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Western Animation / Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths

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Somewhere, in another universe, there is another Earth where life is reversed. The human heart is on the right side, and people who we know to be supervillains on our Earth, such as Lex Luthor and Slade Wilson, are some of this mirror-world's greatest heroes. But on the other end of the spectrum, there is the Crime Syndicate. Made up of Evil Doppelgangers of the Justice League, they run an empire of organized, superpowered crime that has all but taken over the world. Lex Luthor, in a desperate attempt to stop them, crosses over to the mainstream DC Universe to ask the League for help. The League agrees, but they're facing off against a world overflowing with supervillains — and Owlman (the counterpart to Batman) has his own deadly agenda...

This direct-to-DVD film, part of the DC Universe Animated Original Movies line, is based on Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely's JLA - Earth 2. It was originally planned as a Justice League Unlimited prequel film, dealing with how the League decided to make the jump to Heroes Unlimited after Starcrossed, but after JLU ended, the project was briefly shelved before being rewritten to be a separate continuity. Still, the tone is perfect for a DC Animated Universe entry, and the JLU roots are still very obvious — it's implied that this version of the League used to include Hawkgirl, the Flash has the same characterization as JLU, the Watchtower is in the middle of being rebuilt, and Heroes Unlimited is a plot point.

An important fact to keep in mind is that, despite the similarities between the two factions, the Crime Syndicate of America is not composed of Mirror Selves of the Justice League of America. Though not explained within the film itself, the members of the Syndicate have different personal and professional backgrounds, with both different origins for their superpowers and different secret identities note . This is why the "twins" have different voice actors note  and great physical differences from their counterparts; they are actually not the same people as those in the League.

The DVD was re-released with both DVD and Blu-Ray versions embedded in a hardcover edition of JLA - Earth 2.

Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Adaptation Title Change: Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths is based loosely on the graphic novel JLA: Earth-2.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: Superman's Crime Syndicate counterpart Ultraman is somewhat more pleasant than his depiction in JLA: Earth-2. While still a ruthless tyrant, he shows some restraint in his cruelty and mourns the demise of J'onn J'onzz's Crime Syndicate counterpart J'edd J'arkus, when the original graphic novel showed him to be willing to use his powers to murder people for the slightest provocations and had him imply at one point that he personally killed his world's counterpart to J'onn J'onzz without a shred of remorse.
  • Adaptational Alternate Ending: The original graphic novel JLA: Earth-2 ended with the Justice League forced to leave the Crime Syndicate to their own devices after realizing that the Crime Syndicate's universe is one where evil always triumphs. This isn't the case in this animated film, where the League are successfully able to defeat the Crime Syndicate, end their reign over Earth and hold the surviving members accountable for their crimes.
  • All There in the Script: Olympia, the superpowered woman with a spear who fights Wonder Woman and is her Mirror Universe counterpart with regards to powers and origin (Superwoman is actually an analogue to Mary Marvel), is never named in the movie.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: The Super Family "pops over to the universe next door." Later, the League repays the favor.
  • Annoying Arrows: Justified for J'onn. It's pretty hard to hit anything vital on a shapeshifter.
  • Apocalypse How:
    • Owlman attempts a Class Z, which Batman ends up foiling. Batman's efforts knock it down to a Class X on an uninhabited Earth.
    • Earth Prime suffered a Class 6, having been knocked out of its orbit. The entire surface is barren and only the slightest of traces that there ever was civilization remain.
  • Appeal to Force: The Crime Syndicate is so powerful that the police won't act against them and Slade Wilson, the President of the United States, will acquiesce to whatever demands they make of him. The only thing keeping the Crime Syndicate in some form of check is the threat of nuclear retaliation that would destroy them and the rest of humanity if started.
  • Are We There Yet?: "That wasn't funny the first fifteen times you said it either!"
  • Armor-Piercing Question:
    • President Slade Wilson insists that it's better to keep an uneasy truce with the Crime Syndicate than let the Justice League try to take them out. When Superman says they'll do so without killing them:
      President Wilson: Then I've got a better idea. Why don't you go home and end all the crime on your own planet?
    • Which his daughter counters:
      Rose: Why don't you grow a backbone?
  • Arson, Murder, and Admiration:
    • Superwoman explains that Owlman is her kind of psychopath when he reveals that his plan will destroy reality itself.
    • Johnny Quick gives his dying approval when he realises Batman set him up to die from Rapid Aging in place of Flash.
  • Artistic License – Physics: The QED trigger can't be destroyed because it's Pure Energy, but even if that is true, energy can be converted from one form to another and/or dissipated. Still, it's a common enough trope in this genre to be ignored.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: When J'onn J'onzz stops Archer's arrow and shows that he's completely unharmed by it, what does Archer do? Shoot more arrows!
  • Ax-Crazy: Even amongst her fellow supervillains, Superwoman stands out as the most vicious and sadistic member of the Crime Syndicate. Owlman is just as unhinged as she is, but his quiet demeanor means he is at least a lot more discreet about it. Superwoman is also the only one fully on board with Owlman's plan to destroy reality, even if she would die as well.
  • Badass Boast:
    • Ultraman points out why he is the Boss of Bosses.
    • Aquaman is told Captain Super is stronger than him:
      Aquaman: That remains to be seen. [bitchslap]
  • Badass Longcoat: Evil Black Canary/Scream Queen sports a noticeable one.
