The final entry into the New 52 Era of DC Comic animated films ends on a very bloody and bleak note. This is by far the most violent DC animated film which matches its apocalyptic vibe.
The film is a loose adaptation of the storyline The Darkseid War, it is the sequel to 2017’s Justice League Dark(2017) and the fifteenth and final film in the DC Animated Movie Universe (DCAMU) and the 38th film overall in the DC Universe Animated Original Movies line. It is directed by Matt Peters and Christina Sotta, written by Ernie Altbacker and Sotta and features an ensemble cast including Matt Ryan, Jerry O’Connell, Taissa Farmiga, Stuart Allan, Tony Todd, Jason O’Mara, Rosario Dawson, Shemar Moore, Christopher Gorham, Rebecca Romijn and Rainn Wilson. In the film, the Justice League, Justice League Dark, Teen Titans and Suicide Squad team up against Darkseid in one epic final battle to save Earth. It’s a nice bookend to the “Flashpoint” animated film that kicked off the New 52 Era.
My biggest complaint is the motivation that sets everything into motion. Superman is not a killer and his plan to stroll up to Darkseid’s and basically just murder him for the good of the universe is very un-superman. Seeing the Justice League and various other DC Heroes getting butchered by Parademon/Doomsday hybrids is hard to watch. Some of the heroes literally get ripped apart. The film really went all out with the gore in this one.
The film puts John Constantine (voiced perfectly by Matt Ryan.) front and center and is the POV character for most of the film. Despite the actual JLD not being too much in the film, it does make the most of characters like Etrigan and Swamp Thing.
Despite finally able to overthrow Darkseid in the end, the remains of Earth is beyond repair and what’s left of the heroes are not enough to save the dying planet. Constantine convinces The Flash to recreate the Flashpoint event effectively erasing the New 52.
Despite the New 52 DC Universe ending, it’s not the end of DC animated films. They already are hard at work on an all-new Superman animated feature titled “Man of Tomorrow.”
JLD: AW is a dark and violent DC animated film but in the it’s their best of the New 52 Era. The animation is great, the voice acting is on point, and the ending is a satisfying conclusion. Highly recommended.