Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths [2010]

~Psychos on Infinite Earths~

Both the Marvel and DC universes have their eccentricities. The Marvel camp likes to make alternate timelines, and they are especially fond of alternate futures. (97% of these alternate futures involve the X-Men getting hosed in some way.)

Superman on the other hand seems to survive all kinds of alternate scenarios, and even death. BTW, do not make Supes angry…

The DC camp prefers the more complicated “alternate Earth” method. This involves the creation of a new alternate Earth with every decision made (or when a comic team wants to bring in an edgy “evil” variant of a popular hero) .

Just thinking that through, you see how fast it gets kooky and soon meaningless. A zillion Earths and a zillion variants of every character. Feel special yet?

Nice face.   But -ahh, who are you supposed to be?

DC tried to trim back their out-of-control multi-verse back in the 80’s with the famous comic series, “Crisis on Infinite Earths”.  Well, do not let the title of this recent direct to video release fool you. It quickly moves past two earths to that mind-numbing infinite number again.

Okay, now its just getting ridiculous…

Many fans occasionally enjoy seeing alternate versions of their favorite heroes or villains, and we here in the Fortress are no different. We enjoyed seeing Owlman, a popular evil Batman variant, in the first season of Batman and the Brave and the Bold.

Crisis on Two Earths gives you evil versions of the usual Justice League suspects with an interesting art direction spin.

Eeevil Hawkgirl had little remorse, – and even less of a part in this feature.

We did not care for either version of Martian Manhunter. One was really ugly. The other was ..ah, strange?

How about our one sentence synopsis? A good Lex Luther from an alternate Earth travels to our Earth to enlist the Justice League to help him rid his alternate Earth of their bad versions of which Batman’s doppelgänger Owlman is a member and a little psychotic to the point where he develops a plan to destroy not only his Earth but every Earth and must be stopped by our heroes who along the way learn important lessons about heroic nobility, fabulous costume alternatives and trans-species love.

There is love between psychopath Supergirl and sociopath Owlman. Charming.

…and there is cross-species romance between a human and a martian…

It is hard to believe that the alternate Earth has lasted as long as it has with that bunch of psychotic loons running loose. Each one is more selfish, psychopathic or even sociopathic than the other. Superman’s alternate version kills anyone who gets in his way. Wonder Woman’s kills anyone she feels like for kicks.  Batman’s alternate wants to kill everything that ever lived.

So, on the alternate universe Krypton, Ultraman’s family crest happened to look like the human letter “U”?

Ultraman also used eye liner. Evil.

This is our Earth’s Ultraman.

The animation and fight choreography were above average. There was certainly no shortage of the latter, and the hour and 13 minutes goes by at a decent pace with little lag.

Hmm, which of these two Green Lanterns is eeeevile. (If you guess Mr. Funny Zipper with the pork chop sideburns, you are correct.)

What you find appealing says a lot about you. Do you prefer the pale goth crazy look or the angry buff spray tanned look?

Usually when mirrored supergroups face-off they start out fighting their respective doppelgängers. When that yields unsatisfactory results some wise guy usually suggests to switch it up, which saves the day.  Well…, they didn’t do that here, which is okay.  You will see power ring versus power ring, heavy hitters exchange heavy hits, and batarangs versus – er, owl-rangs.

Lex Luthor, good guy? We missed Clancy Brown’s voice work. Maybe it would not have worked with him on the side of the heroes.  (Against all odds, Lex has no hair in any universe.)

Lately, DC has made the decision to be inconsistent with their character’s voice actors. We do not care for that, and find that it causes an additional hurdle to be overcome in order to acclimate to each release.  And we’re not talking about the evil doppelgängers, were talking about the heroes.

Are you serious? It is like something out of the 1970’s Superfriends! Bell bottoms and collar included. They had to have designed this costume for fun.  (Oh, and nice belt buckle dude. Original.)

The black eyeliner and Brooklyn accent on Superman’s doppelgänger, Ultraman took some adjustment, but was fun.  The nihilism of Owlman was just hard to justify. Destroying this universe is something that’s hard enough to swallow coming from Darkseid. I mean come on, what is the upside to that? Owlman taking it a step farther to destroy every Earth ever was a little much.

“Go ahead punk, make- … hmm, actually that is something I would say in both universes.”

But none of that takes too much away from this fun romp. While we would not recommend it for younger children, its complexities are more than interesting enough for teenagers and adults.

Ultraman had his own unique way of lobbying the president.  Who says politics is boring?


18 thoughts on “Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths [2010]

  1. I completely agree about the inconsistencies of the voice acting. I really disliked Jim Woods as Owl Man. As a big fan of cartoons, especially family guy, I couldn’t get the image of James Woods out of my head every time Owl Man spoke, it was bothersome. I understand not being able to get 20 voice actors to be able to return to the same character for every single movie, but at least have them try and imitate the voice of the character as seen in previous incarnations rather than just speak in their own voice.

    • Good point. We do not think Romano is even trying to do that. We think they are going for the recognized “big name” appeal of celebrity voices. Even if they do not fit.

      We understand and even find it a little humorous to think of you not being able to get through a single Owlman scene without thinking of Woods. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. They are two different takes on super hero reality. Marvel sees how we are and DC prefers improvement. Both have theirn merits and demerits.

  3. Wow, you were pretty hard on this one. I will admit that my first viewing of this was “eh, pretty good”, but a second viewing really helped me enjoy it. That was mostly due to the vast amount of characters (good and evil incarnations) pounding on each other.
    You do know that this is based on Grant Morrison’s “JLA: Earth Two” comic, right? The “Crime Syndicate” become something of reoccurring villains in the DC Universe.
    Most plots that are this “epic” in scale fall flat somehow, either with character development or tangibility. But I think Crisis on Two Earths did a really good job. But then again, you already know my opinion on this. 😛
    I’ve also heard that its pretty difficult to get all the old-school actors together again. Public Enemies was pretty unique that way.

    • We did not intend to be too hard on this feature. Some of the pics were made to order for a humorous comment, but that was not intended in this case to overly denigrate. Although we had some issues with it, we did enjoy Crisis on Two Earths and thought it better than the majority of recent direct-to-DVD releases. So our opinions are similar.

      We are not familiar with the “JLA: Earth Two” comic. We do see the appeal of the crime syndicate as returning villains.

      Aside from Owlman’s sociopathic and overly nihilistic nature, the villains were interesting and believable.

      We do not think Romano even intended to gather the familiar voice actors for this.

      • Ah, okay. I have trouble placing humor sometimes, gotcha. Glad we’re on the same page.

  4. Hello to those in the Fortress. Another fun take I see. : )

    Check out that “alternate Earths” picture. *whistles HIGH* Every decision, every slight move, every thought–*mind crash*. Yeah, zillions, even dwillions of variations doesn’t cut it. Maybe a few alternate Earths existing in separate universes or something similar would be okay. But zillions… In fact I think I’ll just stop trying to imagine that since my mortal human brain was never meant to think like that. Hey, at least I’m honest. 😉 Hmm, with all those Earth’s at my fingertips I think I’ll choose the one where I somehow evolve super powers. Flight please. Yeah, that’d be awesome.

    Wow, seeing Owlman again is always…a hoot. *can’t stop sniggering* But after seeing Watchmen I’d like to know this particular take on his history. Bitter? Vengeful? Hanging out with Rorschach too much? Upset because his logo is a boring letter “O”?

    The evil Hawkgirl is cool. But then I am always partial to wings. And glowing weapons of l33tness. Sorry, that sounded way too fangirly. Heh. But still, give someone wings and I’m sold (usually on the toys…).

    The one line synopsis is quite the overhaul. Interesting premise, still convoluted. It’s hard to wrap one’s mind around someone wanting to destroy the universe and all life. I can barely get my mind wrapped around all our local issues, let alone inter-global conundrums. I really think Owlman could have been spared the evil path had he just been allowed to have a different logo. Poor Ultraman too. Ha.

    speaking of Ultraman, and looking at the awesome picture reference, I am partial to this updated theme song. It is far too catchy and makes me want to power up!:

    Ha, nice caption on Mr. Funny Zipper. Suddenly my eyes can’t help but notice that wardrobe malfunction. Gee thanks. Lol.

