Justice League: Doom – Review

5/5 Great adaptation of a great story

Like Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1, Green Lantern: First Flight and Batman: Under the Red Hood, Justice League: Doom is part of DC Comics/Warner Bros direct-to-DVD line of releases. It is based on a story from the JLA comic book called Tower of Babel.

Why the name chance? In the original JLA story, Ra’s Al Ghul builds a tower that will render all forms of communication on Earth useless. This titular plot point is dropped from the animated movie (as is Ra’s Al Ghul as the story’s villain), necessitating a title change. Not to mention that Doom sounds much more menacing.

In the animated movie, the immortal villain Vandal Savage gathers an Injustice League made up of villains of each member of the Justice League. It’s a 1-for-1 match. If Vandal Savage wanted a higher chance of success, I’m surprised he didn’t stack the odds in his favor by hiring three villains for each hero, seeing as he seems to have an abundance of resources. Hubris is clearly Savage’s kryptonite.

Clothing is Star Sapphire’s kryptonite.

If you were a fan of the Justice League cartoon from a few years ago, you will like the voice cast on this movie. Kevin Conroy is Batman. Tim Daly is Superman. Carl Lumbly is the Martian Manhunter (and also pulls double duty as the villainous martian Malefic). Michael Rosenbaum is the Flash, though here he’s playing Barry Allen instead of Wally West. Susan Eisenberg plays Wonder Woman. A big addition to the cast is Nathan Fillion as Green Lantern. Fillion played Green Lantern in Green Lantern: First Flight, so it was nice to see him reprise the role here.

If I were to nitpick any part of the film, it would be Mirror Master’s heist of the Batcave. The motion sensors didn’t detect him because he was in hologram mode, but that device he attached to the Bat-Computer wasn’t intangible. It should have set off alarms. Someone as paranoid as Batman would have his motion detectors set to detect something smaller than a human, right? Or maybe Batman has his motion detectors tuned to weed out small objects. Otherwise, the bats would be setting off the alarms constantly. In that case, ignore my nitpick.

Actually, none of the Injustice League is a fan of much clothing.

Overall, I liked this animated feature a lot. It kept the biggest aspect of the JLA: Tower of Babel story, namely that the Justice League is betrayed by one of their own. I wonder if Bruce Timm and Andrea Romano had to change the villain from Ra’s to Vandal Savage because Christopher Nolan was planning on using Ra’s in The Dark Knight Rises. At New York Comic Con this year, Bruce Timm mentioned that Nolan’s plans to incorporate parts of The Dark Knight Returns into his movies put on hold that particular animated film.

If Bruce and Andrea decide to go back to the JLA series for another animated film, I hope they base one on Grant Morrison and Howard Porter’s Rock of Ages storyline. I’m still not sure if I understood that story completely, but it was awesome! Green Arrow firing the Atom into Darkseid’s brain may be one of favorite comic book moments ever!