‘Justice League: Warworld’ Ending, Explained: Which Crisis Did Harbinger Hint The Trinity About?

During the early 90s, DC Comics launched the Elseworlds publication, along with trademarking the very word itself, and the storylines became extremely popular due to their interesting proposition of testing beloved characters of the franchise in varied settings, contexts, and tropes. Later, the stories were incorporated into the larger DC multiverse, but the distinctively unique takes were engaging enough as standalone stories to begin with. In recent years, as part of DC animated movie adaptations, we have seen some of these in Batman: Gotham by Gaslight, The Doom That Came To Gotham and Superman: Red Son, and they arguably fare better than the prime continuity animated universe.

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Taking a page from that book, the recently released DC animated interconnected universe continuity, aka Tomorrowverse adaptation Justice League: Warworld, offers a chance to explore the Elseworlds storyline in the mainstream universe. Warworld is a setting of importance in DC lore, a planet-like arena that fuels the perennial gladiator-style battles which are conducted on it – and more often than not, the iconic supervillain Mongul acts as the controller of the planetoid. Combining the Elseworlds narrative with Warworld could have been one of the most ambitious animated ventures, like the comics event “Convergence,” but slow pacing and a lack of backstory hinder the movie from reaching its full potential.


Wild, Wild West: Did Diana Manage To Save The Townsfolk?

Justice League: Warworld begins in a shabby town in the west America frontier during the late 19th century and revolves around the wandering lone wolf, horse-riding gunslinger protagonist, Diana Price, aka Wonder Woman. Although her name is never mentioned during this segment, the visual cues of a starry and golden uniform inside her cowboy trenchcoat, the lasso of Hestia, the bracelets of submission, and her kind yet fearless demeanor are enough to confirm her identity. The townsfolk are intrigued by witnessing the arrival of a woman whose bearing starkly contrasts with the damsel in distress they are used to encountering in this part of the world. In a true Western fashion, Diana enters a bar, orders a whiskey, gets into a fight with lecherous outlaws who try to make advances towards her, and beats the stuffing out of them. However, the fight is interrupted as the leader of the outlaws, Jonah Hex (Troy Baker), a prime bounty hunter with distinctive facial scars, appears and offers a chance at a truce to Diana. In comics, Jonah Hex is a prominent DC Western comics character, and after so long it’s good to see him return to animation ventures.

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From Hex, Diana gets to know that the town’s economy, which flourished by gold mining, came to an abrupt end when the local bank cunningly seized the lands of the town residents. With neither their land nor the gold they put toward their stakes at their disposal, the townsfolk took over the bank, seized their gold, and turned it into a fortress. Hex and his outlaws were contracted by the bank authorities to free the bank, and he wants Diana to help him in his efforts. As they discuss the situation, a horse-drawn carriage comes out of the gates of the bank-turned-fortress, carrying a family of three. As it nears the town, the carriage gets stopped by Tom, one of the outlaws; he kills both parents and proceeds to take out the daughter as well. An infuriated Diana jumps into the action, delivers a couple of headshots to the outlaws, rescues the girl, and takes her to the bank fortress.

In retaliation, Hex and his men attack the fortress using a dynamite carriage and Gatling gun; on both occasions, Diana protects the townsfolk valiantly. As Hex and his men return to the town, a dissent is led by Tom and a couple of outlaws as they perceive Hex’s leadership to be ineffectual, which leads to a standoff where Jonah dispatches all three of his adversaries. At the bank, Diana is celebrated as a hero, and despite the paranoia of the town sheriff about messing with Hex’s folks, her actions are encouraged by an easy-going local do-gooder, Bat Lash, and they hit upon a plan to plunder supplies that are being guarded by the outlaws.

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As Diana and Bat Lash infiltrate Hex’s station at night, Diana gets into a brawl with the bounty hunter, beats him up, and, using her lasso of truth, gets to know that a passenger-less, nitroglycerine-filled train has been directed through the track beside the fortress by the outlaws. Diana lays waste to most of Hex’s men and asks Bat Lash to evacuate the townsfolk from the fortress, as she is looking for a way to end it all at once. Diana intercepts the train, throws out the outlaws, secures the driver, and, taking the tracks of the running train on her shoulders, redirects it directly towards the fortress, which explodes and destroys the bank, thereby ending the necessity to fight over land or gold altogether. Diana and her steed emerge from the fiery explosion, and Bat Lash offers her a chance to join on and stay with them. However, before Diana can let him know her answer, Bat Lash is shot to death by Jonah Hex, which prompts an infuriated Diana to beat him to a bloody pulp but spare his life in the end. The girl whom she had rescued previously asks her whether she would have stayed, a question which remains unanswered as Diana disappears with her horse in the smoke. 


