Warner Bros. bring a dark retelling of the iconic DC superhero team-up with Justice League Gods and Monsters. A gory, no-holds-barred story that takes the cornerstone characters of DC comics including Superman and Wonder Woman, making them dark and twisted. Zod being the one to send his offspring out into the universe is the perfect way to introduce a darker alternate universe to the one we know so well. Making Zod Superman’s father set the tone from the beginning. In Justice League Gods and Monsters Superman has forgone the colourful boy scout costume, even the cape, in exchange for a long black coat and a demeanour of stoic mystery. Batman looks similar to the Batman Beyond incarnation though significantly more vampiric. Wonder Woman has traded in the heroism for aggression and alarming levels of force.
Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman are very cool in this, but extremely threatening. Batman as a vampire works much better than you would think. Who better to voice a character as dark as this than Dexter himself, Michael C. Hall. Amazing voice, he perfect for this character, once again he portrays the psychopath brilliantly. I knew going into this that it would be dark for a DC animated movie but I didn’t think it would be quite this dark. The raid performed by Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman in the first action scene really set the tone. Warner Bros. were clearly showing that the gloves were off from the beginning. The action is brutal, gory and visceral.
This movie is beautifully animated, the movement is fluid and the characters are very emotive. The action is very entertaining, a blend of stylish martial arts and moments of superpowered frenzy. The was some fascinating in depth character study exploring the relationship between the trinity of protagonists and the significant people from their past. The reason the origin stories are so interesting is because we have never seen these versions before. Sometimes seeing a superhero origin for the hundredth time can be boring but in this movie the characters are old but their origins are fresh. Justice League Gods and Monsters makes perfect Halloween viewing for any fan of DC or just the superhero genre in general. This incarnation of Batman is macabre, frightening. This may be one of the best animated movies I have ever seen. It is certainly one of the most compelling. The combination of the dark tone, powerful soundtrack, stunning visuals, well written characters and excellent voice acting makes for a truly engrossing cinematic experience. Fascinating to delve into these darker recreations of iconic characters I would have liked to have seen a version of The Flash in this universe. Perhaps the writers wanted to focus more on just the core three members.
Lazers that mimic a red sun’s radiation being used to combat Superman was a very clever idea, one of many actually. It made Superman’s battle against the militia more compelling as rather than easily crushing them he was taking hits as well as dishing them out, there was a chance he could lose. The fighting is gritty and nasty it is what you can imagine a street brawl would look like if superpowers were involved. I would love to see a sequel from Justice League Gods and Monsters. My only criticism is that The Flash was not included. They could have done some very interesting things with a dark version of The Flash in that universe. Possibly something to add into the sequel.