Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths

Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths

DVD cover art
Directed by Lauren Montgomery
Sam Liu
Produced by Bruce Timm
Bobbie Page
Alan Burnett
Sam Register
Written by Dwayne McDuffie
Starring William Baldwin
Mark Harmon
Chris Noth
Gina Torres
James Woods
Brian Bloom
Josh Keaton
Jonathan Adams
Vanessa Marshall
Bruce Davison
Freddi Rogers
Nolan North
James Patrick Stuart
Music by James L. Venable
Christopher Drake
Distributed by Warner Home Video
Release dates
  • February 23, 2010 (2010-02-23)
Running time
75 minutes
Language English
Box office $7,945,410[1]

Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths is an original direct-to-video animated superhero film released on February 23, 2010. It is based on the abandoned direct-to-video feature Justice League: Worlds Collide, which was intended as a bridge between the then-concluding Justice League animated television series and its then forthcoming sequel series Justice League Unlimited. Crisis on Two Earths was reworked from the Worlds Collide script to remove references to the TV series' continuity. The film is directed by Lauren Montgomery & Sam Liu and written by Dwayne McDuffie.[2]

The premise of Crisis on Two Earths is borrowed from the 1964 Gardner Fox-scripted Justice League of America #29–30 entitled "Crisis on Earth-Three!" and the 2000 Grant Morrison JLA: Earth 2 graphic novel, with a heroic Lex Luthor from an alternate universe coming to the Justice League's universe for help against the Crime Syndicate. The film is the seventh of the DC Universe Animated Original Movies released by Warner Premiere and Warner Bros. Animation. The two-disc special edition also includes an animated short featuring the Spectre.

On August 11, 2015, Warner Home Video re-released the film in a combo pack, which includes a DVD and Blu-Ray copy, a digital copy, and the graphic novel it was based on.


In an alternate universe where the roles of the heroes and villains are reversed from their counterparts in the mainstream DC Universe, heroic analogues of Lex Luthor and Joker (called the Jester) are stealing a device called the "Quantum Trigger" from the headquarters of the Crime Syndicate. When an alarm is tripped, the Jester sacrifices himself to allow Luthor to escape and kills J'edd J'arkus and Angelique (alternate versions of Martian Manhunter and Hawkgirl respectively) with a bomb. Luthor is nearly captured by the remaining Syndicate members (Ultraman, Superwoman, Power Ring, Johnny Quick and Owlman) but escapes to the Earth of the heroic Justice League by activating a dimensional travel device.

Luthor locates a police station, but is mistaken for the evil Luthor. The Justice League is summoned and Superman's x-ray vision confirms Luthor's reversed organs indicate that he is from a parallel Earth and that the evil Luthor is still incarcerated at Stryker's Island. The Justice League take the alternate Luthor to the Watchtower, where they learn of the Syndicate threat. As the Justice League debates the matter, Luthor hides the Quantum Trigger on the satellite. With the exception of Batman, the rest of the Justice League (Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash and Martian Manhunter) travel to Luthor's Earth.

Arriving at the parallel Justice League's base, the heroes attack Syndicate targets. After a successful series of raids in which they capture Ultraman, the League confront United States President Slade Wilson, who releases Ultraman and explains that acceding to the Syndicate's demands saves millions of lives. His daughter, Rose, however, regards him as a coward. Martian Manhunter inadvertently reads her mind and explains that as a military man her father actually holds life more dear than others. Martian Manhunter later foils an assassination attempt on Rose, and the pair fall in love.

Owlman has developed a weapon, the Quantum Eigenstate Device or Q.E.D., which the Syndicate intend to use as the equalizer to the threat of a nuclear reprisal. When pressed by Superwoman, Owlman reveals that he's secretly planning to overthrow Ultraman and take control of the Crime Syndicate. He also admits the weapon can destroy entire worlds. Believing there are many parallel Earths, and that each one develops from the choices that each person makes, Owlman becomes obsessed with the idea that nothing he does can possibly matter, as there will always be parallel worlds where he explored another option. As a result, he searches for Earth-Prime, the very first Earth from which all other universes originated, intending to use the Q.E.D. to destroy it and spark a chain reaction that will erase the entire multiverse, as it is the only action that would not result in the creation of another universe. Superwoman agrees to help him, as it would give her the power to kill everyone who's ever lived. Owlman sends Superwoman with three of her lieutenants to the League's dimension, and on the Watchtower they battle Batman, Aquaman, Black Canary, Black Lightning, Firestorm, and Red Tornado. Superwoman and one of her lieutenants escape with the Quantum Trigger, but are followed by Batman.

