Public Enemies : The Film - The Graphic Novel
OK, so what is the most dangerous? The president of the United States, Lex Luthor? Or a large chunk of Kryptonian meteorite heading towards Earth?
Now for a select few of Earths superheroes, such as Powergirl, Captain Atom, Katana, Black Lightning, Starfire and Major Force – it’s the meteorite. Whereas for Superman the answer is an obvious one really. Especially when Lex get's his Kryptonite powered arch-nemesis, Metallo, to kill him in an abandoned junk-yard.
Superman's pal, Batman, is at hand to help him out with this attack, so things should turn out for the best, huh? No. Afraid not. Because although the Dark Knight does repel Metallo with a number of explosive devises. This metal-cased cretin also manages to overpowers these two heroes in turn, giving him the opportunity to shoot Superman with a Kryptonite bullet, before burying them both deep within a grave.
Ouch! Poor Batman and Superman. Must be very demoralizing for them having to trail all the way back to Wayne Manor, underground, just so that they can lick their wounds in the confines of the Batcave. Worst still, is that whilst they are on the mend, they suddenly hear the news on the television, that Metallo has been murdered by Superman, causing Lex to place a bounty on his head.
Holy sh*t! Can it get any worse? Yes. I am afraid that it can.
You see, as soon as this news hits the streets, every crook in the city is gunning for Superman in a blink of an eye. Mr Freeze, Silver Banshee, Captain Cold, Killer Frost. Gorilla Grodd, Copperhead, Deadshot, Lady Shiva, Nightshade, Bane, Solomon Grundy, and many, many more, all, one by one, take a pop at Batman and Superman whenever they get the chance to. Moreover, Captain Atom and his crew then attempt to take matters into their own hands as well.
Thankfully, though, a certain Caped Crusader has a plan up is sleeve to sort all of this mess out. One which began just prior to this hounding, where was able to take a better look at Metallo's rusty remains.
Well, that is why what next transpires really kicks off when Captain Atom's 'ally', Major Force shows his true colors. As danger goes critical - Hawkman and Captain Marvel get analytically - Lex turns into a prat - and nothing can stop Supes and the Bat.
A long-long time ago, in a comic shop that has not been invented yet, their was comic book called 'Worlds' Finest'. Granted, with its maiden issue it was called 'Worlds Best'. But in no time at all, National Periodicals, (DC Comics given name at the time), decided to jazz it up a bit, and give this anthology a title that would one day become the very first ever ongoing team-up series, involving Batman and Superman, together, for the first time and always.
Now this series was just great back in the day, and had some very surreal and alternate stuff compared to today's standards. What if Batman and Superman were brothers? What if Superman had Robin as a partner instead of Batman? How would Superman cope without Batman? Etcetera. Etcetera. Etcetera. Fair enough, most of these stories where labeled 'Imaginary Tales' at the time. And by in large were fleeting and jovial concepts, not lasting more than a issue or two.
So over time 'Worlds Finest' changed format slightly, making this book as relevant and as revealing than the then existing Batman and Superman book were. OK, to some people this might have been a 'step to far' for the Superman / Batman team, intertwining their regular series with this spin-off series. Nonetheless, other people thought that this was a great way to go, because it made them both firm friends in both content and character.
But then came 'Crisis on Infinite Earths'.
Straight way the guys in charge of the books wanted to revamp Superman and Batman back to basics. With Superman the Norman Rockwell archetypal of Americana. And Batman a urban and moody myth in the making.
Too diverse. Too contradictory. Too opposite. Bye-Bye 'Worlds Finest'. See you again in 18 years time, when writer, Jeff Loeb, with create a new series based on this same idea, kicking it off with 'Superman / Batman - Public Enemies'.
Yes. That is correct dear reader. This cartoon does have some history behind it. And has also been adapted to the silver-screen care of the wonderful-world of animation. Granted, I am sure that most of you out there would have preferred if this story was brought to real life, so that another flavor of the month can balls up yet another comic book franchise. Me on the other hand - no - I dig the animation way. Because not only do you receive more of the essence of the original story visually, but art is also a more fluid way of relaying this type of superhero fare.
Listen now, what you have to remember is that ‘Public Enemies’ is a thinly disguised series of fights, in which a bold and rather lavish pretext is laid onto. About six or seven f***ing fight scenes all in all! Over excessive? Yes. Me thinks so too. But then again all this was in the original comic book, so you cannot really blame the film for this fact. Or can you?
Well, to quote Obama - YES I CAN! I read the original story in comic book form, so I know what is was originally meant to be. Initially it intended to set-up the dynamic for a new Superman / Batman comic book. Secondly it gave DC the opportunity to kick Lex’s ass out of the presidency. And thirdly, it tried to define what makes Superman and Batman unique, compared to the other heroes of the DCU.
Now is this film able yo do any of this? Hmm? Maybe. On some level. But overall this is a little boys wet dream of ‘who will win between X and Y’. Though please don’t take all of my negativity on board, their are some great moment in this story which build character and develop structure. It just has too much repetitive fighting, and on a side note, Amanda Waller is not Lex's whipping girl.
POW! Strange concept that. Just like this...
So-so cartoon. Great in places. Not so great in other. And for violent children who don't like history.
THE RATING: B-