With that brilliantly written statement the DCLU (DC Lego Universe) joins the modern era of DC and joins the New 52. New costumes, new danger, new toy sets.
First there was Lego Batman.
Then there was Justice League vs. Bizarro League.
Now there is Lego Justice League: Attack of the Legion of Doom, the next installment of the hit direct to video series based on a video game that was based on a toy line.
But this is no mere pandering to the masses for toy set dollars but instead a fabulous exploration of a CGI Elseworlds that brings not only the New 52 but nostalgia dear to every fan’s heart and a famous Lego sense of humor long overdue in the DCU video onslaught. With the third installment it is clear that this universe is every bit as viable, fun and real as the TV universe, the serious WB animated Universe and the Unlimited Universe. It is its own entity and still very much crucial to the DC superhero experience.
If you liked the Lego movie but were afraid of these, or if you have never been privy to the LEGO cartoon experience, this review is for you. If you are a diehard LEGO fanatic and haven’t missed a single toy set, movie or Bionicle episode then this review is for you too.
So let’s get this monkey smoking…
LEGO Justice League: Attack of the Legion of Doom
Directed by Rick Morales
WRITERS: James Krieg ... (screenplay)
Bob Kane ... (character created by: Batman)
Jack Kirby ... (character created by: Darkseid)
William M. Marston ... (character created by: Wonder Woman)
Joe Shuster ... (character created by: Superman)
Jerry Siegel ... (character created by: Superman)
Marv Wolfman ... (characters created by: Deathstroke and Cyborg)
George Pérez ... (characters created by: Deathstroke and Cyborg)
Joe Certa ... (character created by: Martian Manhunter)
Joe Samachson ... (character created by: Martian Manhunter)
Neal Adams ... (character created by: Man-Bat)
Dee Bradley Baker...Martian Manhunter / Man-Bat (voice)
Troy Baker... Batman (voice)
John DiMaggio…Lex Luthor / Joker (voice)
Grey Griffin...Wonder Woman / Lois Lane (voice)
Mark Hamill...The Trickster / Sinestro (voice)
Tom Kenny...Penguin (voice)
Nolan North...Superman (voice)
Josh Keaton…Green Lantern (voice)
Khary Payton... Cyborg (voice)
Kevin Michael Richardson... Captain Cold / Gorilla Grodd / Black Manta (voice)
Cree Summer… Cheetah (voice)
James Arnold Taylor…The Flash / General Sam Lane (voice)
Tony Todd...Darkseid (voice)
When Darkseid commands Lex Luthor to assemble a team of villains so that he can conquer Earth he does what any good team does. He holds tryouts. Can this new Legion of Doom banish the heroes from Earth, soil their reputation and make them hated universally? Not if Cyborg has anything to say about it. But how will he save the day when the League doesn’t trust the rookie, his failures are well documented and he is all alone against Sinestro. Plus, will Luthor double cross the mad tyrant of Apokalips?
While this story is in itself amazing it also is the vehicle for three key events for the future of the DCLU. First, it brings the aforementioned update a.k.a. The New 52. Second, it introduces Martian Manhunter to the continuity and third, it is the test of fire for Cyborg who is the youngest of the JL.
So how does a team of creatives separate their DCU from all of the other DCUs without repetition, cloning or watering it down? Well, in the case of the DCLU it was clear the first step is to know what you are. From the onset it had to be all ages, humorous and prominently use the LEGO universe (blocks, sets, structures and physics) to propel the story.
Like every good creator this team did their research and looked to the only real examples of this to have worked in the history of attempts like this. It seems there are two cases to point to specifically. Super Friends and Teen Titans.
With dexterity and craftsmanship of phenomenal skill the writers created a hybrid built out of equal parts Super Friends (from the music to the design to the sound effects), Teen Titans (the interactions, banter and juvenile relationships) and Lego Universe (including the aforementioned elements and the truly unique sense of humor other Lego properties from Bionicle to Clutch Powers. The witty way they brought in The New 52 I cited above is one of just a hundred or more hilarious but well characterized gags throughout.
But don’t let the lighthearted humor fool you. This is a grade A superhero story and it is complex. Like the Unlimited line this is a deceptively fast moving and decompressed story and it feels like a full graphic novel worth of content.
Also in order to capture that special uniqueness of voice the Lego team also found its voice actor – Troy Baker. As much as Conroy, Keaton or Bader, this universe also has a Batman that will forever redefine the humorous Batman that West and Bader molded along the way.
Sharp, witty and characterized in caricature perfectly Attack of the Legion of Doom is a surefire hit for any family, fanboy or newbie. Rent, stream or buy this as soon as you can.
Tell the monkey to crush his butt…