Monday, July 22, 2013

ANI-MOVIES, *Justice League: Doom

This is the third DC Universe movie with the JLA, although it's a little different from the original plot as it breaks down the separate members of the League while uniting them in a common story. Loosely based on the Tower Of Babel story arc from the comics, Doom brings together the age-old tradition of "superheroes vs. supervillains". It was written by the late Dwayne McDuffie, who adapted it from the Tower Of Babel story arc from JLA comics.

After stopping the Royal Flush Gang from using some fancy new phasing technology to rob a jewelry vault, the Justice League are targeted by a collected group of their personal enemies going by the handle, the Legion of Doom. Immortal formal caveman Vandal Savage organizes several supervillains to take down the JLA using plans heisted from Batman which were designed to neutralize members of the League. Each of the bad guys corner the heroes in their own way. Bane buries Batman with his parents, Mirror Master places an unshakable bomb on Flash, Cheetah tricks Wonder Woman into thinking everyone is her and attacking them, Star Sapphire uses fear toxin to scare Green Lantern into quitting, Martian Manhunter is set on fire by his evil twin, and Metallo shoots Superman with a Kryptonite bullet. Savage sets all this up to get the League out of the way so he can implement his master plan of using a nuke to send a giant solar flare which would kill half of the world's population, afterwards he and the Legion would take over what's left. Batman manages to free himself though, since his original plans didn't include subduing himself, and with Cyborg help the rest of the League from their own personal traps. They then reconvene to hear out Batman's reasons for creating scenarios for subduing them, but pull their act together to locate Savage's lair. After a classic heroes/villians battle, Savage's rocket does make it to the sun, so the League uses the special phasing technology Savage had made to protect themselves from the solar flare to make the entire planet temporarily intangible, making it safe for the flare to pass through the Earth. In the end, Cyborg is inducted into the League, but Batman decides to leave knowing his techniques weren't accepted by the other members.

Justice League: Doom is a splendid mix of the original comic book story, and merging it with a new plot. The original comic one had Ra's Al Ghul acting on his own as the main villain with the League of Assassins, and no other supervillains or Legion of Doom, and using Batman's plans to keep the League out his hair while he tried taking over the world. Dwayne McDuffie expanded on it by keeping the League down to its core members, while adding Cyborg probably because DC Comics was pushing to have him in the group to make them look more diverse. Young Justice animator Lauren Montgomery directed this, and her more realistic style stands out quite well. The vocal casting is great, with most of the Justice League animated series actors returning, except Tim Daly as Superman, Michael Rosenbaum playing the Barry Allen Flash, and Nathan Fillion reprising Green Lantern from the previous GL animated movie. It's a good enough stand-alone film that you can enjoy without having to see any of the other DC Universe flicks, and a decent foundation for a possible live-action Justice League movie.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Jet Jaquar invades Pacific Rim

MISC. MANGA, *Steam Wars

With all their steampunk-inspired stories, it was only a matter of time before they decided to do a Star Wars parody with it. It's a more fleshed-out version of the story Fred Perry did in the Victorian Secret: Girls Of Summer special.

This ongoing series takes place on an alien world that thrives on steam-driven technology, and dominated by the evil Hegemonic Crux. The Duchess Imoen leads the Resistance against them, and she along with with the pushy airship Captain Lowe, his co-pilot bear Smokey, and the stuck-up droid Clees have to get the plans for the revolutionary Warp Coal away from Crux’s troops. Fortunately, they come across the last of the “Quantum Dragoons”, Bo Baron, who is really Crux’s son.

Even though it’s a tribute to the original Star Wars trilogy, it does manage to maintain its own identity as a steampunk adventure. Plus, Fred Perry brings his own unique take on fanboy love for both steampunk and Star Wars.