Superman and Green Lantern cast in Justice League: Doom animated movie

Official press release below:

Primetime Television Stars Nathan Fillion & Tim Daly join heroic cast of Justice League: Doom

Warner Home Video to distribute DC Universe Animated Original Movie in early 2012; Eight Justice League TV series alums featured in voice cast

Primetime television stars Nathan Fillion and Tim Daly, the reigning voices of Green Lantern and Superman, respectively, join an exciting group of actors reprising their famed cartoon roles in Justice League: Doom, an all-new entry in the popular series of DC Universe Animated Original Movies due in early 2012 from Warner Home Video.

Justice League: Doom finds Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, Cyborg and Batman on their heels when a team of super villains discover and implement the Dark Knight’s “contingency plans” for stopping any rogue Justice League member. The story is inspired by Mark Waid’s much-heralded “JLA: Tower of Babel.”

Superman in Justice League: Doom

Fillion, the star of ABC’s hit TV drama Castle, made his debut as Green Lantern/Hal Jordan in the recent Green Lantern: Emerald Knights. Fillion made his initial DCU bow as the voice of Steve Trevor in the 2008 hit Wonder Woman.

Currently headlining the cast of ABC’s popular Private Practice, Daly originated the title character’s voice in the landmark cartoon, Superman: The Animated Series. He has reprised the role in two DCU films: the 2009 extravaganza Superman/Batman: Public Enemies and the 2010 thriller Superman/Batman: Apocalypse.

In addition to current primetime stars Fillion and Daly, the cast is a grand reunion of the original group of actors who provided the voices of the Justice League for the cartoon of the same name and its follow-up, Justice League Unlimited. Reprising their roles are Kevin Conroy (Batman: The Animated Series) as Batman, Michael Rosenbaum (Smallville, Breaking In) as Flash, Susan Eisenberg (Superman/Batman: Apocalypse) as Wonder Woman and Carl Lumbly (Alias) as J’onn J’onzz/Martian Manhunter. Bumper Robinson (A Different World, Transformers: Animated) joins the cast as Cyborg.

The Justice League faces two sets of villainous teams in the film – The Royal Flush Gang and a sextet of notable evildoers. The latter group includes three voice acting alumni of the Justice League animated series: Phil Morris (Smallville, Seinfeld) as Vandal Savage, Olivia d’Abo (The Wonder Years) as Star Sapphire, and Alexis Denisof (Angel) as Mirror Master. Also opposing our heroes are Carlos Alazraqui (Reno 911) as Bane, Paul Blackthorne (The Dresden Files) as Metallo, and Claudia Black (Farscape, Stargate SG-1) as Cheetah.

David Kaufman (Danny Phantom) also reprises his Justice League role of Jimmy Olsen.

Green Lantern in Justice League: Doom

The film is executive produced by Bruce Timm (Batman: Year One), and directed by Lauren Montgomery (Batman: Year One), who is also credited as producer alongside Alan Burnett (Batman: The Animated Series). Justice League: Doom is the final script from the late Dwayne McDuffie (All-Star Superman, Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths). Casting and dialogue direction is once again in the capable hands of Andrea Romano (Batman: Year One, SpongeBob SquarePants).

Warner Home Video will premiere the Justice League: Doom trailer during its presentation at New York Comic Con on Friday, October 14 from 3:00-4:00 p.m. in the IGN Theater. Also premiering during that session will be the Catwoman animated short that is attached to Batman: Year One, the next DC Universe Animated Movie (streeting October 18).

Next DC Animated project announced, JLA: ‘Doom’

The DC animated straight to DVD feature films have been a massive hit with fans. In most cases, they have adapted stand-out storylines from the classic comics, such as New Frontier, Death of Superman and Under the Hood. Just announced for release comes another great story for adaptation, Mark Waid’s ‘Tower of Babel’ from his first year as head writer following Grant Morrison on JLA.

As written in the comic, Tower of Babel involves Batman’s ‘doomsday protocols’ designed to take down each super-powered member of the team. When the protocols fall into enemy hands, the team finds themselves battling the most brilliant schemes of the dark knight detective. The piece below claims that Tower of Babel will serve more as an inspiration than as a source for adaptation, so it is unclear what will be changed, but with the talented Dwayne McDuffie involved (he has written for the Justice League animated series as well as the Crisis on Two Earths movie, Teen Titans, Static Shock and All-Star Superman) I am sure it will an excellent adventure. McDuffie’s final animated project (sadly he passed away earlier this year), the feature will see release after the hotly anticipated Green Lantern: Emerald Knights and Batman: Year One films arrive on DVD this Summer.

Via Spinoff Online:

Warner Bros. Animation will follow Green Lantern: Emerald Knights and Batman: Year One with an animated feature “loosely inspired” by the 2000 JLA story arc “Tower of Babel.”

Announced Friday at WonderCon in San Francisco by executive producer Bruce Timm, the tentatively titled Justice League: Doom is the last work of respected writer and producer Dwayne McDuffie, who passed away on Feb. 22.

Written by Mark Waid and illustrated by Howard Porter, Drew Geraci and others, “Tower of Babel” centers on the perceived betrayal of the Justice League by Batman, whose secret files detailing the weaknesses of his colleagues fall into the hands of Ra’s al Ghul. He uses the information to incapacitate the League while distracting Batman with the theft of the bodies of Thomas and Martha Wayne. The revelation that the Dark Knight had devises contingency plans to defeat each of his teammates naturally creates friction, leading the JLA to consider expelling him from their ranks.

Elements of “Tower of Babel” were incorporated into “Starcrossed,” the 2004 three-part series finale of the Justice League animated series.

Justice League: Doom is set to be Warner Bros. Animation’s first direct-to-DVD feature of 2012. For more details about Warner Bros. Animation’s next release, Green Lantern: Emerald Knights, check out Comic Book Resource’s WonderCon panel report.

Also available:

Batman Gotham Knight

Superman: Doomsday

Justice League - The New Frontier

Wonder Woman

Green Lantern: First Flight

Superman/Batman: Public Enemies

Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths

Batman: Under the Red Hood

Superman/Batman: Apocalypse

Dcu All-Star Superman

The All-New All-Different Justice League of America

Readers may recall that when I first started this blog back in 2007 there was a glut of comic book movie news. Chief amongst those rumors was a live action film based on DC Comics’ flagship superteam The Justice of America utilizing state of the art CGi animation similar to what was used on Beowulf. Happy Feet and Mad Max 3: Beyond Thunderdome producer George Miller was set to helm the project, a casting call was made to fill the parts of Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash (rumored at the time to be played by Ryan Reynolds) and two unknowns cast as Batman and Superman. The movie was gearing up for production in Australia, but the WGA writer’s strike killed the project.

Fast forward to 2010 when the newly formed DC Entertainment has stated that they had no plans to produce a movie based on the JLA and seemed miffed that reporters were comparing the project to Marvel’s Avengers franchise.

Just this week, all of that changed. Apparently the JLA movie is back in the works along with a reboot of Superman and Batman (post Batman The Dark Knight Rises).

There is currently a tentative 2013 release date.

The Justice League of America (by Alex Ross)

Via CBR.com:

Erasing doubts about the Justice League movie mentioned in its profile of incoming Warner Bros. President Jeff Robinov, the Los Angeles Times reports a new script is the works, with the aim to have DC Comics’ top characters together onscreen in 2013.

That film would potentially serve as a launching point for other superhero movies — an approach mentioned in 2007, before director George Miller’s Justice League was shelved — including The Flash and Wonder Woman, a character whose NBC television pilot is being shot at this moment. Robinov doesn’t see the David E. Kelley revival as a conflict, though, pointing out that Superman Returns coexisted with Smallville.

But perhaps even bigger than the Justice League is Robinov’s acknowledgment that Warner Bros. will “reinvent” the Batman franchise following the release next year of The Dark Knight Rises — with Christopher Nolan and wife Emma Thomas remaining involved as producers.

