‘Superman/Batman: Apocalypse’ Review

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Batman Apocalypse Superman/Batman: Apocalypse Review

DC Universe is back with another animated feature, and this time it’s Superman/Batman: Apocalypse, the semi-sequel to last fall’s animated feature adaptation, Superman/Batman: Public Enemies.

Like Public Enemies, Superman/Batman: Apocalypse is based on a storyline by Jeph Loeb (Batman: Hush) and late artist Michael Turner (Fathom), which debuted in the ongoing Superman/Batman comic book series.

In this animated version, the giant Kryptonite meteorite which threatened Earth in Superman/Batman: Public Enemies is no more, but Kryptonite shards from the shattered rock are still falling all over Earth in the form of shooting stars. When a large shard crashes into Gotham bay, Batman (Kevin Conroy) goes to investigate, discovering a Kryptonian space vessel containing a mysterious young girl with powers equal to (or greater than) Superman’s.

Superman (Tim Daly) surmises that the girl is his cousin, Kara Zor-El (Summer Glau), who was encased in the meteorite all this time. Kara’s memory is fuzzy and her control over her newfound super powers is tenuous, so under Batman and Wonder Woman’s (Susan Eisenberg) insistence, Superman delivers Kara to Amazon Island to be tutored by Wonder Woman and her sisters.

sbapocalypse4 Superman/Batman: Apocalypse Review

However, Kara’s presence on Earth hasn’t gone unnoticed: Darkseid (Andre Braugher), evil despot of the war planet Apokolips is aware that Superman has a new protege of untapped power, and needing a new captain for his royal guard, The Furies, Darkseid schemes to capture Kara and brainwash her into being his champion.

Of course Darkseid gets what he wants, leaving Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman no choice but to team with Darkseid’s former captain Big Barda (Julianne Grossman), to storm the gates of Apokolips and take Kara back by force. But as any fan of the DC Universe knows, Darkseid is far from being a pushover – even when he’s up against the likes of The Man of Steel.

superman batman apocalypse 21 Superman/Batman: Apocalypse Review

Superman/Batman: Apocalypse starts off feeling very rushed, but settles into itself in the last half. It’s understandable why veteran DCU director Lauren Montgomery (Wonder Woman) would have to play it fast and loose in the beginning: this storyline had the benefit of six issues of comic book to spread itself over, leaving plenty of room for a slow buildup.

The comic book storyline could afford the time to examine the impact of Superman finding another surviving Kryptonian; his conflict with Batman over whether to embrace and trust Kara or not; the threads about Kara finding her identity on Earth and ultimately becoming Supergirl; and all the requisite action you’d expect from a DC storyline that contains so many powerful heroes and foes.

superman batman apocalypse 31 Superman/Batman: Apocalypse Review

Dealing with a feature film, Montgomery doesn’t have the meditative liberties allowed for the page and so she must get to the main event: some epic super-powered showdowns, complete with major destruction and physics-bending displays of force. The film does not disappoint in this regard, and fights between Superman, Supergirl and Darkseid are especially awesome. It’s rare circumstance for any of these three characters to cut totally loose with their powers, so getting to see all three of them do so is understandably cool. The last half hour of the film is pretty much an ugly slugfest.

DCU purists will be happy to know that iconic Superman / Batman voice actors Tim Daly and Kevin Conroy are back where they belong, while fanboys and sci-fi geeks will love that Serenity and Sarah Connor Chronicles star Summer Glau is voicing Kara/Supergirl. Legendary actor Ed Asner (Up) gives a cringe-inducing performance (in a good way) as Darkseid’s butch general, Granny Goodness, but the evil king himself was (in my opinion) totally miscast with the calm, even tones of Andre Braugher. There’s not nearly enough menace in Darkseid’s voice, and that is a real shame.

superman batman apocalypse 11 Superman/Batman: Apocalypse Review

The animation style of the film looks crisp in Blu-Ray, though I know some fans are going to gripe that the filmmakers decided to imitate the style of the late Michael Turner, whose work has a distinctive hint of anime flavor to it.The difference in style is especially noticeable with Batman, who looks too elongated and supernatural (clawed fingers) for my liking. However, I do have a bias: I prefer the classic DCU animation style that started with Batman: The Animated Series, so already “animated Turner” style is not going to be my favorite.

