Just a quick opinion piece on the first New 52 animated feature, Justice League: War.
First off, before I watched War, I ran across a Target exclusive that also came out this week called JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time. I didn't know what to expect here, as I knew it was more of an all-ages friendly release and it got almost not hype whatsoever compared to War. It was adapted from an old Super Friends episode as well. But, I have to say I really enjoyed it. It was at times a little too simplistic animation-wise and had a few goofy moments. Like say a walk on by Marvin and Wendy. But for the most part it had a great energy and was a whole lot of fun. The Bizarro scenes were great! Robin was spunky but not a jerk. Batman's costume was a little weird but I always love seeing the oval Bat-symbol. Superman was sporting the New 52 costume, but still was the old characterization. And the way they presented Aquaman, as a bright and heroic figure based off of the Ramona Fradon era, is pretty much the closest I've seen to what I tried to accomplish in my fan fiction version of him over at the DC2. They brought in Legion members Dawnstar and Karate Kid as direct homages to the exterior heroes from classic Super Friends - Samurai and Apache Chief. All to take down an ill-advised team-up of the Legion of Doom and Time Trapper. All around cool stuff.
Now on to Justice League: War. I have to admit, as bad as the animation was in Flashpoint Paradox I still really enjoyed it. The action and concepts were well presented and even some of the hard edged action scenes were very effective. So, I was looking forward to this one. And man, it did NOT deliver for me. The character moments were sparse and hollow. The profanity was used often and to no more apparent effect than to just seem more "mature". The League bickered and insulted each other the whole time. Did every scene need to include one of them calling the other a moron, idiot, or smart ass? Very little happened. It seemed like just one long mundane action sequence. Cyborg's origin was strange and the character was shown to be a anti-tech jock turned cyber hero? It was an awkward character arc. Throne of Atlantis is teased as the next storyline to be adapted so it seems they choose to jump ahead and swap Aquaman for Shazam to get his character some screen time. I haven't really read the New 52 version of Billy Batson, but... ugh. Even the exuberance of Sean Astin didn't really bring this around for me after he transformed into the Captain. Superman was flat. Batman, eh. His usual. Green Lantern was barely likeable. The characters that stood out as being any fun at all were Wonder Woman and Flash, but were drowned out in all the explosions and sarcasm. Even at the end, it's like they admit to not liking each other so much as it would rather be good for PR not to be horrible to each other. The final fight with Darkseid picked up some and had some intrigue beyond hit and destroy, but then quickly descended into just trying to knock him back into a boom tube for ten minutes. This one just fell flat for me guys. It was a chore trying to even finish watching it, and that's definitely not what I was hoping for. Even more sad is that this is the first animated feature by DC that I don't feel like I can watch with my kids. There is something wrong about that.