In Review: Justice League: Gods and Monsters

Superman is the son of Zod; Batman is the Man Bat; Wonder Woman is not the Amazonian child of Old Gods, but the other dimensional child of the New.

Synopsis: Witness a divergent reality where the Justice League protects the planet – but answers to no one but themselves. Employing methods of intimidation and fear, this Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman deal brute force in the name of justice. From the creative genius of executive producer Bruce Timm and co-producer Alan Burnett comes an original story where the world’s greatest triumvirate of super heroes has distinctly different origins. Superman was not raised by the Kents in Smallville, the Caped Crusader is not Bruce Wayne, and Wonder Woman is not an Amazon warrior of Themyscira. They are as likely the world’s saviors as Earth’s despotic rulers. When a group of famed scientists experience untimely “accidents,” a government task force follows the trail of clues to the Justice League – but is there a more powerful player operating from the shadows?  It’s a high stakes game of intrigue, mystery and action that asks the question: How do you serve justice to those above the law?

Review: To be clear, Justice League: Gods and Monsters is AU. Superman is the son of Zod; Batman is the Man Bat; Wonder Woman is not the Amazonian child of Old Gods, but the other dimensional child of the New. There’s only one question that matters with an AU narrative: Is the story internally consistent? Yes, it is. Bruce Timm and Alan Burnett have succeeded admirably in crafting a story in which effects stem from causes. More than that, the yarn they spun was a who-done-it that relied upon that logic and consistency. Unfortunately, because the story is a mystery, I can’t delve into the plot without giving vital elements away. Suffice to say, this tale centered around two aliens and a vampire hinged on human motivations. As a lit geek who grew up with Lynda Carter’s Wonder Woman, I do have one subjective gripe, however. I wish that Timm could have figured out how to put a darker spin on her Amazonian background.

The performances throughout were perfect, but it was the main players — Michael C. Hall, Benjamin Bratt, and Tamara Taylor — who stole the show. Hall, in particular, was proof that type casting can be a good thing. His turn as vampire vigilante Kirk Langstrom was darkly nuanced. I also have to mention a great cameo by Penny Johnson Jerald. Having Lady MacPalmer play President Amanda Waller was inspired.

I would love to see a continuation of this story, as I came to care about this universe. I would also  love to see more of alternate Ray Palmer’s miniaturized horses.

Justice League: Gods and Monsters is available on DVD, Blu-ray, and V.O.D.

Director: Sam Liu

Writers: Bruce Timm, Alan Burnett

Cast

Michael C. Hall as Kirk Langstrom / Batman

Benjamin Bratt as Hernan Guerra / Superman

Tamara Taylor as Bekka / Wonder Woman

Paget Brewster as Lois Lane

Jason Isaacs as Lex Luthor / Metron

C. Thomas Howell as Dr. Will Magnus

Richard Chamberlain as Highfather

Penny Johnson Jerald as President Amanda Waller

Carl Lumbly as Silas Stone

Tahmoh Penikett as Steve Trevor

9.7
Justice League: Gods and Monsters
  • Story, Performances
  • Would've preferred Timm riff on Wonder Woman's Amazonian background.
  • Story
    9
  • Performances
    10
  • Animation
    10

Raissa Devereux became a life-long genre fan at the age of four when she first saw The Wizard of Oz at a screening at Arizona State University. Years later, she graduated from A.S.U. as an English major, History minor, Whovian, and Trekkie. Now a Florida transplant, she loves the opportunity Sci-Fi Pulse has given her to further explore space travel, time travel, masked heroes, gothic castles, and good yarns.
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