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Western Animation / Justice League vs. The Fatal Five

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Justice League vs. the Fatal Five is a movie in the DC Universe Animated Original Movies released digitally on March 30th, 2019, and on DVD/Blu Ray on April 16, 2019.

Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman find themselves facing a powerful new threat — the Fatal Five, who have traveled back in time from the 31st century to terrorize Metropolis in search of a younger Limelight — the then-newest Green Lantern, Jessica Cruz. With help from a hero from the distant future, Star Boy, the Justice League faces one of its greatest battles against evil yet.

The cast includes Kevin Conroy as Batman, Susan Eisenberg as Wonder Woman, and George Newbern as Superman, all reprising their roles from Justice League.

Some other notable cast members include Diane Guerrero as Jessica Cruz/Green Lantern, Elyes Gabel (Game of Thrones, Scorpion) as Thomas Kallor/Star Boy, Daniela Bobadilla (Anger Management) as Miss Martian, Kevin Michael Richardson as Mr. Terrific, Noel Fisher as Brainiac 5, and Tara Strong as Saturn Girl.

The Fatal Five are voiced by Peter Jessop (Mass Effect) as Tharok, Matthew Yang King (Batman Ninja) as the Persuader, Sumalee Montano (This Is Us, Transformers: Prime) as Emerald Empress, and Philip Anthony Rodriguez (Star Wars Rebels) as Mano. Tom Kenny plays minor villain Bloodsport.

Here is the trailer.

Sadly, this would be Kevin Conroy's final film appearance as Batman before his death in 2022.

The movie contains examples of:

