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Category:    Home > Reviews > Superhero > Animation > Action > Adventure > Comedy > Mystery > Superman and Lois: The Complete First Season (*all 2020 - 2021/all DC Comics/Warner Blu-ray)

Batwoman: The Complete Second Season (*)/The Flash: The Complete Seventh Season (*)/Injustice 4K (2021/4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/Superman: The Complete Animated Series (1996 - 2000)/Superman and Lois: The Complete First Season (*all 2020 - 2021/all DC Comics/Warner Blu-ray)

4K Ultra HD Picture: A- Picture: B+/B+/B+/B/B+ Sound: B+/B+/A/B/B+ Extras: B/B/B/C+/B Main Programs: B/B/C+/B-/B

Now for the latest blast of DC Comics TV adaptions...

Just because the studio fires the leading actress of the series (or did she quit?) doesn't mean it has to come to an end! DC Comics' second season of Batwoman (2021) has a new lead, Javicia Leslie (God Friended Me,) who replaces Ruby Rose (John Wick) in the titular role of the female caped crusader. They just kill her off here with a plane crash the old fashioned way. Done and done!

Set in the same universe as Arrow, The Flash, and other DC series, Batwoman is a fun Gotham City set show with comic inspired adventure that's sure to entertain a teenage audience. Older fans may get a bit disgruntled by some of the forced social and political commentaries thrown into the mix. At the end of the day, the show does what it can with the source material and pleases on the same level that Arrow and The Flash please as a CW influenced superhero television serial.

Batwoman also stars Rachel Skarsten (Birds of Prey, Reign), Meagan Tandy (unREAL, Teen Wolf), Nicole Kang (You), Camrus Johnson (The Sun Is Also a Star) and Dougray Scott (Departure, Snatch). This is part of the Berlanti Productions family the way all the DC animated works are Bruce Timm, so the world all interconnect.

Season 2 episodes include Whatever Happened to Kate Kane?, Prior Criminal History, Bat Girl Magic!, Fair Skin Blue Eyes, Gore on Canvas, Do Not Resuscitate, It's Best You Stop Digging, Survived Much Worse, Rule #1, Time Off for Good Behavior, Arrive Alive, Initiate Self-Destruct, I’ll Give You A Blue, And Justice for all, Armed and Dangerous, Rebirth, Kane, Kate, Power.

The series is presented in an MPEG-4 AVC codec on Blu-ray disc with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.00:1 and a lossless audio mix in DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1. The presentation of the film is of a high standard for the now-older Blu-ray format, but not quite to the level of 2160p 4K UHD of course.

Special Features:

Deleted Scenes

Gag Reel

Villains Analyzed

and Never Alone: Heroes and Allies

Grant Gustin returns as Barry Allen / The Flash in an astonishing The Flash: The Complete Seventh Season (2021). The show is pretty fun and is still going strong after all of these seasons, mainly due to the charismatic cast and Gustin in the lead.

In this season, The Flash uncovers his new power of speed thinking and faces off against Killer Frost and other enemies in Central City. Some crazy time travel happens in this season too with the conclusion having The Flash enlisting his own children from the future in order to end the speedster war and a new enemy.

The Flash also stars Candice Patton (The Game), Danielle Panabaker (Sky High, Friday the 13th), Carlos Valdes (Arrow, Once), Danielle Nicolet (Central Intelligence), Kayla Compton (Making Moves), Brandon McKnight (The Shape of Water) and Jesse L. Martin (Law & Order).

Season 7 episodes include All's Wells That Ends Wells, The Speed of Thought, Mother, Central City Strong, Fear Me, The One with the Nineties, Growing Pains, The People vs Killer Frost, Timeless, Family Matters Part 1 and 2, Good-Bye Vibrations, Masquerade, Rayo de Luz, Enemy at the Gates, P.O.W., and Heart of the Matter, Parts 1 and 2.

The series is presented in an MPEG-4 AVC codec on Blu-ray disc with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and a lossless audio mix in DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1. The presentation of the film is of a high standard for the aging Blu-ray format, but not quite to the level of 2160p 4K UHD of course. This, of course, beats the commercial filled original television broadcast in more ways than one.

Special Features:

Deleted Scenes

Gag Reel

The Journey Ends: Carlos and Tom

Never Alone: Heroes and Allies

and 2020 DC FanDome: The Flash (Watchverse)

The popular video game and accompanying graphic novel series has become an animated feature: DC's Injustice 4K (2021) pitting the comic label's heaviest hitters in a Mortal Kombat-style battle to the death! Presented in 2160p on 4K UHD disc, the animated DC adventure has all of your favorite characters in a way you haven't quite seen them before, fighting against each other! My only gripe is that they didn't do computer animation like the video game instead of the more classic looking animation. However, I get that it goes along better with other recent DC animated films in terms of style this way. The only thing the animated film can't shake is the fact that it feels a bit video gamey at times, which is to be expected since that is the source material. If you take this film as a sort of 'what if' spin, then it's pretty fun. However, not as sharply defined as other Batman animated films done lately like The Long Halloween (reviewed elsewhere on this site.)

The impressive voice cast includes Justin Hartley (This is Us, Smallville) and Anson Mount (Star Trek Discovery, Hell on Wheels) lead the Injustice all-star cast as Superman and Batman, respectively. The massive cast also includes Janet Varney (The Legend of Korra, You're The Worst) as Wonder Woman, Brandon Micheal Hall (God Friended Me) as Cyborg, Kevin Pollak (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) as Joker & Jonathan Kent, Anika Noni Rose (The Princess and the Frog, The Good Wife, Dreamgirls) as Catwoman, Reid Scott (Veep, Venom) as Green Arrow & Victor Zsasz, Edwin Hodge (The Tomorrow War, Mayans M.C.) as Mr. Terrific & Killer Croc, Gillian Jacobs (Community, Invincible) as Harley Quinn, Oliver Hudson (Rules of Engagement, TV's Nashville) as Plastic Man, Laura Bailey (Critical Role, Avengers Assemble) as Lois Lane & Rama Kushna, Faran Tahir (Iron Man, Star Trek) as Ra's al Ghul, Derek Phillips (Friday Night Lights, 42) as Nightwing & Aquaman, Yuri Lowenthal (Ben 10 franchise, Young Justice, RWBY) as Mirror Master, Flash & Shazam, Zach Callison (Steven Universe, The Goldbergs) as Damian & Jimmy Olsen, Brian T. Delaney (Fortnite, Batman Unlimited) as Green Lantern, Fred Tatasciore (Family Guy, American Dad!) as Captain Atom, and Andrew Morgado (DC's Legends of Tomorrow) as Mirror Master Soldier.

Injustice 4K is presented in 2160p on 4K UHD disc with a widescreen aspect ratio of an HEVC / H.265 codec, HDR (HDR10), a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1, and audio mixes in lossless DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 mixes. This transfer is much more crisp than the also includes 1080p Blu-ray version of the film. However, the difference isn't quite as night and day as it would be if it was live action since this is a lower budgeted animated film.

Special Features:

Adventures in Storytelling - Injustice: Crisis and Conflict (New Featurette): The storytellers behind the new Injustice animated film discuss how all the intense drama and unabashed action was brought to life.

DC Universe Movies Flashback:

The Death of Superman

Reign of the Supermen

and from the DC Vault: Justice League: Injustice For All, Part I and Part II

The most successful superhero in all of animation is Superman, from the landmark early 1940s Fleischer Technicolor shorts with their unprecedented budgets to his 1960s TV series that launched the Filmation company to the debut of Superfriends! in 1973 with its insanely high ratings that even shocked the television industry. There have been other series, appearance4s on other shows and now dozens of (semi-)feature-length releases with Injustice 4K the latest of many and many to come, but Superman: The Complete Animated Series (1996 - 2000) is the first of the new cycle (following Batman: The Animated Series) that was his first major relaunch update in animation since the the Ruby-Spears produced show in the 1980s.

