A first glance, the first thing noticeable about Justice League Doom is the wonderful quality of animation, similar to that of previous release Batman: Year One, which is somewhat grainy and murky but holds that art-deco feeling that Warner Brother’s animated movies have become known for, and the little tweaks to the look of Batman were a welcome surprise.
For anyone familiar with the Justice League comic book storylines, the story should come as no surprise, as a group of ragtag criminals get together to form the Legion of Doom and aim at picking off the members of the Justice League one-by-one, often pitting the heroes’ main weaknesses against them.
Enter the ever-prepared Batman, whom unbeknownst to the rest of this team, has safety measures aimed at disarming and suppressing each of the superheroes for times just like these. Ultimately this causes friction within the group and the group is forced to decide if indeed they can trust the vigilante caped-crusader.
This is where I have my major gripe with JL: Doom. The main plot arc within the film should have been completely centered around the fact that Batman has prepared for this nightmare scenario, one which would see him have to battle the very members he has come to defend the world with, but instead it seems as if this plot line is just an afterthought.
This is evidenced by the various reactions by the other heroes, it seems as if they were angry and then magically got over themselves and over the betrayal. Perhaps this has to do with the fact that it seems that all Warner animated films usually clock in at 80 minutes. This film could have easily used another half hour which would have provided plenty of time to flesh out the characters and the story a bit more, thus helping it stay closer to the original comic book angle.
The highlight (as in most of these animated films) is the voice acting, and it was nice that to hear some of the voices that have made the franchise of films so popular to date. Kevin Conroy (of Hercules fame) does a wonderful job as Batman and Tim Daly as Superman is always good, but it was decision to bring back Nathan Fillion as the Green Lantern which was a pleasant surprise. There was something lost when Fillion was replaced by Christopher Meloni in the role as Hal Jordan/Green Lantern. Fillion has the sarcastic humor often associated with Jordan down to a tee and it was nice to have him back.
There is quite a bit of action crammed into the 80 minute window, so it would have been nice to see a longer film which would have helped JL: Doom to be one of the best animated adaptations released to date. Overall it’s a great film, let’s just hope that executives give the next film it’s due time to develop and play out.