  • Adapted Out:
    • Jessica never became the second Power Ring, because the DCAU doesn't have a Crime Syndicate universe or at least never came into contact with it. As a result, the Ring of Volthoom never went to Jessica because it never existed.
    • Simon Baz, Jessica's partner as Green Lanterns, is not present. It would also seem that he never becomes a Green Lantern either, as he isn't seen in the museum from the Legion era.
  • Ambiguous Syntax: While talking about his fathers with Mr. Terrific, Superman says that while his biological father may have been a scientist, his adopted father was a farmer. Given that the story takes place after Unlimited, it's possible that Pa Kent may be dead (as he usually is in most DC stories)...or maybe retired?
  • Apocalypse How: Emerald Empress plans to cause a Class X-2 by blowing up the sun using the powered up Emerald Eye of Ekron, as that would mean the Legion and the United Planets would never formed in the future to oppose them.
  • Art Evolution: Compared to their Justice League Unlimited designs, the Legion of Super-Heroes and the Fatal Five (with the exception of Tharok and Validus, who look the same) have more detailed and updated designs.
  • Ascended Extra: In Justice League Unlimited, Mister Terrific was never really seen in action and acted as the League's Mission Control after J'onn left. Here, he's directly involved in the missions and fights.
  • Backported Development: Justice League finished airing around the time of Infinite Crisis in 2006. However, this film adds in new characters and concepts that originated afterwards, both from the mainline comics and other adaptations:
    • Miss Martian, a character introduced as part of the "One Year Later" Time Skip following IC, makes her first DCAU appearance here.
    • Jessica Cruz is another new character; she was introduced in the aftermath of the New 52's Forever Evil (2013).
    • A.R.G.U.S., a government agency first introduced as part of the New 52 and had made its DCAU debut in fellow sequel film Batman and Harley Quinn, also returns.
    • Much like the New 52, DC Extended Universe, and DC Animated Movie Universe, Wonder Woman now uses a sword.
    • From The Dark Knight Trilogy and Batman: Arkham Series, Batman's cape can now act as a glider. This is actually a nice bit of continuity; there's a moment in JLU where Batman ejects from the Batplane and has to call for help because he can't fly, and the Batsuit in Batman Beyond has glider wings.
  • Been There, Shaped History: Played with. By the 31st century, the Green Lantern Corps no longer existed as an organization. After arriving on Oa, the Persuader toyed with the idea that he was the reason for that. It turns out that the Fatal Five were the reason why Jessica Cruz became a legendary hero known in the 31st century, having given her a reason to fight off her PTSD and embrace her status as a Green Lantern.
  • Big Bad: The Fatal Five, led by the Emerald Empress.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The League managed to defeat the Fatal Five, and stopped the sun from being destroyed. But at the cost of Starboy's life.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: Kilowog is impaled in the chest by the Fatal Five and is seen bleeding profusely while unconscious, but according to the DVD commentary, he survived because none of his vital organs were damaged.invoked
  • Broad Strokes: Star Boy is based off of his Pre-Crisis incarnation, who arrived from the future to the present (although he accidentally got transported into the Kingdom Come universe on the way and the present he ended up in was the Post-Crisis timeline) and ended up checking himself into a sanitarium shortly after arriving to due to lack of his future medication he used to treat his schizophrenia.
  • Call-Back: Batman: The Animated Series: Since there is no Bat-Embargo holding the movie back, this movie essentially demonstrates what Justice League could have been like if the restriction didn't exist at the time.
    • When Batman complains to Miss Martian that he's not here to teach teenagers, she transforms into Robin (Tim Drake) to contradict him.
    • Thomas is checked in to Arkham Asylum and ends up befriending the Harvey Dent side of Two-Face. Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn (with their Batman and Harley Quinn designs) also appear as inmates. Thomas also offhandedly mentions a certain clown inmate that everyone was afraid of.
  • The Cameo:
    • Some of the Leaguer statues in the Legion's museum are Huntress, Captain Marvel, Zatanna, Doctor Fate, Flash, Hawkgirl, Black Canary, Green Arrow, Captain Atom, Martian Manhunter, Aquaman, Vixen, and Steel.
    • The displayed Green Lantern statues in the Legion's museum besides Jessica are John Stewart, Kyle Rayner, Guy Gardner, and Hal Jordan.
    • The Legionnaires seen throughout the movie include Mon-El, Brainiac 5, Saturn Girl, Chameleon Boy, Dawnstar, Tyroc, and Shadow Lass. In addition, there are several briefly seen as statues in the Legion Museum such as Lightning Lad, Cosmic Boy, Phantom Girl, Ferro Lad, Wildfire, Lightning Lass, Colossal Boy, Dream Girl, Ultra Boy and many others.
    • Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy are among the Arkham Asylum inmates that try to break out.
    • Thomas mentions that a certain clown at the Arkham Asylum likes pudding, hmm...
  • Commonality Connection: Jessica and Thomas bond over being troubled heroes.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Word of God refers to Mr. Terrific as one of the three smartest men in the world (but not the smartest) and the smartest man in the Justice League, which almost clears up what Batman said to Amanda Waller in "Panic in the Sky" (indirectly saying that Lex Luthor was the smartest man in the world). The identity of the second smartest man in the world in the DCAU has yet to be revealed.invoked
    • Persuader cleaving Jessica's ring recalls when Hro Talak did the same to John in "Starcrossed".
    • All Arkham inmates have been moved to a more modern, secure facility, as Barbara stated to have happened during the flashback sequence in Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker.
  • Covert Distress Code: The Green Lantern Corps have one for if a Lantern is under duress.
  • Critical Staffing Shortage: Most of the Green Lantern Corps is off fighting a war on Rann, allowing the Fatal Five to waltz over to Oa into what should be one of the most secure prisons in the galaxy and timeline.
