Monday, April 29, 2019

Justice League vs. The Fatal Five



"Justice League vs. The Fatal Five" was directed by Sam Liu and written by Alan Burnett, Eric Carrasco, and James Krieg.

Review by: Mike "Nostalgic Kid" Lane

Spoiler Warning: This post contains significant spoilers! Of course, spoilers are usually present in most of our posts but we are usually discussing old comic books and not newly released films. Under the circumstances, I felt an extra warning is warranted.

The Heroes: Elyes Gabel (Starboy), Diane Guerrero (Green Lantern Jessica Cruz), Kevin Conroy (Batman), Susan Eisenberg (Wonder Woman), George Newborn (Superman), Daniella Bobadilla (Miss Martian), Kevin Michael Richardson (Mr. Terrific/also Kilowog), Tara Strong (Saturn Girl/also Harley Quinn & Poison Ivy), and Noel Fisher (Brainiac 5).

The Villains: Peter Jessop (Tharok), Matthew Yang King (The Persuader), Sumalee Montano (Emerald Empress), Phillip Anthony-Rodriguez (Mano), Bruce Time (Validus/also Two Face), and Tom Kenny (Bloodsport/also Salaak).




The film opens in the 31st Century as Legion headquarters has come under attack by Tharok, Mano, and the Persuader. Saturn Girl senses that they are here for a time bubble, so Brainiac 5 rigs a booby trap into the sphere so they will be trapped in time the moment that they activate it. Starboy and Saturn Girl try to hold them off but are soon overcome, and the villains escape with the time sphere. Starboy makes a final attempt to stop them and gets sucked into the time stream, too.
The sphere crashes to Earth of the present but Superman arrives in time to catch it and prevent anyone from getting hurt. Starboy lands elsewhere but finds that the medicine that he is in desperate need of has been destroyed. He goes to a pharmacy to find more, but without his medicine his mind has already become unbalanced. When he frightens the pharmacist, the police arrive and try to take him into custody. Eventually Batman arrives and takes him down.
We then see several campers stumble upon a man burying a body in the woods. He shoots two of them and the third flees. She runs to the end of a cliff and when he shoots at her she falls off. Jessica Cruz suddenly wakes up from her nightmare and works up the courage to go outside. Her anxiety since that horrifying incident has made life hard for her.

She visits her therapist but is called away by an alert from her Green Lantern ring, which is low on power. On her way home, Wonder Woman appears and asks Jessica why she has not been answering calls from the Justice League. When she insists that it was a mistake for her to be selected as a Green Lantern, Wonder Woman attacks her. Once she defends herself, and does it well, Wonder Woman says that it does not look like a mistake to her.

Elsewhere, Batman and Miss Martian stop Bloodsport, who has taken hostages at a TV station. Batman seems less than impressed by Miss Martian's performance, but that's typical for him with most superheroes. Meanwhile, Mr. Terrific is trying to figure out the nature of the sphere that Superman caught but is not having much success. Superman figures out that the sphere must be out of phase of their time. Mr. Terrific brings it in sync to their time but to their regret, they release the three members of the Fatal Five. They try to stop Tharok, Mano, and the Persuader from escaping but fail.
Batman turns Bloodsport over to Arkham Asylum and asks about the guest he recently brought them, Thomas Kallor. He's interested because he was unable to find a match for the name in his extensive data base. Batman is told that although the young man is a paranoid schizophrenic, he has been a model patient. We see that the main reason Thomas has done well is that he has been taken under the care of inmate Two-Face.
Unfortunately, Thomas sees a clip on the television of the Fatal Five taking on Superman and Mr. Terrific. He begins to freak out and tries to escape using his powers. In the chaos, inmates try to escape but Batman and Miss Martian are able to stop them. They cannot stop Starboy though, and he escapes.