All and all, Superman Batman: Apocalypse is a fairly enjoyable ride once you get into it, but isn’t anything especially memorable. I definitely liked Public Enemies more – but then again that was true of the comic book storylines as well.

Continue to the Green Arrow animated short and Special Features…


green arrow animted short Superman/Batman: Apocalypse Review


With each DCU feature release we’ve been getting an animated short featuring a DC character that could stand some more public exposure. This time around, we get Green Arrow.

Oliver Queen (Neal McDonough) is on his way to the airport to pickup his girlfriend Black Canary, who he hopes to make his wife. Queen doesn’t want to make his lady angry by being late, but when he arrives at the airport he recognizes a villainous rival archer, Merlyn (Malcolm McDowell), and realizes there’s evil afoot. Soon Queen is in his Green Arrow outfit and finds himself caught up in assassination plot involving a tweenage queen and a classic DC villain.

The Green Arrow short was directed by Joaquim Dos Santos, who has directed the shorts for Jonah Hex and The Spirit is well. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: if Dos Santos ever wants a crack at directing one of these DCU animated features, he’s welcome to it as far as I’m concerned. Along with writer Greg Weisman, Santos perfectly captures what makes Green Arrow great: like Batman he has no super powers, isn’t as smart or as well-trained as Batman, but he’s great with a bow, brave, dashing, witty, and isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty. It’s really hard to hate Green Arrow, and this animated short certainly captures that sentiment.



Batman Superman/Batman: Apocalypse Review

The Superman/Batman: Apocalypse DVD/Blu-ray comes with the following special features:

Special Features:

  • A first look at the next installment of the DC Universe movie: All-Star Superman.
  • DC Showcase Short Film: Green Arrow.
  • Behind the Story – “The Fourth World: The New Gods” digs into the origin of Darkseid; “New Gods: Mr. Miracle Pod” hones in on High Father’s biological son, Mister Miracle; “New Gods: Orion Pod” dissects the “New Gods” stories further, turning its attention to Orion, Darkseid’s biological son; and “Supergirl: The Last Daughter of Krypton” delves into the history of Supergirl.
  • Bonus episodes handpicked by Bruce Timm: Superman The Animated Series -”Little Girl Lost Parts 1 and 2,” “Apokolips Now! Parts 1 and 2″ [NOTE: Only the Blu-ray has all 4 episodes - the DVD only offers 2. The episodes are in low definition in either format]

Superman/Batman: Apocalypse will be available on DVD/Blu-Ray Tuesday September 28th.

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  1. Looking forward to see this, Conroy as Batman is a must for me, and the Green Arrow short looks amazing! GA is my second favourite superhero after Superman.

  2. I have all these DC animated movies and they are really enjoyable to me..they are as good if not better than live action fare from the genre..at least we get the action amped up to the nth power…Ican’t wait to get this tomorrow along with Iron Man 2..

    Thanks for the review Kofi.

    Any idea beyond All-Star Superman what is next from DC?

    Is Marvel doing anything new on the animated film front?

    • I love these DCA movies too – one comes out about every 9 to 12 months and while they’re not spectacular, they are enjoyable. Straight to DVD/Blu-Ray, so no getting PO’d about spending $10 on a ticket for a crappy movie.

      I wish the Marvel animated ones were as good.

      I also wish they would do a fully animated Watchmen (rinse my mouth of the Snyder taste)

    • Marvel is doing the Avengers Cartoon on Disney XD or something, like this month.

      It is VERY nice.

  3. Isn’t there a Superman/Shazam film coming hwere they take on Black Adam?

  4. I thought they were doing Batman Year One next?

    • Year One would be nice..

