justice league

The Avengers react to Justice League Trailer

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Justice League of America #1 comic reviewLogically, Justice League of America #1 makes about as much sense as the plot to the Oscar-winning Suicide Squad. This isn’t the first time Batman has assembled his own team (although events concerning his role in the Outsiders are still a bit fuzzy after the Rebirth reboot). Believing the Earth needs a new super-team to fight the DCU’s larger threats, Batman cobbles together one hell of a bizarre looking group. Longtime Justice League mainstays such as Black Canary and Vixen are givens. And the Ray and Ryan Choi certainly make sense. But the former super-villain Killer Frost? And the uncontrollable galactic bounty hunter Lobo? Just what is Batman thinking?

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DC Comics’ first big crossover following the Rebirth reboot pits the Justice League against the Suicide Squad when Batman fills in the rest of the League about Amanda Waller‘s private army of mercenary super-villains. When the Squad’s latest mission in Badhnisia goes bad the Justice League shows up (not realizing that the Squad will quite literally have to fight for their lives to prevent Waller from murdering them all by detonating the explosives at the base of each of their skulls).

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Released during Comic-Con, the first trailer for Justice League offers us a look at Bruce Wayne’s (Ben Affleck) attempt to enlist other heroes to fight a looming threat. Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, Amber Heard, Amy Adams, and Henry Cavill also star. The movie opens in theaters on November 17, 2017.

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lego-justice-league-gotham-city-breakoutAnother lukewarm entry to the LEGO DC Super Heroes line, Justice League: Gotham City Breakout features two separate stories. First, Nightwing (Will Friedle) and Batgirl (Sarah Hyland) convince Batman (Troy Baker) to finally take a vacation leaving Gotham City in the hands of Superman (Nolan North). The trip to visit his old teacher Madame Mantis (Amy Hill) unveils a plot by Deathstroke (John DiMaggio) and Bane (Eric Bauza) to use a normally peaceful underground tribe to take over the world. While providing its moments, the adventure begins to drag during its second-half.

The other storyline features Superman having more trouble with the super-villains of Gotham City than he expected. Tricked by the Joker (Jason Spisak), Superman accidentally causes a break-out at Arkham Asylum. Even calling on the help of Cyborg (Khary Payton) and Wonder Woman (Grey Griffin), the heroes struggle to stop the chaos eventually allowing Robin (Scott Menville) to show them what crime-fighting in Gotham is all about.

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justice-league-vs-teen-titans-blu-rayThe latest home video release further exploring the characters and world introduced in Son of Batman sends the uncompromising Damian Wayne (Stuart Allan) to the Teen Titans in hopes that Robin may be able to learn teamwork and trust. Borrowing a little from Damien’s time with the Teen Titans prior to the New 52 reboot, writers Bryan Q. Miller and Alan Burnett choose to give their spin on a more classic Trigon (Jon Bernthal) story. As with the previous movies, the story lacks the Robin/Red Robin rivalry from the comics, but certainly entertains.

With both heroes and villains being possessed by a demon threatening to break into their world, Raven (Taissa Farmiga) reveals the truth about herself and her father to her teammates Beast Boy (Brandon Soo Hoo), Blue Beetle (Jake T. Austin), and Starfire (Kari Wahlgren). When Raven is captured and multiple members of the Justice League are possessed by Trigon it falls on Robin and the Teen Titans to save the day.

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Let me start by saying I have absolutely no idea what is happening in Justice League United #14. The second issue of an arc (yeah, okay I’ll admit I didn’t read the last issue, but seriously WTF is going on?) involving members of the team being trapped in a WWII battlefront along with a Who’s Who of lesser known DC characters including Sgt. Rock, Vandal Savage, Robotman, the Creature Commandos, Enemy Ace, the Unknown Soldier, and Batgirl is as bizarre as it sounds. Hell, even O.M.A.C. shows up before all is said and done. And it’s also kinda fun.

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lego-justice-league-attack-of-the-legion-of-doom-blu-rayDespite unfortunately trapping our heroes in their less colorful and far blander New 52 costumes, the follow-up to LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League vs. Bizarro League proves to be even more entertaining than the original. In Super-Friends style, LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes: Attack of the Legion of Doom! gives us an entire legion of villains teaming together to take down the Justice League.

Bringing back the core group from the first movie, with the exception of replacing Guy Gardner with Hal Jordan (Josh Keaton) (whose rivalry with the Flash, thankfully still in his classic costume, proves to be a fun running gag), the sequel also gives us a cameo by the Trickster (Mark Hamill), whose minifig is included with both the DVD and Blu-ray releases, and makes Batman (Troy Baker) the head of the Justice League as the heroes fight off the new super-villain team and the insecure Cyborg (Khary Payton) learns to grow into his role as a true hero.

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justice-league-gods-and-monsters-blu-rayI 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.

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