Friday, November 23, 2012
ANI-MOVIES, *Justice League: The New Frontier
Based on Darwyn Cooke's Elseworlds mini-series, this was the second of the DC Universe line of direct-to-video animated movies based on DC Comics. The movie has no ties to the Justice League/Justice League Unlimited TV series or the Justice League: Crisis On Two Earths movie. In fact, the actual "Justice League" barely appears in the movie except for a quick shot at the end featuring the founding members of this timeline's JLA.
Set in an alternate 1950s, the former Golden Age heroes such as the Justice Society have gone into hiding after being persecuted by McCarthyism. Superman and Wonder Woman are now agents of the American government, and helping to end the Korean War. Elsewhere, the shapechanging Martian, J'onn J'onzz, was accidently brought to Earth, and assumes the identity of Gotham City detective, John Johns. Former Air Force pilot Hal Jordan is recruited by Ferris Industries, which is secretly part of the U.S. military planning a manned flight to Mars after J'onn's initial existence is made known to them. During the flight, Hal realizes the rocket is carrying weapons to Mars as an accident causes it to explode in space, but he is rescued by Superman. However, J'onn is captured by the government. As this is going on, a mysterious force known as The Centre has been influencing criminals and others throughout the world. Aware of the impending threat, a Green Lantern heads to Earth, but is injured when Hal's rocket blew up, so he passes his ring over to him even though Hal has no idea how to use it. The Centre then reveals itself to be a giant flying island that literally has dinosaurs crawling out if it, and attacks Paradise Island. Wonder Woman barely escapes to warn Superman and the others, but Supes himself is taken down by it. This leaves the task up to the remaining heroes, including Flash, Batman, Green Arrow, J'onn, Adam Strange, the Challengers of the Unknown, and the Blackhawks. With the help of Ray Palmer's(the Atom)shrinking tech, and Hal Jordan emerging as the new Green Lantern at the last possible second, they manage to send the dying Centre out into space. Following this, the heroes are exonerated, and a new team is formed under the logo of the Justice League.
This film stands out pretty well as far as a home video release. The animation is above the par of its TV counterparts featuring Bruce Timm's crew, although Darwyn Cooke himself played a large part in the movie's production. Andrea Romano's selection of voice actors stand out too, with David Boreanaz as Hal Jordan, Neil Patrick Harris as Flash, Kyle MacLachlan as Superman, and Lucy Lawless is perfect as the more-Amazonian-than-normal Wonder Woman. For anyone who has a love for the fantasmagorical style of the Silver Age of comics, this one is a must.