- Title: Justice League: War
- IMDB: link
We now have our first trailer for DC’s next animated straight-to-DVD movie. Adapted from the opening Justice League arc used to launch the New 52, Justice League: War features Superman (Alan Tudyk), Batman (Jason O’Mara), Green Lantern (Justin Kirk), the Flash (Christopher Gorham), Wonder Woman (Michelle Monaghan), Cyborg (Shemar Moore), and Shazam! (Sean Astin) (taking the place of Aquaman) fighting off Darkseid‘s (Steve Blum) invasion of Earth. Although I like many of the actors, I’m a little skeptical about some of the casting decisions as well as seeing DC move forward with the decision to make their animated movie franchise mirror the current New 52 landscape. The movie will be released on DVD and Blu-ray on February 4th.
DC Comics regrettable reboot of Captain Marvel‘s origin concludes her with the new dickish and rather dim (seriously, where’s the wisdom of Solomon when you need it?) Captain Marvel, I’m still not calling him Shazam, fighting it out with Black Adam and evil of the Seven Deadly Sins possessing a guy who was once mean to Billy (who, let’s face it, this a-hole version of the beloved character who defined purity, grace, honesty, and wonder for more than 70 years probably deserved it).
The issue is only really memorable for the introduction of the Marvel Family. Wait, are we supposed to call the the Shazam Family now? Can anyone really say Mary Shazam or Shazam Jr. with a straight face? Anyway, Black Adam (being the dullard that he is) teaches Billy to share his powers and give them to his adopted foster family and Tawky Tawny (sadly transforming him into the Battle Cat Flashpoint version (the alternate reality so gritty it had to be destroyed… insert your own ironic joke here), not the classic awesomeness of a talking tiger in a well-tailored suit). Also, no Hoppy. Sigh.
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With the “Throne of Atlantis” storyline complete the Justice League puts together a recruiting drive aboard the Watchtower to expand their ranks. Although the group invites a dozen or so heroes including Old DCU JLA standouts Black Canary, Vixen, Firestorm, and Zatanna, along with Nightwing, Black Lightning, Blue Devil, Element Woman and others, only three make the final cut (and not really the ones I’d have chosen).
The gathering is interrupted by Platinum, the new android by Dr. Magnus (who in the Old DCU created the Metal Men) who runs amok and begins tossing heroes around the space station. Despite the main Leaguers being present, it’s two relative newcomers in Firestorm and a female Atom (who certainly isn’t Ray Palmer or Ryan Choi) who save the day.
The back-up story continues Billy Batson acting like a spineless prick and his continued unwillingness to be a hero despite the power granted to him and Black Adam‘s rampage and gathering of the Seven Deadly Enemies of Man to his side to unleash his evil on the wizard and his new champion. Hit-and-Miss.
There’s certainly some improvement here over the atrociously bad first issue. As Green Arrow fights for his life in the medical bay the rest of the team comes together to fight the mysterious threat of the Secret Society of Super-Villains even though, as Steve Trevor points out to Amanda Waller, the team has never worked together, has almost no intel on the threat, and will probably get their asses kicked.
Aside from Waller’s irrational expectations, the second issue of the new Justice League of America has a few other problems as well. The opening shot of the Scarecrow‘s recruitment runs far too long while at the same time being unnecessarily obscure. It’s also unclear why, despite his injuries, why Green Arrow isn’t offered a spot on this team (after risking his life for them).
Issue #2 does have some fun moments, my favorite being the sequence involving Vibe and Hawkman meeting for the first time. Although it’s pretty forced, I also liked the idea of setting up a relationship between Trevor and Catwoman. Hit-and-Miss.
Nearly everything about his comic comes from a ridiculous premise and bad (and do I mean BAD) ideas. After having cancelled Justice League International, and still desperate for a second Justice League team working inside the DCU, the New 52 launches their brand spanking new Justice League of America.
The premise is simple (and basically ripped off nearly completely from Justice League Unlimited with all the best parts taken out). Amanda Waller (who’s lost a lot of weight since the reboot) and Steve Trevor decide to put together a team they can control, market, and use as a last result if the real Justice League goes bad.
Under that premise you’d expect some heavy-hitters. After all, if these guys are the last line of defense against Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, and the rest, you’d expect some top-shelf talent. You’d be wrong. Instead Waller and Trevor put together a laughable list of C-list and D-list heroes who’d struggle taking on Keith Giffen’s Justice League Antarctica, let alone the current New 52 version.
