Most Requested Figures: Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths

On Tuesday, Warner Bros. released Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, their latest direct-to-DVD animated movie. I’m sure that most of you have noticed we happen to love DC Comics here at IAT and this was a must-buy for all of us. So we trekked out into the cold, bought our multiple copies, and then all headed for Noisy’s house so we could watch it together. I know what you’re thinking, but that’s how we roll.

Spoilers: In this article, we’re discussing a recent DVD release. Now, we won’t spoil the ending, but we might drop a few plot details and we’ll definitely be talking about characters that appeared in the film. Proceed of your own accord…

How was it? Well, in short, if you’re a DC fan, you need to go buy this DVD.

And after you watch it, you’ll want to buy the figures from it! But wait… there aren’t any figures for Crisis on Two Earths. Since 2007, DC has released seven original animated films. I’ll list them here for you: Superman/Doomsday, supported by a line of DC Direct figures. New Frontier which already had several excellent DC Direct figures. Gotham Knight, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern: First Flight were all given at least one Infinite Hero by Mattel. Public Enemies, which was heavily supported by Mattel with both DCUC and DCIH style figures. And now Crisis on Two Earths which has no action figures. To add insult to injury, I’ve heard some early rumblings that the next movie Under the Red Hood might have an Infinite Hero based on it as well. Simply put, that sucks.

First, let me tell you why the DVD is worthy of your purchase. The movie’s story is based on the well-known tale of an alternate Earth with evil doppelgangers of the Justice League, the Crime Syndicate. The Syndicate uses their powers to control and terrorize their Earth, and the only person that stands up to them is the hero of the tale, Lex Luthor. Seeking aid, Luthor travels to the main DC Universe, gains new allies in the form of the Justice League, and many well-choreographed and hard-hitting battles ensue.

Now, this movie probably could have relied on that simple premise and been a good film. Most of us don’t expect much more from Crime Syndicate stories. But the writer, Dwayne McDuffie, took things a step further. He gave us tantalizing snippets of this fractured world. It’s a roller coaster of eye candy that’s going to have you not only reaching for the pause button on your remote here and there. The Marvel Family are Superwoman’s goons, the evil Martian Manhunter looks like he stepped right out of a John Carter story, and Black Power (Black Lightning) still sports a costume right out of the 70s. Disco doesn’t die on an evil world, see?

But McDuffie also raises the stakes. This isn’t simply a retelling of some old Crime Syndicate story. The writer evokes some overtones from the quintessential DC Crossover, Crisis on Infinite Earths too. Now, we don’t get a giant cosmic battle with the Anti-Monitor, but you won’t miss him with the villainfest going on. There are no less than twenty-three villains getting at least some screen time ranging from an easily subdued Hulk-like Jimmy Olsen to the most dangerous man on any Earth, the apathetic and nihilistic Owlman.

Speaking of that evil Batman, while many of the voice actors did a good job, none impressed as much as James Woods. He did such a perfect rendition of Owlman that I didn’t think twice about his iconic voice echoing from the character’s mouth.

So, yeah, I have to say this is the best animated DC movie yet. I loved New Frontier, but it was essentially a retelling. I loved Wonder Woman and Green Lantern but those origin stories pale in scope to this film. Crisis took its source material and branched out. It explored new premises for these alternate characters. Going in, I wasn’t happy that they used Martian Manhunter’s pre-death costume, but I forgot to notice while I was wrapped up in his subplot with Rose Wilson (Ravager), the very sane First Daughter in this alternative universe. I was happy to see Wonder Woman be an equal and not only holding her own, but to be there for her team mates. I’ve often lamented how I don’t always like the way she’s been written in the comics, but McDuffie nailed it in this movie. Aquaman got in a few good scenes too, though, as always, we go without seeing his double in the other universe. There were lighter elements too. We get to see Luthor naked! That’s always exciting. And there’s clever in-jokes like how the mob setup of the syndicate allowed for the subservient villains to be called “Made Men”. The most prominent made man? Super Captain, the evil duplicate of Captain Marvel. Get it?

Ultimately, Crisis on Two Earths just had a little more creativity behind it then even the best of the previous offerings. And it was certainly infinitely better than the previous film, Public Enemies.

That’s where this being a Most Requested article comes in. All of the releases before this have had action figures associated with it. A DC Direct line. A single Infinite Hero. Something. Now, Crisis on Two Earths does have an Owlman maquette and a tiny plastic statue (it might a have a point of articulation or two, but it’s connected to a stand) of Owlman included with one version of the DVD. Those aren’t action figures. Mattel gave Public Enemies toys even though most of the designs were the same as the standard characters that were already in the line.

In Crisis, we’re introduced to a whole new world of characters. The depth that this toy line could have had was far greater. (If you want to be surprised by which characters you see, skip this list.) In Crisis, we saw the following characters with the regular universe counterpart’s name in parentheses

  • Ultraman (Superman)
  • Owlman (Batman)
  • Superwoman (Mary Marvel)
  • Johnny Quick (The Flash)
  • Power Ring (Green Lantern)
  • J’Edd J’Arkus (Martian Manhunter)
  • Lex Luthor (Lex Luthor)
  • Jester (Joker)
  • Angelique (Hawkgirl)
  • Black Power (Black Lightning)
  • Model Citizen (Looker)
  • Aurora (Halo)
  • Sai (Katana)
  • Breakdance (Vibe)
  • Vamp (Vixen)
  • Gypsy Woman (Gypsy)
  • Extruded Man (Elongated)
  • Archer (Green Arrow)
  • Scream Queen (Black Canary)
  • Olympia (Wonder Woman)
  • Mr. Action (Jimmy Olsen)
  • Warwolf (Lobo)
  • Captain Super (Shazam!)
  • Uncle Super (Uncle Marvel)
  • Captain Super, Jr. (CM3)

And that’s not counting some other characters that weren’t shown in the film explicitly. At one point, we’re shown a few screens of the other lesser members of the Syndicate like the one shown to the right here.