  • Badass Normal: Batman once again is the only member of the Justice League without any superpowers, yet steals every scene he is in. He is joined by his Evil Counterpart Owlman, who turns out to be the true Big Bad of this film.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The film presents Ultraman front and centre opposite Superman on the cover art, and sets him up as the leader and Big Bad of the Crime Syndicate.In actuality, he's taken down less than halfway through to put focus on Owlman's larger, multiverse-destroying plot.
  • The Baroness: Superwoman's arousal while torturing Batman is taken as far as a film for children can allow it.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: Batman and Owlman both. Earth-Prime doesn't look like it has much of an atmosphere.
  • Batman Gambit: The man himself uses one to get Johnny Quick to volunteer for a likely fatal part in the plan to stop Owlman.
  • Batman Grabs a Gun: Averted with Johnny Quick, who Batman had (unsuccessfully) tried to stop short of dying in his scheme to catch up to Owlman. Played straight, however, with Owlman himself: Batman has seen enough of Owlman to recognize that he's essentially himself with better technology and no morality dial, and he's hatched a plan to destroy all of existence and would likely refine his plan to be better if thwarted this time. Not even Batman will allow him the chance; he warps both the primed QED and Owlman off of Earth-Prime, fully aware that Owlman is mad enough to let the QED atomize him.
  • Battle Butler: Evil Jimmy Olsen is Ultraman's pal, doorman and chauffeur.
  • Battle Trophy: Wonder Woman claims the invisible jet for herself after the Crime Syndicate is defeated, calling it "spoils of war." When the Flash notes she can fly on her own, Green Lantern retorts that he still drives a car.
  • Beam-O-War: Superman and Ultraman engage in one with their heat vision, while Green Lantern and Power Ring clash with beams from their rings.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Vixen's Crime Syndicate counterpart shapeshifts into a bear to attack Wonder Woman.
  • Beard of Evil: Captain Super has a beard and moustache, distinguishing him as the Evil Counterpart of Captain Marvel.
  • Big Bad: Ultraman is not the main antagonist. Though he is presented as the Crime Syndicate's leader and most powerful member, Owlman is the one pulling the strings behind the villains, as he manipulates them into building a device capable of destroying the multiverse. Once his deception is exposed, the Justice League and the Crime Syndicate (bar Superwoman) join forces to stop him.
  • Beware the Superman: The alternate Earth has been overrun by the malevolent superpowered beings of the Crime Syndicate, with the only thing preventing them from taking over the USA government being the threat of a nuclear counter-attack. By the start of the film, the Justice League of the alternate Earth has been obliterated, with the only surviving members being Lex Luthor and the Jester.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • A few superheroes come to Batman's rescue, and they are eventually the first members of the Heroes Unlimited.
    • Martian Manhunter does this twice, the second time with backup from President Wilson and some Space Marines.
  • Bring It: Batman does the gesture with one of the claws of the mini-mecha he's piloting.
  • Brought to You by the Letter "S": Superman, of course, but also Owlman, Johnny Quick, Ultraman and Superwoman and her Made Men.
  • But Now I Must Go: Rose Wilson asks the Martian Manhunter to stay, but he's promised to protect our Earth. Wonder Woman tries to comfort him by pointing out there's likely another Rose Wilson on their world, but the Martian Manhunter gripes that she's probably evil in their universe.
  • By the Hair: Wonder Woman gets momentarily stunned when she's fighting female Evil Counterpart Olympia, and gets her hair grabbed and used as leverage to throw her into a wall.
  • The Cameo: A tiger pelt is in Superwoman's private quarters, which doesn't bode well for the Crime Syndicate's version of Tawky Tawny...
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Crime Syndicate of America. Right there in the name, people!
  • Casting Gag: In the French dub, Johnny Quick is voiced by Yoann Sover, who is also the voice of Kid Flash/Wally West in Young Justice (2010). In that same dub, the Jester is voiced by Xavier Fagnon, who also voiced many animated incarnations of the Joker ever since Batman: The Brave and the Bold.
  • The Cavalry: Just when Ultraman looks like he's going to start trouble again, the Martian Manhunter turns up with US space marines, the President in a space tank, and a shuttle loaded with nukes.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Superwoman threatens to send Batman to an icy world devoid of life. It's ultimately where Batman sends Owlman and the QED, using the coordinates Superwoman had programmed in.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Owlman uses a gun in his fistfight with Wonder Woman, with predictable results.
  • Composite Character:
    • This Superwoman is the thematic double of Wonder Woman, but her actual powers and origin are those of Mary Marvel.
    • There's a Crime Syndicate member named Vamp who physically resembles Vixen. However, her powers are based on Beast Boy, as she can transform into any animal, all of which retain the colour of her skin.
    • Sai's name and affiliation to the counterparts of the Outsiders suggest she is the Crime Syndicate counterpart to Katana. However, her overall appearance and her cat-like mask are clearly based on Cheshire.
    • Aurora's outfit, name and blond hair make her a counterpart to Halo, but her powers and rivalry with Green Lantern instead reference Star Sapphire.
  • Continuity Nod: It's not a DCAU film anymore, but Bruce Timm has said that most of the original plot was still intact. Included in this film is the construction of the second Justice League Watchtower, the expansion of the League and Wonder Woman obtaining her invisible jet. These events all occurred during the gap between Justice League and Justice League Unlimited.
