Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
JL Crisis Cover art by Phillybee 8034.jpg

In the DCU, there is another Earth where life is reversed. The human heart is on the right side, and morality is switched around. Supervillains such as Lex Luthor and Slade Wilson are some of this world's greatest heroes. But on the other end of the spectrum, there is the Crime Syndicate. Made up of Evil Counterparts of the Justice League, they run an empire of organized, superpowered crime that has all but taken over the world. Lex Luthor, in a desperate attempt to stop them, crosses over to the mainstream DC Universe to ask the League for help. While the League agrees, they're facing off against a world overflowing with supervillains, and Owlman (Batman's Evil Counterpart) has his own deadly agenda...

The direct-to-DVD film Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths was originally planned as a Justice League Unlimited prequel film, dealing with how the League decided to make the jump to Heroes Unlimited after Starcrossed. After JLU was cancelled, the film was re-imagined to show off the mainstream DCU. Still, the tone is perfect for a DCAU entry, and the JLU roots are still very obvious. (For example: Absent Hawkgirl, Funny Flash, Watchtower being rebuilt, and the Heroes Unlimited is still a plot point.)

An important fact to keep in mind is that, despite the similarities between the two factions, the Crime Syndicate of America is not composed of Evil Twins of the Justice League of America. Though not explained within the film itself, the members of the Syndicate have different personal and professional backgrounds, with different origins for their superpowers and different secret identities. They are Expys, which is why the "twins" have different voice-actors;[1] they are actually not the same people as those in the League.

Tropes used in Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths include:
  • Absolutely Happened: It takes very little mental effort to pretend that this movie is part of the DCAU canon.
  • Action Girl: Wonder Woman of course.
  • All There in the Script: Olympia, the superpowered woman with a spear who fights Wonder Woman and is her Mirror Universe counterpart with regards to powers and origin, is never named in the movie.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: The Super Family "pops over to the universe next door". Later, the League repays the favor.
  • Annoying Arrows: Justified for J'onn. It's pretty hard to hit anything vital on a shapeshifter.
  • Apocalypse How: Owlman attempts a Class Z, which Batman ends up foiling. Batman's efforts knock it down to a Class X on an uninhabited Earth.
    • Earth Prime suffered a Class 6, having been knocked out of its orbit. The entire surface is barren and only the slightest of traces that there ever was civilization remains.
  • Are We There Yet?: "It wasn't funny the first fifteen times!"
  • Arson, Murder, and Admiration: Superwoman explains that Owlman is her kind of psychopath.
  • Art Major Physics: The QED trigger can't be destroyed because it's Pure Energy but even if that is true, energy can be converted from one form to another and/or dissipated. Still, it's a common enough trope in this genre to be ignored.
  • Aw, Look -- They Really Do Love Each Other: At the begining of the movie, Flash complains that Batman had turned him into a guinea pig and that he does not feel that Batman likes him very much. At the end they need superspeed to open a "doorway". Flash steps up, but Batman tells him he is too slow and Johnny Quick offers to do it. At the end, it turns out that the job Batman needed done drained the life out of Johnny, and killed him, and that is why Batman would not let his universe's Flash do the job.
  • Axe Crazy: Superwoman. Owlman, too, but he's more quiet about it.
  • Badass Abnormal: Owlman's suit is designed to upgrade his physical strength and durability. He is able to briefly overpower Wonder Woman during their first encounter (before she throws him off a plane). At one point he even shrugs off an explosive Batman places on his cowl.
  • Badass Boast: Ultraman points out why he is the Boss of Bosses.

Batman (to Owlman): There is a difference between me and you. We both looked into the abyss, but when it looked back, you blinked.

