Justice League: War (2014)

Our review of the eighteenth straight-to-video animated feature from DC Comics/Warner Brothers (since they started counting, in 2007) and the fifth with the Justice League’s name on it. “Is it any better than the last one?” No. Just worse in a different way. “How could it possibly be worse?” That, my friend, is the “genius” of Geoff Johns: just when you think you’ve plumbed the depths of his backward-ass, character-lite, two-page-splash-driven writing style, he’ll write something else, opening up whole new chasms of suck.


9 thoughts on “Justice League: War (2014)”

  1. Man I always wondered if there was a connection between Heroes Reborn (90’s Marvel) and New 52 (Current DC) and now I know there is one

    1. Glad to be of service. I’ve been wondering if anyone else even remembered Heroes Reborn for the past three years. Now I know I’m not alone. Thanks.

  2. That, good sir was a fantastic review. I really like the way you present your arguments. DC has no idea what they are doing these days. They really have forgotten what makes their characters so great and iconic. I don’t mind change at all but they really should stick to adapting highly praised, well-written stories instead of poorly written ones by guys like Geoff Johns. I also think that DC desperately needs more female writers because they seem completely incapable of writing a ‘complete’ leading lady. A great website, greenlantern.co shares similar opinions about the mismanagement that goes on at DC. The following is one of their articles about Geoff Johns. The link says it all: http://greenlantern.co/why-i-dislike-geoff-johns-and-believe-he-should-not-be-cco-of-dc-entertainment/

    1. Glad you liked it. And thanks for linking to someone else who’s noticed “we have to fix real problem.” I mind change when things change into something worse, and – apart from pieces of Scott Snyder’s run on Batman, Gail Simone’s on Batgirl, and Grant Morrison’s Action Comics – that’s been my experience with the No-Longer-New 52. Even those stories suffer in comparison to their counterparts from DC’s last serious reboot. Every last one of ’em’s decompressed like a blown-out space station, perpetually interrupted by the next Big Ticket Crossover Event of the Month/Year/Decade/Century/Geological Epoch. Is it any wonder why so many writers have throw up their hands over the past three years and straight-up quit? No.

      I don’t care overmuch about the gender of who they hire as long as they hire good people. The real problem being, DC’s Current Management treats almost all their writers, and most of their artists (male and female), with negligent contempt. Unless said writer/artist has a mid-to-high managerial position, nothing they do is safe. Work they turn in could be (and has been) altered, rewritten or inked-to-incoherence without their say-so or foreknowledge. By whom? Why? No one can say. And if anyone complains, they’re fired faster than Twitter can be outraged by it, and their book’s cancelled…or turned over the CCO for a couple of filler issues before getting pawed off on another refugee from Image.

      They seem to view the creative teams behind their books as the infinitely replaceable parts of a vast machine they cannot understand or control without some “experts” (from the marketing department, naturally) telling them which button to push. And the answer is always the same: “The one with the Batman logo on it. Duh.”

    2. Honestly that desh guy is kind of arrogant. He assumes “Hal Jordan inherently sucks”. Saying the green lantern show getting cancelled is proof even though the show was a critical success and had fans. When I cited successful things he seemed to say having john stewart makes the success inherently john. I like john stewart but the sheer arrogance turns me off

  3. Thank you, David, for this video. The connection between DC comics disintegration from a company I used to have at least ONE title I loved to the current mess it is, is now explained. In the words of Jack Nicholson’s Joker, “I have given a name to my pain and it is Geoff Johns.”

    I’m also going to say that I think you were way too nice to Justice League: War. Yes, you said it was a brainless Summer Blockbuster style comic that is made up of better stories but that’s STILL nicer than how I feel about it.

    Really, I can’t deny it. I ***hated*** this movie. I’m usually quite forgiving of big dumb brainless comic book action movies. It’s just I’m not quite as used to them being this dumb and this brainless. Justice League: War is a movie that can be said to be little more than an excuse for its action sequences. Even Under the Red Hood, which was a movie that contained a great deal of action, managed to convey a lot more nuance and characterization than this mindless fluff.

    Except, it’s offensive mindless fluff too.

    The Justice League, Earth’s REAL Mightiest Heroes, are gathered together to face forces which they cannot alone. To millions of children across the globe, and many more adults who were once children, they are paragons of moral virtue. Whether religious, patriotic, philosophical, or not–they helped us form our moral centers.

    Justice League: War’s heroes are some of the most negative incarnations of the franchise’s heroes I’ve seen outside of Earth-3. They’re violent, rude, quick to anger, arrogant, and jerks to one another. That’s not even bringing the epic number of dismemberings, bisectings, and decapitations they do against Darkseid’s Parademons. Back when I was a kid, they’d have the decency to make them robots.

    That’s not even getting into the way our heroes treat Darkseid himself. The heroes beat him within an inch of his life, blind him with metal objects, and brutalize him for twenty-minutes. Now, I’m no friends of Darkseid but I question who is really getting their money’s worth by someone driving a crowbar into his eye.

    Secret Origins, a Justice League cartoon with a similar premise, managed to throw in at least a passing bit of social commentary. It also showed our heroes rescuing the future Martian Manhunter from imprisonment as well as the camraderie that would make them all friends.

    This? The Justice League flat-out hates each other. I’m not a guy who says we have to protect the children–I watched more R-rated movies when I was thirteen than I had movies period before then. However, Justice League: War made the JLA feel like the Authority. Not the entertaining one either, more like the mean-ass caricature they later became. Thanks for warning me against this movie. I still saw it but at least I was semi-prepared for Billy Batson calling his kid foster sister and one-legged brother idiots when they tried to show concern.

    God, this movie makes me long for the respect and moral nuance of Damien Wayne.

    1. Well, you’re in luck, because we’re getting Damien next! And I couldn’t be less excited. Do you have any idea how many Grant Morrison comics I’m going to have to re-read? Crazy bastard’s gonna hex me with his chaos magic…again!…if I don’t take the proper precautions. Which, obviously, need their own chunk of prep time and…Great Rao help us…

      Good call linking the New 52 League to The Authority. I’d honestly managed to forgot The Authority existed there, for a moment. Obviously, I need to re-watch Superman vs. The Elite…though after War, odds are good I’ll wind up with the movie equivalent of the bends. I have Secret Origins around here somewhere, and might as well go back to and re-read that, too. It’ll be a hell of a lot better than anything on the New Release shelves. The present League is still MIA owing to a Big Ticket, Crossover Event (Forever Evil) I’m studiously ignoring, because guess who’s writing it…? Yes, that’s right: our good friend, the company CCO. So fuck it. Put word out: we hire the clown. He was right. We have to fix real problem.

      And Johns’ real problem is he aspires to write on the level of your Big, Dumb Summer Blockbusters. Aspires…but does not succeed. And we all wind up paying for it.

      1. Eh, being forced to re-read Grant Morrison’s Batman is no curse. If they’re going to make a violent superhero movie where people like act like jerks then they might as well adapt the Black Glove arc. Then it’ll at least be GOOD.

        I’m not looking TOO forward to the Son of Batman, he has three sons already after all (and Damien’s genetic quirk doesn’t make him any more such than Dick Grayson), but I can’t imagine it’ll be worse than this.

        Plus, it’ll have Deathstroke and a non-evil Talia. Which is always good.

        Thanks again, David, for taking one for your fans. Right on, AYTIWS, defend us from the darkness of bad comic book adaptations!

      2. I like Damian; he starts out as a little brat but its understandable (he’s been raised like a prince by various assassins) and over time he grows into a more likable heroic character

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