After the revitalization of the DC Universe Original Movie Batman: The Killing Joke, which was proudly released with an “R” rating, the DC Universe carries the “R” rated thread into their latest feature Justice League Dark, which unites some of the darker, more adult heroes from the roster like John Constantine, Batman, Deadman, Swamp Thing, Zatanna, and Etrigan the Demon. The story starts on a dark note indeed: Civilians are committing atrocities on the streets of Gotham and Metropolis, slaughtering innocents and turning against one another, thinking that they’re demons. With The Justice League flummoxed for answers, Batman takes it upon himself to find demon hunter John Constantine (voiced by Matt Ryan, who starred in the TV series) and sorceress Zatanna and other supernatural heroes like Deadman and Swamp Thing, who join forces to stop what is happening around the world. Turns out the culprit is harnessing a weapon once used against Merlin (who gets a fun sword and sorcery flashback), and only “the Justice League Dark” with their individual dark powers can stop this weapon.

Slickly produced and streamlined animation with nonstop action with a decidedly adult propensity for supernatural horror elevate Justice League Dark to the stronger echelon of entries from the DC Universe Original Movies series. Its richly textured and layered music score by Robert J. Kral is firm and assured, with a vividly conceived soundscape that is tinged with dark magic and sinister themes. Kral, who helped launch and establish the DC Universe Original movies with his score for the very first film from the animated canon Superman: Doomsday, has been involved with a number of other DC Universe features over the years, with accomplished works for Batman: Assault on Arkham, Batman: Gotham Knight, and Green Lantern: First Flight. He’s one of the more distinctive composers working in the animated medium, and his score for Justice League Dark is quite possibly his best work so far.


La La Land’s nicely produced soundtrack album comes with some liner notes and a glossy insert booklet. With almost a full hour of music, this is a sure thing purchase, for not just fans of the film and of the DC Animated Universe, but for fans of good soundtracks. Period. Its limited to just 1500 units.


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About the Author

david j. moore
david j. moore is the author of World Gone Wild: A Survivor's Guide to Post-Apocalyptic Movies and the upcoming book The Good, the Tough and the Deadly: Action Movies and Stars, coming April, 2016 from Schiffer Publishing.