Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen – Part One (4K UHD Review)

  • Reviewed by: Stephen Bjork
  • Review Date: Dec 27, 2023
  • Format: 4K Ultra HD
  • Bookmark and Share
Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen – Part One (4K UHD Review)


Kerry Shawcross

Release Date(s)

2023 (April 25, 2023)


DC Studios/Warner Bros. Animation (Warner Home Video)
  • Film/Program Grade: B-
  • Video Grade: A
  • Audio Grade: B-
  • Extras Grade: B

Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen – Part One (4K UHD)

Buy it Here!


Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen is a two-part animated crossover event between the classic DC characters and those from the web series RWBY that Monty Qum created for Rooster Teeth Productions. It’s loosely inspired by the 2021 crossover comic book RWBY x Justice League that was written by Marguerite Bennett—or at least it’s inspired by the basic concept from those books, anyway, since Super Heroes & Huntsmen generally follows its own storyline instead. While the likes of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Cyborg, Green Lantern, The Flash, and even Vixen should need no introduction, their counterparts Ruby Rose, Weiss Schnee, Blake Belladonna and Yang Xiao Long (hence the acronym) will probably be completely unfamiliar to anyone who hasn’t watched RWBY. They’re students at the Beacon Academy in the Kingdom of Vale on the world of Remnant, and they end up joining forces together as Team RWBY in order to fight off groups of invading monsters known as the Creatures of Grimm.

In Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen, Team RWBY ends up joining forces with an ever-widening circle. Part One opens by dropping Superman on Remnant with no memories of how or why he got there, and worse, he’s been transformed into a teenage version of himself with powers that don’t quite work in the accustomed fashion. When a pack of Grimm appears, he does his best to help Ruby Rose and Yang Xiao Long defeat them. Gradually, the other members of the Justice League appear in different regions of Remnant, having been equally transmogrified, and Team RWBY has to work with all of them in order to figure out exactly what’s been happening behind-the-scenes to bring everyone together. Original RWBY voice actors Lindsay Jones, Kara Eberle, Arryn Zech, and Barbara Dunkelman return for the crossover, joined by Chandler Riggs, Natalie Alyn Lind, Nat Wolff, David Errigo Jr., Jeannie Tirado, Tru Valentino, and Ozioma Akagha as their Justice League counterparts. (For Part One, anyway; the nature of the story means that the Justice League characters are voiced by different actors in Part Two.)

While writer Meghan Fitzmartin comes from the world of DC Animation, director Kerry Shawcross is a veteran of RWBY, so that may at least partly explain why the story drops viewers into the world of Remnant with little to no explanation. He assumes a level of familiarity that may or may not exist for all viewers. Fans will appreciate the subtle alterations that he did to the world of Remnant, since it provides a clue that there’s more going on than meets the eye. However, all of that will be meaningless to anyone who’s unfamiliar with the show. Yet Fitzmartin threw in a curve ball of her own in the form of the villain who’s been pulling everyone’s strings, as not only will it be unfamiliar to RWBY audiences, but it may even catch a few Justice League fans off-guard since it’s a character who’s never appeared previously in the DC Animated Universe.

That ends up personifying the paradox that’s at the heart of Part One of Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen. It never stops to take the time to bring viewers up to speed with what’s going on, but it still feels padded out. There are a few too many repetitive fight scenes with the Grimm, and not quite enough opportunities for audiences who aren’t intimately familiar with both the DC and the RWBY universes to be brought up to speed with why the fights are happening in the first place. This is a rare instance where a few more exposition dumps might have been appreciated, at least by newcomers to the respective series. Granted, the appeal of RWBY probably doesn’t extend too far beyond its own fanbase anyway, and those fans will have a much easier time understanding everything. Ultimately, Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen was created by fans for fans, and where you fall into that spectrum will probably have a direct bearing on how you react to the film.

Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen was rendered digitally in full 3D at 1.78:1, and while there’s no information available regarding the resolutions involved, it was likely finished as a 2K Digital Intermediate. For this Ultra HD version, the 2K DI has been upscaled to 4K and graded for High Dynamic Range (only HDR10 is included on the disc). Warner Animation has been playing around with different styles lately, and this time they’ve embraced the look that Rooster Teeth used for their RWBY series. It’s openly mimicking the style of anime, but in full cel shaded 3D. Warner Animation has done something similar before in titles like Batman and Superman: Battle of the Super Sons, but there’s a key difference this time: everything has been rendered as full 24 frame animation, rather than in twos (repeating every frame twice). It also looks like some of the movements were mo-capped. That means that all of the motion is smoother than normal, almost too smooth. The characters may be cel shaded in order to give them a traditional look, but the smoothness of the animation means that they still have a very 3D digital appearance. Regardless, the line work is crisp and clear, with just a trace of aliasing from the upscale visible along some of the diagonal or curved edges (although to be fair, it will be barely noticeable on an average-sized screen). The HDR grade adds a nice amount of depth to the colors, from the boldness of the costuming to the subtly different shades of the blushes on each character’s cheeks. There’s a lot of subtle variations like that in all of the digital inking, including the skin tones—watch for the slight differences between Diana and Bruce when she puts her hand on his cheek. It may not be a dramatic improvement over the Blu-ray version, but the differences are still clear.

