In the latest direct-to-DVD animated film by Warner Bros./DC Animated Films, Batman provides the segue from the Justice League to Justice League Dark when a magical assailant invades. Ever the skeptic, Batman (Jason O’Mara) reluctantly recruits John Constantine (Matt Ryan, who plays the character on Arrow and in the short-lived, live-action series) thanks to help from some of his magical friends. Justice League? Not so much. But fans of the fantastic, darker corners of the DC universe will dig this.
While Batman is a solid connection to the new film, the focus is on Constantine, Deadman (Nicholas Turturro), Zatanna (Camilla Luddington), and Jason Blood/Etrigan (Ray Chase). Yes, some of
the JLAers are also present fleetingly, but this one is mostly for the more peripheral heroes (even Swamp Thing gets a shout out).
While the story resolves itself in happy order, the disturbing violence on this one did earn it an R-rating; subtexts aside, there’s something to be said for a film that says we can’t reason away everything we see. Some things are better understood with magic (or faith) even if the Dark Knight would rather not see it that way.
Special features include.. a lot. The next animated movie – a focus on the Teen Titans with “The Judas Contract” looks to the future while several past cartoons ‘from the fault’ highlight the past. Featurettes include a look at the origins of the Swamp Thing, Constantine, and the casting of Deadman, plus the 2016 NY Comic-Con.