Justice League - Secret Origins
Question: What do these five scenarios have in common? (1) A Bizarre alien discovery on the Moon many years ago. (2) Batman and Superman’s sudden defeat at the hands of some strangely powered human, at an Observatory located in Metropolis. (3) Superman being guided by one-time astronaut, present-time president – Allen Carter – to disarm all of the nuclear warheads on Earth. (4) Batman’s subsequent defeat at the hands of an alien dog. And (5) A large alien rock landing on the outskirts of Metropolis, transforming itself into a large destructive bug-like creature.
Answer: All these events lead into the invasion of Earth, heralded by a race of heinous aliens.
Still, have no fear, Martian Manhunter is here! The green skinned recluse who mentally guides Superman and Batman to his confinement in a governmental prison, just so they can break him out and then save the day.
Yes. That's correct. The last surviving Martian, J'onn J'onzz, tried to warn the government about this imminent invasion before hand. But instead of believing him, they decided to lock him up and throw away the key. Thank God that Supe's and Bat's was around, huh? Who else would have been able to help him out with the subsequent battles he'll have to endure?
Oh! I don't know. The likes of Green Lantern, Hawkgirl, Wonder Woman, and the Flash maybe? Who suddenly pop up, one at a time, and defend our pant wearing trio from the swarm of aliens that surround them.
Though, I have to admit, that this does come a tad too late really. Because out of the night sky, an alien warships begin to descend and impregnate the Earth, causing chaos everywhere.
Damn! What can the heroes to do, huh? Split into three teams, so that they can attack the aliens on multiple fronts? Yeah. Sound like a fool-proof Bat-plan to me. But ultimately, it is one that doesn't do too well in the execution all in all.
You see, where the Flash and Green Lantern are successful with their attack. Superman and Hawkgirl both get captured. And as for J'onn, Batman, and Wonder Woman? Well, on the one hand, they do manage to track down and delay the aliens at their underground lair. Whilst, on the other hand, Batman is overpowered, and seemingly perishes in a fight.
Ouch! I suppose that is why what next transpires really kicks off when J’onn, Wonder Woman, Flash and Green Lantern, try to save Superman and Hawkgirl from their incarceration, huh? As turn around is fair play - Batman is not on ebay - Aliens get a kick up the bum - and a team of heroes rise in the warmth of the sun.
When I first started collecting comic books many a year ago, it began with just one character, and just two titles - Batman and Detective Comics. OK, I know that this is most probably how many of you commenced your addiction to the world of four color funnies. Moreover, like me, there came a time that this addiction expanded more and more, with just one additional title turning the key to the long-box's pilled four high at the end of your bed.
'Justice League International' was my key. On the cover was a picture of Batman kneeling by the side of a wounded Blue Beetle, with the shadow of the Huntress looming over them both. BANG! After that came the other 'Justice' titles, the Flash, Green Lantern, the Titans, etc, etc, etc. And the rest is now history. History compiled with a comic book collection that will kill a small elephant without breaking a sweat.
Now while I am in the topic of 'history', is 'Justice League - Secret Origins', a historically accurate depiction of the Leagues origins? No. Not really. Instead, it is a really good cartoon, that has all the hallmarks of a gala movie. Plus in addition to this, it also pays homage to the Justice Leagues amalgamated comic book origins. OK, I know that this is the ‘origin story’ for their animated counterparts. But this has not stopped the creators of this show to acknowledge what has come before it. For example (1) Grant Morrison's 1997 origin to his ‘new JLA series’, entitled ‘secret origin special'. Just with the omittance of Starro and a number of other leaguer's of course. (2) Darwyn Cooke's ‘New Frontier’ mini-series. Especially with the middle and end sequence of this cartoon, involving the military and the aliens. (3) In a round about way, it is also reminiscent of the first appearance of the JLA in the Brave and the Bold. Particularly in the sections where the team divides into pairs, so they can fight specific battles. And (4) Because it has the word ‘Secret Origins’ in the title. Ha!
OK, so not only does this cartoon pay homage to the Justice Leagues past, but it also recognizes the Justice Leagues individual personalities as well. You see, it does this by splashing a bit of character into the mix whenever it has an opening in the plot. Whilst at the same time giving each hero a time to shine, just to convey who he or she is. Batman is the broody one. Wonder Woman is the inquisitive princess. Hawkgirl is the battle scorned warrior. J’onn is the aloof Martian. Superman is the hero. Green Lantern is the space cop. And the Flash is the fast talking wise guy. Heck, this film is just so great balancing out all of these elements together, that the rather loose 'War of the Worlds' plot-line, seems to shine more than expected.
However, if there was a down side to 'Justice League - Secret Origins', I would have to say that some of the animation does come across a bit dated compared to more modern standards. Also, some of the plot seem rather contrived within the scheme of things, especially the happenstance nature of the evolving tale. But by in large these are only slight little gripes that occurs during only one or two of the battle scenes throughout this film. All in all this animatic-adventure is a roller coaster ride that is pure bliss in a can, and is a must see for all JLA fans everywhere. Correct Bats?
Ooohhhhh! That was unexpected! But so what my life in comic books.
THE RATING: A