Lego DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League: Cosmic Clash
The premise of Lego DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League: Cosmic Clash is one many comic and superhero fans are familiar with. Brainiac is shrinking planets for his collection, and his latest target is Earth. In order to get rid of the Justice League, who are in his way, he sends the members to other time periods.
This “split the team up and give them separate challenges” is classic Silver Age Justice League plotting. Combined with the amount of humor and friendly nature of the characters, this is a terrific watch for all ages with a variety of types of adventure.
In addition to the core team — in this block-animated universe, they are Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, and Cyborg — we also get the introduction of Supergirl. Her portrayal as a super-excited cheerleader, to the extent of doing encouraging cheers during a mission, is something of a fresh take and certainly sets her apart from her more famous cousin. It emphasizes her youth and gives her something in common with Cyborg.
Batman is his amusingly hyper-focused, non-smiling self, getting upset at the rest of the team playing hide-and-seek in the Hall of Justice. Thankfully, the rest of the team reassures him (while making fun of him), using the term “Super Friends”, which is the tone of this movie. Batman leads most of the adventures, and the underlying theme of his plot arc is realizing that acknowledging friendship is no weakness.
Making Brainiac an obsessive fanboy — “My collection can only assimilate planets in mint condition! Arggggggg!” or “I prefer to defeat you in alphabetical order” — is amusing and relatable. I want to see him defeated just for this reason, beyond the whole villainous “trying to destroy the planet” motivation.
A lot of this movie is silly, but it’s a good-hearted silliness, the kind of jokes kids (and the young at heart) will enjoy. For instance, when Brainiac catalogs the Justice League’s powers, he lists them as “super-speed, super-circuits [Cyborg], super-warrior [Wonder Woman], super-jewelry [Green Lantern]”. He then wants to recatalog the “super-alien” Superman because he “is assigned to the wrong planet”.
The three most powerful — Superman, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern — are sent through time so Brainiac doesn’t have to deal with them. The rest of the Justice League build a Cosmic Treadmill to travel to various eras to rescue them. Where Flash gets attacked by animals, including dinosaurs and flying fish.
Wonder Woman wound up in prehistoric times, leading a tribe of women to fight Vandal Savage. Green Lantern became a cabin boy on Captain Fear’s pirate ship. And Superman is part cyborg in a dystopian future. Of course, Batman has just the right outfit for every era, with Bat-Cave-Man and Pirate Batman costumes. The future is where the three founding members of the Legion of Super-Heroes appear, as shown here:
The only special feature on the Blu-ray or DVD edition is “The Justice League: Caught On Camera”. It’s a three-minute promo piece that repurposes footage from the movie with different vocals to pretend that Batman is the director and everyone else is messing things up.
(The studio provided a review copy. Without the Cosmic Boy figure, bummer.)