It’s pretty much a case of “Tentacles, Tentacles everywhere!” for DC Comics’ cheesecake Ame-Comi girls, with this piece of slithering comic book art from Brazilian comic book artist Eduardo Francisco.
The League takes on a villain destined to be one of the greatest threats to the DC Universe: the mysterious Cheetah! But who is she? What is her connection to Wonder Woman? And how will this fundamentally change relationships within the team?
Written by Geoff Johns, the interior art team of Tony S. Daniel and Richard Friend were also tasked with coming up with this brilliantly detailed cover of carnage, featuring a rather angry Cheetah taking on pretty much the entire Justice League!
Dominique Fam is a Singapore-based illustrator who specializes in digital paintings. Outside of all his corporate work, he also finds the time to do a bit of fun stuff on the side, including this great shot of a visibly mad Wonder Woman discovering a sneaky Plastic Man plot!
And note the reflection of Power Girl just about to make him see the error of his ways in Plastic Man’s spectacles!
Filipino Canadian comic book artist Francis Manapul has put in some great work for Top Cow, Aspen, and Image (most notably Witchblade) and is currently signed on with DC busy handling the art chores for their rebooted Flash series.
He has an enjoyable art style to take in and is certainly capable of producing some stunningly beautiful and striking pieces of work, one such beauty being this depiction of Diana, Princess of the Amazons, and better known to us as Wonder Woman of course!
The Justice League consists of Earth’s finest super heroes and protectors of humanity. But in the mind of the Dark Knight, it contains potentially the most dangerous people on the planet. Over time, Batman has compiled top-secret contingency plans should any of them go rogue. When these files are stolen by a rising group of super villains, the Justice League embarks on a collision course that will test the very fabric of its alliance!
Director Lauren Montgomery and producers Bruce Timm and Sam Register are back, with the last ever movie script penned by the venerable Dwayne McDuffie before his untimely passing. Released in February 2012, Justice League: Doom is the 13th film in the DC Universe Animated Original Movies line.
The JL line-up for this outing consists of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), The Flash (Barry Allen) and Martian Manhunter, with the assistance of Cyborg who ends up playing a pivotal role in the saga. Up against them is Vandal Savage, leading a group consisting of Metallo, Mirror Master, Cheetah, Star Sapphire, Bane and Ma’alefa’ak – basically a villain from each hero’s rogues gallery and thus perfect to round things off. What follows is an excellently paced action drama that sees each of the heroes incapacitated in a surprising manner, as Vandal sets about his plan to create a new world order – which of course makes for quite an epic ending.
Being a team-based movie, not a lot of time is lavished on one single hero, but the air time is split evenly enough that you don’t feel hard done by if you support a particular character, and the various threads all combine very nicely to provide a solid and enjoyable super hero tale that has plenty of drama, intrigue and of course fist pounding action (not to mention a giggle here and there)!
Although not a direct sequel to the earlier Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, the movie does use the same character designs as the former, and to be frank, despite some of the more pretty boy faces like Superman to get used to as well as the sometimes too sparse line-work, the visuals are for the most part crisp, clean and very well animated, with some fluid choreography and effects, not to mention the vibrant colour palette it sports.
Christopher Drake scores the film and complementing the great soundtrack is a stellar vocal performance from all of the voice actors attached to the project, which includes the likes of Kevin Conroy as Batman, Time Daly as Superman and Nathan Fillion as Green Lantern.
In summary this is yet another excellently crafted super hero movie and a worthy inclusion in what is a fantastic DC animated movie line-up. Strong story which keeps you engaged from start to finish, great visuals and animation, plus a polished sound makes Justice League: Doom well worth tracking down!
Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justice_League:_Doom
Because I don’t have all the time in the world to spend on blogging, here are some thoughts on a couple of animated features I recently watched, instead of my usual review efforts. Sorry about that, but priorities, priorities! :P
Justice League Unlimited Season 2 (2005)
Now widening the net to include all manner of DC heroes, both primary and secondary, the second season of the fantastic Justice League Unlimited franchise moves on from Project Cadmus, which dominated much of the first season, and instead provides a overarching plot that sees Gorilla Grodd and his sinister Secrety Society now tangling with the various members of the Justice League as the standalone episode format eventually dovetails into a brilliant extended finale.
If you are a long term follower of the DC comic book universe then you’ll definitely get a kick out of this season, meeting a lot of fringe characters not normally afforded screen time, and as a whole, season 2 of Justice League Unlimited really does make for an enjoyable, animated super hero watch.
It comes with the perfect mix of drama, action and comedy, looks great with its slick, simple but stylized animation, and is voiced by an incredible collection of talented people, all mixed in with a great soundtrack.
If you are a comic book fan then there is simply no way that you won’t enjoy seeing this.
Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justice_League_Unlimited
Justice League (Secret Origins) (2002)
This DVD collects the first three episodes of the stellar original Justice League run, stitching them up into a single movie experience. It’s a great League origin story with compelling drama, likeable characters, a touch of humor, and of course great super hero action.
The simple but effective (and stylish) DCAU animation style works well for this show and combined with some fantastic voice talent and musical scoring, this really is a fun outing if you enjoy your animated super hero fare!
Certainly a classic and well worth the watch.
Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justice_League_%28TV_series%29
Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008)
I’m not a Star Wars fan, so luckily for me, I can walk into this animated movie experience without expecting too much. Frankly, it is an enjoyable tale of how Anakin gets saddled with an unwanted, brash student and who are then thrust into a difficult situation as they seek to rescue the kidnapped child of their foe – before time runs out.
