Superman Batman: Public Enemies
Starring: Kevin Conroy as Batman, Tim Daly as Superman, Clancy Brown as Lex Luthor
Written By: Stan Berkowitz
Produced By: Bruce Timm
Directed By: Sam Liu
When Lex Luthor manages to sway the public into electing him President Of The United States, his first act is to gather and put together a super hero task force to respond to emergency threats around the world. Heroes like Captain Atom and Power Girl willingly join the cause, but the world's greatest hero, Superman, does not believe his archfoe's sudden change of heart. When a meteor full of Kryptonite makes its way toward Earth, President Luthor responds to the world's call, even asking the hero of Metropolis for his assistance. Their meeting, however, proves to be a set up, and Superman soon finds himself as a fugitive for "attacking the president" while under the influence of Kryptonite. Now on the run alongside Batman, The Man Of Steel and The Dark Knight must work together to stop the meteor and expose Luthor for the criminal that he is.
This film is another great effort from the minds of DC and Warner Bros. It's an adaptation of the comic book series of the same name I collected back in August of 2003. Written by Jeph Loeb and illustrated by Ed McGuiness, Superman/ Batman offered fans a unique look at the sometimes powerful/ sometimes complex relationship the Boy Scout and Gotham Knight shared. Right on the heels of Loeb's Batman run on Hush, I had a newfound respect for the World's Finest duo, and I was craving for more interaction between the two, which was answered with the release of this new ongoing series. Suffice to say, the artsytle by McGuiness reminded me so much of the relatively new Justice League animated series back then, and it played well into the dynamic action and constant thought process Loeb fed into his stories. 6 years later, the seminal story arc is transformed into what isn probably one of the best animated features ever produced by Warner Bros. Animation. To say it's good is an understatement - it's literally a must see for anybody who's a fan of DC's two poster boys.
Around two months ago, I saw Green Lantern: First Flight - another DC Animated Film that represented the origin story of the Silver Age Emerald Warrior himself, Hal Jordan. While I enjoyed it for the most part, I found the reconfigured and modernized tale to be somewhat lacking on the epic adventure requirements. It does give those unfamiliar with the GL mythos a concept to grasp upon, but being a veteran reader, I felt a tad disappointed with certain elements, particularly the depiction of Sinestro and how the final battle of the film came to be. That's not going to be a problem here with Superman Batman. Those who haven't read the actual comic it was based on won't have to backtrack just to understand it. DC has taken great care in constructing a movie the follows the same plot, but changes a lot of the elements in it to coincide with changes in the comics and in the times. In fact, it reflects on current issues happening in today's world, including the recession and conflict among egotistical minds who can't look past each others differences. It's a brilliant movie made by the team of Bruce Timm and Sam Liu, and, again, it has nothing to do with the DC Animated Universe.
As for the movie itself, what more can I say? Heart stopping action, fan service, and beautifully cast voice actors make it peach perfect for viewing. I love the team up and chemistry Supes and Bats share, and it's played on well that they're best friends who can count on each other even if they have different ideologies in life. Lex Luthor is still as calculating and brillaint as ever, and this is only enhanced by his new status as President Of The United States. We see his rise to power and descent into madness too, so it's a perfect movie to expose the villain for who he truly is. Other heroes and villains in the DCU make cameo appearances too, so watch out for the important ones and fan favorites.
As for the voices behind the characters, Kevin Conroy, Tim Daly, and Clancy Brown reprise their roles as Batman, Superman, and Lex Luthor respectively, and their reputation alone makes fans aware that everything is going to be good and fine. I couldn't even think of anyone else to play these characters other than them, especially Conroy, who's almost two decades into being the legendary voice behind the Dark Knight. C.C.H Pounder also reprises her role as Amanda Waller. Her character's less villainous in this movie as compared to her DCAU counterpart, but the voice still fits the role perfectly. I was also surprised to find out that Alison Mack, who plays Clark Kent's best friend, Chloe Sullivan, in Smallville, voices Power Girl, bringing her another Superman related role she can add to her resume. She's not too bad as Kara either, and I hope we'll be seeing more of her in other adventures.
In the end, Superman Batman Public Enemies is a great animated adventure no fan of the World's Finest can deny. It has all of the elements you could ask for in a superhero movie, and with beautiful writing and a stellar cast voicing the roles, there's hardly any reason for you to skip this besides work or important matters that need attending to. As someone who has grown up seeing much hero worship being done, it also puts things into perspective that we can be heroes ourselves if we put our mind into what we do, and by setting a good example for others to follow as well.
Score - 5/5