While everyone’s been concerned with Man of Steel and the next DC live-action movie, there’s been some seriously kick-ass animated films with DC heroes that haven’t gotten enough attention.
Justice League: War is the weakest of the titles, and that’s simply because it tries to give origin stories for all of the Justice League in one fell swoop. It does, mind you, but it ends up being a movie that feels like a setup for another film in its own right.
Justice League: The New Frontier takes us back to WWII and the Silver Age. As a result, this film is a nice nostalgic look back at these characters. Well worth watching.
But then we start to get to the standouts.
Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox is really more of a Flash story than a JL story (with some interesting echoes of season one of the current live-action TV series). Short form: The Flash manages to change history…but the consequences are horrific. Thomas Wayne as the Batman (yes, really) demonstrates the difference that his son makes in the role.
Justice League: Gods and Monsters plays with a serious alternate reality: What if Zod was Kal-El’s father instead? Batman is … well, a lot more literal… in this reality, and Diana’s harsh style of vengance is not tempered by Superman’s boy scout nature. And then everything goes to hell. Well worth the digital rental.
There has already been a feature length Wonder Woman film. And despite including an origin story, this film is simply hands-down my favorite of all of these. In turns both witty and gritty, Diana (voiced by Keri Russell) and Steve (voiced by Nathan Fillion) literally save the world. Includes lines like “While the Amazons have the truth lasso, I have tequila…” followed by Diana drinking Steve under the table.
It should be noted that all of these films have a gritty element to them (especially the further down the list you get). People die. Often at the hands of our heroes. So if you’re expecting a “they parachute out of the plane” kind of film for the wee ones, you should be warned.
That said, these films are excellent. While I might quibble with the deus ex machina resolutions of several of these films (though not Wonder Woman), these set a high bar for superhero movies that DC will really need to stretch to reach in the future.