Who Judges the Justice League?
DC really seems to be enjoying a return to Elseworlds stories even if they don’t want to call them that. After Batman Unlimited comes a story of a Justice League nothing like the one we’re used to. The members consist of what would normally be considered the big three: Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. The thing is that these aren’t anything like the characters you’re used to. Not only do they act different but they aren’t actually even the same people. There are a few very dark paths that lead to this.
But before I get into the gory details (and that’s not just a saying this time around), let me tell you a little more about the contents of the disk before we hide behind the red spoilers tape. We’ve got the usual discussion segments. This time they are about the New Gods, alternate realities, and the film itself. There are a couple old episodes from the Legion of Super-Heroes and Superman: The Animated Series. The biggie though is a preview of the upcoming film Batman: Bad Blood. There’s a lot of talk from the creators and voice actors as well as some storyboard animations from the movie. This movie takes place after Batman vs. Robin as Damien is in the monastery. In this movie, Batman disappears and Dick takes his place while he’s gone. There is plenty of tension between Nightwing, Robin, and Batwoman. Yes, she finally makes it to the animated universe. We also meet Lucius Fox’s son, Luke, who becomes Batwing. The quartet of heroes take on Heresy and his band of misfits — Mad Hatter, Killer Moth, Firefly, and a totally redesigned Electrocutioner. It’s a Batman with very little of the Brice Wayne Batman this time around. It should make for an interesting watch when it comes out this fall.
Now, on to the good part…
This is not the JLA you’re used to. They aren’t really even the same people. Yes, it’s Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. But there’s been a few major twists.
Superman is still Kryptonian. While he is still the son of Lara, he is not the son of Jor-El and was not born on Krypton. Lara and Jor-El were putting their DNA in a ship to create a child as the ship escaped the dying planet, but Zod stopped Jor-El and and added his own DNA instead. While you wouldn’t think simple DNA would matter too much, it did. Superman looks more like Zod which is to be expected, but also has his more warlike personality. The tapes he has are corrupted though and he thinks that Zod is some powerful diplomat instead of the evil general he really is.
Batman is even more different. He is a vampire. He’s not Bruce Wayne though. He’s Kirk Langstrom, better known as Man-Bat to most people. In this world, he creates a serum to solve a health problem that turns him into this world’s Batman. He tries to keep himself in check and not actually kill himself. And, of course, there’s always the search for a cure. His best friends are Will Magnus, known in the normal world for creating the Metal Men, and his girlfriend Tina (a reference to the name given to Metal Men member Platinum). You even see that he has created a robot named Tin who looks like a shorter and chunkier version of the original.
Wonder Woman isn’t even from Earth let alone Themyscira. She is the granddaughter of the Highfather of New Genesis who is to marry Orion. When the New Gods of New Genesis kill the New Gods of Apokalips after the wedding, including Bekka’s new husband, she uses a sword Orion had just gifted her to open a portal via the Mother Box inside. She still has a connection with the Steve Trevor of this world.
After the Justice League takes down the first group of bad guys (regular people, not super-criminals), you start seeing scientists getting attacked. Victor Fries, Ray Palmer, and Silas Stone are the first 3, each of them attacked by an android. (Yes, there are a lot of names used with no heroic identities associated even though Fries worked in the cold and Palmer was working on miniaturization. When the Justice League look at the murders, one is killed with a neck bite but no blood is found, another was attacked with a sword-like object, and the other was killed with energy beams. The team was being framed for the murders. To try to figure out what happened, the group splits up. Batman looks on Silas Stone’s computer and find a memo that includes the 3 dead scientists as well as familiar names John Henry Irons (Steel), T.O. Morrow (creator of the Red Tornado), Michael Holt (Mr. Terrific), Pat Dugan (Stripesy/S.T.R.I.P.E.), Emil Hamilton (from S.T.A.R. Labs), Karen Beecher (Bumblebee), Thadeus Silvana (archenemy of Captain Marvel), Kimiyo Hoshi (Dr. Light), Will Magnus (of course), and Stephen Shin. Yeah, even I had to look up the last one. He’s an obscure Aquaman reference. They are all working on Project Fair Play which is another Mr. Terrific reference, one going back even to the first one on Earth 2.
Well, if someone is after all of them, what better thing to do than to get them in one place to protect them. Nothing can go wrong with that, right? Of course it can. It just makes for one big target for the 3 robots. Even with Batman on site, the robots make quick work of everyone in the house and hold their own once Superman and Wonder Woman get there until they escape through some portals. It ends up that Will survived just barely and is in a coma though. When the team can’t figure out what to do, guess who they turn to. Yes, Lex Luthor. This time around, he’s in a floating hair up in a space craft and is less evil just as Superman is more belligerent. One interesting thing is that he has uncorrupted tapes of what happened when Jor-El was killed and Superman learns of his true heritage, that his father was actual a conqueror who was actually the cause of Krypton’s destruction in this universe. Really nothing truly useful happens before Superman leaves and Luthor is killed as well.
Back on Earth, everyone turns on the Justice League thinking they are doing all of this, including President Amanda Waller. (Yes, that totally rocks! Best cameo so far!) In the base, with shields up, the previously thought dead Tina arrives and you find out that she pretty much is Platinum. She and Tin take Batman out. She uses a serum to heal Will and then his other robots (given the colors, I’d say Iron, Mercury, and Gold) show up. It turns out he accidentally killed the original Tina not long after getting married. Oops! Will then reveals that he wants to use nanites and Boom Tubes to link up everyone in the world to create peace but needed access to the League’s power generator to do that. So, we’ve got the military attacking the base from the outside and the robots from the inside. And then Luthor shows up and tells Steve Trevor to stand down. (Doesn’t anyone stay dead here? Then it’s the normal “battle ensues and the good guys win” sort of thing with Magnus killing himself in the end.
Post battle, public view of the Justice League has changed. Superman is looking at a different way of doing things in the Justice League with no killing, no politics, etc. And Wonder Woman decides to head off to take care of the business she left behind with Luthor at her side. The floating chair he now has is more reminiscent of Metron’s Moebius chair. Superman and Batman go off to use the files from Superman’s ship that Lex gives to him. Things seem pretty much an end there. I’m not sure if there will be a sequel or not tho I think things are probably best left where they are. I’m not sure if a sequel would really add more in a positive way as opposed to being a stretch of things that don’t fit like they should just to get another movie out of it.