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Watch It!: DC Gets Animated!

Hey everybody, Rick here with a look at some absolutely fantastic bits of animation that have come out from the DC Animated Universe.  If you are a comic book fan, and have never seen any of these, you owe it to yourself to check these fantastic titles out because these are how superhero movies should be made.  Unfortunately, the live action adaptations more often than not, tend to not meet the caliber of quality that their animated counterparts display on a fairly regular basis.  These titles are all direct to DVD releases and should be relatively easy to get a hold of. That being said, let's get started.
(Note: I am going in the order of release and I am intentionally leaving out the Batman movies and  Superman/Batman Public Enemies because I will be covering those in another column.)

Superman: Doomsday

I took issue with this one at first because of the style used for the design of Superman.  Otherwise, this is a pretty solid movie right out the gate for DC and Warner.  This is an adaptation of the Death of Superman storyline and for the most part it's pretty solid.  Yes, Doomsday kills Superman and, like in the comics, Supes comes back but that is where the similarities end.  There is no Eradicator Superman, there is no Superboy and there is definitely no Cyborg Superman.  That being said, the changes they made for this addressed some of the narrative issues that the comic story had and like I said, for the most part, it works.  Also, Kevin Smith has a cameo making a reference to a rejected script that he wrote involving a moment where Superman fights a giant spider.  Word of warning though, this movie is rated PG-13 for a reason.  We see Superman cough up blood from the beating he receives from Doomsday and that might be a little unsettling for younger viewers.  Even still, this proved that the DC animated movies were going to be a force to be reckoned with.       

Justice League: The New Frontier
Of the titles that I have listed, this is the one I have seen the most and the one that I love for everything that it stands for.  This is an adaptation of Darwyn Cooke's comic story, DC: The New Frontier and it shows both in the story and with the design of the characters that are shown throughout the movie.  Yes, Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman are in this but the real stars are the Green Lantern and Martian Manhunter.  We see how Hal Jordan gets his ring and becomes the Green Lantern and we see Martain Manhunter and how he arrives to Earth.  We also see the Flash in a simply awesome moment where he battles Captain Cold.  Brilliant stuff there. But as if this movie could not get any better, it has the audacity to show blood in one of the most creative moments in a DC animated movie where Wonder Woman flies in on the Invisible Jet and you can see the cockpit covered in her blood.  Absolutely powerful image.  Justice League: The New Frontier was the second movie out of the DC animated gate and in my opinion, they have yet to top this one.    
Wonder Woman
This is probably the best Wonder Woman movie that is out there.  In fact, it is the ONLY Wonder Woman movie that actually gives a focus on the character without making her a third banana to Superman and Batman.  The opening sequence is brutal and bloody but extremely well done.  The voice work is excellent with Nathan Fillion as Steve Trevor and Keri Russel as Wonder Woman.  The action is really cool and Alfred Molina as usual delivers another fine villainous performance as the god of war, Ares.  Definitely worth a look.










Green Lantern: First Flight
This is less of an origin story as that was done in the brilliant Justice League: The New Frontier, which I will get into in a bit.  That being said, Green Lantern: First Flight tells of Hal Jordan joining the Green lantern Corps. and his relationship with his eventual archnemesis, Sinestro.  Great animation and action all around and I am always glad for a movie where we get to see the Green Lantern Corps. in action.  I see this as the next chapter for the animated Green Lantern and frankly, it really is quite good.  I was not expecting it to be great but I was proven wrong thankfully and because of this movie and Justice League: The New Frontier (and the urging of Cole and Andy), I became a hardcore GL fan.
   




Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths
I need to see this one again.  If nothing else for the voice work by James Woods as Owlman, the alternate evil version of Batman. Regardless, this is a fun movie because we get to see the idea of multiple alternate Earths explored and it works.  The animation, as expected, is excellent and there is little doubt that with this movie, as with all of the other movies in this collection thus far, the filmmakers clearly have a love for the lore of the DC Universe.  Definitely check this one out because it really is a lot of fun and has some great moments.  And the cameos that are in this movie, absolutely priceless!







Go and check out these titles!  Buy them because they are all definite keepers.  Especially if you are a fan of the books. It is a shame that we will likely never get anything this good in a live action movie.  (Unless of course, Green Lantern knocks it out of the park next June.)
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