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Western Animation / Justice League: Doom

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"My actions don't require any defense. In the same situation, I'd do it again. [...] As individuals, and even more so as a group, the Justice League is far too dangerous to lack a failsafe against any misuse of our power. [...] What if we ever use it for some other purpose? If you people can't see the potential danger of an out-of-control Justice League, I don't need to hear a vote. I don't belong here."

A film in the DC Universe Animated Original Movies line, Justice League: Doom is a loose adaptation of the classic Justice League of America: Tower of Babel story. In another one of his Evil Plans, Vandal Savage has gathered together Metallo, Bane, Cheetah, Mirror Master, Star Sapphire, and Ma'alefa'ak to form the Legion of Doom. Armed with plans designed to take out the Justice League, they set out to defeat their enemies and Take Over the World...

The last movie written by Dwayne McDuffie before his death, the film was released in February 2012.

Just like the Superman/Batman moviesnote , Tim Daly, Kevin Conroy, and Susan Eisenberg reprise their respective roles from the DCAU as Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. In the same vein, fellow DCAU voice actors Carl Lumbly, Phil Morris, Olivia d'Abo, Alexis Denisof, and David Kaufman reprise their respective roles as Martian Manhunter, Vandal Savage, Star Sapphire (though d'Abo also voiced a pre-Star Sapphire Carol Ferris in Green Lantern: First Flight), Mirror Master, and Jimmy Olsen, and Nathan Fillion reprises the role of Hal Jordan/Green Lantern from Green Lantern: Emerald Knights. Michael Rosenbaum also voices the Flash, but this Flash is Barry Allen and not Wally West like the Flash he voiced in Justice League. Other voice actors include Bumper Robinson (Transformers Animated) as Cyborg, Paul Blackthorne (The Dresden Files) as Metallo, Carlos Alazraqui as Bane, Grey DeLisle as Lois Lane, and Claudia Black as Cheetah.


This movie provides examples of:

  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Savage's sword. He sticks it straight through Cyborg's metal plating like it was butter.
  • Adaptation Distillation: Some of Batman's counter-measures are changed or simplified from what they were in Tower Of Babel note .
  • Adaptation Explanation Extrication: In the original comic storyline, Batman was able to better defend his position by citing an incident where supervillains swapped bodies with the Justice League. While he was still being paranoid, that incident proved he was speaking from experience. In this film, we never get any indication that a similar situation happened or could happen in this universe, and we are just supposed to take Batman at his word that he has a point. There is a sequence where a drug-addled Wonder Woman attacks innocent civilians, but she wouldn't have been in that situation if Batman hadn't made the contingencies.
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  • Adaptational Heroism: The movie tones down the full extent of Batman's counter-measures, which originally included straight-up torturing the League members.
  • Adapted Out: Several characters from the comic arc are swapped out or omitted entirely:
    • The movie replaces Wally West with Barry Allen and Kyle Rayner with Hal Jordan.
    • Aquaman and Plastic Man where part of the league in the original story, in here they do not appear at all.
    • In the comic, it was Ra's Al-Ghul and the League of Assassins who stole Batman's plans and disabled the JLA, with Talia Al-Ghul being the one who infiltrated the Batcave. In the film, they're replaced by Vandal Savage and the Legion of Doom, with Mirror Master being the one who infiltrates the Batcave.
  • All There in the Manual: The film assumes that the viewer has some cursory knowledge on each superhero and their Rogues Gallery. Each villain is given a very little backstory, even the more obscure ones like Mirror Master and Ma'alefa'ak. The biggest example is probably Green Lantern's trap and his interactions with Star Sapphire, which are completely based on their shared backstory—but said backstory is barely even alluded to.
  • An Arm and a Leg: When Wonder Woman was drugged into seeing that everyone was Cheetah she tore off Cyborg's arm, while still thinking she was Cheetah. Fortunately for Cyborg, his limbs are replaceable.
    Wonder Woman: I'm sorry, you forced me to do this Cheetah. Let's get you some medical attention.
