Welcome to Batman: Gotham Knights Online, your number #1 resource for all things Batman. Every week, keep up to date with all the current news surrounding the comic books, media, merchandise and listen to our weekly podcast, where we have exclusive interviews with people from the industry and a look at all things Batman past, present and future...
Title: Justice League Crisis on Two Earths
Release Date: February 23rd 2010
Running Time: 75 minutes
Cast: William Baldwin as Batman, Mark Harmon as Superman, Chris Noth as Lex Luthor, Gina Torres as Superwoman, James Woods as Owlman, Jonathan Adams as J'Onn J'Onzz, Briam Bloom as Ultraman, Bruce Davison as President Wilson, Josh Keaton as Flash, Vanessa Marshall as Wonder Woman, Nolan North as Green Lantern, Freddi Rogers as Rose Wilson, James Patrick Stuart as Johnny Quick.
Director: Sam Liu and Lauren Montgomery
Written by: Dwayne McDuffie
Producer: Bruce Timm, Bobbie Page
Co-Producer: Alan Burnett
Voice Direction by: Andrea Romano
Music by: James L. Venable (Additional Music by Christopher Drake)
Synopsis: In Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, a “good” Lex Luthor arrives from an alternate universe to recruit the Justice League to help save his Earth from the Crime Syndicate, a gang of villainous characters with virtually identical super powers to the Justice League. What ensues is the ultimate battle of good versus evil in a war that threatens both planets and puts the balance of all existence in peril. Davison’s President Wilson is caught in the middle of the battle, attempting to find a balance between leading the human citizens of the parallel Earth and not being crushed by the powerful Crime Syndicate.
Review by: Bob Tilley
Its difficult to review any animation these days due to the immense number of interpretations that have been before and not compare or judge the new editions by your favorite shows. The Justice League have enjoyed a number of animation series and movies already with each incarnation hitting the mark, so what can another animated movie offer that we haven't already seen? Well if you watch Justice League Crisis on two Earths you'll know its a cut above the rest. From start to finish, this is truly a masterpiece in its own right and there are a number of reasons why...
The first reason is Batman, who is a central character to the story. I was originally concerned he would end up a second string supporting cast member but going up against his evil counter part Owlman and Batman is the only choice really. William Baldwin is awesome as Batman capturing the dark brooding hero, with a touch of humour at the beginning. This highlights the second reason perfectly, which is the voice cast. Mark Harmon as Superman, Vanessa Marshall as Wonder Woman are fantstic but most of all Brian Bloom as Ultraman, Gina Torres as Superwoman and James Woods as Owlman truly capture the evil essence of the Crime syndicate.
Andrea Romano has again topped her best effort in voice casting, I could easily just listen to the dialogue and be just as happy with the movie. Now focusing on the story itself, Dwayne McDuffie was always a master at coming up with Justice League stories, this obviously taking its lead from the Crisis story lines that have entertained us since the 80s. This isn't anything like those stories, but is based on the original Justice League of America #29, which was published in August 1964. To put it better its a mixture of both this issue and the multiverse, which is immensely popular in the DC Universe and McDuffie has written a story to remember .
I've not actually read the original story so I can't make any comparisons, but I think that's a good thing. The stories of the 60s were written for a different audience and I've got not problem saying this is 100 time better. The actually story line as you all should know by now is Lex Luthor coming to Earth One to seek help from our Justice League to stop the evil Crime Syndicate, who rule over their Earth with an iron fist. The only hold the humans have is the threat of a nuclear strike against the syndicate, but that is soon at an end when the good Lex Luthor discovers Owlman is building the ultimate weapon... a bomb capable of disintegrating the entire earth.
The Justice League agree to help (with a reluctant Batman). There isn't a tit for tat scenario here, with the JL attacking Earth two and Earth two taking the fight to Earth one, but rather a sub-plot by Owlman to actually destroy every single multiverse, but sending his WMD to Earth Prime. He sends Superwoman to the Watchtower where we see a fantastic fight between Batman and Superwoman (I loved the whole Ellen Riply vs. Alien Queen scene, when Batman comes into the loading bay in his power loader).
Most of the story takes place on Earth two, with the two teams fighting with each other and the Justice League trying to convince the President to take action against the syndicate.
The most powerful element of the story is the end with Batman following Owlman on Earth prime where they fight and Batman eventually wins causing Owlman to transport to an Earth void of life and covered in ice, a version of Earth Batman knows will have no impact on the Multiverse as a whole if destroyed.
