When fans first hear there’s a new Alan Burnett and Bruce Timm animated Justice League series, the natural reaction is to rejoice. But first, there are a couple of catches.
Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles is a three-episode animated mini-series that is based on, and will lead into, Justice League: Gods and Monsters, the home video release animated film coming late 2015. The movie is being produced by Burnett and Timm, who are well-known in the fan community for their work on Batman: The Animated Series. Warner Bros and DC Entertainment are teaming up with Machinima to distribute the series digitally in Spring 2015.
The series and film will take place in what Variety reports is a “newly conceived reality in the DC Universe where Justice League members Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman are much darker versions of the superheroes that people know.”
So just how much darker can they get exactly? We’ve chronicled the varying degrees to which Superman is a bit of a jerk these days, but he already exists in an extremely popular digital-first comic and video game series, Injustice, in which he mercilessly murders his former friends, teammates, and allies - most recently he killed the majority of the Green Lantern Corps and polished it off by murdering Ganthet the Guardian of the Universe. Batman dissected the mystical hero Frankenstein in an attempt to bring his son Damian back from the dead - something he’s also teamed up with Ra’s al Ghul in hopes of doing, and now gone to Apokolips for the answer (betraying several teammates in the process). Wonder Woman is the God of War, and even before the New 52 snapped someone’s neck on live television. And this is all just the comics - the live-action feature Man of Steel showed a Superman who had no care at all for property damage and civilian life, fighting Kryptonians in small towns and city streets with utter disregard.
Digressing, there is still little known about Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles beyond the absolute basics, so this could be just a case of someone misreporting. There are no quotes about the darkness level of the characters, as DCE president Diane Nelson merely calls the series “an exciting opportunity to bring alternate versions of DC Comics’ iconic Justice League characters to Machinima.” The deal itself is part of an $18 million investment in the digital channel that Warner Bros. made in March 2014.