  • Apocalypse How: Vandal Savage plans to control this by using a device to incinerate the sun facing side of the planet, while ruling over the other.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: The Legion of Doom doubts Vandal Savage, his origins, and his immortality despite them standing next to a Ma'alefa'ak, a Martian who is also older than the human race, and Star Sapphire, who possesses a power created billions of years ago near the beginning of the universe. Ma'alefa'ak reads Savage's mind, but is only willing to concede that he believes the story he's telling them.
  • Artistic License – Law: While it's unprecedented, in theory, giving an immortal life in prison without possibility of parole, for any crime, would by definition constitute cruel and unusual punishment and would therefore be illegal.
  • Artistic License – Physics:
    • Vandal Savage plans to launch a rocket at the sun which will create a solar flare. A magnetic trail left by the rocket will guide the flare back to Earth. When implemented, this fails on several points. The rocket gets there at practically the speed of light, even though by all appearances it's an ordinary rocket. Superman can catch up to and keep pace with it, not to mention shooting at its warheads with heat vision despite the speeds involved. The solar flare is also blocked by Green Lantern, yet that only stalls it as opposed to dissipating it.
    • Superman offers to move the Earth out of the way of the flare, playing it straight, but Batman immediately cuts him off, saying it would take a week to explain why it wouldn't work.
    • Superman and Green Lantern get back to the Earth saying there's less than eight minutes until the flare hits. This would require both to have flown back faster than the speed of light, which admittedly is something Green Lantern can do (though usually over far greater distances).
  • Badass Boast:
    Bane: When we fought before, I broke the Bat. Today, I break the man.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: Superman can either breathe in space.
  • Batman Cold Open: Literal version.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Oddly enough, the only members of the Legion who have shirts covering theirs are Savage and Mirror Master. Granted, Metallo is a robot, and technically, Mirror Master's costume is transparent around the belly... it's just that his torso is transparent, too.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Savage is defeated, the world is saved, all the Leaguers come out alright and Cyborg becomes a member of the league... but the League's faith in Batman is shattered and he himself quits when called out on his actions. That said, it ends a lot better than the comic it's based on. Here, it's played like a semi-amiable conflict of interest (especially when Superman is involved), in the comic it's a total schism which near shatters the trust of the entire League and has ripple effects to other teams around the DC Universe.
  • Bond One-Liner:
    • A villainous example. When Ma'alefa'ak, disguised as a human woman asks John Jones for a light, he replies "I don't smoke." After poisoning J'onn to make his skin secrete magnesium and setting him on fire to burn to death, he casually walks out of the diner, scoffing "He 'doesn't smoke...' "
    • Wonder Woman says one after defeating Cheetah.
      "You're good, but lately, I've had a lot of practice fighting you."
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Several examples:
    • Bane's first fight against Batman is a Curb-Stomp Battle that ends with him dumping the still-living but quite unconscious Bruce Wayne into the grave of one of his parents and burying him alive. If he had simply killed him then and there rather than deciding to humiliate him, the Legion of Doom would probably have won. In fact, Batman flat out states to Bane they would have if he did.
    • Metallo simply shoots Superman once and pushes him off the roof, then goes back to hang around the swamp. Vandal Savage has unlimited wealth, and he couldn't afford more than one kryptonite bullet? Though if it weren't for Cyborg, one would have been enough.
    • Why did Mirror Master put conditions on when the wrist bomb could detonate? It's not like he has to worry about his own safety, since he's not even there. He should've detonated it as soon as it was locked in. This one, at least, can be attributed to the bomb being of Batman's design, and wasn't intended to be lethal.
    • Vandal Savage didn't need to ask anyone to help him. Just launch the missile. The Justice League wouldn't know anything was happening til it was too late, and they wouldn't know the Hall of Doom would be the key to saving the Earth.
  • Break the Haughty: Batman actually refuses to surrender to this trope, mostly because his ego won't let him.
  • Civvie Spandex: Cheetah's outfit would not look out of place at a typical gym.
  • Combat Tentacles: Star Sapphire seems fond of these.
  • Composite Character:
    • In design rather than characterization. Cyborg's personality is closer to his comics counterpart, but his design has elements from his look from Teen Titans.
