December 8
Merry Little
on Amazon

December 8
Batman Beyond
Volume One
Original Soundtrack
For Sale

December 25
and Krypto, Too!
Streams on Max

LEGO DC Comics Superheroes:
Justice League:
Cosmic Clash

"LEGO DC Comics Superheroes: Justice League: Cosmic Clash" is the fifth movie in a line of Direct to Video movie collaborations between LEGO, DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation. In 'Cosmic Clash,' the year old Justice League has kept the peace but Earth soon becomes a target the the robot menace Brainiac.

The story begins with Batman scolding the others for playing hide-and-seek instead of monitoring for crime. Elsewhere in space, Brainiac triumphs in completing his collection of shrunken planets but the latest addition is damaged and he sets out to find a replacement named Earth. The Justice League makes short work of him and sends him packing. Not one to give up, Brainiac returns with a new ship. Superman, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern foolishly face him alone and are blasted by a time ray and sent to different eras. Cyborg is left to defend Earth with whoever he can summon from the auxiliary membership while Batman and Flash use the Batmobile, newly outfitted with a Cosmic Treadmill, time travel to find their comrades. Cyborg enlists Supergirl to battle Brainiac and his drones. Things get complicated when Batman discovers the time ray also scrambled Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and Superman's minds. Things get even worse when Batman is stuck in an apocalyptic future with a Brainiac controlled Superman but he is saved by the Legion of Superheroes. Just as Brainiac declares his collection complete again, the Justice League is reunited and together they overcome the odds.

The movie is geared to the six to eight year old demographic but the older fans watching with them will recognize a lot of comic book and other pop culture references. While this isn't for the PG-13 only crowd, this movie is as if "Super Friends" was re-imagined for modern times. With LEGOs. In CGI. Producer Brandon Vietti, Writer/Producer Jim Krieg, and Director Rick Morales combine their powerhouse resumes and cherry picks source material from just about anywhere in the DC Comics pantheon. The start of the opening title sequence is big shout out to the Justice League animated series. Green Lantern makes fun of Batman being over-prepared but on the flip side, it's a telling tip of the hat the Tower of Babel story arc. Or Flash can't believe Batman has a Caveman costume in the Batmobile but it's clearly a nod to the R.I.P. storyline. While in between, they pepper in funny commentary on DC staples like how pointless it is being visible in the Invisible Jet, how useless Flash can be in space, or Brainiac noting Green Lantern's power as super jewelry but still at other points revere other classics like the Linda Carter twirl or be plain funny such as explaining how Brainiac malfunctioned.

They even manage to put a subtle twist on some not so all ages origin stories. For instance, at one point, Vandal Savage did some nasty things to a cavewoman whose soul eventually became Hippolyta's of the Amazons. But in this movie, a time displaced Wonder Woman is responsible for the origin of the Amazons and bands them together against the oppression of men like Savage... then dips them in lava. Or they take a really obscure villain named Captain Fear and reimagine him as the pirate leader who happens to take Green Lantern onto his ship. FYI, Green Lanterns are fearless. Captain Fear. Yeah, I know, Jim Krieg probably got some stares in the office for that one. But on the other hand, the most obvious overly used comic book trope is totally a red herring here. Instead of that Kryptonite chunk in his Bat Safe, Batman overloads the Brainic-Superman with sunlight - Superman's source of power - to free him.

Likewise, the voice cast assembled are juggernauts and veterans in the DC animation community. Troy Baker, also famed as known as the voice of the Joker in some of the Arkham series of video games and the recent PG-13 companion movie "Batman: Assault on Arkham," is the voice of Batman. Nolan North, the voice of Superboy and Superman on "Young Justice," voices Superman here -- cheerful and stoic but not too corny -- but watch out, he tells a lot of stories. Khary Payton is back as Cyborg. Josh Keaton is back as Green Lantern. Grey Griffin is back as Wonder Woman, who's all for peace but won't hesitate to kick butt. Phil LaMarr voices Brainiac, the robot trying to catalog the universe like an obsessive compulsive geek trying to complete his comic book collection.

The sole special feature is 'The Justice League: Caught on Camera.' It is in the vein of the simulated gag reel. Nothing deep or informative, simply more laughs after you finish watching the movie.

"LEGO DC Comics Superheroes: Justice League: Cosmic Clash" is a fun for all ages action adventure for children and love letter to the classic "Super Friends" and various eras of DC Comics. Crafted by a veteran cast and crew, 'Cosmic Clash' is a nail biting race against time and through time to defeat the calculating Brainiac before he seals Earth in mint condition. The LEGO DC Comics Superheroes universe just got a bit more F-A-N-T-A-S-T-I-C!

Main Feature: 4 out of 5
Special Features: 1 out of 5
Average Rating: 2.5 out of 5