A Hero In All Of Us

Superhero teamups among characters of both DC and Marvel universes are quite common. In the 70s-lates 80s there was the “Superfriends.” More recently, a Justice League series was produced on Cartoon Network. Even crossovers between the rival comic franchises have occurred. Superman and Spider-Man have crossed paths in comic book form.

I just watched the new direct to DVD feature Justice League: New Frontier. It told the tale of one of the first times heroes such as the aforementioned Man of Steel, Batman, and Wonder Woman collaborated with other crimefighters like Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, and the Flash.

What I appreciated most about the film is that it was set during the 1950-60s when the silver age of comic books was beginning. The costumes reflected the period (Superman’s crest was a red “S” on a black background and Wonder Woman wore a star-spangled skirt instead of the more familiar, without sounding too blunt, briefs). Some of the themes revealed in the movie also were indicative of the time: McCathyism, the Ku Klux Klan, communism, and fear of alien invasion were all issues portrayed.

I was also pleased with the role of the less familiar players. The Flash particularly felt that he would never be able to make as big a difference when put up alongside characters like Superman. However, the fastest man alive contributes in a huge way in combating the seemingly invincible force threatening to destroy humanity.

If there is a flaw with New Frontier, it is the choice of Jeremy Sisto to voice the Dark Knight. Each of the other characters had voices that fit but there was something strange about Batman’s. Also, something that has always bothered me about the Justice League series: can Wonder Woman fly or not? It would seem unnecessary for her to have an invisible jet (a la the live-action series and “Superfriends”) if that were the case. A friend also pointed out that when shapeshifter Jonn Jonnz is knocked unconscious would he not revert to his martian appearance? Discuss.

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