Justice League vs. The Fatal Five
Justice League vs. The Fatal Five sets three of the Fatal Five, Mano, Tharok, and The Persuader, on a mission to liberate their teammates Emerald Empress and Validus from imprisonment in the past but that requires the complicity of a legendary Green Lantern named Limelight and a likely confrontation from the mythic Justice League. Originally set in the continuity of Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths and Justice League: Doom, production had to quickly shift gears and instead use assets from the classic Justice League/Justice League Unlimited animated series when it was determined the former's art designs by Phil Bourassa would clash and look to similar to Bourassa's designs for the DC Universe movie line's line of in-canon movies, presently the most recent being Reign of the Supermen earlier this year. Justice League vs. The Fatal Five transformed into a unforeseen love letter to fans of Bruce Timm's much adored animated continuity that began with Batman: The Animated Series in 1992 and seemingly came to a close with Justice League Unlimited with periodic revisits like the Batman Beyond DC Nation short or the Batman and Harley Quinn animated movie. As if the emotional impact of the character journeys of Jessica Cruz and Star Boy aren't enough, there's also the emotional appeal of one more visit to a cherished canon.
Undeniably, the three strongest aspects of the movie is the aforementioned nostalgia - rather ubiquitous in this day and age - a compelling social commentary on several ongoing issues of inclusiveness and mental illness, and a series of coming of age arcs. Nostalgia, no doubt, will be a huge factor for how well this movie is received, especially on the heels of so many series being given a second life like Young Justice: Outsiders on the DC Universe Streaming Service, but personally it had little influence on me. Don't get me wrong, I don't hate the revisits. But when the series finale of Justice League Unlimited aired, it was a beautiful ending and I made my peace with it then. There wasn't anything else I needed to see. I know, but I wasn't one of those people clinging to references to the Near Apocalypse of '09. If the intent was to reuse old designs, I was surprised some of the other movies didn't get the greenlight (see what I did there?) like Superman/Batman: Public Enemies or Apocalypse. In any case, it was a fun sensory jaunt to watch these designs on the screen again in a brand new story in 2019! And yes, even I got giddy when the ol' JLU theme played at the start of the parking garage fight! Or loved Superman getting catty with Batman, "Thanks for asking."
The part of the movie that I absolutely loved was a very well executed and amazing exploration of three young characters. We have Miss Martian and her story of the ultimate outsider trying to fit in - the immigrant trying to get a leg in, the new kid at school, however you want to paint it. There's Star Boy, a paranoid schizophrenic entrenched in delusions that struggles to keep himself together but knows the one undeniable truth, he is a hero. And lastly, Jessica Cruz, the surviving victim of a horrific crime who struggles to live with and overcome her trauma. In one, two or all three, viewers will no doubt feel a strong connection and empathy. However. With that said. The struggle of writers and producers that doesn't come to the surface often enough is how much to show and explain and how much not to. Can the audience figure it out, how much time needed to be trimmed from the final cut, or does this slow down the pacing? But depending on the viewer's preference, the movie does suffer from some imbalance in what to and how much remains ambiguous and thus, lending to some logic gaps. And the compromise is you can try to satisfy the majority but not everyone. And while at times, the movie does indeed feel like a lost episode of Justice League Unlimited - that is sort of an issue, too. A lost episode shouldn't be made into a movie. Equal use of the cast is also easier said than done, and in this movie some characters come off as underutilized or replaceable set pieces in one moment then shine brilliantly and feel like exactly how they did before.
Jessica Cruz, without a doubt, is the star of the movie. In a similar origin to Batman, Cruz is the victim of a violent act. But instead in a more realistic way, she's not heir to a mega fortune who copes by making a solemn vow against crime then travels around the world and dresses like a bat to fight crime in a unending war with no reward. Nah. She has PTSD, she struggles to get out of bed and get her day started, lives in a meh studio apartment, goes to a psychologist the best her medical insurance can provide, and knows her mantra sucks. She's even a little helpless about her future, as she claims it chose her. The Green Lantern Corps. Her journey is even visually highlighted from her stock dull green hoodie, to her dark green GL suit, and lastly when she self-actualizes and surges with willpower. Another brilliant choice was to leave John Stewart out of the story. It was a really interesting clash of ideal vs. pragmatic If you go back to the JLU series, while he was a stern drill sergeant with Supergirl, Stewart was clearly the ideal mentor. Instead, an Amazon shows up unannounced and pulls a sword on Cruz. Lucky thing she changed into Green Lantern and made a shield... It was also a brilliant choice by the crew to add in that Cruz meets with the Fatal three in the forest - where that traumatic ordeal took place - and in that feeling of weakness and helplessness, she caved in to their demand which leads to at least four Lanterns getting harmed. But in her lowest moment, she finds comfort in the Green Lantern oath which repairs her ring and in turn takes her back home where she wakes up a total badass.