When the movie was over, I wanted toys of at least some of these great designs. But I’m denied because neither DC Direct nor Mattel thought ahead to support this movie with product. I literally can’t believe that. It’s a Justice League movie. To echo the words of some folks that don’t have Battle Cat, those two companies “had to know they’d sell like crazy”. And yet, fans of the movie have nothing to go out and buy. It’s particularly sad because the lack of product is starting to make me think that the Owl Man maquette would look real nice in my home…

25 thoughts on “Most Requested Figures: Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths

  1. Too much support was placed on Public Enemies (15 figures from Mattel) and when it tanked, so did its figures. Add to that the faster turnaround between release dates and neither the manufactures or retailers were willing to but yet another set of Justice League figures on the market.

    This brings out the two real issues I have/ This is the third JL movie and the fifth with with the Dark Dork and Boy Scout. Why are we spending so much time on so few characters when we could expose whole new groups with The Great Darkness Saga, The Terror of Trigon, or The Longbow Hunters. The Dc direct to DVD movies are almost all great but we need to diversify and show more of the DC Universe. The second point was betting on PE. Weak designs don’t help an already weak storyline and PE is, IMO, the bottom of the barrel in this line of films. The idea to offer several waves of figures, in multiple scales, before the DVD came out, and then not get most of the figures to market until long after the bad reviews were hitting killed of any chance of getting figures for Crisis. Even Red Hood (oh look, another 90 minutes with the Dork and a character the public has already chosen to kill off once) will be scaled back to a single figure, if any, because of PE.

    1. I guess this is a bad time to tell you the Judas Contract has been put on hold, indefinitely?

      but, yeah, I would have preferred most of these over the meager S/B figures we got that people wanted. (altho how else would we get Icicle and S.Banshee?)

      are we still getting the modern J’onn in JLU? what about Ultraman? there’s a few we can translate loosely over to Co2E, like the new STAS Aqauman.

      1. JLU would be a good home for some of these designs, but a lot of JLU fans don’t think so.

        Once you start thinking that the spots in the line are valuable commodities and that your favorites deserve them over another’s favorites, the claws really come out.

  2. Mattel this is the ball

    Mattel this is you dropping it

    and Tek, while I do agree on more diversity in the stories chosen, Some of us do actually like superman and batman.

  3. I like Superman/Batman, but Public Enemies is the worst. Sure the shoddy animation and homo-eroticism is the animated movies fault, but the story itself was horrible in its original comic form. They started with a flawed product, made a worse movie, and then tried to capitalize on that by making terrible figures. It was like a chain reaction in failure.

    I don’t mind when stupid companies lose money for making inferior products, they deserve that. What I do mind is that the fans have to suffer for it also. Now instead of getting the figures of a well written and designed movie, companies don’t want to take the chance because they bet on a losing horse.

    1. Well, it’s like asking what’s the opposite of an orange…an apple? Only an better-tasting orange can counter the tastiness of another orange because oranges are supreme in the fruit kingdom.

      Gypsies are slick, dude, nothing can counter a Gypsy.

    2. I double checked on that one and it turns out it’s “Gypsy Woman”. LOL

      She does get one cool moment. Well, Martian Manhunter gets a cool moment while dealing with her really.

  4. I agree that PE figs sucked & that made Mattel & DCD gun shy about doing a JL line so soon after the poor handeling of the PE figs.

    oh yeah, & what’s so wrong with “homo eroticism” LOL I’ll take’em big & beef cake any day of the week.

    1. “what’s so wrong with “homo eroticism” LOL I’ll take’em big & beef cake any day of the week.”

      You tell ’em, brother!…er, or is it sister? Uh…yeah xD

  5. You’ll probably see DCD do these later this year. Or a whole year from now. Please let there be a regular animated series, even if it Direct to DVD!

    Young Justice won’t cut it.

  6. McDuffie (the writer of the movie) mentioned somewhere that Olympia is the Wonder Woman analogue, while Superwoman is the analogue to Mary Marvel! (Makes her ‘Made Men’ make even more sense).

    Anyway, I share your disappointment … I’d much rather have had figures from this movie than Public Enemies. Get on it, Matty!

  7. Actually I thought the movie was rather disappointing. I would not buy figures based on any of the designs in the film. Mattel was much smarter going with Public Enemies. The sell through of the 6 inch DC line particuarly of the Batman and Superman figures has been fantastic. I’ve only found a lone Silver Banshee and a few Black Lightnings left on the pegs. As a collector I would much rather have a DC Direct Owlman and Crime Syndicate based on the Morrison and Quietly Designed comic story line anyway.

  8. After watching the movie, it reminds me of DCUC wave 3 Deathstroke variant head on a dcsh Clark Kent Body(I know, different socketand was the eyepatch on different side?), Gotham 5 pack Luthor head, Ultraman’ Head in a new body. The present Outsider have an Owlman member (I don’t know if the costume is the same). Well just an idea.

    1. yes, they switched Slade’s eyepatch.
      It’s normally the right eye, but this was the left eye. Maybe try a Nick Fury head?
      (ML5 has cigar ready mouth, not sure about recent HML 2pk.)

  9. The Morrison/Quietly designs were TOO similar to the Earth-1 counterparts. The movie had diversity and awesome designs. Plus they could have done 2 or 3 assortments easy.

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