REVIEW: Lego DC: Shazam!: Magic and Monsters

Starring

Sean Astin (The Goonies)
Zach Callison (Steven Universe)
Troy Baker (Shin Chan)
Nolan North (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Grey Griffin (The Fairly OddParents)
Cristina Milizia (DC Super Hero Girls)
James Arnold Taylor (Batman: The Brave and The Bold)
Imari Williams (Predator at Large)
Fred Tatasciore (Hulk Vs)
Ralph Garman (Jay and Silent Bob Reboot)
Dee Bradley Baker (American Dad)
Jennifer Hale (Totally Spies!)
Tom Kenny (The Powerpuff Girls)
Josh Keaton (Justice League Action)

Lego DC: Shazam!: Magic and Monsters (2020)A new hero known as Shazam has made his debut and is attracting the attention of the media for his sudden arrival and polite mannerisms. Unbeknownst to the public, he is actually a young orphan boy named Billy Batson. When Superman begins to grow jealous of Shazam, his hope is restored when he gets the chance to fend off the Monster Society of Evil when they attempt to steal food for their master Mister Mind, though he is eventually forced to call upon Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash and Green Lantern for help. Witnessing this, Shazam decides to aid the Justice League, demonstrating his powers to them in the process and forcing the Monster Society to retreat. Impressed by Shazam’s capabilities, the League invite him to the Hall of Justice where they offer Shazam membership. Shazam dismisses their offer, believing that they will reject him if they discover his true age.Lego DC: Shazam!: Magic and Monsters (2020)Consulting The Wizard who gave him his powers for advice, Shazam is told that relationships are built on trust and that he should be more open to the Justice League. Sensing a disturbance, the Wizard then tells Shazam to go help the Justice League when they follow the Monster Society to their warehouse hideout, which Shazam agrees to do.Unfortunately, Mister Mind manages to capture the Justice League and, using a chemical concocted by Doctor Sivana, transforms them into children, making them more susceptible to his mind control. Although de-aged, Batman manages to avoid being mind-controlled and escapes to the Batcave with Shazam’s help. Learning that Batman is reluctant to trust him, Shazam reveals his secret identity to Batman while also recounting his origin story to him: After aiding Batman in a duel with Two-Face, Billy Batson continued to go about his daily routine, while also generously helping out others in need (whom, unbeknownst to him, are the Wizard in disguise). Billy is eventually led into a subway station, where he boards a bizarre-looking train that takes him to the Rock of Eternity, where he meets the wizard in person. The wizard explains that he disguised himself as ordinary citizens to test Billy’s purity of heart and see if he was worthy of becoming his new champion after the previous champion, Black Adam became corrupted by his power and was sealed away. Accepting the Wizard’s offer, Billy is gifted his new powers and proceeds to spend his days as Shazam, while also enjoying the perks of being an adult. Billy then explains that despite everything, he still longs for a family of his own. Relating to Billy’s status as an orphan, Batman reveals his secret identity to Billy and explains that he too is an orphan and becomes more trusting of Billy.lego-dc-shazam-magic-and-monstersAcross the world, the mind-controlled Justice Leaguers proceed to steal large quantities of food for Mister Mind, but one by one they are located by Batman and Shazam and freed from Mister Mind’s control. Reunited, the Justice League devise a plan to infiltrate the Monster Society’s lair by pretending to capture Batman and Shazam and bring them to Mister Mind. Unfortunately, they are swiftly exposed and forced to fight their way to Mister Mind, ultimately defeating the Monster Society. When Shazam and the Justice League encounter Mister Mind, they discover that he has undergone metamorphosis and grown into a giant moth. The group attempt to escape to the Rock of Eternity to gain help from the Wizard, but Mister Mind follows them and proceeds to devour the Rock, resulting in him increasing in size and freeing Black Adam from his imprisonment. Black Adam betrays Mister Mind by using his powers to reduce Mister Mind to his caterpillar form and send him hurtling through space.pink panther-1200-1200-675-675-crop-000000Seeking vengeance against the Wizard, Black Adam attacks the Rock and the Justice League is overwhelmed by him. The Wizard attempts to hold Black Adam back long enough for Shazam and the Justice League to escape back to Earth, while reminding Shazam about the power of Zeus. Returning to Earth, knowing Black Adam will be coming for them, the Justice League make preparations and rebuild their vehicles to account for their reduced stature. Arriving on Earth, Black Adam announces his intentions to rule over it with an iron fist. The Justice League and Shazam arrive and face him, but he still proves to be too much for them to handle and destroys their vehicles. Remembering the Wizard’s advice and how Black Adam was able to depower Mr Mind, Shazam shares his power among the Justice League, enhancing their abilities and returning them to their normal age, while revealing his secret identity to them in the process.shazamthumb-1586204677951The Justice Leaguers are not upset by Billy’s true age and tell him that the age of a hero doesn’t matter as long as they do the right thing. Using their enhanced abilities, the Justice League is able to defeat Black Adam. Billy then reabsorbs his powers from the League and Black Adam, restoring his Shazam powers, while Black Adam’s powers are taken in the process, reducing him to a mortal man.With Black Adam arrested and their adulthood restored, the Justice League show their gratitude by reuniting Billy with his sister Mary and their Uncle Dudley. In a mid-credit scene, Lobo manages to apprehend Mister Mind and plans to collect a $1,000,000,000,000 bounty placed on his head, much to Mister Mind’s dismay.UntitledOverall this is a decent lego DC film, but it lacks the teeth of some of the other DC animated or lego movies, a great watch for the family though.

