Justice League - From Babel to Doom with Mark Waid
If knowledge is power, then Batman must be the most powerful being on Earth as he has discovered the weaknesses of each member of the Justice League – including Superman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern – and developed a plan to use them against his teammates if they ever go rogue.
As the animated adventure Justice League: Doom unfolds, that information has reached enemy hands and is being used against the group.
Set to be released on Blu-ray and DVD in February, Justice League: Doom is loosely adapted by the late Dwayne McDuffie from the classic comic book story “Tower Of Babel,” written by Mark Waid. It features the voice talents of Tim Daly as Superman, Kevin Conroy as Batman, Susan Eisenberg as Wonder Woman, Michael Rosenbaum as the Flash, Carl Lumbly as Martian Manhunter and Nathan Fillion is Green Lantern.
“I loved the idea that when you’re dealing with the Justice League of America, there’s only so many weapons you can throw at them and only so many threats that they can’t handle,” Waid reflects exlusively with Superhero Tooniverse. “So it occurred to me that information is a very slippery beast to have to fight, because you can’t punch anything. I honestly believe it came out of the fact that I had worked on the X-Men book before then and at that point I was cooking up something called The Xavier Protocols, the idea being that Charles Xavier really does have a ‘how to kill all of the mutants if you need to’ file at the back of his computer. Bringing that idea over to DC Comics, it made sense for Batman, at least the way they had categorized him for the past few years… not that Batman has a kill plan for the Justice League, but Batman has a ‘here’s-how-to-defeat-these-guys-if-they-ever-go-rogue’ plan. If Plastic Man ever goes nuts, here’s the steps we need to take him down. If Superman goes nuts, here’s how to take him down. That fits in with Batman’s natural preparedness or paranoia, depending on how you want to look at it.
“So the idea that someone could get a hold of that knowledge and turn it against the Justice League, put me in a great position,” he adds, “because some of the best Justice League stories are when the members turn upon themselves. Any team story where you can divide the team over ideological lines is great. To jump ahead, what you end up with at the conclusion after the Justice League beats the threat is that half the team gets why Batman did this and half the people are, like, ‘This really pisses me off. We’ve been friends forever and it turns out you’ve been scheming behind my back.’ I think Superman got it and this was maybe my mistake, because I don’t think it was explicitly explained on the page, but what the Justice League was really upset about was not that he came up with these contingency plans. They’re all smart guys; that made sense. I think what pissed them off was that he didn’t tell them he came up with contingency plans. Telling Wonder Woman that you have a contingency plan is not going to screw up your contingency plan. I think that’s where the other Justice Leaguers fell on one side or the other: it wasn’t they were upset these plans existed, but you warn a guy. That gave me a really good place where you could then oust Batman from the Justice League for a year, and have him, without ever saying these exact words and without ever being obvious about it, try to ingratiate his way back into the JLA. Eventually they put their differences aside and everything is basically okay.”
For more from Waid as well as Justice League: Doom producer Bruce Timm and co-director Lauren Montgomery, head over to Superhero Tooniverse, the first online community devoted exclusively to the subject. Just click on the image below.
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