Friday, February 26, 2010

JLA: Crisis On Two Earths

This week, fans of great Justice League animated stories written by Dwayne McDuffie, will be happy to know that Warner Home Video has released Justice League: Crisis On Two Earths, another in their fine series of almost movie length animated features with characters from the DC Universe (the running time of the main feature is 75 minutes).

Justice League: Crisis On Two Earths was originally a story that Dwayne McDuffie had written for the Justice League Unlimited cartoon series, but Cartoon Network ended that show before this could be developed (for whatever crazy reason as it is my understanding that the Justice League Unlimited cartoon did well). The story deals with the concept of worlds / Earths that exist parallel to ours, in which on one Earth for example, the villains were victorious over the heroes, and there exist evil opposites to the good versions of characters we know from the "main" DC Universe Earth. Besides some great action sequences that actually showcase what various characters can do with the powers they have, Justice League: Crisis On Two Earths also manages to tap into some big ideas (mostly on the aforementioned concept of parallel worlds) and these elements combined with great animation and great voice work (especially James Woods as Owlman), make for some very fine superhero cartoon entertainment. Wonder Woman also gets a big part in this story. My only nitpick is with William Baldwin's voice as Batman, which didn't really work for me (but it didn't super annoy me).

An extra huge bonus for anyone who buys the two disc special edition (which only costs a little more than the single DVD version) is the Spectre animated short written by Steve Niles (The Ghoul, 30 Days Of Night) and it is classic Spectre in full vengeful mode. Steve Niles definitely got his horror on with this story and there's many homages to horror movies of yesteryear. This short is the first in a series of shorts that will be included with the main feature, called DC Showcase, with the next one being a Jonah Hex spotlight that'll be on this summer's Batman Under The Hood Warner Home Video animated release.

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