It's no secret that DC Comics has been dominating the straight-to-DVD animated feature film realm as of late, so it may come as a surprise that they released their newest film with little to no advertising or marketing plan in place. That's right. Just weeks before their highly-anticipated (and uber-hyped) newest film, Justice League: War, they released another film starring the world's greatest superhero team. But perhaps this was all on purpose. After, all, as the sticker on the box said, it was not only "available for a limited time," but also "only available at Target." So there you have it. A secret release, only for mega fans of both DC and its characters. And, of course, the occasional kid strolling around the movie department in his local Target store.
The film itself, strangely titled JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time, is a bit of a mixed bag. The purists and Superman or Batman fanatics will find it enjoyable, albeit short. Current readers of the New 52 universe will find it a mixture of current looks with past incarnations. Those who grew up in the Challenge of the Super-Friends era will find it a nice homage to their childhood. But for a majority of its viewers, it simply seems like a lost episode of either Cartoon Network's Justice League or Batman: The Brave and the Bold half-hour cartoon shows. Or, more accurately, an intentionally never-produced two-parter of said series.
The plot is simple and the animation is mediocre, but the short run-time and lack of character development and reliance on previous stories are what really hurts this entry into the DC Comics animated film library. Heroes featured are Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Robin, the Flash, Cyborg, and Aquaman. Villains featured are Lex Luthor, Captain Cold, Solomon Grundy, Bizarro, Cheetah, Toyman, and Gorilla Grodd. But unfortunately, a majority of the screen time is filled with Legion of Super-Heroes would-be members Dawnstar and Karate Kid and the villainous Time Trapper. There are a few laughs thrown in to keep the movie watchable, and a pretty cool melee-style fight sequence between the Justice League and the Legion of Doom, but all in all, this one's just for the die hard fans.