Justice League: Crisis On Two Earths



The newest DC Animated feature came out this week, and as it largely revolves around Batman kicking an evil Batman in the face, I was picked to review it for ComicsAlliance! Before you click over, though, keep in mind that while I try to keep things a little vague to preserve the fun of seeing it, there are spoilers, so if you’re the kind of person who worries about that sort of thing, go buy it first and then come back for the review. And if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t care about spoilers, go buy it anyway, because it is highly entertaining.

For the spoilerphobic among you, here’s a few brief thoughts: For 95% of it, Crisis on Two Earths is an excellent blend of Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s JLA: Earth 2–one of my favorite JLA stories–with the Justice League Unlimited universe. Great cameos, fantastic action, and pure fun. The other 5%, though, is a bit of characterization so off that it almost breaks the whole thing, but it’s still very enjoyable and well worth seeing.

So go! Watch! Read! And try to feign surprise when I get all self-righteous once again about the nature of a character that I don’t own!

22 thoughts on “Justice League: Crisis On Two Earths

  1. Did you get a chance to check out the spectre short that’s also on the dvd? I heard that it’s like dirty harry if dirty harry was the spirit of vengeance, any thoughts?

  2. Hey, you know that thing you guys did at CA to that Mark Millar article? Can you do that to the “DCU: The New World” commercial that’s one of the “bonus” features on the DVD? I thought it was some of the most infuriatingly self-congratulatory things I’ve seen in quite some time.

    Also, those interested in video clips from this movie can find them at the usual suspects, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that you can find them all (plus links to the various press release interviews and stuff) linked in to this article that has Steve Niles talking about “The Spectre”.

    I’ve been chewing on that morally questionable action you bring up, but I think it actually ties a whole lot of threads set down in the movie (like the “I don’t think [Batman] likes anybody very much” line, the argument Batman and Owlman have while they’re fighting, and the way Batman admits that he was wrong to Superman at the end of the movie). Still chewing on whether it works or not and I’ll have to watch the movie more closely to really say for sure, though, but I think McDuffie knew exactly what he was doing with that scene.

  3. I think the promo for “Red Hood” was actually funnier than “DCU: The New World.” Watching everyone talk for five minutes about the death of Jason Todd and then claiming the story was a mystery? Classic.

  4. That Spectre short was OFF THE CHAIN (as well). And I have to agree with Mr. Sims. The Batman thing was a craw in my throat. I didn’t like how the Owlman thing went down at all. And With the other character. Ouch. Otherwise it was FAN-TASTIC. But yeah. WHY IS IT SO HARD TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO DO BATMAN.

  5. To be honest. When I was watching the movie I didn’t quite question the whole “Batman killing” thing in the movie. I guess I just didn’t think about it because I figured, even though it was Batman, he made a decision that logically any one of us would have made and it made sense in context, at least as far as the end with Owlman (though I was confused as to why they didn’t sense Superman to just fight him but that wouldn’t have been very fun). The thing with Johnny Quick though, I really didn’t think he died actually. I though he was just turned old and passed out but maybe I am just being naive.

    Also, I am surprised that no one yet has mentioned the part of the film where Batman fight Superwoman with the loader from Aliens! That was flat out awesome!

  6. Fights padding out fanfiction is admittedly playing it safe, but I still didn’t like it much – we’ve seen those involved do much better with the same material in the past, and this was always going to be compared to that because of how similar in tone it is to what went before. Kind of like The Batman following the Timm/Diniverse stuff and everyone asking “why won’t people look at it in isolation as a decent kids show?” – too soon, too similar, and the show that really should have followed the Timm/Dini effort was Brave and the Bold, if only to cleanse the palate of grim Batman for a while and give newer iterations a chance.

    Biggest failing of Crisis on Two Earths for me was James Woods in a role that clearly should have been voiced by Jeffrey Combs, but it ties with Batman’s voice actor for pure wrongness, Green Lantern’s utter uselessness, or ditching the moral ambiguity of Morrison’s Earth 2 conceit that in the evil universe evil always wins in favor of a happy ending. I choose to ignore completely Martian Manhunter’s exploration of this hoo-man emotion we call ‘love’.

