Justice League - A Better World
Picture the scene, Lex Luthor is the president of
and he puts himself into a situation where Superman has to kill him or else his
dastardly plan with kill millions of people. So what's a Superman to do, huh?
Cross a line he has never crossed before, and then change the future of the
Justice Lords forever more?
Yes. That's right. I said the 'Justice Lords'.
Alright, I know what you are thinking to yourself: What is the difference between the 'Justice League' and the 'Justice Lords'? Right? Well, the 'Justice League' are a bunch of heroes from our world who stand for truth, justice, and all that type of thing. Whereas the 'Justice Lords' are a tyrannical futuristic version of the self same group from another dimension, who have killed Lex Luthor, lobotomised Doomsday, imprisoned the Justice League, plus have sent a wounded Hawkgirl to Arkham Asylum for safe keeping.
Ouch! Sounds very grim, I'm sure that you'll agree. But to make matter even worse, the 'Lords' have taken the place of the 'League' on 'our' world, and are now trying to run things how they see fit.
Double Ouch! So what can the League possibly do to fight against this? Can the Flash outsmart Batman's doppelganger and get the gang out of dire straights? Moreover, will the League then be able to sneak there way into Arkham Asylum, and outsmart Warden Joker and a swarm of Superman Robots?
I hope so! Or otherwise what next transpires may never kick off when Batman has a very peculiar conversation with himself. Literally. As turn around is fair play - the League and the Lords don't shop on ebay - Luthor suddenly joins the crew - and he who lives by the sword can sometimes fall by it too.
'Ay Caramba!' -- That's all I can say about this great cartoon, 'Justice League - A Better World'. That... plus surmise about some collective alternate 'League history'. For example: (1) One of the earliest depictions of an alternate version of the 'Justice League', was in an old sixties issue of 'Worlds Finest' comics, where Batman became Superman's brother in another universe. Also, this title showcased other strange distortions over time, such as: Robin becoming Superman's partner -- Batman dieing and Superman taking his place -- plus a Bizarro League too. (2) Both the sixties and the early seventies became the 'hay-day' of 'the other' where DC's supreme super-team were concerned -- going so far that they started assigning 'worlds' to these alternate 'League Creations'. For instance: 'Earth 3' became the world for the 'Bad League', where as 'Earth Prime' became the world without a 'League'. (3) During the eighties and the nineties, DC Comics began publishing frequent 'one-off specials' illustrating the League in different genre driven ways (called 'Elseworlds'), like a 'Western League', a 'Russian League', a 'Futuristic League', and even a 'Reverse-Gender League'. (4) In 1998, the annual event for DC Comics showcased a version of the league from the year 85,271 A.D. They were called the 'Justice Legion A', and they came back in time to save the future from itself. There were also a number of 'One Million' issues published to celebrate this event. (5) Stan Lee did his own version of the League in the 2002 'Tangent' prestige format series labelled 'Just Imagine Stan Lee...'. He took the names of the then existing League members, before giving them each his own unique spin. (6) There have been a number of comic book projects that has taken the concept of a 'Future League' and popularized it to quite some extent. Mark Waid and Alex Ross did just that in the 1997 'Kingdom Come' mini-series. Frank Miller also instigated this concept within his futuristic take upon the Batman mythos, such as in 'The Dark KnightReturns' and 'DK2'. Plus within recent years the 'Batman Beyond' franchise has spawned a future league too.
OK - OK - OK. Enough trivia for the time being, huh? Or otherwise I will forget to review this great-great cartoon, 'Justice League - A Better World'.
First off, please let me just say that there is a lot to like about this project. It's fun. It's encompassing. And from my own perspective, it's very thought provoking too. Well, it's not every day that I can get to see a future version of the League depicted in such a well thought out and revealing way, almost satirizing them a with a harder-edge, and a manner that most comic book fans must pondered from time to time.
Listen, if you're a regular subscriber to the four-color funny as I am, then I'm sure that you must have contemplated what the after-effects would be if Superman killed Lex Luthor, or if Batman killed the Joker. It's only natural to ponder this notion in our more retroactive times, because this is a dilemma that has been digested, reinterpreted, and spat out, in numerous comic book forms, many times before (just look at the trivia above, huh?).
Though, what makes this animated adventure stand out from the collective crowd; is the way in which the 'pretext' is given a solid foundation within its stoic framework. The Flash is dead. Lex is murdered. Doomsday is lobotomised. Plus Batman is the only hero who can see the error in how 'his team', the Justice Lords, are not really playing it the way it should be played.
Honestly, there is so much to like about this piece that I can only sum it up in one single word. Ay Caramba! And that is where I came in, right Bat's?
Errr. OK? Talk about a different take on our heroes, huh?
THE RATING: A