks him into letting his guard down just enough to send a finishing punch to the face.
At the base of the missile, both Martian Manhunter and Ma’alefa’ak continually shape-shift into various alien lifeforms as they brawl away. Meanwhile, Vandal Savage activates the missile’s manual launch sequence. Cyborg tries to fight back, but the millennial-old savage is too much to handle.
Immediately afterwards, Vandal Savage launches the missile. Down below, Ma’alefa’ak has J’onn at his mercy. Unfortunately for him, he’s also in the literal line of fire of the exhaust as the Martian Manhunter escapes just in time before the red planet’s renegade ends up being well-done and extra crispy.
Meanwhile, Batman dukes it out with Bane. The Dark Knight manages to hold his own until the muscled fiend injects himself with more venom and begins to pummel away. Bane manages to get the Caped Crusader in a choke-hold, yet Batman turns the tide by launching a Batarang that cuts the tube to drain his foe of his added strength. The Dark Knight then wraps things up with an old-fashioned dropkick. Shortly afterwards, Batman feels the rumbling from the launching missile.
Metallo’s kryptonite heart manages to subdue Superman enough for the robotic fiend to pummel away for a good while. Once he catches sight of the launched missile with his X-Ray Vision, the Man of Steel retaliates and ends the fight with a blast of Heat Vision to cut off the mechanical head before taking off towards the projectile.
Finally, a light-show feud of former lovers is taking place between Green Lantern and Star Sapphire. Carol manages to use her powers to tie up the intergalactic space cop, but Hal manages to escape with a literal Cat’s Cradle.
In the end, Green Lantern forms a construct of a kiddie slingshot and delivers a successful knockout blow to Star Sapphire. After reaching ground level, Hal then strips Carol of her purple sapphire gem and her powers alongside it. Shortly afterwards, Wonder Woman arrives to tell him of the missile situation and that Superman’s already in pursuit. As such, Green Lantern takes off towards space to help out.
Up in space, Superman manages to reach the missile with loads of time to spare. However, it was just a means to house multiple missiles from within. As such, Supes begins smashing up as many of them as he can.
He then switches over to Heat Vision as he slowly but surely manages to destroy each of the mini-missiles. However, the last one had its own pair of mini-missiles that launched just before it was destroyed.
As such, they strike the sun and cause a massive solar flare to form. Lured by the magnetic resonance, it begins its eight-minute march towards Earth as Superman quickly heads back.
Green Lantern arrives and uses his ring to construct a gigantic force field as a means to give the rest of the Justice League more time to find a way and save the home planet. Back on Earth, the JLA manage to bring down Vandal Savage and quickly get to work on finding a way to prevent the solar flare from doing its deadly deed. Cyborg tells them that the intangibility machine that was given to the Royal Flush Gang was a way to test it out. It works and would make the Hall of Doom intangible. Using it as an apparatus in low orbit and combined with enough power from the Justice League Watchtower, it would make the solar flare pass right through the planet itself. As such, the JLA feverishly get to work.
As Superman lifts the Hall of Doom up into lower orbit space, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Martian Manhunter and Cyborg work like mad to ready the Watchtower for its massive power transfer. Upon arrival, J’onn heads out to help Superman hook up their satellite up with the Hall of Doom. Just as the system is ready for operation, Green Lantern’s force field can no longer withstand the solar flare’s powerful energy. With the intense heat approaching, Batman fires up the displacement field just as Superman and Martian Manhunter make it back inside.
Not only does the solar flare pass right through the Watchtower and the Hall of Doom, the displacement beam also makes it travel right through the planet without any damage whatsoever.
Some time later, the Justice League has its official meeting. Superman informs his fellow heroes that Vandal Savage has been found guilty by the world court for crimes against humanity and that he’s getting a life sentence in prison with no chance for parole. We also find out that Cyborg has been accepted as the JLA’s newest member. Afterwards, they get to the heart of the meeting: Having a league vote on whether or not Batman can stay on despite making contingency plans behind their backs.
Before the rest of the Justice League could even get a chance to vote, Batman states that he would still have made contingency plans on each of them since they’re all extremely powerful enough by themselves. Unable to fully convince them of having a fail-safe plan to fall back on, the Caped Crusader officially resigns from the JLA.
And so, our story ends with Batman prepping the transporter for a return to Earth. Superman confronts him and asks about the contingency plans, to which the Dark Knight again responds with that they were only meant to immobilize a rogue JLA member. They also mention that Vandal Savage was the one who had a self-made contingency for the Caped Crusader himself. When Superman asks Batman why he didn’t make a fail-safe plan on himself, he says that there is one and that “It’s called the Justice League”. With a newly-solidified trust, the Man of Steel gives the Dark Knight the kryptonite bullet before teleporting him back to Earth.
