Justice League Movies: The Best and the Worst

Love it or hate it, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice gave hardcore DC fans and casual moviegoers alike their first glimpse at what we can expect from Zack Snyder’s Justice League film, especially with the notable additions of Ben Affleck’s Batman and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman. Still, Snyder’s upcoming film is far from the first time the characters have shared the screen, at least in animated form. We’ve already addressed films that feature the two title characters of Batman v Superman. Now we turn our attention to the feature-length adventures of the entire Justice League.

8. JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time (2014)

JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time

JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time | Warner Bros.

Probably the least popular title on this list, this one was initially released exclusively in Target, and the fact that many fans may be unfamiliar with it should be the first hint that the project isn’t exactly the finest Justice League adventure out there. Sure, the film features a time-bending narrative as well as some notable voice talent, including Diedrich Bader (Batman: The Brave and the Bold) as the Dark Knight, but with so many better installments out there, this is one all but the most dedicated DC fans can probably overlook.

7. Justice League: Throne of Atlantis (2015)

Justice League: Throne of Atlantis

Justice League: Throne of Atlantis | Warner Bros.

Much like Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox is essentially a Flash story branded as a team-up film, this film largely centers on Arthur Curry aka Aquaman (Matt Lanter) as he joins the Justice League to stop Ocean Master (Sam Witwer) from wreaking havoc. Throne of Atlantis is perfectly passable entertainment, but the film underwhelmed viewers, failing to live up to the pair of acclaimed releases that preceded it.

6. Justice League: Gods and Monsters (2015)

Justice League: Gods and Monsters

Justice League: Gods and Monsters | Warner Bros.

One of the few Justice League animated films not inspired by an arc from the comics, Gods and Monsters follows an alternative-universe version of the team as they are wrongfully implicated in the deaths of some of the world’s best scientists. The film is based on an original story by longtime DC animation producer Alan Burnett and serves as an intriguing “what if?” story that examines the iconic heroes from a fresh angle.

5. Justice League: The New Frontier (2008)

Justice League: The New Frontier

Justice League: The New Frontier | Warner Bros.

A period piece based on the eponymous 2004 limited series, this film chronicles the ultimate superhero team-up that occurs when new heroes like The Flash and Martian Manhunter join forces with existing ones like Batman and Wonder Woman. In the process, The New Frontier effectively bridges the gap between the Golden Age superheroes and their Silver Age counterparts, mirroring the evolution of DC Comics through the years.

4. Justice League: War (2014)

Justice League: War

Justice League: War | Warner Bros.

Based on the story that launched DC Comics’ New 52 in 2011, this film likewise signaled the beginning of a new shared-universe continuity for the animated film slate. Justice League: War delves into an invasion by Darkseid that ultimately leads DC’s greatest heroes to unite against him. The film was critically acclaimed, but it may have slipped past some fans, since its storyline will likely serve as inspiration for the live-action DC Extended Universe.

3. Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths (2010)

Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths

Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths | Warner Bros.

Inspired by Grant Morrison’s JLA: Earth 2 storyline, this story — which deals with an alternate world wherein the heroes are forces of evil — was originally intended to help transition the Justice League animated series into its follow-up show, Justice League Unlimited. Those plans ultimately fell through, but the film still makes good use of the DC multiverse and set the stage for an even better sequel in Justice League: Doom.

2. Justice League: Doom (2012)

Justice League: Doom

Justice League: Doom | Warner Bros.

The Justice League faces Vandal Savage in this film, which sees the cast of Crisis of Two Earths — including Tim Daly and Kevin Conroy as Superman and Batman, respectively — returning for this adventure that sees the heroes the target of a widespread attack when their respective weaknesses get out. Loosely based on the acclaimed 2000 arc JLA: Tower of Babel, Justice League: Doom is a can’t-miss release for any and all DC fans.

1. Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox (2013)

Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox

Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox   Warner Bros.

Marking the end of one continuity and (in a post-credits scene) the beginning of the animated version of The New 52, this film may be told primarily from the perspective of The Flash (Justin Chambers), but fans won’t be able to resist its fascinating glimpse at an alternate world where Aquaman and Wonder Woman are at war. Moreover, the existence of a very different version of Batman and a world torn apart by chaos explore the dark consequences that would befall the world if the collective power of the Justice League fell into the wrong hands.

Follow Robert Yaniz Jr. on Twitter @CrookedTable

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