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Loosely adapted from the multi issue JLA Comic Book story arc Tower Of Babel by Mark Waid, JUSTICE LEAGUE: DOOM ($25) offers a vision of how the entire superhero fraternity that we have come to love could be eliminated. With this direct-to-video, DC Universe Animated Original Movie, writer Dwayne McDuffie does a good job of streamlining the premise of the original comic book series into a seventy-seven minute animated program. However, paring down the story does take off the some of the edge and richness of the original, while at the same time, making the drama of story seem a bit too cut, dry and predictable. What works best in JUSTICE LEAGUE: DOOM is the fact that amongst the other members of The Justice League, Batman has to be considered the odd man out due to he lack of super powers. Batman compensates for that lack of superpowers with a very keen mind and slight sense of paranoia that allows him to develop a contingency for every situation, including the worst possible one… what if a member of The Justice League went rogue. As we discover, Batman has worked out individual take down contingency plans for every member of The Justice League… that is, should any one of them ever become a threat to the planet.

The plot of JUSTICE LEAGUE: DOOM involves the one contingency the Batman never thought of… what if his contingency plans for the other members of The Justice League were stolen by an enemy looking to eliminate superheroes? As JUSTICE LEAGUE: DOOM opens, we learn that some lesser villains are being outfitted with hi-tech equipment that allows them to carry out thefts with ease. Even when captured by members of The Justice League, said villains are unable to identify their benefactor… However, the confrontation between said villains and The Justice League proves to be part of a much larger plan that allows the infiltration of the Bat Cave and a breach of Batman’s computer system, allowing the theft of the computer files containing his contingency plans for his fellow heroes. What follows are simultaneous attacks on the various members of The Justice League, thus allowing the villainous mastermind to carry out his real plans, without having to worry about superhero intervention. JUSTICE LEAGUE: DOOM features the vocal talents of Kevin Conroy, Tim Daly, Susan Eisenberg, Nathan Fillion, Carl Lumbly, Michael Rosenbaum, Bumper Robinson, Carlos Alazraqui, Claudia Black, Paul Blackthorne, Olivia d'Abo, Alexis Denisof, Phil Morris, Dee Bradley Baker, Grey DeLisle, Robin Atkin Downes, Brian George, David Kaufman, Juliet Landau, Jim Meskimen, Andrea Romano, Bruce Timm and Danny Jacobs.

Warner Home Video has made JUSTICE LEAGUE: DOOM available on Blu-ray Disc in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. JUSTICE LEAGUE: DOOM features a very solid 1080p presentation that maintains an attractive well defined look for this animated program. The image is very crisp and maximizes the strong lines of the comic book influenced animation style. As one should expect from this type of comic book superhero programming, colors appear bold and vibrant, with excellent primary and secondary hues dominating the program. Blacks are perfectly inky, while the whites are crisp and clean. Contrast is very good, but there were occasional moments that looked just a hair off to my eyes. Like the preceding direct-to-video, DC Universe productions, JUSTICE LEAGUE: DOOM wasn’t produced on film, and therefore, is free from grain and print flaws associated with the medium.

JUSTICE LEAGUE: DOOM is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. While the sound design is somewhat dialed down from theatrical caliber, JUSTICE LEAGUE: DOOM still comes with a very capable mix. Sound effects zip and pan across the soundstage nicely, taking good advantage of the forward and rear hemispheres. Thanks to the lossless encode, music and sound effects sound great. Additionally, the bass channel adds weight to everything, plus it delivers a good level of percussive impact. Voices maintain a good sense of character, while the dialogue is always easy to understand. A French 5.1 Dolby Digital 5.1 channel and Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 track are also present. Subtitles are available in English and Spanish.

The interactive menus allow one access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as the supplemental materials. Starting things off is a running Audio Commentary with DC Comics Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns and DC Entertainment creative director Mike Carlin. Featurettes and other programs include the following: A League Of One: The Dwayne McDuffie Story (thirty seven minutes), Guarding The Balance: Batman And The JLA (nineteen minutes) and Cyborg: His Time Has Come (six minutes). Next up are Bruce Timm’s Top Picks- from JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED comes Wild Cards, Part 1 and Wild Cards, Part 2 (both presented in HD- now if we can only get the rest of the series that way). Next is a Sneak Peak of the upcoming SUPERMAN VS. THE ELITE. Also provided is a Digital Comic sampler featuring Justice League Of America: Tower Of Babel (the first three pages of JLA issue 43 are offered). Disc two offers a DVD copy of the movie for those who are still on the fence about making the upgrade to Blu-ray. An authorization code is provided for an UltraViolet Digital Copy of the main program, which is just a stream away.

JUSTICE LEAGUE: DOOM is an entertaining DC Universe offering, even if the story is a bit cut and dry. The Blu-ray presentation is high quality. Definitely recommended to superhero animation fans.


ustice League: Doom (Blu-ray/DVD Combo + UltraViolet Digital Copy) (2012)


DVD & Blu-ray Disc reviews are Copyright 2012 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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