With so many fans that were disappointed by the first live-action version of the Justice League on film, and to be fair, there was a lot to live up to, I’m talking over 50 years of patiently waiting for the day when the League would be standing side by side as an awesome heroic score played.
Unfortunately it didn’t quite happen that way, DC/WB went too dark too fast and because of the backlash from that, we got a watered-down version of the most famous team in comics history. But fear not, if you were one of the many that were disillusioned by what you saw at the theater, you can get that well deserved JLA fix right in your own home from a couple of films based on some fantastic comic books. And just a warning, these movies may not be for the entire family as they are very “PG-13”.
Justice League: The New Frontier- (2008)
Directed by Dave Bullock and based on the phenomenal comic by the late Darwyn Cooke this film follows a looming evil presence that is planning the elimination of humankind due to its constant acts of violence toward one another. Not long after the Korean War a shell shocked Hal Jordan signs up to pilot experimental crafts, meanwhile J’onn J’onzz, the Martian Manhunter is teleported to Gotham as the feared and mysterious Batman begins to investigate a cult foretelling the end of the world. The Flash is saving Central City while being hunted by the government. Wonder Woman who is angered by the U.S. involvement in Vietnam goes against hers and Superman’s orders to leave the abandoned country in chaos. As the doomsday threat approaches Hal Jordan becomes the Green Lantern and the group of heroes rally to defend the world that fears and does not understand them.
This is a fantastic representation of the Justice League as they have been brought to life in the comics. The voice acting is stellar with David Boreanaz as Hal Jordan, Kyle MacLachlan as Superman, Neal Patrick Harris as The Flash, and Lucy Lawless as Wonder Woman. It is written by Stan Berkowitz and is it as true to Cooke’s books as possible, as there are times where the heroes are not quite as heroic. They can be flawed and stubborn, but that is one of the reasons that makes them great and why we love them.
Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox- (2011)
Directed by Jay Ovila and written by Jim Krieg based on the comic series by Geoff Johns and Andy Kubert this is a dark look at our favorite heroes and what the butterfly effect could do to the DC Universe. After the Justice League takes down the Flash’s Rouges led by the evil Professor Zoom, Barry wakes the next day to find his world changed. He is no longer the fastest man alive, Wonder Woman and Aquaman have destroyed parts of the world in an Amazonian and Atlantian war, Cyborg heads a resistance to stop them both, Batman is more ruthless with zero problems killing super-villains, and Superman is missing all together. As Barry attempts to regain his powers he tries to get Batman to help Cyborg stop the super hero war, all while trying to discover who is responsible for this new darker world.
This film is filled with crazy cool moments and a unique look at the League and their villains in a way you have never seen them before. A star studded cast makes up the voices with reprising their roles, Kevin Conroy as Batman, Dana Delany as Lois Lane, Nathan Fillion as Hal Jordan. With new voices in C. Thomas Howell as Zoom, Michael B. Jordan as Cyborg, and Justin Chambers as the Flash. We get to see what would have happened if these well-known origins were changed ever so slightly. Plus it has one of the best endings of any DC story ever.