Smallville. Young Justice. Batman: The Brave and the Bold. The forthcoming Green Lantern animated series AND live-action movie. The Dark Knight Rises. Had enough DC action yet? If you answered "no," prepare for the latest DC Universe animated feature: All-Star Superman hits DVD and Blu-Ray on February 22nd.
Based on the Eisner Award-winning comic by Grant Morrison, All-Star Superman is yet another DC Universe movie without attachment to any established continuity. It follows The Man of Steel as he rescues a group of astronauts on a doomed mission to the sun, taking in a lethal dose of solar radiation in the process. The mission was sabotaged by none other than (say it with me now) Lex Luthor, and Superman has a limited amount of time to foil Luthor's latest plot before his body suffers terminal degradation.
DC animation legend Bruce Timm will produce while Sam Liu directs and Dwayne McDuffie writes. All three have recently worked together on Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths. Like most of the other DC Universe Animated Original Movies, (not to be confused with the DCAU continuity of the 90s and 2000s) All-Star Superman will feature new voices for familiar heroes and villains. James Denton (Desperate Housewives) gets the big red cape, while Christina Hendricks (Mad Men, Firefly) gets Ms. Lane's smart purple blazer. Anthony LaPaglia (Without a Trace, Legend of the Guardians) plays Luthor, while Ed Asner (Up, numerous superhero animated shows) and Linda Cardellini (ER) round out the cast.
This will be the 10th movie in the DC Universe Animated Original Movies series, none of which restrict themselves to continuity established within the comics, television shows or movies. With the exception of Superman/Batman: Public Enemies and Superman/Batman: Apocalypse (the latest to be released and sequel to Public Enemies) they don't relate to each other, either. Two more movies in the series are currently planned: Green Lantern: Emerald Knights, set to release around the same time as the live-action movie next summer, and Batman: Year One, based on the famous Frank Miller comic is due in September.
If the latest movie follows its comic namesake, it won't feature the parade of DC villains and heroes featured in the Superman/Batman titles. All-Star Superman is core cast only. If the whole "death of Superman" plot sounds familiar, it should. Superman: Doomsday, the first of the new crop of animated movies, followed the early 90s comic series titled, well, The Death of Superman. As a Bruce Timm fan, I'm thrilled to get so many direct-to-video titles, but I wish Warner Bros. would loosen the reigns a bit and allow the writers and animators to focus on some second-stringers in the DC catalog. At the moment we have the DC Showcase animated shorts offering brief looks at lesser-known characters, but I suppose my hopes for a Question or Black Canary movie will have to wait until they've exhausted all the stories (and merchandising profits) from the bigger characters.
You can check out a short trailer for All-Star Superman HERE. The DVD and Blu-Ray will be in stores on February 22nd, and you can expect to see the movie in iTunes and Amazon VOD at around the same time.