With the release of Justice League Dark: Apokolips War, we say goodbye to the animated universe of original films that started in 2014 with Justice League: War.
It’s crazy to think that within six years we’ve had about fifteen to sixteen (Constantine: City of Demons is hard to peg down for me) animated films set within this continuity. It’s even crazier to think I wasn’t sure how I felt about it when it was first announced. When Justice League: War was announced, I wasn’t crazy about the idea of adapting a New 52 story. It seemed too soon. I was at New York Comic Con for one of the Warner Bros DC panels where they showed two clips from the movie. They showed the Wonder Woman Ice Cream scene and a Green Lantern/Batman/Flash scene. The humor in both gave me hope. When I sat down to watch the movie when it released, I was pleasantly surprised. From there, with each movie, I started to appreciate what they were trying to do. In some cases, these movies changed how I felt about certain characters.
I wasn’t a Damian Wayne fan. I felt like he got a pass from people because he was a brat and he was created by Grant Morrison. But the animated movies made me realize that he’s still a kid and he’s still going through a lot of personal stuff.
I appreciated that they writers didn’t fall back on the usual set of villains in the Batman films. In most films Batman fought shadow cabals like the League of Assassins and the Court of Owls. Hush was never my favorite Batman story and while it bothered some people, I like the changes they made.
This is an animated universe that gave us a fantastic Clark Kent and Lois Lane. Their relationship in the Death of Superman and Reign of the Supermen was so well done. I think it helps they got an actual married couple to play the characters, giving it some extra verisimilitude. And who would’ve thought Rainn Wilson would make a fantastic Lex Luthor! Seriously, I did not expect that.
While Michelle Monaghan started off the series as Wonder Woman in Justice League: War, Rosario Dawson took over and truly made the role her own. I loved her fight with Doomsday. And I like what they did with Diana in Wonder Woman: Bloodlines.
And honestly, while I’m sad to see this range of films come to an end, I’m both surprised and happy that it gets an ending. I would’ve loved to have seen where else they could’ve gone with this universe (seeing their take on the Legion of Superheroes maybe or giving us another Superman film) but at the same time I could see maybe why it’s stopping. Where do you go from here? How long do you keep these movies up before they wear out their welcome?
From what I hear, this has a definite ending and while it may seem like it was just yesterday when this whole animated film universe was announced, I gotta say I enjoyed every minute of it. I know when I’m able to see Apokolips War, it’ll be both as someone who is dying to see this story that’s been building up since the beginning, but also watch it in appreciation for all it gave us.
To that I say thank you DC Animated Movie Universe. It’s been one hell of a ride!