Wonder Con 2019 was held in the Anaheim Convention Center in California. Fans came for an exciting three-day comic convention filled with food trucks, special panels, fan art, merchandise, autograph signings and even special early features of animated films from DC: Justice League vs. The Fatal Five and Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I had the opportunity to head into the Anaheim arena to watch an early screening of Justice League vs The Fatal Five. The animated film is produced by the famous Bruce Timm who’s known for some of the most loved animated tv shows Batman: The Animated Series, Justice League, Justice League: Unlimited, and Batman Beyond. This film is directed by Sam Liu. He’s worked on other animated films such as, The Death of Superman, Reign of the Supermen, Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay, Teen Titans: The Judas Contract, and Batman: Gotham by Gaslight.
There are three writers who helped shaped this film. Jim Krieg worked on animated films with Liu on the Reign of the Supermen and Batman: Gotham by Gaslight. He also worked on Justice League Action and DC Super Hero Girls. Eric Carrasco is the second contributor for this film and he has done written work for the tv show, Supergirl. Alan Burnett is the third writer on this project and he also took part in working on similar animated films, Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay, and has written for Justice League vs Teen Titans. Their written work combined allowed me to enjoy the way the story talks about an important topic that people can relate to, understand more of and hold conversations about. This film brings awareness to mental illness where one’s thinking, behavior and moods can be affected due to various mental health conditions. Instead of seeing characters who do deal with mental health and is portrayed as villains; we get to see the main two characters in this film help one another deal with their own personal struggles while trying to do good, and to be a superhero at the same time.
Justice League vs. The Fatal Five introduces the first main character to newer and familiar fans, a Green Lantern in Jessica Cruz (Diane Guerrero). Diane Guerrero also stars in the online tv show Doom Patrol as Crazy Jane. Fans can watch the show and the new film through the DC Universe online streaming service: ww.dcuniverse.com. Jessica Cruz is a Green Lantern who had a dangerous experience exploring the woods at night. She and her friends ran into a man who was trying to burry a dead body and he ended up shooting them. Her friends died as she survived. Jessica still has a hard time dealing with it for three years. We see her in her home trying to cope with it. She claimed that when she leaves her front door, she imagines “all the awful things that could be on the other side and I’m paralyzed.” She’s trying to deal with that traumatic experience while also finding the self-confidence to carry out the responsibility of being a Green Lantern, as she is one of the people who’re chosen to be part of the legacy.
The second main character that’s introduced is Starboy, Thomas Kallor (Elyes Gabel). He is a Superhero from the future. He’s part of the Legion, the future Justice League members; a group of Superheroes in the future who carry out the Justice League legacy. He has trouble remembering things and when he gets stuck in the past to stop the Fatal Five, he ends up in Arkham Asylum (watch the film when you get the chance to see how that played out!). Starboy relies on medication that he has access to in the future to help with his mental stability. However, as he’s stuck in the past, he has no access to it. If he isn’t regularly taking his medication, he won’t be in the Legion, he’ll get worse and he won’t be able to think clearly. Starboy tries to remember missing information to prevent The Fatal Five from destroying the past, while he also bonds with Green Lantern. They both understand and encourage one another to learn about themselves, their abilities, and to use them to stop the Fatal Five. The Fatal Five consists of 5 villains: Tharok (Peter Jessop), The Persuader (Matthew Yang King), Emerald Empress (Sumalee Montano), Mano (Philip Anthony-Rodriguiez), and Validus (Bruce Timm).
Three of the members, Mano, Tharok and the Persuader and Starboy were traveled back to the past. In their future, the Legion took The Fatal Five down. Emerald Empress and Validus were sent back into the past to be held prisoner in the planet OA, the home and headquarters of the Green Lantern Corp. Mono, Tharok and the Persuader use Jessica to take them to OA to free them. Jessica tries to find a way out of the situation as they threaten her, leading her to free the other two members. Jessica along with fellow Green Lanterns, Kilawog (Kevin Michal Richardson) and Salaak (Tom Kenny) attempt to stop them. Unfortunately, as three of the Lanterns were taken down, Emerald Empress thus decides to destroy the sun in the present time. Jessica Cruz finds her strength and courage to stop them. Both Jessica and Starboy successfully won against the Fatal Five and prevented the sun from being destroyed. They both ended up saving the day/present time; but, only with the sacrifice made by Starboy that made me cry towards the end of this film. I highly recommend DC fans to watch this. Not only does this film introduce us these characters and brings attention to mental illness, we get to see some familiar faces that many of us recognize from past animated tv shows thanks to Bruce Timm.