Another brilliant stroke on the part of the crew was to feature a super hero with a debilitating mental condition. And to make things worse, Star Boy can't find the medication he needs to stabilize his condition. So for the rest of the movie, you're always wondering how coherent he is until that final moment when he rises to the occasion and makes the ultimate sacrifice. It was a welcome relief they didn't go the corny route and make Cruz and Star Boy fall in love with each other and make out. I almost feel sorry for the person on the crew who had to pause to check Star Boy's nudity wasn't full on.
Miss Martian. Likewise with the choice of mentors. J'onn J'onzz seems like the ideal mentor but he's either still on sabbatical or he's off on that Rann conflict (that seems kinda interesting). Instead, she's got Batman. If you recall Return of the Joker, look up Nightwing. He's got stories. Still it was amusing to bounce cranky Batman off her. More so with Miss Martian contesting his words and turning into Tim Drake Robin. Since there's a lot of contemporary issues in the mix already, I wasn't surprised we got a little nod to the #MeToo movement when Miss Martian calls Mano grabby then decks him. I also found the Big Belly Burger scene illuminating. Miss Martian, a telepath, would be the best qualified on paper to connect with Star Boy and help him deal but it turns out she can't. Instead, it's Jessica Cruz who can because she's a kindred spirit and knows what he's going through. But among the three, she does feel a bit short changed. There wasn't much time for a full backstory but there could have been a one liner somewhere - at least to say J'onn sponsored her. She just exists. I was also disappointed she got taken out early in the last fight and was absent until the ending when she's rewarded with membership in the League.
Whereas Cruz, Star Boy, and Miss Martian play the dynamic, standout characters, the Justice League are more static and supporting in nature despite the movie title. Superman flies around, throws those Old West bar room brawl punches, uses that heat vision, saves Cruz's bacon at least twice, and gets some JLU era snipes in on Batman. Batman is his usually snarky self in the company of the League, seemingly forced to mentor and evaluate Miss Martian then do some ad hoc dot connecting, and notably takes out Mano with tactics. Yeah, I'm sure that last part could be interpreted as a nod to the old Bat-God critique. Heh heh. Wonder Woman is easily the stand out among the Trinity. The battle with Persuader was top shelf. Superman gets sliced in the gut (by the way, hope somehow collected all that Kryptonian blood - we don't need any more mad scientist experiments going on) and Batman gets burned but Wonder Woman? Not a scratch, she took care of business. Well, she broke one nail. Seeminly building one his role succeeding J'onn J'onzz with monitoring and coordinating the JLU, Mr. Terrific was a welcome sight. I still remember him in "The Great Brain Robbery". While it's a pity Michael Beach didn't get to reprise, Kevin Michael Richardson still does a modest job. I think the movie allowed us the get the full treatment. Terrific and Superman play science buds and oops, help out Mano, Persuader, and Tharok. And all those different T-Sphere functions get used to the max.
I've seen some comments here and there about Miss Martian. J'onn J'onzz said he was the last Martian and everyone else was died fighting the Imperium. But she has almost the same origin as Supergirl. In the canon, Kara was from Argos which was I believe was explained in "Little Girl Lost" Part 1 to be a sister planet in the same system as Krypton so she's an Argosian and not a Kryptonian but with the same power set. One would think the same could be applied for the Martians. This Miss Martian could have been a White Martian living on a sister planet when the Imperium invasion went down on Mars. Maybe there could have even been a joint strike on the colonies but she got away somehow but the planet was so far away she had take part in a cryosleep to get to the Milky Way that took the hundreds of years J'onn spent guarding the locked up Imperium. In the comics, in a very Jor-El-Lara way, Miss Martian's parents were said to have sent her in a rocket to the Vega system... okay, I'm trailing off. But take it another way, Superman thought he was the last Kryptonian but Jax-Ur and Mala were revealed to have survived certain death because they were imprisoned in the Phantom Zone dimension. So since J'onn thought he was the last Martian then a similar reveal of Miss Martian probably took place.
