This month seen the release of DC Entertainment’s and War Bros. Animation’s Justice League Dark: Apokolips War, the concluding film to the DC Animated Movie Universe (DCAMU), which has elements inspired by the New 52 continuity in DC Comics. The DCAMU began back in 2013 with Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, which since then has seen fourteen other films feature within this universe, Apokolips War included. So this week I decided to sit down and watch the fifteen animated films set in the DC Animated Universe and rank them in order of least liked to favourite of them all.
Of course this is based on my own personal opinion and it might align with your preferences or it may be completely different from your own, that’s the beauty of film. So without further delay, here’s my ranking of the DC Animated Movie Universe.
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
15. Justice League: Throne of Atlantis (2015)
Is this the king you want, Atlanteans? A coward who lies to you? You need a light to guide you in the darkness, people of Atlantis. My people.
– Arthur Curry/Aquaman
The fourth installment in the DC Animated Move Universe that serves not only as an origin story to Aquaman, but also a sequel to Justice League: War. Ethan Spaulding returned to helm after directing other DCAMU feature Son of Batman, as well as DC animated standalone Batman: Assault on Arkham, with Heath Corson adapting the Throne of Atlantis arc in the comics by Geoff Johns, Paul Pelletier and Ivan Reis. There’s some elements of this film I like here. A few voice acting changes from Justice League: War (Jerry O’Connell taking over Alan Tudyk as Superman, Nathan Fillion returning over Justin Kirk as Hal Jordan and Rosario Dawson over Michelle Monaghan as Wonder Woman) serve better here with their performances, as well as Sam Witwer being compellingly over-the-top (as he should be) with his performance as the primary villain Orm aka Ocean Master. I also thoI also liked how certain characters are introduced here as almost a throwaway bit (John Henry Irons being saved by Superman) that will later have a larger part to play in the continuity. The primarily issue I have with Throne of Atlantis is that it’s half an Aquaman origins film and half a Justice League film that overall comes to nothing in the grand scheme of things as we’re given no real reason to care for Arthur Curry discovering his Atlantean heritage, while we focus on the League discovering that Atlantis is real, serving their purpose on fighting Orm and his army in the final act and Cyborg plucking up the courage to ask S.T.A.R Labs scientist Sarah Charles out on a date. I also felt underwhelmed with the use of Black Manta here (voiced by Harry Lennix), who clearly has a long-term goal arc here but his conclusion in the film feels…anti-climatic (and as you see in the DCAMU going forward as he pops up every now and then, the moment in Throne of Atlantis feels like a cheap effect just to give us a cool moment). There still feels a trial and error methodology going on during this time in the DCAMU continuity, between the characterisations of the heroes, as well as the use of the animation style to tell the story, unfortunately I just expected more from this film but fun it to be bland.
14. Son of Batman (2014)
Watch yourself, Pennyworth. I’m not so young that I don’t understand sarcasm.
While I am much too old to care.
– Damian Wayne and Alfred Pennyworth
Son of Batman is the third installment in the DC Animated Movie Universe, following right after from Justice League: War, with Ethan Spaulding helming his first film in this continuity, with Joe R. Lansdale adapting the Batman and Son storyline created by Grant Morrison and Andy Kubert. The premise is simple: Batman learns that he has a teenage son with Talia al Ghul, whose has secretly been raising him with Ra’s al Ghul and the League of Assassins. When Ra’s is killed by Slade Wilson aka Deathstroke, leading to Talia taking Damian to meet his father and have him safe. So the film focuses on Batman working to prevent his son from taking revenge and guide him down his moral, more righteous path, whilst trying to develop and strengthen of the father and son connection. On paper, it’s an interesting storyline to try and adapt but in execution it just didn’t work. Primarily because Damian Wayne is an absolutely unlikeable character, which is the point at this moment of his character journey in the DCAMU, but to watch its execution is pretty grating. I also wasn’t a fan particularly of how Thomas Gibson voiced Slade Wilson/Deathstroke, it just didn’t suit with me. Jason O’Mara for me has always been a fine Bruce Wayne/Batman, it still feels like he’s finding his footing here to put his own spin of the character. Some of the animation works well, particularly in the opening sequence of Deathstroke and his squad ambushing the League of Assassins headquarters, but some of it just doesn’t work at all, such as the Man-Bats being involved in this story in general, as Deathstroke’s grand master plan is to create superhuman, flight-capable ninjas. It’s as idiotic as it sounds.
13. Justice League: War (2014)
We’re fighting alongside an alien, an Amazon, a human lightning bolt, a cyborg and a speedster. As far as I can tell, Hal, you and I are the only normal people here.
– Bruce Wayne/Batman
Following up from Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, Jay Oliva directed the next installment Justice League: War, with Heath Corson adapting the comic Justice League: Origin by Geoff Johns and Jim Lee. I liked how this film handled Cyborg’s origin, it was arguably my favourite part of the film as the rest of the superheroes are seemingly established, so we have more of an emotional connection to Victor Stone and what he becomes and the way they visualise that is pretty effective. Some of the action is decent too, but I’ll never not laugh at how Hal Jordan goes into battle first with Darkseid, gets punched and then jumped on by a few parademons. Outside of the action and the Cyborg origin, there’s nothing else really to write home about and the characterisations are pretty much paper thin outside of the interactions between Bruce Wayne and Hal Jordan and overall, it’s pretty lacklustre. Some of the voice acting works here, particularly Shemar Moore as Cyborg and Christopher Gorham as The Flash, but I could not buy into Alan Tudyk as Superman at all, Justin Kirk as Green Lantern is too annoying and Jason O’Mara as Batman I found to be jarring in his first outing as the caped crusader. While I liked her performance as Wonder Woman, Michelle Monaghan isn’t given much to here and unfortunately never got the chance moving forward in the DCAMU. Also the animation style doesn’t work for me here, particularly in some of the long-shot takes of the parademons flying over the city.
12. Wonder Woman: Bloodlines (2019)
I was really hoping the whole “maze” thing was just a metaphor.
– Steve Trevor
Wonder Woman tries to help a troubled young girl, Vanessa, who has fallen in with a deadly organisation known as Villainy Inc. headed by Dr. Cyber.
The fourteenth and second last installment in the DC Animated Movie Universe was the standalone Wonder Woman film, Wonder Woman: Bloodlines, directed by Sam Liu and Justin Copeland, with the story written by Mairghread Scott. Serving as a brief introduction to how Diana Prince encountered Steve Trevor and left Themyscira to help him of an incoming danger to Man’s world, it primarily focuses on the relationship between Diana and Vanessa Kapatelis, daughter of Dr. Julia Kapatelis who takes Diana in and pays more attention to her than her own daughter, causing Vanessa to be jealous of Diana. Once tragedy strikes, it leads Vanessa down a path of becoming supervillain Black Swan. Instinctively what you will notice that makes Wonder Woman: Bloodlines standout from the rest of the DCAMU counterparts is the animation style, it’s more crisp and visually colourful than I expected it to be. It’s nice to see Wonder Woman finally got another lead animated feature and serves more of a standalone in comparison to the rest of the DC Animated Movie Universe continuity, though there is a few brief mentions of other characters here and there, particularly Diana acknowledging the past relationship with Superman. Rosario Dawson suits the performance of Wonder Woman here, as does Marie Avgeropoulos as Vanessa Kapatelis, Jeffrey Donovan as Steve Trevor, Adrienne C. Moore as Etta Candy and Michael Dorn as Ferdinand the Minotaur. The major problem I had with the film is in bringing Villainy Inc. into the fold, with the runtime it feels like there’s too many villains here and kind of overshadows the interesting arc of emotional friction they’ve got going on between Diana and Vanessa.
11. Justice League vs Teen Titans (2016)
How much do you have to know when people are in need? Garfield was eleven when his genetics kicked in and gave him green skin and powers. We still don’t know the purpose of Jaime’s alien armour or all of its abilities. We just knew they needed help. You have to have a little faith sometimes.
