The first season of the new Justice League animated series, Justice League: Gods And Monsters Chronicles, debuted online this week, courtesy of Machinima and DC Animated Universe mastermind Bruce Timm. The first season, consisting of three short videos, offers viewers a darker, grittier take on the three most iconic heroes, Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. From first glance, the new series, as well as the upcoming movie, offers a different view from the usual DC canon, but keeps enough for things to be recognizable.
The new series transitions from the usual upbringing of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. Superman is the son of General Zod, rather than the son of Jor-El. He is a bit more violent but still raised by migrate farmers. Batman is not Bruce Wayne, rather he is Kurt Langstrom, a man diagnosed with cancer. In trying to find a cure, he injects himself with Bat-venom which turns him into a pseudo-vampire. Langstrom feeds on criminals to cure his bloodlust. Wonder Woman is Bekka, the bride of the New God Orion.
The first episode, titled Twisted, features Batman battling Harley Quinn. The title of the episode is quite befitting. Batman is voiced by Dexter‘s Michael C. Hall. Harley Quinn is holed up in a warehouse with human remains, quite opposite from anywhere the Joker would reside.
The second episode, titled Bomb, features Superman battling an adolescent Braniac. Superman is voiced by Law & Order‘s Benjamin Bratt. This episode is simultaneously shocking, moving, and appropriate.
The third episode, titled Big, features Wonder Woman saving Steve Trevor from the Kobra organization. Wonder Woman is voiced by Bones‘s Tamara Taylor. This episode is not as dark as the previous two, but just as enjoyable.
Overall, this new series offers a darker, grittier take on the Justice League. Justice League: Gods And Monsters, the upcoming film associated in this new universe, will be released on DVD, Blu-ray, and Digital Download on July 28th. The new series has been renewed for a second series, which will be released online in 2016.