Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths Due in February With New Spectre Short
November 24, 2009

Warner has announced their next DC direct-to-DVD animated movie. Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths will be released on February 23, 2010.

Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, written by Dwayne McDuffie, is an alternate Earth story in which Lex Luthor asks the Justice League to help save his Earth from the Crime Syndicate. The press release continues: “What ensues is the ultimate battle of good versus evil in a war that threatens both planets and, through a diabolical plan launched by Owlman, puts the balance of all existence in peril.”

Justice League along with two characters from an alternate Earth -- the First Daughter, Rose Wilson, and a "good" Lex Luthor.

The Justice League with two alternate Earth characters -- First Daughter Rose Wilson and Lex Luthor.

Lauren Montgomery (Green Lantern: First Flight) and Sam Liu (Superman/Batman: Public Enemies) are co-directors. Superman is played by Mark Harmon, with James Woods as Owlman, Chris Noth as Lex Luthor, William Baldwin as Batman, and Gina Torres as Superwoman. (I wonder why they don’t try for more continuity among the films in voice casting. This is a totally different group from those who played the characters in the last animated movie released, Superman/Batman: Public Enemies, which used those who provided the classic animated series voices.)

Per usual practice, the movie will be available in three formats. The single disc DVD lists for $20, while the two-disc special edition will be $25 and feature these extras:

A new animated short! DC Showcase: The Spectre is written by Steve Niles (30 Days of Night), with a voice cast that includes Gary Cole and Alyssa Milano. DC Showcase is described as a series, so perhaps this is a way for fans to see animated versions of characters not quite ready for feature-length films and for the studio to try out new possibilities.

“The New World”, a featurette about “what it means to be a modern day superhero”. Unfortunately, they seem to have concluded that this is a great excuse to plug the current DCU big events. As the press release says,

This documentary covers the riveting and often harrowing tale of New York Times bestselling author Brad Meltzer’s “Identity Crisis”, and why this story struck the right chord with the comic book audience. The story is a personal one for the creator, as well as the DC Comics executives fortunate enough to have been a part of this mature comic book publication. While revealing the strategy and sentiments behind this comic book, the documentary film goes a step further to explore the continuing and recent publications of “Infinite Crisis” and “Final Crisis”.

Identity Crisis apparently didn’t have or affect any artists, I see, just the writer and a bunch of executives. It’s a shame that these DVD documentaries no longer explore topics of interest to the viewers, just excuses to plug comics, even if they’re only tangentially related. Wouldn’t an overview of the JLA/JSA Crisises over the years, culminating in Crisis on Infinite Earths, be more suitable and interesting?

Also included in the special features are a sneak peek at the next DC Universe animated movie — no word yet on the subject — and two Justice League Unlimited episodes selected by Bruce Timm. The Blu-ray edition, $30, has two more cartoon episodes and two live-action TV pilots, Wonder Woman and Aquaman (planned for the WB in 2006 after the success of Smallville).

Here’s the trailer for Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths. Can you name all the heroes? And is that Deathstroke (Slade Wilson) as President?

Update: An ad just went out with this package image and the note that they are planning a national TV and online ad campaign to include SyFy, Comedy Central, Cartoon Network, Fox, The CW, TNT, TBS, Xbox, and iTunes.


12 Responses  
Prankster writes:  


The reason I haven’t bothered to watch any of the post-JLU animated movies–aside from the tepid reviews and, as mentioned, the bizarre choice to keep shuffling the voice casts–is that they’ve been so boringly Justice League-centric. The Wonder Woman and Green Lantern movies are at least somewhat interesting in that we haven’t seen those characters given solo movies, but they were still a big part of JLU, and as for Batman and Superman sheesh, we’ve had almost two decades of their animated adventures (not to mention the various live action movies).

