Justice League: Gods And Monsters Chronicles (JLGAMC) is the web series prequel to the animated feature film Justice League: Gods And Monsters, available in late July 2015.
Produced by Warner Bros. Animation and digital network Machinima, this web series features the iconic DC Comics superheroes that make up the Justice League - though radically altered.
JLGAMC is comprised of three six minute episodes, with each one dedicated to introducing alternate versions of Wonder Woman, Batman and Superman.
In the episode Big, Wonder Woman is presented with a redesigned uniform that completely jettisons her Greek-inspired armor.
Gone are her signature red, white, and blue color scheme, wrist bracelets, tiara, and golden magic lasso. Instead, she is given a look heavily influenced by legendary comic book artist Jack Kirby, along with a (magic?) black sword.
The episode pits her, and longtime ally Steve Trevor, against Giganta - a member of her classic rogue's gallery who also gets a drastic new origin.
Early on in the episode, you realize this take on the DC Universe is grittier, far more adult, and much darker than previous animated excursions.
For example, Wonder Woman and Steve do not hesitate to use lethal force to dispatch an army of henchmen.
What's more surprising is the revelation (through dialogue and an eyebrow-raising brief scene of seduction) that Wonder Woman and Steve have become lovers.
DC wants viewers to know this version of their animated universe is definitely aimed at a more mature audience.
Watch Big here ...
In the next installment entitled Bomb, we meet the man of steel. However, Superman receives the most radical makeover.
Gone is the classic "S" curl in his hair. Instead, he has been given a ceaser-like haircut along with a moustache and goatee. He also sports a dark blue jumpsuit sans chest S symbol, over which he wears a black trenchcoat!
Of all the character redesigns, Superman's is the one I like the least. It gives him a very sinister look that is probably intentional.
In Bomb, President Amanda Waller must decide whether to use a nuclear warhead in a highly populated U.S. city in order to stop a powerful threat. However, Superman does intervene and uses a very controversial tactic in order to save the city.
Watch Bomb here ...
Twisted, featuring Batman, is the darkest of the three episodes. As the it opens, Batman has entered a literal house-of-horrors created by a completely psychotic Harley Quinn.
This Batman is now equipped with a suit very reminiscent of the sleek design used in the Batman Beyond animated series.
When Batman finally takes down Harley, we discover what really makes this Bruce Wayne far different from any we've seen onscreen thus far.
Watch Twisted here ...
JLGAMC was executive produced by Bruce Timm, who was responsible for producing the classic Batman: The Animated Series in the 1990s, the well regarded Superman: The Animated Series, and the popular Justice League Unlimited animated series.
I enjoy Mr. Timm's vision of the DC animated universe because he infuses it with a distinct visual style, thematic complexity, and emotional depth not often found in American animation.
It's also great to seealtered versions of these iconic superheroes, because it frees up exciting new storytelling avenues not otherwise possible with their standard characterizations.
Because of this, Justice League Gods And Monsters: Chronicles is great as a stand alone web series.
It also serves as an enticing invitation to revisit this dark version of the DC Universe for an extended stay when the feature length film Justice League Gods and Monsters* is released.
*Disclosure: this is an affiliate link. If you click on the link and make a purchase, I will receive a portion of the proceeds.
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