REVIEW: LEGO DC SUPER HEROES: AQUAMAN – RAGE OF ATLANTIS

CAST (VOICES)

Dee Bradley Baker (American Dad)
Susan Eisenberg (Justice League: Doom)
Troy Baker (Justice League Action)
Grey Griffin (Danny Phantom)
Nolan North (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Khary Payton (Teen Titans)
Cristina Milizia (Shabom)
Alyson Stoner (Step Up)
Trevor Devall (Krypto The Superdog)
Scott Menville (Teen Titans)
Jonathan Adams (Bones)
Fred Tatasciore (Hulk Vs)
Eric Bauza (Batman Ninja)
Vanessa Marshall (Wolverine and The X-Men)

LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes: Aquaman - Rage of Atlantis (2018)At the Hall of Justice, Justice League newcomer Jessica Cruz is busy examining for suspicious activity when the Trouble Alert goes off, alerting Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and Cyborg about Lobo’s attack on a warehouse at Dread Lake storing alien technology. When Aquaman receives word of this, he attempts to join in. He soon realizes that Dread Lake is in fact a dry lake bed, leaving Aquaman’s abilities futile as he is repeatedly beaten by Lobo until the Justice League arrive. Although Lobo manages to escape with a glowing blue orb despite their efforts.92e34ab6883d49c5823c50a0812cb214_compressedWanting to lighten the mood, Aquaman invites the Justice League to a feast that Atlantis is hosting in honor of his anniversary as king. While attending the feast (using a spray Batman designed to help them breathe underwater), Aquaman’s brother Ocean Master soon gathers the inhabitants of Atlantis where the entire city is engulfed in a bizarre red light which begins to corrupt and enrage them (a force field created by Cruz prevents the Justice League from its effects). With Atlantis under his influence, Ocean Master reveals an Atlantean scroll which reveals a law that only a pure-blood Atlantean can be king. Since Aquaman is half-human, he reluctantly gives up the crown to Ocean Master.MV5BZWQ0NTA5NTctMDgyZC00Y2EzLTk2OTctMjA4OTA2ZGVlY2NiXkEyXkFqcGdeQXRoaXJkLXBhcnR5LXZpZGVvLXVwZGF0ZXI@._V1_CR0,45,480,270_AL_UX477_CR0,0,477,268_AL_Now in control, Ocean Master introduces his corrupted subjects to his new adviser Atrocitus, leader of the Red Lantern Corps (who was responsible for corrupting the Atlanteans) and demands the destruction of the Justice League. Attempting to escape the corrupted Atlanteans, Aquaman and the Justice League use a device known as the Atlantean Gateway (which can open portals to other water-based worlds) to escape. However, Cruz fails to enter the portal before it closes.AquaMan1The Justice League end up arriving on a desert world with a red sun (rendering Superman powerless) and find themselves in a factory of Red Lantern vehicles and robots. Noticing that this planet’s end of the gateway is being powered by the orb Lobo stole, the Justice League realize that Atrocitus plans to send his forces to Earth and have the Atlanteans invade the surface world. After escaping the factory, the Justice League have Aquaman (who is naturally drawn to water due to his Atlantean physiology) lead them to water where they find it in a bar known as the Watering Hole and learn that water on this planet has become scarce and expensive on this planet ever since Atrocitus drained it dry. Fearing that Earth will suffer a similar fate, the Justice League become determined to return home. Encountering Lobo, they learn that he was hired to steal the orb by Ocean Master and request his assistance in exchange for returning his beloved dolphin Fishy (who was also corrupted by the Red Lanterns) to him….an offer Lobo reluctantly