Call me bloodthirsty if you must, but I have never understood why the DC comic book heroes are so merciful. Seriously Batman, how many more times are you going to allow the Joker to paralyse and maim your sidekicks before you put him down for good? Real life law enforcement has slayed criminals for a lot less. If you are of the same opinion as me you may want to give Justice League: Gods and Monsters a gander. This direct to DVD animated feature stars an alternate version of the Justice League, who lack the compassion of the traditional DC trinity. Terrorists who get on their bad side can expect to be cremated with eye beams, sliced in twain with an extra terrestrial blade or even drained of their blood!
Gods and Monsters’ trio of heroes are the world famous Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman. In this dimension however Superman is the offspring of megalomaniac General Zod and was raised by Mexican immigrants. Wonder Woman on the other hand isn’t an Amazonian, but rather the daughter in law of Darkseid. The female New God relocated to Earth after her marriage ceremony ended on a messier note than the time when my uncle drunk a little too much at my sister’s wedding reception. Last, but not least is the Caped Crusader who happens to be Batman villain Kirk Langstrom (aka Man-Bat.) Kirk transformed into a vampire vigilante one fateful day when he injected himself with a vial of genetically modified bat venom.
Just like their New 52 counterparts, this iteration of the Justice League is a force for good. Their relationship with the White House, headed by president Amanda Waller, is however strained. Aside from their ruthless streak the Justice League are disliked because they routinely flaunt regulations. When you are blessed with superpowers it is easy to ignore the law after all. If the courts struggle to punish celebrities, due to their fame and fortune, what chance do they have of making Superman follow the rules? Things eventually come to a head when the Justice League is framed for the murder of three prominent scientists. Can they find the real culprit and clear their names or will Earth’s protectors be forced to wage war against the United States army?
My rating for Justice League: Gods and Monsters is a three out of five. Legendary producer Bruce Timm once again delivers a highly entertaining superhero cartoon. I enjoyed this edgier take on DC’s all-star team; so it’s a shame that viewers aren’t given more time to experience this alternate universe. The seventy-minute duration means that once you deduct the origin scenes and action sequences there isn’t much time left for plot. When the villain is eventually revealed their cliché motivations are summed up in a few quick lines and the finale wraps things up a little too nicely. All the animosity between Superman and the government is patched up faster than an NES Classic goes out of stock.
Apart from the speedy storytelling, I don’t have any other complaints with Gods and Monsters. The visuals, although not spectacular, will appeal to anyone who grew up watching Justice League Unlimited and the voice acting was competent. Tamara Taylor gave the strongest performance, out of the whole cast, by convincingly showing how Wonder Woman can be tender during romantic moments and fiery in battle. Speaking of battle, the action set pieces were solid and didn’t make Superman seem too powerful. The Man of Steel was given a run for his money by the liquid metal bots he was pitted against and even regular soldiers, who were armed with Kryptonian countermeasures. Perhaps president Trump should invest in those weapons. I don’t think a humble wall will suffice to keep Mexican Superman out of the country!
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- justice league: gods and monsters
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