Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Superman/Batman: Apocalypse Review

By Darryll “YTC” Carter

Hey there Clashers, we are back again with another review. This week it is Superman/Batman: Apocalypse. Before we get to it, I’d like to give you guys a brief overview of how I do things. I cover three categories; the story, the art and the Hype Factor. The story recaps the story and comments on plot elements and storytelling. The art focuses on the visual effect and style. When working with a film or animated movie that includes sound. Lastly, there is the Hype Factor. The Hype factor is essentially anything that induces a feeling of excitement or sheer joy: geek climax. Forewarning, there are some spoilers below, let’s jump in.

Apocalypse is the direct sequel to Superman/Batman: Public Enemies. It takes place a few months later, where the past events of the Luthor Presidency are still fresh in the minds of the world’s citizens. The story starts off with a mysterious object crashing into the waters of Gotham Harbor. Being his backyard, Batman doesn’t waste any time arriving on scene ahead of any organized city, state or government effort. While diving to the bottom of the harbor Bruce uncovers some sort of space fairing pod when he’s alerted that his boat has been infiltrated. After the explosive destruction of his boat, Batman follows the bread crumbs of mischief and destruction to the end of the trail, Kara Zor-El.

Superman arrives on scene to help clean up the mess and shortly afterward discovers that Kara is his cousin. The World’s Finest take her to the Fortress of Solitude where they convene and explore Kara’s intent. Not surprising in the least, Batman is suspicious of her and so is Krypto, which opens the door for Bruce to crack a subtle joke. Superman swears by his blood that Kara is his real cousin and takes her to Metropolis to unwind and embrace life on Earth.

On the island of Themyscira, the Harbinger Lyla, seer of future events, has a vision of Superman pulling a dead blonde girl from the ocean wrapped in his cape, which they presume is Kara. The film leaves us to fill in the blanks, but one could assume Diana (Wonder Woman) informed Bruce of the vision and they in turn organized a plan to capture and protect Kara.

After a short shopping montage, the Els are confronted in front of Metropolis’ Superman statue by a squad of amazons and Wonder Woman. Ultimately, it is Batman that convinces Clark to calm down and let the amazons take Kara to Themyscira and train her.

The plot jumps forward a few months and Kara has been training for a while. After a teenage lash out from Kara, she flees the scene and runs off the Lyla, the Harbinger, to take a swim. Clark, Bruce and Diana converse when they are suddenly ambushed by a boomtube unleashing an army of Doomsday replicates. The battle waging on between the Doomsday army, the amazons and the Trinity, when Bruce has a moment of clarity and runs off. Superman rises to the sky and terminates the Doomsday army with a blazing wave of heat vision. Everyone regroups and rendezvous’ with Bruce on the other side of the island. The Doomsday attack was a diversion. Batman arrived on scene to find the blonde girl floating in the water. Superman lifts her up and wraps her in his cape and sees that it is Lyla not Kara. In death Lyla manages to show the Trinity a window to the past, revealing Darkseid as the culprit.

Diana, Clark and Bruce seek out Big Barda for help in getting to Apocalypse. After some mild persuasion, the four embark on a journey to save Kara. When the team lands planet side they each have set objectives. Superman is to confront Darkseid directly. Batman is to commandeer the Hellspore cache. (Hellspores are explosive orbs. One is capable of turning a whole planet into a pit of fire.) Barda and Wonder Woman are to dismantle the Furies, Darkseid’s elite femme fatale squad. Superman confronts Darkseid and is forced to face off against Kara, who has been brainwashed by Darkseid. Shortly afterward, Bruce arrives with an ultimatum for Darkseid; forswear Kara Zor-El or he’ll blow the entire Hellspore cache, ripping Apocalypse a sunder. Darkseid works him over a bit until he concedes, praising Bruce’s strength of character. Darkseid gives his word he will not come for Kara and orders them to leave Apocalypse.

Once back on Earth, Kara and Clark head to Smallville for some much needed downtime. Upon reaching the Kent Farm the two are ambushed by Darkseid. The battle is spectacular and showcases the result of Kara’s Amazonian training. It ends with the two Kryptonians shipping Darkseid next day air through a boomtube to the center of space.

The story was pretty solid and was ripped right from the pages of the comic book when the last incarnation of Supergirl (before the new 52) arrived on Earth. Wonder Woman was an awesome inclusion to the Batman, Superman mechanic. It was fun watching them interact and the little motions and statements that the creative came up to show their friendship. It helped form their character. The story is really Superman/Supergirl heavy. The two Kryptonians take up the majority of the screen time. The buddy moments between Bruce and Clark aren’t as plentiful in this one.

The Art

The art style is different than that of Public Enemies and frankly, more to my liking. The characters were more realistically proportioned as opposed to the style from Public Enemies. The animation sequences shine in this film. The fighting scenes with Wonder Woman and Barda have extremely intricate and embarrassingly satisfying animations. There is one particular moment when Diana, catches the mace of a Fury with her lasso, wraps her foot around it, stomps down on it and yanks the Fury over to her fist.
The next thing that the art delivered for me should also fall under the Hype Factor. Kevin Conroy and Tim Daly reprise their roles as the voices of the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel. I’ve been listening to Conroy and Daly since I was a child. They are the voices I hear when I read a Batman or Superman comic. Casting them for those parts is just good practice and guarantees sales.

The Hype Factor

I’m going to do the Hype Factor a bit differently this time around; in the form of a list.
·         Krypto was in this!
·         Batman made more subtle cracks in this film than I have ever previously seen.
·         Wonder Woman did some sick stuff with her fighting style.
·         Batman once again, the man without powers who gets the job done.
·         Kara beat Darkseid all across the skies of Smallville… despite actually losing the fight.
·         Superman pummeled Darkseid by creating a F5 tornado with his fist… His fist…

Superman/Batman: Apocalypse was sick and visually impressive. If you’re a DC fan, I recommend watching it. Superman/Batman: Apocalypse gets a Metalgreymon; 3 stars out of 5.

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