If you are a regular reader of this website, you know that Iíve been quite fond of not only the DC Universe PG-13 Animated films (well, except for SUPERMAN/BATMAN: APOCALYPSE
), but those DC Showcase shorts as well. These DC Showcases feature DCís "second level" characters -- ones that might not be able to carry an entire movie -- such as The Spectre, Jonah Hex, and Green Arrow whom weíve seen previously.
This time around, Captain Marvel is spotlighted in the extended animated short, SUPERMAN/SHAZAM: THE RETURN OF BLACK ADAM.
Iíve always had a soft spot in my heart for Captain Marvel -- probably because I was a HUGE fan of the 1970ís SHAZAM! Saturday morning TV show when I was a kid. Iíd LOVE to see this character on the big screen in a live-action film, but that project seems to be stuck in development hell. So if youíre a fan of Ďol Cap, youíre going to have to settle for this right now.
The story revolves around Fawcett City orphan/good kid Billy Batson (Zach Callison) getting interviewed by Clark Kent (George Newbern),the distinguished reporter from Metropolisí DAILY PLANET. Out of the blue, Billy is attacked by a super-powered dude in black leotards with a lightning bold symbol on his chest -- Black Adam (George Vosloo).
With a runtime of about 20 minutes or so, SUPERMAN/SHAZAM: THE RETURN OF BLACK ADAM is basically a knockdown, drag-out fight between Black Adam, Superman, and Captain Marvel (Jerry O'Connell). Itís serves as a Captain Marvel origin tale -- albeit a VERY brief one.
All in all, SUPERMAN/SHAZAM: THE RETURN OF BLACK ADAM is yet another enjoyable and quality installment of the DC Showcase.
The only issue I have is that I would have preferred that this one be included with an animated film like the previous three. To be frank, unless you are a big fan of Captain Marvel and/or Superman, or do not own the DVDs/BluRays that feature the previous shorts, I donít know if itís worth buying. Not because of quality, but due to quantity in this case.
* 4 DC Showcase shorts: Superman/Shazam The Return of Black Adam, The Spectre, Jonah Hex, Green Arrow.
* Commentarys by writers Steve Niles, Joe Lansdale, Greg Weisman, and Michael Jelenic (Blu-ray only)
* 4 bonus TV episodes picked by Bruce Timm from DCUís Justice League Unlimited, Batman: The Animated Series and Batman: The Brave and the Bold. The 4 episodes feature Captain Marvel, The Spectre, Jonah Hex, Green Arrow.