Thursday, January 13, 2011

Superman / Batman: Apocalypse

Spoiler Level: High

Another enjoyable offering from the DC Original Animated Movies.  Again, having not read Superman/Batman I wasn't familiar with the source material, but Rich says that from what he can remember,  it was a very loyal adaptation.

It also includes a nice touch with mentioning the impeachment of President Luthor, a direct reference to the previous Superman & Batman OVA, Public Enemies.  It doesn't feature in the plot at all, but it's a nice touch of continuity, letting us know the two stories are connected.

This is the story that re-introduced Kara Zor-El, the Silver Age Supergirl, back into the DC Universe.  Personally, I'm not a big fan of the reSilvering of the DCU; I rather liked that the modern Green Lantern was Kyle Rayner, the modern Supergirl was Matrix / Linda Danvers, and that Wally West had inherited the mantle of the Flash form the late Barry Allen.  Now Hal Jordan, Kara Zor-El and Barry Allen are all back, and the DCU doesn't feel like it's grown as much as it had 10 years ago.

But on the plus side, at least the stories are enjoyable, and that's what really counts.  Kara arrives on Earth and her powers come to her in a rush;  they feel like too much responsibility to her, and really all she'd rather do is lead a regular life.  (And Lois is conspicuously absent in the scenes where she learns to go shopping.)    But of  course, everyone else has other plans for her;  Wonder Woman feels Kara needs to master her powers in the safety of Paradise Island, and Darkseid would rather have her lead the Female Furies.  All of which gives Kara opportunities for some good teenage angst on how she wants to choose her own life.  Batman manages to hold his own against the big guns (literally) in Apokalips.  Oh, and Krypto has a cute scene too.

Pretty much my only complaint is with Darkseid's voice.  No offense to Andre Braugher, but his voice just isn't deep enough.  Darkseid looks like he's made of stone, and as such his voice should be more gravely.  It needs to rumble.  But as complaints go, that's not much of a complaint at all.

I have yet to see a DCU OVA I didn't like, and this one is no exception.  Really, how great is it that we live in an age where we're getting animated movies of acclaimed comic storylines? I'm certainly enjoying it.  Only two more to go!

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