Update: Glimpse to Character Persona, Meet-ups and Dialogues
The story starts with strange abductions plaguing Gotham City. The media as usual jumps to the conclusions without a delay – blaming The Dark Knight (Mysterious Batman) for the abduction. People think of Batman as a blood sucking vampire at this point of the story. No matter how strange it sounds; but, it was an easily ingestible accusation because Vampire Batman did exist in Batman & Dracula: Red Rain comic created by Doug Moench and Kelley Jones.
Anyway, the first character to make his appearance in the movie was Green Lanter (Hal Jordan) supposedly chasing a Parademon with an abducted victim. Hal Jordan saves the girl but that ungrateful bi*ch shows no gratitude and whacks poor GL with this comment: “What’s the catch? What’s it gonna cost me”? Green Lantern continues his pursuit and is ambushed from behind. Moments before GL is going to get his ass kicked by the Parademon, Batman saves his butt from the demon.
Green Lantern Meets Batman
Green Lantern: Batman! You’re real?
Batman: Turn it off.
Green Lantern: I had him.
Batman: Clearly. Now turnoff the damn light off before they see us.
Green Lantern: Before who sees us?
Gotham PD Official: Put your hands in the air.
Green Lantern: They don’t like us much (with his hands in the air).
Batman: The world is afraid of us.
Green Lantern: You say it like it’s a good thing.
Batman: It’s necessary.
Meanwhile, the parademon attacks, and the chase continues – the duo (Batman and Green Lantern) follows demon into the sewers where he sacrifices himself to protect some sort of alien computer.
Batman: It’s more like an alien computer.
Green Lantern: Alien? Like the guy in Metropolis.
Green Lantern: You’ve met him?
Batman: No. But I’ve researched him. His power levels are…
Green Lantern: Not gonna be a problem for me.
Batman: We’ll see
In the meantime, people of Washington DC are protesting against Wonder Woman – accusing her for the property damage. Wonder Woman with her gallantly silences everyone in the protest and proceeds to meet the president of the United States.
In Metropolis, Victor Stone is upset about his father not showing up to his football match. He is on his way to meet him in laboratory where he is analyzing an alien computer. Batman and Green Lantern are chasing Superman’s signal – who is engaged in a fight with parademon on Lexcorp property. Destroying your archenemy’s property in the name of justice is hell of a nice move Superman.
Batman and Green Lantern Meet Superman
After watching Justice League: War your perception of Superman as a boy-scout will surely change. Superman in this movie is an ultimate badass. Superman in Justice League: War won’t hold back or hesitate to through a punch at anyone who engages in a battle with him. Justice League: War presents a new personality of Superman who unlike his previous personas is cocky, cynical and has never back-down attitude.
Being ignorant of Superman’s true potential, Green Lantern traps Batman in a shield – eager to have a few rounds with Supsy and in return gets his ass kicked.
Green Lantern to Batman: Wait here. No offense. You just get in the way. Here’s the plan. Green Lantern kicks Superman’s ass TMZ gets the video.
Bang. Bang. Bang… Aoo OoO Aoo Aoo Aaaaaahhhhh! There goes our Green Lantern – breaking through his own shield.
Superman to Batman: So, what can you do?
Batman doesn’t say anything but throws a smoke grenade and flees – trying to avoid Superman’s vicious attacks.
Superman: I can still see you. The creature that attacked me had one of those boxes you have – a friend of yours I assume. He blew up so I’ll ask you. What are these boxes for? Talk – while you still can.
Batman grunts: Aahhhhh… Trying….. to.
Green Lantern Interferes: Round 2 fly boy.
Batman: Lantern… NO.
Superman trapped in Lantern’s Chains: Chains? You’re funny – breaks through the chains.
Batman: We won’t stop him – he’s pissed-off. We have to talk to him.
Green Lantern: Sarcastically – talk to him?
Well, Batman was right. Superman was pissed. As soon as Green Lantern generates a shield covering himself and Batman, Superman strikes with a massive blow which reminds me of his Kryptonian Crush Super-Attack from “Injustice: gods among us”.
Green Lantern: This guy is gonna kill us.
Batman: No he won’t.
Batman talks to Superman: You bruise but you don’t kill. Do you? Clark.
