Justice League - Paradise Lost

Director: Butch Lukic, Dan Riba

Edition Details: Region 2 encoding (Europe, Middle East & Japan only), PAL, Animated, Colour, Closed-captioned



These animated episodes, made in 2001, of a group of top DC comics superheroes such as Superman, Batman and the Flash are done in a graphic style very similar to the recent popular Batman animated series.

Some geeky notes:

  • Just plain Justice League? When I was a kid they were called the Justice League of America, or JLA for short. I suppose that the distributors probably thought that it sounded too, well, American for the international non-US. market.

  • The line-up includes Flash, Martian Manhunter, Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, Green Lantern and Hawkgirl. Where's Green Arrow and, yummy, black stocking-era Black Canary? (I suppose the antiauthoritarian Green Arrow who's always going on about cops being "fascists in blue" probably won't go down well for a Saturday morning cartoon by a major media conglomerate, but I kinda missed the guy . . .)

  • Since when does Superman need a space suit? That isn't very, uhm, super.

  • Wonder Woman can fly!? Where's her invisible jet? OK, I know that jet would have been difficult to draw, but they're messing with us thirtysomethingers' childhood memories here.

  • I hate saying this: but this Wonder Woman isn't drawn particularly sexy or anything. Not that I, unlike many of my peer group members, ever had such a hang-up about her. (My preadolescent fantasies rather always included Thundra of Fantastic Four late-1970s fame and Superman's Earth 2 cousin, Power Girl, a more pneumatic alternative to Supergirl. Drool . . . )

  • Green Lantern is, uhm, Black. With green glowing eyes!

THE DISC: Okay, so it isn't just kids who watch this stuff, but also their geeky thirtysomethinger parents. This however isn't a disc for them. Instead of bringing out Justice League as complete season-by-season, episode-to-episode box set, this set is aimed squarely at the kids - something harassed parents will pick up at their local supermarket bargain bin to appease the little ones.

The image is presented full-screen and the image and sound is crisp and clear. Animation can look really good on DVD and the animation here is a whole lot better than the stuff thirtysomethingers had to endure as kids (come on, be honest here).

However, I'm sure that they could fit in more than a mere four episodes. Besides, there aren't any special features.

WORTH IT? Comic fans ought to enjoy the episodes here although there is nothing particularly new on offer. I did like the Jack Kirby feel of the two War World episodes and some of the post-modern one-liners made me smile (especially Wonder Woman's remarks on ridiculous outfits and one about shopping malls being temples for people who worship their credit cards).

RECOMMENDATION: Something geeky parents can watch with their kids. Some of these episodes are still being broadcast as reruns on the Cartoon Channel so that just might be the cheaper option though . . .



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