Justice League: Doom

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Justice League: Doom
Jla doom 2012.jpg
Blu-ray Cover art
Directed by Lauren Montgomery
Produced by Lauren Montgomery
Alan Burnett
Written by Dwayne McDuffie
Starring Kevin Conroy
Tim Daly
Susan Eisenberg
Nathan Fillion
Carl Lumbly
Michael Rosenbaum
Bumper Robinson
Music by Christopher Drake
Edited by Christoper D. Lozinski
Production
company
Distributed by Warner Home Video
Release dates
  • February 28, 2012 (2012-02-28)
Running time 77 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Justice League: Doom is an animated direct-to-video superhero film loosely based on Mark Waid's JLA story arc, "JLA: Tower of Babel". The movie was adapted and written by Dwayne McDuffie and is directed by Lauren Montgomery. While not a direct sequel to Crisis on Two Earths, the film uses similar character designs by the lead character designer, Phil Bourassa as well as archived footage from the film in the opening. It was released on February 28, 2012.[1] The film also features various actors reprising their roles from the DC animated universe and Green Lantern: Emerald Knights respectively.[2][3] It is the 13th film in the DC Universe Animated Original Movies line.

The film is dedicated to the memory of Dwayne McDuffie who died from complications following open heart surgery shortly after writing the film.

Plot[edit]

The film revolves around Vandal Savage's plot to exterminate the greater part of the human population and start a new civilization. To ensure that the Justice League is unable to stop him, Savage hires Mirror Master, who hacks into the Batcomputer using a device made by LexCorp and steals contingency plans devised by Batman to incapacitate his League teammates should they ever go rogue. Savage assembles a group of supervillains with personal vendettas against the heroes and pays them richly to simultaneously attack the members of the League using these plans, albeit altered to be lethal.

The villains each do their part to take out the Justice League:

  • Batman is informed by Alfred Pennyworth that the bodies of Thomas and Martha Wayne have been exhumed and are missing. When Bruce Wayne arrives at his parents' graves, he is ambushed by Bane. The emotional distraction is enough to grant Bane the upper hand and render his adversary unconscious. Bruce is then placed into his father's coffin which is reburied. He wakes up to the horrifying prospect of dying of asphyxiation next to his father's corpse. Batman comes close to accepting his fate but, motivated by the memory of his parents' murder, is able to dig his way out of the grave. He soon realizes that the League has been attacked using his own contingency plans. With help from Cyborg, he saves his teammates one by one.
  • Wonder Woman is attacked by Cheetah who scratches her arm, sending nanomachines into her bloodstream. The microscopic machines attach themselves to her brain stem and begin broadcasting directly into her visual and auditory sensors. This fools Wonder Woman into thinking that everyone she sees is a duplicate of Cheetah. The illusion is designed to exploit her competitive nature, by sending her into a never-ending battle. Since she would never surrender, she will force herself to fight until her body gives out, thanks to the drugs the nanomachines were carried in, causing her to suffer an epileptic seizure or a heart attack. Cyborg adjusts his sonic emitter to a frequency that neutralizes the nanites.
  • The Martian Manhunter (in his human identity of John Jones) is celebrating his birthday with his colleagues from the police force. He receives a soda from a mysterious woman (who is actually Ma'alefa'ak in disguise). The drink is laced with magnesium carbonate which is disruptive to Martian biology and leaves the Manhunter struggling to even maintain his form while sweating out the magnesium which is highly flammable. Ma'alefa'ak uses a lighter to set his enemy on fire (J'onn's only weakness), leaving him to burn alive without the possibility to extinguish the flames. Batman provides Cyborg and Wonder Woman with a chemical (Aluminium oxide) that when injected into the Martian, neutralizes the magnesium.
  • The Flash is lured into a trap by Mirror Master who pretends to rob a train. The villain then uses a hologram of an elderly woman to create the illusion that he had a hostage. The whole scenario is only intended to trick the Flash into placing his arm into a booby trap that attaches a bomb to his wrist. The bomb will explode and kill everyone within three miles if the hero tries to remove it or if he does nothing. The only way to prevent the explosion is to run and never decelerate, but even the Flash cannot run forever. Batman instructs him to run and vibrate his molecules through an entire glacier in the Arctic to get rid of the bomb. Flash gets away from the blast radius.
  • Green Lantern is called upon by the FBI to deal with a group of terrorists who have taken hostages into a salt mine. However the truth is that both the terrorists and the hostages are sophisticated androids. The entire setting is part of a complex deception that fools Green Lantern into thinking that innocent lives are lost due to his overconfidence. The hero is also exposed to a synthesized version of the Scarecrow's fear gas that undermines his will. Finally, Star Sapphire shows up and exploits his fears, convincing him that he does not deserve the power he wields. Green Lantern renounces his ring, without which he cannot escape from the collapsed salt mine. The weakened hero resigns to his fate. Batman shows him that the hostage was an android when he takes its head off and offers him an antidote to the gas. Jordan rejects it with his will now resolved.
  • Superman is lured to the roof of the Daily Planet by a disillusioned former employee named Henry Ackerdson, who aims to commit suicide by either jumping off or shooting himself. Superman tries to talk him out of it, and appears to have succeeded, when Ackerdson unexpectedly shoots the hero instead. It is then revealed that the suicide ploy was meant to trick Superman into lowering his guard, that the former employee was being impersonated by Metallo, and that the bullet was made of Kryptonite, the only material that can harm Kryptonians. A fatally wounded Superman falls from the top of the building. The Kryptonite is surgically extracted by Cyborg (who uses a kryptonite scalpel laser) and Martian Manhunter (who shapeshifts his fingers and gets the bullet out) and Superman regains consciousness.

