Monday, October 10, 2016

ANI-MOVIES, *Lego DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League-Cosmic Clash

As part of the ongoing series of made-for-video animated movies, this Lego flick probably has the longest title out of any comic book adaptation! Taking place after Attack Of The Legion Of Doom, this has the Justice League crossing over slightly with Legion Of Super-Heroes.

Brainiac comes to Earth to shrink it down to make it part of his set of shrunken planets. The Justice League stops his initial assault, but Brainiac returns from his Brainiac Borg-collective with a device to send Superman, Green Lantern, and Wonder Woman each to different points in time. Batman jury rigs the Batmobile into a cosmic treadmill powered by the Flash to go through time to rescue the other heroes. Meanwhile, Cyborg stays behind to gather other heroes to stop Brainiac's drones, but everyone else is currently on other worlds, so he contacts Supergirl for help. Batman first goes back to the stone age to restore Wonder Woman's memory with her magic lasso, which ends up setting up the Amazon society(meaning that this whole time travel trip was predestined!). Next, Batman rescues Green Lantern from pirates, and finally ends up in an Earth's End future trying to find Superman. Flash gets taken back to present day along with Wonder Woman and GL to help the rest of the League battle Brainiac. In the future, Batman discovers Superman has been assimilated by Brainiac into being evil, but is rescued by Saturn Girl, Lightning Lad, and Cosmic Boy from the Legion of Super-Heroes, the rest of which were allegedly "killed" by Superman. Batman jet-skates to the remains of the Batcave, supposedly to get his Kryptonite to take down Superman, but instead uses a solor-powered ray to free Superman from Brainiac's control. Supes is transported back to the present, just in time to see it get shrunk into Brainiac's collectors set. Batman shows up in a Legion time bubble, and unleashes some spaceships for each of the Leaguers to use to combine into a giant robot, which in comparison to the now shrunken Earth is on the same scale of Unicron! The giant JL mecha fights Brainiac, while Batman gets inside him to reverse to shrinking device in his head, and restoring the planet to its normal size.

This was a decent tribute to the old time travel stories done in the history of DC Comics, almost like a Lego version of The Hunt From Bruce Wayne story arc with the Elseworlds-styled different Batman costumes. It still plays out as an average all-ages feature, while still entertaining for comic geeks.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

ANI-MOVIES, *DC Super Hero Girls: Hero Of The Year

Since DC was cancelling shows like Young Justice when they found out that it was largely being watched by girls instead of their target audience of boys, it was later decided for them to follow the path that Monster High School did and created an animates series specifically for the young girls demographic. DC Super Hero Girls takes place in a completely different reality where a lot of the regular DC Comics heroes and villains alike are teenagers and go to Super Hero High School. It starts out with a teenage Wonder Woman(meaning there's no Wonder Girl here!)first attending SHHS, and becoming roommates with a good guy version of Harley Quinn. From there, it's introducing new characters to the roster like Supergirl and Batgirl, who get more airtime in the Super Hero High TV special that was shown on Boomerang in spring of 2016, although it has as yet to be released on DVD or Blu-Ray prior to this made-for-video movie.

Hero Of The Year starts out sometime after the Super Hero High special, with Big Barda becoming a reformed villain from Apocalypse which attacked the school in the previous story(meaning this would have been more helpful to put the special on video prior to this movie to develop a more established continuity). The campus is currently in a buzz for its annual Hero Of The Year award, Wonder Woman looking likely to win. Meanwhile, a female version of Eclipso and Dark Opal are outcasted from Gemworld by Princess Amethyst(who got her own anime-styled mini series from the DC Nation shorts), and steal various items of precious minerals to forge a powerful staff to take over the universe. Using their shadow-like creatures, Dark Opal and Eclipso kidnap an alchemist from Paradise Island to forge the minerals together, but they need a special crystal that Supergirl has from Krypton in order to make the staff whole. After kidnapping the parents of DC's all girl version of the Trinity to gain Supergirl's crystal, Eclipso uses the staff to try and conquer Super Hero High during their award's ceremony. However, her plans are ultimately thwarted by Teen Titan-regular Bumblebee, despite the fact that she was stuck in micro-mode during most of the movie. Eclipso isn't totally out of business yet as it appears her own evil-powered diamond survived the ordeal, laying plans for a possible sequal, plus hopefully adding Princess Amethyst to the DC Super Hero Girls roster!

This movie played out as an appreciative effort from Warner Bros. Animation to appeal to the female fan market, but also pays some fair homage to longtime DC Comics fans. There's a lot of voice over fan service with actors like Tara Strong back as Harley Quinn, Grey Griffin again as Wonder Woman, John DiMaggio as "Vice-Principal" Grodd(who might be on Principal Waller's Suicide Squad!), plus former-Supergirl Helen Slater as Martha Kent and former-Superman Dean Cain as Johnathon Kent. It's worth giving a watch for most comic fans, even if it is just playing on Cartoon Network.