Review: Justice League vs the Fatal Five

Let me start out by saying that I’ve always been a huge Legion of Super-Heroes fan. Seeing the title mention the Fatal Five was a draw from the start, but to see Star Boy on the cover just made it that much better. And seeing Jessica Cruz there as well was just icing on the top. I liked the way the story went and how true they were to some of the established (pre-New 52) source material. But, to really get into it, you know there are going to be….

* * * SPOILERS * * *

We start things out in the 31st century with Brainiac 5, Saturn Girl, and a heretofore unseen Star Boy. (Yes, the Legion of Super-Heroes cartoon had the “threeboot” version of Star Boy, but not this one.) We find them being chased by Mano, Tharok, and Persuader who escape to 2019 in a time bubble with Star Boy in tow. The visual interpretations of the characters are pretty interesting and fairly on target though I’m unsure why they made Brainiac 5 bald unless they were trying to make him look closer to the original Brainiac. He’s been shown with blond hair in the Legion of super-Heroes cartoon as well as the one episode of Justice League Unlimited though. Mano is the one who looks the least like the comic version tho it’s definitely an interesting variation on the original costume. They even touch on Star Boy’s medication, something that was never mentioned in the comics until he appeared as Starman in the Justice Society comic book. Just like in the comic, he ends up in the modern day without it and loses his memory and his mind a bit.

From there, we move on to a flashback leading to the introduction of the Green Lantern Jessica Cruz. Following that, we see Miss Martian (previous only seen in Young Justice) and Mr. Terrific (who appeared in a few episodes of Justice League Unlimited). Along with Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, this rounds out the version of the Justice League for this movie. (John Stewart is mentioned to be off world which explains the inclusion of Jessica but that doesn’t explain why no other Justice Leaguers like Flash or Hawkgirl are around.) The “Fatal Three” go in search of the Emerald Empress (who, for some unknown reason, is now in a relationship with Mano) and Validus. Meanwhile, Star Boy gets enough of his memory back to break out of Arkham Asylum, leaving a clue for Batman to allow the heroes to know where to go. (We can’t make it too difficult for them after all.) The seven heroes catch up with the villains and a battle ensues which does not go well for the good guys. After that, Star Boy and Jessica seem to immediately bond over food. I’m not sure if each having their own mental illness is supposed to be a tie or what but it seems an odd coincidence that they introduced those characters as the main tie for the movie. (The comics did so well with Jessica’s issues that having them added to this movie as they are seems a bit confusing and forced.) And then Star Boy calls Jessica “Limelight”, a name I’ve never seen her called before which makes it a weird reference, and makes her out to be one of the greatest heroes ever.

Back at the League’s headquarters, Miss Martian takes herself, Batman, and Jessica into Star Boy’s mind where we get a little background on the Legion, see Miss Martian and Jessica shown as eventually joining League, and get a look at the Legion battling the Fatal Five and taking the Emerald Empress and Validus back in time to Green Lantern sciencells. Later, Tharok reaches out to Jessica and blackmails her into helping rescue his teammates. The Fatal Five take down all the Green Lanterns on Oa and head back to Earth after charging up the Eye of Ekron at the central power battery. (It is powered by the same energy as the rings after all.) Jessica gets the strength to rescue the fallen Lanterns and then passes out while her ring takes her back to Earth. When she wakes up in bed, she gains the fortitude to fight which is shown in her getting her signature Green Lantern symbol over her right eye. After the other heroes are all defeated by the Fatal Five, she somehow manages to defeat the entire team all by herself. (That’s pretty incredible for a new hero to do something alone that two other teams of heroes before her had trouble with.) The Eye of Ekron had already been sent off to destroy the sun though and it takes the sacrifice of Star Boy to pull the sun back together. Somehow either his powers or his Legion fight ring keeps him from burning up in the middle of the sun while he does this. That makes no sense at all. Afterward, they have a funeral for Thom and a bunch of Legionnaires travel through time for it. If they were going to travel through time anyway, I don’t know why they didn’t just show up a little earlier and stop the eye from destroying the sun in the first place so Star Boy didn’t die. {Yes, I’m a bit mad that they killed off one of my favorite Legionnaires for no reason.)

Overall, it’s a decent animated movie. A 77 minute movie isn’t really enough time to build on all the side storylines like Thom and Jessica’s mental health issues, Jessica’s growth of internal strength around that, the appearance of Miss Martian and her joining the League (which she gets invited into at the end of the movie), and much of anything involving Mr. Terrific who seems to have been added just so they had someone to study the time bubble early in the movie. There was a lot of action and such but I think they tried to do too much for the amount of time there was. I’d love to see them use this as a launchboard for an animated Legion of Super-Heroes movie though.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *