Volume: Two-Disc Special Edition
Distributor: Warner Premiere/Warner Home Video
Age Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 77 minutes
Release Date: 02/23/2010
Writer: Dwayne McDuffie
Director: Sam Liu and Lauren Montgomery
Fiction has always given mankind the opportunity to ask "What if?" of all their curiosities. For a dedicated group of comic book writers, super powers and the realm of science fiction is their vehicle to answer such a question.
In Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, on a parallel Earth, the Crime Syndicate is a mafia of villains with powers and identities analogous to the Justice League we all grew up on. However, after all but one of this Earth's heroes is killed, the Syndicate's Owlman hatches an insane plan to destroy the Multiverse and end mankind as we know it!
Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths is a quintessential Justice League and perhaps, bears the mark of a modern DC Comics animation. The movie is written by Dwayne McDuffie, notably a writer and editor on the Justice League and Justice League Unlimited animated series, who draws from several versions of the comic books including JLA: Earth 2 (by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely) and the unused script "World's Collide," a direct-to-video movie meant to bridge the two animated Justice League series together.
Only seconds into a second Earth, the League faces off against the Crime Syndicate in a romp against several Made Men, reminiscent of the Outsiders and the Justice League Detroit teams from the comics. Things take a turn for the worse however, when a trio of Marvel proportions arrives to 'save' the day. But the League escapes and we finally learn how Wonder Woman got that Invisible Jet. Next, the League coordinates multiple attacks on the Crime Syndicate's operations. They soon attract the attention of the President of the United States, a parallel Deathstroke! This opens up a sub-plot between his daughter, Rose Wilson, and Martian Manhunter.
At first glance, this romance might appear out of place and an unnecessary lull in the otherwise action-packed slugfest that makes up much of JL: Crisis on Two Earths. I beg to differ. Rose Wilson is perhaps the most important character in the movie. She is the vehicle for the many recurring themes that resonate in the film. Wilson first appears protesting the Crime Syndicate's might makes right authority.
However, she fails to understand how he is a soldier who doesn't want to see the bloodshed of war again at any cost. Wilson then unknowingly falls in love with Martian Manhunter, who himself was his people's greatest warrior, whisked away from a genocidal campaign initiated by the savage White Martians. Thus she rediscovers her father in the Martian.
As the movie progresses, Owlman reveals a plan of his own: to blow up Earth Prime and destroy all of mankind. Instead of an over the top uber-villain, we're dealt with a twisted yet calm and calculating genius who has just realized his true purpose in life. But ultimately, behind that mask is another Batman trying to control the chaos that ruined his childhood but on a grander and more epic scale. As Batman notes in the final battle, the difference is that Owlman blinked, and rather than face an endless war on crime, he chose a solution to erase it completely rather than deal with it day after day.