One of the most requested team-ups is finally coming to animated film form, as Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment are pairing everyone’s favorite Dark Knight Detective hero Batman together with one of his cutest enemies in Harley Quinn for a movie that is a genuine love letter to fans of both characters in “Batman and Harley Quinn” – the next installment in the long running “DC Universe Animated Original Movie” series that is based on characters and storylines published by DC Comics.
With the release of the new DC Animated film “Teen Titans: The Judas Contract” on digital media and coming to DVD and Blu-Ray this month as well, Warner Bros. Animation has released a nine minute sneak peek of “Batman and Harley Quinn,” with “Batman: The Animated Series” collaborators Bruce Timm and Paul Dini featured – both of whom have co-created the character of Harley Quinn and introduced her in the same show back in September of 1992.
The new movie also features the return of the voice of Batman himself in Kevin Conroy as well as Loren Lester – who originally voiced Dick Grayson as Robin in Batman the Animated Series and now reprises his role as Nightwing in the film.
#26. BATMAN: ASSAULT ON ARKHAM #25.
JUSTICE LEAGUE: WAR #24. ALL
STAR SUPERMAN #23.
SUPERMAN UNBOUND #22. BATMAN
VS ROBIN #21. BATMAN
BAD BLOOD #20. JUSTICE
LEAGUE: THRONE OF ATLANTIS #19.
SUPERMAN/BATMAN: APOCALYPSE #18. WONDER
WOMAN #17. SON OF
BATMAN #16. JUSTICE
LEAGUE VS TEEN TITANS #15. BATMAN:
THE KILLING JOKE #14. BATMAN:
GOTHAM KNIGHT #13.
SUPERMAN DOOMSDAY #12.
JUSTICE LEAGUE THE NEW FRONTIER #11.
SUPERMAN/BATMAN: PUBLIC ENEMIES
LANTERN: FIRST FLIGHT #9. JUSTICE
LEAGUE: DOOM #8. BATMAN
YEAR ONE #7.
SUPERMAN VS THE ELITE #6. GREEN
LANTERN: EMERALD KNIGHTS #5. BATMAN:
UNDER THE RED HOOD #4. JUSTICE
LEAGUE: CRISIS ON TWO EARTHS #3. JUSTICE
LEAGUE: THE FLASHPOINT PARADOX #2. JUSTICE
LEAGUE: GODS AND MONSTERS #1. BATMAN:
THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS
Christina Ricci and Miguel Ferrer are voice-starring in Teen Titans: The Judas Contract, the long-awaited DC Universe animated original movie from Warner Bros. Animation, DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.
The movie, being directed by Sam Liu (Justice League vs. Teen Titans) from a screenplay by Ernie Altbacker, adapts the classic storyline from Tales of the Teen Titans, one of DC’s top comics in the 1980s. Ricci will play Teen Titans member Terra and Ferrer is voicing the mercenary villain Deathstroke.
Ricci and Ferrer are newcomers to the stable of the DC animated movies, a line that celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. Titans will also see returning DC players Sean Maher, Kari Wahlgren, Jake T. Austin, Taissa Farmiga, Brandon Soo Hoo and Stuart Allan join the voice cast.
Teen Titans was DC’s comic that went head-to-head with Marvel’s Uncanny X-Men in the early 1980s in a time when both comics were outselling their companies’ more established stars such as Batman and Spider-Man, respectively. Titans, under writer Marv Wolfman and penciller George Perez, hit a zenith with The Judas Contract storyline. It was the culmination of years of stories that saw the Titans — young heroes Starfire, Raven, Beast Boy, Nightwing/Robin and Cyborg — face the betrayal of their teammate Terra.The woman had partnered with Deathstroke to take down the team.
Do you ever think about Clark Kent in Superman/Shazam: The Return of Black Adam?
He’s probably like, “Damn it, just once can’t I do a news story and not uncover some evil plan from Lex Luthor or something?
“Can’t I do some stupid human interest story that doesn’t end with me fighting a supervillain? Just once?
“I’ll go to Fawcett City. Nothing ever happens there.”