  • Cool Plane: Owlman's plane has weapons that are powerful enough to injure the local Flying Bricks and boasts a camouflage system that renders it and its occupants invisible. Wonder Woman later claims the vehicle for herself.
  • Counterpart Combat Coordination: During the final brawl, Superman fights Ultraman, Batman fights Owlman, Flash fights Johnny Quick, Green Lantern fights Power Ring, and Wonder Woman fights Superwoman.
  • Cosmic Keystone: Owlman thinks destroying Earth-Prime (apparently just that planet, not the entire Prime universe) will destroy the entire multiverse.note 
  • Crapsack World: The governments are busy appeasing a horde of supervillains who are only waiting for sufficient leverage in order to Take Over the World, and the Justice League has been eliminated save for one member. Cue the Earth-1 Justice League.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Owlman, of course, since he's the Evil Counterpart of Batman, has already locked the device used for crossing universes so no-one can chase after him.
  • Creepy Monotone: James Woods gives Owlman a calm, detached tone of voice that only makes him even more menacing.
  • Dance Battler: Breakdance, or Evil Vibe, shows off with an arm wave during his battle with Superman.
  • Dark Action Girl: Superwoman is The Dragon to the film's main antagonist and is portrayed as even more malicious than the other members of the Crime Syndicate.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Implied with Owlman. His word choice when he identifies how alike he and Batman are hints that he underwent similar things:
    Owlman: From what I gather, we're very much alike.. Everything about you tells the tale: your attitude, your costume, your tactics... they all scream of outrage... despair... vengeance. What terrible wrong was done to set you on this path?
  • Deadpan Snarker: Even though he has only a few minutes onscreen, Firestorm proves to be one.
  • Death by Adaptation: Owlman dies and Johnny Quick rapidly ages to death, when both of them survived the events of JLA: Earth-2.
  • Designated Girlfight: Wonder Woman has five fights in the movie. They're with Sai, Vamp, Olympia, and Superwoman in the climax, all of whom are women. She also knocks out Model Citizen when she hypnotizes The Flash. The "fight" with Owlman just involves her kicking him off his plane, though they do trade quite a few blows. What makes this especially odd is that the writers don't seem to have the issues with men hitting women that usually cause this trope.
  • Determinator: We never see Batman receiving medical attention after he (narrowly) survives his encounter with Superwoman, suggesting that he spent the next two-thirds of the film fighting with at least one broken rib, and he beat Owlman, who was wearing armor, in the final act.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: At first it seems like the League will be battling the Crime Syndicate led by Ultraman, who have taken over the Earth, but that threat is overshadowed by Owlman's scheme to destroy reality.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Owlman always gives his nihilistic speeches in that same calm tone.
  • The Dragon: Each of the Crime Syndicate's core members has a Quirky Miniboss Squad of supervillains, which they call "Made Men". They each have about seven Made Men, but they trust some more than others:
    • Ultraman has Evil Jimmy Olsen.
    • Superwoman has Captain Super (Evil Captain Marvel, with a uniform and Beard of Evil that makes him look like Black Adam).
    • Johnny Quick has an Evil(er) Lobo/Warwolf.
    • Power Ring has Olympia (Wonder Woman's counterpart with regards to her origin and powers).
    • J'edd J'arkus (Evil Martian Manhunter) has Angelique/Evil Hawkgirl.
    • Owlman's main Made Man is Black Power (Evil Black Lightning), but Superwoman fits better within the scope of the story.
  • Dressed Like a Dominatrix: Superwoman wears a black leather leotard, fingerless opera gloves, thigh-high boots, a choker, and a high ponytail. Her abusive treatment of her desired mates only furthers the dominatrix comparison.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: The Jester decided that if he had to go, he might as well make it good.
    Jester: I'm down to my last joke anyway... [pulls out a bomb] ... but this one'll kill ya!
  • The Earth-Prime Theory: Owlman's plot is the Trope Namer.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom:
    • The Crime Syndicate wants to threaten the governments of their world with complete destruction if they don't submit to their demands.
    • Owlman wants to do it to Earth Prime, and thus the Multiverse. It ends up happening to him, not that he cares.
  • Easter Egg: Freeze-framing when Good Luthor shows the League a diagram of the Crime Syndicate's organization tree lets one spot evil versions of heroes like Metamorpho, Blue Beetle (Ted Kord), Cyborg, Zatanna, Red Tornado, and others.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
    • Similar to the main Earth, Jimmy has a watch that allows him to call Ultraman at anytime, and Ultraman is legitimately upset about Lex/Superman ganging up on him. The first thing he does when he's called is tell them to lay off Jimmy, after even calling him "his boy", although whether as his right-hand mook/sidekick or because of an even deeper love and respect. Either way you slice it, it shows that he does care for him.
    • Not to mention the Syndicate seemed genuinely sad about J'edd J'arkus's death.
      Ultraman: God rest his soul.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: While most of the Crime Syndicate wants to threaten the governments of their world with complete destruction if they don't submit to their demands, they're not about to allow Owlman and Superwoman to do it to Earth Prime, and thus the Multiverse just for fun. Johnny Quick in particular jumps at the opportunity to help the heroes save the Multiverse, ultimately at the cost of his life.
