Justice League: Doom (2012)

Posted: September 3, 2012 in Action, Animated, Fantasy

While investigating a break-in by the Royal Flush Gang, the members of the Justice League discover that the villains have gained access to a technology that appears to be much more advanced that their usual tricks. After returning to the Bat Cave, Alfred forces Bruce Wayne to rest, during which time Mirror Master sneaks in and steals some files off of Batman’s computer. Assembling in a swamp in Louisiana, Bane, Star Sapphire, Metallo, Ma’alefa’ak, and Cheetah discover an invisible fortress entitled the Hall of Doom. Welcoming them upon their arrival, Vandal Savage offers the villains, along with Mirror Master, the chance to eliminate the Justice League once and for all. Each enacting their own plans against each of the heroes, the members of the Justice League are ambushed and put into situations that have the serious chance of eliminating them permanently. With no accounting for the extend of Batman’s determination and the assistance prior by junior member Cyborg, the heroes have to find a way out of their predicaments and to save the world against the destructive plans of the group of villains.

Starring: Kevin Conroy (Batman), Tim Daly (Superman), Susan Eisenberg (Wonder Woman), Nathan Fillion (Green Lantern), Carl Lumbly (Martian Manhunter/Ma’alefa’ak), Michael Rosenbaum (Flash), Bumper Robinson (Cyborg), Carlos Alazraqui (Bane/Terrorist), Claudia Black (Cheetah), Paul Blackthorne (Metallo/Henry Ackerdson), Olivia d’Abo (Star Sapphire), Alexis Denisof (Mirror Master), Phil Morris (Vandal Savage), Grey DeLisle (Lois Lane/Queen)

The regal sound of the superheroes and the villainous sound of the villains is fairly prevalent in the casting of the voices for this film. The menacing nature of Phil Morris’s presentation of his character makes for a compelling battle between good and evil.

  

Lauren Montgomery, Dwayne McDuffie and Mark Waid’s take on this part of the DC Universe made for a surprisingly entertaining addition to the story of the Justice League. Batman, always cautious about the power of the Justice League, had developed his own plans for neutralizing each individual member in the event that they became obsessed with their power or turned to evil. Each plan was meant to only subdue that hero, but Vandal Savage took the plans from Mirror Master and turned them each into death traps. Though Batman did not include a plan for himself, Bane dug up Bruce’s parents’ graves, knocked him out without his Batman gear and buried him alive (similar to Beatrix Kiddo from Kill Bill). Mirror Master was able to attach a bomb to Flash’s wrist that would explode in a style similar to the bus from Speed. Wonder Woman found herself in a hand-to-hand battle with Cheetah, who had poison on her claws and needed to only land a single scratch to cause Wonder Woman to hallucinate into chaos. Superman, attempting to save a potential jumper, gets shot by Metallo in disguise with a kryptonite bullet. Martian Manhunter got seduced by a woman, who slipped a chemical into his soda that caused him to burn alive. The woman was actually Ma’alefa’ak cloaked. Green Lantern got placed in a rescue situation where he watched a woman die in front of him and Star Sapphire was able to break his confidence and cause him to give up the ring. In the background, Randal Savage was planning to destroy the current order of the world in the absence of the Justice League.

  

This dark set of deadly traps is a bit more extreme that most movies produced in the DC Universe. The situation involving Batman was straight out of Kill Bill but also felt like it was a trial in Saw. Beyond the buried alive element, Bane dropped Bruce into the coffin along with the corpses of his parents. Similar to Superman: Doomsday, the kryptonite bullet completely neutralized Superman, though his later battle against Metallo almost seems like he was holding back the entire time and Metallo was never a match. Though the choice of Nathan Fillion was excellent, his character loses a little of his heroism with how easily he let one death completely destroy his confidence. In contrast, Batman manages to be that much more badass in the way that he punches his way out of the grave and stands up to the rest of the league. The result of the film is obvious from the beginning, but the actions that put the lives of the league in danger were creative and entertaining to watch.

Justice League: Doom makes reference to some of DC Universe’s biggest villains but uses a collection of other significant villains to capture a compelling story of fighting one’s fears and keeping control of one’s power.

Dan’s Rating: 4.0/5

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