Monday, October 17, 2011

2011 Justice League: Doom Trailer

I had a rare M'gann M'orzz Miss Martian Monday story synopsis planned for today, since this was the first weekend in a while where I did not schedule heavy cross-blog coverage. So of course, something immediately newsworthy bumped the girl.

Judging from this trailer, reports of the direct to video Justice League: Doom animated movie being based loosely on the JLA "Tower of Babel" story arc did not emphasis that looseness enough. We're talking "keeps a spare outfit and three forms of contraceptive in her purse" loose. It's one thing to swap out Rāʾs al-Ghūl for Vandal Savage (which is sort of like supersizing the same meal.) It's quite another to offer a never before seen Legion of Doom and the freakin' Royal Flush Gang. At best the two stories share a basic premise, possibly that Batman's secret files were still stolen, but probably as slim as individual takedowns of the League members. It seems like it could just as easily have been a loose adaptation of "The Judas Contract," especially once Cyborg shows up. I wonder if that was Dwayne McDuffie or Geoff Johns. The absence of Aquaman once again indicates the former.

Anyway, the Martian Manhunter has had plenty of opportunities in animation over the past decade, and I never felt the need to promote those instances promptly. In fact, J'Onn J'Onzz's presence in the new movie seems fairly slight (which given the return of the dreadfully lame voice of Carl Lumbly and the OYL outfit, will not have me crying myself to sleep.) The first item of interest for me was live action John Jones Phil Morris returning as Vandal Savage (whose post yesterday was completely unrelated to this video.) The second and primary reason was that this cartoon, to the best of my knowledge, marks the first instance of a Martian Manhunter-specific/Vile Menagerie villain being adapted to animation. As much as I might grouse about Ma'alefa'ak, he's earning his rank as The Second Most Important Alien Atlas Adversary with his appearance in this cartoon.

Appropriately enough, Star Sapphire in a slightly more modest version of her current controversial comic book costume is also in this Legion of Doom. It seems like Malefic and Bane are both working toward gender equality with stripper-quality outfits of their own. You have to shave your glory trail to wear suits like that, and I appreciate their barely concealed nipples. Not to be outdone, the Cheetah is totally decked out to work a pole for tips, and even Metallo seems unusually anatomically correct. More curiously, the primary liberty taken with Malefic is that he looks closer to the One Year Later Martian Manhunter design than J'Onn J'Onzz. He appears to have the conehead and the thin piping, while his comic style is reflected in the skin exposure, chains, and obscuring collar/neck brace. Most amusingly, Malefic has fingerless opera gloves, a tattered cape and bare feet. Anyone else reminded of the Goblin Queen? Aside from the transvestism (hell, because of it) I'm looking forward to seeing this. IMDB doesn't have a casting credit, but I'm hopefully Malefic ends up with a speaking part. Maybe he'll sound like Thanos in the old Silver Surfer cartoon?

Update: More videos, including confirmation that "the scary guy is Ma'alefa'ak..."

Phonetically rendered "Mallah-fah-ock" by a human character, and simply "Mallah-faak" by producer Alan Burnett. He does have a speaking part, and while I can't quite place it, I have heard the voice before. Dual role for Lumbly? The spelling is the same as the comics. The story still revolves around the bad guys using Batplans against the JLA.


Rafa Rivas said...

The 5 villains with a vendetta look like they escaped from a Lady Gaga video or a drag queen party (which I believe are about the same thing - not that there's anything wrong with that, to quote George and Jerry).
You forgot to mention, this movie seems to be a spin of the Young Justice cartoon.

Diabolu Frank said...

As I understand it, the Phil Bourassa designed shows are all meant to be of one continuity separate from JLU. On the other hand, it's the same voice cast as JLU and a sequel to "Crisis On Two Worlds," a transparent rewrite of a JLU movie. Choose your own interpretation, I suppose.

Rafa Rivas said...

The cast seems to be the main difference from the JL Bourassa movies and Young Justice. I thik Vandal Savage doesn't have the same scars and Aquaman shaved in the first movie.

aota said...

Pretty much the same character designs that they use for Young Justice. I like that they made Jonns head smaller not like that huge pickle head from the comics.

Rafa Rivas said...

My favorite would have to be the one that Timm designed. However the silver age layer face from New Frontier and The Brave and the Bold grew on me.

Diabolu Frank said...

I never warmed to the Timm design any more than Lumbly vocals. Too thick in some places, too thin in others, the red eyes bugged me and I hated the rubber vampire collar. I actually prefer the current look to that, but my favorite animated adaption of J'Onn J'Onzz remains New Frontier.

LissBirds said...

I wouldn't have even known Malefic was in this trailer if you hadn't pointed it out, Frank.

This is the first time he's ever been animated, right?