Faith is belief based on an absence of data.
– Koriand’r and Damian Wayne
Justice League vs Teen Titans is the seventh installment in the DC Animated Movie Universe, which is loosely based on the comic New Teen Titans: Terror of Trigon, directed by Sam Liu and written by Bryan Q. Miller and Alan Burnett. After Damian fails to obey his orders during a mission against the Legion of Doom, Bruce decides enough is enough and it’s time for Robin to learn the meaning of teamwork by sending him to join the Teen Titans. Meanwhile, a villainous Trigon emerges and possesses the League, threatening to be unleashed and conquer the world, throwing the young Titans into action. While his character still comes across as an annoying brat, I actually liked Damian Wayne’s character growth here as this is where his character starts to curve in terms of how he’s come since Son of Batman, showing us how far he’s come during a climatic moment in the final act and his interactions with his fellow teenage counterparts are pretty similar to how his father, at times, would talk to members of the League (particularly if you look back to Justice League: War, when Green Lantern and Batman go on about the Green Lantern ring). I also liked how Raven’s backstory was also brought to the forefront here and how her and Trigon are connected. The films title is pretty misleading thought as while the League do get possessed in some way, it’s only a small fraction of the films runtime and pretty much serves no overall purpose other than to entice fans into watching it by name recognition alone. There’s a few things that feel tonally out of place here, from a montage to a dance dance game sequence at the amusement park in particular. Some long-time fans of the comics/animated films (pre-DCAMU especially) might not be a fan of how Dick Grayson/Nightwing is treated, but that mainly hangs over the course of this continuity in general, as well as his relationship with Starfire (and how the latter is sexualised in general) is used for comedic effect yet it can be more ineffective in that regard. The voice acting is solid enough, from Stuart Allan continuing his work as Damian Wayne, to Taissa Farmiga as Raven, Kari Wahlgren as Starfire and Jon Bernthal as Trigon.
10. Batman: Hush (2019)
I had to try. If someone can be saved, I have to try.
You do, don’t you? It’s a compulsion. You and your goddamn code. And you’ll die because of it, you know this, right? Will that make it all better?
Without a code, I’m no better than them.
– Bruce Wayne/Batman and Selina Kyle/Catwoman
The thirteenth installment in the DC Animated Movie Universe, and the final Batman standalone film, was directed by Justin Copeland and adapted by Ernie Altbacker, which is of course based on the comic of the same name by Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee. In this animated adaptation we see Bruce Wayne having to confront a new threat named Hush, who knows all of Batman’s secrets and is using multiple of the Dark Knight’s enemies and allies to destroy the personal life of Bruce Wayne and his alter ego. On paper, it’s bold of them to adapt this well received comic storyline and even bolder yet, is that they make a few key changes that have major implications as to how the viewer will feel about the film. The main highlight of the film for me personally, was how it handled the relationship between Bruce Wayne and Selena Kyle. Their whole song and dance between keeping their identities hidden from each other as well as how they interact as their alter egos kept me engaged throughout. It’s the first time (since the original animated series universe maybe?) in a long time that I believe that the nature if their relationship is explored and it is the primary focus here and for me it works thanks to how Jason O’Mara and Jennifer Morrison compliment each other as their respective characters. There’s a few notable sequences here that will capture your attention, such as a showdown between Batman and Catwoman vs a Poison-Ivy hypnotised Superman in Metropolis, Harley Quinn appearing at the Opera house and of course the showdown between Batman and Hush in the final act. The animation in these sequences are well done and are edited well. The inclusion of a host of characters in Batman’s rogues gallery will keep fans entertained.
09. Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay (2018)
What about you, gunman? Think the card can wipe away all the blood you spilled? Or don’t you believe in heaven?
I believe in heaven, Boomer. Every time you shut your mouth.
