Justice Society: World War II
Directed byJeff Wamester
Written by
  • Meghan Fitzmartin
  • Jeremy Adams
Based on
Produced by
  • Jim Krieg
  • Kimberly S. Moreau
Starring
Edited byBruce A. King
Music byKevin Riepl
Production
companies
Distributed byWarner Bros. Home Entertainment
Release date
  • April 27, 2021 (2021-04-27)
Running time
84 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish

Justice Society: World War II is an American animated superhero film produced by Warner Bros. Animation and DC Entertainment. It is the 42nd film of the DC Universe Animated Original Movies and the second installment of the Tomorrowverse.[1] The film is directed by Jeff Wamester and starring the voices of Stana Katic and Matt Bomer. It tells an original story of the Flash ending up back in time to World War II where he meets the Justice Society of America and helps them thwart the threat of the Nazis and the Advisor.

Plot

During World War II, President Roosevelt is asked by Colonel Steve Trevor to get the United States involved by creating a team of superhumans. Consisting of Trevor, Black Canary, Hawkman, Hourman, Jay Garrick / Flash, and led by Wonder Woman, the Justice Society of America is formed.[2]

In the present,[N 1] Barry Allen and Iris West picnic in Metropolis, hoping to get away from "work". However, their plans are disrupted by Superman fighting Brainiac. Allen comes to Superman's aid as the Flash. When Brainiac fires a Kryptonite bullet, Flash tries to catch it, but runs fast enough to channel the Speed Force for the first time. Guided by someone's voice, Allen arrives in what he believes is the past during a battle between the JSA and the Nazis. Despite initial confusion over his allegiance, the JSA realizes Allen is an ally and seemingly comes from the future. As the team mobilizes to stop another wave of Nazis, Allen takes Trevor back to the JSA's base and learns about the team, whom he never heard of before.

The JSA's next mission involves saving a codebreaker from a Nazi fortress. He can presumably decode a message Trevor stole. Despite the risk of causing a time paradox, the heroes realize they need Allen's help.

The heroes and "Shakespeare", the JSA's war correspondent, break in the fortress, defeat the guards, and discover prisoners in the dungeons. A guard attacks Shakespeare, only for the bullets to bounce off of him. Shakespeare's actual name turns out to be Clark Kent. However, he has a different background from the Kent Allen knows. Because of this, Allen realizes that he is in a parallel reality. Meanwhile, the JSA finds the codebreaker, whom Hawkman recognizes as Doctor Fate. Allen recognizes Fate as the man who called out to him. He asks Fate if it is possible for him to return. According to Fate, Barry can return but there is a lesson he needs to learn first and a mission he has to accomplish. Breaking the code with his powers, Fate directs the team to the Bermuda Triangle before disappearing.

Arriving at the Triangle by sub, the team is detected by Nazi warships. After depth charges disable the engines, the Flashes jump-start the sub while Wonder Woman attacks the enemy ships. The heroes are saved by Atlantean soldiers, who direct them to a nearby outpost. There, the JSA meets Aquaman, who imprisons them. The code turns out to be a trap and Aquaman is being controlled by the Advisor, a telepathic mercenary who is influencing the Atlanteans to work with the Nazis. The Advisor hopes to destroy them later and take over the planet. The Flashes join forces to break out. The team splits up, with one heading for New York to stop the Nazis and Atlanteans while Allen and Wonder Woman try to stop Aquaman and the Advisor from releasing sea monsters from the Trench.

While attacking Manhattan, the Atlantean forces are confronted by the JSA. The heroes gain the upper hand until the monsters arrive, killing Hawkman and wounding Hourman. Garrick and Canary destroy the monsters while Wonder Woman and Allen fight Aquaman. With the help of Trevor, Wonder Woman breaks Aquaman's trident and frees him from the Advisor's control. Realizing what he has done, Aquaman retreats in guilt. The Advisor then reveals that a follow-up strike by Nazi bombers is imminent before killing Trevor with Aquaman's broken weapon. Barry knocks out the Advisor while Kent returns to destroy the bombers. Before dying, Trevor proposes to Wonder Woman, and she accepts. The Advisor regains consciousness and escapes. The JSA vows to avenge Trevor.

