Sunday, February 13, 2011

DC Showcase: Superman / Shazam! The Return of Black Adam

Spoiler Level: High

The collection of DC Showcase shorts has finally arrived!  Well, okay, it arrived a long time ago, but Rich and I finally made time to watch it!

The lead feature, "Superman / Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam," is up to the usually DCU OVA high standards.  The animation is fantastic, as usual.  It's a somewhat different take on Black Adam, as he can now shoot lightning from his hands, but his origin is closer to the his classic pre-Crisis origin of having been banished from Earth and spent 5000 years returning.  It's also Captain Marvel's origin story, as we meet Billy Batson and get to see him meet the wizard Shazam and be given his powers.

The only complaint I'd have about it is that Billy Batson's voice is a bit too young; he's drawn as a young teen, but his voice sounds like a pre-teen.  But I can live with that.  Black Adam's lightning blasts don't bother me, because I can never remember if this was a more recent comic change or a change made for the video, and besides, it works really well with Superman's vulnerability to magic.

It also had a few surprises and some great lines. I always liked Captain Marvel, so I'd love to see this lead to more, including the introduction of Captain Marvel Jr. and Mary Marvel in future shorts.

I've already reviewed the Spectre, Jonah Hex and Green Arrow shorts.  I wanted to comment on the extended versions here, but all I can say is that I can't tell what was extended.  I realize it's been a long time since I saw the ones for the Spectre and Jonah Hex, but Green Arrow wasn't that long ago, and really, every single scene seemed familiar.

Rich tells me there's no DC Showcase short announced for the next DCU OVA, All-Star Superman. While my initial reaction is disappointment, I'm hoping this is because they're saving them all up this time so all the shorts on the next DC Showcase collection will be new ones.


greatplaidmoose said...

I always liked crossovers with Superman and Shazam!(Captain Marvel) but I did feel Superman was a bit shoehorned in since it was also an origin story. I can accept it though if it means we get stories like this. I know the powers that be feel as though Superman and/or Batman have to be in every release for it to sell.

BTW I just found out that since Batman: Year One is a shorter story to adapt they've decided to include another Showcase short with that release. Its a Catwoman story.

Fer said...

Cool! I'm glad we're getting at least one more. A bit disappointed that it's a character that we'll probably see in a DCU OVA (if we haven't already), but hey, at least it means they haven't given up on the shorts altogether.