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • Basically the entire plot, and inverted with good counterparts for the supervillains. The counterparts to the original Justice League members are Ultraman, Owlman, Olympia, Power Ring, Johnny Quick, J'edd J'arkus and Angelique.
    • Superwoman has a prominent role but is based on Mary Marvel. The Marvel family as a whole is represented as the Super family, composed of Captain Super, Uncle Super, and Captain Super Jr.
    • The first battle against the Crime Syndicate showcases evil counterparts of Vibe, Vixen, Halo, Looker, Black Lightning, Elongated Man, and Gypsy. They are named, in order: Breakdance, Vamp, Aurora, Model Citizen, Black Power, Extruded Man, and Gypsy Woman.
    • Lampshaded by Martian Manhunter, when he states that his Earth's Rose Wilson is probably evil (she's actually an Anti-Villain).
    • Other evil counterparts include Megamorpho (Metamorpho), Manhawk (Hawkman), Archer (Green Arrow), Scream Queen (Black Canary), Mr. Horrific (Mister Terrific) and She-Bat (Catwoman).
    • Weirdly, Lobo has a Crime Syndicate counterpart, Warwolf. This might be The Artifact from Justice League, where Lobo relinquished his evil ways... kind of.
  • Evil Learns of Outside Context: The Crime Syndicate learns about The Multiverse when the heroic Lex Luthor uses a device to warp to another universe. Superwoman is ecstatic about the possibilities, and tells her lover, Owlman, that there is an endless number of Earths out there for them to conquer. However, he rejects her proposal, having become nihilistic upon reflecting about how insignificant his actions are in the grand scheme of things, and decides to destroy all worlds instead.
  • Evil Versus Oblivion: The entire Crime Syndicate (save for Superwoman) teams up with the Justice League to stop Owlman.
  • Expendable Alternate Universe:
    • Batman seems to feel this way. He flatly refuses to participate in fighting the Crime Syndicate until they invade the Watchtower and seems to have no problem sacrificing Johnny Quick to avoid risking the Flash's life.
    • Owlman thinks that the way the multiverse operates means all universes are expendable: no matter what choice you make, you've presumably made the opposite somewhere else. He views trying to wipe them all out as the only real, meaningful action anyone could ever make.
  • Expressive Mask: Averted with Owlman, whose eyes are always wide open (giving a very unsettling effect), but played straight with Batman, Flash, and every other masked hero and villain in the film.
  • Eyes Always Shut: Captain Super and Uncle Super, referencing the classic squinty depiction of Captain Marvel in general.
  • Flying Brick: Superman and Ultraman, unsurprisingly, are two powerhouses who fight mainly by flying to their opponents and punching them unconscious. Superwoman also fits, though she prefers to slowly torture her enemies instead.
  • Foreshadowing: Superwoman considers using the quantum trigger to send Batman to a frozen Earth with no life left on it. Guess where Batman eventually sends Owlman and the bomb to?
  • Gender Bender: A shapeshifting supervillainess turns into a distinctly male lion to attack Wonder Woman.
  • Go Out with a Smile:
    • Johnny Quick dies musing to himself that Batman was able to trick him, while also feeling satisfied that he was able to save the multiverse.
    • Owlman, who chooses to Face Death with Dignity. When Batman warps Owlman and his QED to a different version of Earth from Earth Prime and then high tails it out before going down with the ship himself, Owlman initially shows signs he could deactivate the device and save himself. However, he stops before making his move, smirks, and utters "It doesn't matter...", choosing to stand by his nihilist beliefs instead of dooming himself to life on a cold, dead planet (as the Earth he's on is an icy wasteland).
  • Hated by All: No one on Earth-3 likes the Crime Syndicate. At all.
  • Heroes Unlimited: In the single most obvious reference to the DCAU, the League decides to form one.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • The Jester stays behind to give Luthor a chance to get away, the first proper indication these two are actually good counterparts to their alternate selves.
    • Johnny Quick, though he wasn't aware it would be fatal at the time. Batman warned him it would be dangerous, to which he retorted, "Of course, it's dangerous!" and accepted it.
  • "Hey, You!" Haymaker: Done by Black Canary so she could let out one of her sonic screams directly into Captain Super Jr.'s face.
  • Hollywood Acid: Jester has an acid that eats through metal as if it were nothing.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Owlman. He could have shut down the bomb that killed him, but he decided that his decision simply didn't matter like the nihilist he is.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Owlman believes this. When Batman suggests that an alternate Earth was devastated by something else, Owlman sounds almost insulted, and counters Batman's theory on the fact that they both know what humanity is capable of.
  • Idiot Ball: Superwoman inhales Batman's "smokescreen", apparently just to show off, and gets knocked out by the gas that she thought was harmless smoke. Of course, this attitude is exactly how Batman defeats supervillains.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: The Jester is impaled through the chest by Angelique's flaming sword during the prologue.
  • Ironic Echo: When the Super family corners Batman aboard the Watchtower, Superwoman points out it's a 4 vs 1 battle and suggests he surrenders, to which he replies "Count again!", before teleporting in reinforcements. Later on, the Justice League confronts the Crime Syndicate on the Moon and Batman tells the villains to give up, since they are outnumbered. Suddenly, Superwoman says "Count again!", ambushes the heroes from behind and knocks out Lex Luthor, evening out the number of combatants.
