Justice League: Gods and Monsters is not a tale of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman most are used to. The newest film from DC Animation follows the story of an alternate universe where we see DC‘s big three re-imagined into much darker, grittier versions.
As always with my reviews, I will remain as spoiler free as possible.
In Gods and Monsters Superman is no longer Kal-El/Clark Kent, he is now the child of General Zod and was raised by a Mexican family who names him Hernan Guerra. Wonder Woman is not Princess Diana of Themyscira, instead she is Bekka from New Genesis. Then there is Batman, aka Kirk Langstrom (Man-Bat in the comics) who is a vampire.
The movie also sees the return of Bruce Timm to the DC Animated Universe. Timm is responsible for co-creating some DC‘s best animated shows like Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond and Static Shock. He also did a animated short celebrating the 75th anniversary of Batman called Strange Days.
I am going to come right out and say it. I did not like it. It was bland, had the same murder mystery scenario we have seen a billion times and seemed that it was dark just to be dark. Plus, the Bruce Timm style really didn’t help with how violent the story was trying to be. Don’t get me wrong. I am an avid lover of all things Bruce Timm, but this just didn’t fit.
The prequel series Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles which aired via Machinima showed us early on how grim this world was going to be. Yet, after watching, it just seemed to miss the mark on what was trying to be created. It felt like a melding of various other alternate universe (or as DC use to call them, Elseworlds) tales and seeing how dark they could make it. Batman as a vampire has been done as has Superman being the son of Zod. New God Bekka as Wonder Woman is new, though I do find her to have very like the DC character Fury. Incidentally, Fury is the daughter of Wonder Woman in DC‘s New 52 series Earth 2. You can also tell the story took some inspiration from the series The Authority. There’s even a New God/Apokolips Red Wedding that’s straight out of Game of Thrones.
The costumes of the the big three also seemed bland. When it came to Wonder Woman, it was very reminiscent of the New Gods from the old Justice League cartoon series. However, it was still simple and white and for as much blood as she spilled…she never got a drop on her. In fact her outfit is very similar to the character of Aresia from the Justice League animated series. Superman’s costume was the most simple. The cape has been replaced by dark trench coat and the s-shield only appears on his belt buckle. As for the Bat…his outfit just makes no sense and is just not Batman.
I am going to give it a 2 out of 5 bananas. While Gods and Monsters was somewhat entertaining, it fell short on captivating me. The story is too similar to what we have seen before and the ending was a let down. If you are a fan of the old DC Elseworlds you may like the film. For alternate universe stories, I recommend Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox.