Justice League vs Teen Titans—premiered at WonderCon in Los Angeles last weekend and I got to sit down with the cast and crew of the new DC animated film. Being a big comic book fan some of my favorite comic books are Team books like the X-men, Avengers, Justice League and Teen Titans. So when DC announced that there would be a Justice League VS. Teen Titans movie I was super excited. After all 2 of the best Super Hero cartoons on TV this century were Justice League and Teen Titans. Oh, I’m not talking about that god awful Teen Titans Go. I’m talking about the original show that travesty is based on. Teen Titans along with Justice League was a favorite amongst comic fans and critics alike it’s got a 9/10 on IMDB. Despite having a hugely successful run of five seasons on TV, the powers-that-be at WB decided to cancel both the Justice League and Teen Titans in 2006. That year Warner Bros. and DC announced at San Diego Comic-Con the DC Universe Animated Original Movies which are direct to video films aimed at an older audience based on DC print comics and graphic novels. While most of them showcase Batman or Superman but quite a few focus on the Justice league. So I was looking forward to seeing what version of the Teen Titans they paired with the Justice league and what the storyline would be. The first thing you’ll notice is the film is set in the same continuity as Justice League: War and the recent Batman animated films Son of Batman and, Batman: Bad Blood. So that means we get Damien as this Teen Titans Robin. There is also a lot of Young Justice elements in here, as well as some from the 2003-2006 animated series, and uses the same voice cast as those films (Jason O’Mara is once again Batman, Stuart Allen is once again Robin, Jerry O'Connell as Superman, Rosario Dawson as Wonder Woman and Shemar Moore as Cyborg). It starts out with the Justice league taking on some common criminals when a paranormal threat emerges and Damien uses a little too much fire power. After which Batman decides that Damien needs to learn socialization and teamwork. Enter the Teen titans. There are a lot of funny moments with Damien adjusting to his new team (Beast Boy, Blue Beetle, Raven and Starfire). Even though the title is Justice League vs. Teen Titans the Justice league aren’t in the majority of the movie. The main premise is the Titans taking on the possessed form of the League when they’re taken over by the evil sorcery of Trigon, an inter-dimensional demon. Who, by the way, also happens to be Titans member Raven’s father. Oh, by the way if you have seen Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice you’ll find the Boss battle remincent of that film. The film is definitely entertaining and lives up to prior Justice League animated films. The film captures the essence of the 2001 Titans Show, The DDR scene will have you laughing and so will Cyborg with his penchant for Pizza. Overall the movie is entertaining and witty a 7.5/10.
Before the screening I got to sit down and talk to supervising producer James Tucker. So my first question for producer James Tucker was why it’s taken so long to see the Teen Titans in a movie and will we start seeing other characters from the DC U in future animated films. Tucker explained that Warner Bros. and DC only fund DC Animated Universe to make 2 movies in continuity a year so they are careful with how they use these projects. “People know what Batman is and people know Justice league and even though you would think they know Teen Titans… they kinda don’t.” So it seems Justice League vs. Teen Titans is a way to re-introduce the team to the masses. When asked if we will see more Teen Titans Tucker explained “We because we only get 2 shots a year. One shot is usually a Batman specific project the other is a Justice League specific project. But hopefully after the release of this movie Titans will be added to that mix and if we get to do more we’ll get to show what happened before this team and where this team is going.” So it seems that the success of this film will determine whether or not we see more Teen Titans. Lastly, Tucker added that he’d love to see the DC Animated Universe do a direct to Netflix or TV series. He said he’d be able to tell give the fans more in depth characters and storylines if he had the benefit of an entire season. “If they gave me the greenlight for a series I’d be all over that.” So comic fans let’s hope sales on this movie are great so that we’ll get a Teen Titans movie going forward. The teaser at the end of the movie suggest we might be getting that original Teen Titans: The Judas Contract movie announced back in 2006 Which I would love to see. Justice League vs. Teen is available now via digital download; it will arrive in stores on DVD and Blu-ray April 12, 2016.
So this past weekend I had the privilege to attend Wonder Con; thanks to Atlanta Blackstar. Word! While there I was present at DCE’s massive REBIRTH title relaunch. There was a stellar collection of writers and artists from DC universe there to discuss their ongoing projects as well as to reveal the future of the DC Universe. I was fortunate enough to hear from the minds behind some of DC Comics' most popular series including HARLEY QUINN, JUSTICE LEAGUE, and BATMAN about the future of the DC universe. The event kicked off with Tiffany Smith from DC All Access introducing DC comics’ co-publishers Jim Lee and Dan Didio. Jim Lee talked about how happy he was with the success of the DC universe in TV and Movies but that the comics are where it all starts; Lee “comics are the source material and it’s important to keep them at the center.” He explained that Rebirth was about just that. Dan Didio’s take on Rebirth was that it is a recommitment to the fans and that they felt so passionate about their fans that not only are they going to publish key titles twice monthly but they are lowering their price to $2.99.
