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Justice League: Doom
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DCU Justice League: Doom (Blu-ray)
When Vandal Savage discovers Batman's secret contingency plan to defeat the Justice League should any of them go rogue, he steals it, forms his own army of supervillains, and begins taking out the Justice League one by one.]]>
Justice League: Doom, another feature-length animated project from DC Universe, pits the League against a cadre of supervillains intent on not only destroying them, but humanity itself. But there's also a second threat from within the JL's own ranks, and one that knows their deepest fears and hidden weaknesses. Based on Mark Waid's story arc "Tower of Babel" (of which part is included in this set as a digital comic book), Justice League: Doom attempts to dig into the psychological landscape of its heroes, though the feature's relatively brief running time (75 minutes) doesn't allow it the luxury of exploring the moral and ethical ramifications of the apparent betrayal within the Justice League. The story is well populated by some of DC's most favored figures on both sides of the good/bad table, including Superman (Tim Daly), Batman (Kevin Conroy, returning to his iconic voice role), and Green Lantern (Nathan Fillion) for the forces of right, and Phil Morris (Vandal Savage), Olivia D'Abo (Star Sapphire), and Alexis Denisof (Mirror Master) as their opponents. Action is plentiful, and the voice cast, many of whom are veterans of both the Justice League series and previous DCA outings, handle the material with skill. For casual viewers, Justice League: Doom is a fast-paced, appealing actioner with a cast of characters familiar to even DC novices, but for longtime JL fans, especially those familiar with Waid's original arc, the story streamlining takes away much of the dramatic resonance, leaving a well-crafted but unfortunately truncated project, not unlike DCU's Batman: Year One.
Extras are plentiful, with the 36-minute documentary A League of One: The Dwayne McDuffie Story leading the pack; it's a heartfelt tribute to the writer-producer, whose love and respect for the DC milieu led to his stellar work on the Justice League series (and many other titles) before Justice League: Doom marked his final screen credit prior to his death in 2011. The 20-minute featurette Guarding the Balance attempts to address the moral issues touched upon by the film, while Cyborg, a supporting player in Doom, gets his own short showcase as an apparent launch pad for his own future status as a lead hero. There's also a pair of JL episodes and a preview of the next DCU feature, Superman vs. the Elites. The extras are definitely worth a look, while the feature itself will either intrigue or leave viewers wanting. --Paul Gaita
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Without giving too much away, the primary villain puts out a call to some of the JL members' greatest foes including Mirror Master, Bane, Cheetah, Metallo, Ma'alefa'ak, and Star Sapphire. His plan is to have them individually take out members of the League and then, surprise, surprise, take over the world! Does he succeed? You'll have to watch the film to find out.
The story plays out quickly and is loaded with humor, especially a decent amount from Alfred Pennyworth early on, and as the plot thickens, we realize that the enemy has used one of the League's members' contingency plans in order to make an attempt at wiping them all out. As the individual members of the League fight for their lives, Cyborg is called in for the assist and helps them tackle their problems head on.
The animation is vibrant and clean, and all of the voice acting, especially that of Nathan Fillion (Green Lantern), Kevin Conroy (Batman), and Tim Daly (Superman) is excellent. The pacing is solid and I never grew bored with the story.
Overall this is an excellent addition to the DC Animated Universe. DC has proven once again that it has the chops to create some excellent animated films. Now only if they could telegraph that into their live action film universe!?!?!?!?
I'd recommend this to anyone who wants a short, D.C. superhero-packed romp