It’s sad really. Superman comes out of the blue sky, on a beautiful day in Metropolis only to destroy a playground and terrify small children. Only this isn’t Superman, it’s Bizarro and he’s just trying to help. Also being well-meaning, Superman sends Bizarro off to a planet with no people and where everything is as backwards as he is. The Lego straight to DVD movie “Justice League vs. Bizarro League” although filled with not-so-subtle lessons of abandonment and the real significance of friendship is engaging on several levels.
Batman’s suspicions of Superman is taken to extremes. The “world’s greatest detective” carries around a giant lead encased piece of kryptonite wherever he goes. Throughout the film he has this inner-monologue where the “man of steel” is the only one whose intentions he doesn’t know about. Constant mentioning of the word alien has undertones of paranoia, not just of the unknown but about what is foreign. Still, this is a place for storytelling where everything that wouldn’t be well received in the DC Universe when its in Lego form is easier to explore.
In their own way the Justice and Bizarro leagues are fighting xenophobia, sexism and alienation aside from battling Darkseid in an overt way. What happens when you’re faced with a backwards version of yourself? In Green Lantern, Guy Gardner’s case you see how fear can envelope you. After all the only way to be a true lantern is to overcome your fear, or at the very least control it so it doesn’t paralyze you. Then there’s Batzarro who isn’t exactly bright and Bizarra who isn’t exactly princess material. But the Bizarro team does what heroes do and hold their own by being a mirror to the Justice League. When the frightened Bizarro Gardner steps up to help save his planet, it shows that within a team you have assets. And no one should take that for granted. Essentially, you shouldn’t be terrified of foreigners, both men and women have an integral place in the world and a person should not be jettisoned into space for their own good.
The end credits also give tidbits of information where we learn that Darkseid was created by Jack Kirby. Then there’s the extras where in “Me Am Bizarro” discusses the origins of Bizarro and gentler villains created in the 1950s. And in “Batman Beleaguered” before Batman joins the “super hero club” he constantly barks that he doesn’t need anyone’s aid. Yet, through the antics of his biggest fanatic, Batman realizes that working with a team has its advantages.
All that being said the DVD “Justice League vs. Bizarro League” is funny with tinges of dry wit and laugh out loud slapstick – the kind of comedy that everyone can get enjoyment from.