Sounds great but what is Rebirth? I mean the New 52 isn’t even old enough for kindergarten why another relaunch? Well enter “the main man” Himself; Geoff Johns, Chief Creative Officer at DC Comics (Sorry I couldn’t help but drop a Lobo quote). Anyway, Geoff told us that when Lee and Didio approached him about Rebirth he was skeptical, but hopeful as a comic fan because Rebirth is not a new launch but a continuation or next phase of “The New 52.” In fact they told us that it will all lead to the revealing of the biggest secret in the DC universe ever…..Key ominous music. Because they never told us or hinted at what this will be or did they? So we will just have to wait and see. Jim lee, Dan Didio and Geoff Johns also announced that they had signed Scott Snyder (All-Star Batman) and Amanda Conner (Harley Quinn) has been signed exclusively to DC. Speaking of signed…everyone that attended the event got received a signed Jim Lee lithograph of the DC Rebirth line up…Awesome! Overall the event was quite entertaining they gave a rundown of the top titles in rebirth and sneak peaks of the costumes. Check out below and you can see a list and synopsis of the titles below.
Batman: Written by Tom King, Illustrated by David Finch and Mikel Janín (Not many details were given for this title)
Detective Comics: Written by James Tynion IV, Illustrated by Eddy Barrows(the storyline is described as a Batman boot camp with Tim Drake, Cassandra Kan, Batman, Batwoman and Clay face as team members.)
Nightwing: Written by Tim Seeley, Illustrated by Javi Fernandez and Marcus To (the storyline is described as Nightwing finding a new mentor who he feels is better than batman and having to deal with trust and loyalty issues.)
Batgirl: Written by Hope Larson, Illustrated by Rafael Albuquerque (the storyline is described as Batgirl leaving Gotham to go on a backpacking and training mission in Asia.)
Batgirl and the Birds of Prey: Written by Julie Benson and Shawna Benson, Illustrated by Claire Roe (the story here is Barbara Gordon is no longer the oracle but someone is pretending to be the oracle. So she teams up with Black Canary and Huntress to find the impersonator.)
All Star Batman: Written by Scott Snyder, Illustrated by John Romita, Jr., Paul Pope, Sean Gordon Murphy, Tula Lotay, and Jock (classic Batman with a storyline that has him chasing two-face across the country)
Action Comics: Written by Dan Jurgens(the first storyline will be “The Path of Doom” Lex Luthor becomes the Superman of Metropolis and we discover there is a separate Clark Kent from the Superman we know.)
The Super-Man: Written by Gene Luen Yang( Kenji Khan who lives in Shanghai gets infused with Superman powers and has to cope with his new abilities while living in China.)
Supergirl Rebirth #1: Written by Steve Orlando (Supergirl has to decide whether or not she wants to stay on earth or go with her father back to krypton. Oh, and he’s also an evil cyborg with superman abilities.)
Trinity Rebirth #1: Written by Francis Manapul (A One-shot not much info given)
Superwoman #1: Written by Phil Jimenez (not much info given)
Superman Rebirth#1: Written by Peter J. Tomas (not much info given)
Wonder Woman Rebirth #1: Written by Greg Rucka, Phil Winslade (This title will be published twice monthly with 2 storylines running simultaneously. The odd #’s will be contemporary Wonder Woman stories while the even #’s will tell the story of Wonder Woman from Year one.)
Hal Jordan And The Green Lantern Corps Rebirth #1: Written by Rob Vendetti (Takes place after Sinestro has won the war and Rebirth starts with him parking War World in the middle of the universe.)
Green Lantern #1: Written by Sam Humphries (2 new rookies Green Lanterns Jessica Cruz and Simon Baez must learn to work together to defeat the Red Lanterns can courage conquer fear.)
Flash #1: Written by Josh Williamson (A Speed force storm creates dozens of speedsters all over central city and the Flash has to train them in how to use their new powers for good; but they all don’t want to be good)
Cyborg #1: Written by John Semper (Cyborg explores the question of what part his soul plays in his technologically advanced body)
Aquaman #1: Written by Dan Abnett (Aquaman wants to make Atlantis a part of the United Nations and the world. The storyline is Rise of the 7 Seas.)
Justice League: Written by Bryan Hitch, Artist Tony Daniel (An all new team of Justice League members)
Harley Quinn: Written by Jimmy Palmiotti, Amanda Conner
Suicide Squad: Written by Rob Williams, Jim Lee
Justice League 50: Written by Jason Fabok (This is probably the title I’m looking most forward to. Geoff Johns revealed at Rebirth that we will finally hear the answer to the question Batman asked at the end of the Darkseid war. That’s right the Jokers real name will be revealed.)