    It’s okay as a ‘toon that kills an hour or two, but I expected much better – which is probably not that terrible a criticism, I grant you.

  7. All of the “DC Direct” movies have been letdowns after the high water mark that is the Timmiverse.They did so much on thaose shows that everything since has just been variations on stuff already done better on TV. I know Warners would never allow it, but they really should start doing REALLY obscure stuff, like, say, an adaptation of Goodwin/Simonson’s MANHUNTER, or maybe more adult stuff like Moore’s SWAMP THING.

  8. I much preferred this to Morrison’s Earth 2 conceit. For me that story always had the logical conclusion that in the normal DCU, good would always win.

    Which may be true but that’s not supposed to a be a natural law. I appreciated it for the metafictional aspect I suppose but this story of (and I think Sims may have put it this way) absolute nihilism versus idealism/optimism.

  9. SHould have rented it and not bought, but I enjoyed it. Seeing Batman make the two morally dubious decisions he did doesn’t really bother me. Someone with superspeed needs to volunteer to unwittingly sacrifice himself so we may as well let the evil speedster do it, and Owlman wants to kill himself by blowing up a planet, so I’ll let him do that as long as no one else gets hurt. Granted, he didn’t strictly need to tie Owlman to the bomb when he sent the bomb away, but he’d probably just build another if he survived.

    That didn’t bother me too much; I had a much harder time trying to figure out the continuity on this. Was it meant to be a Timmverse Justice League story? Because didn’t Aquaman not join the JLU, and look totally different? Everyone has a different design and voice actor, Wonder Woman didn’t have her invisible plane(and the Regular Lasso of Truth looked bad). If this was an untold story, it doesn’t make sense that everyone is off model for the month they spent building the Satellite. I guess they wanted to make it unique while still keeping it similar enough for kids to recognize basic tropes like the Headquarters and whatnot.

    Huh. My Macbook’s spellchecker recognizes “Batman” as a proper word but throws the red dashes up for Owlman. That’s kind of cool.

  10. Each direct-to-video DC movie is in its own continuity. Wonder Woman has nothing to do with The New Frontier, which has no relation to Public Enemies, and so on down the line.

  11. Completely agree with your qualm, but you gotta admit “You blinked” was awesome and the character’s reaction to the deception was interesting.

    also agree about EVIL Vibe

  12. also Sims, did you read McDuffie’s notes on his site?

    Owlman was right in the very end, nothing mattered in the end. By consciously deciding to do it, he made a whole OTHER multiverse where he didn’t make the choice and a 3rd which was destroyed

  13. I saw the end as Owlman killing himself. The idea of it being morally questionable behavior on Batman’s part didn’t even cross my mind till Sims brought it up.

    And this is NOT a “lost episode” of JLU,it’s it’s own thing.

  14. I saw the end as Owlman killing himself.

    I can only assume that you guys just cold stopped watching the movie at this point because that is not the scene I am talking about. The reason I list that one as being morally questionable is because Batman sends someone to a barren world to–best case–die of starvation, as Superwoman tells him an hour earlier.

  15. Didn’t he toss him a dimension-traveling gadget? Owlman could have gone right back home if he wanted.

  16. I think my favorite part of that movie had to be the Evil Marvel Family and the Fight scene in with the other heroes back in the Watch Tower

  17. “I can only assume that you guys just cold stopped watching the movie at this point”

    yes the fight was so good I kept rewinding


    i watched it a couple times, and I may just be rationalizing to help Batman come out ‘right’ in this, but Batman definitely leaves Owlman with enough time to hit ABORT on that bomb, and also leaves him with a dimension gun. Thus, Owlman definitely could disarm the bomb, then use the dimensional warp thingy to go home.
    I also think Batman might have been hoping the Johnny Quick vibration thing would age him, but not actually kill him. I’m sure Bruce would have no problem making a villain an old man, but I guarantee he felt bad when it aged him so much he died.

  19. I, too, raised an eyebrow at Batman’s actions, but rationalized it in much the same way Danicus above me did.

    Still a great movie, though.

    And Chris, do check out the The Spectre short. My brother even liked it, and he hates superhero stuff. It’s got a really excellent Creepshow vibe. Very good.