ay what you want about Marvel Comics’ live action dominance these past years; there is no denying that the animated world has been entirely DC/Warner Brothers. From features such as “Batman Year One“, to television series like “Young Justice“, down to shorts like the DC Showcase series, DC is comic animation at its most successful and entertaining in recent years. Who’s gonna prove me wrong? You, Marvel Knights and your line of motion comics?
Don’t make me laugh!
Anybody looking to get their superhero fix knows that DC is the only game in town and 2015 gives us their latest offering in the form of “Justice Leauge: Throne of Atlantis”. This is a follow up to 2014’s “Justice League: War”, both of which are adaptations of the most recent retellings of the origin stories from the comics done by Geoff Johns. In the first year run of the reboot, Geoff’s job was to balance the big name characters in a story that showed each of their strengths as well as define how those strengths play in a team setting. The six solo acts struggle but eventually find their footing and push back the coming apocalypse, coming from Apokolips (see what I did there). Geoff pulls this off wonderfully and the book shines for it. Unfortunately, the feature “JL: War” traded in most of that graceful handling of story for bombast and shock: Superman was a little too bloodthirsty for my taste, Cyborg’s tale lacked depth and turned tense father-son drama into “daddy issues” and finally they traded out Aquaman, who appears with the original team during the “Origin” story arc, for this new Raiden-from-Mortal-Kombat version of DC’s Captain Marvel whose code name no one in the story knows and he can’t say lest he give up his secret identity and his power word in one fell swoop.
Well, when life gives DC lemons, they make lemonade, then reticon it, then make the same glass of lemonade but with swears and in 2015 we finally got some sweet fish on fish action with “Throne of Atlantis” – and it was good. People tend to give Aquaman the brush-off because his defining powers are the ability to breathe underwater and talk to fish and Aquaman’s supporters have to wheel out the ol’ Jacques Cousteau defense: “Most of the planet is covered in water and he’s the king of all of it and he can control the world’s biggest mammal: The Blue Whale and the world’s most capable predator: The Great White Shark”
Well maybe 70% of the earth’s surface is water but 99% of earth’s crime happens on land where that kind of sovereignty is super worthless, not to mention if the big guns in your cavalry can get their fish sticks handed to them by a drunk sea captain and a thousand gallons of Quaker State then your crew just might be weak sauce. What most Aquaman apologists don’t lead with, and they really should, is that Aquaman is nigh invulnerable, super strong, has fighting skills that have bested Wonder Woman in the past, and on top of all that has a magical seven foot long golden trident that he can spin, in water mind you, as fast as Batman can spin anything in air PLUS shoots laser beams. Aquaman is in fact badass and “Throne of Atlantis” finally gives him the recognition he deserves.
They also took the opportunity to do a much appreciated mellowing out of Superman into the more recognizable boy scout that is his trademark (by having him finally get super strange via Wonder Woman?) as well as remind the DC audience that Batman is far and away the most important member of the Justice League: a team consisting of a space cop, a fish king, Steve Job’s iBlack Touch and three different flavors of god. The voice acting in the film is top notch. High points for me had have to been Jason O’Mara’s Batman being the first performance i’ve really enjoyed since Kevin Conroy, with a pleasant surprise in the form of Harry Lennix, from such awesome shows as Joss Whedon’s “Dollhouse” and NBC’s “The Blacklist” as Black Manta. This is not to say the film doesn’t have its rough edges, but there’s nothing in “Throne of Atlantis” so bad that it ruins the film as a whole. This film is well worth your time both as a one off and as a continuation of the new DCU animated storyscape.
“Justice League: Throne of Atlantis” is a must see for old and new school lovers of the DCU.
Check it out today.