The Girls Bring the Fun in Metropolis

Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes and Huntsmen, Part Two

The joy of a crossover is seeing two sets of characters, two worlds blend together and witnessing the goofy fun that can come from that. When DC ComicsOne of the two biggest comic publishing companies in the world (and, depending on what big events are going on, the number one company), DC Comics is the home of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and just about every big superhero introduced in the 1930s and 1940s. would crossover with Marvel Comics from time to time, it led to some delightfully strange adventures. Sure, sometimes it was just so the heroes could fight, but then you had the Amalgam Universe, a set of heroes made by slapping two different heroes into a single person, such as Justice League Avengers, Challengers of the Fantastic, Iron Lantern, the Super-Soldier, and Bruce Wayne of SHIELD. When you can get a good, goofy crossover firing on all cylinders, the joyful feel of playing with action figures is palpable.

That’s what worked so well about the DC and RWBY crossover Justice League x RWBY: Heroes and Huntemen, Part One. It took two sets of characters from universes we knew but that, up to that point, were completely unrelated, and it let them participate in a single world where anything was possible. For the first half it took the Justice LeagueThe premiere team at DC Comics, their version of the Avengers (which actually came before the Avengers and, really, has existed in some fomr since the early 1940s), the Justice League is the team-up to end all team-ups, featuring some of the most popular, and longest running, characters in all of comics history (and also Booster Gold). and plunked the various heroes of that team into the world of RWBY, giving the designers of that show a chance to play with the DC heroes and let them have fun creating new versions, with reinvented costumes and powers. It was a delightful joy, perfectly marrying the characters from DC into the world and rules of RWBY. It just worked.

Now, with this second half the team gets expand the idea in the right way, by taking those RWBY characters and moving them over to the world of DC Comics. It allows for a similar reinvention, now having Ruby Rose (Lindsay Jones), Weiss Schnee (Kara Eberle), Blake Belladonna (Arryn Zech), and Yang Xiao Long (Barbara Dunkelman) get their own redesigns as heroes in the DC Universe. It’s another fun adventure where the two worlds mash together and high flying adventures get to be had, and it lets all these heroes, well, be heroes in a fast and fun story. It is, without a doubt, a solid follow-up to the first half of this series.

At the end of the last adventure the heroes of the Justice League – SupermanThe first big superhero from DC Comics, Superman has survived any number of pretenders to the throne, besting not only other comic titans but even Wolrd War II to remain one of only three comics to continue publishing since the 1940s. (Travis Willingham), Wonder WomanLong considered the third pillar of the DC Comics "Trinity", Wonder Woman was one of the first female superheroes ever created. Running for as long as Batman or Superman (and without breaks despite a comic downturn in the 60s that killed superhero comics for about a decade), Wondie has the honor to be one of the longest serving, and most prolific, superheroes ever. (Laura Bailey), BatmanOne of the longest running, consistently in-print superheroes ever (matched only by Superman and Wonder Woman), Batman has been a force in entertainment for nearly as long as there's been an entertainment industry. It only makes sense, then that he is also the most regularly adapted, and consistently successful, superhero to grace the Silver Screen. (Troy Baker), Cyborg (Tru Valentino), The FlashStruck by lightning while working in his lab, Barry Allen became a speedster known as The Flash, launching an entire set of super-fast superheroes. (David Dastmalchian), Green LanternMade up of aliens from sectors scross space, the Green Lantern Corp. defends the universe against threats with the power of the Green Light of Willpower. (Jeannie Tirado), and Vixen (Ozioma Akagha) – left for home only to wake up in the Hall of Justice. They learn they’d been fighting Killg%re (also Tru Valentino) when they passed out, getting dragged back to the Hall to heal. Unfortunately the world is still under attack, from the Grimm no less, and the heroes recognize they could use some assistance, especially since the Grimm seem specially designed to fight the heroes of their world. Worse, Batman (the only one that might be able to figure out what has happened) gets poisoned in the further Grimm attacks, leaving the team without their master strategist.

