The “S” Goes Bad
(okay, not really, but it is the feature’s hook)
Maybe the producers over at DC are bored with depictions of their heroes and feel the need to resort to kooky one-off features. Often they choose an out of the mainstream but critically acclaimed comic run or graphic novel as inspiration. But many of us out here are just looking for a good Superman movie… We thought Supes vs the Elite was going to fall in the too edgy for its own good category. It did stumble a bit in that regard, but overall was a decent piece.
Heroes permanently taking out murderous super villains is not an unheard-of topic. It might be more believable in characters like Batman or Wolverine. Putting Superman in that conundrum was understandably against type, and moved the plot. However involving the UN, already a dysfunctional collection of thugs and despots, just seemed too close to the daily frustrations lovers of freedom already experience with the misguided body.
Our patented synopsis in a sentence: In a politically correct stretch, murderous supervillains doing what they do best is linked to the bad actions of rogue nations, and people cry out for permanent justice, a tenant obviously against Superman’s way, when a group of superpowered British punks start offing baddies and Superman has to (seemingly) adopt their dark ways to put a stop to their strangely unchallenged-by-the-rest-of-the-DC-universe ways.
The United Nations, perhaps started with good intentions, has devolved into an anti-American, anti-first world, anti-freedom body. It is a Star Wars bar scene of corruption. “A wretched hive of scum and villainy,” as Obi Wan Kenobi said. Most countries are not international law-abiding democracies. Earth is not Krypton. The plot link to the UN seemed tenuous and self-important.
With that said, there is a difference between rogue nations at war and murderous psychos like Atomic Skull. Would we like to see rogue nations turned into first-world democracies that raise the standard of living for all inhabitants? Yes. Do we want to imbue unaccountable entities like the UN or superheroes with the power to determine the actions of any nation? That is a dangerous can of worms. We appreciate the, “Can’t we all just get along?” message, through it was a bit forced.
The art style was a little strange, but not bad.They tried a little too hard to be hip in the opening credits. And the purposely juvenile Superman cartoon in the beginning was an over-the-top way of emphasizing the Kryptonian’s boy scout demeanor.
The voice portrayals were good, although Lois Lane and her Demi Moore-wannabe husky voice sounded more like a teenager. Still, we liked the banter and portrayal of a mature relationship between her and Supes.
So “the Elite” wanted to kill Supes, and threatened the entire world and its other Superheroes if they got in the way of their new rule. Really? Look, the new punks were pretty strong together, but did they really think they could stand up to the amassed power of the Justice League? Or Dr. Fate by himself even? Not a chance. That was one area in which believability faltered. It was a one-hero world.
This feature is worth checking out. It is a complete story, not a disjointed collection like Justice League: The New Frontier. Just go in with your expectations adjusted accordingly.