The Justice League retreats to the Watchtower, where Batman reveals that he was the real mastermind behind the attacks, having studied the others for physical and psychological weaknesses. However, he also had a contingency in place should the Batcomputer ever be hacked: a tracing algorithm hidden in his files. This enables the League to track down the Legion of Doom.

The villains are subdued, but the heroes fail to prevent Savage's scheme to orchestrate an apocalyptic cataclysm with a powerful solar flare. Using information obtained by Cyborg, Batman devises a last minute plan and the League barely manages to save the Earth. The World Court sentences the immortal Vandal Savage to life imprisonment without possibility of parole.

In the aftermath of their victory, the Justice League votes to add Cyborg to their roster. Superman calls for a vote on Batman's continued membership in the team, following the revelation of the latter's breach of trust. However, Batman defends his plans and expresses no regret over his actions. He leaves the Justice League, saying "I don't need to wait for a vote. I don't belong here."

In the final scene, as Batman prepares to leave the Watchtower, Superman questions him about the nature of his plans. Batman explains that the original plans were only meant to immobilise the Justice League, and that Savage altered them to be lethal. When Superman brings up Bane's attack, Batman explains that exhuming the bodies of Thomas and Martha Wayne and then burying Bruce was entirely Savage's idea. Superman finally asks Batman if he is still so arrogant that he did not bother to create a plan to stop himself, but Batman replies that there is one: the Justice League. With his own trust in Batman assured, Superman hands him the Kryptonite bullet for Batman to use if necessary, before the Dark Knight teleports out of the Watchtower.

Voice cast[edit]

^a The actor/actress's voice role is reprised from the DC animated universe.

Differences between the comics and film[edit]

There were some differences between the "JLA: Tower of Babel" storyline and this film:

  • Cyborg was added for the film and was not part of the original storyline.
  • There are also differences in the methods used to take out each member of the Justice League.
    • Martian Manhunter was poisoned to make his skin excrete magnesium in the film. In the comic, his skin was coated with nanites which turned his skin into magnesium.
    • In the film, Wonder Woman was also poisoned with nanites that caused her to see everyone as Cheetah. In the comic, a nanite is injected into her ear, putting her in a virtual reality battle with an evenly-matched opponent.
    • An explosive bracelet is put on Flash in the film. In the comic, he was shot with a special "vibra-bullet" that caused him to experience seizures at light speed making 22 minutes feel like months of pain.
    • A Kryptonite bullet was used to defeat Superman in the movie. In the comic, he was exposed to a special type of Red Kryptonite that made his skin transparent causing him to experience a power overload from absorbing too much radiation from the Earth's sun.
    • Green Lantern in the film was made to doubt the powers of his ring and making it look like he failed to save some people which were actually androids after being exposed to the Scarecrow's fear gas. In the comics, he became blind due to a post-hypnotic suggestion that was placed into him while sleeping that makes him believe he is blind so the ring would cause that to happen.
  • When it came to deciding if Batman should remain a member of the Justice League, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Plastic Man decided against it while Flash, Green Lantern, and Martian Manhunter vote to let Batman stay leaving Superman to make the deciding vote. Batman states that he knows what Superman's vote is and leaves. In the film, there was no mention of who voted upon the judgement of Batman as Batman resigns before the Justice League can vote.

Production[edit]

The film was first announced at WonderCon 2011 that the JLA: Tower of Babel storyline will be adapted as a direct-to-video movie, which was written by Dwayne McDuffie right before his death.[4] The character designs were done by Phil Bourassa, the lead character designer of Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths and Young Justice. Storyboards were overseen and animated by Telecom Animation Film.[5] During the casting process of Justice League: Doom, voice director Andrea Romano expressed an interest for the cast from various media to reprise their roles as members of the Justice League.

Reception[edit]

IGN gave the film a 7 out of 10, calling it "An immensely enjoyable thrill ride, but also an occasionally frustrating and short adaptation." [6]

Home media[edit]

The Blu-ray combo pack includes Featurettes only for Blu-ray called “Guarding the Balance: Batman and the JLA”, a mini-Featurette called “Their Time Has Come: Cyborg and the DC Universe’s New Diversity”, while both Blu-ray and the 2-Disc DVD edition has "A Legion of One: The Dwayne McDuffie Story", a Sneak Peak at Superman vs. The Elite, and two bonus episodes of Justice League: "Wild Cards" part 1 and 2.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Goellner, Caleb (December 12, 2011). "'Justice League: Doom' Gets February 28 Release Date and New Box Art". Comics Alliance. Retrieved February 3, 2012. 
  2. ^ Katzoff, Tami (September 29, 2011). "'Justice League: Doom' Cast Includes Nathan Fillion, Kevin Conroy". MTV. Retrieved February 3, 2012. 
  3. ^ Tudor, Brian. "West Coast Premiere Of ‘Justice League: Doom’". Science Fiction.com. Retrieved February 3, 2012. 
  4. ^ Harvey, James (April 2, 2011). ""Justice League: Doom" Named First 2012 DC Universe Animated Original Movie". Worldsfinestonline.com. Retrieved February 25, 2012. 
  5. ^ "秘密のご報告!!!" [Report on secret! ! !] (in Japanese). Telecom Animation Film. November 16, 2011. Retrieved August 5, 2013. 
  6. ^ Shaffer, R.L. (February 28, 2012). "Justice League: Doom Blu-ray Review". IGN. Retrieved July 8, 2012. 

External links[edit]