  • Jedi Mind Trick: The Crime Syndicate member Model Citizen (Evil Looker) can hypnotize her victims by staring into their eyes and forcing them to repeat the sentences she whispers. It's even lampshaded by Flash when he tries to snap out of her brainwashing:
    Flash: Hey, this is just like the Jedi mind trick!
    Model Citizen: This is not like the Jedi mind trick.
    Flash: This is not like the Jedi mind trick...
  • Kansas City Shuffle: An injured Batman puts out smoke bombs to get away, only for Superwoman to casually inhale all the smoke in an instant. Turns out to be an anesthetic gas.
  • Light Is Not Good: Hawkgirl's Evil Counterpart Angelique looks like an angel.
  • Lighter and Softer:
    • To the original comic. In JLA - Earth 2, it is revealed that the Law Of Narrative Causality is reversed in the Antimatter Universe, meaning evil will always triumph, and the Justice League is forced to leave and let the Syndicate win. Also in the comic, the people of Earth-2 are demonstrated as being inherently vicious, cruel and selfish, whereas in the movie they are innocent victims.
    • The movie removes the adulterous Love Triangle between Ultraman, Owlman and Superwoman; and tones down Ultraman's villainy from a psychopathic sadist who randomly fries people from orbit with his heat vision to a profit-driven thug.
  • The Mafia: The Crime Syndicate is a mix between these and your standard supervillain teams, with family heads and Made Men. Just to hammer things in, Ultraman is from Joisey.
    Ultraman: You think you can come to my place of business, an' call me out?
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Owlman's bomb is called the Q.E.D., or Quod Erat Demonstrandum.
    • "Made Men" is a term used for criminals that have been initiated as official members of The Mafia. Here it's used for lieutenants of the Crime Syndicate who have been granted superpowers in exchange for their loyalty — they have been made into supervillains.
  • Mental Fusion: The Martian Manhunter turns down a kiss from Rose Wilson, but only because a Mind Meld is more effective for both to express their feelings and history. When they're finished they're in a Headbutt of Love.
  • Mirror Character:
  • Mirror Match: The battle in the Crime Syndicate's base mostly consists of duels between corresponding characters from the two groups.
  • Mirror Universe: Somewhat. The main differences are that organ orientation is reversed and good and evil characters have switched sides.
  • Misanthrope Supreme: Owlman, who views mankind as a cancer, and wiping it out as curing the disease. Even when Batman tries to argue that if they're so much alike, Owlman must've been a good man once, he replies, "No. Not good. Never good. After all, I'm only human."
  • Missing Mom: Rose Wilson grew up entirely with her father, as her mother was assassinated by Ultraman years ago.
  • Mook Horror Show: Martian Manhunter and Red Archer's "fight" plays out like a scene with a Red Shirt fighting a horror movie villain.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Model Citizen. Her Cleavage Window is up to eleven. Justified, in that her entire hat is hypnosis and seduction.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Subverted with J'edd J'arkus, who has four arms and is implied to be a crueler, more vicious version of Martian Manhunter. He is the first member of the Crime Syndicate to be killed off, as Jester blows him up in a suicide attack during the prologue.
  • The Multiverse: The film takes a serious look at this trope to the point of near-deconstruction: The main antagonist, Owlman, goes full-blown Misanthrope Supreme over the realization that the multiverse consists of the sum of all universes made from all possible outcomes of every single choice ever made by any sentient being (let's just be generous and say "infinity"). Anything done is by definition meaningless because an infinite amount of universes exist that contain all possible outcomes of everything. Naturally, his conclusion is to perform the one action that would, by definition, have any purpose at all because it cannot have a different outcome: Blow it all up! Of course, the deconstruction gets taken even further after that: by stepping foot on Earth Prime and attempting to affect it, Earth Prime just splits into more alternate universes, making it impossible to erase! In the end, not even trying to destroy the multiverse is effectual.
  • Mutually Assured Destruction: The US Government (and presumably all other governments with nukes) are only stopping the Crime Syndicate from taking over the world by threatening massive nuclear retaliation. The Crime Syndicate plan to call their bluff with the QED bomb.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The title is a reference to either Crisis on Infinite Earths, the Crisis Crossover, or the various JLA/JSA crossovers, which had names like Crisis on Earth-One!
    • One of Martian Manhunter's memories is an image of the JLA's first adventure fighting Starro.
    • The tigerskin rug in Superwoman's personal quarters hints at a dark fate for Tawky Tawny, the Marvel Family's talking tiger.
    • Uncle Super is a reference to Silver Age Captain Marvel comics, where a mysterious, bumbling old man claiming to be Mary and Billy's Uncle Dudley tagged along on their adventures as Uncle Marvel. Uncle Marvel didn't actually have any powers, though.
    • The invisible jet Wonder Woman keeps at the end is a reference to the infamous invisible jet plane she owned in Silver Age comics and the Super Friends show and comic.
    • Owlman's Made Men are evil versions of The Outsiders (Black Lightning, Katana, and Looker), a team of misfits led by Batman in the '80s and '00s. There's also some Detroit Leaguers in there (Evil Vibe/"Breakdance", Evil Vixen/"Vamp", and Evil Gypsy/"Gypsy Woman" — Evil Steel is missing for whatever reason); the implication is that these were some of the Made Men absorbed into his fold after the death of J'edd J'arkus, the counterpart to the Martian Manhunter, who led the Detroit League.