    I am a little surprised and curious that they did not “switch up” the hero vs. villain fights. Hmm, so raw power or just superior good guy vibe wins out in the end?

    That comic book picture oh boy. Black Lightning is funny, in looks and character, but my eye wandered to that hulking she-gorilla in the background. Seriously…WHA??! (Oh I get it, that’s me in the alternative Earth. xP)

    Yeah, Owlman bent on destroying all life, anywhere, anytime, any anything? That is hard to comprehend. In fact wouldn’t it be easier for him to just, oh I don’t know, snuff himself out and call it a day? Villains bent on total annihilation. They just don’t see the easy route. Nice picture with the pointing gun–the caption is funny. Punk. Heh.

    • In the comics, Superman explains that the Justice League are superior fighters because they refuse to kill their enemies. Ultraman only has to defeat his enemies once, but Superman has to be increasingly resourceful in order to top his opponents schemes.

      • You know, that is a good point. One that perhaps should be pointed out more often or clearly. Supes does have to bash the same lunkheads over and over. Or consider Marvel’s Fantastic Four. They have recurring and extremely clever villains like Doctor Doom. They have to use their wits and intelligence as much as apply their powers with wisdom.

        Superman is getting a little smarter. He has to. His enemies are getting more clever all the time (and kryptonite is all too common). Additionally, WE know that nobility and wisdom will eventually win out over selfishness and recklessness.

    • Funny about the logos. Superman’s “S” versus Ultraman’s “U” and Batman’s bat versus Owlman’s Owl-face “O”. Johnny Quick at least had a “Q”. You can work with a “Q”. You do not see too many heroes or villains in any universe using the “Z”. A shame.

      That Ultraman Tiga clip is a far cry from the 60’s TV show. We think the fashion on the picture from our take is more fashionable. 😉

      As one person said to me, good guys have to often fight the same bad guys over and over and thus get stronger and smarter. A bad guy like Ultraman kills his enemies once and does not really gain much experience.

      Yeah, could not get behind. relate to, or even understand beyond the intellectual point when it came to Owlman’s motivation. it made for a weak story where as this set up could have supported more.

      Thanks for the long comment (as usual). Visitors like you help justify our efforts in hooking up the Fortress satellite system.

    • That is interesting Brutus. Thought of that way, we can really see a point proposing that “alternate universes” are cheap story cop outs. Instead of trying to come up with a scene where Superman and Batman have to fight, just invent an alternate universe where one is good and one is bad, etc.

      Alternate versions of characters are fun because of the contrast to the “regular” version.

      • I’m not sure if their cop-outs, or if they’re just really hard to do. I’m seen a lot of poorly executed “parallel universe”, “alternate time-line” stuff in my life. (Star Trek has done a lot with this). When kept short and to the point, these stories can be quite good. I feel that this particular animated feature did a very good job at delivering a unique story, but keeping out of the gobbley-gook that turns up whenever you try an adventure like this.

  5. oh come on, you gotta love that Superwoman. She was totally hawt!
    and the whole Owlman – Superwoman love interest made the movie a lot more enjoyable. Dare I say they stole the show ?
    Owlman’s plan to kill all Earths is not so hard to understand when you put it in perspective to the theory behind the infinite Earths (as explained on the movie).
    This movie actually ties in as a filler between Justice League and Justice League Unlimited TV series inter terms of storyline times (ok, ok, I know that Hal Jordan is not in JL/JLU ! )
    BTW, looking forward to your review of All Star Superman.

    • We agree the not so charming romance between sociopath and psychopath did make this feature more interesting. True.

      We do not follow the comic, nor do most of the people we think who watched this feature. That said it was interesting to see a out of control Wonder Woman type. As for Batman, Owlman is not that much of a stretch. We just found his motivation thin, and in the end had to chalk it up to looniness.

      PS – All Star Superman is coming.

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