Superman holds his punch: You’ve made your point – X -ray visions Batman – Huh! Bruce Wayne.
Green Lantern: Who the hell is Bruce Wayne?
Batman: We think its alien (referring to the box in hand).
Superman: Well, it’s not Kryptonian.
Batman: Worth a shot.
Green Lantern: Are we done fighting?
Superman: Alien is relative by the way. It’s a big universe.
Victor Stone confronts his father in the lab asking about his unavailability from his match. His father being a complete asshole says:
Dr. Stone: Open your eyes son. Look at the world we live in today. We are witnessing the birth of a new race of superhuman – beings who can fly, tear through buildings and outrun race cars. They will make what you can do obsolete. In that world, throwing a football is a joke.
Meanwhile, the alien boxes activate themselves and eventually blow – opening portals to let thousands of Parademons from Apokolips enter the world. A full scale invasion as hypothesized by Batman. One of those boxes blows while Victor was holding it in his hand – costing Victor half of his body; however, his vital are still responding somehow. With deep remorse, Dr. Stone conducts an experiment on his son as a last resort to save him – transforming his son into a Cyborg and making his brain work like a quantum computer.
Wonder Woman Meets Superman
When the parademons attack President’s flight, Wonder Woman comes to rescue. Superman however saves the day when he catches the airplane as soon as an engine blows up. Wonder Woman seeing a man as strong as she is or probably more is infatuated with Superman – the feeling is mutual though.
Wonder Woman: My god.
Superman: You’re strong.
Wonder Woman: I know.
Flash Meets Green Lantern and Batman
The battle continues as Batman and Green Lantern take on the parademons with all that’s left in them. Flash makes an appearance and saves Green Lantern from an ambush.
Green Lantern: Flash! My boy! Great to see you – and yeah! That’s Batman.
Flash: Batman is real?
Green Lantern: Yeah! He’s over there.
Flash: Wait! What?
Flash to Batman: It is a real honor to meet you sir Batman, sir Bat..Batman, sir. Uhmm
Batman: I followed your efforts in Central City Flash. You do efficient work.
Green Lantern: Hey, Barry. You got something on your nose.
Batman: Get ready! Here they come.
I don’t know if any of you noticed it; but, for a moment I thought Flash and GL exchanged their persona. It was the Flash who was always called immature by the League Members due to his witty attitude. But I could say otherwise after seeing this meet up – or he was just shocked and excited to meet the Dark Knight.
Cyborg and Shazam Meets the Rest of JL Members
While the parademons were assembling to welcome Darkseid, Cyborg and Shazam met rest of the members of Justice League.
Green Lantern: Who the hell are you supposed to be – Mr. Robotto?
Cyborg: Who I am – doesn’t matter. What I know – does.
Batman: Which is?
Cyborg: I have talked to their technology. I know their plan – they are terraforming the earth. It’s about to get ugly.
Batman: That fits.
Green Lantern: How do you figure?
Batman: The water is on fire.
So, the invasion begins. The parademons are abducting hundreds of humans in order to harvesting process. A process where Darkseid through his technology can harvest, repurpose and transform any living form to create an army of parademons. The earth is terraforming and our heroes engage in battle with Darkseid to prevent what’s going to happen.
=END of UPDATE=
Justice League: War officially released on 4th February 2014 though it was much awaited movie for all comic fans out there. Justice League: War represents DC Universe’s ‘New 52’ reboot acknowledged in 2011 by all comic fans. Unlike Marvel, DC Universe likes to adopt change more frequently and experiments with its characters every now and then – sometimes in name of an alternate universe but mostly via a reboot. New 52 reboot introduced diverse alterations with respect to DC characters: superhero mythology, costumes and even their origins.
Justice League: War provides glimpse to the origin of Justice League – witnessed plenty of times before with different stories to support the initiation. The founding members of Justice League as per Justice League: War plot are Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, Cyborg and Shazam (A replacement for Aquaman) – united to protect earth from an alien invasion led by Darkseid (Lord of Apokolips).
The Review and Critique
Justice League: War is directed by Jay Oliva – a well-known personality responsible for the masterpieces like Justice League: Flashpoint Paradox, Batman: Under the Red Hood and The Dark Knight Returns Part 1 & 2 to entertain all DC animated universe fans out there.