accepts.mqdefaultBack on Earth, Cruz is rescued by Mera who initially attempts to aid against the corrupted Atlanteans only to be corrupted herself. Escaping on a Red Lantern vehicle, Cruz makes it to a seaside fair where the Atlantean invasion begins. Cruz, Robin and Batgirl do their best to fend off the invading Atlanteans led by an enraged Mera. Upon realizing that the entire world is watching her on the news, Cruz flees from the battle, but works up the courage to return and fight back when she sees Mera attempting to corrupt Batgirl and Robin. Using her power ring, Cruz is able to defeat Mera and negate the effects of the Red Lantern light, returning Mera to her benevolent self.aquaman_2Elsewhere, the Justice League attempt to return to Earth. They succeed in shutting down the Red Lantern’s factory and the Gateway, but not before Fishy, Red Lantern Corps member Dex-Starr and a handful of Red Lantern drones make their way through it. Upset for their failure, Lobo storms off. The Justice League manage to use some reserve power and new vehicles to temporarily re-open the Gateway and return to Earth, but are defeated by Ocean Master and Atrocitus and locked in a gold cage.aquaman_dclegoAt this moment, Atrocitus betrays Ocean Master and reveals his true intentions. Using a weapon known as the Submerged Limitless Underwater Rapid Pump (S.L.U.R.P.), Atrocitus plans to drain Earth’s water supply and spray it into space until Earth is as dry as a desert. Seeing the error of his ways, Ocean Master helps the Justice League escape and uses his magic to protect them from the Red Lantern’s light. Using the Trident of Poseidon (which can only be wielded by the rightful king of Atlantis), Aquaman is able to defeat Atrocitus and destroy the Red Lantern power battery (the source of his power), undoing the effects of its light. Surfacing, the Justice League, Batgirl, Robin and Mera attempt to destroy the S.L.U.R.P. but their efforts prove futile. Lobo (who has been reunited with Fishy) arrives to aid the Justice League. With Aquaman’s advice to work together, the combined efforts of the Justice League and Lobo destroy the S.L.U.R.P. while Superman pushes the water that was already drained (which had frozen into a brick of ice) back into Earth’s atmosphere where it melts into rain and is restored to Earth’s oceans.7b2e53fe53b7ec92With Atlantis the peaceful and happy kingdom it once was once more, Ocean Master apologizes for his actions and even admits to falsifying the law which dethroned Aquaman in the first place. This, coupled with the fact that Aquaman was able to wield the Trident of Poseidon allow Aquaman to be reinstated as King of Atlantis. Atrocitus and Dex-Starr are handcuffed and acquired by Lobo who plans to head to Oa to collect the bounty placed on them. As he leaves with Fishy, Lobo states that when he returns he “might not be on his best behavior”. As the Justice League celebrate their victory, Cyborg receives word that Gorilla Grodd and his forces are attacking Kathmandu, forcing the Justice League into action.EQ9w2UsAquaman must battle foes in the air, on land and in the depths of the Seven Seas, along with some help from The Justice League, to save the day . As a big fan of DC’s Lego movies i was very excited for this but unfortunately although i was entertained for sure i was also disappointed and that was mostly with Aquaman which for at least the first 2 acts is a bit silly and dumb plus the villains were so cheesy and not as good as some previous Lego villains such as Joker and Reverse Flash. Overall decent Lego DC Film but it could have been better also.

