Superman / Batman: Apocalypse (2010)

Rating: ***
Review Date: 3/26/11
Cast: Kevin Conroy, Tim Daly, Summer Glau, Andre Braugher, Susan Eisenberg

With the impeachment of President Lex Luthor, things are back to normal for Superman (Tim Daly) and Batman (Kevin Conroy). That is, until a spaceship crashes into Gotham Bay containing Superman's young cousin, Kara Zor-El (Summer Glau). An initial analysis indicates that she may be even more powerful than Superman, but she lacks the discipline and focus to control both her incredible powers and her hormonal teen angst. Everyone has their own ideas for what's best for the girl, while she just wants to be left alone. Unfortunately, that's not going to happen, especially since her existence has piqued Darkseid's (Andre Braugher) interest and he decides to kidnap her. In order to save her soul from eternal damnation, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman (Susan Eisenberg), and Big Barda travel to Apocalypse to free Kara and stop Darkseid's evil plans.

Another excellent animated outing from Warner Brothers, and it's nice to hear Tim Daly and Kevin Conroy back in their iconic roles. However, one has to wonder why Superman and Batman are featured so prominently in the title, when it's a Supergirl origin story. In fact, why are they even in the story at all? That aside, where the film really shines is in its action sequences. Kara's fight scenes are fantastic, but it's Wonder Woman who steals the show with her bad-ass attitude and jaw-dropping arena showdown on Apocalypse. The fight choreography is outstanding and the heart pounding action is a feast for the eyes. The visual and emotional impact of some of her moves even moved me to tears. Based on Michael Turner's work, the animation does a good job with emulating his style of stringy hair, large eyes, and puffy lips. Ironically, Superman and Batman are the weakest elements in the entire production, but without Batman we would have been robbed of Kara's best line: "What's the deal with Grumpy Ass?" Again, as a mortal human, Batman is sorely out of place when compared to Superman, Supergirl, Wonder Woman, and Darkseid, and it's amazing that he survives, let alone makes any sort of impact. Darkseid is mostly uninteresting, but it's amusing to hear him say "one shot from my Omega beams will destroy you" over and over when they never seem to have any effect. I think needs to re-evaluate himself... Despite the weak story and some questionable plot elements, "Apocalypse" really delivers on the action front and should please any superhero fan.