What does the success of Batman The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series, and Justice League Unlimited have in common? They all can be attributed to the talents and contributions of character designer, animator, and producer Bruce Timm.
After a two year hiatus from Warner Brothers Animation (Timm had stepped down as producer for WBA’s DC associated properties), Bruce is back and this time he has one upped his previous concepts, such as Batman Beyond, by giving us a very different spin on the iconic superhero team: The Justice League.
Synopsis: In an alternate universe which consists of very different versions of DC’s Trinity (Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman) fighting against the government after they are framed for an embassy bombing.
At first I was very skeptical about Timm’s reimagined take on the three legendary DC characters and comicdom in general but after going through 73 minutes of the OVA, I’m glad to have my skepticism shot down. This direction shouldn’t offend even the most anal comic purists due to the fact that all three have been “swapped” for lesser known characters from the DCU (i.e. Man Bat, Lor-Zod and Bekka).
As the film begins we are treated with your all too familiar impending destruction of Krypton. However, the scenario has been altered from the standard Superman mythos, especially when it is revealed that Jor-El is “not the father” of what would soon become the Man of Steel. After the ship crashes into the Earth’s atmosphere, the infant is snatched up by a Mexican couple.
That might explain his facial features, which are reminiscent of Mexican culture. A “Mexican Superman”? Hey, if he could be adopted by Russians (see Red Son), why not Mexicans?
One thing I must point out is that this isn’t your average paint by numbers Justice League! These guys fall more within the line of anti-heroes because they fucking kill people!!
There’s no homogeneous “take them away officers.” Terrorists and the like get their Asses handed to them literally!! If any of you had problems with the end result of Man of Steel, you may have to forgo Gods & Monsters because of their amoral stance when it comes to taking out the bad guys.
Then there are scenes that involve a brutal clash against the United States Armed Forces in which
During the movie there are a handful of flashbacks that provide further explanation of the three protagonists.
The most interesting scenes were from Batman, who is not Bruce Wayne but a prodigy Scientist, Kurt Langstorm, who injects himself with some experimental serum in order to fight his cancer but instead obtains super powers (heightened sense, prowess, etc). However, the downside of it all would be his vampire like tendencies. Y’see, ol Kurt desires to feed on humans for fresh blood if he’s not whipping up a bunch of homemade plasma to relieve his thirst. Oh, and then there’s that infamous Wonder Woman flashback. How brutal and yet, very Machiavellian!
The voice acting is decent overall. Michael C. Hall does an impressive job as Bats and the art style is somewhat similar to a certain legendary comic artist. *Wink*
What’s disappointing about Gods and Monsters, if anything, is not necessarily the aesthetics like the heroes’ wardrobes or alternate mythos but instead the story unravels to a bit of “ah, have I seen that before?!?” I won’t provide spoiler tags or give hints but the mystery reveal surrounding the scientists’ murders while framing the Justice League is pretty much paint by the numbers and reminded me of the dumb plot arc that was in Iron Man 3.
That’s pretty much my only gripe about this movie but after all has been said, Gods & Monsters is an enjoyable watch and highly recommended for fans of Bruce Timm’s legacy.
Gods & Monsters arrives on DVD/Blu-ray July 28th and I’m already looking forward to the sequel next year!