DC Comics shook up the comic book world in 2011 by completely rebooting their entire line of comic book titles. It was a shake-up that left many fanboys and girls angry, while others just embraced the change and moved on. I was one of the folks who jumped on the train and went along for the ride.
With the monthly titles continuing to develop, DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. trudged on putting out animated movies the same way they always had. None of the modifications made to the new Universe were addressed… until now. It’s 2014 and the time has come for the New 52 world to bleed over into the DC animated cosmos with “Justice League: War.”
When agents of a devastating intergalactic power named Darkseid start planting doorways to another world, a team of super heroes must reluctantly join forces. Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, the Flash, Wonder Woman, Cyborg, and Shazam come together to keep the armies of the evil Lord of Apokolips from entering our cosmos. Can the costumed champions stay united long enough to save our planet from certain doom?
Let’s address a few issues quickly before moving on with the review. Aquaman is replaced by Shazam in the animated adaptation of the graphic novel “Justice League: Origin.” By the end of “War,” it’s evident they wanted to give the King of Atlantis a much bigger introduction. Also, if you’re expecting a familiar voice cast you better forget it. Moving into the New 52 obviously means moving into new vocal territory.
“Justice League: War” is presented in 1080p High-Definition 16×9 (1.78:1). Besides a strange haze over the picture, the image is clean and vibrant. The haze is normal for these animated movies and I’ve addressed it before. It must be intentional as it’s always there. Being that it’s based on a comic book, the colors are all vivid and tantalizing when it comes to the picture.
A 5.1 Dolby Digital DTS-HD surround sound mix is provided for “Justice League: War.” It envelopes the home audience in all the explosions, laser shots, and dramatic dialogue and music you’ve come to expect from these entertaining films. You’ll truly feel like you’re in the middle of the battle and devastation.
“Justice League: War” is rated PG-13 for sequences of violence and action, and some language. There’s nothing out of the ordinary for super hero movies to mention here. Parents need to remember that just because it’s a cartoon doesn’t mean it’s appropriate for everyone.
Bonus material for “Justice League: War” includes three featurettes entitled “Creating Heroes: The Life and Art of Jim Lee,” “Deconstructing War with Jay Oliva and Jim Lee,” and “‘Justice League: War’ Act D – From Animatic to Pencil Test.” Four vintage cartoons from the DC Comics Vault are also found. A sneak preview of the next DC Universe animated movie, “Son of Batman,” is featured as well.
Although it’s voice cast will likely take a bit of getting used to for people accustomed to the past DC television shows and movies, “Justice League: War” will entertain with non-stop action and quick pacing. It almost seems like it moves along too quickly at times if that’s possible. The teaser during the credits definitely got me excited for the next installment, so be sure and watch until the end.
“Justice League: War” is available now on Blu-ray, DVD, and as a Digital Download.
For more articles by Eric Shirey, check out:
‘Justice League Volume 1: Origin’ Graphic Novel Review
“Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox” Takes DC Animated Features to the Next Level
Blu-ray Review: ‘Justice League: Doom’ Delivers Strong Film, McDuffie Tributes, Special Features