It sets Nolan up as the architect, or godfather, of DC’s big-screen “universe” — he’s already producing Zack Snyder’s Superman reboot — a role that stands to benefit everyone involved.

As we noted earlier, Warner Bros. pulled the plug on Justice League even as it neared production in early 2008 because of a confluence of issues: the writers strike, Australian tax-credit uncertainties, the possibility of an actors strike and, the LA Times adds, concerns that another version of Batman might conflict with Nolan’s films. Some of the central cast was already in place, including Adam Brody as The Flash, Megan Gale as Wonder Woman and a then-relatively unknown Armie Hammer as Batman.

Additionally, there’s this missive from MTV’s Splash Page confirming that Warner Bros. is thinking of a complete reboot of Batman after the next Chris Nolan film:

The Many Faces of Batman

“We have the third Batman, but then we’ll have to reinvent Batman,” Jeff Robinov (president of the Warner Bros. motion picture group) told the L.A. Times. “Chris Nolan and [producing partner and wife] Emma Thomas will be producing it, so it will be a conversation with them about what the next phase is.”

Could Batman be headed for yet another reboot? It certainly seems that way.Nolan has made it clear on various occasions that “The Dark Knight Rises” will be his last Batman film behind the camera, but the filmmaker doesn’t appear to be done with Gotham’s vigilante. Robinov’s comment would seem to indicate that Nolan will replicate his role in the upcoming “Superman” reboot, and serve as a producer and shepherd to whatever big-screen incarnation of Batman follows his blockbuster three-film franchise.

Still, it’s worth noting that this timeline doesn’t leave much room for a new Batman to be introduced to audiences ahead of the “Justice League” team-up in 2013. While current “Superman: Man of Steel” star Henry Cavill might be persuaded to return for “Justice League,” it’s unlikely that Ryan Reynolds’ schedule will allow for another turn as Green Lantern — especially if “Green Lantern 2” gets the (*ahem*) green light.

All things considered, it looks like one fact is abundantly clear: fans should probably prepare themselves for a new Batman in a few years.

Secret Origins of the Superfriends

(or how I learned to stop worrying about continuity and love nostalgia)

The Justice League of America gather for the first time (as drawn by Alex Ross)

Alex Ross exploded onto the comic book scene in 1996’s Kingdom Come, a series crafted with Mark Waid set in the possible future of the DC Comics Universe. He remains one of the most important artists of the modern comic book world, his paintings of iconic characters serving as a shorthand version for the term ‘superhero.’ As a child of the 1970’s, he was strongly influenced by the Super Friends cartoon that he had viewed in his youth and includes many references to the cartoon in his work. In fact, much of his design work includes a massive dose of the Super Friends, as drafted by the dear departed master, Alex Toth (the same man behind Space Ghost, Johnny Quest and much more).

An unbeatable team made up of the biggest and best superheroes in comics, Super Friends was very important for many members of my generation regarding comic books. I enjoy the first few years, but for many the cartoon really came into its own with the 1978 run, Challenge of the Super Friends. Beset by an assembly of their greatest foes, the Super Friends met the brilliantly twisted schemes of the Legion of Doom week after week.

The Legion of Doom

Back when there was a reason to get up early on Saturday mornings that did not involve diapers, the Super Friends served as a kind of gateway to the world of comic books. The cartoon had been on for a few years previously, but Challenge of the Super Friends was the real deal. It featured somewhat obscure heroes and villains crossing swords with the fate of humanity in the balance. Where else would a kid see Gorilla Grodd, Solomon Grundy, the Riddler, Cheetah, the Riddler, Black Manta, Giganta, Captain Cold, the Toymaker, Braniac, Sinestro, the Scarecrow and Bizzaro threaten the peace? Likewise, Green Lantern, the Flash and Hawkman were welcome additions to the animated world (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Aquaman were already mainstays of the 70’s zeitgeist), even if Green Lantern sounded like he was voiced by Sir Laurence Olivier.