The character representation in voice and animation is brilliant and a testament to the enjoyment of this movie. Its hard to find any major faults but one element I thought was unnecessary was the relationship built between the Martian Manhunter and the Presidents daughter. It just seems out of place but the scenes were well written and makes a bridge between the two universes.
The last thing I wanted to highlight was the sound engineering and music scores for this movie. Hi-def animation has made movies even better these days but the sound affects just heightened this story to the extreme. I don't usually pay attention to these things but it was noticeable especially the music. Most of the DCU animated movies have been scored by Christopher Drake, but he only provided the themes to the movie, which was scored by James L. Venable who has done a number of live action projects, like Scary movies 3 and 4, Clerks II, Zack and Miri make a Porno and one of my favorite animated series Samurai Jack. This is so far one of the best DCU animated scores to date and one on the top of my list to purchase.
Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths is defiantly one of the best DC animated movies so far, moving a step up from Superman/Doomsday, which was my favorite one to date. The story isn't complicated and you can just sit back relax and enjoy the action.
Special Features: I collect most comic related movies these days but one selling point that makes me pick up more than most are the special features. If there are good features then its more likely I'll pick them up straight away. This one is packed with some good features the one to mention is the DC Showcase - The Spectre.
● The Spectre
● Bruce Timm Presents - Four Bonus Episodes ("A Better World," "Twilight")
● Live-Action Pilots ("Aquaman," "Wonder Woman")
● DCU: The New World
● A First Look at Batman: Under the Red Hood, Green Lantern, Superman/Batman: Public Enemies and Wonder Woman.
DC Showcase: The Spectre - 'The Spectre' focuses on a detective story with an ethereal twist, featuring the otherworldly character originally introduced by DC Comics in 1940. The short is written by Steve Niles ('30 Days of Night') and directed by Joaquim Dos Santos ('G.I Joe: Resolute'). The voice cast is led by Gary Cole ('Entourage') as the title character and Alyssa Milano ('Charmed') as Aimee Brenner.
I'm not a massive fan of the Spectre character but he has always played a massive part of any DC event, and I was interested to see what this animated version would bring. The story is by Steve Niles the legend behind 30 Days of Night and Gotham After Midnight, and is a genius of the horror writing so I was expecting something very dark and I wasn't disappointed. Just over 11 minutes long its a very violent story reminding me of the Spawn Animated series back from the 90s. It's defiantly one to check out after you've watched the film.
The DCU: The New World feature covers the multiverse and Crisis comics over recent years and I've got to say now, that if your not a big fan of those story lines then don't watch this. It shows various talents old and new giving their views and bigging up the whole saga. I don't think they do a very good job.
First Look: Batman: Under the Red Hood - Now I have to admit I didn't just get this Blu-Ray because of the movie but my main motivation was for the first look feature at Batman: Under the Red Hood, which is actually longer than the Spectre episode running at just over 13 minutes. Like most features it shows a number of background layouts of Gotham and Storyboard sketches. It's interesting to watch Judd Winick talk about his controversial story coming to life on the screen with a big focus on Jason Todd as the Red Hood. buying the DVD or Blu-Ray is defiantly worth just this little feature and I can't wait to see more coming up from Warner Bros. animation.
Overall a great buy and DC fan's won't be disappointed even if you haven't seen the Aquaman pilot, which is also featured on the Blu-Ray edition.
For more up coming DC Animated feature news, make sure you keep checking Gotham Knights Online in the coming months for more news and interviews.
LISTEN TO THIS WEEKS PODCAST ONLINE COVERING NEWS, REVIEWS AND INTERVIEWS WITH GUESTS FROM ALL BATMAN INDUSTRIES!
NOW AVAILABLE THROUGH iTUNES. CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE
- Arkham Has Moved
- Batman 3D
- Batman Yesterday, Today and Beyond
- Batman: Arkham Asylum
- Batman: Le Chevalier Noir
- Batman: The Brave and the Bold - Video Game
- Batman: Under the Red Hood
- Comic Book Resource
- DC Comics - The Source
- Defender of Gotham
- Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors Online
- IGN Comics
- Legions Of Gotham
- Nightwing Fan Club
- Superhero Hype!
- The Bat-Blog
- The Batman Universe
- The World's Finest
- World of Superheros