– Captain Boomerang and Deadshot
Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay is the tenth installment in the DC Animated Movie Universe, which is directed by Sam Liu, with the story written by Alan Burnett. We focus on Task Force X, a squad consisting of Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Bronze Tiger, Captain Boomerang, Killer Frost and Copperhead, having to risk their lives to retrieve a powerful object. The object in question: a literal ‘Get out of hell free’ card. While the Suicide Squad may have featured heavily in Batman: Assault on Arkham back in 2014, Hell to Pay marks debut of the squad within in this continuity, especially with the characters that they utilise in the squad, from Deadshot to Bronze Tiger to Harley Quinn to Captain Boomerang. I also liked how it built up the motivation of main villain Professor Zoom, whose out to claim the card for himself, and when it’s revealed as to why it’s very effective and I can remember being caught off guard by it whenever I first watched it. The tone of the film is different from the rest of the DCAMU features, the title credits make it pulpy, giving off grindhouse vibes to it and with the violence (and the puns), it works if you view the film as such. For me personally, outside of the film I’ve chosen for number one, I think the voice casting here amongst the key players might be my favourite, from Christian Slater as Deadshot, to Billy Brown as Bronze Tiger, Tara Strong as Harley Quinn, Liam McIntyre as Captain Boomerang, Vanessa Williams as Amanda Waller, and of course C. Thomas Howell as Professor Zoom. Granted some of the script is lacking, there’s too many characters introduced and sub-plots that are created that are rendered useless by the end of the film and the use of Vandal Savage here is pretty much wasted. There’s also some pacing issues here and there, particularly in a film so brutal, some of the childish attempts of humour doesn’t fit. Still though, it’s an entertaining view that’s different from the rest of the DC Animated Movie Universe and it’s a shame we never saw the return of Slater as Deadshot.
08. Batman: Bad Blood (2016)
Your butler is a part of this too?
Trust me he is a total badass.
– Batwoman and Nightwing
Batman: Bad Blood is the sixth installment in the DC Animated Movie Universe, that also serves as a sequel to Batman vs Robin. Written by J. M. DeMatteis. Batman arrives in the heat of a fight between Batwoman and a group of Gotham criminals that includes Electrocutioner, Blockbuster, Firefly, Killer Moth and the mysterious apparent leader known as the Heretic. As Heretic blows up a facility, it’s believed that Batman/Bruce Wayne is dead. Weeks pass and there’s still no sign of Bruce Wayne or Batman which doesn’t go unnoticed, leading to Nightwing and Robin patrolling the streets of Gotham, leading an investigation to Batman’s disappearance, which Batwoman also takes part in, as does emerging superhero Nightwing. I actually enjoyed the fact that Bad Blood focuses more on the Bat family in general and what they would do with Bruce no longer around, especially having Dick Grayson (finally!) being at the forefront, having to take on the mantle of Batman in order to prevent chaos reigning in Gotham in the midst of his mentors absence. I enjoyed the interaction between him and Damian Wayne, their dynamic made for some interesting scenes and I thought the introduction of Kate Kane into this universe was well handled here and as for Luke Fox, his character is fine, but is not given as much depth in his introduction in comparison to Kate. The animation style is what you’ve come to expect in this universe and it’s fine in that regard, the primary disappoint with the film is the motivations of the villains and especially how the Heretic has a promising introduction and a disappointing reveal and finale.
07. Teen Titans: The Judas Contract (2017)
What have you done to Robin?
I beat the crap out of him for being mouthy. Come on, you’ve all had the urge.
– Starfire and Deathstroke
The Teen Titans have built a cohesive team in their never-ending battle against evil but their newest teammate, the mysterious, and powerful, Terra, may be altering that dynamic.