REVIEW: KRYPTON – SEASON 2

The Alpha and the Omega (2019)

Starring

Cameron Cuffe (The Halcyon)
Georgina Campbell (His Dark Materials)
Shaun Sipos (The Vampire Diaries)
Elliot Cowan (The Spanish Princess)
Ann Ogbomo (Wonder Woman)
Aaron Pierre (Britannia)
Rasmus Hardiker (Cockneys vs Zombies)
Wallis Day (The Royals)
Blake Ritson (Da Vinci’s Demons)
Ian McElhinney (Game of Thrones)
Colin Salmon (Resident Evil)
Hannah Waddingham (Les Misérables)

Colin Salmon in Krypton (2018)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Emmett J Scanlan (Guardians of The Galaxy)
Sonita Henry (Star Trek)
Kae Alexander (Bad Education)
Aoibhinn McGinnity (Love/Hate)
Staz Nair (Game of Thrones)
Toni O’Rourke (Cold Courage)
Staz Nair (Supergirl)

Shaun Sipos, Emmett J Scanlan, and Cameron Cuffe in Krypton (2018)This is a very interesting take, from the point of view of an earthling stuck out of time “Adam Strange” from the DC universe.Blake Ritson in Krypton (2018)It features a lot of overlap with themes of economic and political divides around personal freedom verses submitting to an authoritarian system developing on Krypton under the Zod family; it’s quite fascinating and parallels a lot of today’s issues in politics worldwide.Ian McElhinney, Hannah Waddingham, and Wallis Day in Krypton (2018)When you decide on if a series is good or not, stop looking at the real world people playing the characters, and start looking at the characters and the world being built, the story being told. If you can’t get out of your own world when you watch storytelling, then you shouldn’t even be watching let alone offering your ‘expert opinion on why a series should be cancelled or renewed. Plot twists ensue! Season 2 had GREAT writing which tugged at the viewer heartstrings more than once. I love how we get to see another side of the Zod family, a commonly misunderstood Krypton family that was often thought of as nothing but tyrants and conquerors in the superman saga. We also see a darker side of the El heritage.Krypton (2018)Superman is only here in NAME, this is not a series about Superman, but the father of his father (Jor-el’s father, Jor-el’s early life may become part of the series as he was not even born until season 2)

REVIEW: JUSTICE LEAGUE – SEASON 2

Main Cast

Kevin Conroy (Justice League Doom)
George Newbern (Law & Order: SVU)
Susan Eisenberg (Lego aquaman)
Phil LaMarr (Futurama)
Michael Rosenbaum (Smallville)
Carl Lumbly (Alias)
Maria Canals (Batman: The Dark Knight Returns)

justice-league-season-2-2-twilight-part-2-brainiac-review-episode-guide-list

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Michael Ironside (Total Recall)
Corey Burton (Transformers)
Ron Perlman (Hellboy)
Rene Auberjonois (Star Trek: DS9)
Michael Dorn (Ted 2)
Mitchell Ryan (Halloween 6)
Rob Paulsen (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Tara Strong (Batman: The Killing Joke)
Clancy Brown (Highlander)
Robert Picardo (Star Trek: Voyager)
Lisa Edelstein (House)
Tom Kenny (The Super Hero Squad Show)
William Atherton (Die Hard)
Fairuza Balk (The Craft)
Dana Delany (Tombstone)
Mark Hamill (Star Wars)
Peri Gilpin (Frasier)
Mark Rolston (Aliens)
Jason Marsden (Hocus Pocus)
David Kaufman (Prom Night)
Dorie Barton (Down With Love)
Phil Morris (Smallville)
Larry Drake (Darkman)
Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2)
Dan Castellaneta (The Simpsons)
Keith David (Pitch Black)
Kim Mai Guest (TMNT)
Dennis Haysbert (24)
Michael Jai White (Arrow)
Brian George (The Big Bang Theory)
Diane Pershing (Gotham Girls)
Bruce McGill (Lincoln)
Ted McGinley (No Good Nick)
Lauren Tom (Bad Santa)
Lukas Haas (Inception)
Tracey Walter (batman)
Enrico Colantoni (Veronica Mars)
Brian Doyle-Murray (JFK)
Oded Fehr (The Mummy)
Scott Rummell (Six)
Kristin Bauer van Straten (Nocturnal Animals)
Powers Boothe (Sin City)
Ted Levine (The Silence of The Lamabs)
Stephen McHattie (300)
Brad Garrett (Tangled)
Efrem Zimbalist Jr. (Hot Shots)
Arleen Sorkin (Days of Our Lives)
Khary Payton (The Walking Dead)
Greg Cipes (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Scott Menville (Teen Titans Go)
John C. McGinley (Scrubs)
Hynden Walch (Groundhog Day)
Ian Buchanan (Panic Room)
Mike Farrell (Patch Adams)
Shelley Fabares (Coach)
Kimberly Brooks (Voltron)
Robert Ito (Midway)
Victor Rivers (The Mask of Zorro)
Hector Elizondo (The Princess Diaries)
Elizabeth Peña (The Incredibles)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)

