Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

Arts

April 11, 2012

‘Justice League: Doom’ latest animated hero magic

DVD Review

Pauls Valley, Oklahoma — The final chapter in a saga that has earned its spot among the greatest in Gotham history is but months away, yet for those of us chomping at the blockbuster bits, something still has to tame the remaining withdrawal symptoms. Thankfully, I not only found something to help ease my “Dark Knight Rises” addictions before July 20, but a pretty decent contribution from the rest of his super buddies to boot.

One thing to note though, despite what the title might suggest, this is not your father’s (or maybe grandfather’s for the current generation) “Super Friends” adventures, but a continuation of a much darker spin. Yet, it’s still comic book faithful enough to bond most of the geek masses together. “Justice League: Doom” is both a fresh and fun title, but also brings together certain elements which has made winners of the franchise in the past.

This time around the plot focuses on a rather unique formation of the Legion of Doom, not the more recognizable one led by Lex Luthor (not even in the film), but one brought together by an immortal villain known as Vandal Savage (Phil Morris). Leading not quite traditional lackeys from Bane (Carlos Alazraqui), Mirror Master (Alexis Denisof), Metallo (Paul Blackthorne), Cheetah (Claudia Black) and Star Sapphire (Olicia d’Abo) to Ma'alefa'ak (Carl Lumbly), he has concocted a plan to send the Earth to a new dark age.

The clever twist that earns kudos from me is that part of this plan is possible by stealing information from Batman’s (Kevin Conroy) computer, which is to say the least not a good deal helpful to his fellow Justice League members. Not only must classic hero guys like Superman (Tim Daly), Green Lantern/Hal Jordan (Nathan Fillion), Cyborg (Bumper Robinson), Flash (Michael Rosenbaum), Martian Manhunter (Carl Lumbly) and Wonder Woman (Susan Eisenberg) overcome what could be their greatest challenge, they must do so with the thought that their very trust has been betrayed. It’s not quite as fantastic as some of the best stuff featured on each of the animated half hour programs, but it is cool enough to keep one glued to each thrilling cliffhanger.

It was interesting to see baddies that are actually quite established in lore, but not as popular in today’s video media making an appearance to allow those not as invested in the print adventures a chance to see what is new to them. Though I still felt there was more that could be told (unfortunate circumstance of having so many characters appearing), there was enough there to establish a near mini episode for each of the main characters.

Perhaps the only real bummer, the DVD itself did not really have anything worth checking out as far as extras, which is a downer since there could have been at least a behind the scenes feature. Still, if you already enjoy this kind of thing or just want to expand your fantasy library, this is at least worth a sit-down or two. Final Verdict for “Justice League: Doom,” three out of five victories.

DVD rental courtesy of Family Video of Pauls Valley.

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