So this Showcase short about the Spectre is instantly more interesting to me than any of the long form movies. I realize DC probably feels its lesser characters are more of a gamble, but surely there’s enough of a fanbase for these things that they could strike out and do something a little more interesting. I’d bet on a Captain Marvel movie at some point (probably based on Jeff Smith’s recent Monster Society of Evil) but there’s even quirkier characters that could do well if they fall back on classic stories from the comics…why not a movie riffing on the Giffen/DeMatteis JLI? A whole bunch of neat new characters, plus Batman for the nervous suits. How about a Jonah Hex animated movie to coincide with the upcoming live action flick? A Swamp Thing flick based on the Alan Moore run might be a bit improbable within the PG contraints of the format, but it might be possible (and again, apparently there’s an upcoming film to tie in with). A Grant Morrison-era Doom Patrol movie would likewise probably be a hard sell…but animation is the perfect medium for that story. And then there’s the New Gods…

And down at the bottom of the likeliness ladder, we have Metal Men and Zatanna…both characters who tend to be ignored by the DC brass, but who I think could be hugely popular if they were marketed right…

Johanna writes:  

I like many of your ideas, but I suspect it will be a while before we see any of these movies given a non-heroic twist. By which I mean: the stories are always about justice and restoring order, classic superhero themes. While I prefer quirkier comedy, as with the JLI or Metal Men, I don’t think Warner would let that carry a whole movie.

Prankster writes:  

OK, but that still leaves stuff like the New Gods (I’d say that was a farfetched possibility, except that the characters were on the popular Superman and JLU cartoons and worked really well), Shazam (as I say, I’d bet even money on Jeff Smith’s run making it to the screen eventually) and Jonah Hex (the character may get a big bump in popularity with the upcoming movie). Most of DC’s characters fit nicely into the “classic hero” mold, and a relatively low-budget animated movie seems like the perfect venue for some of these characters that DC otherwise might have a hard time using. Yet it seems like they keep going back to the JLA well.

Johanna writes:  

Oh, yeah, the New Gods are a good idea, although Shazam is likely difficult due to the Captain Marvel name problem. I’m hoping that they do a lot more of these DC Showcase cartoons. Wouldn’t that be a neat compilation DVD or series, eventually?

George Grattan writes:  

It’s been years since I officially stopped caring, but I gotta admit it still rankles to see IDENTITY CRISIS referred to as “mature.” I was set to pre-order based on McDuffie’s involvement, but I’ll settle for getting the disc from the library, eventually–don’t want to give any more money to anything even tangentially connected to ID, so a disc that features a documentary/interview on it isn’t going to find a home in my collection.

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[…] While both superhero comic companies have had success with TV shows based on their characters, when it comes to direct-to-DVD animated films, DC’s lineup has gotten the bulk of the attention with such titles as Superman/Batman: Public Enemies, Green Lantern: First Flight, Wonder Woman, and the upcoming Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths. […]

Spectre Cartoon Images Released » DVDs Worth Watching writes:  

[…] has provided these images from the upcoming DC Showcase: Spectre short that will be included on the Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths special edition DVD, due out February 23. Click for larger versions. The Spectre, voiced by Gary […]

Dedpool writes:  

The GL animated film had a completely new GL so it really wasn’t anything like what was on JL/JLU. WOnder Woman was comletely different from her JL/JLU version as well. I agree they need to branch out into more of the DC Universe or maybe adapt some of the darker stories like Kingdom Come or The Dark Knight Returns but this is a business and recognizability is a big part of it. New Gods are great characters but outside comics fans most people don’t know who they are, even though some characters popped up in Superman:TAS and JL/JLU. Also Captain Marvel can work (Call the film Shazam or Power of Shazam or something) as the character has already shown up in JLU and Public Enemies, and the whole Marvel family will be making an appearance on Batman:The Brave and The Bold. So he’s viable too. But the JLA characters are their bread and butter. Just like Marvel making 6 different Spiderman cartoons, 3 different X-men cartoons, and DC doing so many Batman and Superman cartoons. These are the characters that sell. What I’d really like to see is a Teen Titans flick with the older side kicks, Nightwing, Tempest, Arsenal, Kid Flash and Troia. Or just the Judas Contract film we were promised.

All that aside I can’t wait to see Crisis on Two Earths. Looks like fun. I also don’t mind them changing voice casts with each ovie as they’rs supposed to stand alone, and if you had the same voices all the time, people may think they’re all connected. It’s fun hearing new versions of the voices for characters.

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[…] to tell the good guys from their “evil twins” these days.) Anyway, Luthor needs the Justice League to help him return democracy to his world and overthrow the Crime […]


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