justice league

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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The Infinitus Saga continues with Stargirl stepping up and talking some sense into both teams about the rather unheroic actions of killing a powerful child because of what he might one day turn into in one possible future timeline. The entire concept of the Legion of Super-Heroes heading backwards in time to commit murder has bothered me since the beginning of the arc rather than having the heroes struggle to find the more heroic thing to do, and I’m happy to see my favorite member of the current Canadian Justice League team be the one to step-up here as the cheap out of snapping someone’s neck appears to be off the table.

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Continuing the events from Justice League United Annual #1 half the League faces off against both the Legion of Super-Heroes and the Cadre who want to get their hands on Ultra the Multi-Alien. And if that isn’t enough the other half of the league (Green Arrow, Animal Man, Supergirl, and Stargirl) has to deal with the villainous Byth and the brainwashed Hawkman before the mad scientist can transform young Ultra into a universe-destroying weapon.

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The comic’s five-issue opening arc comes to a close with the team’s return from Rann, but two members don’t make the trip. I was surprised to see Hawkman‘s death not quickly reversed, and given his new connection to Alanna and the Zeta Beam the safest place for Adam Strange is Rann meaning the comic has lost two of its core members before ever getting started.

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