Jay Oliva is renowned for his alterations to plots and sometimes to characters; but, this time he takes the trend to the whole new level. Justice League: War follows New 52 continuity but in Jay Oliva’s style. Despite of the wide acceptance of Justice League: Origins as per New-52 concept, Oliva had to add a little spice of his own.
Replacing Aquaman with Shazam was a huge risk to take. In fact, Aquaman followers would censure this move; but, after watching after-credits scene – you would be astonished. Justice League: War concept might be hard to ingest for those who have accepted and loved New-52 Justice League: Origin story; although, with Oliva on the controls, not many can resist watching this movie. I missed Martian Manhunter though =(
Justice League: War is a perfect blend of action and storytelling with all pieces perfectly put to their place. Besides the assembly of our beloved super heroes, the story also introduced the origins of Cyborg and Shazam. Other characters were deprived from this privilege though. But, let’s face it – who doesn’t know about the origins of Superman, Batman, GL or Flash.
Nevertheless, Oliva offered a glimpse to contemporary persona of Superman. Say goodbye to the boy-scout and welcome to a cocky, eccentric sarcastic and witty badass – an all-power Kryptonian who will never concede defeat; or hesitate throw a powerful punch; or refrain from using his heat-vision against a challenger who wishes to go a few rounds against the Man of Steel.
The movie is outstandingly directed and visuals are outstanding if you ask me. The characters are smartly designed and perfectly reflect New-52 visuals introduced by Jim Lee – with slight alterations though. Darkseid was drawn as a gigantic creature; however, I was quite disappointed with the impact of Omega Beams.
Superman’s body structure is considerably strong (height and body-type) as compared to other characters – perhaps to reflect his strength. You can see this difference clearly when Green Lantern and Batman first meet Superman; also when Green Lantern tries to hit on Wonder Woman and interfered by Superman.
Wonder Woman’s persona has two sides: a never-back-down combatant and an innocent or naïve girl who probably hasn’t eaten ice cream before.
Green Lantern is over-confident about his powers which almost gets him killed by Darkseid who seems to be immune from GL’s assault and breaks his army with a slight twist.
One thing I can’t understand though. Why does the Flash get side-lined in every JL movie except for Justice League: Flashpoint Paradox? Moving on.
The movie is well scripted and maintains the equilibrium with respect to pace of the story and character origins/meet-up. However, many have criticized the appearance of Lord Darkseid – saying that one of the most sophisticated and badass villain of all time was poorly presented and effortlessly defeated by the Justice League.
Aquaman was replaced with Shazam, and I must say I really missed King of the Seas; however, after seeing after-credits scene – I was like HELL YEAH. However, I presume that amendment in characters’ personas would be hard to swallow for some fans; especially, the major alternations to Superman’s attitude – form a boy-scout to a cocky badass and Wonder Woman – from a prudent fighter to… well, a fighter but a reckless one.
Another huge alternation in character persona refers to the Dark Knight. Batman doesn’t seek help. He doesn’t rely on anyone except for himself. He doesn’t back-down and most importantly he doesn’t SMILE that often. Anyway, I must say I kind of liked this soft-hearted Batsy – tough yet sensitive.
As far as the casting goes:
- Jason O’Mara voices Batman
- Alan Tudyk voices Superman
- Michelle Monaghan voices Wonder Woman
- Justin Kirk voices Green Lantern
- Christopher Gorham voices Flash
- Shemar Moore voices Cyborg/Victor Stone
- Sean Astin voices Shazam
- Steve Blum voices Darkseid
Despite of all New-52 reboot thingy and a few additional alterations, the movie is worth watching. The movie totally rocked except for a few loopholes: Flash was sidelined in the entire movie except for the final battle with Darkseid, and Superman was side-lined in the final battle except for his final blow to send Darkseid back to Apokolips via a portal.
Darkseid was a disappointment too – his first assault to the League was furious and intimidating but eventually he’s pummeled by the League even with their ridiculous strategy.
Those who are already aware of New-52 reboot may easily gulp down the alterations but the movie has got a massive surprise for those who still follow the old school superhero mythology. This review rates Justice League: War on a sweet 4 out of 5 stars.