    • The Flash is Barry Allen, but acts (and sounds) like Wally West.
    • Green Lantern is Hal Jordan, but is more playful and fun, like Kyle Rayner.
    • The movie combines the counter-measures Batman had against Green Lantern and Aquaman (the latter of whom is Adapted Out); in Tower Of Babel, Aquaman was dosed with Scarecrow's Fear Toxin to make him afraid of water, while Green Lantern was blinded and thus prevented from being able to use his ring. In the movie, Green Lantern gets dosed with Fear Toxin and the effects make him unable to wield his ring.
  • Crazy-Prepared:
    • Batman. This proves to be the impetus for the plot, as Batman had made plans to take down the League just in case. The others see it as paranoia, but he sincerely believes that all of them need to have something that can take them down just in case the worst happens - even himself. And considering the readiness with which he countered the plans, it's likely that Batman also had contingency plans for the contingency plans.
    • Vandal Savage. The missile actually sets off a Macross Missile Massacre? Okay, fine, not that crazy. Turns out that the individual missiles can launch their own missiles.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Superman gets two. In the first, when fighting the Royal Flush Gang, the super-strong Ace slams the Man of Steel with a huge vault door. For a moment it seems Supes has taken some serious damage, but that's only because the focus switches to the other Leaguers' battles. When the attention returns to Superman and Ace, the former blasts through the vault with his heat vision, then simply stands there while Ace ineffectually pounds at him until Ace literally breaks his own arm off. Then Superman catches the other fist, crushes it, and finally tears Ace in two with one punch. In the second, it's Superman vs. Metallo. At first this one looks like it might be an actual fight, as Metallo has Kryptonite and briefly has the upper hand — until Superman decides he has more pressing matters to attend to, smashes the Kryptonite compartment shut, and simply decapitates Metallo with his heat vision.
    • Bane's first fight against Bruce also counts. Bruce only survives because of Bane's Bond Villain Stupidity, as explained above.
  • Darkest Hour: When Superman is shot with a kryptonite bullet and falls from the top of the Daily Planet tower, shots of him falling are interspersed with shots of the rest of the Justice League facing their own apparent demises.
  • Death Dealer: Queen of the Royal Flush Gang.
    "Pick a card! Any card!"
  • Decapitation Presentation: Batman holds up the head of the robotic decoy of Carol.
  • Determinator:
    • Batman. This is a man who punches his way out of a grave through six feet of earth and returns to action without resting or waiting to recover.
    • Wonder Woman. This character trait is basically the crux of her trap; since she would never give up a fight, she'd keep attacking Cheetahs until she died of exhaustion.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: While Vandal Savage's crimes were extreme to be sure, giving an immortal life in prison without possibility of parole is inherently this, owing to the whole infinity thing.
  • Doomy Dooms of Doom: The title, the plot features an iteration of the Legion of Doom, their headquarters are the Hall of Doom...
  • Doppelgänger Attack:
    • Mirror Master favors this form of combat.
    • Wonder Woman's trap seems to be this from her point of view due to some nanobots that cause her to hallucinate that everyone she sees is a clone of Cheetah.
  • Evil Counterpart: Bane (to Batman) and Star Sapphire (to Green Lantern) are present.
  • Evil Brit: Cheetah is one, courtesy of Claudia Black.
  • Evil Twin: Well, Ma'alefa'ak is Martian Manhunter's brother.
  • Eye Beams: Jack of the Royal Flush Gang. And of course there's Superman's heat-vision, which is the deciding factor in his second fight with Metallo.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: Several characters; Cyborg (even more than usual), Bane, Metallo, etc. Even Savage wears an asymmetrical tooth on a gold chain.
  • Gender Bender: Ma'alefa'ak transforms into a hot blonde woman to tempt the Martian Manhunter into lowering his guard.
  • Gory Discretion Shot:
    • Most of Wonder Woman's scenes when she's infected are from her perspective, so we see the cops, civilians, and Cyborg as Cheetah for the most part. We conspicuously don't have her viewpoint, however, when she rips off Cyborg's arm.
