It’s time for me to geek out this week. Warner Brothers Animation has released a new DC Comics animated film featuring the Justice League, and I couldn’t be more happy as these films are very popular with not old kids but adults as well. The latest effort is “Justice League vs. The Fatal Five”, so you know we can expect the JL to be in peril, and the Earth at risk. The Fatal Five is a group of villains from the 31st century that live during the time of the Legion of Super-Heroes, a group of DC Comic Book teenage heroes who first appeared in 1958. Yes, the film does involve time travel and a device called a Time Sphere, which allows the heroes and villains to “surf” through time. The Fatal Five attack the Legionnaires headquarters to steal the Time Sphere, and are almost stopped but manage to make it to 21st century Earth along with Star Boy who attempted to stop the villains. When the sphere lands on Earth, Star Boy lands in Gotham City and the villains land in Metropolis. The different destinations are a result of a booby trap triggered by Star Boy on the sphere before the crash. In Gotham, Star Boy runs afoul of Batman who believes the invader to be a bad guy due to his erratic behavior and sends him to Arkham Asylum. Meanwhile in Metropolis, Superman has managed to get his hands of the time sphere and takes it to JL headquarters. At this point the film flashes 10 months later and we meet Jessica Cruz, one of the Green Lanterns (interstellar policemen), who is struggling with her hero status. We also see Wonder Woman attempting to get Jessica into the Justice League, and convince the doubting hero she is needed. Back in Gotham City, Miss Martian (a teen from Mars) is attempting to convince Batman she needs to be part of the Justice League. While Wonder Woman and Batman are dealing with their two heroes, Mister Terrific, (a hero being featured on the CW show “Arrow”) accidentally brings down the status field on the Tim Sphere that has been holding three members of The Fatal Five. Mister Terrific and Superman attempt to hold them off, but they manage to escape. After the escape, Batman discovers via Star Boy that the villains are after Jessica Cruz and her Lantern ring “of light”. When the villains find Jessica they attack her, but soon Star Boy, Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman, Mister Terrific and Miss Martian join the fight. By this time the other two missing members of The Fatal Five have made to the 21st century and they are vicious. One of the Five members, Emerald Empress, with the help her her powerful mystical Emerald Eye of Ekron, is especially deadly. Imagine late actress Joan Crawford in a green costume with a floating large green eye beside her and you will get the idea. The villains threaten to destroy all American cities (what good villain or alien doesn’t make this threat in most sci-fi movies) if the JL doesn’t surrender Jessica. Of course, as Wonder Woman boldly proclaims the League will never bargain with villains, and the fight is on. The Fatal Five not only want Jessica in their possession, they want to use her ring to destroy Earth’s sun in order to wipe out humanity, so the Legion will not be formed in their time. Now those are some lofty villain goals! One character in the film makes the ultimate sacrifice in order to save 21st century Earth, and does so in spectacular fashion. The facet of the film I enjoyed was the presence of two JL members rarely seen in the animated film universe, the Jessica Cruz Green Lantern and Mister Terrific. It was also fun seeing Star Boy of the aforementioned Legion of Super-Heroes, have a lead role in the film, in addition to seeing several other Legionnaires, including Saturn Girl and Brainiac 5, make appearances. The film is a fine addition to the cannon of DC animated films, and leaves fans wanting more. “Justice League vs. The Fatal Five” provides for a great escape for comic book fans, and a fun “popcorn” film for casual fans. (Rated PG-13)
Justice League vs. The Fatal Five
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