Justice League Dark: Apokolips War review: Back to black

Justice League Dark: Apokolips War review: Back to black

A powerless Superman? A band of superheroes who can’t save the day? Just what’s going on in DC’s latest animated movie Justice League Dark: Apokolips War?

Justice League. DC’s band of shiny heroes who save the day, right? Well… not quite. You see, this is Justice League Dark, and in the latest movie, Apokolips War, the Justice League haven’t been able to save the day. Or themselves. Or the world from a devastating apocalypse.

Justice League: Apokolips War starts with a catastrophic defeat when the evil Darkseid decimates the universe’s superheroes – those that aren’t killed are either enslaved or sent back to a barren Earth to wallow in their defeat. This includes a weakened Superman (now rendered powerless due to being pumped full of Kryptonite – DC wasn’t kidding when it included the word ‘dark’!) who is desperately trying to band together one last task force to stage one last battle. Unfortunately, hero pickings are sparse. That’s why he’s forced to sign up a more-drunk-than-usual Constantine (Matt Ryan); what’s left of a broken-up Teen Titans; and even the Harley Quinn-led Suicide Squad. Does this damaged group have what it takes to defeat a villainous new god?

Apokolips War is a sequel to 2017’s Justice League Dark and there definitely are no holds barred in this concluding chapter. ‘Dark’ is certainly a keyword here. Our favourite heroes are all but unrecognisable or dead or enslaved or defeated. This makes for a fascinating insight into characters we all thought we knew and answers questions we’d never thought we’d ask. What would Superman be like if he was powerless? Would Raven have it in her to help lead a resistance against an all-powerful dark lord? Or, more importantly, what would Etrigan sound like if he didn’t rhyme?!

With an intriguing story and a profound voice cast (seriously, go and check out that cast list, there are far too many great names to mention here), Apokolips War effectively lures in audiences into its somber world. Then it reveals a small spark of light that you can’t help but follow throughout, throwing in a few laughs (Constantine and Etrigan are fantastic together) and even a love story or two amongst the desolation to create a compelling conclusion. It’s not perfect but it’s a captivating, emotive watch from a series of movies that are quickly becoming superior to their live-action counterparts.

Justice League Dark: Apokolips War is available now on digital download and DVD, Blu-Ray™, Blu-Ray™ Steelbook, & Blu-Ray™ Minifig from 18 May.