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Slick’s Nit-Picks: Superman/Batman: Apocalypse

I say terrible things about Superman. I’m really not a fan of his because he has all this power and it is really the power that defines him. Take them away and what is he? The answer in my book is nothing. Batman on the other hand is tied (with a non-DC character) for my favorite hero of all time. He has no powers and above average human strength which is really nothing in the DC universe and yet he is still one of the most feared members of the Justice League – even by other members. One thing the two have in common is that they will never give up; not on each other and not on the task at hand. Makes for good best friends I would say. Put them together with Wonder Woman and you have one of the most powerful trios in comic history. You also get the main cast for the new Superman & Batman feature, Apocalypse.

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This is the first DC feature to be a sequel to a previous title – in this case the Superman & Batman feature Public Enemies, where Lex Luthor had become president and Superman and Batman were fugitives. The story had a huge chunk of the exploded planet Krypton headed towards Earth with no conventional weapons being able to stop it. The logical thing to do would be to call Superman but this is a piece of his home planet, which somehow is fine if he lived there but once it exploded it became a source of radiation deadly enough to kill him or any other Kryptonian (yeah, that makes sense). Anyway, the meteor was destroyed by a huge rocket that fanboy/inventor Toyman had shaped into a Superman/Batman robot. Batman pilots it and almost dies, Superman freaks at the “death” of his buddy and nearly kills Luthor, Bats blows up the rock, Supes saves his buddy, yadda, yadda, yadda, go buy the movie people.

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Both the Public Enemies and Apocalypse films are stories directly taken from the Superman/Batman series. The first movie covers issues 1-6 and the new one covers issues 8-13. Supergirl is a bit of a tough subject in the DC universe. If you saw the last movie, you saw that it featured Power Girl (aka Kara Zor-L), who technically is Supergirl from a different reality. She is the cousin of Superman, just not our Superman. This movie features Kara Zor-El, who is the true biological cousin of Superman. I am gonna pause for a moment while your brain resets after that little mind-fragging. Now that your brain has reset, get ready for this new DC animated film which does not have the adult humor of its predecessor but it still entertains.

Justice League fanboys can rejoice because Tim Daly, Kevin Conroy and Susan Eisenberg all reprise their roles as Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman (respectively). Sadly, Michael Ironside does not return as Darkseid and Andre Braugher, while menacing, just does not have that Darkseid feel that fans will be used to. Summer Glau voices Supergirl as she will also play the heroine in the upcoming DC Universe Online videogame. Ed Asner also returns to the Superman universe, reprising his role as Granny Goodness, the “den mother” of Apokolips’ Furies. It is rare to have a voice cast I do not like in a DC animated movie and I am glad to say that this is not one of those instances.

Aside from properly introducing Supergirl to the animated DC universe (the Justice League version wears the white shirt above), this movie gives fans the knockdown, drag out brawling action they have come to expect from watching Superman and Darkseid go at it. The new movie even pays homage to some of these now classic battles if you pay attention.

The moral of that fight is that it is a really bad idea to curb stomp someone who has heat vision. These are probably the only times I really like Superman, when he is able to go all out against an opponent. This is why I say there needs to be a live action movie that at least leads up to a sequel where he will fight Darkseid. There is more than enough story on Darkseid working from the shadows to make a full Superman trilogy. All leading up to something like this where blue boy actually complains about not having more fights like this one:

And that was my little rant against bad live action Superman movies and awful Superman TV shows. Superman/Batman Apocalypse is not better than Public Enemies but the fights sure are. I am mildly disappointed after the last Batman film and the Justice League: Crisis On Two Earths movie, but Apocalypse is still not to be missed and should be on the shelf of any collector. I really hope they choose to include this Supergirl in more movies, possibly one of her own.