As a unique twist, the Challenge of the Super Friends was mainly centered on the villains and their madcap schemes to defeat their enemies. The plans were varied and bizarre (one dealt with a ‘Living Monolith’ that rested in a Hellish part of the underground, another dealt with a demonic entity that granted the Legion of Doom power over the dead), but one of the oddest involved a subject that comic book fanatics hold dear, the he Secret Origins of the Super Friends.


Lex Luthor, Superman’s arch enemy and leader of the Legion of Doom, has found a way to view the origins of the three most powerful members of the Super Friends. How? Who knows. Through the use of his unknown technology, Luthor reveals the seminal moments of Wonder Woman, Superman and Green Lantern (betcha thought I was gonna say Batman, right? Wrong. In Super Friends Batman is useless without his utility belt). By sending himself and Cheetah into the past, he wrecks history, thus removing Green Lantern and Wonder Woman from the equation that has presumably kept them from conquering the Super Friends.

A brief trip through time and space allows Luthor to divert the interstellar crib/space craft delivery little baby Kal-El to Earth where he would have been found by the well-meaning country folk, Martha and John Kent. The pod continues to a nameless planet orbiting a red sun where Superman will never be born.

Viewers are presented almost immediately with an alternate history that, to be honest, barely differs from the world that they knew. None of this makes any sense, of course. If the most powerful members of the Super Friends (or Justice League of America) never existed, how could the Legion of Doom have altered history? Surely, tampering with the time stream would produce catastrophic effects! Yet the Legion of Doom is exuberant and capture the remaining members, ordering them to engage in a battle to the death! Batman, Robin, the Flash and Black Vulcan (a kind of flying version of Black Lightning) steal what appears to be an important computer tape and return to their HQ to plot their next move.

Somehow the tape contains the original, unaltered history in which Superman, Green Lantern and Wonder Woman are alive, prompting the team to travel back in time and undo the interference in the proper course of time (thus introducing a further temporal paradox). Apparently, the JLA is now an integral part of the secret origins of their own members. That’s not a headache or anything…

Before you can say ‘Blinovitch Limitation Effect,’ the Super Friends attack the Legion of Doom with their old members back in action. Green Lantern forms massive emerald anchors that stop the Legion’s flying HQ, Superman burns a hole in the hull of the craft to free the remaining team members (Hawkman, Aquaman and Samurai) only to see Green Lantern also one of the captured teammates!

Huh??!!

Well, things like this happened all the time in Super Friends. Hawkman would spontaneously lose his wings, Batman’s symbol would revert colors and Green Lantern would suddenly have three arms. The sudden appearance of a second Green Lantern is to be expected, I guess.

Super Friends remains an important part of the comic book experience. The plots are frantic, the dialog stilted and the animation shaky, yet they perfectly presented the origins of the JLA! Very few of the animated versions of comic book characters showed as close an eye to detail as this one did. They even presented Batman’s origin in its final year! Just imagine if the Legion of Doom had disrupted Batman’s origin! I can just picture Gorilla Grodd getting in the path of Joe Chill’s hand gun… fast forward to Bruce Wayne dressed as a man-gorilla fighting crime.

Currently there is nothing remotely like the Super Friends on the air and frankly I think that kind of thing has a direct impact on comic book readership. The Bruce Timm Justice League/Justice League Unlimited came close to drawing people back to the realm of superheroes, but somehow failed to have as strong an impact as Super Friends had (despite being much better made). I wonder what a world without these campy cartoons would be like and I shudder.

Then I think of Gleek the space monkey… and I know real fear.

Part One

Part Two

buy 'Challenge of the Super Friends - The First Season (1978)' on DVD

Superboy goes rogue in Young Justice ‘Schooled’

The latest weekly animated series from DC Entertainment has successfully taken up the mantle formerly held by the fondly remembered hit series Justice League. Following the adventures of the sidekicks of Batman, the Flash, Aquaman and Green Arrow, Young Justice focuses on the young heroes attempts to carve out a place for themselves in the superhero universe. After uncovering the devious experiments of the Cadmus group, the team has come under the leadership of Batman as a black ops team, sent to investigate threats that the high profile JLA would be unable to confront.