    • Jimmy Olsen being referred to as "Ultraman's Pal" is a reference to the classic Silver Age series, Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen. He even has a signal watch.
    • If Martian Manhunter looks a little off, it's because he's sporting his post-Infinite Crisis look from the comics.
    • During Rose's anti-Syndicate speech, there's a certain blonde reporter who looks quite familiar.
    • Ultraman's weakness against blue kryptonite is a nod to Bizarro, Superman's Evil Counterpart from the comics.
    • The Jester has a pet monkey named Harley, which is a reference to the Joker's girlfriend from the main timeline.
    • Wonder Woman urging J'onn to stay in the alternate universe for love is basically how Black Canary ended up with the Earth 1 JLA.
  • Naked People Are Funny: Good Lex proves this in his first meeting with the Justice League, having removed all his clothes to show he's unarmed.
    Flash: Whoa! And they call me the Flash...
  • Never Trust a Title: Crisis on Two Earths is the name of a classic DC storyline involving parallel universes, however, the Crime Syndicate universe is not one of them.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: When Ultraman threatens President Wilson's daughter, Wilson angrily threatens to nuke him if he tries it. Red Arrow does try it, causing the President to finally move on the Crime Syndicate.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Owlman comments on his similarities to Batman in their final battle, especially how his attitude, costume and tactics all invoke feelings from a bad past and Owlman's tone of familiarity implies he went something like it. He even mentions how both don't trust anyone else to do what is needed.
  • Not So Similar: Batman appeals to Owlman's humanity during the final battle, saying that, if they really are that similar, he may have some goodness in him. When this fails, Batman retorts that there is a critical difference between the two.
    "There is a difference between you and me. We both looked into the abyss, but when it looked back at us... you blinked."
  • Nudity Equals Honesty: The good Lex Luthor of the mirrorverse is arrested and strip-searched, but stays naked when the Justice League arrives to show he's not hiding any weapons.
    Flash: And they call me The Flash.
  • Nuke 'em: The only thing stopping the Crime Syndicate from completely taking over the world was the threat of a nuclear strike.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Flash yells this when he unwittingly speeds out of the air base and begins plummeting to the ground below. Luckily, Green Lantern saves him.
    • During the League's face-off with the Syndicate, Flash and Johnny Quick destroy a piece of science equipment while fighting each other and Quick begins hurling the broken pieces at Flash. Flash not only manages to dodge and deflect all the flying shards, but actually reassembles the device and hands it to Quick. Quick responds with a rather apt "Bugger" before Flash punches him in the face.
    • The Jester and Luthor get a good one in the beginning when they realize the Syndicate is already coming for them.
    • Owlman has one at the climax. Sure, he decided it didn't matter in the end, but he did look very panicked before he came to this conclusion and the bomb went off.
    • Archer has a lovely one on the docks when J'onn rises up behind him as a giant sea serpent.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Owlman wishes to exterminate all life by destroying reality itself. Superwoman is one by association.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You:
    • Owlman lampshades this when he remarks that Batman should have sent Superman to deal with him instead, but notes he doesn't trust anyone else to get the job done. "I feel the same way."
    • Luthor tells Superman that he has to defeat Ultraman, because if someone from another dimension defeats him, the victory will be meaningless after they're gone.
  • Orange/Blue Contrast: The DVD cover is a split image of the Justice League and the Crime Syndicate charging at the viewer, with a Juxtaposed Halves Shot of Superman and Ultraman. The good guys are placed in front of a blue background to highlight their benevolence, while the villains are tinged with a light orange hue that makes them look more menacing.
  • Our Presidents Are Different: In the alternate Earth, the US is led by President Wilson, the good counterpart of Slade "Deathstroke" Wilson, who is a villainous Professional Killer in the main universe.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Normally, comic book adaptations are more accommodating to Badass Normal or low-powered characters like Batman or Black Canary, but both are shown to struggle, and Batman's evil counterpart uses Powered Armor to hold his own. Additionally, Black Canary's evil counterpart is dispatched unceremoniously by the Flash.
  • Papa Wolf: Yeah, that's right, Ultraman, send an assassin to kill President Slade's daughter, it's not like he'll hold anything against you and arrive at your headquarters driving a tank with marines and nuclear weapons. Oh, he will? Oops.
  • Pet the Dog: Ultraman seems genuinely upset at Superman and Lex Luthor beating up his Made Man Jimmy Olsen.
  • Pinball Protagonist: Among the six protagonist Leaguers, Green Lantern doesn't do as much as the others. (Appropriately, the same can be said for Power Ring on the villains' side.)
  • Powered Armor:
    • Owlman's suit is designed to augment his physical strength and durability. He's able to briefly overpower Wonder Woman during their first encounter (before she throws him off a plane). At one point, he even shrugs off an explosive Batman places on his cowl.
    • Good Lex Luthor's suit also counts.
  • Psychopathic Womanchild: Superwoman. She's willing to help blow up the universe just because her crush wants to, and generally acts like a nasty teenage girl. Given that she's implied to be Mary Marvel—a teenager in an adult body—this makes a lot of sense.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner:
  • President Superhero: Though he's reluctant to take decisive action against the Syndicate, President Slade Wilson is the good version of the supervillain Slade "Deathstroke" Wilson.