  • Badass Grandpa: Uncle Super appears to be the strongest of Superwoman's Made Men, as he takes the most effort to take down for the expanded League.
  • Badass Longcoat: Evil Black Canary/Scream Queen.
  • Badass Normal: Batman once again proves why he is the king of this trope.
  • The Baroness: Superwoman.
  • Batman and Owlman Can Breathe In Space: Earth-Prime does not look like it should have much of an atmosphere left.
  • Battle Butler: Evil Jimmy Olsen. Ultraman's Pal, doorman, chauffeur, etc.
  • Beam-O-War: Superman, Ultraman, Green Lantern and Power Ring.
  • Beard of Evil: Captain Super, aka Evil Captain Marvel.
  • Beware the Superman: Or Ultraman. Or especially Owlman.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • A few superheroes come to Batman's rescue, and they are eventually the first members of the Heroes Unlimited.
    • Martian Manhunter does this twice, the second time with backup from President Wilson and some Space Marines.
  • Brought to You by The Letter "S": Superman, of course, but also Owlman, Johnny Quick, Ultraman and Superwoman and her Made Men.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Crime Syndicate of America. Right there in the name, people!
  • The Cavalry: "I called in the Marines."
  • Chekhov's Gun: Superwoman threatens to send Batman to an icy world devoid of life. It is where Batman sends Owlman and the QED.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Owlman uses a gun in a fistfight.
  • Composite Character:
    • This Superwoman is the thematic double of Wonder Woman, but her actual powers and origin are those of Mary Marvel. Previous comic incarnations of the character have also had her double as Lois Lane and made her a Kryptonian.
    • There is a Crime Syndicate member, named Vamp, who appears to be a combination of Vixen and Beast Boy.
    • Another similar combination occurs with a character named Sai, whose name suggests a Crime Syndicate counterpart to Katana. However, her overall appearance, as well as her use of a cat-like mask, recalls Cheshire.
  • Continuity Nod: It is not a DCAU film anymore, but Bruce Timm has said that most of the original plot was still intact. Included in this film is the construction of the second Justice League Watchtower, the expansion of the League and Wonder Woman obtaining her invisible jet. These events all occurred during the gap between Justice League and Justice League Unlimited.
  • Cosmic Keystone: Owlman thinks Earth-Prime is one for the whole multiverse. Apparently just that Earth, not its universe.
  • Crapsack World: The governments are busy appeasing a horde of supervillains who are only waiting for sufficient leverage in order to Take Over the World, and the Justice League has been eliminated save for one member. Cue the Earth-1 Justice League.
  • Creepy Monotone: James Woods as Owlman.
  • Dance Battler: Breakdance, or Evil Vibe, tries to be this.
  • Dark Action Girl: Superwoman.
  • Designated Girl Fight: Except for a brief struggle with Owlman (During which he does not even attempt to hit her, but instead grabs her arms and plays "mercy"), Wonder Woman does not fight a single man (Or masculine alien) throughout the entire film. Instead she battles Olympia and Superwoman.
  • Determinator: We never see Batman receiving medical attention after he (narrowly) survives his encounter with Superwoman, suggesting that he spendt the next two-thirds of the film fighting with at least one broken rib.
  • Dolled-Up Installment: Something of an inversion - The film was originally written as a DCAU entry, and the process of adapting it into DC's current franchise of stand-alone movies mainly consisted of filing the serial numbers off.
  • The Dragon: Each of the Crime Syndicate's core members has a Quirky Miniboss Squad of supervillains, which they call "Made Men". They each have about seven Made Men, but they trust some more than others:
    • Ultraman has Evil Jimmy Olsen.
    • Superwoman has Captain Super (Evil Captain Marvel, with a uniform and Beard of Evil that make him look like Black Adam.)
    • Johnny Quick has an Evil(er?) Lobo/Warwolf.
    • Power Ring has Olympia (Wonder Woman's counterpart with regards to her origin and powers).
    • J'edd J'arkus (Evil Martian Manhunter) has Angelique/Evil Hawkgirl.
    • Owlman's main Made Man is Black Power (Evil Black Lightning), but Superwoman fits better within the scope of the story.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: The Jester decided that if he had to go, he might as well make it good.

Jester: I was down to my last joke anyway... *pulls out a bomb* ...but this one'll kill ya!


Owlman: It doesn't matter.
Johnny Quick: Good one mate.