Mr. Terrific is treating Superman back at Star Labs for injuries sustained in his battle when Batman arrives to tell them of Thomas. He explains that he claims to be from the 31st Century and is searching for someone called Limelight. They suspect it means Green Lantern and head for Portland.
In the meantime,  the Fatal Five have begun to attack the city, and Jessica goes to face them. She struggles and Starboy arrives to help but things still do not go well. The Justice League arrives to help but are only able to fight the villains to a standstill. After the battle, Miss Martian takes Starboy for food but is unable to get any information from him. Jessica has more success because he remembers her as "the key." His difficulty in communicating makes it difficult for her to understand him, but she invites him back to the Watchtower.
Batman suggests that they have no choice but for Miss Martian to take them and Jessica into Starboy's mind. Once there they see the 31st Century and glimpse the Legion of Super-Heroes, as well as monuments to their inspiration, the Justice League. These include Miss Martian and Jessica, who is among the legendary Green Lantern Corps, now lost to the ages. They also learn about the Fatal Five, including the imprisonment of Emerald Empress and Validus.

After they awaken, the Justice League receives a threatening message from the Fatal Five. If they do not hand over Green Lantern, the Five will reign down destruction on Metropolis. They begin to attack and the League rushes to help, insisting that Jessica and Starboy stay behind. The League struggles to contain them, so Jessica ultimately agrees to go with them. They demand she take them to Oa.
When they arrive, she gets them onto Oa by announcing "Situation Green" through her ring. They then force her to help free Validus and Emerald Empress. Fortunately, Kilowog and Salaak arrive, alerted by her secret emergency message of "Situation Green." But they are soon defeated by the Fatal Five. and Kilowog appears to meet a fatal end. Jessica also appears to meet her defeat, and the Emerald Empress lets her eye absorb the power of the central power battery.

The Fatal Five attack a small general store that turns out to be cover for a secret base. After taking down the defense guard, Emerald Empress suggests that if they destroy the sun, they destroy them all...the League, the Legion, the United Plants, everything. The team agrees. As the League approaches, the Five takes out their ship.

Superman confronts Validus while Wonder Woman takes on the Persuader, and Batman continues on. Miss Martian gets them inside, but they come under attack. Mister Terrific hold them off while Batman confronts Tharok, or as he likes to call him, Skeletor! (Batman humor...)
On Oa, Jessica is awake and trying to shout to Kilowog for help. In desperation, she calms herself and embraces the Green Lantern oath, which causes her ring to reconstruct. But then she passes out, and we return to the League battling the Fatal Five. The League overcomes them but then Emerald Empress arrives with her eye.
The League appears helpless against the Eye but Jessica arrives & frees them. She defeats Tharok, but the sun is now slowly extinguishing. Jessica attacks Validus and the villains confront her. She takes down several of them with her power ring, and they are successfully buried under the rubble of a nearby mountain. Superman flies to the sun, but Starboy convinces Jessica that he is the only one with the power to save them.
She takes Starboy to the Sun and he flies inside. Superman is able to rescue Jessica and return her home...but not in time to save Starboy.

At his funeral, Jessica is delivering the eulogy when members of the Legion arrive. Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy, Dawnstar, Mon-El,  Saturn Girl, Shadow Lass, & Tyroc are all present. Miss Martian is overwhelmed but Batman tells her not to stare because she will see a lot of strange things now that she is a member of the Justice League.
 

This was a mostly enjoyable film for a JLU fan from way back. The only problem, of course, is that this is a JL vs Fatal Five film instead of a Legion vs Fatal Five film. But I do understand that the Justice League is considered more bankable to current audiences so I can get past that and just be glad DC is showcasing some Legion characters. I still would have preferred a bigger role for Legionaries other than Starboy but oh well...

