In the pantheon of heroes, Superman is considered by most to be the greatest hero of all. His powers make him one of if not the most powerful individual in the universe. Above all else is his strict adherence to his high moral code. Superman’s values outshine his abilities in most cases.
This is exactly what “Superman Vs. The Elite” is about. The movie is based on Action Comics #775 by writer Joe Kelly and artists Doug Mahnke and Lee Bermejo. The comic like the movie focuses on Superman’s effectiveness as a super hero when a new group of super powerful crusaders, known as “The Elite,” appear on the scene. As super heroes, the Elite know no bounds, and are more than willing to kill, even on a massive scale, to stop villainy — putting them on a collision course with the ever-ethical and decidedly non-lethal Man of Steel.
Just like “Batman: Year One” before it, Warner Bros. Animation has done a terrific job taking a story from comics and turning it into a movie. Superman Vs. The Elite does not vary to far from the original comic. There are a few things here and there, but for the most part it is the comic turned into animation form. It is a rare film featuring action, adventure, and a satisfying moral story.
Voice Director Andrea Romano has again found just the right talent for each character with few exceptions. Pauley Perrette is a perfect Lois Lane. Her unique voice has just the right amount of rasp to make her one of the sexiest Lois Lanes in any feature to date. No one can argue that Tim Daly is “THE” Superman when it comes to animation, but George Newbern should now be considered a very close second. He really knows how to work the character and it comes across big time in the movie.
The only real problem with any of the acting is that of Robin Atkin Downes as Manchester Black. Downes was born in England, but his Manchester Black sounds a bit off. He almost sounds like an American trying to do an English accent. For me it just didn’t work, but it doesn’t affect the overall movie too much.
The one thing I couldn’t get over was the portrayal of Jonathan Kent. In the movie, Pa Kent says something along the lines of “you can kick his ass Clark”. In the comic, “ass” is not used in the scene. I am of the mind that Jonathan Kent probably would not say that and it sort of took me out of the scene.
The Elite make formidable foes for Superman in this movie. Their belief that Superman’s ways are outdated and that people want evil to be dealt with swiftly and definitively, conflict with that of Superman’s view that everyone deserves a chance and that life is precious. Throughout the course of the film, you see the people of the world cheering on the Elite and proclaiming that Superman’s ways are no longer effective for today’s criminal. The results make for an interesting story that culminates with a Superman that you do not want to mess with.
The original comic (which was printed in 2001) was a direct response to the comics of that time like The Authority and The Punisher. It was a one issue comic that sticks out as one of the best Superman comics of all time. Action Comics #775 might the definitive comic to exemplify what Superman is all about. Like the comic this movie defines the character of Superman.
Is it a 5-star movie? No, but not many movies are worthy of five stars. Is it one of the better DC Animated Movies? Yes it is! If you are a Superman fan or fan of super hero movies, then you will definitely want to add this one to your collection. If not then it is still well worth a Redbox rental.
Produced by Warner Premiere, DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation, the all-new, PG-13 rated film arrives June 12, 2012 from Warner Home Video as a Blu-ray™ Combo Pack and DVD, On Demand and for Download. Both the Blu-ray™ Combo Pack and DVD will include an UltraViolet™ Digital Copy.