  • Fiery Redhead: Averted with the tepid Rose Wilson.
  • Flying Brick: Superman and Ultraman are reduced to this archetype.
  • Foreshadowing: Superwoman considers using the quantum trigger to send Batman to a frozen Earth with no life left on it. Guess where Batman eventually sets the final confrontation to occur?
  • Go Out with a Smile: The Jester, Johnny Quick, and Owlman.
  • Genre Savvy: Superman instantly deduces that the Lex Luthor they meet is from an alternate universe by using his x-ray vision. Good Lex's heart is on the right side, and evil Lex is still in jail.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Owlman, because he blinked.
  • Heroes Unlimited: In the single most obvious reference to the DCAU, the League decides to form one.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • The Jester in the opening scene.
    • Johnny Quick, though he was not aware it would be fatal at the time. Batman warned him it would be dangerous, to which he retorted, "Of course it's dangerous!" and accepted it.
  • "Hey You!" Haymaker: "Wanna hear a secret?"
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Owlman. He could have shut down the bomb that killed him, but he decided that his decision simply did not matter.
  • Hot Amazon: Wonder Woman and Superwoman
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Owlman believes this. When Batman suggests that an alternate Earth was devastated by something else, Owlman sounds almost insulted. Owlman counteracts Batman's theory by telling him they both know what humans are capable of.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: The Jester. He gets his own back though.
  • Ironic Echo: "Count again."
  • Jedi Mind Trick: The Crime Syndicate member Model Citizen (Evil Looker) tries to do this on Flash. It is even lampshaded by Flash as well when he tries to snap out of it:

Flash: Hey this is just like the Jedi mind trick!
Model Citizen: This is not like the Jedi mind trick.
Flash: This is not like the Jedi mind trick...

  • The Mafia: The Crime Syndicate is a mix between these and your standard supervillain teams, with family heads and Made Men. Just to hammer things in, Ultraman is from Joisey.

Ultraman: You think you can come to my place of business, an' call me out?


"Whoa! And they call me the Flash..."

  • Name's the Same: Superman's Evil Counterpart has nothing to do with those giant silver guys who save Tokyo from Kaiju attacks.
  • Eucatastrophe
  • Never Trust a Title: Crisis On Two Earths is the name of a classic DC storyline involving parallel universes, however, the Crime Syndicate universe is not one of them.
  • Nietzsche Wannabe: Owlman, who believes that parallel universes render free will meaningless. Which is why he wants to blow them up. Heck, he doesn't even care during his death scene.
  • Not So Different. Owlman insists this to Batman. Batman demurs ("You blinked.")
  • Nuke'Em: The only thing stopping the Crime Syndicate from completely taking over the world was the threat of a nuclear strike.
  • Oh Crap:
    • Flash yells this when he unwittingly speeds out of the air base and begins plummeting to the ground below. Luckily, Green Lantern saves him.
    • During the League's face-off with the Syndicate, Flash and Johnny Quick destroy a piece of science equipment while fighting each other and Quick began hurling the broken pieces at Flash. Flash not only manages to dodge and deflect all the flying shards, but actually reassembles the device and hands it to Quick. Quick responds with a rather apt "Bugger" before Flash punches him in the face.
    • The Jester and Luthor get a good one in the beginning when they realize the Syndicate is already coming for them.
    • Owlman has one at the climax. Sure, he decided it did not matter in the end, but he did look very panicked before he came to this conclusion and the bomb went off.
    • Archer has a lovely one on the docks when J'onn rises up behind him as a giant sea serpent.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Owlman. Superwoman is one by association.
  • Our Presidents Are Different: President Wilson. You might be more familiar with his Evil Counterpart Slade "Deathstroke" Wilson.
  • Papa Wolf: Yeah, that's right Ultraman, send an assassin to kill President Slade's daughter, it is not like he will not hold anything against you and arrive at your headquarters driving a tank with marines and nuclear weapons. Oh, he will? Oops.
  • Pet the Dog: Ultraman seems genuinely upset at Superman and Lex Luthor beating up his Made Man Jimmy Olsen.
  • Pinball Protagonist: Among the six protagonist Leaguers, Green Lantern does little more than just... be there.
  • Powered Armor: Owlman's costume and Good Lex Luthor's suit.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Superwoman. She is willing to help blow up the universe just because her crush wants to, and generally acts like a nasty little girl. Given that she is Mary Marvel—a teenager in an adult body—this makes a lot of sense.
  • Pre-Ass-Kicking One-Liner: Black Canary before she uses her Canary Cry on one of the Made Men point blank.

Wanna hear a secret?