The Savage Lands Of Skartaris: Why Did the Bat Mercenary Help The Warlord?

The second segment opens in a high fantasy, sword and sorcery setting in the lands of Skartaris, which is home to primitive barbarian tribes and several mystical monstrous beings. A mercenary clad in bat-themed armor is seen fighting against the forces of Warlord, who is the king of the realm known as Shamballah. Warlord himself joins in a battle with Bat’s mercenaries and, after an intense battle, beats him. After learning about Warlord’s quest to bring down the evil wizard Deimos, the Batmerc offers to disclose the location of the wizard’s castle in exchange for his freedom and a pile of gold. Warlord agrees but takes the captive mercenary with him on the quest, and the duo is assisted by Warlord’s associates, Mariah, Machiste, and a troop of barbarians. During their journey, it becomes clear that the mercenary doesn’t remember anything about his past.

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En route, most of the band gets annihilated, respectively by a T-Rex-like creature, a Plesiosaur-like sea monster, and a Dimorphodon-like winged creature, until only Batmerc, Machiste, and Warlord are left alive and reach the castle entrance. On their way, Batmerc is visited by a holographic image of an old man, which quickly vanishes on its own after the man addresses him. After Machiste gets vaporized by triggering a trap as well, the mercenary assists Warlord in navigating through traps and enters the main chambers of the castle, only to betray him at the end and leave him to face a Minotaur-like monster. Reaching Deimos’ treasure room, Batmerc sees Mariah is still alive and has been captured along with a female warrior, who, like him, is also oblivious to her past. Deimos appears, and it is revealed that the mercenary undertook the mission to bring Warlord to his doorstep in exchange for riches, which is the reason why he got himself captured in the first place. However, Deimos assigns him the final task of killing Mariah and the female warrior, and feeling guilt over his act of betrayal against Warlord, whose noble actions had moved him earlier, the Bat mercenary refuses to obey his command. Deimos uses his magic wand, which in this case is a pistol, to attack him, and he is saved by Warlord, who seemingly survived the battle and slayed the Minotaur. Bat mercenary and Warlord corner Deimos, who uses his chaos magic to turn into a giant serpent and attack the group. Warlord remembers his real name, Travis Morgan, and uses the pistol to blind the serpent, which results in Deimos reverting to his wizard form and fleeing the scene, swearing revenge.

Two mystical gateways appear in front of the group, which Batmerc and the warrior woman choose to enter as they feel the common necessity of going back, and they assume the gateways can take them home. Merc offers for Warlord, or should we say, Travis Morgan, to join them as well, but he refuses, stating Skartaris is his home now, and his duty is to protect its people from Deimos. Wishing good fortune to Warlord, Bat Merc, and the warrior woman, they enter through the gateway.


Green Scare: Did Agent Kent Recognize His Compatriots?

The third segment of the Elseworlds-type narrative opens in the 1950s, in a black and white noir-themed backdrop, where rookie agent Kent meets his senior agent Faraday to investigate a case of an alien spaceship landing near a highway diner. The Red Scare is very real at this point in time, and Agent Kent suspects the Russians to be the orchestrators of this occurrence, but Faraday informs him about a suspected UFO sighting and that they need to interrogate six witnesses. The rugged, taciturn officer Wayne, of the highway patrol, joins them as well, and they enter a diner where the eyewitnesses are waiting. Among the witnesses, a certain Ms. Prince is present, whose memories seem sketchy, and she can’t recall anything except the fact that Officer Wayne brought her into the diner.

The duo engages with the eyewitnesses in a tense interrogation process, and they share details about shapeshifting aliens who might also be present among them in the diner. The interviewees try to pressurize agent Kent into considering the possibility of an un-American Ms. Prince being the alien in question. The already confused Kent gets even more puzzled as he hears a tune from the diner’s jukebox, and later Wayne and Prince confide in him that they hear the tune as well. As Agent Kent comes into physical contact with them, he sees a vision of a different realm that is infested with white-colored aliens. Soon, the rest of the interviewees turn out to be the aliens and start chasing Kent, Wayne, and Prince, while Faraday gets left behind. Kent and Prince discover they have superior strength and battle experience, while Wayne makes quick work of the aliens using his skill and discovers that he detests using guns.

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As the trio manages to evade a horde of oncoming aliens during a highway chase, they come across a spaceship that has crash-landed on a farm nearby and enter it. On the other side, it is revealed that they have arrived in a technologically advanced area that is no longer black and white and where a similar-looking green alien is held captive. Agent Faraday arrives at the scene and orders Kent to kill the green alien, along with Kent’s new compatriots, as he suspects them to be aliens too and considers killing them to be upholding the American way. Kent argues that the green alien hasn’t made any attempt to harm them yet, and Wayne and Prince have only helped him so far, but Faraday seems hell-bent on emptying his pistol into them. Kent refuses to obey his commands, stating that murdering people just because Faraday is scared isn’t the path to upholding the American way, which leads to Faraday considering him to be an alien as well. A scared Faraday shoots him, but the bullet only ricochets off Kent, and he knocks Faraday out.


