I was ecstatic when I heard Bruce Timm was returning to DC for a new animated feature. One of the creators behind Batman: The Animated Series and Justice League Unlimited, the animated DCU just hasn’t been the same since his departure. When I heard the premise of the movie, however, I was more skeptical. It turns out I need not have feared that Bruce Timm might be corrupted by the grit of the New 52 that’s turned so much of DC’s comic and video output to shit. Timm certainly delivers a darker and more adult story than expected but it’s still grounded in a profound understanding and love for these characters that is far too often lacking in much of DC’s current output.
Although the word Elseworlds doesn’t appear in its title that’s exactly what Justice League: Gods and Monsters is: a story set in an alternate version of the DCU vastly different from the any we know. The result is as unexpected as it is enjoyable. It may not be classic Timm, but the man certainly hasn’t lost his knack for characters, design, or storytelling.
I think we can all agree DC Comics New 52 has been a mixed success, at best. There are several reasons for this including the choice of characters and titles not included in the reboot, the vast difference in how much of each character’s history was rebooted compared to others, and odd yearning to recapture the style and gritty feel of the 1990’s.
No one is more responsible (or more to blame, depending on your perspective) than artist Jim Lee. Lee’s redesign of each member of the Justice League set the standard for the style of the New 52. But what if DC had decided to go in a different direction? What if, instead of Lee’s 90’s-inspired grittiness, DC had decided to allow Bruce Timm (the man largely responsible for the look of DC Animation for the better part of two decades) to redesign the DCU? Here’s what that much more vibrant, joyous, sultry, and kick-ass DCU might have looked like. I give you Bruce Timm’s New 32.
Conan O’Brien took some time out of his busy schedule to visit his new neighbors including some guys who works at Warner Brothers (creative director Peter Girardi) and even got Bruce Timm to draw him as a super-hero!