MV5BMTkxOTY5NTY5N15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjEwOTM2MjE@._V1_Now this is more like it. Justice League’s second season takes all of the wrinkles found in the first year and smoothes them over. The action is bigger, the stories are more exciting, and Batman’s rating on the cool-o-meter reaches new highs – exactly how things should be. The result is a boxed set that offers perhaps the finest collection of superhero animation that your hard-earned dollars can buy. They don’t come any better then this, kids.MV5BODg3ODYzM2QtNTIwOS00YzhjLThmMDItZTY4MDc0NzU1NDhkXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTQ0NjQzNTE@._V1_Much like the comic book universe from which these characters came, the Warner Bros. superhero shows headed by Bruce Timm and friends (Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series and Batman Beyond) have created a continuity and universe all their own. Justice League is the latest (and, sadly, final) entry in this cartoon universe and it takes all of the best stuff from what has come before it and combines it into a near-perfect superhero animated series. While the first season was light on character development and solid storytelling, the second season gets the balance of action, story, and character just right. Again we’ve got great supporting characters and villains from the DC universe; Darkseid, John Dee, Despero, and even Doomsday all make appearances.MV5BMTQxNzgzNDg3OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTAwOTM2MjE@._V1_The action is also a lot more exciting, with more imagination having gone into the writing of the fights. Furthermore, this season we’ve got some great CG effects (used for vehicles and ships) – the air dogfight in Maid of Honor between the Batwing and some jetfighters is especially cool to watch.  Another standout this season is the music. The series composers (Lolita Ritmanis, Michael McCuistion, and Kristopher Carter) have created some amazing stuff here. In each episode you’ll find several musical cues that will really get your attention and at least one that will tug at the ol’ heartstrings. The music knows when to fade into the background and let the images do the work and when to take centre stage. With stuff this good you want the music to take centre stage as much as possible. There is a Princess Mononoke-esque “nature endures” moment in Hearts and Minds where the score was just wonderful. The music in these episodes is too good for a cartoon TV show.MV5BMTQ1MjM0MTMwNV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjc5ODM2MjE@._V1_So the action is awesome, Superman is fixed, and the music is one-of-a-kind. All that’s left is the writing… and it’s the best part. The writing here is really great, with story and character always being the focus of each episode. A Better World answers a simple question in an interesting way: what if Superman crossed the line? In an alternate universe, Superman realizes that Luthor really is an unredeemable villain and he kills him. We see that the murder – even the murder of a monster like Luthor – changes both Superman and the League. They become Big Brother-like sentries of the planet. When a cross-dimensional rift is opened, this “darker” league (known as the Justice Lords) has a showdown with our untainted heroes. The episode brings up some very interesting questions and is a blast to watch.MV5BMTYwOTU0OTUwMl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTk5ODM2MjE@._V1_We’ve also got some fantastic variety. The Paul Dini-penned Comfort and Joy is a very touching Christmas episode, while Hereafter transports Superman to a Planet of the Apes-ish future where he is the planet’s sole survivor (he even grows a Robinson Crusoe beard and fashions himself a jungle-machete!). The Terror Beyond makes for a very fun H.P. Lovecraft-inspired romp which sees Solomon Grundy fighting his way into the brain of the massive Ichthulhu (voiced by Rob Zombie) and wrestling a nightmare creature inside this thing’s head. Very bizarre, but very cool. Finally there’s the three-part season finale, Starcrossed. This is a balls-to-the-wall action spectacular which culminates in Batman piloting the League’s watchtower into the planet, while Green Lantern and Hawkgirl’s relationship is torn to shreds.MV5BMTkxMDQzODI2OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMDIwOTM2MjE@._V1_This is a fantastic collection of episodes, to be sure, but there are still a few nitpicks that keep the set from getting a perfect score. For one, while Superman is tougher, much of the new attitude doesn’t feel genuine – it seems that they wanted to make him “cooler” so they made him more badass. Problem is, Superman isn’t a badass character. Second, there are a few episodes (Maid of Honor and Eclipsed) that feel somewhat stale, and one episode, Wild Cards, that, sadly, let its driving gag get the better of the story. On TV you’ll find many cartoons, but you’ll only find one Justice League – its second season is a shining example of superhero animation done right in virtually every respect. Most importantly, the show’s creators have crafted a series that respects the intelligence, attention-span, and maturity of its audience. This isn’t just a kids show nor is it just a television show. It’s Justice League – and it’s great.

