With all the DC/Warner Bros hype focused on their Hall H panel at San Diego Comic Con for Justice League and Aquaman, some fantastic news may have slipped under the radar last week. Having cranked out thirty animated feature films over the last decade, the powers that be have decided to give fans a special treat: a complete 32-disc box set in celebration of the DC Animated Universe 10th anniversary!
Whereas it can be argued that Marvel Studios has been dominating the big screen via box office success, Warner Bros. Animation undeniably still dominates the 2D-realm. Just look at the collection’s animated film list: Superman: Doomsday, Justice League: The New Frontier, Batman: Gotham Knight, Wonder Woman Commemorative Edition, Green Lantern: First Flight, Superman/Batman: Public Enemies, Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, Batman: Under the Red Hood, Superman/Batman: Apocalypse, All-Star Superman, Green Lantern: Emerald Knights, Batman: Year One, Justice League: Doom, Superman Vs. The Elite, The Dark Knight Returns Part 1 and 2, Superman: Unbound, Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, Justice League:War, Son of Batman, Batman: Assault on Arkham, Justice League: Throne of Atlantis, Batman Vs. Robin, Justice League: Gods and Monsters, Batman: Bad Blood, Justice League Vs. Teen Titans, Batman: The Killing Joke, Justice League Dark, Teen Titans: The Judas Contract and Batman and Harley Quinn.
The box set launches November 7th, just in time for the holidays and ten days shy of the highly anticipated Justice League release! Now, we know what you’re thinking: DC animated film movie-marathon! Sure, watching all thirty films in that short time is a noble goal, but not very realistic, so we’ve taken the liberty of picking a few titles to help get your DC Comics juices flowing.
By far one of my favorite DC-animated films, Batman: Under the Red Hood tells the story of one-time Robin Jason Todd (Jenson Ackles). Murdered by the Joker (John DiMaggio) only to be resurrected via the Lazarus Pit, Todd begins dealing out his own version of crime and justice. His confrontation with Batman (Bruce Greenwood) in regards to why the caped-crusader never sought revenge on the Joker is an instant classic.
Next up is another phenomenal entry from the Bat-Family, Batman: Year One. The title summarizes the plot pretty well—Bruce (Ben McKenzie) returns home to Gotham after twelve years abroad and takes up the mantle of Batman. Lt. James Gordon (Bryan Cranston), a new addition to the Gotham City Police force, quickly realizes just how corrupt the city is. Based on the 1987 comic book arc by Frank Miller, it’s a must-see (and must-read) for every DC Comics fan.
Turning our attention to the Justice League, another must-watch from this collection is Justice League: Doom. As a long time Batman fan, one thing I’ve always admired is his ability as a tactician. Batman has a contingency plan in place for each and every member of the league in case they ever need to be defeated. But what happens when those plans fall into the wrong hands? Vandal Savage (Phil Morris) manages to access the Batcomputer and teams up with several members of the Justice League rogues gallery to take them down. Obviously Batman (Kevin Conroy) manages to save his fellow heroes, but it does make for a compelling story.
Finally, throw in the Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox DVD. This is one of the quintessential DC Comic arcs that actually reset the entire universe back in 2011. The Flash (Justin Chambers) decides to go back in time to prevent his mother’s murder… because that couldn’t have any negative impact on future events, right? Barry does manage to save his mother only to create a new timeline where he doesn’t receive his powers. Other drastic changes include Thomas Wayne (Kevin McKidd) becoming Batman rather than Bruce while Superman (Sam Daly) is a prisoner of the government. There’s a powerful scene between Batman and the Flash that might just bring a little tear to your eyes!
I could go on and on about the animated film in this set, but honestly they speak for themselves. While not every movie included is amazing, at the least they’re each entertaining in their own right. DC/Warner Bros. Animation has always done a great job selecting stellar storytellers, voice actors, and animators, all of which shines through this collection. See you in line to pick it up November 7th.