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.
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Afronauts is a collective dedicated to bringing exposure to and understanding of Indigenous Futurism in all its forms.