There are loads of differences that the film version had with its source material. Over in Tower of Babel, the main culprit was Batman villain Ra’s al Ghul (swapping out one long-lasting villain for another), the contingency plan-stealing came from his daughter Talia (instead of right-hand man Mirror Master), and his army was the League of Assassins (instead of various villains forming under the Legion of Doom). While Kyle Rayner and Wally West were swapped out for Hal Jordan and Barry Allen in their respective Green Lantern and Flash roles, Aquaman and Plastic Man were omitted in favor of Cyborg. Also, when it came time to vote on whether Batman should stay on board with the JLA, it was half-and-half (Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Plastic Man for ‘Ney’, Green Lantern, Flash, and Martian Manhunter for ‘Yey’) and Batman left before Superman could cast the deciding vote.
Also, the contingencies were slightly altered. Both versions of the story knew to get Batman out of the way early by digging up the bodies of his parents. While the film had Bane beat up Bruce Wayne and then bury him alongside his folks, the comic had Ra’s al Ghul steal the late Thomas and Martha Wayne and hover them over his Lazarus Pit. This is the strongest to me since it’s HIS contingency plans that’s being used to harm the rest of the Justice League and our villains don’t want him blabbing right away.
While the film had J’onn Jonzz burning due to constantly sweating magnesium carbonate, it was nanites that turned his skin into magnesium and he would remain on fire if left exposed to air.
The film version had Superman nearly die from a kryptonite bullet to the chest, while the comics had the Man of Steel suffering from Batman’s home-made Red Kryptonite which makes his skin transparent and cause his own powers to overload.
Nanites and a no-quit attitude nearly leads to death for Wonder Woman in both the comic and film. While Justice League: Doom has her seeing and hearing anyone around her as Cheetah, Tower of Babel had a lone nanite in Diana’s ear while she fought an equally-powerful woman in her mind and slowly build up a heart attack.
While Barry Allen had to deal with an exploding bracelet on his wrist, Wally West got hit with a vibratory bullet that lodged itself in his spinal column and caused him to have epileptic seizures at light speed. Minutes to everybody else would feel like hours of pain to him. On a side note: My initial reaction when watching him was “Why is Wally West’s voice coming out of a different Flash?”. Don’t get me wrong, Michael Rosenbaum does have a slightly different level to his voice in this role and he gives a good performance. It just felt weird to me since in Justice League and Justice League Unlimited (both from Bruce Timm’s DC Animated Universe), Wally served as the Flash and Rosenbaum voiced that version of the character during the tailend of that run. After DC Comics has its universal reboot in September 2011, they swapped him out with Barry Allen. I kind of wished that someone else was cast in this role though, but that’s just my opinion.
Finally, Hal Jordan crumbled after being exposed to a specialized version of Scarecrow’s fear toxin and some androids used as people that he failed to save caused him to doubt his own power with the ring. Kyle Rayner on the other hand woke up blind since he received a post-hypnotic suggestion while under rapid-eye movement sleep and his ring was slipped onto his own hand. This particular disposal of a JLA member is the one I personally consider the weakest. Don’t get me wrong, Nathan Fillion (returning from “Green Lantern: Emerald Knights”) brings his A-Game to the role again. However, I was initially somewhat confused as this event played out. I was thinking “He’s giving up being Green Lantern since he failed to save one person? I know that it’s the risk that comes with the job, but it’s the price you sometimes have to pay.” Yes, the job is stressful but that’s what I thought back then. Also, Star Sapphire shows up to him in the exact same clothes and yet Hal doesn’t freak out like he’s seen a ghost. Finally, since Scarecrow’s fear toxin is being used on him, why wasn’t he invited to join the Legion of Doom? Not to mention, why didn’t Hal accept the antidote that Batman offered him from the fear gas. Who knows how long he was down there exposed to said lethal fumes. Other than that, Aquaman originally received the altered fear toxin in the comics in order to make him afraid of what he needs to survive: water. Meanwhile, Plastic Man got hit with a dart that froze him solid and then got shattered by a hammer from the League of Assassins.
For anyone who grew up watching any of the shows from Bruce Timm’s DC Animated Universe, it’s a delight to hear those familiar voices reprise their roles from those shows. The veterans help to make our heroes and villains very believable in the roles they helped bring to life between 1992 and 2006. Overall, you get solid performances from everyone.
The animation pretty much holds up. With it being very fluent, I couldn’t find anything negative to critique on it. The climatic fight scene between the JLA and the Legion of Doom is one of the highlights of film. Who doesn’t love two groups (especially good vs. evil) clashing in an all-out brawl? From the creative energy creations of Green Lantern to various alien lifeform changes of the Martian Manhunter, it’s always wonderful to see imagination pouring into a project.
Overall, this film is definitely worth watching. While not a perfect film by any means, it’s able to work within its 1-hour and 17-minute run time. The voice acting is stellar, the characters are great, the situation is very gripping, and the animation helps make the action scenes work. If you ever get the chance, check out this final great work from writer Dwayne McDuffie. After all, he passed away due to complications from open heart surgery on February 21, 2011, a year and a week before this film was released. It’s even dedicated in his memory, so check out the final composition of a great comic writer.
Next Time: The Man of Steel is back for another solo outing. This time, his moral responsibilities will get put to the test when a super-powered group threaten the very same ideals in crime-fighting as we dig into “Superman vs. The Elite”.
Justice League (created by Gardner Fox) and all related characters are owned by DC Comics.