A massive thank you to Warner Bros. Entertainment UK for granting DC World early access to this movie for review purposes.
Justice League vs. The Fatal Five finds the Earth’s future hanging in the balance when the Justice League faces a powerful new threat – the Fatal Five. Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman seek answers as the time-traveling trio of Mano, Persuader and Tharok terrorize Metropolis in search of budding Green Lantern, Jessica Cruz – whom they need to free remaining Fatal Five members Emerald Empress and Validus in order to carry out their sinister plan. But the Justice League discover an ally from another time in the peculiar Star Boy – brimming with volatile power, could he be the key to thwarting the Fatal Five? An epic battle against ultimate evil awaits!
The Justice League vs. The Fatal Five all-star cast is led by Elyes Gabel (Scorpion, Game of Thrones) as Thomas Kallor/Star Boy and Diane Guerrero (Orange is the New Black, Jane the Virgin, DC Universe’s upcoming Doom Patrol) as Jessica Cruz/Green Lantern. Reprising their Justice League/Justice League Unlimited roles as Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman, respectively, are Kevin Conroy (Batman: The Animated Series, Batman: The Killing Joke), Susan Eisenberg (Injustice 2, LEGO DC Super Heroes – Aquaman: Rage of Atlantis) and George Newbern (Superman vs. The Elite, Scandal). Providing the voices of the villainous Fatal Five are Peter Jessop (Mass Effect, Fallout 4, Resident Evil) as Tharok, Matthew Yang King (Batman Ninja, Supah Ninjas) as The Persuader, Sumalee Montano (S.W.A.T., This Is Us) as Emerald Empress, and Philip Anthony Rodriguez (Grimm, The Secret Life of the American Teenager) as Mano. (Note: Validus does not speak)
Producer Sam Liu (Reign of the Supermen, Gotham by Gaslight) also directs Justice League vs. The Fatal Five from a script by Eric Carrasco (Supergirl, Justice League Action) and Jim Krieg (Batman: Gotham by Gaslight) & Alan Burnett (Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay). The film is based on a story by Carrasco. Burnett and Krieg are also co-producers. Amy McKenna (The Death of Superman) is producer. Co-Executive Producers are Benjamin Melniker and Michael Uslan. Executive Producers are Sam Register and Bruce Timm (Justice League/Justice League Unlimited, Batman: The Animated Series).
Anyone who has read my Supergirl reviews know i’m a huge fan of Eric Carrasco. Seeing his name as writer and the direction of Sam Liu had me very interested to watch and review this movie.
Animated, home release movies don’t get the publicity or media attention their theatrical counter parts get. Does this mean they are of a lesser quality or importance? No it absolutely does not. In fact it can at times mean the opposite. There are animated movies breaking down barriers between race and cultures that live action would not dare try to attempt. Batman Ninja is one example of this by taking the Batman legacy and dropping it in feudal Japan. A movie of creative beauty to watch and introduces audiences to a culture they may have never been exposed to before.
Justice League vs The Fatal Five is another movie opening new doors. It may be called Justice League but its very much a Jessica Cruz Story. A new character in the world of comics, created in 2014 by Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver. Jessica was modelled on the actress Penelope Cruz and is described to be a dual national Mexican American.
We get a diverse new character and movie on a number of levels here. Not only is it a character from a Mexican American heritage. Its a Justice League movie without Batman, Superman or Wonder Woman in the lead role.
This was the first on-screen appearance from Jessica Cruz that was not part of the DC Super Hero Girls brand. She was voiced brilliantly by Diane Guerrero who is currently on our screens as Crazy Jane in Doom Patrol.
Jessica Cruz is a young woman dealing with post traumatic stress disorder after a tragic event in her past. This is another real life issue that is a difficult subject to address in main stream media. Seeing it as a pivotal plot point in an animated movie highlights the impact tragic events can have on people as they get older. An important message to get across to a young audience who see many of their heroes as strong, emotionless characters.
Unable to get over these events she is thrust into the action to become the hero her ring knows she can be. With the help of the Justice League, Jessica teams up with Starboy, a hero from the 31st century.
I enjoy any exposure to the Legion of Super Heroes. Even if only a short glimpse at the start and end of the movie but we did get to hear Tara Strong as Saturn Girl. This is a story I would love to see come to screen in a future movie.
Green Lantern and Star Boy made a great partnership. Both struggling with their own issues in controlling the different powers bestowed upon them. They also both find it hard taking help and support from those closest to them.
A group of super villains from the 31st century and arch enemies to the Legion of Super Heroes. Mano, The Persuader and Tharok are the only members that travel to the 21st Century in search of Jessica. They are three unique characters who all offer a varied array of combat sequences with the different Justice League members. These were some of the most entertaining action scenes I have seen in modern animated movies.
A formidable team who prove to be a real challenge for the Justice League with their advanced technology. Strength, determination and ferocity was a combination that the Justice League was not used to seeing and it required maximum effort and great team work to survive.
The remaining members Emerald Empress and Validus were being held captive and don’t turn up until the final third. A very powerful entrance from The Emerald Empress gave me a real desire to see her in live action. Fingers crossed that one day DC and Warner Brothers will get round to telling these stories for the big screen.
My review would not be complete without mentioning the return of the always brilliant Kevin Conroy as Batman. A great supporting role with a few brilliantly timed one liners.
Blu ray and DVD release date 29th April 2019. (Don’t forget to type DCWORLD10 at checkout for 10% off)
All images courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment UK.