  • Prime Timeline: Zig-zagged, since the heroes don't come from it. They do have to save it, though, due to The Earth-Prime Theory.
  • Punch Catch: Superwoman catches Batman's punch, then deliberately breaks a rib in retaliation with a Finger Poke of Doom. Owlman being his Evil Counterpart also catches a punch with his Powered Armor.
  • Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...: Lex Luthor pounds ineffectively on Ultraman, then the latter slams him into a building.
  • Rapid Aging: Johnny Quick becomes a victim of this when he uses his superspeed powers to open a portal for Batman to travel into the Earth-Prime dimension in order to stop Owlman from destroying all reality.
  • Rebellious Princess: Rose; in this case a Rebellious President's Daughter opposed to her father's decision to not antagonize the Crime Syndicate.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Johnny Quick is the only casualty along with the Big Bad. He dies opening a portal so that Batman could go after Owlman.
  • Refusal of the Call: Batman is totally opposed to helping out the alternate Earth and refuses to participate in any way until the Crime Syndicate invades the Watchtower.
  • Rock–Paper–Scissors: Lampshaded by Green Lantern ("I've played this game before!"), summoning a rock to crush scissors.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Several to the Alien franchise. The most noticeable is when Batman enters a scene in a construction Mini-Mecha that looks very much like Ripley's power loader suit from Aliens. The actual angle of the camera is also almost identical. And the space marines at the end have Pulse rifles.
    • When Batman uses the mech to challenge Superwoman, he causes one of its hands to perform the Bring It hand gesture that Neo and Morpheus used in The Matrix.
    • The Martian Manhunter's Evil Twin is named J'edd J'arkus, and even has four arms.
    • Model Citizen's brainwashing power causes her target to repeat her own sentences. The Flash comments that "This is like the Jedi Mind Trick."
    • A fried "chameleon circuit" locks Owlman's plane into being invisible, which is a reference to Doctor Who.
    • Evil Vixen turns into a lion that looks like a more realistic version of Scar.
    • Owlman's motivation for destroying the multiverse pretty much paraphrases the plot of Larry Niven's "All the Myriad Ways."
    • When Luthor uses some technobabble to explain how he will be able to open the Syndicate's base on the Moon, Flash asks him to clarify "for those who don't speak Star Trek."
    • The Earth on which Owlman intends to detonate his bomb, appropriately looks exactly like the planet from "The City on the Edge of Forever" episode of Star Trek: The Original Series.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Batman does this twice to Owlman during the climax. The first time he asks if Owlman intends to talk him to death, the next one is one of the biggest Moments Of Awesome in the film. Wonder Woman does this to Superwoman as well.
  • Shut Up, Kirk!: Owlman gets one off on Batman.
    Batman: If we're really alike, you know this is wrong. You must have been a good man once.
    Owlman: No. Not good. Never good. After all, I'm only human.
  • Slasher Smile: Owlman flashes several wicked grins during his final fight with Batman.
  • Smug Super: All of the Syndicate members are ungodly smug about their powers.
  • The Sociopath:
    • Ultraman, who uses his power to become the "Don o' Dons," and threatens the families of anybody who opposes him. He only agrees to save the multiverse to protect his own skin, and expects a reward for it.
    • Owlman, who is calm and collected even when the rest of the Crime Syndicate is enraged, but is secretly completely unhinged. When he discovers the multiverse, he elects to destroy it because he feels nothing matters if another universe is created every time he makes a decision.
    • Superwoman, a ridiculously violent sadist who wants to make Batman her Sex Slave, and gets off to breaking ribs. When Owlman lets her in on his plan to destroy the multiverse, she's turned on by it.
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: Owlman rarely talks above an eerie whisper, and just so happens to be the most unhinged member of the team.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: It's not as bad as in some adaptations, but as ever, Batman (and his Evil Counterpart, Owlman) do hog a lot of the action, especially in the finale. Somewhat unavoidable with Owlman being the Big Bad and all.
  • Statuesque Stunner: Wonder Woman, naturally, and Superwoman as well, especially since concept art shows her at roughly Superman's height.
  • Stealth Pun:
    • When the mugshots for the villains come up, one of them looks like Mr. Terrific, except with a H on his face, making him Mr. Horrific.
      • Better: Mr. Terrific has several doctorates. The version with an H on his face could well be Dr. Horrible.
    • "Made Men" is not only a Stealth Pun, but a Double Entendre. Many of the villains of the CSA are literally made, as in transformed from normal people into superpowered beings, such as Superwoman's lieutenants and Jimmy Olsen.
    • The Quantum Entanglement Device is the Q.E.D. Q.E.D. is quod erat demonstrandum in Latin, which means "which is what had to be proven", which is Owlman's goal of testing the idea of destroying the multiverse.
  • Straw Nihilist:
    • Owlman, who believes that parallel universes render free will meaningless. Which is why he wants to blow them up. Heck, he doesn't even care during his death scene.
    • It's very likely that Owlman was wrong about new universes being created every time someone makes a decision. Human organs being reversed and blue kryptonite affecting Ultraman the way green kryptonite affects Superman couldn't possibly be the results of decisions made by any sentient being. It seems that Owlman just jumped to a conclusion that justified his already nihilistic outlook, so it probably still "doesn't matter" if he knows he's wrong.