Going into what I liked and didn't like, what was too ambiguous or some logic gaps that I found hard to ignore. The Time Bubble. I liked that Brainiac-5 used that 10th level intellect of his to rig a booby trap on the bubble to take out the Fatal Five er Three but... why wasn't there already a safety protocol on it already. Surely this hasn't been the first time some nutcase tried to abuse time travel? Or why not just blow it up to prevent it from being used? Another was Mr. Terrific referring to Shayera Hol as Hawkgirl. If this movie really was supposed to be in canon, she long abandoned that codename because of its ties to her original role as a double agent for Thanagar. Even if Terrific had no familiarity with her, that doesn't excuse the flub. Surely there was a clear memo passed around not to call her that especially with Terrific, who's role in the League was elevated in the last season of JLU and that it's been a couple years since the end of the series. Although "Hawkgirl" probably is more recognizable to general audiences, I doubt they would have keyed on the "John" reference Wonder Woman made when she first spoke to Cruz. If they were thinking of general audiences, they wouldn't have mentioned either of them. Those references were clearly for the JLU fanbase. Or Emerald Empress' super mental link with Mano. Yeah, there's no real place to naturally list off her powers but if she's in the one thing in all of history that keeps her restrained on a planet protected by a force field, how could she have used that one ability? Another head-scratcher was the Legion agreeing to imprison Emerald Empress and Validus in the past on Oa. For a team so constrained by not polluting the timeline, that move seems to violate that not to mention they put Empress near a super viable power source she later exploits. It felt unclear. Did they just pull a switch and take two prisoners from the past back with them and stick Empress and Validus in their sciencells after determining no one would ever check on their identities and find out about the ruse?
It felt wrong on a Justice Lords kind of level that Superman had to resort to heat vision blasting Validus' head. He's a villain and a beast, but still a living being. Would Superman really have done that? Aside from Wonder Woman's scenes, the other battles with the Fatal Five came off rather bland. Batman using strategy to take out Mano's arm made sense but the one punch knocks him not and not the explosives stuck to his dome? It also seemed like a "Wha?" moment when the Fatal Five went into the Time Bubble. Empress was just going to nuke the Sun and sacrifice the Eye then go to the future without her ace? By that point in the movie, a lot of things start stacking up. Superman can suddenly breathe in space and not need a suit? He absorbed a bit more yellow sun to allow that? Or Brainiac-5, Saturn Girl, Tyroc, Mon-El, Dawnstar, Chameleon Boy, and Shadow Lass paying their respects made sense but once again, violate the time travel rules unless Saturn Girl mind wipes them all right after the final scene.
In contrast, there's a lot of ambiguity and logic gaps that can be explained with mental brainstorming. So that should cut down the complaints in half! Ha ha. For instance, the look of Arkham Asylum is not at all like the classic version. But in Return of the Joker, Commissioner Gordon mentioned Arkham abandoned its original location for a more up to date facility. Do the gymnastics. This is that new facility. Well, it was. Ahem. Star Boy. And also gut wrenching because that horrific thing is now even closer to happening to Robin. The Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy cameo provides a lot of options. They turned a new leaf in Batman and Harley Quinn so it's up to the viewer to decide. One can conclude what they want, they regress back to crime despite all that character development, that movie's not canon, this movie takes place before it - dealer's choice. Still, though, did I forget Ivy has razor claws? Eh, probably.
The Green Lantern memorial was almost like a new Near Apocalypse moment amusingly enough. Previously, we knew Hal Jordan never became a Green Lantern in the canon. He was a normal pilot stationed near Metropolis. Instead it was John Stewart and Kyle Rayner. But the easiest solution is Hal, and Guy Gardner, get recruited later in the timeline. Kyle changed his look once again like he did in "The Return". Or maybe even thinking about it further, after "Once and Future Thing", Batman and/or John Stewart might have decided to look into this Hal Jordan they met briefly and maybe keep tabs on him. Probably Batman for sure. lol. Since he showed up as a Green Lantern during the Chronos event, Stewart probably had to file some kind of report on Oa about it. The Guardians took an interest and decided to offer him a ring like they did Stewart. Same with Oa's design being a combo of old designs but nothing like the one in JLU. The easy solution is that after AMAZO returned Oa at the end of "The Return", the Guardians decided to make some changes in security. There was some terraforming. The planet-wide force field was erected. Or like Kyle, Kilowog changed his suit again.