      I’d like to see

      Identity Crisis
      Final Crisis (need two films for that or a two-hour animated film)
      The Battle for the Cowl

    • I hope not I think them doing the Year one is the worst idea. I mean we have seen Batman’s origin enough and there are stories that haven’t been seen yet that I’d rather see.

      Identity Crisis
      Knight Fall
      No Mans Land

      It was bad enough they did Under Red Hood

  5. @ Dr Sam

    Have you read the Green Arrow arc which included Red Arrow titled “Rise & Fall”? I thought they were great!

    • Yes I have it was a great run, I’m enjoying the new Green Arrow as well, its an interesting arc for the character.

      • @ Dr SamBeckett

        I’m starting to pick up a few more DC animated films. Just recently bought “Batman:Under The Red Hood” and “Gotham Knight” which I really enjoyed.

        Based on Kofi’s review I might actually buy this as well.

        So Dr Sam what would you think of a DC/MARVEL crossover mini series with Green Arrow & Hawkeye? :-)

        • I’m not a huge marvel fan (comics wise) but I’m all for any crossover, I think the problem might be that GA and Hawkeye are too similar.

  6. I loved The “Longbow Hunter” series. Boy…. that must have been 20 years ago. lol

    when did I get so old? :(

    • @ Raven 415

      Man I love “The Longbow Hunter” series. They were fantastic.

      LOL 23 years ago. I try not to think about it. :-)

  7. I loved the previous Batman/Superman animated film. Apocalypse looks even better.

  8. Are the jokes in the movie? I remember quite a few “quips” at one another throughout the series.

    Specially about the “dog”…

  9. So far they haven’t put out a cartoon I haven’t liked. Some are better than others but all have been really good. I can’t wait to see this one. I am currently listening to the Graphic Audio versions of a lot of stories. Infinate Crisis was one of my favorites and I hope they do this. It is really cool that they are doing a lot with the cartoon versions. I don’t think people will be able to keep up with something like a live action Infinate Crisis. So many of their stories deal so much with the Multiverse that I feel they would just end up confusing people.

  10. I’ve been waiting for this movie to come out. Exciting stuff. Hopefully will pick it up today to watch. I like Tim Daley as Superman and Conroy as Batman is always perfect and I love when other characters in the universe get involved. Superman/Batman team up is something that is not only a great comic but the philosophical implications and idealogies of the two are so distinctly different that it is a joy to watch how the two are so close with one another.

    As for another, I just finished the Blackest Night series and would love to see that come to DVD but there’s just too much going on in there to capture in a 70-90 minute animated flick. My other hope is to see Green Lantern: Rebirth done as well.

  11. Excellent movie just too short!!! DC animated films are just great!!

  12. That was excellent. Just finished it and was very impressed. The only bad thing I have to say has already been stated. I would have liked to hear a little more menace in Darkseids voice. Other than that I thought it was in the top 5 they have put out so far.

  13. No Michael Ironside as Darkseid? That’s too bad.

  14. I want to see a Sinestro Corps War. That would make one epic sized animated feature.

  15. The animation isn’t the best we have seen, but it’s certainly better than Public Enemies which was ugly.

    Reading the Review Kofi it’s hard to see exactly where you stand on the movie. I’m curious where you would put this as far as whats better in DC animated.

    DC has been very hit or miss Wonder Woman, and JLA NF were fantastic. Public Enemies, and Crisis on two earth were both good. GL first flight was just mediocre and Doomsday , Gotham knights and Under the red hood (because of the awful voice acting) were all horrible films.

    • The only good thing about Under The Red Hood was Jensen Ackles, he did good work on that. I didnt like Crisis On Two Earths at all.

      I’d like to see them do Blackest Night.

      Is the Wonder Woman film decent then? It’s the only one I havent seen.