  • Cryptic Background Reference: What happened to the Green Lantern Corps that reduces them to a memory by the 31st century is never explained. Apparently, no one from the 31st century knows either.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Harley and Ivy are swiftly taken down by Batman and Miss Martian when they attempt to escape during the prison riot.
  • Darker and Edgier: As compared to the rest of the DCAU. It's rated PG-13 for violence, blood, language, and partial nudity. While the DCAU was no slouch, it still had to push being TV-Y7 to the limit.
    • Jessica cusses a few times, mostly "crap", as well as "dick", "Jesus", and "hell".
    • Miss Martian: "I'm Miss Martian, jackass!"
    • Thomas goes nude while having a manic episode.
    • Superman bleeds from a wound inflicted on him by the Persuader.
    • The ARGUS agent working at the base's store front is fried by Tharok's laser gun and is seen with glass shards on his face.
    • The Fatal Five brutally kill several ARGUS agents, including by impalement.
    • Kilowog is impaled by the Fatal Five and is seen bleeding badly.
  • Counterpart Combat Coordination: In the pseudo-final battle with Superman vs. Validus, Wonder Woman vs. the Persuader, Batman vs. Mano, and Mr. Terrific vs. Tharok.
  • Dragon Their Feet: Since Emerald Empress (as well as Validus) are imprisoned on Oa after an altercation with the Legion, Mano is calling the shots for the rest of the Fatal Five until they can be freed.
  • Finger Gun: When Jessica turns herself in to the Fatal Five, Tharok finger-guns at Metropolis behind Jessica when she asks what will happen if she doesn't comply to their demands and detonates a bomb where he pointed.
  • Foil: Batman and Miss Martian are these to each other. Batman is serious and focused on the task at hand, while Miss Martian is more relaxed, such as joking with the Bat or wanting a mochaccino.
  • Foreshadowing: Tharok wonders aloud at one point how Emerald Empress and Mano manage their romantic relationship when the latter can't touch anything without destroying it. He accidentally touches her face during the final battle, and needless to say, it's not pretty.
  • Hero Insurance: When the Fatal Five cause trouble in Portland, Oregon while looking for Jessica, she rescues some bystanders from some giant pipes that a truck was carrying by creating a ramp, which causes the pipes to land on a nearby car, crushing it. The owner is angered by this, to which Jessica points out that's what car insurance is for.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Star Boy sacrifices himself to stabilize the sun when Superman fails to stop the Emerald Eye.
  • Heroic Second Wind: Jessica, having just given in to the Fatal Five's demands and freeing the Emerald Empress and Validus, failing to stop them even after setting off a Code: Green, being badly injured along with Kilowog and the other guards, and having had her ring get broken by Persuader, finds the courage to rebuild her ring by sheer Heroic Willpower (with a certain Badass Creed) and rescue herself, her friends, and her world.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Batman, of all people, says he doesnít work with teenagers, despite having trained two Kid Sidekicks and worker with a similarly aged Batgirl. Miss Martian transforms into Tim Drake, the second Robin, to point this out when he complains about his work with her, prompting him to admit she has a point.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Emerald Empress does this to many ARGUS troops, as well as Kilowog (Word of God says Kilowog survives).invoked
  • In the End, You Are on Your Own: Mr. Terrific mentions that no one is responding to their calls, leaving just him, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Miss Martian, Jessica, and Thomas to save Metropolis from the Fatal Five.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Diana thinks that Jessica is just afraid she won't be a good enough Green Lantern and tries to encourage her by showing her she's a good fighter, not realizing that Jessica's issues are more complicated than that.
  • Interquel: The movie takes place after Justice League Unlimited and the flashback scenes from Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, given that Arkham Asylum has yet to be abandoned.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Though Miss Martian and Batman are successful in subduing Bloodsport and saving the hostages he was threatening to blow to smithereens, Batman sternly yet correctly criticizes her for giving away their element of surprise, letting Bloodsport get inside her head, failing to neutralize him on her own, and nearly getting the hostages killed. Harsh, maybe, but Batman is correct that sloppiness such as this in their line of work can result in people getting injured or killed.
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind: Miss Martian takes Batman and Jessica on a trip through Star Boy's memories.
  • Just One Second Out of Sync: Brainiac 5 plans to sabotage the Legion time bubble so the three Fatal Five members will be frozen in time when they attempt to use it. Unfortunately they manage to take it before he finishes but Star Boy manages to kickstart the process after they hijack it, phasing the sphere out of the current time frame and rendering it opaque and indestructible.
  • Marked Change: Jessica lacks her iconic eye covering lantern mark for most of the movie, she finally gets it near the end when she returns to stop the villains' plan to destroy the Earth and the rest of the solar system.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Superman exclaims "Great Rao!" upon the sudden appearance of the Fatal Five. Rao was both the name of Krypton's star and its god.
    • Wonder Woman carries a sword now, like her other recent incarnations, namely her DCEU incarnation.
    • Batman dispatches Mano in a similar manner to his famous fight with the Mutant Leader in The Dark Knight Returns.
    • The silhouette on Mano's helmet resembles the one that the character had in Legion of Super-Heroes, instead of the normal head shape that he previously had.
    • In the behind-the-scenes featurette on the Reign of the Supermen DVD, Word of God refers to Mr. Terrific as the third smartest man on Earth, which is a reference to one of the taglines in his comic.
    • Miss Martian wears her Young Justice (2010) Season 2 outfit.
    • Kilowog's redesign is based off of his Green Lantern: The Animated Series design.
    • Kyle Rayner's costume is based off of his 90s comic design.
    • Most of the Green Lantern Corps is fighting a war against the Dominators on Rann. The Dominators were a part of the Legion of Super-Heroes' rogues gallery, and in Green Lantern: Emerald Knights, the backstory of the Green Lantern Corps was that they were created by the Guardians of Oa to fight the tyrannical Dominators.
    • In the comics, the Fatal Five only became a team because the Legion recruited five independent criminals to help destroy a Sun-Eater. note  In this adaptation, the Fatal Five plan to destroy the sun themselves.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • John Stewart and the rest of the Green Lantern Corps are fighting Dominators on Rann during the movie, which means that they likely came into contact with Adam Strange at some point.
    • Shayera is busy on Thanagar for an unstated reason. She had time to briefly test her mace on the time machine at Mr. Terrific's request before returning home.
    • Hal Jordan will eventually become a Green Lantern and join the Justice League. Guy Gardner will also do the same.
    • Kyle Rayner will receive a costume change and formally join the Justice League.
  • Odd Friendship: While in Arkham, Star Boy manages to become friends with Two-Face.
  • Oh, Crap!: Thomas when his medication breaks when he travels back in time (to the present), because the medication for his mental illness doesn't exist yet.
  • Pet the Dog: Two-Face looks out for Thomas while he's at Arkham.
  • Pursued Protagonist: The first scene shows Star-Boy running in the opposite direction from three shadowy members of the Fatal Five as he finds himself outmatched while trying to stop them from stealing a time machine.
  • Put on a Bus: John Stewart is dealing with a situation on Rann alongside the rest of the Green Lantern Corps. Hawkgirl is currently on Thanagar. Itís unknown where Flash or Jíonn are but itís noted that no one outside of the heroes onscreen are responding to their comms.
  • Redshirt Army: The troops guarding the ARGUS facility.
  • Refusal of the Call: Jessica is reluctant to become a Green Lantern and join the League.
  • Reluctant Hero: Jessica has severe anxiety & PTSD and Thomas has paranoid schizophrenia, which causes them to feel uncertain about using their powers to become superheroes. But it's not so much that they're reluctant than it is that they have to juggle their mental issues at the same time.
  • Reused Character Design: The Justice League: Gods and Monsters versions of Kimiyo Hoshi and Pat Dugan can be seen as civilians. Hoshi can be seen while Thomas looks for a pharmacy and Dugan is one of Bloodsport's hostages.
  • Sanity Slippage: Star Boy suffering from his mental condition after going off his meds, with a flashback of sorts expositing that he's at risk of a permanent state if he misses too much of his medication.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Star Boy manages to imprison Mano, Tharok and Persuader in the Time Sphere before they crash-land on Earth in the Justice League's time. Emerald Empress and Validus, meanwhile, are incarcerated on Oa.
  • Scenery Censor: Star Boy ends up naked and starts running from the cops and he tries to run from Batman, while objects keep his junk out of sight.
  • Ship Tease: Between Jessica and Thomas. In Thomas's mind, Miss Martian and Jessica find a picture of him being affectionate with Lightning Lass. Miss Martian thinks they're boyfriend-girlfriend, but Jessica is quick to counter that they don't know that ó maybe they're cousins!
  • Shout-Out:
    • Batman refers to Mano as Skeletor at one point.
    • Thomas's arrival seems to be a reference to Terminator, as he's a super-powered being who comes to the present Naked on Arrival in a fiery explosion and is viewed as crazy and dangerous.
  • Star Killing: The Fatal Five decide to destroy the Sun in the Justice League's time.
  • Suddenly Shouting: Emerald Empress first begins speaking to Mano in a soft, romantic tone with elegant wording, then abruptly switches to yelling angrily with four-letter language, and then back again.
  • Superman Stays Out of Gotham: The only members of the League available to fight the Fatal Five are the Trinity, Mr. Terrific, and Miss Martian, along with non-League members Jessica and Thomas. Mr. Terrific mentions that the others haven't been able to respond to their distress call.
  • Terrible Trio: Mano, Tharok, and the Persuader are this while Emerald Empress and Validus are out of commission.
  • Time Skip: Ten months pass between Thomas and the Fatal Five arriving in the 21st century and the main story, as Mr. Terrific is working on figuring out what the jury-rigged time machine is, the Fatal Five can't get out until the time machine is opened, and Thomas doesn't escape from Arkham until he hears about this.
  • Timm Style: Similar to Justice League: Gods and Monsters, the artstyle is essentially an upgraded Justice League.
  • Uncertain Doom: It isn't confirmed if the Fatal Five survived or not after Jessica collapsed the mountain base on them.
  • Unholy Matrimony: Mano and Emerald Empress are an item here.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Possibly. A Green Lantern that looks a lot like Arkkis Chummuck is briefly seen trying to stop the Fatal Five during their escape, when he was last seen being vaporized by a giant laser beam in "Hearts and Minds". Then again, he may just be Barreer Wot, who was Arkkis Chummuck's successor as Green Lantern in the comics.
  • Wham Shot: While in the Hall of Justice, Jessica finds a separate chamber for the Green Lanterns that were members of the Justice League. Not just her, John, and Kyle, but Scott, Hal, and Guy?!
  • What the Hell, Hero?: When Jessica constructs a ramp of green light to send a bunch of huge metal pipes away from civilians, having them roll up and out of the way, they land on another person's car.
    Civilian: What the hell?!
    Jessica: That's what insurance is for!
  • Who Shot JFK?: Played with. Bloodsport thinks that JFK faked his death and wants him to come out and admit it.
  • Year X: When the Fatal Five use the time machine, they attempt to travel back to November 20XX (the camera cuts away before we see them finish typing in the year).