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Review: Superman/Shazam! Return of Black Adam Blu-ray

Is the new short enough to get you to buy this collection?

Warner Bros. Animation and Warner Home Video have a new release in stores today. This goes beyond the normal DC Universe Animated Original PG-13 movies. This is part of the DC Showcase which highlights the animated shorts focusing on the less mainstream characters that comic book fans love. The highlight here is the never-before-seen Superman/Shazam! The Return of Black Adam (which has a running time of 24:32).

Black Adam makes a dramatic entrance and looks pissed off. Billy looks a little older than I would've liked but there's a great portrayal of his lack of strength and the fact that he's just a kid. Billy is meeting with Clark about a story when Black Adam seeks him out, detecting the power within him. Soon there is an epic battle with lots of destruction. George Newbern from Justice League reprises the role of Superman, Jerry O'Connell is Captain Marvel, Arnold Vosloo is Black Adam and James Garner is the Wizard.

The animation is smooth and crisp. The colors are vivid without being too colorful. There is something about seeing this on Blu-ray. The story is a great introduction to Captain Marvel and Shazam. There's some sweet effects during fight. One complaint is during the fight in the city, there wasn't many people in the city. It felt like the whole place was immediately evacuated as soon as Black Adam arrived. The funny thing is, when I noticed this, a few cars showed up providing innocents as a distraction in the fight. I have to wonder how many people will pick up this release since it the other 'shorts' have already been released. 
 == TEASER ==
As far as the other shorts, they are "extended" versions. For example, The Spectre had a running time of 11:51 on the Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths release and runs 12:52 here. Green Arrow has a running time of 12:13 and Jonah Hex is 13:03. Even though I watched the Green Arrow short not that long ago, I can barely remember what was different. It seemed like there was more fight scenes.

Special Features include Commentary on all four shorts. Bruce Timm's Picks (four episodes; one from Batman: The Animated Series, one from Batman: The Brave and the Bold and two from Justice League Unlimited). There is also one trailer for Batman: The Brave and the Bold.

I did dig the Superman/Shazam! feature but I've already seen and own the other three shorts. While they are slightly extended, it's hard to argue if that little difference is enough to warrant a new purchase. If you have skipped or missed any of the last releases, that could make a more convincing argument for you to purchase this. I definitely wouldn't suggest paying full retail price (buy it on sale or online). It would be great if this was a success and we did see more releases with more obscure characters. I understand the reasoning behind this packaging but I would have preferred more new content. The Blu-ray is a nice presentation and all the shorts are top notch so I'd give this a 3.5 out of 5. Here's a couple clips to help you make your own decision. 
45 Comments Refresh
Posted by Mainline

Note: The commentary tracks are only on the Blu-Ray and not the DVD edition.

Posted by Bestostero

I'm not driven to buy this... though I want to...its just a short...meh...

Posted by Jordanstine

Don't know about anyone else, but this was so under the radar for me.


Had no idea it was out until I bumped into it at my retail store.


I love the DC WB animated shows, but I can patiently wait for this to drop around the $12 price or less sometime online in the next months like I did Under The Red Hood and Justice League Crisis (got the both for only $9 a piece brand new on eBay).

Posted by The Sadhu

Awesome! Captain Marvel(Billy Batson) is the man!
Posted by GT-Man

Looks cool but I wish they would have like Martion the Manhunter or Hal Jordan Green Lantern instead of Superman or Captain Marvel but looks cool I wonder if this will replace Batman/Superman hope not
Posted by jamdown

Already on my netflix list for about a month now, just gotta wait till my bro sends back "a raisin in the sun"
Posted by KRYPTON

What? Already out!?! Got to go pick this up tonight. Be back later. Blu-Ray is the greatest thing to watching movies!

Posted by mickoreo_LZ
@GT-Man said:
"Looks cool but I wish they would have like Martion the Manhunter or Hal Jordan Green Lantern instead of Superman or Captain Marvel but looks cool I wonder if this will replace Batman/Superman hope not "

It won't replace Batman/Superman. Batman and Superman are the two most popular and marketable characters that DC has so expect to see more animated movies with them in the not-too-distant future
Posted by They Killed Cap!

The superman Shazam feature is worth it. It is about 40mins...and it is so well done.
Posted by countvontrey

I will probably Netflix it.  
Anyone else notice that Under the Red Hood is already available for streaming on Netflix?

Posted by longbowhunter

Looks cool I just dont wanna shell out full price for a 25 minute short.
Posted by Hamz

So any word on if they'll be rolling out a Booster Gold / Blue Beetle film sometime soon? I'm getting a bit tired of seeing the DC films focusing on the 'big names' all the time.

Posted by juniorlhulk
@Jordanstine: me too
Posted by ImperiousRix

I DON'T have the other shorts, and I've always been a big fan when big blue and the big red cheese team up/ fight it out, so this is really intriguing to me.  I might make a stop over at Best Buy and see how much its selling for.