Audio is offered in English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, with optional English SDH, French, and Spanish subtitles. While a few recent DCAU titles like Batman and Superman: Battle of the Super Sons and Legion of Super-Heroes have offered mixes that were a bit more aggressive than usual, Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen returns to their somewhat restrained house style. That means that everything tends to be focused on the front channels, with the surrounds being used primarily for ambient reverberations and the occasional directionalized effect. It’s not a very balanced mix, either, with the music threatening to overwhelm the dialogue at times. The video quality in this presentation is excellent, but the audio quality is a bit disappointing.

The Warner Bros. 4K Ultra HD release of Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen Part One is a 2-Disc set that includes a Blu-ray with a 1080p copy of the film, a slipcover, and a Digital Code on a paper insert. Breaking with Warner Bros. tradition regarding the DCAU, the extras this time are available on both the UHD and the Blu-ray, not just on the Blu-ray as with most of their other releases:

  • Justice Comes to Remnant (HD – 7:35)
  • You Look... Different: The Design of Justice League x RWBY (HD – 9:01)
  • From the DC Vault: Justice League Unlimited – Kid’s Stuff (HD – 23:09)
  • From the DC Vault: Justice League Action – Plastic Man Saves the World (HD – 11:14)

The extras mix two featurettes with two relevant episodes from previous series in the DCAU. Justice Comes to Remnant provides some of the backstory for RWBY that’s missing from the film itself, although it does so in an irritatingly chaotic fashion. It’s a featurette for the ADHD age, cutting from interview to interview and clip to clip at such a lightning pace that there isn’t even enough time to read the names of the participants. Those include Kerry Shawcross, Meghan Fitzmartin, and producer Ethan Spaulding, as well as RWBY voice actors Kara Eberle, Barbara Dunkelman, Arryn Zech, and Lindsay Jones. If you don’t recognize any of them—and you probably won’t—it may be necessary to rewind and freeze-frame just to be able to decipher who’s who. You Look... Different focuses on the design of the film, and the ways in which the two universes were integrated together. It includes interviews with Shawcross, Fitzmartin, and Spaulding, minus the voice actors. At least there’s fewer people to keep track of this time.

Kid’s Stuff is the third episode from the first season of the revamped Justice League Unlimited series, which technically means that it’s from the third season of the Justice League series as a whole. (Just go with it.) In it, Morgaine Le Fay and her son Mordred uncover the powerful Amulet of First Magic, which the bratty Mordred uses to banish all adults from the world. Morgaine ends up being forced to temporarily team up with the Justice League in order to stop him, but they can only do so by exploiting a loophole in Mordred’s spell: turning Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern into teenagers in order to infiltrate Mordred’s new world order. Kid’s Stuff has been included here since it set up the idea of the Justice League being transformed into younger versions of themselves.

Plastic Man Saves the World is the 17th episode from the first season of Justice League Action. In this one, Braniac is threatening to miniaturize all of Metropolis in order to add it to his collection of shrunken cities. He successfully beats back most of the Justice League, but where Batman, Cyborg, Vixen, and Superman may fail, Plastic Man just might succeed—even though the others have no faith in him. The connections between Justice League x RWBY and Plastic Man Saves the World are a bit more tenuous than with Kid’s Stuff, but there’s still a few relevant links.

As always, the utility of including the episodes from other series will vary depending on whether or not you already own them in other forms. (Every season of Justice League and Justice League Unlimited has been previously released on Blu-ray via the Warner Archive Collection.) Plus, the hyperkinetic nature of the featurettes will not be to all tastes. Still, the video quality of this 4K presentation is quite strong, even if the audio quality has a few minor issues, so this 4K Ultra HD is clearly the best way to watch Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen Part One.

Stay tuned for Part Two.

- Stephen Bjork

(You can follow Stephen on social media at these links: Twitter and Facebook.)