So he goes, and he finds this woobie-ish homeless kid named Billy Batson. Clark’s gonna write a story about him, and then some nice foster family will adopt Billy, and he’ll have finally done a good deed that doesn’t involve getting punched by superpowered psychopaths.
wouldn’t ya know it?
Billy happens to be some damn Wizard’s Chosen One.
And now there’s an evil Egyptian space elf trying to kill him.
So my friend works at NetherRealm Studios and gave me a quick tour the other day. The place is awesome and I got to see some really cool stuff including the disembodied head of Goro from the first Mortal Kombat movie. Here are just a few of the pictures I was afforded.
Justice League: Gods and Monsters is now digitally available! I watched it, and I have to say I really liked it. A very much welcomed return to Bruce Timm’s animation. For sure the best movie since “The Flashpoint Paradox” and definitely in my Top 5 of DC Universe Original Movies.
New clip from Son of Batmanand the premiere day at WonderCon.
“Son of Batman,” the 20th DC Universe Animated Original Movie, will have its World Premiere as the featured event at WonderCon on Friday, April 18 in the Arena starting at 6:00pm. The premiere will be followed by a panel discussion amongst voice cast and filmmakers, including several members of the stellar voice cast – Jason O'Mara (Batman), Sean Maher (Nightwing), Xander Berkeley (Langstrom), Stuart Allan (Damian) – and filmmakers James Tucker (producer), Ethan Spaulding (director), Phil Bourassa (character designer) and Andrea Romano (dialogue director).“Son of Batman”activities at WonderCon include an hour-long autograph session for fans on Friday, April 18 from 3:30-4:30pmin the DC Entertainment booth. All members of the panel are expected to be present for the signing, which will include an exclusive-to-WonderCon“Son of Batman” mini-poster. As the Friday night premiere of DCU films traditionally sells out, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will give fans an additional opportunity to see the film with an encore screening of “Son of Batman” on Sunday, April 20 at 1:15pm in the Arena.
You keep saying that Harley would be happier without the Joker and acting like she actually hates him. I'm not trying to argue, but do you have anything to support that? I don't know a lot about Batman so I'm actually curious, is that the way the original comics tell it, or is it like your personal interpretation?
That’s actually a good question! I’m going to give a cover-all spoiler warning for DC Media here, but I’m specifically discussing the DC Animated Universe and the Arkham Universe. There’s also going to be a few descriptions of abuse and violence, so if that’s the sort of thing that triggers you, I suggest you tap the “J” button right now and auto-scroll past this post without looking at it.
First off, the Joker is abusive, both physically and emotionally. He makes no secret of the fact that Harley’s affections go one-way unless he needs something from her. He often physically injures her and leaves her for dead so he can make a getaway.
In the Arkham universe, it’s made incredibly explicit in the movie “Assault on Arkham” that Harley wants nothing more than to be rid of him forever, even trying to murder him at one point when he was caged. However, once he’s escaped, she quickly and very uneasily changes her tune and swears total allegiance to him because he was threatening to kill her new teammates and new lover if she didn’t.
So that speaks a little bit to Harley hating the Joker, but let’s look at the DC Animated Universe. See, Harley didn’t originate in the comics. She was created for “Batman: The Animated Series,” which was part of a greater continuity that also contained Superman, Justice League, Justice League Unlimited, Static Shock, Batman Beyond, and the Zeta Project among others. So the DC Animated Universe version of Harley is the original or “prime” Harley from which all other versions of her descend.
In the DC Animated Universe, Harley is with either the Joker or Poison Ivy for most of her appearances. “Word of God” statements from her creators make it canon that Harley is romantically involved with Poison Ivy whenever she is not with the Joker, and even though the network would not allow them to explicitly state this onscreen, it was pretty obvious even to the children who were watching that they were closer than “close friends.” And in the episodes where Harley is with Ivy, Ivy makes it really clear that the Joker is bad for her and she actually wants her to be “happy” and not just “subservient and loyal.”
Now, the DCAU version of the Joker meets a grisly end in the film “Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker.” After kidnapping Robin (Tim Drake), Batman and Batgirl arrive to recover their captured ally, only to find he’s been brainwashed, tortured, and twisted into “Joker Junior,” an adoptive son for Joker and Harley. Joker tried to get Tim to kill Batman, but he broke through his conditioning and turned the gun on the Joker instead, fatally impaling him through the heart with a flag that said “BANG.” During the fracas, Harley was knocked down a seemingly bottomless pit and assumed dead, but no body was found.
However, this is Detective Comics, and no one who falls down a bottomless pit is ever dead for very long. At the end of the movie, you find out that the “Dee Dee Twins” who’ve been working in a gang that styles themselves after the Joker for the whole movie are actually Harley Quinn’s twin granddaughters, and she’s very upset with them for getting mixed up with criminal clowns, because she’s worked her whole life to give them a good home so they don’t end up like her.
Here she is yelling at them for associating with characters like the Joker!
So basically the real original canon Harley Quinn’s whole character arc leads to her giving up a life of crime as soon as she was rid of the Joker, and eventually becoming a badass grandma who knows that she deserved better and insists that her granddaughters learn from her misfortune.
Continuing and ending the first part, here are my TOP 10 favorite DC Universe Animated Original Movies.
#10. JUSTICE LEAGUE THE NEW FRONTIER
The first Justice League film, was an adaptation of the famous comic with the same name, and it turns out a great movie. With very simplistic designs and great animation, it’s set in the post-war 50s, and it focuses mainly on Martian Manhunter’s arrival on Earth and how he tries to blend in, passing as a detective but it also focuses more on Hal Jordan’s journey to becoming Green Lantern. While all this happens, there’s something called The Centre that is possessing and obsessing villains and regular people all over the world. The suspense of trying to found out what The Centre is and why it’s affecting everyone is what makes this movie great, but sadly, it can’t live up to it’s hype, and a giant island that produces dinosaurs from within isn’t exactly what I was expecting. What I can figure out is that it’s a movie about the Justice League, focusing on the heroes and how they reunite to work together, so the villain isn’t really that much important to the plot, cause they just need a threat to unite, but still, something more interesting would have made this movie even better. The opening scene is excellent, if you don’t get chills after watching a suicide in a first-person point of view… then your emotions are as dead as Mr. Freeze’s! Overall, a great movie with an excellent build up that dissapoints in the end. 7.5 out of 10.
#9. SUPERMAN/BATMAN: PUBLIC ENEMIES
This movie was a lot of fun. A very simple plot, Luthor is the president so he declares Superman a public enemy and puts a billion dollar bounty on him. What follows is an hour of both heroes and villains alike trying to take Superman and Batman down, some wanting the billion dollars, some working for Luthor’s government. There’s not much more to it, it’s a simple movie, fast forward with a lot of action, great animation and featuring the talents of the classic voices of the DC Animated Universe… that makes it worth watching alone. Superman and Batman interacting is great, you can really tell they’re close friends and trust each other with their lives. People may complain about the muscled-up look most of the characters have in the movie, but it didn’t really bothered me, after all, if you are a superhero, you have to be in the best shape possible! What could have made this movie better, and it’s just a detail, but Luthor declares a public enemy to Superman alone, and Batman just tags along with him, so it takes the importance of the movie a little more towards Superman. I would have liked it more if Batman had been also thrown in as an accomplice or something like that, so they are all after him as much as they are after Superman. So basically, it’s a great, fun movie that doesn’t really do anything wrong, but doesn’t impress either. 7.5 out of 10.