Batman defeats Superwoman and summons the League. J'onn and Rose bond, and Rose decides to learn the location of the Syndicate base to allow the Justice League to confront them. The League arrive at the Crime Syndicate's moon-base with the captive Superwoman, and eventually battle the Syndicate. Owlman fights off Batman and takes the Q.E.D. bomb to Earth-Prime, finding it to be uninhabited and lifeless, having suffered an unknown cataclysm that caused it to leave solar orbit. Luthor speculates that a speedster might be able to vibrate and match the temporal vibration of the teleported Q.E.D. device and open a portal. Flash volunteers but Batman states that he isn't fast enough, only Johnny Quick is. Johnny agrees and opens a portal.

Batman pursues Owlman to Earth-Prime and engages in a brutal battle with his doppelganger. Batman manages to teleport Owlman and the Q.E.D. device to another uninhabited Earth, and triggers the Q.E.D. Seeing what is about to happen, Owlman simply says "It doesn't matter." The bomb destroys the alternate Earth, killing Owlman in the process. Batman returns to the Syndicate's Earth, where the strain of acting as a vibratory conduit has aged Johnny Quick to near death. Before dying, Johnny correctly deduces Batman lied about Flash not being fast enough and knew what would happen. Despite this, he shows no ill will toward Batman, dying with a smile. Martian Manhunter returns, accompanied by President Wilson and the U.S. Marines, and together they arrest Ultraman, Superwoman, and Power Ring.

Wilson thanks the heroes. Although Rose asks Martian Manhunter to remain with her, the group return to their dimension. Batman and Superman later discuss a membership drive with the five heroes summoned previously greeting the Justice League.



In 2004, Bruce Timm revealed that a DCAU direct-to-video Justice League feature was in development to connect Justice League and Justice League Unlimited.[8] The film was titled as Justice League: Worlds Collide. One of the objectives of the film was to explain how Wonder Woman acquired her Invisible-Jet. However, the project was finally scrapped by Warner Bros. In 2008, however, Timm stated that Justice League: Worlds Collide could be released someday in the future.[2]

Finally, Worlds Collide was rewritten by the late Dwayne McDuffie for DC Universe Animated Original Movies as Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, but removing all connections with the animated series. Also, John Stewart's Green Lantern was changed with Hal Jordan's Green Lantern.


Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths (Soundtrack from the DC Universe Animated Original Movie)
Film score (Digital download) by James L. Venable with Christopher Drake
Released February 23, 2010
Label New Line Records
Track listing
No. TitleMusic Length
1. "Break In"    3:13
2. "Finish What the Jester Started / Main Title"    3:24
3. "Only Surviving Member / Police Station / Of Course We'll Help"    3:09
4. "Headquarters Battle"    4:07
5. "Battle in the Sky"    3:59
6. "QED Monologue / Crime Syndicate / Made Men / Flash and Jon[sic] Shipyard Battle"    4:53
7. "Sup and Lex Fight Jimmy and Ultraman"    3:07
8. "Owlman Multiverse Monologue / President Office Monologue"    2:25
9. "Rose Garden and Ultraman Intimidation / Superwoman Toys with Bats / Batman Pissed at Luthor / Sniper Red Archer / Owlman Gets Quantum Trigger"    4:31
10. "Perimeter Breach Watchtower"    5:10
11. "Rose and Jon Mindmeld / Owlman's End / Batman Owlman Fight"    4:44
12. "Moonbase Intro / Is This Just a Little Too Easy / Moonbase Battle"    6:25
13. "Teleport"    3:10
14. "Jon Says Goodbye / Johnny Burns Out / Cavalry"    3:37
15. "Ending / End Credits"    4:04
Total length:


Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths received positive reviews.[9] The World's Finest stated "...the film ranks up there as one of Dwayne McDuffie's better works in the animated DC world and even though it’s reminiscent of stories we’ve seen in animation before, the brilliant work done by Moi, the directing by Sam Liu and Lauren Montgomery, and story make it more than worth watching again."[7]


The good performance of the Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths release led Warner Premiere and DC Universe to release the sequel Justice League: Doom.


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