Fulvue Drive-In.com
Current Reviews
In Stores Soon
In Stores Now
DVD Reviews, SACD Reviews Essays Interviews Contact Us Meet the Staff
An Explanation of Our Rating System Search  
Category:    Home > Reviews > Superhero > Action > Animation > Superman vs. The Elite (2012/DC Comics/Animated/Warner Premiere Blu-ray)

Superman vs. The Elite (2012/DC Comics/Animated/Warner Premiere Blu-ray)


Picture: B     Sound: B     Extras: C     Film: B-


It seems that 10 years ago it was a treat when superhero made for home video release was issued.  Sure there was a mixed bag of good and bad, but nevertheless it was exciting to see our favorite heroes hit the small screen.  Otherwise all we had were reruns of Batman: The Animated Series or Superman: The Animated Series…or vintage Super Friends.  Now seems like every other month we are treated to a new home video release; most of which are subpar in quality, not due to artistic direction but more so poor storyline execution.  This being especially sad as most stories are torn directly from the comic books/graphic novels.


New to Blu-ray is Superman vs. The Elite with Superman facing off against a group vigilantes who like to take justice into hands; something that does not fly (pun intended) with superman.  Well it seems to me that Superman is too much of a goodie goodie for The Elite and a battle ensues.  Who can blame the vigilantes?  Their brand of justice is something we all desire on some level as ‘due process’ takes excessive long and continues to fail as good people get hurt and the rapist, murderers, and crooks run rampant.


Superman (voiced by George Newbern) as the film opens is battling Atomic Skull; a super villain that harnesses radioactive power and can vaporize people simply by pointing his finger.  After killing a host of people, Atomic Skull is finally subdued by Superman.  By all rights Superman should have killed Atomic Skull for all the atrocities he committed, but having his code of ethics and morals that did not happen.  Though we hear Superman acknowledges he is “above the law.”


Enter The Elite.  The Elite are a band of ‘dark heroes’ who act as judge and jury to the city’s criminals.  Composed of Manchester Black (with telekinetic powers), The Hat (with conjuring powers), Coldcast (power of manipulating electricity), and Managerie (winged with the power to shoot slugs from her body) The Elite are homicidal heroes who sentence criminals to death.  Whereas when the new ‘heroes’ entered the scene Superman thought he had allies, he quickly realizes that The Elite and he differ in moral code.  Superman imagines himself as justice for all whereas The Elite strive to avenge the fallen.  The film then has Superman pitted against The Elite as he brings the point home that “superheroes are not above the law.”


The film was good, but not great.  It was violent, grittier than most Superman tales, used plenty of foul language, and sexual innuendos, but laid the ‘supers aren’t above the law’ on a bit thick; to the point of distracting and detracting.  I found myself at a moral impasse as I kind of sided with The Elite, after all the criminals were murderers, crooks, and sometimes worse; why do they deserve to live when they have hurt so many?  I suppose that is the question, is Superman from a bygone era?  Have we outgrown a hero that locks up every criminal, leaving victim after victim behind?  Hard to say, but a good discussion nevertheless; this is not the first time this question has arisen nor will it be the last. My hope for next time is that the ‘goodie/goodie’ angle is not so prevalent next time and Superman can find better reasons to hold so tightly onto his code.


The technical features on this new Blu-ray are not bad, but much worse than expected.  The picture is a AVC encoded 1080p image that is crisp/clean though some banding and artifacting does exist.  The colors are bright and bold with solid framing blacks.  The sound is a DTS-HD 5.1 lossless track that is nice though I don’t feel the full speaker range was utilized; especially the rear speakers.  Panning effects are nice enough and dialogue was crisp; better than most straight to video releases, but needs some upgrading.


The extras include the following:


Alan Burnett’s Top Picks

Dark Knight Rises Theatrical Photo Gallery

Audio Commentary

The Elite Unbound: No Rules, No Mercy

A Sneak Peek at Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (the next home video DC release)

Superman and the Moral Debate featurette

Digital Comic


-   Michael P. Dougherty II


 Copyright © MMIII through MMX fulvuedrive-in.com