The Legion of Doom arises in Justice League: Doom, and it could spell permanent trouble for every member of the League in this animated feature from DC Animation Studios.
Led by Vandal Savage (Phil Morris) the Legion of Doom comes together when each member is offered something they never had before, a way to beat each of their arch-enemies in the League. It seems Batman (Kevin Conroy, YES!) has kept files on all his fellow League members, information that includes their identity and a plan to take them down should they become a threat.
Batman is always ready for every possibility, but what he doesn’t count on is Savage orchestrating a theft of the Caped Crusader’s own database and files and putting his own plans into action against his fellows.
It’s one horrible battle after another, as Wonder Woman (Susan Eisenberg), Superman (Tim Daly), Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), Flash (Michael Rosenbaum), Martian Manhunter (Carl Lumbly), Cyborg (Bumper Robinson) and Batman himself are taken down, one after the other, by Savage’s plan. This will pave the way for his plan to wipe out two-thirds of the planet’s population and divvy up the world to his fellow members of the Legion, Star Sapphire (Olivia d’Abo), Mirror Master (Alexis Denisoff), Cheetah (Claudia Black), Bane (Carlos Alazraqui) and Metallo (Paul Blackthorne).
Batman knows even if he comes through the battles ahead, he’s going to have to face the massive breach of trust he’s had with those he works with. Something that gets resolved a little too quickly at the story’s end.
Honestly, the whole thing felt a little short, running an hour and fifteen minutes. We get to see the League in trouble, but they’re never really knocked down completely and are able to rally together pretty quickly once Batman clues them in on how to best his own plans.
This is one of those stories that, if done right, could have been a really big two-parter, with the first episode concluding with the League seemingly beaten, and on the verge of losing everything. The stakes are illustrated in this story, but they aren’t as completely embraced or explored as they could have been.
That being said, the voice cast, on the other hand, is top-notch, and it was very cool to hear a lot of the voices from the Justice League cartoon reunited behind the scenes.
I like the seeds of this story. We know why Bruce/Bats works alone, trust and paranoia tend to keep him alive, and what if those who were there to protect the world turned against it, it’s a great idea. It just could have been explored a little better than it was, or at least in a longer format.