Justice Society: World War II – ★★★★★

Certificate – 12
Directed By – Jeff Wamester
Starring – Matt Bomer, Stana Katic, Armer Taylor, Elysia Rotaru, Omid Abtahi, Matthew Mercer, Chris Diamantopoulos
Running Time – 84 Minutes (1 Hour 24 Minutes)

I love DC Animation, but I adore more than others, and now I can add Justice Society: World War II to the adored list to the point it’s in my personal top five, and it’s the best thing the DCA has released since DC Showcase: Death.

The story centres around The Flash (Bomer) travelling back to World War II and met the Golden Age of DC Comics in the form of the Justice Society. The group includes Wonder Woman (Katic), Jay Garrick AKA OG Flash (Taylor), Black Canary (Rotaru), Hawkman (Abtahi), Hourman (Mercer) and Steve Trevor (Diamantopoulos) as they must battle the Nazi’s.

After seeing the trailer, I thought I knew what we were getting, but it was so much more and so much better than I originally thought because there are so many surprises throughout, and it starts right at the beginning.

This is down to the incredible creative team behind the film with a phenomenal script by Meghan Fitzmartin and Jeremy Adams (who’s hit it out of the park for me twice with Batman: Soul Of The Dragon, I want a Richard Dragon solo adventure) and the mastermind of the whole thing, Butch Lukic.

The animation follows in the footsteps of Superman: Man of Tomorrow, and I’m so glad it does because it’s become my favourite style from DC. I enjoyed the New 52 design, but this new era batters it without issue as it’s so rich in detail and design, and I’m glad it’ll continue with the upcoming Batman: The Long Halloween two-parter.

In the space of 84 minutes, this film told a Flash movie, a Justice Society movie and a Wonder Woman movie in genres of time-travel, gritty war, mystery, action and kaiju. It all works and never once felt out of place.

As for the cast, they’re all fantastic. Bomer is the perfect Flash, and it’s crazy to think he hasn’t voiced the character previously because his Barry is incredibly charming and fun, and it feels like he’s only been in the superhero game for a couple of years.

The standout for me was Katic as Wonder Woman, who gets to kick as much arse as Gal Gadot did in the first Wonder Woman movie, and it’s clear this version took inspiration from Patty Jenkins’ 2017 epic. From the accent to numerous fight scenes, she is so fucking awesome I hope Fitzmartin, Lukic and producer Jim Krieg are working on a solo Wonder Woman film.

If they are, they keep the same design as it’s my favourite animated design of the Diana Prince as it’s clear they took inspiration from Darwyn Cooke’s New Frontier design of Wonder Woman.

Elsewhere, the rest of the cast do a terrific job, loved seeing Diamantopoulos’ Trevor bounce off Katic, and director Wamester added a nod of respect to the James Bond gun barrel in one scene involving Garrick.

Finally, it has one of my favourite openings to a DC animation, throwing back to that era of opening credits. I hope DC continues this by making the opening credits for each movie unique.

Bonus Features

As always, the Blu-ray includes plenty of bonus features, including a sneak peek at Batman: The Long Halloween: Part One, two look back featurette’s of previous movies and Parts 1&2 of the Justice League animated series episode, Legends.

Furthermore, there’s a new animated short called DC Showcase – Kamandi. It’s based on the beloved Jack Kirby comic, and they stick to the world of Kirby from the world he created and keeping the same animation style.

Then for anyone wanting to get into the industry, there’s a roundtable called Adventures in Storytelling: Justice Society: World War II, and it’s great to get more insight into the film from the creative minds behind it. I hope this is something they continue doing for every movie.

Verdict

This is a terrific movie with plenty of surprises — a strong, superb script and voice acting by Bomer and Katic.

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