While they were never-named in the movie, the design of the uniforms and a mention on the commentary track confirms that secret base at the hour mark was indeed ARGUS. If you are one of the fans who won't take Batman and Harley Quinn as canon, it's totally okay to conclude that no matter what continuity, timeline, or parallel universe, ARGUS will come into existence post-Project Cadmus -- likely what was left of it was folding under their auspices. The real nitpick of all nitpicks was probably the use of the Metrotower but calling it Watchtower. Yes, it was called the Watchtower on Batman Beyond but in JLU it was Metrotower. So I guess the best compromise is the official name was always Metropolis Watchtower and all this time on JLU, they compromised and used the short hand of Metrotower.
The Fatal Five were definitely a worthy physical threat to the Justice League and Legion of Superheroes. No question about that. While I, and I'm sure a lot of people, got a kick out of the Superman movie nod when Tharok uses the ring's frequency to reach out to Cruz -- I was a on the fence about the bomb threat. I honestly don't think about 9/11 too much anymore, but watching those buildings and airplane's being blown up still struck a nerve I didn't know was still there. But that was only muddled with the question how the hell Tharok planted all those bombs in a short amount of time all over the city.
One that bugs me a little was Cruz's power up at the end. She's never shown having charged her ring despite its prompts to do so and by then the Central Power Battery, the energy source for the rings, is totally drained by the Eye of Ekron. Yet, somehow Cruz recites the Green Lantern oath and repairs her ring then when she wakes up at home in Portland, she suddenly has a big power up. On one hand, I understand that it likely has to do with it being the defining moment of Cruz finding the mantra she believes in and self-actualizing which in turn allows her power ring to be used at its fullest and tap into her reserves of will power, which would be larger than normal given how's she's had to survive a harrowing past, rather than the outside power source and bring about the legend of Limelight -- that's a lot to leave to the imagination. And I admit, at that point in the movie, you kind of just tune out to logic and just accept it. Earlier in the movie when she's unconscious and free falling, the ring does have that one line of "Willpower indeterminate." There didn't have to be a big thing about, just one line seemed missing. I think there could have been one extra line when she wakes up at home in a similar vein like "Willpower now sufficient."
I suppose lingering in the background there's also still the unresolved clash of the Legion of Superheroes in Superman: The Animated Series' "New Kids in Town" being from 2979 AD and the Legion of Superheroes in Justice League Unlimited's "Far From Home" being from around 3004 AD. But as Static Beyond put it in "Once and Future Thing," '65 is the new 30' and also, let's not forget they mostly look human but we're dealing with aliens from different planets who probably age differently than a standard Earth human being. And if you're a hard core Legion fan, I'd think the head scratcher would be the Star Boy and Lightning Lass pairing when in the comics, he was with Dream Girl. Or for that matter, Star Boy dove into the sun and in theory he would have been dead long before his ability had the opportunity to do any good - but metaphorically it was a beautiful moment. A man whose reality and mind had fallen apart was the only one equipped to pull apart and save the Sun and the solar system. It was also a pity there wasn't at least a Supergirl statue among the Legionnaires or Leaguers.
Now for what irked me and I couldn't dismiss. I had a hard time absolving the PG-13 violence, namely the impaling and headshots, being used with the JLU designs/canon which was more all-ages because of Broadcast Standards and Practices. Cave-ins. Boy, lot of brain trauma from cave-ins in this movie. First, there's the cave-in on the Fatal three at the start during the clubhouse incursion. Cave-in #2, poor Chameleon Boy but I guess he turned into an Ankylosaurus to avoid injury. Cave-in #3, insult to injury or rather injury to injury when they rain down the prison on Cruz, Kilowog, and Salakk. Cave-in #4, Cruz demolishes ARGUS Mountain atop the Fatal Five. I guess these power rings don't have a no-kill protocol. The language as well. Even fart nuggets seemed just wrong and juvenile on some level. One of the direct mistakes was reusing Arrkis Chummuck in an Oa scene. If the movie really is canon, he's long dead since the season 2 episode "Hearts and Minds" where he and Galius Zed were clearly killed by energy blast vaporization. Also, the scale of the threat wasn't big enough for a movie. Yes, it was created a personal stake for Mano but for an hour, it was just a jail break arc which gets boring. On further replay, it feels more and more like a slog just to get to the 57 minute mark when the Fatal Five is reunited. It also didn't make them any less dull. Give us what we want. Well, we'll do this. Okay, how about this. No? Bombs! Then Empress pulls out an idea to blow up the Sun because heck, they need a reason to stay in the past for another 20 minutes since they blew their way too fast into the not-so-secret ARGUS mountain base. The scale of the Justice League was missed, too. Just 4 members and an initiate. While it was true that Mr. Terrific told them no one was responding to the call a la "Divided We Fall" and there were a couple statues in the Legion's museum, it was a bummer they didn't fit in a mass cameo like the Leaguers pitching in to help find the bombs in addition to the main cast. And if you really want to get cynical about it, the use of the JLU also dredges up the notion the people behind it are scattered to the four winds so a true reunion will never be a reality. It's a whole new storyboard crew, only a few returning actors, no Stan Berkowitz or Rich Fogel, no Joaquim Dos Santos, no James Tucker, Dwayne McDuffie has long since passed on, Bruce Timm is just a producer.