    • We also don't see the actual slash across the throat when Cheetah tests Savage's immortality. The blood (from behind), him falling, lying facedown on the floor, the marks healing, yes.
  • Heroic BSoD: The plan to take down Green Lantern involves putting him in one of these with lots of trickery and a healthy dose of fear gas.
  • Heroic RRoD: Wonder Woman's trap has her being poisoned by nanomachines which affect her visual cortex, causing her to hallucinate everyone she sees as Cheetah. The intent is to have her fight for so long that she dies from the stress of constant peak activity.
  • Hero Insurance: Wonder Woman clearly has her premiums paid up. Cheetah uses some Applied Phlebotinum to force Diana to see everyone around her as Cheetah, causing the Amazon to assault what may be dozens of civilians and cops, not to mention ripping off Cyborg's arm. Cyborg snaps her out of it, but still, she's committed a good number of assaults of Muggles and never gets called on it. Well, not to her face.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Batman's reason for the contingency plans.
  • Idiot Ball: In-story, Green Lantern accuses Batman of carrying the ball. GL's actually okay with the idea of Batman having contingency plans to take down the League; what he objects to is Batman letting those plans be stolen.
  • Incest Subtext: Ma'alefa'ak attracts Martian Manhunter's attention by taking the form of a seductive blonde woman and buying him a drink. Even after J'onn figures it out, Ma'alefa'ak continues act seductively to him. While not mentioned in the movie itself, J'onn and Ma'alefa'ak are brothers in the comics.
  • In the Back: Savage stabs Cyborg in the back. He survives it, but is rendered near-immobile until Wonder Woman removes the dagger.
    Wonder Woman: Not much blood.
    Cyborg: Not much back.
  • It's Personal: Savage notes that each member of his Legion of Doom has a personal vendetta against a member of the Justice League — Metallo has one against Superman, Bane against Batman, Cheetah against Wonder Woman, Star Sapphire against Green Lantern, Mirror Master against the Flash and Ma'alefa'ak against Martian Manhunter; that's why he recruited them in the first place. He, on the other hand, doesn't, but their deaths would still serve his plans.
  • Lady in Red: A blonde woman in a red dress J'onn meets in the bar and gets close to him with the kind of behavior one might expect from women dressed in red. It was Ma'alefa'ak in disguise.
  • Legion of Doom: That goes without saying, although Cheetah is the only member of the original incarnation.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: In the beginning, Superman asks Batman to wait for backup, but Batman shuts off his communicator and charges in. The Royal Flush Gang kicks the crap out of him before the Justice League shows up.
  • Little "No": From Superman, when the last bit of Savage's missile escapes him and the deadly solar flare begins.
  • Living Lie Detector: Wonder Woman, with the aid of her Lasso of Truth.
    Green Lantern: You sure know how to take the fun out of interrogations.
  • Man on Fire: Martian Manhunter has to deal with a poison that causes him to essentially sweat magnesium, which sets him alight.
  • Mars Needs Women: A literal example as J'onn really seemed attracted to that hot blonde who was hitting on him, until he realized she was Ma'alefa'ak in disguise.
  • Mood Whiplash: The montage of scenes showing the League defeated or slowly failing are quite tragic. That is, until the camera pans to Martian Manhunter running around on fire, screaming at the top of his lungs. The action was so over the top that it's actually kind of funny.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Jack sarcastically mentions Robin when King warns him that Batman wouldn't have attacked the Gang's heist alone.
    • Savage mentions that he paid LexCorp for the device Mirror Master uses to steal Batman's files.
    • Green Lantern was attacked with a version of the Scarecrow's fear toxin.
    • Vandal Savage's plan involving solar flares is similar to the Legion of Doom's plan Gone Horribly Wrong in an episode of Superfriends.
      • Similarly, Superman's plan of moving the Earth out of the way is a call back to the episode "Invasion of the Fearians" where Green Lantern did the same thing to save it from Sinestro's comets. It did more harm than good.
      • It's also a nod to a JLA story from the 70's where Superman moved the Earth in order to save it from Starbreaker.
