Posts tagged Justice League

James Knows…DVDs: Justice League – Season Two (2004)

0

I’ll be the first to admit that I wasn’t entirely impressed by the first season of Justice League. Each episode felt like it was cut short or I was watching the abridged version. I wish I could say that this changed in the second season, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case.

We’re treated to more adventures of the Justice League as they encounter even more villains and come across a few more heroes for an occasional team up. This season features newcomers like Dr. Fate and Amazo along with returns of some of the previous villains such as Shade, Gorilla Grodd, and Lex Luthor. The episodes get bigger in scope though. The danger is greater when evil-doers like Darkseid and the Joker are thrown into the mix. Those episodes felt more like the level that the Justice League should be on. (more…)

DVD Review: Justice League – Season One (2001)

0

When I first heard about the idea of a Justice League TV show, I was all for it. I was a little miffed that the show came with the price of the cancellation of Batman Beyond (which I loved), but I could look past that. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see a single episode of the show when it aired due to some time constraints. Thank you, DVD!

I have to say now that I’ve had a chance to view the entire first season, Justice League really doesn’t seem like anything special. It definitely feels like the show’s creators (the same guys that did Batman: The Animated Series and Superman: The Animated Series) just weren’t ready to do a show of this size. The plots for each episode seemed a little sloppy and the characters just didn’t seem like themselves.

I mean, if you’re going to do a show about the Justice League, the top superhero team in the DC Universe, you need to make it almost epic in scale. The situations need to be dire enough that all of them are needed. If it’s just the Trickster robbing a bank, The Flash can handle that on his own. While that might have been the case for one or two episodes, it definitely wasn’t the feel for the entire season. I just felt let down.

Add to that the fact that at least half of the voices didn’t fit the characters at all and we’ve got a problem. First off, Superman sounds (and looks for that matter) tired. He sounds like someone that just ran up a flight of stairs ALL THE TIME. My biggest problem came with Phil LaMarr as Green Lantern. I’ve loved LaMarr’s other voicework, but this just sounded like GL was the show’s token black guy. I half expected him to shout out “Man, dat’s wack” or “Word” whenever something happened.

The episodes were presented as multi-part stories which was a bit better in addressing the adventures of the team. It’s tough to fit a story with this many characters in just 23 minutes so it was good that they made the stories 2 or even 3 parters. You need that extra time to get more into the story. I felt that they just didn’t use this time wisely.

There’s one aspect of the show that I’m still trying to figure out if I like or not. The show didn’t dwell or even touch on the origin stories for most of the members of the Justice League. It’s like they just assumed you knew them all already. That may be the case for Superman or Batman, but does anyone really care enough about Hawkgirl to know her story? While I’m mostly up to speed on these guys, this might have been a little oft putting for new viewers. Then again, how much do you really need to know about a chick with wings and a big mace?

Justice League isn’t a bad show though. Don’t get me wrong. This is mainly the nitpicking of a huge comic book fan here. The episodes can be fun and there’s nothing like seeing all of your favorite DC heroes on the screen at once. I’m told that the show gets better with the next season and then the sequel, Justice League: Unlimited, so I’m holding out hope that things shape up a bit more.

Rating: ★★★½☆

DVD Review: Justice League: The New Frontier (2008)

8

One often wonders what it would be like if some of the greatest heroes in comic books were to show up in our world. Would they lord over us like oppressors or truly help us grow the human race? What about through history? Justice League: The New Frontier answers that question in a way. Here is our world on the brink of reaching into the stars and where would people like Superman and The Flash fit in when we’re questioning the trust of our fellow man?

The film, based on the comic book of the same name written by Darwyn Cooke (which I have yet to read) takes the Justice League and puts them right in the middle of all the hubbub of the 1950s. With McCarthyism running rampant and causing many masked heroes to go into hiding, what is the world to do? New Frontier really shows a great perspective from each of the major heroes. Superman is the government man through and through, always fighting for Truth, Justice and the American Way…even if that way isn’t necessarily correct. Wonder Woman is out for Justice while The Flash has doubts about whether or not he can ever reach the level of someone like Batman or Superman. Meanwhile, Hal Jordan struggles to come to grips with the events of the Korean War and the Martian Manhunter is trying to find himself. This is all happening during this turbulent time.

Oh yeah, and there’s a mysterious creature called “The Centre” that’s looking to destroy the human race. We’re not really given much of a backstory for The Centre, or for any of the other characters for that matter. We’re thrown right into the story, hitting the ground running. I loved this. There’s no need to go through the origin story of each character as well as their motives for doing what they’re doing. If you’re watching this movie, you know who Superman is or why Batman wheres a cape. I mean Green Arrow had one line in the whole movie. That’s one more than Adam Strange had too. The same thing goes for The Centre. While I don’t know anything about it, I found I didn’t have to. I don’t need to know why the giant dinosaur-spewing living island has decided to eradicate mankind. It’s definitely evil and it needs to be stopped and who better to do that than combined powers of the Justice League?

The animation of New Frontier was nothing short of top notch. The art was based on the art from the comic itself which has a very nostalgic feel to it. That really made everything fit well into the time period. The animation itself just worked so well. The colors were bright and vibrant and there weren’t any sections that seemed like they weren’t polished. DC really did a great job with this film. Marvel should take a few notes from this one as animation is something that they definitely need to work on.

My only qualm with the film is that it felt a little rushed towards the end. The battle was supposed to be epic and while it felt that way at times, the final moments of the battle just felt thrown together, especially the last minute appearance of Aquaman.

As with the Superman: Doomsday release, this DVD is packed with special features. There are 2 documentaries, one about the heroes and one about the villains. Each featured insight from several DC creators and really gave you a great history of DC comics and it’s heroes since the creation of Superman in the 30s. There’s also a sneak peek at Batman: Gotham Knight as well as 3 episodes from the Justice League cartoon and 2 commentaries.

Justice League: New Frontier is definitely a must see for any comic book fan. While I haven’t read the comic that the film is based on, the trade was immediately added to my Amazon wishlist at the conclusion of the film. It’s hands down one of the best animated comic movies I’ve seen.

Rating: ★★★★½

Go to Top