So, SUPERMAN/BATMAN: PUBLIC ENEMEIS
Upfront, I’ll tell you all that I liked it. It didn’t blow me away or anything, but I liked it. Honestly, even though Batman was in this one and I’m a Batman fan, I liked the last two animated DCU films -- GREEN LANTERN: FIRST FLIGHT and WONDER WOMAN -- better.
My issues with this one actually comes from the fact that I’m one of those “Batman Only” fans. It’s not that I don’t like the DC Universe (I do), but I’m just one of those fans who prefers Batman stories where he’s not mixing it up with beings with extraordinary/magical powers (yes, Superman included) or cavorting around in space.
And guess what we have in S/B:PE? Tons of costumed individuals with super powers as well as the dreaded “Batman…IN SPACE!”
Look, I know that I’m probably being petty and a little narrow minded here, but I like Batman the way I like Batman. When it comes to Batman on (animated) film, I prefer stuff like BATMAN GOTHAM KNIGHT.
Regardless, here’s a quick breakdown of the story – which of course is based on the graphic novel of the same name by Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuiness…
Lex Luthor (Clancy Brown) has somehow managed to get himself elected President of the United States – which irks Superman (Tim Daly reprises his voice role) to no end. Much to The Man of Steel’s chagrin, that bastard Lex has actually done a pretty good job. Crime is down in the U.S. and the economy has recovered from near ruin.
However, the good times soon may be coming to an end as huge Kryptonite meteorite is headed straight for Earth. Desperate, Lex tells Superman that it’s time to bury the hatchet on behalf of saving the planet. Of course, there’s a caveat: Superman must come work for Lex. When Superman refuses, Lex frames him for murder and puts a bounty for $1 billion on his head. Superman and Batman (voiced by the great Kevin Conroy) go on the run and try to clear his name – all the while fighting off tons of super villains and heroes who are trying to take The Man of Tomorrow down.
If you’re a DCU fan, I’m thinking you’re going to enjoy S/B:PE quite a bit. There’s a bunch of cameos by DC good and bad guys, plus it’s a Superman/Batman team-up film. Isn’t the latter usually at the top of DCU fan’s wish list? In addition, screenwriter Stan Berkowitz and the filmmakers do the characters of Superman and Batman right here. Superman is the ultimate do-gooder, while Batman’s the dark, brooding, always-prepared tactician as they properly should be portrayed.
If you’re a “Batman Only” fan like me, I suspect S/B:PE will not be enjoyed as much as those previously mentioned DCU fans. Like I said, they did nail the character of Batman, so that’s not the issue. It’s seeing him in daylight, fighting super villains, and flying a rocket ship into space that makes me -- and Bat-Fans of my ilk – watch through squinted eyes at times.
Plus, this is Superman’s film first and foremost with The Dark Knight playing second fiddle to The Man of Steel to be perfectly frank. While it really didn’t bother me, that fact may be a minor issue for some Batman fans.
Miscellaneous negatives: Lack of character/plot development as well as feeling the story's a bit rushed.
Miscellaneous positives: The animation and production design -- it looks really good...Superman kicking Captain Marvel’s ass (I’ve always wanted to see him pound The Big Red Cheese into the ground)...And Toyman -- I got a kick out of Toyman, his x-ray glasses, and the composite Superman/Batman robot rocket.
All in all, SUPERMAN/BATMAN: PUBLIC ENEMIES is yet another solid effort from the folks behind these DCU animated flicks. It’s certainly a DVD/Blu-ray collection must-have for the DCU fan, while most likely only a rental (at least at first) for the Batman enthusiast.