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Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes and Huntsmen Part One (2023) Review

Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes and Huntsmen Part One is an adaptation of the seven issue comic crossover between the DC Universe and Rooster Teeth’s RWBY, RWBY x Justice League, that came out in 2021. So, much like with Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham and its alternate versions of familiar characters, once again I found myself in unfamiliar territory.

Superman (Chandler Riggs, The Walking Dead, Jesus H. Zombie) wakes up in a strange place and in an even stranger outfit. Two women,  Ruby (Lindsay Jones, Camp Camp: Night of the Living Ill, RWBY Chibi) and Yang (Barbara Dunkelman, RWBY: Ice Queendom, Blood Fest) are fighting a flock of creatures called Grimm. When Superman joins in he discovers that he’s missing some of his powers, and seems to have regressed to about sixteen years old.

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He’s not the only one, Wonder Woman (Natalie Alyn Lind, Blood Done Sign My Name, Pet Sematary: Bloodlines), Batman (Nat Wolff, Murder at Yellowstone City, Body Cam), Flash (David Errigo Jr., The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf, Pacific Rim: The Black), Cyborg (Tru Valentino, Fast & Furious Spy Racers, Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe), Green Lantern (Jeannie Tirado, Digimon Adventure: Last Evolution Kizuna, Bubble) and Vixen (Ozioma Akagha, Do, Re & Mi, Teen Titans Go!) are all in the same situation. And none of them can remember how they got there.

The first act worked well for me because, like the Justice League members, I was totally unfamiliar with the world of RWBY and was just as confused as they were. OK maybe not as confused as Bruce Wayne when he sprouts bat wings, but close. Yes, he literally becomes a Bat-Man, and the same process leaves Vixen with a giant foxtail which isn’t quite as interesting unless you happen to be a Furry.

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Fortunately, director Kerry Shawcross is a core member of the Rooster Teeth team and he and writer Meghan Fitzmartin (Justice Society: World War II, Supernatural) are able to bring those unfamiliar with the world of Remnant and its inhabitants somewhat up to speed relatively easily. I say somewhat because the arrival of the Earthlings has caused changes to this world so everything in Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes and Huntsmen Part One is a little bit off.

Plotwise there’s a lot to like in Justice League x RWBY. The plot isn’t overly simplistic and it’s handled in a way that allows the viewer to pick up the essentials of Remnant and its heroes as it moves along so that after the opening they’re never completely lost. There are also some interesting plot developments, such as Batman’s reaction to having powers and his interactions with Weiss (Kara Eberle, The Best of Rooster Teeth Animated Adventures 2, RWBY: Arrowfell).

There are plenty of action scenes to keep Justice League x RWBY exciting. The Grimm are imposing enough creatures in their own right, and the gigantic Wyvern that can spawn them is a kaiju-sized nightmare. There are battles against them in multiple settings, from hallways full of Grimm to pitched battles against them and a couple of Wyverns. There’s also an attack on a plane by some giant wasp-like creatures.

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The animation this time out was handled by Rooster Teeth and, like their other productions, has an anime influence too. It’s not a huge difference, but it is noticeable and that’s a nice change from the usual portrayal of the DC roster. It also marks the second time DC’s characters have appeared in an entirely computer-animated film, the first one being last year’s Batman and Superman: Battle of the Super Sons. The look of Justice League x RWBY is a considerable improvement over it.

Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes and Huntsmen Part One is a lot of fun and worked even for someone like me who was completely unfamiliar with the RWBY franchise and not that familiar with a couple of the minor DC characters. And it left me curious to see how they handle the second part of the story as this doesn’t end on a typical cliffhanger.

Warner Bros. will release Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes and Huntsmen Part One on Blu-ray, 4K, and as a Digital download on April 25th. There has been no announcement of a release date for Part Two. If you’re looking for more heroics, FilmTagger can suggest a few titles.

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Where to watch Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes and Huntsmen Part One
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