Another winner from Jay Oliva.

My introduction to director, Jay Oliva, was almost two-years-ago with his take on the Frank Miller penned, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Parts 1 & 2, which I found much better than Oliva’s contemporaries animations. Oliva then followed Batman up with the brilliantJustice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, back in July 2013, where we saw The Flash/Barry Allen, in a kind of origins-like tale, where he finds himself in an alternate reality. Batman is a drunk and Aquaman and Wonder Woman are about to cause a global disaster thanks to their armies about to do battle. That superhero animation is the best I’ve ever seen and I’ve seen most that have been released.

Interestingly, there are two Batman animated features due for release in 2014, one is, Son of Batman, which will be directed by Ethan Spaulding, who is behind two Scooby Doo animations, and several TV show episodes. Batman/Bruce Wayne will be voiced by the same actor as was also behind Batman in this feature, Jason O’Mara, but won’t be voicing The Caped Crusader in the other new Batman film to come out this year, Batman: Assault on Arkham, another to be directed by Jay Oliva.

Justice League: War (DVD)
Directed by
Jay Oliva
Sean Astin, Zach Callison, Christopher Gorham
Release Date
4 February 2014
Nav’s Grade: B+

Justice League: War is the first in a planned series from the DC universe, as they reboot the Justice League by showing how they came together. This isn’t the Justice League as we know them as their universe is darker with Superman a cockier version and Batman only a myth to the others, who never believed he even existed. Hal Jordan’s Green Lantern is still getting to grips with his power and we hear Batman warn him several times tell him to keep focused on what he’s doing. The Flash and The Batman appear to be the only truly recognisable superheroes in the League, with us seeing Superman try to kill Green Lantern and Batman near the start of the movie.

A race of aliens plan to take over the Earth, terraform the planet and extract genetic material from the population, in order that they can be drastically mutated and become soldiers to serve the alien leader, Darkseid (Steve Blum, who has voiced hundreds of characters). They plant devices throughout the globe then self-destruct after the device is prepared, but Lantern and Batman bump into each other while tracking one of the soldier aliens and together, begrudgingly help each other fight the fire-spewing, powerful flying beast and discover it was about to plant another device.

Neither of them can find out what the device is for and because it’s alien in origin decide to ask Superman. After they battle it out, with Superman kicking their asses, the trio decide to help each other. When the devices soon begin to reveal their true nature, portals open up and alien soldiers begin to pour out in their many thousands, the rest of the team get together and take out as many as they can but they are overwhelmed. Alien leader, Darkseid, is too powerful for the superheroes and eventually Superman is taken, unconscious, to the alien base where he’s linked up to the machine that will turn him into a soldier.

It looks bad for our superheros but Batman decides to try to rescue Superman before it’s too late, and Flash is left to formulate a plan with the other and try to defeat Darkseid. This leads to a stunning fight as the superheroes fight for the very survival of the human race.

There is no shortage of action as it’s pretty much non-stop, and the new angle of this take on the Justice League is actually intriguing. I don’t normally like change in characters that are as well established as these but by the end of the movie I was sold, and now I can’t wait to see the next installment of DC’s Justice League. As long as the hugely talented director, Jay Oliva is helming them, I know to expect the highest quality animated feature.

Review by Nav Qateel