  • Strong as They Need to Be: Owlman's suit. At first, he's able to overpower Wonder Woman, then when he's fighting Batman that's completely ignored, and when they fight on Earth Prime, Owlman kicks his ass at first, but he's still not as strong as he was in the start of the film.
  • Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum: Owlman's reaction to learning that for every decision in one universe, in another a different decision was made.
  • Super Mob Boss: Ultraman is essentially one of these considering he's the chairman of a syndicate of superpowered criminals with their own divisions and goons moving up in hierarchy based on service like that of the Italian Mafia. He even refers to himself as the "Don o' Dons" of all things.
  • The Syndicate: With plans to become The Empire.
  • "Take That!" Kiss: Superwoman does one to Batman.
  • Taking You with Me: The Jester sacrifices himself to kill J'onn J'onzz and Hawkgirl's Crime Syndicate counterparts J'edd J'arkus and Angelique.
  • Tank Goodness: At the end, the US Army corners the Crime Syndicate, with the president driving a tank. These reinforcements convince the villains to surrender.
  • Techno Babble: The Flash mocks Lex Luthor's speeches about technology by telling him some of them don't speak "Star Trek."
  • This Is Something He's Got to Do Himself: Good Lex Luthor may have sorely needed the help from Earth-1's Justice League, but he knows the symbolic importance of fighting Ultraman himself. If the people of his Earth can not stand up to the Crime Syndicate, then there is no chance at all of it sticking once the Justice League leaves. This is echoed in the ending when President Wilson and the Marines come to arrest the surviving Syndicate members.
  • Troll: Batman not only trolls Flash with his teleporter, but he takes his pretzel and eats it.
  • Truer to the Text: This animated film marks the first time the Crime Syndicate was faithfully adapted in comparison to the efforts made by Superfriends (which featured a team in The World's Greatest SuperFriends called the Super Enemies and consisted of evil versions of Superman, Batman, Robin, Wonder Woman and Aquaman who went by the same codenames as their heroic counterparts and merely had more sinister appearances and costumes), the Justice Lords from Justice League (who were more a team of Knight Templars than true villains and became that way after the death of their Flash) and Batman: The Brave and the Bold (which renamed the team the Injustice Syndicate and had Owlman as the only team member from the source material to be represented, the omission of Ultraman and Superwoman partly being the result of the show initially being restricted from using Superman and Wonder Woman).
  • Unholy Matrimony: Owlman and Superwoman. While they had this relationship in the comics, Superwoman was Ultraman's wife and she mainly kept up the affair with Owlman to spite him.
  • Use Their Own Weapon Against Them: Wonder Woman defeats her Evil Doppelgänger Olympia by pinning her to a wall with Olympia's own spear and then knocking her out with the shaft.
  • Villainous Crush: Throughout their battle, Superwoman teases Batman by kissing him and offers to keep him as a pet. When he screams in agony from a broken rib, she tells him she loves it when her "lovers make a little noise."
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: At the beginning of the movie, Flash complains that Batman had turned him into a guinea pig and that he doesn't feel that Batman likes him very much. At the end, they need superspeed to open a "doorway." Flash steps up, but Batman tells him he's too slow and Johnny Quick offers to do it. At the end, it turns out that the job Batman needed done drained the life out of Johnny, and killed him, and that is why Batman wouldn't let his universe's Flash do the job. Keep in mind, Batman only suspected it might happen, but knew it was a strong possibility.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Black Power, who's Black Lightning's counterpart, wears a vest exposing his bare chest.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: The Jester, Angelique and J'edd J'arkus are killed before the opening credits even rolled.
  • Weld the Lock: Alexander Luthor welds the vault door to slow down the Crime Syndicate. It doesn't work.
    Luthor: Run. That's not going to slow them down for long.
    [Angelique slices through the vault door with her sword]
    Jester: That's not gonna slow them down at all...
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Where exactly did Captain Super go during the final confrontation? Not to mention the other two Made Men who went to the Justice League's Earth
  • Why Don't Ya Just Shoot Him?: Superman asks Good Lex why he didn't just destroy the MacGuffin to keep it out of the Syndicate's hands; Lex replies "It's pure energy — it can't be destroyed."
  • Winged Humanoid: Angelique/Evil Hawkgirl is a humanoid woman with wings.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Superman had no problem battling Superwoman. Given that she's as strong as he is (give or take) and evil, this makes sense. Green Lantern fights and knocks out Aurora.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: In this adaptation, Wonder Woman mercilessly uses several professional wrestling moves. She actually busts out a sidebuster against Vixen, and the fight against Superwoman is no-holds-barred. Diana opens the final fight against Superwoman with a flying drop-kick, and finishes with a modified butterfly suplex and an elbow-drop.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: The Jester pulls this in the intro, and manages to bring down a Evil Martian Manhunter and Angelique/Evil Hawkgirl in the process.
  • You're Insane!: What Batman says to Owlman after he reveals his plan to destroy Earth Prime and so prevent humanity from ever existing.
    Owlman: Does it really matter? There are alternate versions of me that you would find quite charming.


Video Example(s):


Batman vs. Owlman

After being told by Owlman how alike they are in their mindsets, Batman tells him there's a key difference between them

How well does it match the trope?

4.85 (27 votes)

Example of:

Main / NotSoSimilar

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