The series is somewhat under the radar of some fans and may have been mis-interpreted by some as a replacement for the anime-influenced Teen Titans cartoon. But this is something entirely new. The writing and animation is high quality and the overarching plot hints at a complex plot involving a shadowy organization pulling the strings. If you have missed it on the first four episodes, make sure to set your DVR to record the series starting this week.

Preview of Young Justice- episode five- ‘Schooled’


Official Synopsis

SUPERBOY’s anger over his non-relationship with SUPERMAN is getting out of control. He refuses to train with BLACK CANARY, and when THE TEAM faces an opponent that even the JUSTICE LEAGUE had trouble defeating, the Boy of Steel goes rogue.

The latest episode premieres Friday, February 4th on Cartoon Network.

Young Justice returns January 7th

I’m a Marvel Zombie at heart, but the new Young Justice series hits all the right cylinders for me. Tight scripting, fluid animation and a cast of characters that is just immense (in addition to the Young Justice team is the biggest JLA line-up I have ever seen in animated form, including two Green Lanterns!).

The two part premiere ‘Independence Day’ screened the day after Thanksgiving was a blast, leaving many wondering when the program would begin its regular run. Finally, a start date is here along with with the answer to the anxiously asked question ‘is Speedy really not in this series?’

If you missed out on the two parter, you may be able to catch it here.

The Justice League’s Green Arrow hits the mark in his first solo animated short

Green Arrow by George Perez

Showcase Presents: Green Arrow

–  review
The third animated short from Warner Entertainment, Showcase Presents: Green Arrow came bundled with the deluxe edition of Superman/Batman: Apocalypse (reviewed here).

A character dating back to the 1930’s, Green Arrow as created by Mort Weisinger and George Papp was essentially a Batman-clone with bows and arrows instead of batarangs. Each was a bored playboy (Green Arrow was secretly Oliver Queen), each had a cavernous hideout, each had a characteristic array of vehicles (Arrow-plane, Arrow-car, Bat-plane, Batmobile) and each had a young ward assistant (Batman has Robin, Green Arrow had Speedy).

The current Brave and the Bold cartoon series remembers this and has no qualms about bringing the gag back again and again.

He was re-introduced in the 60’s by way of Showcase Presents (ironically), an anthology series spotlighting characters without an ongoing monthly book. After a few oddball adventures courtesy of Jack Kirby, he was robbed of his playboy lifestyle given a new costume, a new personality and facial hair (courtesy Neal Adams and Denny O’Neill). The cranky left-wing bowman with an eye for the ladies is how Green Arrow is viewed today, but in actual fact, that is a rather modern take on the hero. It’s the best one, too. Mike Grell furthered this journey with a hard-hitting and gritty comic in the 80’s that was published for mature readers (it was a different time). This iteration ran its course until he was blown up on a plane with his arm stuck in a bomb. Revived in typical convoluted comic book logic via Kevin Smith’s story Quiver in 2003, the beard-twirling bowman has been entertaining a new generation of readers ever since.

I’ve always been partial to Green Arrow (and his plumb-hued counterpart Hawkeye at Marvel), possibly due to the fact that he’s just a man with lots of courage and determination fighting a battle that is often dominated by armor-plated or super-powered men and women. It takes a lot of guts to grow your beard that funky too.

Even with such a long history in comics, the animated short is only his fifth appearance on TV as a cartoon character (a brief walk-on in Super Friends, a costarring role in Justice League Unlimited, a co-starring appearance in The Batman and the afore-mentioned Brave and the Bold team-ups making up the other moments). A cocky and highly charismatic personality, Green Arrow is perfectly captured in this cartoon in ways that make you wonder why he never had his own series. DC Comics is known mainly for its mythology of heroes rather than its depth of characters, but there are exceptions with Oliver Queen being one of them.

