Recently the new DC animated movie “Justice League War World” came out on digital streaming. Only coming out a few weeks ago, many are asking what it even was. It has been called incomplete with no real beginning and an abrupt end. With that said I very much enjoyed it and think its one of the better new dc animated movies of late. I’m not alone as one fan named Collin Moore said “I liked it imo [sic] the vast majority of their animated movies are really fun”.
The key is it’s not meant to be seen in a vacuum. It’s the start of a bigger story and made even better for that place in that story. Spoilers for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet.
When the trailer came out it set our expectations. Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman are in three different time periods making it appear to be an anthology or the three being thrown back in time. This ended up being on purpose with how things play out.
It starts with wonder woman in the old west; she just rides in a cowboy hat and everything. We meet Jonah Hex who is a villain here which is the first clue something is wrong. Fans of the character would be angry at Jonah being written this way. After a lot of death she just rides off into the sunset and we go straight to Barbarian Batman. At this point we are led to believe it’s an Elseworlds story which DCAU and the tomorrowverse have done in the past.
This was a good start just dropping the viewers in without explanation and letting assumptions mislead us. This make this a good rewatch knowing to look for any clues to the real story. It is a good wonder woman story and a nice spin on old westerns. It’s my less favorite of the three stories but it is enjoyable.
Batman the Barbarian as I like to call it, is interesting with a more violent uncaring Batman and an interesting setting but what’s important is close to the end where Batman and a character named Warlord and his group come to a lake where a man shows up and calls to Batman but then disappears. He may or may not be Kent Nelson aka Doctor Fate Enough time had passed at this point for this to be the first indication this story and the last could be connected. At this point the Acton has been good and engaging enough to stick around for the big revelations that are to come.
A short time later they all get to a room where the bad guy of that story is only to fine a chained up Wonder Woman who almost recognized Batman. After a fight, two doorways open up and batman and wonder woman both go in leading to the Superman story. At this point we have more questions than answers which works well for this mystery. I like that they did it this way because as a viewer we get to work it out at the same time as the trio now we know something is up so the next story should bring it all together.
Superman’s story has a nice callback to a Twilight zone episode called “Will the real Martian please stand up” which is a clever clue if you remember the episode. I love that they did this cause I’m a fan of the show. Clark as an FBI agent with Rick Flag looking for aliens in a 50s diner. Much like with Batman and Wonder Woman before Clark doesn’t have his memories and doesn’t know about his powers.
In the diner with other people are Batman and Wonder Woman in 50s style outfits, all the people turn to white-skinned aliens so the trio escape to the crashed ship where they find the Martian Manhunter. He was trapped by the tyrant Mongul and it appears Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman were captured and placed on the war world to help power it. The war world runs on negative emotions and everyone else seems to be clones..
It’s clear Wonder Woman isn’t the one Superman met earlier which leads us to believe she is the one from “Justice Society World War 2” which makes that movie an interesting rewatch. This explains Jonah Hex and why the people in that story were fast to violence. It’s not stated but Batman and Superman got there by what happened at the end of the earlier legion of superheroes movie where the two are zapped by a beam and disappear.
They are on the war world and the aliens earlier were White Martians. After some interesting turn of events the war worlds is blown up with Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman being saved by a silver lady with fire hair who turns out to be Harbinger. She then tells them there is a worse crisis coming and the movie just ends. We know that this is set up for “Crisis Of Infinite Earths” which is rumored to drop in 2024. no release date yet.
You only know the lady at the end is Harbinger if you look for it in the credits or remember that’s how she looked briefly in the comics. The movie mostly works but I would have had two small changes. First add flashbacks when barbarian Batman saw wonder woman and then another When Superman saw Batman later in the diner. One where Wonder Woman saw Superman would have also been needed.
By doing that we can see which versions of them they are. Second make the end where the war world blows up but don’t show the trinity being saved. Then in a post or end credit scene show them saved by harbinger and it plays out as is. Maybe text saying crisis on infinite earth is coming. Without that the movie is a little disjointed but still a good watch. The Justice League War World is out on DVD and Max. For more like this hop over the the geek news now home page and the links below. https://www.warnerbros.com/movies/justice-league-warworld