#8. JUSTICE LEAGUE: DOOM
Very similar in spirit to Public Enemies, it has a simple plot: Vandal Savage provides villains of the Justice League with contingency plans made by Batman to kill the other members of the heroes. It would have worked much better as a twist if this hadn’t been revealed early on in the film description! That kinda ruined the moment, because it’s a great scene in the film, when Batman starts realizing that someone had used his contingency plans, so he rushes to help everybody. While I’ve already stated my dislike of Cyborg, he wasn’t bad in this film actually, he didn’t replace anybody, he was just the new guy helping out with cool tech, so I liked his character here, but you could tell, they were trying to slowly squeeze him into the Justice League movies as he apparently is getting very popular in the comics, like in the New 52… I could think of any other reason why replace great characters with Cyborg and Shazam into the league. But I won’t get into that again. The great voices return (Kevin Conroy, Tim Daly, etc), so that alone makes it worth watching. Vandal Savage is a very interesting villain, so immortal as he is, it was obvious that the way he was going to loose would be kind of a cheat, that’s the only bad thing about the movie. A very fun, action packed movie, with great voice actors. 7,5 out of 10.
#7. BATMAN YEAR ONE
An adaptation of one of Batman’s most famous stories, being as great as it is by itself, kinda disappointed me. Still, it’s good enough to earn the #7 spot. Being one of the few (or maybe the only one) stories that I had actually read a bunch of times before the release of the movie, I was really excited. So when the movie is an extremely faithful adaptation, following the story page by page, dialogue by dialogue, and the comic you’re adapting, it’s one of the most acclaimed comics of all time, how can you go wrong? Well, for me, it lacked a little bit of soul, of heart. It felt sometimes like if they were doing it in automatic mode. Mainly this could be due to Ben McKenzie’s dull performance of Batman, in what was probably my least favorite Batman voice. He felt bored, dull, not interested at all. It didn’t feel like it was really Batman. Curiously enough, he’s going to play James Gordon in the upcoming series Gotham. Talking about Gordon, he steals the show here. Bryan Cranston pulls a great, very human Gordon and makes the story focus on him. While I loved the comic, when I was reading it and imagining it as a movie (I do that with every comic I read) I thought that it might not work very well as a movie. Because it doesn’t feel like one movie, but more like events that go through the year… and that’s kinda what it is supposed to be, so it’s just a weird feel that the film gives. I also think the climax scene was very anti-Batman, he isn’t even in his suit, it’s clear daylight… that was one of my main thoughts while reading the comic and thinking about an animated movie. Still, it is an awesome story, with great action, awesome scenes, moments, character designs and animation, and it’s as good as a Year One adaptation could be. 8 out of 10.
#6. SUPERMAN VS THE ELITE
I really liked this movie. While I think most people didn’t, I really enjoyed it. Most people hated Superman’s design, but well, I didn’t love it, but I didn’t have a problem with it either, I just loved the simple animation look this movie has. But most importantly, what makes this movie so good is the moral debate that is featured. Should criminals be killed or not? By the time I watched this movie, the same topic was in the air were I lived, since most people grew tired of not feeling safe and whenever they’d catch a robber, they’d beat him up, going to such extremes that in 1 case, the robber died. So it’s a topic very present in the actual world, and it was very well represented through the film. While the villains weren’t that interesting, and the dragon-lady sexual innuendoes were a bit annoying, they served their purpose, to give the people a definitive answer to crime. And that is so interesting! The villain here is not trying to kill everyone or conquer the universe, he’s putting an end to crime. How about that! Sadly, they had to turn The Elite into a lame villain because they were actually proving a point, so they became evil because Superman punched Manchester Black. It was kind of a bad escape to have an evil villain and a good Superman, but it ended up helping to make a great scene with an ‘evil’ Superman. Great film. 8.5 out of 10.
#5. GREEN LANTERN: EMERALD KNIGHTS
This is a very underrated movie. I didn’t have much knowledge about the Green Lantern Corps, except for the most famous characters (Kilowog, etc) so maybe that helped the fact that I loved learning about characters that were new for me, and the stories itself are all of them very good, some better than others. The ones I liked the most were 'The first lantern’, 'Kilowog’ and specially 'Mogo Doesn’t Socialize’. Since I had never heard of Mogo, I was just as desperate as Bolphunga to find out where the heck was Mogo hiding, and the twist just blew my mind! I loved it, specially because it had a very different feel to the other segments, the backgrounds of the Mogo planet seemed different, and it reminded me of the movie 'Heavy Metal’. The Abin Sur segment was great too, dealing with prophecies and destiny, and the 'Laira’ segment was probably the one I didn’t really cared for, but it wasn’t bad either. The final battle with Krona was just a simple action scene to end the movie and give the film a sense of unity, but it’s nothing special as the segments are what shine here. I was pleasantly surprised with this one, and it remains one of my favorites. 8.5 out of 10.