  • The President's Daughter: Rose Wilson.
  • President Evil: Inverted. Though he is reluctant to take decisive action against the Syndicate, President Slade Wilson is the good version of the supervillain Slade "Deathstroke" Wilson.
  • Rapid Aging: Johnny Quick becomes a victim of this when he uses his superspeed powers to open a portal for Batman to travel into the Earth-Prime dimension in order to stop Owlman from destroying all reality.
  • Rebellious Princess: Rose.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Johnny Quick.
  • Rock-Paper-Scissors: Lampshaded by Green Lantern ("I know this game!"), summoning a rock to crush scissors.
  • Shout-Out: Several to the Aliens franchise. The most noticeable is when Batman enters a scene in a construction Mini-Mecha that looks very much like Ripley's power loader suit. The actual angle of the camera is also almost identical. And the space marines at the end have Pulse rifles.
  • Shut UP, Hannibal: Batman does this twice to Owlman during the climax. The first time he asks if Owlman intends to talk him to death, the next one is one of the biggest Moments Of Awesome in the film. Wonder Woman does this to Superwoman as well.
  • Shut Up, Kirk: Owlman gets one off on Batman.

Batman: If we're really alike, you know this is wrong. You must have been a good man once.
Owlman: No. Not good. Never good. After all, I'm only human.

  • Slasher Smile: Owlman.
  • Smug Super: All of the Syndicate members are ungodly smug about their powers.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: It is not as bad as in some adaptations, but as ever, Batman (and his Evil Counterpart, Owlman) do hog a lot of the action, especially in the finale.
  • Statuesque Stunner: Wonder Woman, naturally, and Superwoman as well, especially since concept art shows her as even taller than Superman.
  • Stealth Pun: When the mugshots for the villains come up, one of them looks like Mr. Terrific, except with a H on his face, making him Mr. Horrific.
    • "Made Men" is not only a Stealth Pun, but a Double Entendre. Many of the villains of the CSA are literally made, as in transformed from normal people into superpowered beings, such as Superwoman's lieutenants and Jimmy Olsen.
  • Strong as They Need to Be: Owlman's suit, first he's able to overpower Wonder Woman, then when he's fighting Batman that's completely ignored, and when they fight on Earth Prime Owlman initially kicks his ass at first, but he's still not as strong as he was in the start of the film.
  • Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum: Owlman's reaction to learning that for every decision in one universe, in another a different decision was made.
  • "Take That!" Kiss: Superwoman does one to Batman.
  • Taking You with Me: The Jester does this to evil Manhunter and Hawkgirl.
  • Tank Goodness: At the end, the president shows up driving a tank.
  • The Stoic: Batman, naturally, and Owlman.
  • The Syndicate: With plans to become The Empire.
  • This Looks Like a Job For Aquaman: Averted. When Superwoman breaks into the Earth One JLA quarters, Batman calls for some heroes, among them, Aquaman. Do you see a body of water or some fishes he can call? No. He's a capable fighter over the surface.
  • Techno Babble: Lex.

Flash: Some of us don't speak Star Trek.

  • This Is Something He's Got to Do Himself: Good Lex Luthor may have sorely needed the help from Earth-1's Justice League, but he knows the symbolic importance of fighting Ultraman himself. If the people of his Earth can not stand up to the Crime Syndicate, then there is no chance at all of it sticking once the Justice League leaves. This is echoed in the ending when President Wilson and the Marines come to arrest the surviving Syndicate members.
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Owlman and Superwoman.
  • Unholy Matrimony: Owlman and Superwoman. While they had this relationship in the comics, Superwoman was Ultraman's wife and she mainly kept up the affair with Owlman to spite him.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Oh, you just saved the multiverse? Ultraman does not care.
  • Weld the Lock: Alexander Luthor welds the vault door to slow down the Crime Syndicate.
  • We Named the Monkey "Jack": The Alternate Joker had a monkey named Harley.
  • Why Don't Ya Just Shoot Him?: Superman asks Good Lex why he did not just destroy the MacGuffin to keep it out of the Syndicate's hands; Lex replies "It's Pure Energy - it can't be destroyed."
  • Winged Humanoid: Angelique/Evil Hawkgirl
  • Would Hit a Girl: Superman had no problem battling Superwoman. Given that she is as strong as he is (give or take) and evil, this makes sense.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: Wonder Woman, for some reason, mercilessly uses several professional wrestling moves in this adaptation. She actually busts out a sidebuster against Vixen, and the fight against Superwoman is no-holds-barred. Diana opens the final fight against Superwoman with a flying drop-kick, and finishes with a modified butterfly suplex and an elbow-drop.
  • You Shall Not Pass: The Jester pulls this in the intro, and manages to bring down a Evil Martian Manhunter and Angelique/Evil Hawkgirl in the process.
  • You're Insane!: What Batman said to Owlman. Owlman does not object.
  1. Bar Green Lantern