REVIEW: SUPERMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES – VOLUME 3

Starring

Tim Daly (Madam Secretary)
Dana Delany (Desperate Housewives)
David Kaufman (Stargate SG.1)
Clancy Brown (Highlander)

66ecc5cb9e5f69f97e34a97d45d7e8f4--warrior-queen-queen-maxima

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Sharon Lawrence (The Ranch)
Lauren Tom (Bad Santa)
Miguel Ferrer (Robocop)
Renée Taylor (The Nanny)
Jack Carter (McCloud)
Brad Garrett (Christopher Robin)
Michael Ironside (Total Recall)
Steve Sandor (The Yellow Rose)
Joseph Bologna (Big Daddy)
Bruce Weitz (Half Past Dead)
Victor Brandt (The Batman)
Mike Farrell (Patch Adams)
Shelley Fabares (Coach)
Joanna Cassidy (Blade Runner)
Michael Dorn (Star Trek: TNG)
Sherman Howard (Superboy)
Carolyn Seymour (Congo)
Nicholle Tom (Gotham)
Edward Asner (Elf)
Scott Menville (Teen Titans)
Diane Delano (Jeepers Creepers 2)
Andrea Martin (My Big Fat Greek Wedding)
Diane Michelle (Robotech: The Movie)
Clyde Kusatsu (Midway)
Peri Gilpin (Frasier)
William H. Macy (Fargo)
Peter Gallagher (The Gifted)
Dennis Haysbert (24)
Gregg Berger (Transformers)
Kevin Conroy (Batman: TAS)
Mathew Valencia (The New Batman Advntures)
Roddy McDowall (Planet of The Apes)
John Glover (Smallville)
Paul Williams (Smokey and The Bandit)
Henry Silva (Above The Law)
Bob Hastings (The Poseidon Adventure)
Charity James (Space Jam)
Corey Burton (Critters)
Jason Priestley (Tru Calling)
Jason Marsden (Hocus Pocus)
Chad Lowe (Unfaithful)
Melissa Joan Hart (No GOod Nick)
Joely Fisher (The Mask)
Bud Cort (Harold and Maude)
Townsend Coleman (The Tick)
Tress MacNeille (Futurama)
Gilbert Gottfried (Critters: A New Binge)
Frank Welker (Transformers)
Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight)
Ron Perlman (Hellboy)
Carl Lumbly (Supergirl)
Sarah Douglas (Superman 1 & 2)
Ted Levine (The Silence of The Lambs)
Michael P. Greco (Bleach)
George Dzundza (Crimson Tide)
Peter Mark Richman (Defenders of The Earth)
Melissa Disney (Superman vs The Elite)
Malcolm McDowell (Star Trek: Generations)
Billy West (Futurama)
Stephen Root (Barry)
Miguel Sandoval (Medium)
Brian George (The Big Bang Theory)
David Warner (Tron)
Olivia Hussey (Black Christmas)
Michael Horse (Roswell)
Efrem Zimbalist Jr. (Hot Shots)
Jeff Bennett (Enchanted)
Lisa Edelstein (House)
Charles Napier (The Silence of The Lambs)