#4. BATMAN: UNDER THE RED HOOD
While I think this is an excellent movie, I think it is a little overrated. It’s by all means a Batman movie, Gotham City looks spectacular, the characters and locations chosen for the movie are perfect, voice actors, animation, character designs, it all works. Black Mask was a personal favorite character of mine, he is great in the movie, and is the perfect example of a good use of the PG 13 rating, it doesn’t feel forced just because he can curse he curses, no, it feels natural to his character, that’s the mistake some movies on this line are doing, they do stuff just because they have PG-13 rating (Harley and Deadshot sex scene? What purpose was that for? How did that improved the film?) instead of doing stuff that is natural to the characters and the story and that is PG-13 material, this movie and The New Frontier are good examples of this. I hope you understand what I’m trying to say. The voice actors were overall great, Bruce Greenwood does an excellent Batman that feels natural and right from the start. He was so good that they called him to play Batman on Young Justice. While John DiMaggio did a good Joker, I can’t help to feel like it’s Bender talking, so I didn’t like it that much. The other thing I didn’t like was how all the movie was played out like a mystery movie of finding out who is under the red hood, when it’s made pretty much obvious since the opening scene and all other references made during the movie. They didn’t even tried to distract us with something else, like they did with Andrea’s father in Mask Of The Phantasm and Jordan Pryce in Return of The Joker. So if it was obvious from the beggining, I’m not sure I would have played this one as a mystery, because, while Bruce gets the shock of his life when Jason’s and Red Hood’s blood samples match, I doubt anyone else felt that way watching the movie. I also didn’t like the ending, it left me hanging there thinking, 'so what happened?’. Still, it’s a classic Batman movie, it’s all a Batman movie should be. 9 out of 10.
#3. JUSTICE LEAGUE: CRISIS ON TWO EARTHS
This was as close as we ever got to see the DC Animated Universe return. It was originally going to be a return to it, filling the gaps between Justice League and Justice League Unlimited, and it was going to be called 'Justice League: Worlds Collide’. Ultimately, that idea was turned down, yet the movie saw the light in a way that removed any links to the original series, for example, having Hal Jordan as Green Lantern instead of John Stewart. Still, if you use your imagination, it does work as a tie in to JLU, having the original members accepting to add new members, the invisible jet, etc. Alternate universes and stories are always fun, and this movie was no exception. Featuring a rouge Justice League called the Crime Syndicate and a heroic Lex Luthor, that world and ours collide for a very interesting movie. The amount of cameos is so high that you have to pause the movie if you want to catch them all, but the best ones are probably Harley Quinn re imagined as The Jester’s monkey pet, and Deathstroke as the president of the United States. While mid-way through the movie it has been just a fun adventure with not really any superb moments, there comes James Woods and his chilling performance as Owlman. He completly steals the show by tricking the Crime Syndicate into doing his own agenda, which is a very dark one: destroy all existence. The logic behind this action is actually very interesting, with the logic that in every decision, 2 universes are created for each one of them, so by destroying the original Earth (parallel Earths are created from this one), all reality will follow. The climatic Batman vs Owlman fight is amazing, a little dark maybe that because of Batman, 2 people died, that was very dark! It’s an excellent movie and one of DC’s very finest. 9.5 out of 10.