If you can ignore the stupid (childish) lines that the poor droids often get saddled with and the sometimes stilted dialog between the Jedi, Star Wars: The Clone Wars is an enjoyable watch with plenty of action, a decent amount of drama, and the occasional giggle or two (though not from the forced humor which is driven through the droids. Didn’t really understand the need for that).
Visually the stylized CG is a treat, and of course aurally the movie is just as strong, with some great performances from the various voice actors involved. As you can expect, the musical score is also as strong as ever for something involved in the Star Wars universe, and so in summary, Star Wars: The Clone Wars is an enjoyable movie lead-in to animated series shown on Cartoon Network.
But like I said, I can walk into this movie without expectations, and thus ended up enjoying it. Real Star Wars fans apparently pan it. I can only guess that they’re sore from having their beloved franchise stretched even further from its original roots!
Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Wars:_Clone_Wars_%28film%29
It is not often that you see Diana (or Wonder Woman if you prefer) being escorted away in handcuffs, but that is exactly the scenario painted in Wonder Woman #220, written by Greg Rucka with interior art by David Lopez and Bit, released in 2005.
This particularly stunning, detailed cover comes to us courtesy of cover artist extraordinaire, J.G. Jones, capturing this moment in time almost photo realistically.
An American comic book artist, J.G. Jones is best known for his various cover artist pieces that span a variety of different titles and publishers, from Y: The Last Man all the way through to all 52 covers for the series 52. As for interior artwork, his credits include Wonder Woman: The Hiketeia from DC and Mark Millar’s Wanted from Top Cow.
The Island of Themyscira, a mystical place populated by the strong Amazon warrior caste that shun all male contact and who have gone so far as to cut themselves off from the corrupt world of man entirely. However, one of their sisters has broken their rank and aided the escape of Ares, the fearsome God of War. Seeking the enslavement of man and revenge on the hated Amazon race, Ares now threatens everything that civilization has ever created on a global scale.
However, strong-willed and impetuous daughter of the queen, Warrior Princess Diana vows to leave the island and re-capture Ares, determined not to be stopped in her newfound mission no matter who might get in her way – including her very own mother! Together with the cocky fighter pilot Steve Trevor who managed to survive crashing his plane on their sacred island (thus becoming the first man to set foot on Themyscira in eons), Diana tracks Ares down to the United States, where she now prepares for a battle, the likes of which this world has yet to see!
The warrior princess, Wonder Woman is a 2009 direct to video animated film arising from the Warner Bros. Animation and DC Comics growing stable of comic-book related films. Written by Gail Simone and Michael Jelenic, Wonder Woman is directed by Lauren Montgomery who had previously directed the second act of Superman: Doomsday as well as being involved on the storyboards for Justice League: The New Frontier. As with almost all the current crop of DC Comics animated movies, legendary DC Comics animation veteran Bruce Timm casts his producer eye over the proceedings.
Taking us back to the roots of the Wonder Woman mythos and focussing on how Diana got to take up the mantle of the Amazon Princess, the story delves nicely into the motivations behind Themyscira’s isolation policy and the general attitudes of its inhabitants. Walking us nicely through the type of people that the Amazon sisterhood represents, it then continues to build up some tense steam by revealing the movie’s atagonist and setting in motion the events that will eventually see the headstrong young Diana leave her island and come to the world of man, where she’ll get to learn about us from her already narrowed mindset. This presents us with some great character development as the movie progresses and the interaction between Diana and the cocky fighter pilot Steve Trevor makes for a great dynamic that eventually takes us straight into the heart of the matter as to just why Diana eventually becomes the iconic Wonder Woman that we all know and love so.
As for the conflict, Ares proves to be a great foil to Diana and provides some fantastic tension which the story then cranks up and finally lets blow with one huge battle sequence at the end of what can only be described as quite the entertaining outing. Some great humour, good character development on the part of Diana, lots of action, and quite frankly, an excellent interpretation of Wonder Woman’s origin story.
As for the musical score and voice casting, the entire job do an absolutely sterling job. Also, apart from the usual bunch of voice actors like Tara Strong and John DiMaggio who always seem to have their hands in these particular projects, Wonder Woman manages to throw in some surprise inclusions in terms of the character voices, featuring for example Keri Russell as an excellent Princess Diana, Nathan Fillion as Steve Trevor, Alfred Molina as Ares, Rosario Dawson as Artemis, Marg Helgenberger as Hera and even Oliver Platt as Hades! All of these recognisable TV and movie faces bring their best to the game and in the end we are left with an absolutely great sounding film that just happens to have the extra little boost in terms of star power.
Visually, Wonder Woman is absolutely slick. A sumptuous palette of vibrant colours and extremely detailed backgrounds lays the foundation on which some beautifully designed and realised characters find themselves acting out the film’s often intense scenes. There are a number of huge battle sequences and action-packed fight scenes and the animators seem eager not to take shortcuts and show everything in its full glory. Often violent, often bloody, there is some really great choreography to be had here, over and above the already smooth and detailed animation presented here.
In summary, Wonder Woman is an absolutely fantastic animated film that is well made, well presented and will be sure to please the most hardened of DC Comic book fans. There are a couple of gaping plot scratching head moments like the Amazons storming the beaches of America to join in the final battle, but if you can cast aside these worries about ‘realism’ for a bit, then you really should be enjoying this animated feature. It is faithful to its source character and examines the world exactly like she would and in the process, delivers some killer fight scenes, a great little story and plenty of animated bliss to absorb and enjoy! :)
Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wonder_Woman_(film)