I’ve never understood the whole “Marvel vs. DC” fued between fanboys. I think for comic book fans there’s enough greatness between both companies for everybody to enjoy. While the Marvel Cinematic Universe has excelled beyond expectations and set new standards for movie making, it’s been hit and miss with the Warner Bros. DC Cinematic efforts. But, there is one thing DC does excel at – animated features.
Starting in 1992 with Batman: The Animated Series and continuing until today, Warner Bros./DC animation has always been consistent with top notch animation, story lines, and voice casting. Granted, the majority of the DC animated features focus on Batman, which is understandable being he is their most popular character, their features focusing on their other characters are just as good.
Now, if Warner Bros. studios could make Live-action DC movies as good as their animated features, they’d give the Marvel Cinematic Universe a run for it’s money. Bellow is a list of my top 5 favorite DC animated features. The descriptions are brief as to not give away any spoilers.
These are NOT cartoons! They’re animated features!
5. Justice League: War
Justice League: War is based on Geoff Johns and Jim Lee’s “Origin” storyline.
War is an origin story of the first time the Justice League teamed up while tracking mysterious aliens who turn out to be soldiers for Darksied leading the way for his invasion of Earth. While most of the heroes have heard of each other, their reactions upon meeting each other for the first time are amusing. Especially the interaction between Green Lantern and Batman. With a team that includes both Superman AND Shazam, both characters and their roles on the team were handled very well. War also features the origin of Cyborg aka Vic Stone.
War is good to watch if you’re unfamiliar with the Justice League and want to get a little insight on the characters before the cinematic Justice League in 2016.
4. Batman: Son Of Batman
Batman: Son Of Batman is based on Grant Morrison’s “Batman and Son” storyline.
Upon the death of R’as al Ghul at the hands of Deathstroke aka Slade Wilson, Talia (R’as daughter) flees to Gotham in search of Batman to introduce him to their… son, Damien Wayne. Talia reveals to Batman that she became impregnated after a night they shared. Albeit against Batman’s will after he had been drugged by Talia. (Seriously, Batman even kept his cowl on during the encounter.) Talia feels that without R’as, Damien will be safer with and should now be trained by Batman. Batman agrees and after much conflict between the two, Damien even takes up the mantle of Robin. They work together to take down Deathstroke, rescue Talia, and avenge the death of R’as al Ghul.
Son is very entertaining, not just with all the action, but with the humor in the conflict between Damien, who was raised by the League of Assassins, and Batman, who has a no kill policy. Nightwing aka Dick Greyson the first Robin even shows up and provides humor in his conflict with the new Robin.
A lot of casual observers don’t even realize there was more than one Robin. Son of course gives you the origins of Damien Wayne, but also sheds a light on R’as al Ghul, his daughter Talia, and The League of Assassins. Plus, there can never be enough Deathstroke!
3. Batman: Assault On Arkham
Batman: Assault On Arkham takes place in the same universe as the Batman: Arkham video game franchise.
Assault On Arkham focuses on Task Force X aka The Suicide Squad, made up of captured villains who are sent on suicide missions by Amanda Waller and can have time reduced from their sentences if successful. They are sent to infiltrate Arkham Asylum to retrieve a thumb drive located in The Riddler’s cane which is in property lock-up.
The limited use of Batman works very well considering the characters that make up The Suicide Squad and how they interact with each other is interesting enough.
While the Live-action version in 2016 may not include this line-up, it will familiarize you with the concept of The Suicide Squad and their handler Amanda Waller.
2. Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox
I’m a sucker for any alternate timeline / alternate dimension storyline. In Flashpoint, Barry Allen (The Flash) runs faster than the speed of time to alter an event in his past. But upon doing so, he disrupts the time barrier just enough to offset events in his timeline as he knows them. Every character in the DC Universe was changed in some way. Not necessarily for the better. The Atalantians (Aquaman) are at war with the Amazonians (Wonder Woman). Nobody has heard of Superman. And the Flash no longer has any powers. Barry must enlist the help of Batman to set the timeline back the way it was.
With Jim Lee now being Co-Editor-In-Chief of DC Comics, is was cool to see some of his Wildstorm characters, like Grifter, show up, and the last scene makes it worth it for any Batman fan.
If you’re watching The Flash TV series and wanting to gain a little insight on Flash and his villains, especially Professor Zoom, Flashpoint is the one is for you.
1. Batman: Under The Red Hood
Red Hood begins with a scene straight out of the a Death In The Family Storyline with the death of Jason Todd (Robin #2) at the hands of The Joker. Then flash forward as a mysterious vigilante, The Red Hood, shows up in Gotham and starts taking over. Batman has to figure out who this Red Hood is and why he has an obsession with him.
Red Hood’s explanation to Batman for his actions is completely heartbreaking.
Again for those who didn’t realize there was more than one Robin, Red Hood shows you the fate of Jason Todd the second Robin. Plus, gives you the origin of The Red Hood.
These are just one man’s opinions. There are other great DC Animated Feature, and granted, I haven’t seen every one . Feel free to rank YOUR Top 5 DC Animated Features below or on the Darth Carl’s Comic & Sci-Fi Club Facebook or Twitter page!
Be on the lookout for
Justice League: Throne of Atlantis
Coming January 27, 2015 on Blu-Ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital HD!
Also scheduled to be released in 2015,
Batman vs. Robin
Justice League: Gods and Monsters