Which Crisis Did Harbinger Warn The Trinity About?

Suddenly, the green alien starts to change its form, and it is revealed that he is J’onn Jonzz, aka the superhero known as Martian Manhunter, and moments later, a bunch of aliens arrive to torture him. The trio fend off the attack, knock out the aliens, and free J’onn, who reveals that he was forced to trespass into the minds of the trio—Bruce Wayne, aka Batman, Diana Prince, aka Wonder Woman, and Clark Kent, aka Superman—along with countless other characters and make them live in an illusory world for months. J’onn shares that they have been captured by the alien Warlord Mongul in this place, which is known as Warworld—a primeval, planet-sized weapon that is fuelled by the negative emotions of the captive characters. To keep the weapon running, Mongul captured J’onn, the last green Martian, and used the superhero’s extremely strong telepathic abilities to keep the prisoners of the Warworld in a catatonic state. J’onn stated that during his time peeking through the minds of the the Trinity (Clark, Diana, and Bruce), their courage and perseverance helped him pull through and send signals to bring them back to reality.

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Mongul sends the bounty hunter Lobo to capture J’onn, who does so and knocks out the Trinity. After getting their senses back, Trinity plans to rescue J’onn. Bruce starts investigating and finds out the characters they saw in the illusion were clones of real characters from other worlds collected through the centuries who are being used and reused throughout the illusionary worlds of others. However, unlike them, the Trinity are their original counterparts, as the real characters produce superior negative emotions to fuel the Warworld. Using the Warworld database, Bruce brings their familiar superhero costumes, and as they suit up, the trio prepares to rescue J’onn.

As J’onn is taken to Mongul by Lobo, the tyrannical despot states that he sought to find the key to the Warworld to launch it as a weapon, which is apparently hidden with the green Martians, of which J’onn is the last surviving member, and the rival white Martians (the white aliens in illusion) are assisting Mongul in his quest. Unable to find the key, Mongul relentlessly tortures J’onn and prepares to finish him off when Lobo double-crosses him by releasing J’onn from the power dampeners. It seems to stem from his gratitude, as after all, Lobo Clark and J’onn go way back, as viewers saw in the first movie of the Tomorroverse, Superman: Man of Tomorrow, but it was later revealed J’onn implanted that idea in his mind.

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J’onn is able to subdue Mongul due to the Trinity’s interference, and the trio gets into a battle with the white Martians. J’onn shares that the key of the Warworld was hidden with both white and green Martians, and knowing that a truce between them was impossible, the creator of the Warworld, Largas, divided the key into the DNA of both the warring Martian species. To keep Warworld from falling into the wrong hands ever again, J’onn fuses with a white Martian, forms the key to access Warworld, and puts it into self-destruct mode, willing to sacrifice himself in the process. Moments before it is destroyed, the Trinity is rescued by a celestial female hero who states that they are needed elsewhere. Her name is not mentioned, but from the comic’s similarities to the context, we can identify her as Harbinger.

Harbinger takes the trio to a safer location inside another spaceship, from where they witness the destruction of Warworld. As an ominous foreshadowing, Harbinger states that the destruction of Warworld is nothing compared to the crisis that is about to befall them. With the context of the “Crisis on Infinite Earths” animated adaptation slated as the next entry in the Tomorrowverse, we can assume exactly which calamity she is talking about. So far, the Tomorrowverse has built three major rosters of superheroes through five movies: Justice League, Justice Society, and Legion of Super-Heroes. Now that other Earths and realities have been brought into the fold through Warworld, the upcoming Crisis on Infinite Earths (COIE) will be the big crossover event of this interconnected universe. A seminal storyline in comic-book fiction, COIE has already been adapted for the small screen in Arrowverse, and with the animated version set to release next year, DC’s first biggest comic event deserves the proper treatment by bringing together every major and minor element of the franchise’s vast legacy.

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Siddhartha Das
Siddhartha Das
An avid fan and voracious reader of comic book literature, Siddhartha thinks the ideals accentuated in the superhero genre should be taken as lessons in real life also. A sucker for everything horror and different art styles, Siddhartha likes to spend his time reading subjects. He's always eager to learn more about world fauna, history, geography, crime fiction, sports, and cultures. He also wishes to abolish human egocentrism, which can make the world a better place.

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