Justice League: Doom appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. No problems emerged during this strong presentation.
Across the board, sharpness looked positive. The movie boasted consistently terrific delineation and never suffered from any obvious soft spots. Issues with jagged edges or moiré effects failed to materialize, and the image lacked edge haloes. In addition, no signs of source defects appeared.
Doom boasted solid colors. The film used a natural palette that favored primary hues, all of which exhibited excellent vivacity and life. Blacks were dark and deep, while shadows showed nice clarity. I found nothing about which to complain in this terrific transfer.
I also felt pleased with the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Doom. It opened up the comic book material well and created a consistently active environment. The flick delivered tons of action, and the various elements popped up in logical locations. They also meshed together well and turning in a lively mix. This was a more active than usual track for a DC Comics “direct to video” affair; it was virtually big-screen caliber.
Audio quality always satisfied. Speech was warm and natural, without edginess or other issues. Music sounded lively and full, while effects displayed good definition. Those elements seemed accurate and dynamic. This wound up as a consistently excellent mix.
When we head to the extras, we open with an audio commentary from DC Comics Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns and DC Entertainment Creative Director of Animation Mike Carlin. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific discussion of the project’s origins and development, story/character subjects, cast and performances, some visual elements, and other thoughts about the DC Universe.
I was a bit surprised that we didn’t get more “hands on” personnel like the director or producers here. (Sadly, writer Dwayne McDuffie passed before the film’s completion.) For a while, Johns and Carlin carry the load pretty well, as the first half-hour or so gives us a nice look at the franchise and related topics. They run out of steam, though, so the second half of the movie tends to be less informative. It’s not a bad chat, but it’s inconsistent.
In a 36-minute, 35-second documentary called A League of One: The Dwayne McDuffie Story, we hear from Carlin, writer/story editor Stan Berkowitz, writer/friend Matt Wayne, writer/widow Charlotte McDuffie, casting/voice director Andrea Romano, Milestone Media co-founder Denys Cowan, former Marvel Comics editor Sid Jacobson, writers Joe Kelly and Jim Krieg, producer Alan Burnett, executive producer Bruce Timm, Milestone Media president Derek Dingle, DC Comics co-publisher Dan DiDio, DC Comics executive editor Eddie Berganza, Ben 10 producer Glen Murakami, Ben 10 writer Eugene Son, and actor Phil LaMarr. The program offers a biography and appreciation for the late comic book writer. Inevitably, this heaps praise on McDuffie, but that’s fine. We still learn a lot about the late writer, and this ends up as a warm, heartfelt tribute.
A look at the movie’s subject matter shows up in Guarding the Balance: Batman and the JLA. It runs 18 minutes, 54 seconds and offers notes from Berganza, DiDio, Our Gods Wear Spandex author Christopher Knowles, UCLA Professor of Social Psychology Dr. Ben Karney, Pepperdine University Associate Professor of History Dr. Stewart Davenport, and former DC Comics writer/editor Dennis O’Neil. “Balance” offers an introspective view on the movie’s themes, as it digs into psychological and sociological issues connected to the JLA and Batman's attempt to put a check on the other heroes’ powers. It’s a reasonably interesting chat that digs into the subject fairly well – after all, how often do comic book featurettes discuss Andrew Jackson and the Whigs?
We get a preview via A Sneak Peek at Superman vs. the Elite. This lasts six minutes, 32 seconds and includes info from Burnett, Kelly, Carlin, and Timm. This delivers a basic overview for the story and characters of the upcoming home video release. It’s entirely promotional, of course, but it’s a good lead-in to that show.
Cyborg: His Time Has Come fills six minutes, eight seconds with statements from Johns, Carlin, and writer/editor Marv Wolfman. As expected, “Time” delivers an overview for the Cyborg character. Though not a deep investigation, it offers a nice recap for this somewhat obscure hero.
Next we locate two episodes of Justice League Unlimited. We get “Wild Cards” Part One (20:40) and “Wild Cards” Part Two (21:42). The Joker claims he planted a bomb in Vegas and only allows the JLA to attempt to find/defuse it; if anyone else tries, he’ll blow it – or them, as it turns out the Joker’s planted a bunch of devices.
Don’t expect much plot here, as “Cards” focuses on action, action, action. That’s not a problem, as the episodes fly by and offer a lot of entertainment. Oh, and they’re probably good to see as a precursor to Doom; the “Cards” shows introduce the Royal Flush Gang, a group we see in Doom, so exposure to these programs gives us a better understanding of those characters.
Finally, we discover a Digital Comic Book for JLA: Tower of Babel. Well, we find part of the comic, at least; this only lets us see the first few pages of the issue. That makes it little more than a useless tease. If WB wants to include promos for the digital comics, let us know that before we view them; it’s annoying to think you’ll get something substantial and then find out you’re left with so little.
The disc opens with ads for the Gotham City Impostors video game, Green Lantern: The Animated Series and Batman: Year One. Trailers also provides promos for the “DCU” app, Thundercats, Young Justice and Mad.
A second platter provides both a digital copy of Doom for use on computers or digital portable gadgets as well as a DVD copy of the film. This lacks the vast majority of the Blu-ray’s extras.
Though not the most plot-driven superhero story ever told, Justice League: Doom offers just enough story to make it interesting. It adds bunches of good action and turns into a generally exciting piece. The Blu-ray provides excellent picture and audio as well as a nice set of supplements. DC Comics fans should dig this fun adventure.