On The Couch #11 & 12: Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, Superman/Batman: Public Enemies

It’s time to get my geek on.

Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths is the latest direct-to-DVD animated movie based on existing DC Comics stories. The movie is mainly based on the 2001 graphic novel JLA: Earth 2 by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely.

Skip the movie, read the comic.

The story centers around Earth-2, which is a world where it’s opposite day every day! People’s hearts on the right side of their body, Superman is the evil Ultraman and Batman is the evil Owlman. I’m not sure why an owl is the opposite of a bat. Maybe because owls can see really well and bats are blind? Ultraman and Owlman team-up with other mirror-mirror versions of the Justice League in the Crime Syndicate, who are like a super-powered Sopranos. Evil Superman even speaks with a Jersey accent.

Look at Evil Superman’s eyes. He’s totaly checking out Evil Wonder Woman’s rack! Evil jerk!
On Earth 2, the only hero left is Lex Luthor. “What?!? Lex Luthor is a hero?” you ask. Apparently male pattern baldness isn’t caused by wickedness though, as good Lex Luthor is just as bald as evil Lex Luthor. I wish they gave him the red-headed afro that other-alternate reality Alexander Luthor sported in the 1980’s comic Crisis on Infinite Earths.
Considering this alternative, maybe going bald isn’t such a bad thing.

Lex Luthor is voiced by Chris Noth a.k.a. Mr. Big from Sex in the City. I think this casting decision was to make it easier for guys to get their girlfriends to agree to watch this. Yeah…no dice. If there is any guy out there who successfully convinces his girlfriend to watch this movie based solely on Chris Noth’s appearance, I want to hear from you.

“Hey ladies, I’m in a Superman cartoon. Want to watch it? No? What do you mean no?”

It was weird to hear the voices of Superman, Batman and Lex Luthor in this movie. Since the Batman and Superman cartoons from the 90’s and later the Justice League cartoon from the last decade, I’ve associated these characters with the voices of Tim Daly, Kevin Conroy and Clancy Brown. With Lex Luthor being on the side of good, the casting of Chris Noth over Clancy Brown makes sense. I don’t think Clancy Brown can say anything as Lex Luthor without it sounding like he wants to kill someone.

The Blu-ray is packed with special features. There’s an in-depth preview of Batman: Under the Hood, which is due out this summer. If it lives up to the hype set-up in this preview, it looks like it will be a much better movie than Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths. Also included on the disc are four episodes of the Cartoon Network’s Justice League cartoon that deal with alternate realities. If you watched the show when it was originally on, you’ve probably seen these already.

There’s a Spectre short with cool modern animation that is made to look like an old movie. The story is a murder-mystery and if you’ve ever been to a murder-mystery party, you’ll probably figure out the main killer early on. The highlight of the short is watching the Spectre pass final judgement on the criminals in ways that are as inventive as they are gruesome.

Depending on your point of view, the most or least special of the special features is the live action pilot of the 2006 WB Aquaman TV show. Before watching it, you might think it’s the most special of the special features, but after watching it, you’ll quickly realize why this series didn’t get picked up. It’s a complete mess that’s on par quality-wise in regards to story and special effects with a made-for-TV Sci-Fi channel movie. Sorry, I mean SyFy channel. Actually this pilot is about the same quality as Sci-Fi’s name change to SyFy.

Oh, Lou Diamond Phillips, how far you’ve fallen.

I’m giving Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths two stars on Netflix. The animation was nice and the set-up was good, but the story seemed to fall apart as it went on. It was cool to see evil versions of the Superfriends, but Owlman’s main reason for coming unhinged and wanting to destroy all reality seemed a bit off. And I’m pretty sure that good Batman was responsible for killing two people at the end to save the day, which seemed very off. Really, I should give it one star, just for tricking me into watching that terrible Aquaman pilot.

Superman/Batman: Public Enemies was equally disappointing, if not more so. Like Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, Superman/Batman: Public Enemies is adapted off a comic book storyline from a few years ago that I was fan of when I first read it.

The animation is based off of the Public Enemies comic artist Ed McGuinness’s art, but they change it for the worse in the animated movie. They use McGuinness’s way of drawing bodies, but faces, especially Superman’s, are given the manga treatment. Superman’s eyes are just too big here and his face is way too boyish. He doesn’t look tough or intimidating at all, but instead looks like a 14-year old on steroids.


I’m beginning to learn a lesson with these DC animated titles. Skip the main movie and go straight to the special features. They’re much more enjoyable.