Before returning to his Earth, Allen says goodbye to the JSA. Wonder Woman gives him the ring Trevor gave her, warning him of holding off for tomorrow. Allen and Garrick use their combined speed to send the former back to the moment he intercepted the bullet. After destroying Brainiac with it, Allen suggests forming a superhero team[N 2] to combat future threats. He then returns to Iris and proposes to her. She accepts.

Voice cast

Voice actor Character
Stana Katic Diana / Wonder Woman
Matt Bomer Barry Allen / The Flash
Omid Abtahi Carter Hall / Hawkman
Geoffrey Arend Charles Halstead / Advisor
Darren Criss Clark Kent / Superman (Earth-1)
Clark Kent / "Shakespeare" / Superman (Earth-2)
Darin De Paul Brainiac (credited)
Franklin D. Roosevelt (uncredited)
Chris Diamantopoulos Steve Trevor
Keith Ferguson Kent Nelson / Doctor Fate
Ashleigh LaThrop Iris West
Matthew Mercer Rex Tyler / Hourman
Liam McIntyre Arthur / Aquaman
Elysia Rotaru Dinah Drake / Black Canary (erroneously identified by Steve Trevor as Dinah Lance)
Armen Taylor Jay Garrick / The Flash

Production

The film was officially announced in August 2020, during the Superman: Man of Tomorrow panel at DC FanDome.[3] Some of the concepts for the story and setting originated from a Wonder Woman animated series developed by producer Butch Lukic, who would later incorporate them into the film.[4]

Release

The film was released on digital platforms on April 27, 2021, and was released on Blu-ray and DVD on May 11.[5]

Reception

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 81% based on 16 reviews, with an average rating of 7.10/10.[6]

Jesse Schedeen of IGN rated the film a 9 out of 10: "Justice Society: World War II easily ranks among the best of long-running DC Universe Movies series. It draws just the right amount of inspiration from the source material while also pulling from adventure movies like Raiders of the Lost Ark to spin an entertaining superhero yarn. It deftly avoids the pacing issues that have plagued so many of these movies and manages to take full advantage of nearly every member of its ensemble cast. Clearly, Warner Bros. should be putting Barry Allen at the center of these animated films more often".[7]

The film earned $732,012 from domestic DVD sales and $2,887,606 from domestic Blu-ray sales, bringing its total domestic home video earnings to $3,619,618.[8]

Future

Main article: Tomorrowverse

The Flash makes a non-speaking cameo in Batman: The Long Halloween: Part II's post-credits scene. Additionally, Criss and Bomer reprised their roles as Clark Kent / Superman and Barry Allen / The Flash in the film Legion of Super-Heroes, which is also set in the Tomorrowverse.[9]

Notes

  1. ^ Set after Superman: Man of Tomorrow.
  2. ^ Identified off-screen as the Justice League who make an appearance in Green Lantern: Beware My Power.

References

  1. ^ Holmes, Adam (June 17, 2021). "How Matt Reeves' The Batman Affected The Long Halloween's Release". CinemaBlend. Archived from the original on June 30, 2021. Retrieved June 20, 2021.
  2. ^ "'Justice Society: World War II' Summary & Ending, Explained - Introduction To Speed Force | DMT". Digital Mafia Talkies. April 28, 2021. Archived from the original on April 28, 2021. Retrieved April 28, 2021.
  3. ^ "Justice Society of America: New Animated Movie to Release Next Year". August 25, 2020. Archived from the original on January 24, 2021. Retrieved February 3, 2021.
  4. ^ Comic Book Resources "Justice Society: World War II Started as a Wonder Woman Series" Archived April 1, 2021, at the Wayback Machine by Sam Stone, April 2, 2021
  5. ^ Adam Tyner (May 15, 2021). "Justice Society: World War II - Blu-ray Review". DVD Talk. Archived from the original on June 24, 2021. Retrieved June 23, 2021.
  6. ^ "Justice Society: World War II". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved June 5, 2022.
  7. ^ Schedeen, Jesse (April 27, 2021). "Justice Society: World War II Review". IGN. Archived from the original on April 27, 2021. Retrieved June 5, 2022.
  8. ^ "Justice Society: World War II (2021) The Numbers Listing". The Numbers. Archived from the original on August 19, 2022. Retrieved August 19, 2022.
  9. ^ Couch, Aaron (October 13, 2022). "DC's 'Legion of Super-Heroes' Sets Voice Cast With Meg Donnelly and Harry Shum Jr. to Star (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on October 16, 2022. Retrieved October 17, 2022.