#2. JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE FLASHPOINT PARADOX
Well, this one was as dark as it can get. Probably an attempt to make a solo Flash movie, DC seems to be overly cautious when dealing characters that are not Batman or Superman. So they label it as a Justice League film, but with a focus on one of the members. A similar thing will be done on the next movie to be released, 'Throne Of Atlantis’, which will focus on Aquaman. So this film again is about an alternate universe, but this one is even worse than the Crime Syndicate one. The world is about to be destroyed because of a war between the Amazons and the Atlanteans, Batman is now Thomas Wayne, and he’s much more violent than the Batman we all know. All this because Flash went back in time to save his mother from murder. Actually, we weren’t supposed to know that before watching the film. But again, the movie description included that detail, so we all knew that before watching the film, so it’s another twist ruined, because you watch the movie and Flash just assumes it was Zoom who changed all reality, and he finally realizes it’s his own fault for going back in time to save his mother, in what is supposed to be an epic reveal in the movie… we all knew it before even the film started. So, not the movie’s fault, but the people who gave it away’s fault. Besides that detail, this movie is epic, the twists on the characters are great, I specially liked the Superman twist, it was dark, scary and emotional. Batman was really badass and his relationship with Barry was great. Again, the amount of cameos is huge and you have to keep an eye for them: Lex Luthor, Deathstroke, Abin Sur, Aqualad, Black Manta, Captain Atom, Etrigan, and the list goes on and on. Cyborg was handled well for the movie and I think he was a nice addition to the movie, it worked here. Pretty much an epic movie with epic characters and moments, very dark, very violent but not for the sake of it, it just had to be that way, and it works perfectly. 9,5 out of 10.
#1. BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS
I don’t think it’s a surprise that this one’s #1. Adapting the famous comic book, this one has an edge over the rest of them that makes the story more epic: It’s done in 2 parts, so you get a 150 minute movie instead of a 75 minute movie. This worked extremely well, because it was not rushed, they took every moment of the comic and adapted it 'nice and easy’ I’d say, without having to worry that much about running time. If the movie would be just one 75 minute movie, it would probably suffer a lot of cuts, the Two-Face subplot would be cut, probably Batman would have fought the mutant leader just once…. it wouldn’t have worked. Luckily, I can’t praise high enough the decision to make this a 2 part movie. Part 1 takes it’s time to reintroduce Batman, his first fight against the mutant leader and in the climax, the final fight and win, with an awesome cliffhanger teasing the Joker. Part 2 couldn’t come any sooner. Part 2 was even better, because of course, it’s the climatic end to an actual single story, so it’s only natural Part 2 would be more intense. One of the best scenes in animation takes place in the Batman Vs Joker ultimate fight. In one of the darkest moments, and with a lot of suspense, The Joker murders countless people and it’s one of the most chilling moments of the movie, with Batman being so pissed that he attemps to kill him. With now Gordon retired, Ellen Yindel is the Commissioner and she doesn’t accept Batman’s ways. So we have another element that it’s now almost a classic on Batman movies: Batman being chased by the police. One of the best moments is when Yindel yells at Batman 'Stop, you son of a b–’ and he just throws a punch at her, not really trying to actually hurt her, but in a 'I’m sick of you, stop bothering me’ kind of way. Peter Weller is an excellent old time Batman, I loved his performance, this movie was 100% accurate with castings and everyone did a stellar job. David Selby was a perfect Gordon, Ariel Winter did a fantastic take on Carrie Kelly/Robin, Michael Emerson maybe sounded a little weird for me at first as The Joker, but you’re into Part 2 five minutes and it just blows you away how chilling his performance is. I also specially loved Michael Jackson as Alfred, one of the best since Efrem Zimbalist Jr. Mark Valley also did a great job as Superman. Superman. The climax of the movie is one of the most famous comic book moments of all time, Batman Vs. Superman. In an epic battle that divides fans all around the world, Batman had all the help he could get in order to fight Superman, which he could beat once and for all in another epic moment. Watching this movie (or reading the comic , of course) one realizes how much this influenced The Dark Knight Rises, and for the best. I think I don’t need to list any more reasons why this movie is excellent and is up there with Mask of The Phantasm and Return of The Joker in the top batman animated movies. Just go and watch it, if you haven’t, you’re missing out on something huge. 10 out of 10.
Trailer for the upcoming direct-to-video animated superhero film which is part of the DC Universe Animated Original Movies. The film will be based on the Throne of Atlantis story arc written by Geoff Johns and serves as a sequel to 2014’s Justice League: War.