Well, the DCAU came to a halt with Justice League Dark Apokolips War.
Wait, halt is the wrong word, the right ones would be ‘an explosive end that keeps you guessing what’s next!’
I’m sure by now you’ve all watched it. If you haven’t, seriously, c’mon do yourself a favour and check it out. It’ll blow your mind. From here on out, there’s major spoilers.
The movie is a direct sequel to the Justice League Dark that came out in 2017 and it happens in the same universe which was kickstarted by the Flashpoint movie in 2013, otherwise known as the DCAMU.
I remember watching Flashpoint way back when and thoroughly enjoying it. I loved how dark and gory the scenes were, it was definitely not for the kids. It went on to show how strong the narration needed to be to drive the point home: That Barry Allen had made a terrible mistake in messing with the timeline. He fixed it in the end of course but launched a new universe that was very similar to the new 52 comic run.
Before the Apokolips war, there was a very natural and very apparent change in costumes for the big three. They were so close to the original golden age ones. I, of course mean Superman (at the end of Reign of Supermen), Wonder Woman (Bloodlines) and Batman (Hush).
I was pretty certain that the next films would show the heroes carry on new stories with these costumes and that we might see some interesting storylines that won’t necessarily be inspired from the comics. Boy, was I wrong.
Now, Apokolips War was a gut-wrenching, violent film that mimicked the Flashpoint Paradox in this very aspect. However, the main guy here was John Constantine. The man who eventually helps the team win after their chaotic, reckless plan to take down Darkseid goes to the ‘shitter’. Actually, it was Superman’s. The blue Boy Scout was totally out of his element here.
It is upsetting and sad to watch the heroes get torn down, one by one by Superman’s recklessness to rush into a full-on attack against Darkseid on his own turf, without fully analysing his army, and openly discussing his plans with the guy who pretty much is 3/4th mother box: Cyborg! What was he thinking! What?! Okay, I’m good now.
Darkseid pulls a sneaky one on them by hacking into cyborg’s, I mean after all it is Apokolips Tech.
The heroes are surprised by the new monstrosity that is half-parademon, half-doomsday like creatures aptly dubbed Paradooms. Most of the heroes are violently killed and/ or ripped apart by the Parademons while some are left to live to wallow in their failure and some to serve Darkseid. Wonder Woman, Mera, J’onn J’onzz and Starfire become the mechanical furies, brainwashed into protecting Apokolips and of course, the new God while Batman is made to take a seat on the Mobius chair becoming a herald to the big dude while Luthor snivels away as a liaison to the new Earth. Cut to 2 years later, and the world is a depressing mess. A dystopia of the first level.
The movie shows the consequences of bad calls and the extent the heroes go to right the wrong, especially Superman in this case who is infused with liquid kryptonite and allowed to live by Darkseid after their disastrous plan of attack. Eesh. Superman still does whatever he can to make this right. The body count is insanely high and is very reminiscent to the Injustice comics.
Ripping apart most of the heroes, either killing them or turning them into slaves was really a WTF moment.
Superman forced to walk the earth, with no powers, with Raven and her daddy issues was sad too. In the end, the key was Damian. They needed his to snap his father, Batman, out of the Mobius chair’s trance and the hold Darkseid had on him. Another epic fight sequence was when Superman is posssessed by Trigon aka Raven’s dad and goes toe-to-toe against the new God, Darkseid.
Another beautiful sequence is when Robin and Batman talk about their toxic father-son relationship and how it snaps Batman out of his trance. The love between Lois and Clark is thoroughly established and there were just one too many tears when it had to end.
Now, with the Snyder cut movement still going strong, many people claim that this as DC’s attempt to see if the fans accept such terrible fates for the heroes. I’m sure we did. That’s the beauty of the DC Multiverse, you know shit happens but it’s not the main continuity and that’s wonderful.
In this case, way too much shit happened. With cyborg Wonder Woman, dead green lanterns and guardians, cyborg martian manhunter, hawk girl, StarFire, dead Shazam, dead teen titans, Dead suicide squad (who join Lois and Lex to transport Superman’s team to save Batman, they die too), dead Etrigan, yeah you got the point.
The main twist, the one that matters anyway, is the fact that Earth was still beyond saving thanks to the core being damaged by Darkseid’s core sucking devices. Enter Barry Allen again who looks probably worse than cyborg wonder woman after being rescued from running to generate power to Apokolips for the last couple of years. Constantine figures out Barry created this reality, he urges him to do it again. They need another Flashpoint.
And he does it. The movie ends as the survivors look at the white light coming towards them to wipe them out of existence. Again.
So all in all, brilliant stuff. Will the next set of movies be an adaptation of Rebirth? Who knows.
These are some of the best moments from the movie, IMHO.
But let’s hope the Snyder stuff works out and we get to see a new universe in live-action format that’s set apart from the new Aquaman, Shazam and Wonder Woman 84 universe. New rumours defninitely suggest that with HBO Max likely pushing for it. Alternate versions are always fun. Get to the comment section and tell us what you thought of the new movie.