Superman/Batman Public Enemies will be available on Tuesday, September 29, 2009. We've been hearing a bit about this movie for some time. Back at the San Diego Comic-Con I interviewed Kevin Conroy and Clancy Brown (among others) about this movie. As exciting as it all sounded, I have to admit I was a tiny bit apprehensive. The fact that Kevin Conroy, Tim Daly, Clancy Brown, Bruce Timm and Andrea Romano were all attached should've been reason enough to have faith in this movie but if you think about it, it's an ambitious story to adapt.
The original story by Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness was a big story that spanned six issues. This movie is barely over an hour. If you've read the original story, you know what this is about. Lex Luthor is President of the United States. When a Kryptonite meteor is headed towards Earth, he uses this to place a $1 billion bounty on Superman's head along with his "partner in crime," Batman. What results is an army of heroes and villains gunning for the the two. I was simply worried that parts and characters would get cut out.
The good news is the story pretty much remains intact. You may have seen the clip with Metallo and Superman duking it out. You may recall from the comic that Metallo ends up shooting Superman with a Kryptonite bullet. I was glad that part was included in the movie. It's also pretty cool seeing all the villains banding together to try to apprehend Superman and Batman. Superman may be impressive with his sheer strength but the real show is watching Batman in action. They really manage to capture how much of a badass he can be.
There's also the little 'reunion' we have. It was nice having Kevin Conroy, Tim Daly, and Clancy Brown together again as Batman, Superman and Lex Luthor. I've already announced that in the next animated movie, Justice League: Crisis On Two Earths, we'll have different voice actors in those roles. I know some might be a little bummed but it's nice to see other interpretations of the characters. What matters is we have Conroy, Daly and Brown here. That being said, it's still a little weird hearing Conroy's Batman when the art style is different than the "Animated Series" style.
Speaking of animation style, while it's an interesting approach, this is probably movie's only slight downfall. We seem to get a lot of detail in the background but sometimes it felt like there wasn't a lot in the characters faces, especially Superman's. In the beginning I felt the colors were too bright but then later I started really liking them. Either I got used to it or a happy medium was found. The fact that I watched this on Blu-ray (and an HD-TV) only emphasized the brilliance of the color and animation. I couldn't imagine trying to watch it otherwise. But maybe I'm just picky about that. The movie does shine on Blu-ray. In this age of high definition, the studios are really kept on their toes to put out a superb product. DC and Warner Home Video is definitely staying on target here.
There is quite a bit here to take in and enjoy. This adds to the overall package and partially makes up for the shorter running time of the movie.
A Test Of Minds: The Psychology Of Superman And Batman (19:01)
We get a lot of 'professional' insight on the two characters and what motivates them. Jeph Loeb talks a bit about the relationship between the two. We also hear from Alan Burnett, Paul Levitz, Danny Figeroth, Dan DiDio and even a professional psychiatrist.
Dinner With DCU And Special Guest Kevin Conroy (55:59) Extended Version
The dinner party we'd all love to sit in on. Along with Kevin Conroy we have Andrea Romano, Gregory Noveck and Bruce Timm. They sit around and talk about it all, starting with Batman: The Animated Series.
Crisis On Two Earths (11:12)
A little peak at DC's next animated feature. We get to see little bits about the history of the story as well as insight from the actors involved.
Blackest Night: Inside The DC Comics Event (8:52)
Behind the scenes on the current major comics story arc in the DC Universe.
Six episodes chosen by Bruce Timm. Included is a four episode arc from Justice League Unlimited and two from Superman: The Animated Series. The episodes are:
- Question Authority
- Panic In The Sky
- Divided We Fall
- The Demon Reborn
- Knight Time
Trailers for other DC Animated features.
- Wonder Woman: The Amazon Princess
- Batman Gotham Knight
- Justice League: The New Frontier
- Green Lantern: First Flight
All in all, this is a great disc. Should you buy this on Tuesday, September 29? Of course. If you have any interest in the DC Universe and/or in Superman or Batman, you'll want this in your home library. The quality and sound of the Blu-ray are spectacular. My only gripes are the short running time and some of the (personal) annoyances in the animation. The movie itself would get a very solid 4 out of 5. It's a nice story and well executed but not nearly as perfect as some of the other DC features. You will definitely be entertained. Throw in the special features and you more than get your money's worth. It's nice that DC will adapt actual comic book story arcs as well as adapting 'new' stories. Look for this movie in stores on Tuesday (unless you prefer OnDemand or Pay-Per-View).
As an extra bonus, here's another clip courtesy of Warner Home Video: