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Justice League Dark: Apokolips War (2020)

Josh Review the DC Animated Film: Apokolips War

August 6th, 2020
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Justice League Dark: Apokolips War seems to be the finale of the “New 52” style continuity of animated films that began with 2014’s Justice League: War Here in Apokolips War, the story circles back around to Darkseid (who was the main villain in Justice League: War — his attack on Earth is what led to the formation of the Justice League in that story).  Superman has decided to finally take the battle to Darkseid, and leads the Justice League in an attack on Darkseid’s home planet of Apokolips.  The attack fails, and in response, Darkseid attacks Earth again and slaughters most of the DC universe heroes.  A crippled Superman teams up with John Constantine and a motley crew of other unlikely heroes in a desperate attempt to retake the Earth and defeat Darkseid once and for all.

I quite enjoyed Apokolips War — far more than I’d been expecting to!

While in general I love the idea of a continuity between these DC animated films — I am a huge fan of long-form story-telling in any media, from novels to comic books to TV shows to movies — I have not been a huge fan of this series.  There have been some fun stories here and there, and I have loved seeing the connections between the films.  But overall, I think the tone of these films has been off — they’ve tried to be “mature” and “adult” (and many have been rated PG-13, even R), but I’ve found the sex and cursing in the films to be pretty juvenile.  True adult storytelling would be complex themes and characters, but there hasn’t been nearly enough of that to suit me.  The animation has been OK but not great, and I have not been a fan of the character-designs (which, in my opinion, have given us some very weird-looking characters).

So I haven’t loved this series nearly as much as I’d hoped I would when it started… but if Apokolips War is indeed the grand finale, it is a very satisfying conclusion.  Even when judged purely as a stand-alone adventure, there’s a lot here to enjoy.

It was fun to see so many different characters incorporated into this adventure.  In addition to the entire Justice League, we also get to see all of the members of the Teen Titans as well as the Justice League “Dark”, the loose band of supernatural heroes including John Constantine. Zatanna, and others.  (This movie was given the Justice League Dark heading in its title, which is a curious choice.  John Constantine is the central character, but if this is indeed the finale of this animated movie series, I was surprised they didn’t use the more … [continued]