Superman / Batman : The Film - The Graphic Novel
Damn and blast! As soon a large asteroid crashes down into Gotham Harbor, the teenage girl who emerges from it's debris, causes quite a lot of problems for Superman and Batman.
OK, to Batman mainly. Because whilst she is fumbling about all over the place like a deranged loon, she doesn't know who she is, or how powerful she is either. However, as luck would have it, when Superman arrives on the scene, he seems to know.
You see, this girl is his cousin, Kara Zor El, newly arrived from the dead planet Krypton. Moreover, she is someone he want to get to know on a personal level too, and he takes her shopping, just so she can acclimatize herself to these new surroundings.
Great idea, right? No. Not to Batman. The Dark Knight feels that Kara can be an inadvertent danger to herself and those around her. So he contacts Wonder Woman to take her to Themyscira for a couple of month, so she and the Amazons can train Kara in the art of combat, plus temper her inexperienced and strained ways.
And do you know what? Thank God that Kara is willing to comply with Batman's request. Because not only does she start to learn more about herself during the time she spends with the amazons. But in addition to this, she'll also need all the help she can get once Darkseid set his sights on her!
Yes. I am afraid to say that the 'Dark Lord of Apocalypse' sends a shed load of Doomdays to invade Themyscira, so they can snatch Kara from their grasp and take her back to him. Worst still, is that he succeeds! Resulting in the death of Kara's precognitive friend, Harbinger, in the process.
Still, you know the old saying, don't you? You can only fight fire with fire? Or in this case, ex-female fury, Big Barda, who accompanies Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman, to Apocalypse , so they can return this 'maid of might' before this Dark Lord is able to corrupt her too much.
Well, I suppose that is why what next transpires all kicks off when this queer looking quartet all touch down on musky soil. As Batman is flash - cousins clash - females fight - and one day I am sure that Smallville will eventually be alright.
If I may, before I get to my review on 'Superman / Batman - Apocalypse', please allow me to tell you a little bit about my prior association with Supergirl first.
Now I initially came into contact with the original 'Maid of Might' with her death on 'Crisis On Infinite Earths'. Truly, this was a really great issue to read, and proved to me that this character was more than just 'Superman in a Dress'. She was a pertinent hero, whose legacy with live on after her passing.
And I was right you know. Just not in the way that I thought.
You see, the next time I saw Supergirl in a comic book, was the 'matrix' version who came from a micro-universe created by Lex Luthor. At first, like everyone else I suppose, this 'new Supergirl' appeared a bit odd to me. She was once Superman from another world. She had feelings for an ugly looking alien. Plus she just came across too gookie and alternate than her original concept.
However, once comic book creator, Peter David, got his hands on her, POW! He changed everything around one hundred percent. Even with her mixed origins, Supergirl became like a urban skater chick, who was more relatable over time than her Kryptonian cousin, Kal. Heck, each and every month her book was just a great read from cover to cover, with a grounded yet super prose through-out.
But alas, one day DC suddenly decided to cancel this title, and then went on to produce a hodge-podge of Supergirls that were abysmal to say the least. Mostly anyway. Thankfully, writer, Jeff Loeb, was able to rectify this situation during his run on the book 'Superman / Batman'. He introduced a new edgier 'Girl of Steel' to this series. One that was 'OK' in the book, but in this film... sigh...
For a start, let me just say that 'Superman / Batman - Apocalypse' is a comic book adaptation. Secondly, let me just say that this adaptation was a follow-up story already in animated form, ‘Public Enemies’. Thirdly, let me just say that the artist who originally drew this follow up story, Michael Tuner, died of cancer a couple of hears ago. And fourthly, Michael's sad demise did not strengthened this comic book adaptation one little bit.
Was that too long winded? Fair enough! Just like this film I suppose. In my most humble estimation, ‘fair’ is a good way of categorizing this cartoon. It does not really tug at your heart strings, or make you feel anything once you have watched it.
OK, I must confess, it does make you feel something! Randy. I have not seen so many semi-naked soccer-mums try to beat the sh*t out of each other up at the same time, since the last Bank Holiday sales! Honestly. From start to finish, this film is like a swimsuit version of superheroes in a wresting ring. Now if this type of thing is right up your alley, then this is the perfect film for you (just make sure you have some disposable towels handy). But for me, it felt too cosmetic, and overtly tried to make you like a character, that does not need that much forcing to be liked (if you get my drift).
OK, I understand that this is an origin story of sorts for Supergirl. But regrettably this film spends too much time on cheese-cake poses, and not enough time on character development. Listen, I am not trying to imply that this film is completely sh*t, because its not. I’m just saying that after the first ten minutes or so, this film turns into a ‘Woman’s Lib’ statement, just without the insightful and compelling prose.
To juxtapose my negative pose for the moment though. I did like the incidental moments in between scenes, like Clark and Kara shopping, or the dynamics between Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Big Barda. But apart from that, this is fluff on film. Nice and pretty fluff. But fluff all the same. And only for die hard Supergirl fans, or people with a large supply of disposable towels. For instance...
Are you finished yet?
THE RATING: B-