Posted by tensor

its too short are they serious this is like the shortest blu-ray movie not even half an hour hell no

Edited by cbishop

I hate to be the nitpicker here, but since when does Black Adam shoot lightning from his hands?  Other than that, looked great.

Posted by Hellos

Thats actually really sweat animation to me.
Posted by NightFang


Posted by goldenkey
@cbishop: I was wondering the same thing.  I didn't want to ask because someone on here would call me an idiot and just assume that I knew that and always should I'll let them call you idiot instead........what a dummy, you never knew Black Adam could shoot lightening out of his hands?
Posted by goldenkey

Looks good, but it's a lot like Superman already.  They need to make some shorts of characters that are not like Superman or Batman.  They did a Green Lantern and Wonder Woman, how come no Flash.  One of my favorite JLA unlimited episodes was Hawk and Dove.  They did a great job of showing how they were different even in how they fought each other.  Hawk more brutal, and Dove being more of a ............I don't know...........Akido type fighter.  They should do shorts of them and try to get people to buy those instead.

Posted by 00 Raiser

This was actually pretty good. Though I noticed they toned down Superman a little bit. Superman should have been able to handle Black Adam a little better. Seeing Captain Marvel was fun as well. I mean the only other time you have ever seen that character animated was in Justice League Unlimited when Sups and Cap had their duke out which they have yet to top that battle. They should try and do a Flash Feature and see how well it does or even better Zatanna. Would also like to see Vixen get some screen time.

Posted by cbishop
@goldenkey said:
" @cbishop: I was wondering the same thing.  I didn't want to ask because someone on here would call me an idiot and just assume that I knew that and always should I'll let them call you idiot instead........what a dummy, you never knew Black Adam could shoot lightening out of his hands? "

LOL...I mean, um, gee guy, that hurt. ;)
Edited by Nick-SV(ril)

Whether it did have a collection of previous shorts or not, I'd still buy it. But good to know those are kind of extended. Hey G-Man, does the BR come with an o-sleeve like previous DC movies? Still pissed that when I got Crisis on Two Earths it didn't have one.

Posted by Eyz

Why wasn't this made into a full feature film??
Why another short?
If only they had made a 1 hour long movie out of this Superman/Shazam short... oh well..

Posted by tonis

Damn, I have everything cept the Shazam short, gonna HAVE to get. 
If there's one character DC should be using more it's Captain Marvel.

Posted by FadeToBlackBolt

I loved it. Great short. Can't wait for the next one.

Posted by ShadowDemon

Sorry, but no sale here...not going to buy a short padded with a bunch of other shorts to fill out the dvd space.  I can get my Capt Marvel fix from either his JLU appearance or from Public Enemies.

Posted by Ms. Omega

I really enjoyed this short Captain Marvel is one of my favorite characters.

Posted by Namor1987

Yes I'm loving all the movies where Super-Man gets owned by badguys doesn't he have weakness to bees?
Posted by Captain Koala

Looks great, but it's a bit too short for me to fork out for it.

Posted by Video_Martian

won't buy it, sorry.

Posted by zoist

They need to make a Peacemaker animated movie.

Edited by Grimoire

I didn't even know about this. Looks cool enough to watch but if it doesn't have a long running time it defeats the price tag. lol

Posted by G-Man
@Nick-SV(ril): Yes, it has an o-sleeve. 
@goldenkey: It's about sales...and piracy. If people aren't buying movies with Green Lantern and Wonder Woman, they're going to stick with what people are buying, Superman and Batman. I'd love to see Flash and other heroes get their own full length feature.
Posted by The Impersonator

Rather than shorts, I would just see the movie version of it.

Posted by Dr. Maxwell

Black Adam looks waaaay too buff

Posted by cold_fuzion

I knew this was coming out so I saved a few bucks on Superman/Batman: Apocalypse and Batman: Under A Red Hood. So, yeah, buying it.

Posted by GOUKI

This short was great, DC needs to do more with captain marvel...
He has SO much potential but dc is not doing him enough 'justice'.
but i do kinda agree on the whole price thing, but im a fan of the captain and im gonna get it.

Posted by ComicCrazy

Looks cool.
Posted by PowerHerc

Holy shit!  I forgot this was coming out! 

 I'll be getting this tomorrow.

Posted by Son_of_Magnus

That was such an awesome movie

Posted by WindArrow

I believe this is a must buy for a plethora of reasons. The shorts are amazing, and the Superman/Shazam story is not too bad. Can't wait to see what DC will come up with next...

Posted by fynne

Thanks for the review.  I thought that it was another DC movie, not a collection of shorts.  I will NOT be buying this.  I did pick up the Batman/Red Hood movie though and I actually liked that one better than the comic arc that it was based on.

Posted by Walker696

this movies would have been so much better if it was longer

Posted by lockett

I loved this movie..short but awesome Black Adams the man  And it is also on dvd..