Combining the art deco look that was part of the Batman show that preceded it with some elements from those Fleischer classics, The Man of Steel was in the near future with 'futuristic' technology and upgrades to some of his famous villains that were overdue outside of the printed page. The update of Toyman (Bud Cort) was particularly striking, but all the changes worked for the 54 half-hours produced and they have lasted into the latest animated releases because what they created then still works now.

Tim Daly voices Superman/Clark Kent, Dana Delany voices Lois Lane, Clancy Brown voices Lex Luthor, George Dzundza voices Perry White, voice actors from other DC hero shows pop up and we get some nice villain turns (Michael Ironside as Darkseid, Malcolm McDowell particularly good as Metallo, Brion James as Parasite and Mark Hamill comes over to voice The Joker.)

Like Batman Beyond, some technology ages better than others and some moments hold up better than others, but Superman: The Complete Animated Series is ultimately a more important moment for the history of the character than many realize and now that it is here all restored and upgraded, that will quickly become more apparent to those who can see and know better.

The 1080p 1.33 X 1 digital High Definition image transfers of the episodes here look as good or even better than the Blu-ray releases of Batman: The Animated Series (which has been criticized in some circles and Batman Beyond (where upscales hd to replace a few episodes where the 35mm negatives were discovered to need surprise restoration) as one of the last animated TV series that will ever be produced in the older block style format. Color, detail and depth are nice and makes the show more impressive than you have seen it before. The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Stereo lossless mix on each episode are very rich, warm and strong, but should be played in a surround format (like Pro Logic) to get the benefits of the original soundmasters.

Extras include Digital Copy and a small print episode guide the Blu-ray case, while the discs add five featurettes (Superman: Timeless Icon is the main one being pushed, but they are all well done) and four episodes have audio commentary tracks: Last Son Of Krypton, Part One, Stolen Memories, Mxyzpixilated and The Main Man, Part Two.

Finally, Superman has also had many live-action television programs over the years, but Superman and Lois: The Complete First Season (2021) is a bit better than any of the previous ones, in fact I enjoyed this quite a bit. While I still have a strong love for Man of Steel and what Zack Snyder did with the material, (a controversial statement amongst genre fans for sure) this Arrow-verse series has great special effects and a fun cast that read together on screen well together that captures the Superman spirit pretty well. This definitely bests Smallville and the '90s Lois and Clark series, in my opinion, as those were more a product of the time. This series adequately fits in with the Arrow and other current DC shows, which makes it a bit more fun.

Superman & Lois stars Tyler Hoechlin (Supergirl, Arrow), Elizabeth Tulloch (Supergirl, Grimm), Jordan Elsass (Little Fires Everywhere), Alex Garfin (New Amsterdam), Erik Valdez (Graceland), Inde Navarrette (13 Reasons Why), Wole Parks (All American), Adam Rayner (Tyrant), with Dylan Walsh (Blue Bloods), and Emmanuelle Chriqui (Entourage).

Episodes include Pilot, Heritage, The Perks of Not Being a Wallflower, Haywire, The Best of Smallville, Broken Trust, Man of Steel, Holding the Wrench, Loyal Subjekts, O Mother, Were Art Thou?, A Brief Reminiscence in-between Cataclysmic Events, Through the Valley of Death, Fail Safe, and The Eradicator.

Superman and Lois is presented in an MPEG-4 AVC codec on Blu-ray disc with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and an audio mix in lossless DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1. The presentation of the film is of a high standard for the still-formidable Blu-ray format, but not quite to the level of 2160p 4K UHD of course. This of course beats the commercial filled original television broadcast in more ways than one.

Special Features:

Superman: Alien Spirit

Superman and Lois Legacy of Hope

Never Alone: Heroes and Allies

and DC FanDome Panel: Superman & Lois

- Nicholas Sheffo (Superman: Animated Series) and James Lockhart



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