Title: Justice League: Doom
Director: Lauren Montgomery (‘Justice League: Crisis of Two Earths’)
Starring: (Voices of) Kevin Conroy (TV’s ‘Batman,’ ‘Justice League’), Phil Morris (TV’s ‘Smallville’), Nathan Fillion, Tim Daly and Michael Rosenbaum (‘Smallville’)
Saving the world and stopping immortal villains who want to take control of mankind can be even the most daunting tasks for a team of the most well-known and respected superheroes. The superheroes who are part of the Justice League have finally met their match in immortal villain Vandal Savage, who wants to use their vulnerabilities to kill them all and rule the world. In the new animated film ‘Justice League: Doom,’ which will be released as a Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD, On Demand and for Download on February 28, 2012, such favorites as Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman discover what it’s like when their emotions begin to cloud their judgment and negatively affect their mission.
‘Justice League: Doom’ follows the members of the Justice League as they’re pursued by their enemies, led by Vandal (voiced by Phil Morris). The villains want to take down Superman (Tim Daly), Wonder Woman (Susan Eisenberg), Flash (Michael Rosenbaum), Green Lantern (Nathan Fillion), Martian Manhunter (Carl Lumbly), Cyborg (Bumper Robinson) and Batman (Kevin Conroy). They used the Dark Knight’s contingency plans for stopping the superheroes, so Vandal can take over the world.
While the Justice League is upset to learn their enemies plan to kill them, they’re equally upset at Batman for creating the contingency plans, which he would use if he needed to stop a rogue team member. At the same time, Batman must question whether he wants to continue working with his fellow team members when they express their concerns over trusting him again.
While ‘Justice League: Doom’ is part of the DC Universe animated original movies line created by Warner Premiere, Warner Bros. Animation and DC Comics, it isn’t a direct follow-up to prior Justice League films as ‘The New Frontier’ and ‘Crisis on Two Earths.’ Therefore, even people unfamiliar with the superhero team will be able to follow and appreciate the pairing of some of DC Comics’ most well-known characters. Even with the multiple sub-plots involving the vulnerability of each of the superheroes, enough emotion and information is provided about each character to spark interest in everyone who believes good can overpower evil.
Famed superhero film and television scribe Dwayne McDuffie, whose last script was ‘Justice League: Doom’ before he died in early 2011, effortlessly proved how vulnerable and humanizing the beloved superheroes can be. Despite creating the seven sub-plots involving each of the members of the Justice League fighting their enemies to stay alive, each superhero’s fear of not being able to protect the world and remain true to themselves was clearly distinct.
Batman, for example, is still adjusting to the fact that he’s the only human in the Justice League. He continuously allows his fear of being perceived as an outsider among the other superheroes and questioning if he’s truly helping the other members leads him to betray their trust. His reluctance to believe that he is indeed doing good in the league in fact leads to the mistrust and alienation from his colleagues.
Conroy, who has been voicing Batman in animated films, cartoon series and video games since the early 1990s, still effortlessly understands the emotions Batman is experiencing. With the help of casting-dialogue director Andrea Romano, the actor was able to capture the vulnerability Batman is feeling, but is still perfectly able to reflect the character’s determination to protect the world from Vandal.
Morris worked well with Conroy as ‘Justice League: Doom’s main villain. As a comic book enthusiast and having played Martian Manhunter for four years on the hit WB/CW series ‘Smallville,’ Morris had the experience to showcase Vandal’s desire to kill the Justice League in order to gain control of the world. But he has become so deterred at never being able to defeat the Justice League that he has subconsciously has given up on life and his dream of ever dominating the world.
‘Justice League: Doom’ is a emotional testament to the superhero team and characters McDuffie regularly wrote about during his career. The film succeeded in showing that even superheroes have doubts about the work they’re doing, and if they’re doing enough to protect the world. Conroy was the perfect choice to reprise the voice role of Batman, as he naturally understood the vulnerabilities the hero was experiencing. While the animated movie doesn’t feature the same stunts and action of the live-action adaptations featuring the superheroes, it’s still a memorable tribute to McDuffie’s career.
Written by: Karen Benardello