The plot is simply that Oliver Queen is late to pick up his girlfriend and fellow superhero Black Canary at the airport. It’s no ordinary meeting, either. He’s packing an engagement ring and is nervous that anything could spoil his big moment. as a lifelong macho bachelor, this is a tense moment. On the way to pick her up he spots an old foe in the crowd, the evil archer Merlyn (voiced by Malcolm McDowell). In some ways, happy for the distraction, Queen takes action. Changing to his superhero duds, he soon finds himself thwarting an attempted kidnapping of a foreign princess on her way to becoming the heir to the throne of her land.

The action is fluid and non-stop, a quality that I admire more and more in these Showcase animated shorts. The physics of the human form and fighting moves are very exciting and really carry the action well.

The voice acting is superb and never distracting (a common problem with animated projects). Neal McDonough captures the smarmy and genuinely sincere persona of Green Arrow perfectly. She doesn’t have much to work with but veteran voice actress Grey DeLisle is a good choice for Black Canary. I do have to admit that I was a bit heads over heels with McDowell as as Merlyn. His smooth yet mad British accent is a magical thing and it fit the villainous bowman to a tee.

There has been some talk of a Green Arrow feature film entitled SuperMax. Set in a maximum security prison for super crooks, it would pit Green Arrow as the only hero stuck inside during a breakout. It’s an unusual pitch, but would really make the strengths of the character evident. It’s still in development limbo but as Warner panics over what to try after Green Lantern, it may come up again.

Even with a feature film appearance in the cards, I have to admit that the more I see these short animated features the more I want to see them rather than big budget versions with overblown CGi effects, bad acting, questionable scripts and studio politics getting in the way of what should be a 1 to 1 adaptation from page to screen. I mean, how good can the live action Green Lantern be compared to the First Flight animated feature? Why bother filming a Wonder Woman live action film when the animated movie suffices?

DC Comics has really hit upon something with these animated films and the Showcase Presents short films is just a steadily building layer of icing on a delicious cake.

If you have missed out on these wonderful shorts, Warner Bros. has released them in extended form as part of a budget-priced volume along with a new feature spotlighting Shazam and Superman against Black Adam. It’s a great set and comes highly recommended.

Superman/Shazam: The Return of Black Adam (DC Showcase)

Green Lantern/Green Arrow Collection - Volume 1

Young Justice- Independence Day review

There’s a new DC animated series, Young Justice.

A fusion of Justice League and Teen Titans along with several comic book stories, the series premiered on the Cartoon Network with a one hour adventure, Independence Day this past week.

The two-part premiere introduces viewers to characters that are very familiar; Robin, Kid Flash, Speedy and Aqualad – the sidekicks to Batman, the Flash, Green Arrow and Aquaman. Throughout standard sequences against ice-themed villains, the pairings of mentor and sidekick convene for a special event, the inclusion of the teenagers into the Justice League… or so the teens expected. Instead, the Justice League have arranged for access to the JLA’s services and facilities, a move that offends Speedy who storms out after ranting about how he demands to be viewed as more than a sidekick. When the JLA receive what appears to be reports of a fire at Cadmus Labs and a deep-space threat, the team decides to let the civilian fire fighters deal with Cadmus while they transport themselves to the Justice League’s satellite HQ circling the planet.

Robin, Aqualad and Kid Flash are left to ruminate on Speedy’s tirade and decide to investigate Cadmus Labs, a facility that Batman remarked has caught his interest. The result is an adventure into the depths of a top secret research facility involved in several projects that could threaten the planet, overseen by a cryptic overlord called ‘The Light.’

The Teen Titans comic book series has had several iterations over the years including the manga-influenced cartoon that brought the team to a new audience. The new version is action/adventure-oriented and written to a more sophisticated audience, much like the Batman, Superman and Justice League cartoons that preceded it. The DC Animated DVD features have obviously influenced the Young Justice cartoon series, with action sequences that have been progressively more elaborate and innovative character designs.

