Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths Part One Blu-ray Review: It Starts with a Flash

Based on DC Comics’ 12-issue miniseries Crisis on Infinite Earths (1985) written by Marv Wolfman and pencilled by George Pérez, which was previously adapted in the Arrowverse as a five-part TV miniseries (2019), Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths Part One is the first in a trilogy of animated films that adapts the classic story that forever altered the DC Multiverse.

Buy Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earth – Part One

The Flash / Barry Allen is slipping back and forth through time, from meeting Iris West for the first time, to fighting a powerful android named Amazo alongside Superman and Green Arrow. There’s a bearded stranger who keeps appearing warning of the end of the world, of universes dying. Barry also slips to a parallel world where variations of DC heroes, the Crime Syndicate, rule as villains.

Realizing they need help against Amazo because of its ability to drain their powers when in close proximity, the heroes gather others such as Vixen and Martian Manhunter, leading to the formation the Justice League. Green Lantern passes on the offer. The heroes learn that Lex Luthor has altered Amazo’s primary function, using metahuman energy to extend human life, to taking away all their energy.

At Barry and Iris’ wedding, Harbinger arrives as part of her mission to gather heroes from across the Multiverse for the being known as a Monitor because an anti-matter wave is destroying entire universes. Fans who saw the previous Tomorrowverse installment Justice League: Warworld have already seen her at work. Even though some of the greatest scientific minds in the DC Universes are working together, Barry gives them an idea on how to stop the antimatter wave. Eventually, an elder Barry’s speed is required to power the device intended to combat the wave. The movie comes full circle when the Spectre tells Barry that he is the one responsible for what has occurred.

With the number of timelines/parallel universes Barry moves through, there’s a lot going on in the plot, possibly too much. The Amazo storyline seems superfluous until the character becomes instrumental in the climax. There doesn’t seem to be a need for the Crime Syndicate storyline in the overall plot beyond the Flash visiting a parallel world because all the other time-slipping he does happens on his Earth. When the movie focuses on Barry, no matter the setting, it helps center matters.

The video has been given a 1080p/MPEG-4 AVC encoded transfer displayed at an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. The colors pop in bold hues. Blacks are inky and whites accurate, contributing to a strong contrast. The artwork exhibits fine details in the characters and settings. The audio is available in DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio. The dialogue is clear. Composer Kevin Riepl’s score can be heard in the surrounds along with occasional sound effects during action sequences. It’s not an overly immersive track, but delivers a satisfactory audio experience.

The Special Features are:

  • Crisis on Infinite Earths Part One: Crisis Prime(r) (10 min) – A talk about this films in the Tomorrowverse that led to this story.
  • Crisis on Infinite Earths Part One: The Selfless Speedster (10 min) – Looking at the Flash, half the featurette deals with those involved in the comic series and the other half talk about this movie.

While one doesn’t have to be well versed in the Tomorrowverse films before watching Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths Part One, it certainly helps to have some familiarity with DC Comics before diving in. The movie is jam packed with characters and the dynamics between them could cause some confusion. Even the heroes get confused, as seen when Robin and Huntress meet a Batman different from the one they grew up with. Knowing the other iterations of the Crisis story also helps make sense of things for the viewer.

The movie gets a lot right in terms of the plot and the action sequences so I am curious about the remaining two parts, set for release later this year, to learn how the story continues and resolves. The Blu-ray offers a good HD presentation. The two special features didn’t feel like enough for a story so dense and ripe for discussion.

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Gordon S. Miller

Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of this site.

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