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Category:    Home > Reviews > Superhero > Action > Adventure > Superman/Batman: Public Enemies (2009/Warner 2-DVD Set with Digital Copy)

Superman/Batman: Public Enemies (2009/Warner 2-DVD Set with Digital Copy)

Picture: B-     Sound: B-     Extras: A     Film: A



Based off of the first story arc of the critically acclaimed comic book Superman/Batman, Superman/Batman : Public Enemies marks the sixth direct to DVD feature release for Warner Bros. Animation.  This compelling story begins with a litany of man-made world disasters that create a climate of fear allowing Lex Luthor to make a successful bid for the U.S. Presidency.  When he is firmly entrenched as the leader of the free world, he sets about what he does best: trying to destroy Superman.  In the meantime, a giant meteorite made from Kryptonite hurtles toward the Earth, threatening a collision that would unleash mass destruction.  Through Luthor's machinations both Superman and Batman become veritable fugitives, tracked by heroes and villains alike for a massive reward.  This situation becomes the vehicle by which writer Stan Berkowitz explores their complex friendship.

The continuity and style of each of these stand-alone features from Warner changes from release to release.
 Public Enemies is the first among them to really try to adapt to the art style of the comics which it was adapted from.  Indeed, the creative crew succeeds in aping a lot of the talented Ed McGuiness' (penciler of the Superman/Batman comic) line-work and muscular dynamism.  This feature also highlights a bevy of other great DC characters, including a number who haven't been animated in the past (including a brief but very cool fight seen between Batman and Shrike, a slickly costumed adversary of Nightwing).

This visually stunning feature carries the same adult edge that many others in this line of releases have.
 It's mostly safe for young kids, but there is some sexual innuendo and a bit of swearing.  Picture and sound tie together well to deliver an extremely pleasing viewing package.  There are a few isolated instances of the background sound drowning out dialog, but these are rare and easily fixed by simply turning on the subtitles.  All of the voice talent deliver great performances, but Clancy Brown once again stands out as Lex Luthor.  It will be tough if Warner ever decides to re-cast this, or if Clancy decides not to do it again.  In my mind, his voice has become the voice of Luthor.

Extras are plentiful and include documentaries, interviews, and a sneak peak at the upcoming Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, a feature that is almost certain to become an instant classic.
 Public Enemies can proudly take its place among the best animated releases to emerge from the Warner Bros. studio.  Fans will watch it with glee, and likely go back and watch again to catch further glimpses of the many character cameos contained within.



-   Scott Pyle


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