Calling up their allies from the other world, soon Ruby, Weiss, Yang, and Blake come rushing over. But in the transition to the world of the Justice League, the young heroines find that their appearances, and powers, change as well. The young women have to learn to adapt, and fight, on this world, rediscovering their powers, and even who they are, when removed from the world they know. And with the Grimm still coming, and a powerful villain controlling them, it’s clear that there was more than just Killg%re causing problems. Both teams will have work together, and figure out the real villain behind everything, before the Grimm take out both worlds, destroying everything.

Like Part One, Justice League x RWBY: Heroes and Huntsmen, Part Two is a delightfully fun movie. It’s silly, yes, but in that way of playing with toys and letting things crossover in creative ways. The movie knows there’s joy to be had just from the very idea of the crossover, of letting the heroines of RWBY be superheroes by a different set of rules. It’s that same sense of fun from the first half, just turned around for the other world, and it works as well here as it did there. There’s kid-like glee to be found with Ruby and Yang and Blake figure out what their new powers are in the world of the Justice League, letting them play around in new and exciting ways.

That is, of course, the best part of the film: the fun that can be had. Legitimately that’s the whole thrust of the film because the actual story isn’t really anything to speak of. The first film got by on the mystery of what was going on. Why were the heroes of DC Comics over on the world of RWBY? Why were the characters of RWBY so young when, in their continuing adventures, they’d grown and seen their world change? All of that was eventually explained and it created a big, narrative thrust for the film. That doesn’t happen here, in Part Two, in large part because that mystery was already explained. Instead of a curious tale of “how?” we get a more direct battle of superheroes.

It makes sense, really. Not only was the mystery resolved in part one, but also these are superheroes on a superhero adventure. We can’t expect them to act outside their conventional roles, especially when they’re on their conventional world. You accept the bounds of the story. Plus, since there are multiple versions of the Justice League across all of DC’s media, it would be hard to say, “you’re on this version of the world, with this tight set of rules.” DC loves to play fast and loose where RWBY is a single, controlled continuity. Saving the world of the Justice League for the second part allows for a more direct conclusion, and that works better for the world presented.

Not that there isn’t some mystery, at least as far as the heroes are concerned. They have to figure out who the bad guy is and stop them. But most of those answers were at least hinted at in Part One so it doesn’t have as much narrative punch. Instead, well, we get a lot of more basic punching. “Look, there are Grimm! Let’s fight them.” There are multiple scenes of that, of the heroes figuring out who they are, fighting Grimm, and then doing it again elsewhere. It’s direct, basic, and to the point, if not as narratively satisfying as Part One.

With that said, the movie does deliver on the action. All those scenes of the heroes and heroines joining together, finding Grimm and fighting them lead to a lot of dynamic superhero moments, the kind of smashing together action you only get from having a bunch of action figures you can play with. It’s basic fun, yes, but still dynamic in its own way. I don’t want to call it more grounded, as these are superheroes, but it’s the kind of standard action you expect from a DC superhero story. It’s good, it’s fun, but outside of the RWBY ladies getting into the mix, this would feel like your usual DC story. So it’s a good thing those heroines are there to add a little spice.

I really enjoyed Part One of this crossover and I also enjoyed Part Two, even if it was for different reasons. Part One felt like a RWBY story with, for some reason, DC heroes showing up. The same applies here, by extension: this is a DC story that, for some reason, has the ladies of RWBY in it as well. It works on that front, but in a more conventional way because superheroes are (weirdly) more conventional than the hijinx of RWBY. It’s a good conclusion, and fun way to turn the concept of Part One around. It’s never bad, even as it feels more standard, and there’s still so much to like in this conclusion that it delivers, more or less, everything we want.

And, hell, if a third part were conceived and made at some point down the road, I’d show up for that as well. It’s silly fun, but in the best possible way, and more from both of these universes together would continue to be a treat.