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Because no one, anywhere, was demanding it, DC begins its Aquaman-centric crossover “Thrones of Atlantis” beginning here with the accidental attack on Atlantis by a U.S. air craft carrier (don’t you hate it when that happens?).
On other fronts, Superman and Wonder Woman are still dating and the Man of Steel takes the opportunity to explain his ingenious disguise as Clark Kent, Hal Jordan is still missing (and it seems no one is looking for him anymore), and the back-up story of the New 52‘s douchebag version of Captain Marvel continues as Billy selfishly turns on Freddy Freeman and is confronted with Black Adam for the first time.
Unless you’re a huge Aquaman fan anxiously anticipating this new event (i.e. your name is Geoff Johns) there’s almost nothing here for you. No Flash. No Green Lantern. Batman saved by Aquaman. The art’s not bad, and we get a little more of Superman and Wonder Woman together on a date, but that’s about it. Pass.
The Justice League chases the Cheetah to the jungles of the Congo where Superman becomes infected by the curse and Wonder Woman is faced to deal with truth about the woman she once believed was her friend.
The “end” of the Cheetah story is a little awkward, especially given that it appears the super-villain’s plan was to be taken captive all along (and wasn’t searched for any transmission devices before being put in prison). Superman also take Diana home to Smallville for a little more mid-air smooching, which doesn’t go unnoticed by another member of the team. It will be interested to see where this storyline goes now that Batman knows about their relationship.
The Shazam! back-up story works a little better than usual as it is focused on Black Adam journeying out into the world with Dr. Sivana rather than the truly awful (not to mention unrecognizable) version of Captain Marvel that DC has presented us with as part of the New 52. Seriously, this character is already in serious need of a reboot. For fans.
HitFix is reporting that Warner Bros. is in talks with Joseph Gordon-Levitt to play Batman in the proposed Justice League film tentatively slated for the summer of 2015. If true, it’s unclear whether Gordon-Levitt would play the same character of John “Don’t Call Me Robin” Blake from The Dark Knight Rises (hopefully not) or would take over the mantle of Bruce Wayne as well in a true reboot that would still slyly acknowledge Christopher Nolan‘s films (hmmm….?)
Deadline is reporting Chevy Chase has finally parted ways with Community even though many of the show’s upcoming Fourth Season episodes have yet to be filmed
Ace Showbiz is reporting that Lenny Kravitz has been cast for the role of Marvin Gaye in Midnight Love, the new biopic of the Motown singer from director Julien Temple
Entertainment Weekly is reporting Sherlock won’t return until late 2013 and the Third Season may not air in the United States until 2014
This latest issue of Justice League gives us a little discussion of Superman and Wonder Woman’s kiss, but the majority of the issue is focused on the league rallying around Diana to help find the Cheetah. Other than the group’s short battle with Darkseid this marks the first time the New 52 version of the league has taken on a classic villain.
Cheetah may seem like an odd choice but the villain’s magical origin does give her the upper-hand as it seems the New 52 version of Superman has kept the pre-Flashpoint‘s version of the character’s weakness to magic. That said, the character has certainly gotten a power upgrade from the version from my childhood as she fights the entire league to a standstill without breaking a sweat.
It’s not a great story, but it’s certainly better than some issues the comic has delivered over the past year and gives several characters their own moments to shine. We do get some talk behind the scenes discussing the shakeup of the team as well as a back-up story involving Steve Trevor and Green Arrow as a lead-in to the upcoming series Justice League of America. For fans.
When people ask me what issues I have with the New 52 I can point to this latest issue of Justice League which is a microcosm for all that’s wrong with DC Comics’ current direction.
The Shazam back-up story takes center stage as Billy Batson meets the wizard Shazam for the first time and turns into… Booster Gold (with Freddy Freeman standing in for Ted Kord)? Captain Marvel, a character who has delighted comic readers almost as long as Superman as a noble, if naive, paragon of virtue finds the last shreds of his origins shredded.
We’d already seen in the previous issues of Justice League that DC Editorial threw out the original character in favor of a street-tough grifter, and now they do the same with his super-powered alter-ego.
Bestowed the magical powers by the wizard Shazam, who couldn’t be bothered to find anyone worthy of them (sigh, it’s Kyle Rayner‘s origin all over again), Billy is transformed into a immensely powerful figure who, let’s just say, is seriously lacking the wisdom of Solomon.
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