Oh, it’s been a while since we were emersed in the Bruce Timm Batmanverse. I’m not sure if that’s what it’s called, but that’s what I’m calling it. Sure, I know a lot of people didn’t like Harley Quinn and Batman, but I did, but for those of you who wanted a genuine Justice League adventure with Kevin Conroy’s silky smooth Bat-brooding, you’ve come to the right place. It’s just like you remember it… only different.
So, the Justice League is different. Flash, Hawkgirl, Martian Manhunter, and John Stewart aren’t around anymore, chalked up to a mysterious war on the planet Rann that is referenced a few times because, let me tell you, when there’s a war light years away, you want to send all but a few Justice Leaguers there to deal with it because, after all, when was the last time that something bad happened to Earth if you don’t count those other three dozen times?
Not to fear, because Mr. Terrific, Miss Martian, and Jessica Cruz, the newest Green Lantern is taking up the team’s slack along with Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman. And not a moment too soon as the Fatal Five from the far off future have arrived to reek all sorts of inconvenient havoc on the land and the only person in the galaxy who might be able to stop them is a schizophrenic in Arkham Asylum.
I’m always happy to see new heroes introduced into the DC Universe. Sure, we’ve seen tons of Miss Martian on Young Justice and we’ve seen Mr. Terrific before, underused on Justice League Unlimited and absolutely ruined on Arrow, but Jessica Cruz is a first timer to this medium and, I have to say, I liked her. Her struggles felt real and her evolution felt natural, if a bit rushed. I even dug her character design because, as I’ve said before, Green Lanterns should not be wearing black body socks, they should be wearing green… because it’s in the flippin’ name.
Overall, it’s an okay story. While I was happy to see the Justice League face off against a threat that actually felt threatening, there was very little about the story that was surprising. The ending, to me at least, was the strongest part of the film which salvages the averageness of everything else.
Overall, this is a decent but not quite great entry into the canon that offers only a couple of surprises. You know that Jessica will overcome her fear, you know that Miss. Martian will be accepted by Batman, you know that Mr. Terrific will end up doing almost nothing.
If there’s anything I wanted to see, it’s more character evolution. While I enjoyed Jessica’s struggle, I didn’t like that she was fixed at the end, as though trauma that is devastating enough to cripple a person socially can be cured by just getting mad. Miss Martian gets a character arch to, but just bumbles through it without changing or growing.
Mr. Terrific doesn’t do anything.
Seriously, why was he there?
It’s not a great movie, but it’s an entertaining movie and I’ll take bottom tier drivel from the Bruce Timm Batmanverse© any day of the week.