So far we’ve gotten six offerings from DC’s animated universe straight-to-DVD movies. Here’s how they break down for me:
Batman: Gotham Knight
Justice League: The New Frontier
Green Lantern: First Flight
The bad ones are bad either because they strayed way too far from the original concept (Superman/Doomsday) or were just plain old boring (I think you can figure out which one that is). The good ones either stick to an existing story or create a brand new story using the basic mythos. For whatever reason, I had some pretty big reservations about Public Enemies. Maybe it’s because I wasn’t a big fan of the comics the movie was based on. Jeph Loeb’s Superman/Batman (or as Em calls it SuperBatman) was a big fun popcorn comic that was dragged down by the interminable thought boxes he through in so that you could see how Superman and Batman think about each other. It was SOOO boring.
Anyway, after watching PE last night I would definitely put this one in the good column. I’m not a big fan of mixing the voice talents of previous incarnations with a different art style. I keep hearing Kevin Conroy as Batman and Tim Daly and expecting to see the classic Batman/Superman/JL/JLU versions of these characters. It’s a small complaint and really the only one I’ve got. I like how they used Ed McGuinness’s art to base the animation on, though it could have been a little bigger. The basic story follows that of the comic: Lex Luthor’s president, he’s got some heroes and villains working for him, tries to turn the world against Superman because there’s a big Kryptonite meteor coming towards Earth and Superman and Batman have to put a stop to it.
It’s been a while since I’ve read the comics (or more accurately looked at the pretty pictures) so I can’t remember how closely the movie mirrors the comic. You don’t get a teaming up of Superman and Batman’s family of heroes coming to the rescue, but you do get the fight between the dynamic duo and Hawkman and Capt. Marvel. There’s also a JLU-worthy fight in the episode where Supes and Bats fight a giant army of villains because Luthor put a bounty on Supes’ head. While the action scenes are a lot of fun, I’m not sure how well the story is told. It’s hard for me to judge because I did read the comics and all the comics from around that time, so I’ve got a lot of extra info bouncing around my head. I think Em had a pretty easy time following, but again, she’s read a lot of that stuff too. Then again, I don’t know how many non-comic fans will be checking these DVDs out. Hopefully a good deal will, then they’ll fall in love with these characters and start following their adventures in comic book form. Ha, who am I kidding? That almost never happens for ongoing comics.
4 thoughts on “Superman/Batman: Public Enemies (2009)”
I thought the GL movie sucked. Maybe it’s cause I’m a hardcore GLC fan, but I hated how poorly they realized the GL powers, how transparent Sinestro was, the lack of characterization for everyone, and the weird Sinestro Corps spaceship that basically took out the entire GLC.