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The Animatrix Network is an anime & manga fan club located in the Southwest suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. We usually meet on the third Saturday of each month (except when holidays or conventions coincide). The meetings are free and open to the public. Join us for a day filled with anime.

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Monday, February 22, 2010

Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths



Highly Recommended!

This is certainly one of the BEST of all the DC Comics Direct-to-Video releases so far. It has a story worthy of the DC Universe and character designs that don't seem out of place, like Power Girl's "anime eyes" in Public Enemies. The story takes place during the early days of the Justice League, when the primary members are Superman (voiced by Mark Harmon), Batman (William Baldwin), Wonder Woman (Vanessa Marshall), Flash (Josh Keaton), Martian Manhunter (Jonathan Adams), and Green Lantern (Nolan North). The Watchtower is nearing completion and Wonder Woman installs the final component to their teleportation pad, which Batman promptly tests on Flash to his discomfort. 



An unexpected visitor puts the entire team on alert. It appears that a being who calls himself Lex Luthor (voiced by Chris Noth) had traveled from an alternate Earth where the superheroes there are opposite of our own. An evil group of super-beings called the Crime Syndicate lead by Ultraman, Owlman, and Super Woman, is terrorizing the world, and this new Luthor is the good version of our evil Lex. He has come to ask the Justice League for their help in dealing with the Crime Syndicate. Batman is uneasy about helping someone else's problems especially since they have plenty of their own here on this Earth and not enough members to handle it all. But the others agree to fight for the peace of another world. 

All of the characters are both superbly drawn and well written. Batman, as always, seems cold and impersonal, but it hides his ever calculating mind. He can sense that there are things even more dangerous than the Crime Syndicate, such as the evil-doings of his alternate self, Owlman, perfectly voiced by James Woods.

Superman is more in charge in this movie than in any other. He makes firm decisions despite the advice of others. And his decisions are the kind that involve having his fists do the talking. Superman may be a man who tries to avoid violence, but when it comes to their evil opposites, he knows the only thing they understand is violence and he's just the man to give it to them.

I found Wonder Woman to be the most interesting character of all. In past animated versions of her, I never got the sense of just how imposing her character can be. She's an amazon, tall, beautiful, and powerful, capable of holding her own against Superman, himself. Now in Crisis on Two Earths, we get the best version of her, the way she is suppose to be. 



The Crime Syndicate has their own stars. Ultraman (voice by Brian Bloom) is as powerful as Superman (and with similar weaknesses). He is the undeniable boss of the Crime Syndicate. His mug is that of a back alley bruiser, with a personality to match. 



Super Woman (voiced by Gina Torres) is the evil opposite of Wonder Woman. She is greedy, sadistic, and malicious; beautiful, alluring and tremendously powerful. She has a thing for strong, silent men, which is why she finds herself attracted to both Owlman and Batman.




Owlman is the reflection of Batman. Both are super-intelligent, crafty, and cold. But only one of them is insane.

Because there are infinite possibilities, there are infinite Earths.  Those possibilities began when mankind made its first decision on a world called Earth Prime, the origin of all other Earths. If Earth Prime were to be destroyed, then all Reality would cease to exist. Owlman has a problem with human beings. He believes that all the sins of the world, all of the crime, poverty, wars, hatred, and violence, are due to the actions and decisions of mankind. In order to prevent evil from ever existing, he must destroy its source: Man. 

I told you one of them was insane.

And Owlman has tricked the Crime Syndicate into building for him the ultimate bomb. One made to destroy an entire planet. It was never meant to be used. It was only there as a threat, a deterrent towards their enemies, used for blackmail. But to Owlman, what good is a bomb if you don't use it. All he needs to do is find Earth Prime from amongst the infinite Earths, and the Justice League needs to stop him from teleporting there and detonating the ultimate weapon, thus killing everyone that has ever lived or will ever exist.

Click here to view the sky fight scene from the movie.

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