Eric Carrasco, with help from Jim Krieg and Alan Burnett, really penned a compelling exploration about mental issues and modern day struggles without turning the movie into a cliched PSA. Sam Liu has come to excel with reeling the audience into those quieter moments, creating that big emotional appeal, and letting the camera linger. Kevin Conroy, George Newbern and Susan Eisenberg reprise their iconic roles as Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman with a vengeance. It's like the show never ended and they're just as amazing now as they were back then. Apologies to Conroy and Newbern, but Eisenberg was the front runner by many, many miles. Another clear outstanding performance came from Diane Guerrero. She portrayed Jessica Cruz in a grounded way in both incapsulating the character's PTSD, added in subtle nuances like a slight stutter, and thankfully avoided the stereotypical Latino accent. Elyes Gabel excelled with probably the hardest voice role in the movie, portraying a schizophrenic deteriorating by the second. But Gabel, you did it. You did it. Daniela Bobadilla also had a similar uphill task of voicing Miss Martian when many fans out there still equate her to Danica McKellar from Young Justice. Bobadilla still managed to be a breath of fresh air whenever she appeared in scenes and I enjoyed her as a source of levity in the movie.
It's always a little special when DR Movie animates another Bruce Timm-involved project. For me, I loved the little things. Like in Portland, when those cars crash into each other? That looked like the crew paid some attention to detail. Or right after, these was that side shot of Tharok's cybernetic side and the eye follows. Or just the animation of Cruz's aura being pulled towards the Sun! But the animation wasn't perfect as much as I would have liked it to be. Some of the pans and close-ins were jerky at times. Batman and Superman seem to infrequently blink between on model and uber stiff. Most of the action lacked heft and interesting shots or show any direct hits that are composited enough to take up most of the screen. Moving onto the score. My goodness. It was the pinnacle of Dynamic Music Partners' mastery! The haunting music during Cruz's flashback/nightmare and the Fatal Five's themes.That foreboding score as the descend on Oa or that creepy and haunting theme for Emerald Empress! The action score. The classics like the JLU theme. It was amazing amazing amazing! If they don't get an award for this movie, there's no justice in the world.
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provides a dealer's choice of what formats to pick from in which to view Justice League vs. The Fatal Five. There's Digital, 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray and DVD, and now streaming from the DC Universe service on the day of the physical release. The special features are also a satisfying assortment from a creator commentary, two informative featurettes about diversity and mental illness, a sneak peak at the next movie, and classic episodes that highlight the Legion of Superheroes in past animation. The commentary features producer Bruce Timm, producer-director Sam Liu and co-writers Jim Krieg and Eric Carrasco. They share a ton of facts and anecdotes about the production of the movie, from how it was going to set in the canon established by past movie Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, the continuity, the origins of new designs, recycling old designs, addressing logic gaps, strange coincidences like how Star Wars totally copied them (half-joking) or how there take on this Bloodsport matched up with contemporary conspiracy theorists like Q-Anon, the score, Carrasco's desire to add in some diversity and address mental illness, the lines and animation that had to be fixed, the death counts and more.
