By Da’Mon Guy
Superman and Batman: Apocalypse is the newest animated feature from DC comics. The movie is full of action but it doesn’t contain the substance of their last release, Batman: Under the Red Hood. “Apocalypse” is comprised of a talented voice cast that has become the norm for DC comics when making these animated features. Tim Daly (Monk), Kevin Conroy (Batman: the animated series) star as Superman and Batman with Andre Braugher (The Mist) and Summer Glau (Terminator: the Sarah Connor Chronicles) rounding out the cast. This animated movie was adapted from another one of DC comics newer mini series The World's Finest featuring Superman and Batman.
"Apocalypse” begins in Gotham City as it is being hit by a meteor shower that was caused by the events that took place in Superman/Batman: Public Enemies. The meteor shower brings the arrival of a strange girl that quickly whisk through the city creating some level of catastrophe. Batman is out on the girls hills as she quickly displays the same powers as Superman. On the run and out of control the girl causes all kinds of damage which opens the door for the appearance of Superman to save the day. We later learn that the girl is Kara Zor-El, Superman’s cousin Supergirl. The story is actually about her and more of a coming of age story.
The story however is lacking in the area of substance. This story doesn’t really do anything to develop our heroes. Superman and Batman are no different in this incarnation than any other film or cartoon that has been previously done. The lone detail that has been added is the emphasis of two contrasting personalities of Superman and Batman. Superman is the ever optimist and Batman is the clearly more pessimistic and cynical. This dynamic is clearly the focus and driving point of the story. Even still, it should been better emphasized. Outside of the occasional verbal debate there wasn’t enough to show the difference or enhance the friendship that they share.
The real strength of Superman/ Batman: Apocalypse is the supporting characters that join them in this movie. All of the supporting characters enhance the story and make it worth watching. Supergirl, Wonder Woman, Harbinger, Darkseid, and Barda each make the story much more appealing as each of the characters add depth the story. Kara as the spoiled teenager was a good dynamic to the story as she created all kinds of tension for the other characters. Wonder Woman’s role in DC comics has been redefined and she clearly was the stand out character in this story. Her strong, intense personality was a welcome addition to the story. Watching her stand toe to toe and clearly not settle for being the third wheel Superman and Batman was really a treat. Barda’s desire for normalcy is not a new ideal for super heroes but watching her walk around in her suburban home trying hide the arrival of the superheroes was a nice touch.
This is a movie strictly for comic book lovers as there really isn’t much depth to the story. There’s plenty of action. Enough to satisfy any adrenaline junkie. The fight scenes are big and bold. It’s a good DVD for comic book fans but not much more than that.