Teen Titans: The Judas Contract, is the ninth installment in the DC Animated Movie Universe and also serves as a sequel to Justice League vs Teen Titans. The film is based on The Judas Contract comic by Marc Wolfman and George Pérez, which is adapted here by Ernie Altbacker and directed by Sam Liu. The film sees Nightwing rejoin the Titans to track down a terrorist cult led by Brother Blood, who plans to capture the team and absorb each of their abilities with a machine. As Blood hires Deathstroke to deliver the Titans to him, we known that he has a mole on the inside in Terra, who joined the titans a year prior. While the innuendo game rages on between Nightwing and Starfire, The Judas Contract is a pretty solid film, developing some of the characters here that didn’t get their chance in Justice League vs Teen Titans. Jaime Reyes aka Blue Beetle is struggling to come to terms with his new life being away from his family, while we also focus on childish Garf aka Beast Boy developing feelings for Terra. Being based on the comic of the same name, the film wastes no time in dragging out the twist of Terra working with Slade Wilson and the film benefits from it. The film also benefits from having the late Miguel Ferrer voice Deathstroke, he’s so much more menacing than Gibson’s was in Son of Batman. Brandon Soo Hoo and Jake T. Austin get more time to shine in this installment and Christina Ricci is also good as Terra. While Brother Blood is an uninteresting villain, it’s the interactions between the Titans outside of battle and the emotional turmoil it creates in the final act that makes it worthwhile viewing.
06. Batman vs. Robin (2015)
You and the Court tried to take control of my city and destroy my home… but worst of all, you messed with my kid. So this is gonna hurt and I’m gonna enjoy it.
Batman vs Robin is the fifth installment in the DC Animated Movie Universe and is based on the Batman: The Court of Owls storyline by Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo and Jonathan Glapion. Adapted by J. M. DeMatteis and directed by Jay Oliva, the film serves as a sequel to Son of Batman, where a mysterious owl-masked figure named Talon is interested in having Damian Wayne join in and the Court of Owls, a secret society made up of Gotham’s wealthiest, who have been deciding the fate of Gotham for centuries and killed whoever opposed them with assassins. Believing what he once thought that the Court of Owls were responsible for his parents murder, Batman’s investigation leads right to their existence and Damian Wayne having to decide where his destiny lies. While the film is based on the Court of Owls arc, the primary arc and angst here is in the father and son relationship that’s still developing between Bruce and Damian. Stuart Allan gets a lot more material to deal with here of a child soldier trying to readjust to a new way of living, while Jason O’Mara has deal with the emotional toll Bruce has to deal with having an actual son that’s grown up full of rage and hate. Is Damian still a brat here? Yes. Does Damian also appear to be really strong based on two films taking on Deathstroke, Nightwing and Batman? Absolutely. The story of the Court of Owls is one of the strongest elements in the film, particularly that of the villain Talon, while he appears to be doing the Courts bidding, he seems to have his own agenda in mind. I thought Jeremy Sisto was very good in the role and found Talon to be one of the more compelling villains in the DC Animated Movie Universe. There’s some brutal violence in the film and there’s the creepy opening sequence involving Dollmaker, voiced effectively by Werid Al Yankovic of all people. While the final act goes for the traditional go big or go home approach that the previous installments DC Animated Movie Universe has gone for and, tonally feels out of place, it’s still an decent film to watch.
05. Reign of the Supermen (2019)
Oh, so you think all cyborgs know each other?
Yes. But, in my defence, I’m horribly insensitive.
– Cyborg and Green Lantern
Reign of the Supermen is the twelfth installment in the DC Animated Movie Universe and sequel to The Death of Superman, which is written by Tim Sheridan and Jim Krieg, and directed by Sam Liu. Six months have passed since Superman’s death and Metropolis is still reeling from the loss of its hero. Recently, the city has witnessed the action of four versions claiming to be the true Superman come to life, each with their own different personalities and crime-fighting styles compared to the original Man of Steel. ois Lane decides to investigate further to see which one out of Superboy, Steel, Cyborg Superman and the Eradicator is the real Superman. Reign of Supermen had the tough task of following up from The Death of Superman and for the most part, it does a great job. Each of the Supermen have their own unique personalities, with Superboy being a clone of Superman that is heavily sponsored by LexCorp, John Henry Irons serving as the man in he suit of Steel with a jet powered hammer for good measure, then there’s the Eradicator who looks like the Man of Steel but has more violent tendencies in getting the crime-fighting job done and finally there’s Cyborg Superman, a robot that has pieces of flesh that resembles the original Superman and might talk like Superman, but Lois feels odd around him. Superboy has a bright personality on screen in comparison to the other Supermen, with two being robotic for one and John Henry Irons being quite stoic at times, providing some laughs during the course of the film. I liked the arc they gave Lois Lane here and the character easily carries the film here, with Rebecca Romijn providing really solid voice acting here. Another character with an interesting arc is Lex Luthor, who still attempts to serve his own best interests as he attempts to tries to showcase to the world as he bankrolls Superboy that he’s the real hero of this story. I mind originally being thrown off guard by Rainn Wilson voicing Lex but with the films that’s followed as well as revisiting this universe the last week, I think he’s been really good voicing the character. Patrick Fabian gets to shine with his performance as Cyborg Superman and unfortunately Cress Williams doesn’t get much to do as John Henry Irons aka Steel here once we get to the latter half of the film. The animation is stronger here than in other films in the universe, the only real issue I have with the final act is the lack of consequences that seems to come with the overall villains plan (mainly I’m looking at the Cyber Corps sub-plot).