  16. Drsam Wonder woman was fantastic. If I had to rank the films it would be.

    Justice League NF
    Wonder Woman
    Green Lantern FF
    Crisis on two earths
    Superman Doomsday
    Under the red hood
    Batman Gotham Knights

    Sad that the two Bat films are by far the worst. I agree that Jensen was good in Red Hood. Knightwing was not good, Batmans voice sucked and Joker was some of the worst voice acting i’ve heard. The story was meh they took a decent story (but not great) and sort of hollowed out alot of what made the comic good.

    • We are in complete agreement about Under The Red Hood then, I tried to like it, I really did, but the voice acting was hideous. It makes me worried for any further appearances from the Joker. If it aint Hamill and Conroy, it aint worth having!

      I did quite enjoy parts of Superman Doomsday however.

  17. One Movie, One simple statement…
    “Best Animated Superhero Movie to date!”

  18. Okey, ill grant that Gotham Knights was not a great movie.
    Under the red hood on the other hand.
    As far as the animating, it exceeds anything thats released of DCA currently.

    The voice acting was not horrible, ive seen alot of people saying so. But thats only becouse its not Kevin Conroy or Mark Hamill which takes up the parts. Personally i did not have a problem with it. And i actually found it better. I dont think Conroy or Hamill would of made good casting with this movie, its to dark for them. Its a real Batman movie you know? Not so kiddish.

    As for this movie, its the worst yet in my oppinion. It felt rushed, the animating. I dont really care for the anime cross overs so im going to give it a set back for that.

    As in Public Enemies i felt that Batman was way undervalued, he’s a detective, not a fight machine against a hundred thousand doomsdays with an axe.

    The fight scenes were not great, you say you didnt like red hood, but the fight animations in that movie were something you could enjoy, i mean when batman went through the car in mid-air. That gave me chills.
    Here it was like, the only detail i found was; when WW took the rope of one of the guard ladies.

    I’ve seen them all. But ive read so many times that red hood is the worst movie, whilst people who does not know conroy or hamill find it to be the best movie, so i find people go out of their own way to tell themselves it blows, sort of like when a pregnant lady gets a treat, thats not the treat she wants, it might be as good. But she’s still going to give you a hell of a time for giving her the wrong one.

    Then again, thats my two cents.

    • Mattlas

      To dark for them. ? Are you serious ? Under the red hood wasn’t all that dark and both Conroy and Hamil have done darker. Have you even heard of Batman arkham Asylum? That game makes under the red hood look like Barney and both men are in it.

      Theyare by far the best voices for the parts but that has nothing to do with how bad the voice work was in under the hood. I’ve heard other people do the voices and liked them. People hated the voice work in under the hood because it sucked it was just awful. Hell Conroy didn’t play Batman in JL TNF but it’s still the best animated film. I’d prefer conroy and hamil but other people are fine as long as they do a good job.

  19. Ok I have to chime in. JL TNF is my first point to approach. It was by far the worst of the movies. I like all of the DC shorts better. Seriously Conroy and Hamil are now Superman and Batman (not respectively). There I’ve said it. It has been said let’s just not bother to argue the point again. Back to the movie at hand, Superman Batman Apocalypse, the “voice acting it it was outstanding. LOL we keep saying voice acting like they are going to get Oscars for it or something. I love the movie from beginning to end. Oh and for future reference S/B Apocalypse is the best animated movie ever. Marvel better get their crud together. If D/C starts doing live action like they are doing animated they are going to be in trouble.

    • I believe Hamil does the voice of the Joker in many of the JL shows not Superman. Tim Daly is the voice of Superman and the other voice actor from the JL shows on the Cartoon Network. Mark Hamil is not nor ever has been the voice of Superman.

  20. You are right and I was typing in a hurry. I apologize. I should have checked my facts.

  21. Hmm is anyone else experiencing problems with the images on this blog loading?

    I’m trying to figure out if its a problem on my end
    or if it’s the blog. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

  22. Just watched it. Not bad, but what about the dog? The dog didn’t like Kara and that conflict wasn’t resolved. They missed a good opportunity there.