Batman: The Killing Joke animated film was released in theaters for one night only on …
From the same DC movie universe as “Justice League War”, and “Batman vs Robin”, “Justice League vs Teen Titans” focuses on the core JL crew (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, and Cyborg) with the familiar teen titans animated line-up of Starfire, Raven, Beastboy, with the new addition of Blue Beetle rounding out the crew. Damien Wayne, who was introduced during “Batman vs Robin” takes over the mantle as Robin, while Dick Greyson has already graduated into Nightwing.
We need to make the differentiation for those who are familiar with the Justice League, Justice League Unlimited, Young Justice, and Teen Titan animated series, that this is based on a whole nother timeline. Superman is not with Louis Lane, but with Wonder Woman, the Teen Titans lineup isn’t Cyborg, Beast Boy, Starfire, Raven, and Dick Greyson’s Robin, and Blue Beetle is added to the mix. If you’re interested in checking out what I’m talking about, take a weekend to binge watch the Justice League, Justice League Unlimited, Young Justice, and Teen Titan animated series – all available now on Netflix. If you want to get caught up with the Justice League vs Teen Titans timeline, you can binge “Justice League War” and “Son of Batman” to familiarize yourself with the current lineup; also available now on Netflix.
As with many of these animated films, we start out in a battle of Justice League vs the Legion of Doom, soon to be sorted and locked up, when at the very end one off them becomes possessed and it takes Robin going rogue to help take them down. Team conflict ensues and Robin is brought to Titan Tower where he is left with the Teen Titans to learn teamwork.
Damien Wayne is hard to like, as we follow him throughout this film, with a massive chip on his shoulder and a superiority complex. What compels the viewer to stay with his story are the scenarios he finds himself in, such as when he meets the Teen Titans and his self aggrandizement is challenged when he pokes Blue Beetle, only to be left smoldering, half burned, close to death, when Raven heals him and snubs him with the same amount of disdain he dishes to everybody else. (Moody teen angst)
Now with curiosity piqued, Damien throws himself into finding out more about this girl who is just as dark as he, and now we get to the meat of the film. We are won out by realizing Damien isn’t as bad as we are led to believe, Raven has a much worse past than anyone care to be part of, and her father is the one who is possessing bodies, including that of the Justice League, to get her back so he can conquer the world. Not your average Saturday.
Although rated PG-13, the film touches upon demonic possession and the occult, which may make many parents uncomfortable. Also, due to the moodiness of the main teen characters, 15 and older maybe a more appropriate audience.
Entertainingly written, the film wasn’t enough to keep me glued to the seat, however it was worthy enough for a second viewing.
Justice League vs Teen Titans is available on DVD and digital download.
BONUS: the DVD version offers a sneak peak of the animated movie “Batman: The Killing Joke”, which is a totally worthwhile watch.