Originally meant to be a spin-off the Cartoon Network series Justice League: Unlimited, producer Bruce Timm decided to revamp the film into a standalone movie Justice League: Crisis On Two Earths. It was written by Dwayne McDuffie, directed by Sam Liu and Lauren Montgomery, and released through Warner Bros. Animation.
A heroic Lex Luthor (Chris Noth) from an alternate universe visits the Justice League: Batman (William Baldwin), Superman (Mark Harmon), Wonder Woman (Vanessa Marshall), The Flash (Josh Keaton), Martian Manhunter (Jonathan Adams), and Green Lantern (Nolan North) and pleads with them to help him stop the evil Crime Syndicate from destroying his world. The Dark Knight refuses to go and continues to build the Watchtower. In the other world, Ultraman (Brian Bloom), Johnny Quick (James Patrick Stuart), Power Ring (Nolan North), Superwoman (Gina Torres), and Owlman (James Woods) are building a bomb that will wipe out the planet. The JL is working to stop them, but President Slade Wilson (Bruce Davison) is hesitant to accept their help, though his daughter Rose (Freddi Rogers) grows closer to the Martian. However, Owlman works up a different scheme, using the stolen technology from Luthor’s dimensional gateway, he’s building something even deadlier.
Besides Batman: TAS, this is one of the best features that Bruce Timm has produced. While I am disappointed it was not connected to Justice League Unlimited, I think it does a good job of standing on its own. You connect to the Justice League and their counterparts on the Crime Syndicate. You can see them as polar opposites and it avoids doing the cheesy side-by-side comparison and instead lets the audience see them as enemies. The animation, particularly the character designs, are top-notch, bringing the battle between Earth-Prime and Earth-3, as their known in DC Comics, to its head.
The only thing that puzzled me was Superwoman. In the comics, she is the counterpart to Wonder Woman, but for some odd reason, they had her connected to Mary Marvel, Shazam’s adopted sister. I don’t know why that decision was made, but it honestly but a dampener on their fight scenes. Now, that is no way negates Gina Torres’ acting in the role. She was perfect and deliver her lines spot on.
The most impressive story-arc is between Batman and Owlman, though it takes longer for their stand-off to come prepared to the others, it’s climax is truly the most satisfying when they have their showdown. This is personified in William Baldwin as the Dark Knight and James Woods as the super-intelligent supervillain. Their voice acting fleshes out the characters, bringing out the action to its epic showdown.
Bottom line, Justice League: Crisis On Two Earths weaves a story about how the DC Comics heroes that we have come to know might have turned out, if different decisions were made. It is a poignant tale with perfect voice casting and acting to bring it together.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Minor foul language, Violence
FAVORITE QUOTE: There is a difference between you and me. We both looked into the abyss, but when it looked back at us, you blinked.
Check out the trailer below:
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