Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Day Fifty-eight - Justice League: Doom, or "Ze Voices... Zey do nutzing!"

I wanted to like JL:DOOM... I really did.

It had pretty much exactly what I wanted from DC in terms of casting... Tim Daly, Kevin Conroy, Susan Eisenburg, Michael Rosenbaum and Carl Lumbly all reprise their JL era roles and that's great! What's even better? Nathan-freaking-Fillion comes on as Hal Jordan continuing his tenure from Emerald Knights! Add to that Claudia Black, whose sultry voice never fails to send chills up my spine, and I'm sold.

Then the movie actually starts.

Now, don't get me wrong, it's not terribad. As far as recent entries go into the DC Animated Universe, it's actually decently high on the list considering the misses that were Superman vs. The Elite and Batman/Superman: Apocalypse, but it definitely wasn't as good as New Frontier which really, really grooved on the retro vibe even if it didn't have the regular cast.

There's just something about the art direction that seriously bugs the heck out of me. It's so far removed from my expectations concerning Bruce Timm's era of Bruce, Clark, and the rest that hearing Kevin and Tim, et al's, voices coming out of these alien faces ruins my suspension of disbelief right quick.

Then there's the story. Loosely based on the Tower of Babel storyline, it tells the tale of Vandal Savage's attempts (instead of Ra's al Ghul's in the orignal) to rule the world by having the Justice League be taken out using Batman's own plans against them.

Let me say that I would've much preferred to see the War Games storyline with the same thing happening in Gotham without the JLA than I would Tower of Babel. Especially since several of the plans are utterly ridiculous.

I mean, dosing Wonder Woman with nanites to make her attack everything on sight? Especially since it's obvious what is happening from the get go as she can HEAR what the fake-Cheetah's are saying and it's not threatening at all. Why on earth would she attack? Diana is no fool. And trying to sap GL's will by putting him in a no-win scenario? On the off chance a sorta-lookalike for his lost love, Carol Ferris (who has become the villain, Star Sapphire), dying would drive him insane? I might have bought it if they had laid ANY groundwork earlier for the Scarecrow fear toxin working its mojo on him, but that little tidbit shows up only AFTER Bats reappears to save the day. Total Deus Ex and annoying as all get out.

I do like Cyborg's inclusion, but it feels out of place considering the casting choice implies we're operating in the DCAU where there should be plenty of heroes in the continuity. Their absence makes things all weird for me, especially in the conclusion where it feels like, due to this one adventure, Cyborg is added to the Core Seven... er, excuse me, SIX (since Aquaman is conspicuously absent) while Batman is being kicked out. I preferred the JLU way of Bats bowing out to become a part-timer as opposed to this.

I want to give this feature more credit, due to the fact that it was written by the late Dwayne McDuffie, who died shortly after finishing the script... but the art style and, unfortunately, sloppy writing bug me to no end.

It doesn't meet the standards set by the Justice League series that I've come to expect save for casting... and that makes me a bit sad.

Until tomorrow, Potatoes~

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