Justice League: Starcrossed
Don't you think that the Thanagarians are a great bunch of extraterrestrials? Well, not only do they defend the White House from a Gordanian Warship. But in addition to this, they're also more than willing to set up shop on Earth, just in case these war mongers come back again for another bash.
Isn't that very nice of them, huh? Hmmm. Depends on what member of the Justice League you are, I suppose.
Hawkgirl seems fairly keen on this idea - especially since she is a Thanagarian herself, and engaged to the commander of this race, Hro Talak. But as for Batman on the other hand? Ha! He suspects that something else is going on.
You see, after he examines the remains of a dead Gordanian, he discovers that this alien died prior to the Thanagarians preemptive strike. Therefore, with this in mind, he infiltrates the fortification that the League is helping them build, just so he can find out more about them.
Good plan, right? Yes. Yes it is. But I am afraid to say that it doesn't really pan out the way that Batman would have liked it to. He get's captured by the Thanagarians in mid-ploy. And they then decide to capture his colleges in the Justice League not to long after.
Still, this is 'the League' we are talking about. They cannot be kept down by a race that looks like a swam of peacocks. So in no time at all, they break free from their confinement, and in their civilian guise trek all the way across town to Wayne Manor, just so they can figure out a way to fight back.
Hey! But what a minute! What about Hawkgirl? What has her role been during these shenanigans?
Mixed, to say the least.
At first, she ties to remain loyal to her race during this time, just to keep Hro happy. However, when she suddenly finds out that her people want to use the Earth as a bridge so that they can continue fighting against the Gordanian, inadvertently destroy the Earth in the process! POW! That's why what next transpires is a right free for you I can tell you. As Alfred makes tea - the League does not flee - the Hawks are dismayed - and the winner is finally played.
Do you know what? I have always felt sorry for Hawkman as a character. I remember reading his exploits in the nineties, and just trying to figure out who he was as a person. Was he Batman with wings? Was he Green Lantern without the ring? Was he a hero of old brought back to life? Or was he an alien that did not look like an alien, but rather acted like one?
Now prior to this, I was always happy to see Hawkmans and his plumage sticking out of the panel of the Justice League of America comic book, just in that 'token' way of his. After this though, writer, John Ostrander, showed me something that I did not really see in our winged marvel before.
John's book was supposed to be a re-boot series of sorts. One in which Katar Hol finally redefined himself as a character living on Earth. In many ways I always thought of this Hawk-installment as an attempt to distance the 'Big Bird' away from the Tim Truman series that came out previously, and give him more relevance as a hero within the DCU. And in work? Yes. Yes it did. So did the 'Zero Hour' Golden and the Silver Age 'Hawkman amalgamation', one depicting our hero as some sort of 'Hawk God'. Also, I did quite like the Justice Society revival that happens a couple of years later, distilling the character back to it original concept.
Do you understand why I feel sorry for Harkman now? I've hardly scratched the surface of this hero, and already I'm shedding a tear.
Thank Thal that ‘Justice League: Starcrossed’ did not have to chronicle any of this, or otherwise it would have really been a confusing cartoon to watch.
First off, let me just say that this 'mini-move'was a three part episode of the Justice League Animated series, all joined together to make a gala movie extravaganza. OK, when I say 'extravaganza'. What I mean by this is that the story had enough scope and drama to make it a gala piece. But compared to the more recent animated movies that DC has on offer, the animation in itself isn't all that special. Nonetheless, it is a good hours worth of solid story telling, conveying an intergalactic overtone in a more child friendly way.
Please note, 'child friendly'does not mean 'sad and boring'. Granted, the violence is very 'A-Team' inspired at times. And here and there the two dimensional environment can come across as a little to 'play-school' too. However, the story is a very pleasant one to follow, with all of the ups and down that a really great flick has, whilst adding a touch of personality to the mix in the process.
One of the scenes that captures’ this just perfectly, is when the Justice League unveils their true identities to each other, before splitting up and making their way across Hawk infested territory to Wayne Manor. Now this, for me, allowed each character to have his time in the spotlight, as well as giving each individual member of the Justice League the opportunity to convey who they are, and what they are all about. Priceless.
Honestly, I wished that the whole movie was based on this segment alone! But it isn't, is it? Instead it conveys a somewhat political message.
Wait. I haven’t cracked yet! I know what your thinking (and not in a Martian Manhunter type way) - how can a children’s cartoon have a political message behind it? Simple. Like the tale, it tries to say...
'Do what the big boys in power say, and the big boys in power will always be good to you'.
OK, I know that this does sound a bit far fetched. But it is a subliminal message that comes with this type of film. Just think about all the 'Alien Invasion' films that you may have seen in the past, then replace the bad guys in power with men with big bucks. Makes sense? Right?
Fair enough. It’s a free country. Although you have to pay for it first. Just like you do when you pick up 'Justice League - Starcrossed'. A very nice cartoon with some neglected history, a great bunch of characters, and a story that was very easy to follow. Agreed guys?
THE RATING: B+