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The World's Finest Presents

Releases - DVD - Justice League: Season Two

Note: Cels were provided in specially marked packages of this set available exclusively at Circuit City. Scan provided by Christopher Hamer

Announce Date: 3/1/06
Street Date: 6/20/06
Closed Captioning: Yes
MSRP: $44.98
Packaging Type: Digi-Pak
Subformat: Multi Disc
Media Quantity: 4
Sound Track Language: English
English, Francais, Espanol

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio - 1.33 Widescreen [4:3 Transfer]
Disc 1 - Twilight Part 1 and 2, , Tabula Rasa Part 1 and 2, Only A Dream Part 1 and 2
Disc 2 - Maid of Honor Part 1 and 2, Hearts And Minds Part 1 and 2, A Better World Part 1 and 2
Disc 3 - Eclipsed Part 1 and 2, The Terror Beyond Part 1 and 2, The Secret Society Part 1 and 2
Disc 4 - Hereafter Part 1 and 2, Comfort and Joy, Wild Card Part 1 and 2, Starcrossed Part 1, 2 and 3

Special Features
• Justice League: Declassified: Phil LaMarr (the voice of Green Lantern) takes you behind the scenes with the show's creative team.
• Audio Commentary: Audio Commentaries on 3 select episodes with the creators and directors of the series ("Twilight" Part 2, "A Better World" Part 2, "Starcrossed" Part 3).
• Easter Eggs: Easter Egg "Not too Savage", A Never Seen Before Deleted Scene with an Introduction by Producer Bruce Timm

Official Synopsis: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter and Hawkgirl - they have all used their unique powers to fight evil across the galaxy. These 7 super heroes unite to become the Justice League. Dangers across the galaxy threaten Deep-rooted feelings of mistrust and insecurity surface and plague the Justice League, causing internal strife and leaving them vulnerable to attacks from their enemies. But when one of their own commits the ultimate betrayal, it could be the end of the Justice League and Earth forever. Don't' miss one second of suspense or one iota of excitement with this 4-disc, 26 episode collection.

The second, and final, season of Justice League will be hitting store shelves soon enough and the set is about as complete as one fan could hope. Some DVD sets I’ve walked away satisfied but wanting more; this time around, we get an additional bonus that we hadn’t seen before: a featurette that showcases the voice talent on the show and is even hosted by Phil LaMarr (Green Lantern). But, more on that later—lets dig into the show itself.

With season two of Justice League, the crew behind the show decided to go bigger, bolder and even deeper into the characters that make up the principle cast of the show. As a result, we get a massive season opener in “Twilight”, deeper character relationships in “Hearts and Minds” and the rousing finale in “Starcrossed” which culminates in fights of epic proportions that center around Hawkgirl’s betrayal. With such a shaky start in season one, season two has easily surpassed its younger self and even eclipsed seasons of the other shows in the DC animated universe.

The cover to the set is the raised type we've received on previous releases with the back art displaying all you need to know about the set. Also of note is the back now states "Widescreen" in the video information, despite what the previously released back cover image displayed ("Standard"). Opening up the set we’re treated to the same double-layer digi-pak trays as season one came in. First thing you notice is the admiration the art team has for the silhouetted team image. The same image graces all four discs and even the background art behind the trays. If it were any other image I’d be upset at their lack of creativity; but seeing as how it’s such an awesome image to begin with, I really can’t get too upset.

Popping the discs in, we get an immediate trailer for "Brainiac Attacks" on the first disc (which also houses the other trailers for this set) and motion-less menus and the Justice League theme playing over the main menu (all others are silent). I have to wonder if there was a lack of time to create this set, as the non-animated menus and repeated art on the packaging (and even repeated menu art from past Justice League DVD releases) seems to scream that there was a crunch time. Then again, it’s been only a few months since we got the first season so it’s the price you pay for quick turn-a-round.

Since we’re now approaching the audio and video area of the review, I feel I must give some background on the transfer on this set. The audio is featured in a crisp and great sounding Dolby Digital 2.0 track (which simulates as 5.1 beautifully in a Pro Logic recreation) but the video will undoubtedly still confuse and anger some.

This season of Justice League was the first to be animated and aired in widescreen. On this set we get the full image, but it is presented in a 4:3 matted frame, which means forced widescreen bars (even on a widescreen TV screen) and a non-anamorphic image; some fans were up in arms about this when it was first released (I will admit, I was upset as well), but after some investigation it turns out this was done because the transfers used for this DVD were from the same master copies that aired on Cartoon Network. The producer (Bruce Timm) prefers it this way, so that was how it was released. Whether it will be later corrected on an HD-DVD release or if we’ll get anamorphic on future Justice League Unlimited sets remains to be seen.

Having said that, the video is pretty damn nice looking. There is some aliasing and compression issues on the reds, but aside from that it is the cleanest this show has ever looked. Aside from the minor video issues, it has a great look about it and one I certainly don’t have any qualms with.

Stepping into the special features, we have a nice robust lump this time around. Three commentaries that are all interesting and have very, very few silent moments (and even feature our first commentaries with Butch Lukic and Dwayne McDuffie) make for incredibly interesting listening. There is a ton of insight given into the original drafts and scenes of “Twilight” and “Starcrossed”; “A Better World” gets some extra light dropped on it due to its massive impact on the second season of Justice League Unlimited.

Aside from the trailers, we have two other special features: “Justice League: Declassified” and “Voices of Justice.” “Declassified” picks up where the first season set left off with a round table interview with Bruce Timm, James Tucker, Butch Lukic and Dwayne McDuffie. At the end, Hillhouse and Timm walk us through some exclusive looks at uncluttered background images. All total the feature runs briefly under eight minutes, but it’s informative and entertaining every second of the way.

“Voices of Justice” is the real cream of the crop in this release, however. Phil LaMarr (“Green Lantern”) sits down with voice talent of the show and voice director Andrea Romano and interviews them on their experiences with the show. The voice actors in this sit down are Jennifer Hale (“Giganta”, “Killer Frost”), George Newbern (“Superman”), Maria Canals (“Hawkgirl”) and Susan Eisenberg (“Wonder Woman”). They’re all very chatty (though Hale doesn’t really talk much until the end) throughout the featurette and while there’s nothing really all that informative given, it is just a lot of fun to watch them record their lines, flub a few and talk about making the punching and grunt noises. The featurette reaches back into the early seasons, with Eisenberg’s shyness to perform the sound effect grunts and Newbern’s voice being pitched down at first. Some will complain about the lack of Conroy, but we’ve already seen him on the other DC Classic DVD special features, so I’m not too broken up about his absence here. The feature runs just under eleven minutes, but is a perfect length; any shorter and it would have been disappointing and any longer it would have dragged on.

There is a bit of Superman history on this disc as well (found on the first disc) which is more or less a history akin to the Batman one on the Batman Anthology DVD; this isn't the full featurette, merely a preview of it. Also, it is worth noting that the packaging and menus show something different for the special features. This is a printing mix-up; the "Voices of Justice League" is on disc one and "Declassified" is on the third disc.

Overall this is another solid set with very few disappointments. The lack of anamorphic transfer is a downer to be sure, but the pristine transfer of both audio and video and the special features make for one hell of a release. Here’s hoping the wait until December’s Justice League Unlimited’s release isn’t too unbearable!

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