Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Man… I didn’t know that Batman and Superman were so… close. I always thought that Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent were just colleagues, a lot like that dude that sits in that cubicle next to you. He’s cool and all but you aren’t trying hang out. Well after watching the latest animated superhero feature from DC/WB, ‘Superman / Batman: Public Enemies’ I’ve seen a whole new side to the relationship of these long time super heroes. Yeah… they uh… really like each other. A lot. It’s all good though.

At this point and time in superhero history things are really, really screwed up. Unemployment is sky high, foreclosures are going through the roof, crime has run rampant… I know, what makes this any different from now. Things are so bad in the good ol’ U.S. of A. that the American people seem willing to put just about anybody in office promising change. Hmmm… is DC/WB getting political on us over here? In this alternate reality that person would be Lex Luthor (voiced by Clancy Brown). Yes, Lex freaking Luthor has become president of the United States of America. Crazy. And one of Lex’s first acts, not surprisingly, is outlawing renegade superheroes. Except those who agree to work for him. Call him crazy, but Superman (Tim Daly) thinks Lex is up to something. And if Superman thinks Lex is up to something, his best friend in the whole wide world, that being Batman, (Kevin Conroy) is inclined to roll with his boy.

The Luthor Administration faces its first major challenge when the earth is threatened by a giant Kryptonite meteor which will pretty much eliminate life as we know it. Lex, being the genius that he lets everyone know that he is, has the calculations all figured out on how to stop this thing, and while he waits for his plan to take shape why not frame Superman for murder. Something to do, you know. He also places a billion dollar bounty on Supes which brings out every Tom Dick and Hairy super villain out of the wood work attempting to snatch that loot.

Then there’s the looming issue of this meteor and since it’s made of Kryptonite it’s not like Superman can really do anything about it. And while you might think that being Commander in Chief would be enough to feed the ego of any egomaniac, it still isn’t enough for Lex. So while Lex devises new ways to take over a world he already pretty much controls, it’s time for the real smartest cat in the uni, that being Bruce Wayne – not Toyman, to save us all. Unfortunately he may have to make the ultimate sacrifice to make this happen which might to lead to Superman falling to his knees, yelling out the word NOOOOOOO… and then spinning around the earth real fast to make it reverse its axis so he can save his lover… errr… best friend. Wrong movie. Same level of love.

Of course I’m just funning with you because Superman and Batman are not gay. I mean what kind of world do we live in where two muscular men can’t show affection for each other, lovingly holding hands while flying across the sky with one of the men visibly upset when the other one brings up his meddlesome newspaper reporter girlfriend? Hopefully we’ve come far enough as a people where muscular, caring men can behave in such a fashion and not be labeled ‘gay’. Come on people!

But back to ‘Superman/Batman: Public Enemies’, while still entertaining it seems to be a step back for DC/WB in terms of animation. ‘Wonder Woman’ and especially ‘Green Lantern: First Flight’ were about as solid animation wise as any of these American based stories I’ve seen recently but this animation in ‘Public Enemies’ just looked so rudimentary. I halfway expected to see those stupid ass Wonder Twins and that damn monkey to show up in this thing. And what’s up with Power Girl? Doesn’t she know what she’s wearing is wildly inappropriate? Unless, of course, she’s exposing those D-cups to get Batman to finally notice her… which I don’t think is gonna happen. And why come Black Lightning has to  be ‘Black’ Lightning? Huh? I can see he’s black, he doesn’t need to tell me this. I don’t see Captain Marvel calling himself White Shazam. What’s up with that?

Anyway, as with most of these comic book Straight to DVD movies this one is heavy on action, low on story and possesses a typically brief running time, which is unfortunate because Lex Luthor as president looks like a helluva a storyline to build upon, and I’m sure the treatment it got from it’s graphic novels was probably much better than what we got here. In this movie Lex Luthor being president was just Lex doing his usual Lex thing with a better title. One thing I’ve always thought was strange in the DC universe was people trying to beat up Superman. You have all of these villains attempting to collect a bounty on Superman. So they do stuff like get into fist fights with Superman. I know a billion dollars is a lot of money but you probably can’t punch Superman into submission, no matter how large the reward. My comic book guy Andre, in addition to chastising me severely for questioning Superman and Batman’s sexuality in this movie, tells me the new Superman isn’t nearly as indestructible as the old Superman that I remember. This is a good thing because how much Kryptonite can you scatter around the earth before it just becomes silly.

Despite my issues with the limited story in this movie I do like these comic book movies and I did find this one entertaining. Plus it showed me side of the relationship between Superman and Batman that I never knew existed. Open your mind to possibilities people.

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