3447328-absolute-powerSuperman is everywhere. He’s also been everywhere; for nearly seventy years now the character has been inspiring us with his tales of heroism, adventure, and fantasy. Seventy years is a long time and with a character as popular as Superman it equates to a lot of different interpretations. From the original comic books to a radio series to a handful of television shows, it seems that the Last Son of Krypton has done it all. We are very lucky then to have these DVDs, because in all of that time, throughout all the years, the stories found in Superman: The Animated Series are his best. The fifty-four cartoon episodes (spread across three boxed sets) that make up the complete run of Superman: The Animated Series aren’t just the best take on the character because they’re faithful. Nor is it because they’re animated, for all ages, or very imaginative. It’s for all of these reasons. And several more.3447300-little_big_head_manThe creative team behind the series has plundered the rich mythology of the character and come up with a fantastic take on each and every piece of the Superman universe. For starters, their Clark Kent and Lois Lane interpretation is spot-on. Clark isn’t too much of a goof, nor is he too simple. Similarly, Lois is fiery, funny, and lovely. Seeing the characters come together at the end of Legacy, Part 2 makes for a great cathartic moment. Superman has saved Lois a countless number of times, it is only fitting then that Lois save him when he needs it. The main arc of this season borrows from the comic book universe and brings Darkseid and his homeworld to the forefront. Hinted at earlier in the show, it’s in this third volume that the Lord of Apokolips finally gets his payoff – and his payback. In a trio of two-parters, Apokolips… Now!, Little Girl Lost, and Legacy, Superman fights one of his most ruthless foes in a series of episodes that offer some excellent action, drama, and science fiction fun.maxresdefault (1)While these episodes are very faithful to the mythos, we’ve also got a great selection of original stories that go to prove that with a character like Superman, there is no limit to the stories that you can tell. One of my favorites is Knight Time. When Batman goes missing, Superman pays a visit to Gotham City and tries to find out where his friend has gone. Supes inadvertently ends up masquerading as Batman – dressing up in the Dark Knight’s costume and everything! – and teams up with Robin to solve the mystery of the missing Bruce Wayne. Not only is the episode entertaining, but it’s also got a great sense of humor. Seeing Superman do his best impersonation of Batman is wonderful – Clark doesn’t know which utility pockets contain what, and his attempts at being grim (nodding his head instead of speaking) are great.stas-legacy7Watching these shows you get the feeling that it was during this final stretch of episodes that the show’s producers were finding new ways of playing with the formula that they had designed, and perfected, with both Batman: The Animated Series and Superman: The Animated Series. Not only do these Superman episodes have a lot of two-parters, but we’ve also got some great guest-stars; it seems that this show is the precursor to Justice League. We’ve got heroes, Kyle Rayner from In Brightest Day, and villains, Ra’s Al Ghul in The Demon Reborn, and everyone in between – everyone’s favorite master of the sea, Aquaman in Fish Story. We also get an expansion of the Superman supporting cast when Supergirl makes a welcome appearance in the Little Girl Lost two-parter.Superman_TAS_2x27_001The animation is somewhat more limited when compared to the fancy digital effects that more modern shows exhibit, but the handcrafted style gives the show a wonderful atmosphere. If you pay close attention you’ll notice that a lot of effort has gone into the design of the animation – much more so than most animated series. The framing here is frequently packed. Helping flesh out the world are all of the voice actors; everyone from Tim Daly (as Superman/Clark) to Clancy Brown (as Lex Luthor) is perfect in his or her role. The only thing holding the show back, and this is a small point, is the fact that the stories, due to their child-friendly animated nature, are a little more limited than the best television shows tend to be. Even so, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better adventure series – animated or live action.Superman_meets_SupergirlIn one of the episodes found in this collection, Superman pays his final respects to a recently departed friend. In the graveyard, Superman comes to realize something very important: “In the end, the world didn’t really need a Super man. Just a brave one.” This show gives us a character who is both brave and super. It gives us a real hero. It gives us Superman… as good as he’s ever been.

REVIEW: SUPERMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES – VOLUME 1

Starring

Tim Daly (Madam Secretary)
Dana Delany (Desperate Housewives)
David Kaufman (Stargate SG.1)
Clancy Brown (Highlander)

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Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Tony Jay (Beauty and The Best)
Brian George (The Big Bang Theory)
Christopher McDonald (Stargate Universe)
Vernee Watson (The Big Bang Theory)
Finola Hughes (Staying Alive)
Corey Burton (Transformers: The Movie)
Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange)
Lauren Tom (Bad Santa)
Mike Farrell (Patch Adams)
Shelley Fabares (Coach)
George Dzundza (The Deer Hunter)
Tress MacNeille (Futurama)
Jason Marsden (Young Justice)
Dorian Harewood (Terminator: TSCC)
Brad Garrett (Christopher Robin)
Bruce Weitz (Half Past Dead)
John Rubinstein (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina)
Thomas F. Wilson (Legends of Tomorrow)
Lisa Edelstein (House)
Brion James (Blade Runner)
Robert Patrick (Terminator 2)
Jeff Bennett (Enchanted)
Neil Ross (An American Tail)
Townsend Coleman (Teenage Mutnat Ninja Turtles)
Sherman Howard (Superboy)
Richard Moll (Scary Movie 2)
Frank Welker (Transformers)
Joely Fisher (The Mask)
Joanna Cassidy (Blade Runner)
Joseph Bologna (Big Daddy)
Michael Ironside (Total Recall)
Brian Cox (Rise of TPOTA)
Ron Perlman (Hellboy)
Ron Glass (Serenity)
Leslie Easterbrook (Police Academy)
Charles Napier (The Silence of The Lambs)
Miguel Ferrer (Robocop)
Carl Lumbly (Alias)
Marion Ross (Happy Days)
Charlie Schlatter (18 Again)
Cam Clarke (Akira)
Lori Petty (Tank Girl)

