Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths Due in February With New Spectre Short

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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.”

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

he 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.

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