Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Superman/Batman: Apocalypse

Superman/Batman: Apocalypse
This sequel to the fun Superman/Batman: Public Enemies feature isn’t as compelling, but it certainly has some epic battles.  While the story is a little weaker and not as fleshed out as Public Enemies, the fight scenes are so huge and grand that it will make you forget some of the shortcomings of the script. 
Set after the ending of Public Enemies, a meteorite lands in the harbor in Gotham City.  Within that meteorite is a hidden ship containing Kara Zor-El, Superman’s cousin.  Kara ends up being a pawn in a bigger picture involving the powerful Darkseid.  Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman have to embark on a dangerous mission to save Superman’s cousin. 
First off, the animation is really sharp and fluid in the same manner as many of the DC animated features of late.  This time around, the styles of the character models are closer to the late comic book artist Michael Turner.  Turner’s style is feature prominently in the female characters.  His female characters all have a distinct look to them.  Kara looks wonderful animated in Turner’s style, as well as Wonder Woman. 
Speaking of Kara, Kara is a good character whenever she is teamed up with one of the superheroes in the DC Universe.  Kara and Superman’s relationship is closer to big brother and little sister.  Batman and Kara are like mistrusting comrades. Wonder Woman acts like a big sister to Kara.  Seeing these relationships with DC’s greats makes us feel for Kara after Darkseid kidnaps her. 
I did feel some of the Darkseid plotting felt a bit rushed, especially the brain-washing of Kara and the plan to get inside Apokolips and take her back.  However, I think the fight with Big Barda and Wonder Woman against the Furies is probably the best thing about that whole portion of the film.  Barda and WW have no problems killing people when it is necessary.
The voice acting is superb.  Tim Daly and Tim Conroy are wonderful as always as Superman and Batman.  Daly and Conroy have played these characters since the early 90s and they’re still at the top of their game.  Susan Eisenberg also reprises her role as Wonder Woman, and she is great in the role.  Summer Glau as Kara has a lot of the voice work here, and she does a good job. 
The weakest link in the chain is Andre Braugher as Darkseid.  Braugher is a good actor, but his version of Darkseid is a bit restrained.  Michael Ironside did the voice of Darkseid in the other carton shows, and they should have been brought him in to reprise the role.  Braugher isn’t terrible, but not that compelling as the evil warlord of the galaxy. 
The best sequence in the film has to be the showdown between Superman/Kara and Darkseid.  The battle is an all out fists and laser beam fight between some of the most powerful people in the DC Universe.  You will want to see the movie just for this final battle. 
While the story is kind of jumbled in a few places, the character interaction between the various superheroes and Kara are what keeps this movie together.  We get to see another side of Superman that most people haven’t seen before.  The animation is top-notch and the action scenes are fun and vibrant. 
Grade: B-

When these two come to your door, you better buy a damn candy bar.  

I’ve always liked this design of the Supergirl outfit the most. 


Sir Gareth said...

I don't understand how powergirl can be in 'Public Enemies' as a MAIN CHARACTER but then no one has heard of supergirl/kora zor-el in the SEQUEL
plot hole so big you could fly a frigging jet through it!!

Semaj said...

I'm not sure if Crisis has happened in this animated continuity. It could be a the case like the DCAU where Powergirl is just another female superhero without the Supergirl origins, but with really big boobs.

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