04. Justice League Dark (2017)
I expect the worst, so I prepare for the worst, and when the worst happens, I’m ready. But my outlook doesn’t alter the reality of the world.
– John Constantine
Justice League Dark is the eighth installment in the DC Animated Movie Universe, written by Ernie Altbacker and J. M. DeMatteis and directed by Jay Oliva. Justice League Dark focuses on the Justice League noticing a spike in the number of incidents involving people suddenly seeing everyone around them as demonic monsters and end up killing a number of innocents before they are stopped. Believing that magic is involved, Batman sets out to find John Constantine and assemble a group of supernatural heroes to stop this outbreak. At the time of its release, Justice League Dark was the one that I enjoyed the most in this continuity since The Flashpoint Paradox, as we shift the focus to a bring new batch of characters that we’ve been looking to see for a while in John Constantine, Zatanna, Deadman, Swamp Thing and Jason Blood/Etrigan. The animation is solid and smooth, particularly when it comes to the use of magic especially when the group come up against Felix Faust. While I didn’t get an awful lot of my boy Swampy, it was interesting to see the origins of Jason Blood and Etrigan and how they ended up sharing the same body, as well as Boston Brand and how he became Deadman. I also enjoy the characterisations of John Constantine and Zatanna Zatara, especially when it comes to their powers and to have Matt Ryan, seemingly playing Constantine for the next decade, is always welcome in my books, while Camilla Luddington is good as Zatanna, Ray Chase is also good as Jason Blood/Etrigan and I liked Nicholas Turturro as Deadman and I wish he returned later down the line in the DC Animated Movie Universe. From the supporting players I thought Jeremy Davies was good as Ritchie Simpsons, John’s old friend that’s near death that is resentful towards him.
03. Justice League Dark: Apokolips War (2020)
So, you are one of the so-called ‘New Gods’? I am unimpressed.
Justice League Dark: Apokolips War is the fifteenth and final installment in the DC Animated Movie Universe, culminating all the previous storylines that led to this moment. Following his two failed attempted invasions of Earth, Superman decides to get the Justice League on side by forming a plan to take the fight to Darkseid on Apokolips and stop him once and for all. Unbeknownst to them however, they are being spied on by Darkseid through Cyborg, who knows their plan, leading to their plan on Apokolips spectacularly failing. Two years have passed and Darkseid has fulfilled his conquest of Earth, with the remaining heroes of the Justice League, Teen Titans and also the Suicide Squad, regrouping to launch one final assault on Darkseid to have any chance of saving the planet and its survivors once and for all. I knew that this film was being referenced as the DC Animated Movie Universe equivalent of Marvel Studios Avengers: Endgame and once you see the film, it’s easy to see why. Coming in at an hour and a half, we’re treated to a brutal, worst-case scenario of how our heroes have fallen and been slayed, whilst the villain remains victorious. What I wasn’t ready for was some of the detail in are heroes deaths. Some are visually ripped apart, some are already visually ripped in half and others are given fates worse than death. Watching the DC Animated Movie Universe throughout the week, some of the storylines that feature here are the perfect conclusion to certain character arcs. The father and son dynamic between Bruce and Damian Wayne have been pivotal in the Batman films in this continuity and the way it climaxes in the finale of Apokolips War is perfectly fitting for how that is woven into the story, and the Damian Wayne and Raven friendship is pretty bittersweet here. I also enjoyed Clark Kent’s journey here as the fallen hero trying to make amends for leading his friends to their demise on Apokolips. The concept and visual of Darkseid creating a new beast army, merging Parademons with Doomsday, and naming them Paradooms (silly name: absolutely). Most of all, pivotal to the story is John Constantine which is, one, surprising, and two, absolutely compelling to watch and Matt Ryan gives a riveting performance in the role. Darkseid goes God-tier villain mode here compared to what he was like way back in the beginning with Justice League: War. While there’s some moments that feel more for fan service than moments being earned (Darkseid vs Trigon), the film is a fitting end to this era of DC animated films and while it may not be to everyones liking along the way, it certainly went out with a bang.
