A Commentary on Justice League: Gods and Monsters

28 Jul

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

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Can creators Alan Burnett and Bruce Timm do no wrong in Justice League: Gods and Monsters? If you’ve loved their work in Batman: The Animated Series or Timm’s presence with continuations in a shared universe like Justice League in the late 90s, then just maybe. When this video release comes with a disclaimer that the story takes place in an alternate universe, I’m excited at what kind of re-imaginings of the holy trinity of DC’s main heroes (Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman) that Timm has in mind.

I decided to purchase the steel book release that comes with an action figure of Wonder Woman as a New God, The sculpt is quite good for a mass market item, and the bonus material is worth watching first, especially the short, New Gods. Watching this first helps gets fans up to speed to this part of the DC universe that draws heavily on mythology before catching the main feature. It helps flesh out the world that the writing team will no doubt go back to look at. But before I could watch the main movie, I had to check out the sneak peek at the next DCU movie, Batman: Bad Blood.

In the main feature, Batman is a vampire who was once Kirk Langstrom. Bruce Wayne is gone, so this iteration is very different. Superman’s father is General Zod. That makes for some interesting personality changes when considering this character is usually seen as the big boy scout. Wonder Woman is not too different. Instead of Diana from Themyscira. she’s Bekka, a New God who was to marry Orion, son of Darkseid. The occasion went awry and she fled to Earth. Watching this film is like entering Star Trek‘s dark mirror universe. The normal citizens fear these metahumans who use violence (i.e. they are not above killing) to justify an end. They are hardly respected as heroes when the world’s leading scientists are being killed. All the clues point to them as the would-be murderers. In order for them to find the true killer, they have to covertly search for clues. They are neatly buried in the flashbacks that detail one of the three’s origins. To say which one would be too much of a spoiler.

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I like this new Wonder Woman. She has a certain fire that’s familiar. She has a personality almost like Hawkgirl from the Justice League animated series. While some parallels can be drawn with what the New Gods represents to that of the the myths of Greece, at least the feud between them and Darkseid is left intact. Hopefully more stories can come from New Genesis’ ongoing fight for who controls the galaxy. This backdrop is far more interesting than that of what Earth is facing since the Source Wall is referenced. Perhaps sequels, if that’s the direction the spin-off will go, will see other characters trying to pass through it.

Lex Luthor‘s future in this universe is promising. He’s more enigmatic than Superman and Batman combined. Timm certainly created some wonderful new story directions for this alternate dimension that looks at DC’s nastiest villains in a new way. Batman is hard to care for because I’m not up to date on all the lore behind the Man-Bat to which Timm is loosely drawing from the original DC universe when remaking Batman. At least I’m keen on how Superman is redefined. Everyone fears him because he is an alien with incredible strength. The goatee looks great on him. When he is not easy to stop, apparently nobody knows his weakness to Kryptonite yet — if that exists at all in this alternate universe. Wonder Woman has more story that can be told that I’m very keen on following. I think the choice of action figure that came with this video release is very intentional.

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I’m also keen in seeing what Luthor is scheming. When he’s depicted as a quadriplegic only able to move around in his hoverchair, I could not help but wonder if he’s to become the next Davros from Doctor Who? Most likely not. The similarities between him possibly being much like Metron sitting on his Moebius chair really must be noted. Both are seeking to expand their knowledge and Luthor did admit to being “bored with this universe,” and that leaves room for this narrative to expand into new places. Thankfully Timm has more story to tell when Gods and Monsters Chronicles continues online at Machinima, a video streaming service, in 2016. Although the first three episodes are suspiciously not packaged with this movie release, I’m hoping that there are plans to package the entire series to disc. Not everyone wants to hook up to the Internet to follow the entire saga there.


 

You can purchase a copy from our Amazon account by clicking this link.

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One Response to “A Commentary on Justice League: Gods and Monsters”

  1. onepunchmango 2016-03-09 at 8:11 pm #

    So much is made of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but what DC is doing with these animated features is much more organic.

    Like

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