Justice Society: World War II finds modern-day Barry Allen – prior to the formation of the Justice League – discovering he can run even faster than he imagined, and that milestone results in his first encounter with the Speed Force. The Flash is promptly launched into the midst of a raging battle – primarily between Nazis and a team of Golden Age DC Super Heroes known as The Justice Society of America. Led by Wonder Woman, the group includes Hourman, Black Canary, Hawkman, Steve Trevor and the Golden Age Flash, Jay Garrick. The Flash quickly volunteers to assist his fellow heroes in tipping the scales of war in their favor, while the team tries to figure out how to send him home. But it won’t be easy as complications and emotions run deep in this time-skipping World War II thriller.
Last year’s release of Superman: Man of Tomorrow offered Warner Bros. Animation and DC Comics with an enticing opportunity. The opportunity to begin anew with their animated universe whose previous incarnation was warmly received and organically developed. From Justice League: War through to Justice League Dark: Apokolips War the studio was able to tackle some of comics biggest storylines.
But with Man of Tomorrow the studio broke the mould and presented something new and original. Heading back to the beginning with an origin, of sorts, for the Man of Steel and wiping the slate clean. Just imagine the possibilities of what DC and WB could do if they went ahead and planned a new Multiverse of storytelling…
Cut to: Matt Bomer’s Barry Allen sharing some much needed downtime with Iris (Ashleigh LaThrop) in Metropolis. Barry is a little older than Clark was in Man of Tomorrow, he’s more seasoned and comfortable with his powers. But what he makes up for in experience he lacks in communication both with Iris and in heroic circumstances.
The tailer for Justice Society: World War II pitches the film as a Flash time-travelling epic. Sending Barry back to WW2 where he meets Stana Katic’s Wonder Woman and a lineup of classic DC heroes. But don’t be mislead. Writers Jeremy Adams and Meghan Fitzmartin have a lot more in store for viewers and fans. Not only is the film rooted in the history of DC’s Multiverse its also action-packed and emotionally complex.
Bomer’s Barry Allen is a pitch perfect audience window in to the world of the Justice Society. His disorientation mirrors our own and we follow his journey of discovery step-by-step. There are a number of occasions where the story pivots in new directions and these are communicated effectively through Allen’s penchant for overtly exuberant statements. His characterisation feels true to his comic origins and Bomer injects a healthy dose of enthusiasm in to his portrayal.
Given the number of recognisable faces in the supporting cast it’s easy to go in to the scenario with a sense of familiarity. Wonder Woman is the pillar of strength, Hourman (Matthew Mercer) represents the muscle, Jay Garrick (Armen Taylor) the heart. Hawkman (Omid Abtahi) brings the gravitas of having lived many lives across history. Finally Black Canary (Elysia Roatru) knits the group together, reflecting qualities we find within them all.
When Barry realises he has traversed not only time but also the Multiverse things really kick-off. Shackles removed, Justice Society: WWII is able to break new ground just like Man of Tomorrow. Adams and Fitzmartin throw more recognisable faces in to the mix but with brand new twists. It evokes a sense of Flashpoint without directly retreading any of the plot points from that story. Its wonderfully unique and catches the audience off-guard consistently.
Some fans were slow to warm to the new animation style in Man of Tomorrow. The previous incarnation of the DCAU had an air of classic animation where the new Superman featured a much more contemporary style. That new style comes in to play again here but with a few tweaks. Backgrounds are much more immersive and lively. Whilst the colour palette of the WW2 setting is more muted in succeeds in pushing the colourful heroes front and centre. Whilst I had no issue with the styling of Man of Tomorrow this film feels like a natural progression as the studio develops its new era of storytelling.
Justice Society: World War II is wonderful surprise with breathtaking action, complex characters and a truly unique story.
Justice Society: World War II stars Stana Katic as Wonder Woman, Matt Bomer as The Flash, Elysia Rotaru as Black Canary, Chris Diamantopoulos as Steve Trevor, Omid Abtahi as Hawkman, Matthew Mercer as Hourman, Armen Taylor as Jay Garrick, Liam McIntyre as Aquaman, Ashleigh LaThrop as Iris West, Geoffrey Arend as Charles Halstead/Advisor, Keith Ferguson as Dr. Fate and Darin De Paul as Roosevelt.
The film comes to digital on April 27, 2021 and 4K Ultra HD™, Blu-ray combo pack and Blu-ray™on May 11, 2021.
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