The two featurettes highlight and elaborate on the mental struggle that Jessica Cruz and Star Boy endure in the movie and comments on how DC Comics has addressed it for decades. "Unity of Hero" is the longer of the two and is 15 minutes and 11 seconds. Panelists include DC hosts Tiffany Smith and Hector Navarro, screen writer Eric Carrasco, writer Marv Wolfman, Mike Carlin from DC Entertainment, Producer/Writer Jim Krieg, and licensed clinical psychologist Andrea Letamendi. The discussion begins with how the audience relates to a diverse cast of characters and moving past one dimensional depictions and tokenism the more they are used in media. Navarro points out how the comics were able to showcase an ethnicity in normal, heroic ways to another ethnicity who would have otherwise never encountered them in any form. The discussion moves to how DC had always pushed boundaries and showed the real world. Carlin elaborates the depth of character was more important than driving home what ethnicity a character was like Spanish for Cruz. John Stewart from the Justice League and Justice League Unlimited movies is cited as a breakthrough moment as is the late Dwayne McDuffie's volume of work like Static Shock. Superman is touted as the immigrant, ostracized from society, always put down by Lois Lane in contrast to the fact he was Superman and the character was created by two Jewish kids named Shuster and Siegel. New Teen Titans #8 is high lighted next with Cyborg encountered a group of children he discovers has prosthetic limbs. Female characters are covered next and how they moved from being just attractive eye candy to representatives of the heroic ideals then how creators have been able to push the medium a little further and further out. The Legion of Superheroes are hailed as the optimistic future where all races work together and get along. Oracle/Barbara Gordon is presented as the face of disabilities and how these characters make something of their tragedy and become a metaphor for strength of character. Montoya and Sawyer are addressed next and how they were always defined as career competent law enforcement officers - not by their homosexual preference. Cruz and her ongoing battle with anxiety are presented as a message of empowerment not a one time solution to suppress or get rid of. The featurette concludes that the medium is a way to talk about the hard things in society.
"Battling the Invisible Menace" focuses on the struggles those have with metal illnesses. The same panelists from "Unity of a Hero" also discuss how important it was for the mediums to acknowledge the struggle, overcoming it, finding resilience, and pushing past limits. Jessica Cruz, for instance, is shown as an interesting duality in which being a Green Lantern both inspires and exacerbates. Like how she has a hard enough time getting her day going, but now she's a hero who's not really sure why she was chosen. Star Boy is discussed next, as is his bouts with reality and his intrusive thoughts. The featurette closes on how the comic books have the power to address world issues, destigmatize them, and show a wider audience that we all have the same problems. Both featurettes succeed in complimenting the subject matter explored in the movie and expanding on the topic.
The home media release of Justice League vs. The Fatal Five also includes a preview of the next DC Universe Movie title Batman: Hush. The preview includes a mix of finished animation, art from the original comic book story arc and discussion from both the movie's creative team, including Jim Krieg, director Justin Copeland, and voice director Wes Gleason, and DC Comics staff. A touching moment in the preview is Copeland talking about how Hush holds a place in his heart and how it feels full circle to have his directorial debut be an adaptation of the comic. The preview totals 9 minutes, 18 seconds. The trailers begin with the recent theatrical live action release, Shazam!, Constantine: City of Demons, and The Death of Superman. There are also trailers for past releases Justice League Dark and Justice League vs. Teen Titans. The two bonus episodes are Legion of Super Heroes' "Man of Tomorrow" and Justice League Unlimited's "Far From Home". The movie can be purchased Digital by the usual suspects like iTunes, a 4K Ultra HD/Blu-Ray/Digital combo, a Blu-ray/DVD/Digital combo, DVD, or it can be streamed from the DC Universe Streaming Service. Best Buy's exclusive edition has a Star Boy figure.
Justice League vs. The Fatal Five excels with its modern storytelling and focus on the topic of mental health and living with it in an intriguing spin on the superhero experience that new and returning viewers will empathize or sympathize with but also stacks the deck with appealing to our nostalgia and love of classic DC Comics animated characters. The movie, in contrast, does falter on the volume of ambiguity and logic gaps and PG-13 violence. The home release provides informative and insightful special features that support the movie and its overarching themes. A sneak peak, like Batman: Hush's, with a lot of finished animation is a solid win in my book. Likewise for anyone who has read my reviews over the years, I love commentaries and hate it when a release lacks them. Beggars can't be choosers, but I'm always disappointed when there isn't a feature that spotlights the making of the music, especially here with DMP revisiting their past work on Justice League Unlimited and even adding to that catalog with new compositions. Or even some of the recording sessions with Kevin Conroy, George Newbern, and Susan Eisenberg. Still, all in all, a solid set of special features for once. Batman and Harley Quinn and Justice League vs. The Fatal Five have laid the groundwork for a full-on JLU reunion movie hopefully in the near future. Justice League vs. The Fatal Five is a recommended purchase.
Main Feature: 3 out of 5
Special Features: 3 out of 5
Overall Rating: 3 out of 5