One slight speed-bump is that this is yet another version of characters that have been seen in many versions both in comics and in animation… and this is yet another version. For instance, this is not the Robin from the Batman animated series, The Batman cartoon, Batman: Brave and the Bold or Teen Titans. It’s meant to be Dick Grayson, though he is more like the third version of Robin – Tim Drake than the first Robin.  Wally West, a character who has been Flash on the Justice League cartoon is Kid Flash in the Young Justice cartoon even though the teen speedster of the Young Justice comic book was Impulse, a teen from the future. If you think about it too much, you’ll just get dizzy, but if you accept what you are given in the Young Justice cartoon, it all works fine.

Independence Day takes nods to several sources from the Teen Titans series by Geoff Johns and Jack Kirby’s Jimmy Olsen comics (the Guardian and Cadmus’ gene-gnomes project), making it a mixture of great ideas. Thus story has been told several times over in various ways, so it takes a lot to make viewers invested in yet another version of the Justice League and Teen Titans. This one accomplishes that task so well it makes it look easy.

Set on Earth 16, this series is another version of the DC Universe that we have seen in the comics, animated films and on TV. Set shortly after superheroes have emerged on the planet, the cast of characters is a mixture of the classic and new; Robin (Dick Grayson), Kid Flash (Wally West), Speedy, Aqualad (a new character), Artemis (a mystery character) and Miss Martian. Aqualad (real name: Kaldur’ahm) is the team leader, a deviation from the norm which has traditionally favored Robin as the leader of the Teen Titans. Aqualad is also the son of longtime Aqualad supervillain Black Manta, another unusual choice that promises for some interesting plot developments.

Voice actor Bruce Greenwood (Batman: Under the Red Hood) is back as Batman as is Nolan North, an erudite voice actor from Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths where he voiced both Green Lantern and Power Ring and Hulk Vs. in which he voiced Deadpool will be featured as Superman and Superboy. North isn’t the only actor pulling double duty, however. DC Animated regular Phil LaMarr (Justice League’s Green Lantern) is voicing Aquaman and Green Arrow. Celebrities Rob Lowe and Marina Sirtis will be providing voices later in the series.

Greg Weisman (SUPERMAN/BATMAN: APOCALYPSE, DC COMICS SHOWCASE: GREEN ARROW, GARGOYLES and SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN) and Brandon Vietti (Legion of Super Heroes, The Batman, Batman: The Brave and the Bold and Batman: Under the Red Hood) are the developers of this program along with Geoff Johns (Chief Creative Officer of DC Entertainment). Weisman and Vietti are getting to be old hands at crafting these comic book/animation projects and it shows. Not to cast the die too early, but this cartoon is easily of the same quality of the Justice League animated series. The animation is fluid (unusually so for TV), the dialog sharp and the plotting smart. Character designs by Phil Bourassa (Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths) are different enough to be eye-catching without being distracting.

Weisman and Vietti have apparently drafted up plots for two years’ worth of episodes, but there is no word from DC Entertainment yet as to their plans. As a follower of TV cartoons. I have seen many an excellent animated series meet an early end due to low viewing figures. Seeing as how Warner Bros. has re-evaluated their properties and formed DC Entertainment to focus on their many characters in various mediums from the big screen to video games, I had high hopes that they will see the potential in Young Justice.

If you are on the fence about this cartoon, get off it quickly. This is the most high quality animated DC Comics cartoon in a long while.

Make sure to bookmark the official website for Young Justice for updates.

Green Lantern 2 and the Flash movie news

Marvel Comics certainly held court at the San Diego Comic Con this past Summer, they even had a massive throne from their Thor movie to complete the moment! This made their Distinguished Competition look a little flat in the motion picture department despite their development on Green Lantern, a film that promises to give a much-needed shot in the arm to the house of Superman.

Despite the major success of the two Chris Nolan Batman movies, their more super-powered project Superman Returns was something of a flop with audiences and a major disappointment to executives. The box office clamor over Iron Man has changed the landscape of comic book movies, though, and DC/Warner is looking for a contender… which may be Green Lantern (read more about who Green Lantern is here).

