Wow, talk about a misleading title. Superman/Batman Apocalypse is actually based on the Superman/Batman: Supergirl comic by Jeph Loeb and Michael Turner, which means this animated movie is all about Supergirl. While undergoing adjustments to her new home, Supergirl eventually catches the attention of supreme DC evil-doer Darkseid which leads to a devastating showdown between the ruler of Apokoplis and Superman. If you’re just someone who absolutely loves anything Bruce Timm & Kevin Conroy are involved in, you may be a bit disappointed, but I’d still recommend picking this up. The one thing that I’m really happy is about is the art work is based on Michael Turner’s original art work when this story was published in 2004. However, let us look and see what makes this film good or bad.
Michael Ironside as Darkseid showed fear and power in the animated series. In Apocalypse, Andre Braugher didn’t do it for me. Voice acting aside, it is still a faithful adaptation and executed with enough precision to keep fans at bay for a little while longer until both characters make their much-anticipated returns to the bigger screen. I feel this film is kind of a cash in/rush job because the last one sold so well and was so popular. Which is disappointing because of the talent behind it. The animation is solid, polished and smooth, most of the time.
And while the story centers around Supergirl we also get to see Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman shine on their own. We’re also supposed to feel bad when the amazon dies since she apparently has a deep friendship with Supergirl, but the Amazon barely gets any screen time and there is very little that shows her having much of a friendship with Supergirl. Even with its minor faults, Superman/Batman: Apocalypse is a satisfying translation of a comic to animated screen that won’t disappoint. Every fight scene in the movie is fluid and incredibly inventive, especially the final fight of the movie. I absolutely loved the beating Superman gave Darkseid at the end. It looked great and it was a shame that it didn’t finish Darkseid off like I hoped it would.
It’s title refers more to the planet Apocalypse that they eventually travel to, and not any kind of real event. Knowing that bit of info, I should also note that Apocalypse sports a PG-13 rating for good reason. I love the new adult oreintated animation that is geared towards a more mature audience. All in all, this film would probably be my favorite straight to video DC film if the ending wasn’t changed so drastically from the comic. Even though the animation is a bit shoddy, especially on the villians, Darkseid is the best creation that Jack Kirby developed for DC Comics, and the King’s legacy lives on in these stories. Viewers who have watched the previous Superman/Batman: Public enemies can treat this as a sequel despite the differing art styles. Rather than its truncated story, it is the snappy character interplay, well written dialog and a top notch cast of actors that carry this show.