02. The Death of Superman (2018)
I owe you one, Flash.
You owe me about 30! I wonder if it’s too late to join the Titans. Is there an age limit?
– Superman and The Flash
The Death of Superman is the eleventh installment in the DC Animated Movie Universe and is based on the comic story of the same name, which is adapted here by Peter J. Tomasi and directed by Sam Liu. We’ve been here before in having Superman going up against Doomsday in a battle to the death (Superman: Doomsday) before here, it’s the character buildup of the relationship between Clark Kent and Lois Lane, with Clark finally having the courage to tell Lois the truth about his secret identity, that gives the film the emotional weight needed to care about the outcome and how it will effect Lois in the end, even though we as fans know it’ll be for a short while. There’s so many little scenes and character moments that become effective in the final scenes, such as Bibbo Bibbowski and Clark’s parents Jonathan and Martha Kent. It’s the scene with the latter, mourning their son from afar at the public funeral of Superman, that makes you feel their anguish. I also enjoyed how through all this, there’s still a moment in which Lex Luthor attempts to make it all about him and try to come out on top against Doomsday. I actually enjoyed the animation here, it’s arguably the best in terms of how the animation style fits the battle of all battles between Superman and Doomsday, from the sky to the streets of Metropolis. Some of the voice cast give their best performance in this film too, such as Jerry O’Connell as Superman and Rebecca Romijn as Lois Lane.
01. Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox (2013)
Accept the things you cannot change. Have the courage to change the things you can… and have the wisdom to know the difference.
– Nora Allen
The one where it all began and, for me personally was never bettered, Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox was based on the Flashpoint comic by Geoff Johns and Andy Kubert, which is adapted here by Jim Krieg and directed by Jay Oliva. My love for this film has been stated over the years, from having it in my Top 365 Films list in 2015, to having it also included in my Top 100 Films of the 2010’s list. The storyline is engaging as, after defeating Zoom and the Rogues Gallery, Barry Allen wakes up the next day to discover that the world that he knew has changed, and the world is being devastated due to an ongoing war between the Aquaman and the Atlanteans against Wonder Woman and the Amazons. What I always found interesting about this is how it’s the first proper Flash-centric film we’ve got and seeing this alternative universe through his perspective just made it all the more compelling, as Barry attempts to regain his powers through the help of Batman, who’s not Bruce Wayne in this timeline. There’s a ton of characters from the history of DC Comic that appear here, especially in the climatic battle that could end the world, and these moments throughout the film are elevated by Frederik Wiedmann’s score as he has the right compositions for the inspiring and epic moments. There’s so many moments I enjoyed from this film, from the Batman/Joker reveal from this timeline, to the action throughout let alone the finale. The voice performances from the ensemble are really good here too, particularly Justin Chambers as Barry Allen and especially C. Thomas Howell as Eobard Thawne. Jay Oliva may have directed a number of films in the DC Animated Movie Universe after Flashpoint Paradox but for me this will always remain his best.
So which film is your Favourite from the DCAMU? Answer in the poll below.