Taking place right after the events of ‘Superman / Batman: Public Enemies’ we catch up in the latest DC / Warner Brothers joint ‘Superman / Batman: Apocalypse’ looking in on a rather gloomy Gotham City where the sun never shines and the rivers look like mud. I live in Detroit Proper and this version of Gotham makes The D look like Cancun. Suddenly a meteor falls into the muddy Gotham river and of course the city of Gotham can’t sneeze without getting a visit from easily the smartest person in the history of the universe, that being Batman (Voiced by Kevin Conroy). To cut to the chase this meteor was actually a ship containing a fully grown naked young woman from Krypton who is mighty confused at the moment and of course due to the effects of the yellow sun she has all kinds of powers, none of which she has any control over. Personally we’d like to know why she’s naked since I’m sure her folks didn’t put her in the ship all naked and stuff but these are just a few of the questions that I have after watching this animated film.
Eventually Batman gets the super powered naked teenager under control and he is joined in his lab by Kal-el (Tim Daly) who informs Bruce that this young woman is his cousin Kara (Summer Glau). Now I’m sure all of this is explained in the comics, some of which I have actually read and Lord knows I don’t want to piss off Comic Book Guy since he can get pretty damned hostile at times, but didn’t Krypton blow up after Kal-el left? When did Kara’s folks have time to make their own ship? The whole timeline is messing with me. I guess I should get on the Wiki and educate myself.
Anyway Batman doesn’t trust her because he’s Batman. Clark on the other hand is just happy not be alone anymore and will show Kara the ways of the Planet Earth, but Diana Prince (Susan Eisenberg) has other plans. She’s just going to kick Superman’s ass, take Kara and run her off to Paradise Island to show Kara the ways of the warrior. Seriously, just out of the blue Wonder Woman and crew starts laser blasting on Superman. On Batman’s request no less. What kind of asshole does something like that? They could’ve simply asked the man. Plus Batman sure does spend a lot of time on Paradise Island. Not that I blame him because if I was DC Universe Superhero all of my spare time would be spent on Paradise Island to the point where Wonder Woman would be asking me to leave, but did find it curious when everyone else would depart, there was Batman hanging out in no hurry to go anywhere.
But all of that aside, the real problem in this movie isn’t the fact that Wonder Woman, and Batman for that matter are jerks, it’s the King of Apocalypse Darkseid (Andre Braugher) and his search for a new Captain of the Guard and damn if Kara doesn’t fit the bill perfectly. She’s super powerful, young and incredibly weak-minded, just the way Darkseid likes his ladies. Darkseid has to have Kara and to that end dispatches like a bazillion versions of Doomsday to get Kara. Last time I saw Doomsday, all by its lonesome, it practically killed Superman. I would think a bazillion Doomsdays would seriously mess some stuff up. I would be wrong.
Regardless Darkseid has his future Captain and now it’s off to Apocalypse for Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman…along with Darkseid’s former Captain Big Barda (Julianne Grossman)… to get her back. We often wonder why they always drag Batman along on these missions since he’s really just a glorified acrobat with a bunch of fancy toys, but we did mention that he is the smartest cat in the history of the universe, right? Lex Luthor follows Batman around with a notepad because the Dark Knight is so damned intelligent.
Anyway a big battle will ensue, just one of the many battles that are in this movie, as our heroes try to rescue Kara from Darkseid and his infernal Omega Beams. If Darkseid freaking announces his Omega Beams one more time I’m going to choke him to death.
Maybe because I had watched ‘Under the Red Hood’ not too long ago, an animated movie which was bordering on greatness, ‘Superman / Batman: Apocalypse’ felt a bit underwhelming to me. For all intents and purposes, particularly when you introduce a character as lethal as Darkseid into the mix, one would think that this is a tale that would be epic in feel but instead what we got was a series of loosely linked action sequences with the end result being a story that was run-of-the-mill at best. The action sequences were nice and all, though the animation was suspect just like the movie it follows, but ‘Public Enemies’ for whatever reason was far more entertaining than ‘Apocalypse’ when it shouldn’t have been considering the additional characters it introduces.
One of the problems might’ve been that Summer Glau’s Supergirl didn’t do much to endear herself to us and considering that this was Supergirl’s movie with the other characters taking a back seat, this is an issue. Others might’ve enjoyed watching Kara shop for shoes and whine incessantly but I wasn’t one them. Then there was this odd Mega Battle between Darkseid, Superman and Supergirl which while plenty entertaining to watch did seem a little pointless. I mean all three are invincible so there they go beating the hell out of each other, with Darkseid constantly announcing how he’s going to fry somebody with his Omega Beams, but really it was to no end except to cause animated property damage.
‘Superman / Batman: Apocalypse’ wasn’t bad by any means but considering these DC films have been getting incrementally better with each outing and ‘Under The Red Hood’ taking a significant leap in story telling quality, this tale was comparably somewhat disappointing.