Jim Lee

Justice League: War (2014, Jay Oliva)

Justice League: War raises the “interesting” question of whether or not superheroes are any fun to watch when they’re vain, selfish bullies. It sort of leaves the answer unresolved, though it’s definitely a lot more entertaining when Alan Tudyk’s Superman leaves for a while. Tudyk’s performance isn’t any good but it’s probably not his fault. Heath Corson’s script is lousy, with very few of the characters remotely likable.

Some of the voice acting is all right. Michelle Monaghan does okay as Wonder Woman when the script isn’t too bad, Justin Kirk and Christopher Gorham are both nearly likable. The rest of the cast? Well, the script’s so bad it’s hard to say.

At its best, War reminds of the old “Super Friends” cartoons from the eighties, only the Warner guys want to appear tough so they throw in some curses in order to juice up the MPAA rating. Because why watch a cartoon about superheroes if they aren’t nasty and shallow.

Oliva’s direction is atrocious. Almost all of the action scenes–except the huge one where they sort of rip of The Avengers–take place in enormous warehouses. Metropolis is just full of gigantic, empty, multi-story warehouses. The action sequences are nonsensical, poorly animated and often dull.

Kirk and, occasionally but not often enough, Sean Astin bring some life to the big final battle. War plays like a spin-off from a toy line, only without the toys.

Steve Blum and Bruce Thomas are especially lame as the villains.

0/4ⓏⒺⓇⓄ

CREDITS

Directed by Jay Oliva; screenplay by Heath Corson, based on comic books by Geoff Johns, Jim Lee and Scott Williams; edited by Christopher D. Lozinski; music by Kevin Kliesch; produced by James Tucker; released by Warner Premiere.

Starring Justin Kirk (Green Lantern), Jason O’Mara (Batman), Shemar Moore (Victor Stone), Michelle Monaghan (Wonder Woman), Christopher Gorham (The Flash), Sean Astin (Shazam), Alan Tudyk (Superman), Zach Callison (Billy Batson), Rocky Carroll (Silas Stone), Ioan Gruffudd (Thomas Morrow), George Newbern (Steve Trevor), Bruce Thomas (Desaad) and Steve Blum (Darkseid).


Justice League 3 (January 2012)

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You know who should be writing DC’s new Wonder Woman? Geoff Johns.

You know who can’t write Aquaman, apparently, in Justice League? Yeah, Johns too.

This issue opens with Wonder Woman, gives a really quick look at her arrival in the new DC Universe, immediately establishing a strong female character. It’s utterly fantastic.

Shame the rest of the comic is crap.

Why is Jim Lee doing Jack Kirby creations? Lee’s denizens of Apokolips look awful. Darkseid shows up for a second. My “Super Powers” action figure looked better.

Just to elucidate, Lee’s art on the Wonder Woman scenes is pretty weak too.

Justice League was previously absent any quality. Johns brings some and doesn’t even seem to notice the difference.

If Johns and Lee–DC’s chief creative officer and co-publisher–can’t even figure out their own strengths and weaknesses, how do any DC comics have a chance?

I’m bummed.

CREDITS

Justice League, Part Three; writer, Geoff Johns; penciller, Jim Lee; inker, Scott Williams; colorists, Gabe Eltaeb and Alex Sinclair; letterer, Pat Brosseau; editors, Darren Shan and Brian Cunningham; publisher, DC Comics.

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