Saturday, April 16, 2016

ANI-MOVIES, Justice League Vs. Teen Titans

As the third of the Justice League animated movies post-Flashpoint, they decided to mix it up by introducing the Teen Titans of this New 52 DC Animated Universe. While picking up on the hot trend of "heroes vs. heroes", this movie did the other cliché of having one of the sides being possessed/mind controlled.

The League is battling the Legion of Doom made up of supervillains attacking their new Hall of Justice HQ. This takes the post-credits scene from the end of Throne Of Atlantis with Lex Luthor and Ocean Master, and quickly sweeps it under the rug making Luthor out to be just a stereotypical criminal genius with a team of superthugs, and Ocean Master is even on their roster. During the attack, Weather Wizard gets all powered up and starts flooring the League(who here are minus Shazam, Aquaman, and Green Lantern for no explained reason), but Robin nukes Wizard with the Batplane, and despite the positive results he gets once again lectured by Batman. As punishment, Robin is taken by Nightwing to join the Teen Titans, which here its not totally explained if Nightwing was ever a part of, but is lead by Starfire, along with Raven, Beast Boy, and Blue Beetle III. Robin doesn't get along with his new teammates, and nearly gets killed by Beetle's armor. Raven uses her power to heal him, but looks inside his mind to see his past, including showing a scene from Batman Vs. Robin where Bruce Wayne dreamed of a future Damian destroying Gotham after taking up his mantle, which is weird because Raven shouldn't be able to see Batman's dreams from inside Damian's head. Starfire decides to take the kids to an amusement park for some fun, and we're suddenly involved in a prolonged DDR commercial between Damian and Beast Boy. Superman is meanwhile possessed by a demon, and the League tries to find ties to this supernatural force. It turns out to be Raven's father, the demon lord Trigon, and he sends some of his minions to capture her, but the Titans do their "magical girl" henshin to change and fight off Raven's stepbrothers. Raven then teleports the Titans to the mystical realm of Azarath(which is a dead ringer for Paradise Island from previous DC animated movies!)that now lays in waste after Raven reveals her past of Trigon torching the place when she was a child. The team returns to Titans Tower, where the League confronts them to take Raven into custody recognizing her as the source of Superman's possession, only for the remaining Leaguers to get possessed too. Batman manages to paralyze himself before being consumed, and Beetle frees Cyborg when Raven agrees to go with the now enthralled Wonder Woman and Flash. The Titans along with Cyborg head to the Middle East where Superman has unearthed a giant portal to bring Trigon to Earth. Robin uses Kryptonite to free Superman, who in turn frees Flash and Wonder Woman. The Titans then go to Trigon's realm to reseal him inside a magic crystal that Raven originally contained him in, but the "ghost" of Ra's al Ghul shows up out of nowhere to destroy it. Ra's explains to his grandson Damian that Trigon was his benefactor in creating the Lazarus Pits which kept him alive for centuries, although its more than likely to be just one of Trigon's little helpers possessing the undead body of Ra's to mess with Robin. Raven does muster enough strength to pull Trigon back into a shard of the original crystal which she now adorns on her forehead, and the Titans go back home with Robin a part of the team, and the possibility of Cyborg joining them part time.

JL VS. TT manages to be the first credible movie in the New 52 continuity as its a mostly original story which retells the original Trigon saga from the 80s in a modern setting, although its not much of a "vs." story. Then again, most superhero "vs." stories don't involve much of the two heroes or teams actually fighting each other. There should have been a separate film with the JLA battling the Legion of Doom in this post-Flashpoint timeline, so its hard to say where they'll take this version of the League after this, aside from possibly one of the Darkseid War. This movie had a post-credits scene too of Terra heading for Titans Tower hinting at The Judas Project, although that would depend on if Deathstroke survived at the end of Son Of Batman. It would have been nice to have somekind of prologue showing how this version of the Teen Titans originally got together, especially since this is only time that Damian Wayne has actually been in the Titans, plus if there were other members prior to the ones we were introduced to like Kid Flash or Tim Drake. Worth getting if you're a fan of the original Teen Titans TV series, or just caught up in the whole "heroes vs. heroes" sub-genre.