The other cast members in this film is such a huge treat for fans like me who watched these classic heroes from the animated tv shows Justice League and Justice League: Unlimited. We are reintroduced to the Batman (Kevin Conroy), Wonder Woman (Susan Eisenberg), and Superman (George Newbern). Seeing the same voice actors and their original look of the characters made me feel nostalgic. It put a smile on my face seeing them again. Although I was excited to see the original cast from my childhood memories, I highly appreciate and love how Jessica Cruz & Starboy interact with each other. I love how we get to see a representation of characters that can relate to people regarding mental illness. Aside from these characters, other characters in this film showed Mr. Terrific (Kevin Michael Richardson) and Miss Martian (Daniela Bobadilla).
It was cool tome to be introduced to Mr. Terrific. On the DC Universe streaming service, I searched his encyclopedia (Info on both Terry Salone and Michael Holt) and learned that he’s intelligent, finished college at 12 years old, an entrepreneur, millionaire, and dealt with depression in his early origins despite the successes that he has. He has martial arts skills, an athlete, a genius and photographic memory. He uses “T Spheres”, cells that he made allows him to make holographic projections, fly, project laser grids and even connect with other electronic devices. For those with the DC Universe streaming service, you can read more about him in their encyclopedia as well, or simply google him. Although I feel that I was briefly introduced to this character, I appreciate how he’s represented to the fans and those who are unfamiliar with him, we get to learn more about him online.
Miss Martian on the other hand, is a familiar character for those who may have seen her in Young Justice and Young Justice: Outsiders (as well as those who collect and read comics!) She has a funny and interesting relationship with Batman. He acts as her mentor as she wants to be accepted into the League. He claims that there are better teachers than him and rejecting to mentor a teenager. However, Miss Martian shape shifts into Robin, Tim Drake, as a response that had me and the entire arena laughing. Batman responds, “Point taken. Don’t push it.” She achieves her goal of becoming a member towards the end of the film as Batmen informs her that they took a vote. Allowing her to become a full member of the League. However, Batman comments, “I didn’t say how I voted” making me and others in the arena laugh again.
Overall, this film is worth watching and it made me laugh and cry. It introduces characters of Jessica Cruz as Green Lantern, Starboy and as stated earlier, brings awareness to mental illness. This film also reintroduces Kevin Conroy, Suan Eisenberg and George Newbern as their iconic Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman characters. I also got to learn about Mr. Terrific after the movie and even see Miss Martian become a member of the Justice League. If you’re looking for a new movie to see, or are excited for the upcoming movies that DC will be releasing, definitely check this film out.
Below you will find links to an all-new clip from “Justice League vs. The Fatal Five,” which is now available from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on Digital and will arrive on 4K Combo Pack and Blu-ray Combo Pack starting Tuesday, April 16, 2019.
Release Date: March 30, 2019 (Digital) April 16, 2019 (Ultra HD, Blu-ray & DVD release).
Producer: Bruce Timm
Director: Sam Liu
Writers: Alan Burnett, Eric Carrasco, James Krieg
Starring: Elyes Gabel, Diane Guerrero, Kevin Conroy, Susan Eisenberg, George Newbern, Tara Strong, Daniela Bobadilla, Kevin Michael Richardson, Noel Fisher, Peter Jessop, Tom Kenny, Matthew Yang King, Sumalee Montano, Philip Anthony-Rodriguez, Bruce Timm
Distributor: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
Genre: Animation, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Runtime: 77 min
IMDB Page: Justice League vs The Fatal Five
Wiki Link: Justice League vs. the Fatal Five
Danielle Bawit | Writing Contributor
B.A. | Media Studies | Cal State Univ – San Marcos
Hello! My name is Danielle Bawit. I attended MSJC- Mt. San Jacinto’s Community College and received two Associate’s for Communication and Liberal Arts. I am currently in my last semester at CSUSM-California State University San Marcos, and I will be receiving my Bachelor’s degree in Media Studies. I grew up with watching DC heroes on the screen, wrestling with my family, Disney movies and listening to Kpop. I have been always involved with my education by joining choir’s and becoming part of MSJC’s communications club as a Historian. I have promoted events for the club at my previous school, and I have promoted and volunteered for Khip-hop concerts. I aspire to one day work in the entertainment world while promoting artists and music. Additionally, I also hope to share written stories to people in my career due to my love for writing.| Instagram @Charice_Danielle| View My Articles
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