It was great seeing many of the classic JLU heroes come back and I enjoyed some changes to their main line up in having Ms. Martian and Mister Terrific so prominent.  The voice cast was wonderful as always and they succeeded in making the Fatal Five a major threat to the League. Jessica Cruz was handled well, although the darkness of her origin was a bit jarring. In fact, the film as a whole was a bit darker than the original cartoon...while I cannot say no one ever died in that cartoon, this film certainly had a much higher body count. But still, I enjoyed it overall and hope we get more of these in the future. And dare I hope we could possibly get a Legion animated film in the future? Is that so much to ask?
JLU-Cast Pod-Cast Review!! 
Would you like to hear our very own Bilingual Boy talk with Chris and Cindy Franklin about The Justice League vs The Fatal Five? Then head over to the JLU Cast homepage right now!
Chris and Cindy take a break from discussing every episode of the Justice League and Justice League Unlimited series to welcome Russell to talk about The Fatal Five!

Legion of Super-Bloggers Contest Announcement! 
Bilingual Boy bought the Blue-Ray/DVD/Digital pack of Justice League vs The Fatal Five, but doesn't need the DVD or the Digital versions of the movie. So we're raffling them off to two lucky LSB readers!
All you have to do for a chance to win is leave a comment on THIS post. Just leave a comment below. It can be about the Fatal Five, about the blog, on the Legion in general....anything! That's all you need to do. After one week, 176 hours after THIS post goes live,  two lucky readers will have their names drawn out of Mano's helmet. We'll then contact the two winners to get their addresses to send the DVD or digital code. So if you want a chance to win this movie for free....comment away!

Long Live the Legion!


13 comments:

  1. Nice review! I am so familiar with this story, I knew the ending well in advance. I thought Jim Shooter got a writing credit, also? He deserves one. Is it Starboy or Star Boy this time?

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    1. Wes, congratulations, you're one of the winners of the DVD or digital code! Send an email to legionbloggers@gmail.com and let me know which you would prefer!

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  2. Star Boy was the very first hero I saw in the very first Legion comic I bought, so he has long been my favorite Legionnaire and DC hero. I'm thrilled they found a way to use him in "Our" time.

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  3. You have Mano's helmet???

    My favorite Star Boy story is from LoSH 306. LOVE the cover to that issue too. He might be one of the less flashy members, but he's had an interesting career.

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  4. Ironic that Tyroc shows up at Star Boy's funeral, given that in the New 52 LEGION LOST series, he was the one destined to die a thousand years before he was born.

    GREAT to hear the original DCAU voice cast again! #JLreunion

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0IDnv1x8R8&t=2574s

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    Replies
    1. Myk-El, congratulations, you're one of the winners of the DVD or digital code! Send an email to legionbloggers@gmail.com and let me know which you would prefer!

      Delete
  5. I don't comnent often, but will use tge contest as an excuse to thank the Legion of Superbloggers for providing so much fun reading for me. In the absence of a regular LSH book, it us nice to have a steady reminder of them. Thanks.

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  6. I like the Fatal Five a lot as villains. For me, a curious mix of goofy and unbeatable.

    Great review,
    Sam.

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  7. Great review! And thanks for the plug! Cindy and I really enjoyed this film, and especially getting to talk to Russell (Bilingual Boy) about it!

    Long live the Legion, and this blog!!!

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  8. Thanks team. I LOVE my Legion, but was a bit on the fence about purchasing it. You've convinced me to add to my collection.
    Disappointed no mention of Dawny...Ooops my comic crush is showing

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    1. Dawnstar DOES appear in a non speaking part. :-)

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    2. Yes, indeed she does. Something I didn't bring up, but should have, was the DC animated movie JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time. Although it is NOT set in the DCAU, and feels more like an update of the classic Super Friends series, it features versions of Dawnstar and Karate Kid, so it's somewhat similar in approach to this new movie, mixing Legionnaires with the League.

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  9. One of the things my son and I loved most when we watched last decade's "Superman and the LSH in the 31st Century" cartoon were the Fatal Five. Can't wait to see this with the Five vs the JL (and would love to win the copy - thanks!)

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