First, we had Batman: The Animated Series. Then, we had Superman: The Animated Series. And then after that, we had the next logical step in Bruce Timm & Paul Dini's DC Animated Universe was Justice League.
And like its predecessors, Justice League was nothing less than a masterpiece of a series. Not only did it further develop these already-well established renditions of Batman & Superman (to critical acclaim), it also finally introduced the likes of Wonder Woman, Martian Manhunter & Hawkgirl, took the Flash (from his one-off appearance in STAS) and a Green Lantern (John Stewart), and infused all of them with the same humanity, warmth, depth & charisma as Batman & Superman. The end result? An overall masterpiece that expanded this wonderful animated universe in several stunningly creative ways.
And Starcrossed is the high-point for the Justice League series. After so many epic adventures, thwarting the likes of Darkseid, Vandal Savage, Brainiac, Lex Luthor and the Joker...we had the shocking Season Finale. It was a major turning point for the entire DC Animated Universe, conclusively ended Justice League, and set the scene for the awesome Justice League Unlimited (the high-point of this entire DC animated spectrum).
Throughout Justice League, all the members received great character focus and development...and for the big finale, Hawkgirl (Shayera Hol) undergoes the biggest character change of them all. In Starcrossed, it's revealed that she's actually a spy for her Thanagarian race, sent out on an undercover mission to infiltrate the Earth & the Justice League. Grave consequences soon follow for the team and Earth...and by the end, nothing will ever be the same for anyone.
Unlike The Batman/Superman Movie (which spliced the three-part World's Finest into one film), Starcrossed receives no such feature-length treatment (despite the `Movie' title). It's still the same three-part episode, and it's presented as such. Nevertheless, it's an emotional, roller-coaster epic, full of shocking twists-and-turns, a great plot and such heart. It's basically everything we can expect from the DC Animated Universe at it's absolute best.
All the League members have their great moments, and each shines through in terms of prowess, character-focus & interaction, but the stars here are truly Hawkgirl & Green Lantern, whose complicated love-story is one of the major facets for this & Justice League Unlimited. The Thanagarians themselves are equally deep & compelling antagonists (particularly the tragic & complicated Hro Talak), and there are such dramatic, epic battle sequences to cement the high-stakes.
From a production-standpoint, Starcrossed is typical Warner Bros. Animation quality. From voice-acting to soundtrack, the DVD scores perfect marks again, but the animation is a leap from what Justice League has been in the past. It's just as awesome as the animation for Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, and you know that this level of quality is what you would expect for the Unlimited series. It's the mark of excellence, especially that genuine tear-jerker of an ending!
There's also some great special-features on here, such as character bios, documentaries, deleted scenes & trailers. Nifty little extras indeed to accompany what's genuinely essential for fans of the original comics and the whole DC Animated Universe. Justice League: Starcrossed is an absolutely epic and heartbreaking story, one that's so mature for a kid's cartoon. An absolute bargain that MUST be picked up!