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Superman is not Batman. Luckily this show understands that. He doesn’t hide in the shadows or do most of his work at night or spend a lot of time “planning.” Instead of deflecting a laser beam, he’ll just punch it into submission. Think, for a second, of what it takes to punch a laser beam into submission. He’s not, and never has been, a complicated hero. Any fan can tell you this: just because Superman lives in a bright world and just because he is a “pure” character, it does not make him any less cool. I feel the need to get that out of the way right off. It just seems that too many people aren’t as fond of ol’ Big Blue as they are of Batman. The number one complaint is that Superman is just too perfect; there isn’t anything interesting that can be done with him.MV5BYjNmYjc0MGQtNWVlYS00MWEzLWE1NjQtMjcyYjc3OTBmOGQ0XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTM5MTQyNDg@._V1_In many ways, that is very true. Yes, it is difficult coming up with interesting ways to test a guy who can whack ballistic missiles into orbit, but that is not an inherent character weakness. Rather, it is a challenge of taking on the character. Under the right creator, or creators as the case may be, Superman is more than ready to soar… and then punch some laser beams. And what better creative team can you get than Alan Burnett, Paul Dini, and Bruce Timm? The same superstar team that made Batman: The Animated Series one of the best and most defining shows in the history of American cartoon television. With such a fantastic group, and such a well-known character, expectations are bound to be high, and you can’t help but feel a bit let down when the show isn’t as good as Batman: TAS. However, while Superman: The Animated Series isn’t as excellent as its predecessor show, it’s still one very enjoyable and very fun cartoon.MV5BMTcxMDExMTI5MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTkyNzU2MjE@._V1_Whereas for the Batman cartoon the producers were going for a gritty feel, here things are big, colorful, and imaginative. Superman fights robots, aliens and sci-fi monsters. And just as you’d expect, that dastardly Lex Luthor is usually at the root of the problem. Personally, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Superman isn’t supposed to be conflicted and his villains aren’t supposed to be psychopaths. With the Man of Steel, it’s all about fighting for what’s right. And then punching the occasional laser beam, when it gets out of line. One of the best things about the show is its use of the Superman lore. Over the course of the series you’ll see many of the characters from character’s comic book history. If you’re meeting them for the first time, you’ll probably find them interesting, but if you’re already familiar with them then you’ve got a lot of opportunities to geek out.MV5BNTVlYWUzOTctZTNiYy00NjI0LTkzZjktMzE0NmRkMWM1NDcyXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTM3MDMyMDQ@._V1_The creative team did take some liberties with the origins of certain characters, but none of the changes are overly intrusive or unwelcome. Furthermore when they get a character right, they really nail it. For example their take on Metallo, who realizes he traded immortality for the ability to feel, is great stuff. Perhaps their most difficult task was getting Lex Luthor right. Luckily for us, they pulled it off. This Lex is a perfect mix of ambitious businessman and cunning strategist. He isn’t flat out evil, but he is bad and watching the character get what he deserves is fun. The Lois Lane character is also great, a perfect mix of sexy, competitive, and charming. Much like the Batman collections, Superman: TAS isn’t grouped by season since they were all so unevenly produced. That being said, I do hope that we get the rest of the boxed sets in installments of more than eighteen episodes.MV5BMTQ5Mjk0NjQyNF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTUyNzU2MjE@._V1_While it’s not as serious or as artistic as its predecessor, Superman: TAS is still full of high-flying fun, adventure, and excitement. Whether you’re a fan of animation or just a fan of the character, this show comes recommended. It holds a proud position in the wonderful Warner superhero animated era that we’re currently enjoying.