Green_Lantern

DC Entertainment (as they have rebranded themselves) has been very hesitant to announce anything past Green Lantern as the failure or success of the ring-slinging action flick will determine the future of any other potential Justice League-themed movies.

However, Marc Guggenheim (Green Lantern, Flash, Young X-Men) has recently broken the silence on the subject, stating that not only is a second Green Lantern movie planned (the film just wrapped filming) but also a Flash movie is in the works.

Much like his green-hued compatriot, the fleet-footed scarlet speedster has enjoyed something of a renaissance lately with the revival of the Silver Age Flash, Barry Allen. No doubt the Flash would make an ideal candidate for a motion picture treatment, in fact there have been rumors dating back a few years that it was in the works, with Ryan Reynolds rumored to play the wise-cracking Wally West (Flash #3).

Three Flashes? Confused? Read more about the Flash here.

But it sounds like we may have to wait a bit longer before fans are assaulted with Flash-themed movie tie-ins and the like as once again, Warner Bros. is very reluctant to bank on a horse that isn’t a sure thing.

Marc Guggenheim said: “We’ve turned in the treatment for ‘Flash.’ And we’re talking about ‘Green Lantern 2.’ It would be a quality problem to have, to think about a third [‘Green Lantern’ right now]. But one step at a time. I think it’s very hard to talk about these characters in a closed-ended, sort of non-sequel way, especially characters like The Flash and Green Lantern, which have such rich, long histories. You can’t help but talk about the characters and go, ‘Oh, I really want to do the movie where we get to this moment, or that moment.’ So you’re always talking in terms of sequels, but no, nothing’s planned. We haven’t even written the script yet for ‘The Flash.’ It’s very much one step at a time for ‘The Flash.'”

More here.

Animated Shorts of the DC Universe

Back in the day, when Bruce Timm and company were riding high on the success of the critically acclaimed Batman the Animated Series, they were planning to develop a new weekly animated series that would closely resemble the Showcase Presents anthology comics from their childhood. Teaming up an established hero with a relatively unknown or obscure character, the series would see the Question and other heroes debut in animated form. This concept was shelved as the Justice League cartoon went into production, but crept back in through the Justice League Unlimited model years later as the more popular members of the team made way for adventures that focused on Vigilante, the Question, Green Arrow and the Huntress. These episodes served to break up the over-arching storyline that was written through the entire series and involved the big seven heroes; Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, the Flash, Martian Manhunter and Hawkgirl. Everyone got what they wanted, it would seem.

More recently, the straight to DVD market has proven successful enough to include additional material, short 10-minute featurettes centering the action on relatively obscure heroes.

To be released on November 9th is an eagerly awaited collection of animated short films:

Green Arrow and Black Canary

“Green Arrow” by Greg Weisman; “The Spectre,” by Steve Niles; “Jonah Hex” by Joe Lansdale and a 22 minute-long special length short “Superman/Shazam! The Return of Black Adam.” While the first three shorts have already been released on Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths and Batman: Under the Red Hood and the Green Arrow short will be an extra on the upcoming Superman/Batman: Apocalypse DVD, the last short is unique for this collection.
Comic book fans love Batman and Superman, but there is a unique thrill at seeing third-tier creations such as Blue Beetle or the Creeper in animated form. At the recent San Diego Comic Con, it was revealed that the animation arm of DC Entertainment is interested in further developing these shorts and this collection is a surefire way to test the market to see if they can stand on their own.

Aquaman

Responding the relative lack of animated representation of Aquaman, the SDCC2010 panel could only confirm that the Aquaman family would be very present in the Young Justice animated series to debut this Fall on the Cartoon Network. Young Justice boasts a Justice League of America team 16 members strong, so chances are fan favorites will be in there somewhere!

Personally, I am waiting on an animated Aquaman film that shows similar dedication to the source material as the Green Lantern: First Flight and Wonder Woman animated projects. Apparently, such a film is not in production yet, but after the very vocal support at the San Diego Comic Con, that situation may have changed!

Superman/Batman: Apocalypse