GODS AND MONSTERS Not Your Usual Justice League

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Justice League Gods and Monsters Blu-ray Warner Brothers DC Comics Critical Blast

What if it hadn't been the son of Jor-El, but the son of General Zod who had made the trek from a doomed Krypton to Earth as a baby? What if Bruce Wayne's parents hadn't been killed? What if Diana had never come from Paradise Island?

JUSTICE LEAGUE: GODS AND MONSTERS is the brainchild of Bruce Timm (BATMAN ANIMATED ADVENTURES, JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED), and it's a Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman like you have never seen before.

Superman is the child of Zod, raised by (illegal?) migrant workers. Batman is Kirk Langstrom, whose research into a cure for his condition involving bats and nanites turned him into a bloodsucking vampire. And Wonder Woman is Bekah, granddaughter of Highfather of New Genesis. And while they're not necessarily an anti-Justice League a la the Crime Syndicate of Earth-3, they're not as interested in remaining on the side of the angels as the heroes we're used to.

In fact, the world fears them, even as they rely on them. Some see them as terrorists. The government has developed a program to confront them if necessary, but so far they've never dared try it -- until now. When prominent scientists show up murdered -- Victor Fries is drained of blood, Ray Palmer is sliced up with a sword, Victor Stone is fried with a heat beam -- it seems almost obvious that the Justice League has gone rogue, and it's time to unleash Operation: Fair Play.

As the mystery unfolds, we're treated to origin flashbacks to each of our three heroes. Benjamin Bratt's Superman is arrogant, but not quite the fascist Lois Lane paints him to be. Tamara Taylor's Wonder Woman is fiercely independent, using men as she pleases but not belonging to any -- at least, not anymore. But it's Michael C. Hall's Batman that stands out to me the most -- a slender loner who speaks in monotone. If you can imagine Hall's character from DEXTER portraying another justice seeking night creature, you're almost there.

JUSTICE LEAGUE: GODS AND MONSTERS is new territory for DC, and they're dropping the hints for it. We see the phrase "gods and monsters" dropped in the latest issue of JUSTICE LEAGUE -- and likewise we see a "dawn of justice" reference made in the back-cover promotional text. It's a fascinating story, compellingly delivered, and probably under-rated with it's PG-13 rating. There's a lot of violence and language in this -- not the Justice League you'd want your preteen kids watching. But for adults, this movie is all action, detective and sensation from start to finish. With standout voice talent, including Jason Isaacs (STAR WARS REBELS) as Lex Luthor, C. Thomas Howell (GRIMM) as Will Magnus, and Richard Chamberlain as Highfather, this is an entry into the DC Animated Universe that's going to have everybody talking.

Bonus features on this release include a sneak peek at the next DC Animated adventure, BATMAN: BAD BLOOD, which continues BATMAN: SON OF BATMAN and BATMAN VS. ROBIN. The story here involves a situation where Batman is believed dead and Dick Grayson is reluctantly forced into taking on the mantle of the bat.

Additionally, there are documentaries on the feature film, and some classic Bruce Timm animated shorts.

Previews on this release include BATMAN UNLIMITED: MONSTER MAYHEM, SCOOBY-DOO AND KISS: ROCK AND ROLL MYSTERY, and LEGO DIMENSIONS.

Grade: 
4.5 / 5.0