REVIEW: SUPERMAN: BRAINIAC ATTACKS

CAST (VOICES)

Tim Daly (Basic)
Powers Boothe (Agents of SHIELD)
Lance Henriksen (The Terminator)
Dana Delaney (Desperate Housewives)
George Dzunda (City By The Sea)
Shelley Fabares (Hot Pursuit)
Mike Farrell(Private Sessions)
David Kaufman (Pearl Harbor)
Tara Strong (Batman: The Killing Joke)

Brainiac crash lands on Earth and hijacks Lex Labs to collect Earth’s data and amass the power of its weapons systems. Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen are sent to one of Lex Luthor’s laboratories after Brainiac arrives on Earth on a meteor, successfully dodging the attempts made by Luthor’s satellite to destroy any potential damage to the Earth in an attempt to boost his popularity against Superman as the true hero of the people. Superman shortly arrives and finds Brainiac downloading data from the computers with information relating the various forms of weaponry from LexCorp, including the laser-equipped meteor shield that had attempted to destroy Brainiac earlier. Using his ice breath, Superman is able to seemingly destroy Brainiac, after Superman and Brainiac had engaged in battle.
Witnessing the incident, and how his satellite could be used as an effective weapon against Superman, Luthor finds Braniac’s still intact brain chip and takes it to LexCorp, where he reactivates Brainiac. He then proposes that Brainiac, with the technology of LexCorp as well as Kryptonite, defeat Superman, and then Luthor step in to chase Brainiac away from the Earth, in front of the world to make him appear as Earth’s true hero, where he will then be free to conquer other planets, leaving Lex in charge of Earth. Brainiac accepts the agreement, and proceeds to rebuilding and improving himself. Meanwhile, Clark Kent contemplates the idea of revealing his secret identity to Lois. The opportunity presents itself when editor Perry White, due to staff shortages, sends both Kent and Lois to review a restaurant in Metropolis. During this time, however, Brainiac returns. Among his improvements is the ability to track down Superman based on his DNA. After another battle with Brainiac, Superman has been significantly affected by Brainiac’s kryptonite power rays, and Lois is critically injured in the process. It is revealed that her blood has been infected with a kryptonite, metallic-based poison, that is galvanizing her blood cells and if not treated, would prove fatal.
Feeling guilty, Superman obtains a sample of Lois’ blood from the hospital and returns to the Fortress of Solitude where he analyzes Lois’ blood using his Kryptonian technology. It is then when Superman discovers that the only cure for Lois’ condition is to obtain a chemical substance, known as Argonium 44, from the Phantom Zone. However, Brainiac is able to locate Superman in his Antarctic retreat, and attempts to downloaded the information of Krypton from Superman’s computer. Superman then initiates a self-destruct sequence. Brainiac, not being able to locate Superman, presumes that he has been killed in the explosion. Superman had, in fact, gone into the Phantom Zone in order to find the Argonium 44, which would not only cure Lois and heal himself, but provide him with increased strength against Brainiac by shielding him from his kryptonite blast.
the-phantom13Brainiac returns to Metropolis where Luthor awaits in order to fulfill their agreement. Jimmy investigates Lex and realizes that he is working with Brainiac. Brainiac, however, intends to kill Luthor in order to conquer Earth, and had even removed the self-destructive component that Luthor had planted should Brainiac double cross him. Superman seemingly returns through a portal and cures Lois, but when bringing her out of the hospital, he realizes this experience is an illusion created by the Phantom Zone when Lois repeated goad him to stay with her and not go after Brainiac. After this, he is chased and attacked by several Phantoms before he actually escapes the Phantom Zone.the_phantom_sala-catehrine-zeta-jones
Returning to Metropolis, Superman and Brainiac engage in a lengthy battle, during which Luthor is injured in the crossfire. Mercy discovers Jimmy looking for evidence against Luthor and brutally attacks him. Eventually he takes over one of Lex’s large, robotic exoskeletons and knocks her unconscious. Unfortunately, his camera is destroyed by his attack, relieving him of the chance to photograph evidence of Lex’s schemes, much to his dismay. Superman seemingly defeats Brainiac and then returns to the hospital in order to cure the ailing Lois. But before Lois can take the cure, Braniac, who is now only a head, attacks the hospital and smashes the cure. Immediately afterwards, Superman finally destroys Brainiac by breaking his brain chip. With the cure now destroyed, Lois faces certain death. Superman, regretting never telling Lois his true feelings then embraces her. It is then that his tears, containing Argonium 44 that had healed him earlier, makes contact with Lois, curing her. She presumes him to be Clark, but Superman, (having changed his mind for her safety) tells her he is just Superman. Later, Superman recovers a piece of his destroyed Kryptonian technology where he aims to rebuild his fortress. He then vows to quit his job at the Daily Planet in an attempt to prevent future harm to his loved ones, should any of his enemies discover his secret identity.thephantomThe movie ends with an injured Luthor facing criminal prosecution after the discovery of LexCorp’s involvement with Brainiac’s attack, and Lois racing to cover the appearance of Mr. Mxyzptlk in Metropolis. Seeing Lois’ eagerness to put herself in harm’s way in order to cover a story, Superman goes back on his earlier decision to quit the Daily Planet so that he can be with Lois, as well as Metropolis’ protector against the most powerful threats from the universe.fortress_of_solitude_superman_brainiac_attacksOf course this movie was made to capitalize on the release of Superman Returns. Brainiac Attacks is a fun and fast moving adventure story. The epic battles are truly fun to watch. The animation is the same as you see on the animated series, and on Justice League. Tim Daly returns as the voice of Clark/Superman, as does Dana Delany as Lois. Lance Henricksen takes on the role of Brainiac, and while he may not have the smooth coolness the character used to have, his gravelly voice is menacing nonetheless, and he does a great job. If I have one complaint about the movie, it’s with Lex Luthor. He’s not the same character he used to be. He’s far more aloof, and even a bit of a clod. He’s not as menacing, and seems to go for the joke too often. He does get a couple of good lines, however. During a huge battle with Brainiac, Superman ends up face to face with Lex who gives him a “Rootin’ for ya, my man!”. That was quite funny. But it’s not Clancy Brown who reprises his role as Lex. Powers Boothe takes over, and while he’s a good actor, he’s not really right for Lex. So if you are a fan of the animated series, there is much to enjoy here. Unless of course, you can’t get around the whole Lex thing.

Advertisements

REVIEW: RUBY SPEARS SUPERMAN

MAIN CAST (VOICES)

Beau Weaver (Transformers)
Ginny McSwain (Scooby Goes to Hollywood)
Mark L. Taylor (The Mask: TAS)
Tress MacNeille (The Simpsons)
Michael Bell (Rugrats)
Alan Oppenheimer (Westworld)
Stanley Ralph Ross (Helter Skelter)
Lynne Marie Stewart (Bridesmaids)


RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Jack Angel (A.I.)
Rene Auberjonois (Star Trek: DS9)
Nancy Cartwright (The Simpsons)
Peter Cullen (Transformers)
Linda Gary (He-Man)
Mary McDonald-Lewis (Deep Dark)

In my mind, this remains one of the very best depictions of Superman on TV, as well as one of the most faithful to a particular comics period.
This series paid homage to both the Superman films of the ’70s/’80s and the Superman comics series “reboot” of 1986-onward (“Man of Steel,” “Superman Vol 2,” “Action Comics,” “Adventures of Superman,” etc). The opening score and titles were stirring, based on the John Williams score from the films, updated for a Saturday morning action series. Marv Wolfman, one of the main contributors to the comics reboot (writer of “Adventures of Superman”) was a perfect choice to be involved in this animated series. Overall, the series had a more mature feel while continuing to be very kid-friendly.

Superman was presented as believable, strong, and iconic. His recurring nemesis was Lex Luthor in his megalomaniac/CEO incarnation. The Daily Planet characters Lois, Jimmy, and Perry were portrayed well. One of my favorite appearances was by Wonder Woman, and the story revolved around her home island of Themyscira (“Paradise Island”). Both her design and that of her mother Hippolyte were in keeping with the similarly rebooted Wonder Woman comic book series of the era, and it seemed like an equally well-done animated series could have been developed for her if handled the same.A must have for any Superman/DC fan.

REVIEW: THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN

CAST (VOICES)

Bud Collyer (Beat The Clock)
Jackson Beck (Popeye)
Joan Alexander (The Name’s The Same)
Jack Grimes (Speed Racer)
Julie Bennett (Mister Magoo)

The New Adventures of Superman’ was the first animated immortalisation of the Man of Steel for the small screen audience, since the Fleischer theatrical shorts of the 1940s. It was one of  Filmation’s first attempt at television animation, having acquired the license rights for DC characters, and quickly became Saturday morning’s staple for superheroics for decades to come.

The show’s first season, which aired on CBS from 1966-67, had a particular format of two 7-8 minute Superman cartoons, with one 7-8 minute episode of the first season of ‘The Adventures of Superboy’ sandwiched in-between. Subsequent seasons would incorporate a variety of other DC superheroes into the format, including Aquaman, Batman, Atom and Hawkman, amongst others. What is most interesting about this show and subsequent seasons is that it served somewhat as a precursor to the long-running Super Friends series of the 70s and 80s, after Hanna-Barbera acquired the rights to use DC characters from Filmation.


Throughout this first season of 36 7-8 minute episodes, Superman/Clark Kent deals with a lot of rather one-dimensional space villains from Pluto and Jupiter, for example, mad scientists harnessing insectoid and robotic powers, plus an army of sea-creatures and pre-historic dinosaurs. Classic villains from the Superman comic books also make their first appearance in animated form here in a few episodes, including Lex Luthor, the Prankster,the Parasite (albeit in a rather child-friendly depiction compared to his appearance in the comics), the Toyman, Brainiac, Mr. Mxyzptlk and original villains, the Sorcerer and the Wicked Warlock. Also making their small screen debut alongside the Man of Steel and his rogues gallery are Daily Planet Chief Editor Perry White, journalistic reporter Lois Lane and cub-reporter Jimmy Olsen. Interestingly, Bud Collyer, who voiced Superman in the 1940s’ Fleischer shorts and the long-running radio programme, also voiced the man of Steel here; while Joan Alexander, who also voiced Lois Lane in the same radio show, reprises her role here as the journalistic beauty of Metropolis. Ted Knight, who went on to narrate the adventures and action during the Super Friends series, also provides narration here, explaining the action as it is happening in a way very much synonymous with radio broadcasting.Ironically, compared to today’s standards, the action presented was very limited and Superman was not permitted to pull punches towards anyone or advocate any use of violence towards his enemies. This was due to a parental union, stating that comic book violence in books and on television were a bad influence on the young target audience. Therefore, the majority of DC’s Filmation Adventures series and subsequent Super Friends cartoons (as well as many other contemporary Hanna-Barbera cartoon series) were not especially full of animated action sequences, but did present a lot of moral messages for young children through dialogue and story-telling. Also, being a fledgling company, Filmation was famous for making use of stock footage quite frequently in their series and, unfortunately, this makes the cartoon sequences a little repetitive and predictable at times. However, on the whole, the character depictions and storyboards are relatively faithful to their comic-book counterparts, such as the utilisation of Jimmy Olsen’s Superman signal watch, for example.


Regarding this release from the DC Comics Classic Collection, the first season of ‘The New Adventures of Superman’, comprising 36 episodes (culminating in 252 minutes of classic animation fun!), is spread over two disks, containing 18 episodes each, with each disc having an approximate running time of just over two hours long. Unfortunately, the ‘Adventures of Superboy’ segments, exploring Superman’s teenage exploits, are not included, presumably due to the on-going legal dispute regarding character copyright and creation. Ironically, they did include the intro to one of the segments towards the end of the first disk, though the episode itself is not included. As an additional retro accompaniment, I would suggest exploring both the two disk DVD set of ‘DC Superheroes – The Filmation Adventures’; which includes the guest spot segments from ‘The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure’ (1967/68), and ‘The Adventures of Aquaman’, also available in a two disk DVD set from the DC Comics Classic Collection (which includes the Aquaman segments from the aforementioned show). Thankfully, Warner Brothers have finally released the last two seasons of ‘The New Adventures of Superman’ onto DVD as of 2014, and let’s hope that we won’t have to wait too long for the interconnecting Season One Superboy segments to be made available to a very eager audience of golden-age animation and Superman enthusiasts.

REVIEW: SMALLVILLE: ABOSOLUTE JUSTICE

Image result for smallville logo

MAIN CAST

Tom Welling (The Fog)
Allison Mack (American Odyssey)
Erica Durance (The Butterfly Effect 2)
Cassidy Freeman (The Vampire Diaries)
Justin Hartley (This Is Us)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Pam Grier (Jackie brown)
Phil Morris (Star Trek III)
Alessandra Juliani (Man of Steel)
Michael Shanks (Stargate SG.1)
Brent Stait (Androemda)
Britt Irvin (V)
Wesley MacInnes (The Phantoms)

As Chloe Sullivan tries to get in touch with Clark Kent, she finds herself cornered in an alleyway by a man named Sylvester Pemberton, who is wielding a staff that has the ability to control light. As Sylvester attempts to inform Chloe that he is a friend, an assassin known as Icicle attacks and Sylvester is ultimately killed. Chloe and Clark go to the hospital to investigate the truth behind Sylvester, which ultimately leads them to the Daily Planet archive room. There, Clark and Chloe discover documents and an old 16 mm film that identifies Sylvester as part of a team of “criminals”, which includes: Carter Hall, Kent Nelson, Jay Garrick, Alan Scott, Ted Grant, Abigail Hunkel, Wesley Dodds, and Al Pratt. In the documentary footage, Sylvester and the rest of his team are systematically arrested, but because of allegations of jury tampering, falsified evidence, and lack of connection all of the individuals are released.

While Clark and Chloe are looking into the criminal group, Icicle tracks down and kills Wesley Dodds. Following Dodds’ death, Clark tracks down Carter Hall, believing him to be Icicle’s next target. Clark finds Hall at a museum; he also finds Kent Nelson, who is mumbling incoherently to himself and clutching onto a small bag. Using his X-ray vision, Clark sees a helmet inside the bag, which turns on its own and looks back at Clark. Having enough of Clark’s questions, Carter sends Clark on his way. Meanwhile, Chloe sends Oliver Queen after Sylvester’s staff. Unfortunately, high school sophomore Courtney Whitmore has already taken the staff. Before Oliver can get the staff from her, Kent shows up and uses the staff to teleport both him and Courtney back to the museum. Here, it is revealed that Sylvester’s team was actually a group of superheroes led by Carter Hall, who went by the codename “Hawkman”. The group called themselves the “Justice Society of America”. Courtney, who was Sylvester’s protégé, Kent and Carter band together to find Sylvester’s killer. As such, Kent places the Helmet of Nabu back on and transforms into “Doctor Fate”.

After investigating Dodds and Pemberton’s deaths, Clark and Chloe believe they have located the killer at the psychiatric ward of Metropolis General Hospital. When they arrive, they find the individual, Joar Mahkent, in a vegetative state and Doctor Fate reading his mind. Doctor Fate then sees Clark’s fate and teleports Clark and himself to the museum. Meanwhile, the real assassin is revealed to be Joar’s son, who is killing the Justice Society members for putting his father in that vegetative state decades earlier. Hired by an organization known as Checkmate, and instructed by Agent Amanda Waller, Icicle sets his sights on Courtney. Oliver tracks down Courtney—who calls herself “Stargirl”—and realizes that she is setting herself up as bait to lure Icicle out. Icicle arrives, but Oliver interrupts Courtney’s plan. As a result, Hawkman grabs Oliver, throws him through the Watchtower window, and then threatens to do worse if Oliver interferes again.

Meanwhile, Checkmate sends Lois Lane an anonymous package that provides her with the truth about the Justice Society. Clark awakens at the museum, where Doctor Fate informs Clark that his fate is to lead a new generation of superheroes, and that he will one day conquer his greatest enemy, Lex Luthor. Oliver and John Jones show up at the museum to rescue Clark, unaware that Hawkman, Doctor Fate, and Stargirl are actually heroes. Banding together, the group splits up into pairs to locate Icicle. While on patrol, Doctor Fate and John Jones are attacked by Icicle. Before Doctor Fate is killed, he uses his abilities to restore John’s Martian powers. While John lies unconscious, Icicle steals Doctor Fate’s helmet and acquires the powers that go with it.

Clark and the others regroup at Watchtower, where Icicle arrives to kill the rest of the Justice Society and avenge his father. At first, Clark, Hawkman, Stargirl, and Green Arrow have trouble taking down Icicle and his new abilities. When John arrives, the group is finally able to defeat Icicle. Afterward, Carter tells Clark that he and Courtney have located the surviving members of the Justice Society, their children, and their protégés in order to build a new team of superheroes for today’s generation. Back at the Daily Planet, Lois publishes her article on the Justice Society, revealing them to be a team of superheroes who were lambasted by the government, and falsely imprisoned. Icicle is transported back to Checkmate, where Agent Waller subsequently kills him after informing Icicle that he was a part of the new Suicide Squad. Afterward, Tess Mercer is revealed to be an agent of Checkmate.

To sum things up the people involved in this episode’s creation did a great job, the performers included. The cold blooded killer was scary. Some dialogs were smart, others hilarious, specially Green Arrow’s ones, and I’m sure the references for comics fans were numerous. There were also plenty of intriguing developments.

Image result for smallville absolute justice

31 DAYS OF HORROR REVIEW: SMALLVILLE – SPELL

Image result for SMALLVILLE LOGO

MAIN CAST

Tom Welling (The Fog)
Kristin Kreuk (Beauty and The Beast)
Michael Rosenbaum (Cursed)
Jensen Ackles (Supernatural)
Allison Mack (The Ant Bully)
Annette O’ Toole (Superman 3)
John Schneider (Nip/Tuck)
Erica Durance (The Butterfly Effect 2)

Image result for SMALLVILLE SPELLIn France in 1604, three women, Countess Margaret Isobel Thoreaux, Madelyn Hibbins, and Brianna Withridge, are about to be burned at the stake, after having been convicted of practicing witchcraft. The leader, Isobel, is approached by Magistrate Wilkins, and she asks him if he has come to enjoy his handiwork. He then strikes her across the face and tells her she may yet escape the pyre’s flames if she tells him of the three stones of power. When she asks for her spellbook, she spits blood onto the marked page, directly onto an illustration that is identical to the tattoo on Lana Lang’s back. She casts a Latin spell and a tattoo identical to Lana’s appears on her back. As the three witches are burned, Isobel curses the crowd and vows to rise again, stating that the stones and vengeance will be hers.
Image result for SMALLVILLE SPELL
In Smallville, Lana and Jason are sitting by the fire in her Talon apartment. She shows him a spellbook belonging to the Countess Thoreaux, saying she maxed out her credit card to buy it on eBay. When Lana touches the page stained with Isobel’s blood, the fire roars up and her eyes shine violet as Isobel possesses her body. When Jason asks if Lana is all right, she says she’s never been better. Lois pulls up outside the Kent barn carrying boxes of party decorations. She informs Clark that the barn is the new venue for Chloe’s upcoming surprise birthday party the next day. Clark objects, saying his parents are out of town and he has a representative from Princeton University coming to visit. Lois doesn’t care and begins to unload the party goods.
Image result for SMALLVILLE SPELLLois and Chloe show up at Lana’s apartment, where they find her doing a strange chemistry experiment, making some sort of potion. Lois notices Lana’s behavior and reminds her that it’s her job to keep Chloe busy until the party. Lana/Isobel, preoccupied with her ingredient list, waves Lois off. The next ingredient on the list is “hair of two virgins.” She takes a hair out of her own head, then one from Lois. Lois’ turns out to be unacceptable, so when they leave, Lana heads out to find another virginal hair. She walks into the Kent home to find Clark wrapping a large present. She offers to help him with it, then proceeds to try and kiss Clark. Confused, he backs away. Lana sidles up to him and, using the gift-wrapping shears, tries to cut a lock of his hair off. The scissors break and Clark asks what she’s doing. She sputters that she needs a lock of his hair for a scrapbook she’s making. Annoyed, Clark gives her some of his hair and she promptly leaves to get the next ingredient on her list.
Image result for SMALLVILLE SPELLAt the Luthor mansion, Lana/Isobel observes Lex practicing his piano-playing. She asks Lex if he has any vintage wine, “for the party”. Lex produces a bottle, but then Isobel notices the manuscript displayed in Lex’s study. Angry, she casts a spell that makes it disappear, then freezes Lex in place. Explaining that the map wasn’t meant for Lex, she releases him and casts a spell, bewitching Lex to play the piano forever. Chloe and Lois find Lana/Isobel in the woods assembling her potion. Isobel convinces them to drink a toast. When they do, they are possessed by Isobel’s fellow witches, Madelyn (Chloe) and Brianna (Lois). She explains that they will continue their quest to find the Stones of Power, but Madelyn and Brianna point out that this is the quest that got them killed in the first place. They convince Isobel to let them attend Chloe’s party first. At the Kent barn, a worried Clark tries to keep the wild party under control. When the three witches show up, they decide to liven up the party. They cast a spell and all the party goers, including Clark, are suddenly dancing in various states of undress. As scheduled, the Princeton representative comes to interview Clark and Clark makes a “great” first impression.  The day after, Clark awakens in the barn to the aftermath of the wild party. He realizes he blew his interview and goes to talk to Lex for help. He finds Lex, his fingers bloody, still playing the piano.
Image result for SMALLVILLE SPELL
He breaks the spell by physically removing him from it. Lex tells him that Lana is the one who cast the spell, so Clark leaves to try and stop the three. He finds Lana/Isobel at her apartment, where he arrives just in time to catch Jason, whom Isobel has thrown out the window after he attempted to burn her spellbook upon realizing that she was now in possession of Lana’s body. Isobel leaves Clark a message to meet him at the barn. He meets the three witches, but at first had no clue that they were in fact witches. Mistaking Clark as being like everyone else despite his speed, Brianna strikes Clark with a large wheel using magical telekinesis; but quickly realized that his invulnerability made it so it had no effect on him. Isobel, surprised, but not frightened, notes that Clark is more than just quick. Using her own magical telekinesis, Madelyn tossed several tools at Clark, but he destroyed them with his heat vision. The witches then become disgruntled; now seeing Clark as a threat to their plans (though they see him as a sorcerer rather than an alien). Isobel tries to kill Clark with a death-based spell, but only succeeding in seriously wounding and stunning him. To ensure that he stays out of their way, the witches remove Clark’s shirt and drain his abilities.
Image result for SMALLVILLE SPELLThe three chain Clark to a post in the barn and try to pry more information of the stones out of him after realizing that he is connected to them and knows where one is hidden. After magically seducing the answer out of him, Isobel and her cohorts leave Clark chained up and depart for the Kawatche Caves. Jason finds and helps Clark escape and he goes after them. In the caves, Isobel tries to obtain the relic, but it glows and burns her hand. Clark shows up and catches the relic before it hits the ground, restoring his powers. Before the witches can take his powers away once again, Clark burns the spellbook with his heat vision and all four teens are knocked unconscious from the explosion. Upon waking, everybody has been restored to normal. Lana, Chloe, and Lois are confused, but alright.  Clark has to explain the raucous barn party to his parents. He also remarks that magic is real and can truly hurt him. Lex goes to see Lana at her apartment at the Talon and explains to Lana that he was the one to get Jason fired, not Clark, saying he had only her best interest in mind. Lana comes to apologize to Clark as he is cleaning up the barn. She tells him the whole story of the Countess and shows him the tattoo. She asks Clark what it means and he lies that he doesn’t know. In the caves, Lex studies the cave drawing identical to Lana’s tattoo.4x08-Spell-137An intresting episode of Smallville showing the ladies of Smallville in different light, the episode is an important one as it shows that magic can harm the future man of steel.

 

REVIEW: JUSTICE LEAGUE: GODS AND MONSTERS CHRONICLES

CAST (VOICES)

Benjamin Bratt (Traffic)
Michael C. Hall (Dexter)
Tamara Taylor (Bones)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS

Paget Brewster (Criminal Minds)
Daniel Hagen (The Bonfire of The Vanities)
Penny Johnson Jerald (Star Trek: DS9)
Josh Keaton (The Spectacular Spider-Man)
Tahmoh Penikett (Man of Steel)
Tara Strong (Batman: The Killing Joke)
Bruce Thomas (Legally Blonde)

Big changes were promised with Bruce Timm’s latest project at Warner Bros. Animations, offering an alternate take on DC Comics’ resident super-team in Justice League: Gods & Monsters. Re-imagining DC’s Big Three as the son of a Kryptonian general, a vampire, and a new god, the animated feature proved too limiting to show just what was made possible in terms of storytelling – meaning the early release of a number of Chronicles; animated shorts introducing fans to these radical takes. The first such episode sent a vampire Batman up against Harley Quinn (with predictable results), and the second installment, titled “Bomb,” shows a darker side of Superman. Not darker in his motivations or character, per se – simply willing to do things that the typical Man of Steel is not.


If the goal of these shorts is to show fans that Gods & Monsters is up to snuff with the rest of Timm’s work, we would say they are succeeding. Reinventing heroes simply to grab attention is nothing new, but we know Timm is interested in proving naysayers wrong – and “Bomb” shows that he and the writers aren’t wasting any opportunity to subvert their audience’s expectations.


People have proven to take exception to the idea of a Superman who kills, but Gods & Monsters manages to dodge those issues with its alternate timeline. In this version of the DC Universe, Amanda Waller has given up her role as the head of the Suicide Squad, residing instead in the White House (with the supervillain Dr. Sivana as a top advisor), with classic Superman villain Brainiac now an engineered Superman-deterrent.

From visionary producer and animator Bruce Timm (Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series), Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles turns the DC Universe upside-down. In this dark, alternate world, telling the good guys from the bad guys is never easy: Superman is not the son of Jor-El, he’s the son of General Zod; Wonder Woman is not from peaceful Themyscira, but rather the warring nation of Ares; and Batman is more vampire-bat than man…and he’s not Bruce Wayne. It is unclear if our greatest heroes are here to protect us…or to rule us. Machinima has already announced a second season, which will come out in 2016.

REVIEW: BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE

CAST
Ben Affleck (Argo)
Henry Carvill (Immortals)
Amy Adams (American Hustle)
Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network)
Diane Lane (Hollywoodland)
Laurence Fishburne (Hannibal)
Jeremy Irons (Lolita)
Holly Hunter (Crash)
Gal Gadot (Fast And Furious 6)
Scoot McNairy (Monsters)
Tao Okamoto (The Wolverine)
Lauren Cohan (The Walking Dead)
Michael Shannon (Boardwalk empire)
Michael Cassidy (Smallville)
Ray Fisher (The Astronaut Wives Club)
Ezra Miller (Trainwreck)
Harry Lennix (Dollhouse)
Joe Morton (Speed)
Jeffrey Dean Morgan (The Losers)
Carla Cugino (Watchmen)
Patrick Wilson (Hard Candy)
Jason Momoa (Stargate Atlantis)
Jena Malone (Saved)
Eighteen months after the destructive attack by General Zod in Metropolis from Man of Steel, Superman has become a controversial figure. Daily Planet journalist Clark Kent, Superman’s alter ego, has moved in with Lois Lane. Bruce Wayne, who has operated in Gotham City as the vigilante “Batman” for nearly two decades, sees Superman as a potential threat to humanity. After learning of Batman’s activities, Superman also views him as a threat, and seeks to stop him via the Daily Planet articles authored by him as Kent.
Wayne learns that Russian weapon-trafficker Anatoli Knyazev has been contacting LexCorp’s mogul Lex Luthor. Meanwhile, Luthor tries to convince Senator June Finch to allow him to import Kryptonite retrieved from the Indian Ocean following the results of Zod’s terraforming attempt, claiming to use it as a “deterrent” against Kryptonians, but she denies the request. He also makes side dealings with Finch’s subordinate and demands access to Zod’s body and the Kryptonian scout ship.
Wayne attends Luthor’s party at LexCorp, where he meets mysterious antiques dealer Diana Prince, and retrieves data from the company’s mainframe. The data drive, however, is stolen by Prince, who later returns it to Wayne after she is unable to decrypt the data. While decrypting the drive at the Batcave, Wayne has a dream of a post-apocalyptic world, where he leads a group of rebels against Superman. He is snapped out of the dream by an unidentified time traveler, who warns him of Lane’s crucial role in the distant future, and urges him to find “the others”. Wayne later realizes that Luthor is not only experimenting with Kryptonite, but also investigating metahumans. One of them is Prince herself, who is an immortal warrior. Wayne admits to Alfred Pennyworth that he plans to steal the Kryptonite to weaponize it, should it become necessary to fight Superman. Batman pursues a convoy carrying the Kryptonite to LexCorp, but Superman interferes and orders him to cease his activities.
Luthor orchestrates a bombing at a congressional hearing where Finch is questioning Superman on the validity of his actions, which have resulted in deaths of civilians. The bomb kills dozens of people, including Finch. Frustrated with failing to save people, Superman goes into self-imposed exile. Batman breaks into LexCorp and steals the Kryptonite, planning to use it to battle Superman by building a powered exoskeleton, and creating a Kryptonite grenade launcher and a Kryptonite-tipped spear. Meanwhile, Luthor enters the Kryptonian ship and learns of its functions, as well as recorded alien worlds.
Luthor kidnaps Martha Kent, Clark’s adoptive mother. He reveals that he has manipulated Superman and Batman by fueling their animosity of each other. Luthor forces Superman to fight and kill Batman in exchange for Martha’s life. Superman tries to reason with Batman, but Batman instigates a fight and ultimately gains the upper hand thanks to the kryptonite grenades. Before Batman can kill Superman with the spear, Superman urges Batman to “save Martha”, whose name is also shared with Wayne’s late mother. Lane arrives and explains the situation, convincing Batman that Superman is not a threat. Upon learning of Luthor’s plan, Batman leaves to rescue Martha, while Superman confronts Luthor on the scout ship.
Surprised at his own defeat, Luthor executes his backup plan, unleashing a genetically-engineered monster with DNA from Zod’s body and his own. However, Diana Prince arrives unexpectedly. Revealing her metahuman nature, she joins forces with them to fight the creature. However, they are soon outmatched by its power, as it is can absorb and redirect energy. Realizing that it is vulnerable to Kryptonite, Superman retrieves the Kryptonite spear and attacks the monster. With Batman and Prince’s help distracting it, Superman impales the creature. As it dies, the creature stabs and kills Superman with one of its bone protrusions.
Luthor is arrested, and while speaking to Batman he gloats that Superman’s death has made the world vulnerable to powerful alien threats. A memorial is held for Superman in Metropolis. Clark is also declared dead and Wayne, Lane, Martha, and Prince attend a private funeral for him in Smallville. Martha gives an envelope to Lane which contains an engagement ring from Clark. After the funeral, Wayne reveals to Prince that he plans to form a team of metahumans, starting with the ones from Luthor’s files, to help protect the world in Superman’s absence. After they leave, a faint heartbeat echoes from Clark’s coffin and the dirt around it begins to levitate.

Once a movie that i was extremely nervous about stepping into, just happened to turn out to be my favorite superhero movie, and probably will for years to come, very interesting aspect of the movie was using the flaws of the first installment of the comic book universe and building upon those mishaps to create a much better and more compelling story. In this Ultimate Edition, there are both Theatrical Version (151 mins, in both 2D and 3D) and the Ultimate Version (extended Cut, 182 mins, only in 2D). I would strongly recommend the Extended Cut, because the extra information is helpful to tie in different events.