16 Oct 2012

JUSTICE LEAGUE - A KNIGHT OF SHADOWS

By David Lee Andrews   Posted at  07:00   MOVIES

The Demon Etrigan Now if I said to you -- 'Change, change, the form of man. Free the prince forever damned. Free the might from fleshy mire. Boil the blood in heart of fire. Gone, gone, the form of man. Arise the demon Etrigan!' -- would you think I was drunk, or would you think I was going to play a devilish ghoul in this 45-minutes animated adventure made in 2002? Hit or miss. Place your bets.


Justice League - A Knight Of Shadows


THE STORY:
Christ almighty! Since the fall of Camelot, the evil sorceress called Morgan Le Fay, has tried her best to track down the Philosopher's stone, so that she could give it her son, Morgana, and rule to world with it. And do you want to know what? She's still at it till this very day!

However, do you honestly think that a certain devil spawned sod called Jason Blood -- also known as the Demon Etrigan -- is going to allow Le Fay accomplish to her sordid task? Like hell he will. And neither will the Justice League either.

Granted, this is not really and easy thing for them to accomplish all in all -- due to the fact that they can't help but feel numerous repercussions during this hellish adventure. For example: The Martian Manhunter is psychically penetrated by Le Fay, and tempted with visions of his dead family brought back to life. Batman is left battered and bruised after a confutation he has with this evil cow in a stately mansion. And as for Wonder Woman and the Flash? Well? They get into a spot of bother also -- one involving a certain Harvey Hickman and a costume party that he is holding in his castle.  

But, as luck would have it, they do manage to beat Le Fey to the punch, so to speak -- until the Martian Manhunter turns into Sean Connery -- and escapes with a rock.

Still, that's why what next transpires is a right pain in the glass I can tell you! As heroes go for a Burton - Motherly plans appear certain - can someone smell faeces - because dreams eventually shatter into a thousand pieces.




THE REVIEW:
Now if you have been following some of my comic book reviews (click here for this section), then I am sure that you have noticed I start off most my b*llshit with a rhyme of sorts. OK, I have to admit, I am not the best poet in the business. But then again I thought that this would be a nice idea after re-reading some of Alan Grant issue's of 'The Demon'.

Well, if truth be told, this great comic book series inspired me to do so. Honest to God, back in the day I thought that it was one of the best titles on the racks. I liked the hockey-ness of it. I enjoyed the adventure of it. And most of all I really got a kick out of it when Etrigan spoke in rhyme.
 

Etrigan in A Knight Of Shadow


Though why I liked this rhyming malarkey? I don't really know! Honest -- just like these 'Demon' related facts: (1) The Demon was created in 1972 by famed 'Forth World' and 'Hulk' creator, Jack Kirby, because DC Comics were interested in developing a range of horror titles at the time. (2) Originally Etrigan was based in Gotham City, and was a part of the 'Batman Family' range of books. (3) The creation of this hell-spawn was inspired by the comic strip, 'Prince Valiant', and was even visually based on his appearance too. (4) So far the Demon has had three comic book series in his career; all of them helmed by such creators as the aforementioned Mister Kirby, Matt Wagner, Alan Grant, Garth Ennis, and John Byrne. (5) Due to retro-continuity, the Demon has been tied in with such immortal characters as Vandal Savage, Ra's Al Ghul, Klarion the Witch Boy, and the Shinning Knight. (6) Now depending on what version of Jason Blood you've come-across, he's either an English farmer who went mad after his infusion with Etrigan, or is a hollow-husk that Merlin devised to cage his half-demon-brother in. (7) As well as being a member of the current 'Demon Knights' comic book, in the past he was also been a member of the Justice League after they seemingly perished in Atlantis. (8) During the Alan Grant run on this character, he had a cast comprising of Glenda Mark [who was Jason's girlfriend], Harry [the talking pillow], Radu [Jason's psychic ally], Lobo [Etrigan's buddy], Baytor [who was his own master], and some pink creature I forgot the name of [damn]. (9) Etrigan / Blood was voice by Michael T Weiss in this cartoon, whilst Billy Zane and Dee Bradley Baker did the same in 'The New Batman Adventures' and 'Batman: The Brave and the Bold' shows respectively. (10) Not only has the Demon starred in the DC Universe Online video game, but he also has a 'Bold HeroClix' and 'DC Classic' action figure too. Wow!


Etrigan by Kirby Etrigan the Demon SeriesThe Demon Ongoing


OK, so now that my own personal history with the Demon is out of the way with, what did I think about 'Justice League - A Knight of Shadows'? Well, it wasn't that bad really. OK, I would have preferred it a lot more if the Demon rhymed, and that the overall scope of the danger's the heroes faced had been more imposing in the execution. Though, apart from those two little gripes, I have to say that I did not mind this animated adventure one little bit.

One of the stand-out scenes for me was the one where Wonder Woman and the Flash went to the Hugh Hefner wannabe, Harvey Hickman's, party -- that was a laugh riot from start to finish because of its tongue and cheek tone. Plus I did like the way that the Demon interacted with the League too -- chumming it up with Batman, whilst showing contempt for the Martian Manhunter -- that was very 'in character' for him I thought. Moreover, I did respect the homage's to Jack Kirby scattered through out this piece also -- like the 'New Gods' at the party, and the way that the Demon was illustrated.


Etrigan in A Knight Of Shadows Cartoon


Overall 'Justice League - A Knight of Shadows' is a pretty fair cartoon I'd say. In many ways it reminded me of a Disney version of 'Army of Darkness' with a twist of lime. What do you say to that Kevin Smith?




Pretty fair assessment, wouldn't you agree?

THE RATING: A

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