Animation,  Film

Review: JUSTICE LEAGUE VS. THE FATAL FIVE – Nostalgia Overload

Justice League vs The Fatal Five is our latest DC venture; and after the Batman: The Killing Joke and Batman and Harley Quinn; it feels like WB Animation wants to win back its fan base. Now, they’re returning to the well that put them the map – the original DC Animated Universe. Yes, this film takes place in the world of Batman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond, Static Shock, and Justice League Unlimited. Does it reach the golden standard of the classic DCAU era?Or does it continue the line of bad DC direct to video movies? Well…

The film only clocks in at 1hr and 17min so it’s not that long. We start in the 31st century with the Legion of Superheroes. This is also where this film being “canon” starts to fall apart. The Leigon battle three of the five villains before the baddies travel back in time. Only one hero persues, Starboy. The villains crash into Metropolis, Superman dashes across the sky saving people from the wreckage. From here we’re reintroduced to the Trinity. Superman (George Newburn), Batman (Kevin Conroy), and Wonder Woman (Susan Eisenberg). Once the old theme music starts playing it’s nostalgia overload.

The three continue to shine in these roles. It’s almost like they never left us. Unfortunately, this is where the reunion ends, as we don’t see the other Justice League members. Though,we do get a few well timed cameos from other characters. We’re also introduced to Miss Martian (Daniela Bobadilla) and Jessica Cruz (Diane Guerrero). Is Miss Martian Batman’s new sidekick? I sure felt like it. The film’s focus on Jessica was an interesting choice. This is basically her origin story. It makes me wonder if she’s going to lead future DC films.

My major issue with this film is that the Fatal Five’s motives are never fully explained. They only exist so the Justice League can punch something. That’s not good enough. They don’t feel like really people. Also, if this film is canon to the rest of the DCAU, it’d be nice to know what time period we’re in. It’s a little confusing, and they forgot that DCAU Superman can’t breathe in space. I guess that’s a nitpick but it was still funny.

Overall, Justice League vs. The Fatal Five is a decent watch. It’s not the true Justice League reunion fans have been begging for, but it does hit the right buttons until we get the inevitable Justice League movie. It’s also a great introduction to Jessica Cruz! One of the best modern characters in the DC Universe.

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