Public Enemies is based on the first six issue arc of the ongoing Superman/Batman comic series. Basically it consists of President Luthor declaring that a meteor made of Kryptonite the size of a small country is hurdling towards Earth. President Lex convinces everyone that Superman is growing increasingly insane and violent as the meteor nears so he begins a bounty for our favorite Caped Kryptonian, who in turn his helped by The Dark Knight. So of course this leads to numerous Villains and Heroes (who were drafted by Luthor) to going after Superman and Batman. This story also marks the debut of the Superman/Batman composite robot as well as the new "Toyman" Hiro Okamura.
The Story: Now, from what I've read on other sites like IGN, some people didn't care for the plot. I loved the comic and I loved the animated film. It's a simple plot but very enjoyable. I loved that so many things in the comic were carried over and things weren't changed much. Some things were different like the fact the comic included Kal-L (Earth 2 Superman), Nightwing, Robin, Supergirl, Superboy and Krypto and the film didn't. The film did mark the animated debut of Power Girl though. Some things are better explained in the comic for obvious reasons, like the satisfaction Bruce gets for knocking out Shiva with one punch while recounting the beating she gave Catwoman. But the stories were very similar for the most part, one of my favorite exchanges from the comic was carried over into the film. I've posted it below.
The Voice Acting: If I've said it once I've said it a billion times. Kevin Conroy is Batman. As far as I'm concerned no one else holds a candle to Kevin as Batman. Not Christopher Bale, not Val Kilmer, not Adam West, Michael Keaton or George Clooney. *shudders* Throw in Tim Daly as Superman and the always entertaining Clancy Brown as Lex Luthor reprising their Superman The Animated Series roles and you have a recipe for a wonderful cast. Other surprises like Allison Mack a.k.a. Chloe Sullivan from Smallville as Power Girl, and one of my favorite actors, John C. McGinley as Metallo just makes it even better. The voice acting was perfect and everyone played their character with just the right tone. Some seemed more animated than others like Captain Marvel, but for the most part everyone was done justice.
The Artwork: The art in this movie is like they just made the comics into a moving scrapbook. Everything from Superman's flight, to the explosives Batman throws and the hard hitting action of Superhero vs. Superhero fighting is portrayed with such great intensity and precision the only term I can use to describe it is amazing. Plus being one of the few DC Animated films to use blood I commend them on knowing when and where to add it in. As a wrestling fan I believe when used right blood enhances a story and I think it was used perfectly.
The Appearances: This film has so many characters it's insane. Some are featured heavily, some are on screen for a few seconds at most but the fact that their shown is just awesome. These are just a few of the characters that appear in this film. Power Girl, Amanda Waller, Captain Atom, Major Force, Captain Marvel, Hawkman, Starfire, Black Lightning, Katana, Silver Banshee, Captain Cold, Mr. Freeze, Icicle, Killer Frost, Mongul, Solomon Grundy, Lady Shiva, Alfred Pennyworth, Giganta, Lois Lane, Bane, Black Manta, Catman, Cheetah, Deadshot, Captain Boonmerang, Parasite and SO many more people it doesn't even make sense. I mean look at that list and tell me you don't want to see at least one of those people.
The Comedy: Too often things are forced in comics, movies, television and they don't come off funny. I don't know if it's just the dynamic between Superman and Batman, or if Kevin and Tim work well together but the jokes between the two work very well. Things that were funny in the comic come off even more funny with these two guys voicing them. Another exchange I loved was the one where Superman and Batman are in the graveyard.
Batman: I don't know If I can get the bullet out fast enough before the wound closes...
Superman: Where's the Flash when you need him?
Batman: Do me a favor Clark, lose the sense of humor.
Superman: Do us both a favor, Bruce. Buy a sense of humor.
Um...: Surprisingly there wasn't anything I disliked about this film. I mean there's the fact that Batman looks a little weak and all he does is throw Batarangs and smoke bombs for a lot of fights but what do you expect? He's Human and he's going up against guys like Major Force and other super powered people. That's probably my only gripe and that's easily explained, so I really have no complaints.
Final Rating: It's safe to say I really liked this film. Everything was done right, even the changes from the comic book made it an exciting story that someone who read the comic would enjoy. The voice cast was excellent, the art was great and everything about it upheld the classic mystique that is the Superman/Batman team up. At either moment one guy looked strong and the other looked strong, there was never a time where Superman really outshines Batman and that's good considering Batman should always look like he's one of the top guys because he is. I recommend this to anyone who's a fan of Superman, Batman, their old Animated Series or just want to have an enjoyable DC Animated film to watch. With rumors of a sequel I for one can't wait. I give Superman/Batman Public Enemies a 10/10.
Also, since this is my blog, I'm gonna shill to music videos I edited using this film because I was such a big fan of it when it first came out. While they start off the same, the first video is more Storyline heavy with emphasis on Lex Luthor, the second is more of a compilation of the fights with Superman & Batman andvarious heroes and villains. As always comments are appreciated. I hope you guys liked the review as well and until next time, you've just been gobsmacked!
- Jason Todd