Justice League: Warworld is the latest entry in the Tomorrowverse, the current iteration of the DC Animated Movie Universe. While it offers fun Elseworlds juxtapositions for the Big Three, the story is a bit confusing and ultimately seems little more than a prologue for the next movie.
Opening in the American Old West, Diana Prince encounters Jonah Hex whose gang terrorizes folks trapped in a small fort. When pressed into action, she has no qualms about killing with a pistol. Looking like Conan the Barbarian, Bruce Wayne finds himself a mercenary in the land of Shambala from The Warlord. Batman ends up a prisoner and leads the Warlord and his followers to the man who hired him: the wizard Deimos. Instead of sticking with settings in non-superhero DC comics, FBI Agent Clark Kent finds himself in the 1950s, in a story so reminiscent of The Twilight Zone episode “Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?” that it’s presented in black and white.
The three heroes eventually encounter each other and the facade of what is taking place is slowly revealed to them, and to the audience. For months, they have been trapped in fantasies on Warworld, which is “powered by hate and fear of its prisoners”. (Neither the science behind it nor how the villains have taken it over don’t make any sense).
While there are a couple good twists in the plot once all the players are revealed, the story’s ending is weak as the Harbringer arrives to take the three heroes from Warworld. She did this because of a looming crisis, which longtime DC fans will surmise is taking place on infinite Earths, even if they have yet to hear the news about the next DC Animated Movie being an adaptation of the iconic 12-issue limited series from 1985.
The video has been given a 1080p/MPEG-4 AVC encoded transfer displayed at an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. The four different stories have unique color palettes, from subdued, dim tones in the Old West to bright colors aboard Warworld. Colors appear in strong hues. Blacks are inky. A strong contrast appears throughout. The image reveals the linework and details of foreground objects and background setting.
The audio is available in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. The dialogue is clear, even though Stana Katic’s accent for Wonder Woman makes that difficult at times. The action sequences and composer Michael Gatt’s score fill the surrounds. Could have used more sound placement and movement to really immerse the viewer.
There are two Special Features, presented in HD:
- Illusions on Warworld (8 min) – Cast and crew talk about the project and the approach taken with the story, which is different from the comics and the previous adaptation on the Justice League TV show.
- The Heroic, the Horrible and the Hideous (8 min) – A look at other characters in the story.
While I appreciate the Justice League: Warworld writers wanting to do something different with the characters,the overall story doesn’t come together as well as it should, making it a minor, if not unnecessary, installment in the Tomorrowverse. The Blu-ray delivers a pleasing HD experience for those interested in watching the movie.