      • In another episode of the Superfriends, Wonder Woman dealt with multiple Cheetahs (though they're all holograms and one is a rocket).
    • Cyborg's design is heavily inspired by his look in the Teen Titans animated series, right down to the bald head and white torso.
    • During the graveyard scene, Bane says, "When we fought before, I broke the Bat."
    • The Queen says "pick a card" while throwing cards at Batman, like the Joker in Batman: The Animated Series episode "Be A Clown".
    • Like Smallville, J'onn's human identity as John Jones is an African-American.
  • Neck Snap: Bane does this to an alligator that attacks him.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: A story where limits to each superhero are revealed and exploited allows a solid aversion of this trope. Even once the heroes make their comeback and then try to save the entire world, it takes more intellect (and some Applied Phlebotinum) rather than superpowered brawn to come up with a plan that succeeds.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Everything the League goes through is Batman's fault.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Bane's arrogance essentially leads to the downfall of the Legion. Burying Batman alive with his parents is really only going to serve to remind him why he's Batman and piss him off. Batman himself lampshades this.
  • No Badass to His Valet: In the opening battle sequence, Batman gets pretty badly hurt, but being Batman he wants to shrug it off and keep working. Wonder Woman offers to let him use her Purple Healing Ray to cut down his recuperation time; he ignores her. But when he's back at the Batcave, Alfred insists that he rest and get medical care, and stares him down.
  • No Kill Like Overkill: Vandal Savage. While every other supervillain would build a single missile, thus allowing his plan to be foiled just by destroying it, Vandal puts smaller missiles in his big missile, and then puts smaller mini-missiles inside those missiles.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • Hal Jordan's long and sordid past with Star Sapphire. It's brought up several times in an important context, but not actually explained.
    • Martian Manhunter mentions a previous fight between the League and the Royal Flush Gang which left Superman embarrassed by Ace. No details are given. Leads directly to a Curb-Stomp Battle.
      Superman: He sucker-punched me.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Bane delivers one to Bruce Wayne, beating him unconscious, then burying him alive.
  • No-Sell: Ace really isn't a match for the Man of Steel.
  • Nothing Personal: Green Lantern doesn't have a problem with Batman's contingency plans (just with his letting them get stolen) and objects (along with Wonder Woman) when Batman is going to be kicked off the League without being given a chance to defend himself.
  • Off with His Head!: Superman decapitates Metallo with his heat vision.
  • Offhand Backhand: Vandal Savage does this to Cheetah, after she tried to kill him.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • The entire Legion when Savage gets up after Cheetah slashes his throat.
    • Batman, when he realizes that his contingency plans are being used against the League.
    • Ma'alefa'ak when Savage's missile ignites in his face.
    • Ten in the first battle, literally: "Crap! It's the Justice League."
  • OOC Is Serious Business: The way in which Hal is taken down seems very out of character for him, since the ability to overcome great fear and doubt are job requirements for Lanterns, but it's actually a plot point— Hal had fear toxin used on him in addition to having his greatest failure recreated.
  • Outrun the Fireball: Flash, after vibrating the bomb off his wrist. Being the Fastest Man Alive, of course, means he literally can outrun the fireball (though the shrapnel wings him).
  • Personal Horror: The plan against Green Lantern relies on this trope.
  • Playing Gertrude: Robin Atkin Downes, who was born in 1976, voices Alfred. His character is older than Batman despite the latter being voiced by Kevin Conroy, who was born in 1955.
  • Power of Trust: A major theme. Though it's not quite as shattered as in "Tower of Babel," mostly as it isn't revealed until well after he's gone out of his way to save them all, the team's trust in Batman is wavered by the fact that he made the plans against them in the first place. In the end, however, it leads to a heartwarming moment of sorts where it's shown that even though they don't like his methods they, particularly Superman, still trust him to do what's right even if it's against them, and likewise Batman trusts the League to counter him should he go too far.
  • Provoke Me Taunt: Green Lantern delivers one to Ten after the first warning shot.
    "Give up? Please say 'no'."
  • Punch Catch: Superman does this to Ace.
  • Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...: Ace repeatedly punches Superman without so much as making him blink. The last time, Ace's arm explodes.
  • Recursive Ammo: Vandal Savage's missile works this way. In multiple layers, no less.
  • Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: As mentioned under Artistic License – Physics, Superman and the rocket can get to the sun in a manner of minutes, and Superman actually outruns the solar flare on the way back.
  • Servile Snarker: Alfred's in top form, as always.
  • Shape-Shifter Showdown: J'onn vs. Ma'alefa'ak.
  • Shock and Awe: Ten of the Royal Flush Gang.
  • The Sociopath: Vandal Savage, an immortal who ruled the Earth in caveman times, and wants to reclaim that happiness by destroying half the planet.
  • Solar Flare Disaster: Vandal Savage's Evil Plan is to launch a rocket at the sun which will create a solar flare and a magnetic trail left by the rocket would guide the flare back to Earth, incinerating the sunward facing side. The flare would wipe out half the world's population and the accompanying Electromagnetic Pulse would stop anything more advanced than a steam engine from working. Then Savage and his Legion of Doom would emerge from their protected base and rule over the survivors.
  • The Stoic:
    • Ma'alefa'ak. While the rest of the Legion celebrates the apparent destruction of the Justice League, he simply leans back without a word. He only loses his cool when Martian Manhunter is revealed to be alive, and when the missile ignites in his face.
    • Martian Manhunter as well. When King knocks him out, he just looks up and says, completely deadpan, "I am unharmed". He loses his cool when Ma'alefa'ak attacks him, but in his defense it's hard to remain calm when you're on fire.
  • Stripperiffic: Star Sapphire in her current costume (actually nowhere near as much as some of her other more recent costumes).
  • Talking Down the Suicidal: Superman talking down his co-worker, really Metallo is disguise, currently provides the picture.
  • Team Member in the Adaptation: The only member with any soty of ties to the original Legion of Doom is Cheetah and even she falls under this as it's Barbara Minerva, not Priscilla Rich. None of the other members were part of the group in the original series in any form.
  • We Have to Get the Bullet Out: Justified - they really do, because the bullet is Kryptonite. Once Cyborg and J'onn remove it, Superman's Healing Factor kicks in pretty quickly.
  • Wham Line:
    Batman: The Justice League is under attack!
    Alfred: By whom?
    Batman: By me!
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The Legion of Doom, to an extent. Savage is the only one explicitly said to be in prison. Ma'alefa'ak is likely dead, given his proximity to the missile when it launched, and one could assume the other five were arrested, but it's never brought up.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Pretty much the entire League's reaction to Batman's holier than thou refusal to admit he was wrong or at least responsible for innocent people being hurt. Wonder Woman begins to give Batman one of these speeches, but is cut off. Superman finishes it, calling the Dark Knight "arrogant" to his face. Hal Jordan, on the other hand, calls out Batman for allowing his contingency plans to be stolen so easily.
  • Whip It Good: How Wonder Woman uses her Golden Lasso. It's actually used as a whip more than it's used as a lasso, and the lasso's loop often disappears entirely, apparently creating the loop whenever it's needed.
  • Whole Plot Reference: The plot is loosely adapted from the "Tower of Babel" story from the comics.
  • Worthless Yellow Rocks: Cheetah slashes Vandal's throat when she realizes the villains' reward will be rendered useless if Vandal's plan comes to pass. Vandal, upon revival, says she's right.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: Wonder Woman pulls out more wrestling moves than Bane.note 
  • Woman Scorned: Star Sapphire's problem with Green Lantern.
  • The Worf Effect:
    • Happily averted. When he's in an ensemble, Superman often goes down very easily to emphasize how dangerous an opponent is; early seasons of Justice League were especially bad about this. But in Doom, he's clearly the team's strongest member, offering to move the entire Earth and easily outstripping a solar flare traveling at light speed.
    • As described under Curb-Stomp Battle above, Superman appears to fall victim to this in the battle against the Royal Flush Gang when the battle starts with Ace flattening Supes under the vault door. But in the end, it barely slows him down.


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