Review: Superman/Batman: Apocalypse

Published on September 28th, 2010

I’m more a fan of Marvel than DC, but if there’s one thing DC has over Marvel it’s their animation. Over the last few years DC has put out some pretty damn good direct to DVD movies and this week they are releasing Superman/Batman: Apocalypse. This is the ninth original animated movie from DC and is a direct sequel to Superman/Batman: Public Enemies.

superman-batman-apocalypseThis movie takes place almost right after Public Enemies and tells the story of Superman meeting his cousin from Krypton, Kara. Like Superman, Kara was sent away from Krypton in a spaceship by her parents to save her life from their doomed planet. Her ship lands in Gotham City, when she emerges she has no knowledge of Earth and no idea how to control her powers. Batman is the first to find her and brings her back to the Batcave where she meets her cousin for the first time. She is quickly thrown into Earth’s culture and just as she starts to adjust she is forced to go to Wonder Woman’s home, Themyscira where she can be protected and learn to use her powers. And just when she starts to adjust to life there she is kidnapped by Darkseid and brought to Apokolips where she is brainwashed into becoming a soldier for Darkseid. Superman then teams up with Batman, Wonderwoman, and Big Barda to rescue Kara.

I think I preferred Public Enemies to this movie, but if you enjoyed the first movie you should at least check this one out. This definitely has a darker tone than the first movie which you can first tell by the animation style. This movie also has a lot more blood and action than the first movie. The last ten minutes of the movie where Superman and Kara have their final fight with Darkseid is really cool and I found that to be the highlight of the movie. The downside of this movie is Batman, or the lack of. He plays an important role in the movie, but he doesn’t have as much screen time as I would have liked, and I didn’t care for how he was drawn in this movie, I much preferred how he looked in Under the Red Hood.

The production of this movie is really good, you can really tell that they put a lot into the animation and they really did their best to capture Michael Turner’s art. They also did an amazing job in voice casting. I’m really happy they decided to keep Tim Daly as Superman and Kevin Conroy as Batman, as far as I’m concerned those voices are the definitive voices for those characters. Summer Glau did the voice of Supergirl and I thought she did an excellent job. I thought Andre Braugher was an interesting choice for Darkseid, it’s not the voice I would picture for Darkseid, but after a while his performance really grew on me.

If you’re going to buy this movie I recommend you get it on Blu Ray or at least the Two-Disc special edition DVD because they went all-out on the special features. For starters you get an exclusive short film starring Green Arrow that I thought was awesome, despite it only being about ten minutes long they put a lot into it. Like Apocalypse the animation and the voice acting is really good.

greenarrow

The Special Edition DVD includes two episodes of Superman The Animated Series, and the Blu Ray contains four episodes. If you still don’t think it’s worth your money it also has a bunch of features that document the histories of Jack Kirby’s The New Gods and Supergirl herself. And if that’s still not enough a lot of stores are offering different exclusives including different action figures or lithographs. Amazon is listing the Blu Ray edition that also comes with the DVD and a digital copy with the exclusive Litho Cell for the sale price of $19.99 considering all that includes it’s not a bad price.

Ken Zeider
Ken@ComicImpact.com