Animé and Toons
Superman/Batman: Public Enemies
By Philip Schweier
October 12, 2009 - 09:22

Studios: Warner Brothers Animation
Writer(s): Stan Berkowitz, Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness
Starring: Kevin Conroy, Tim Daly and Clancy Brown
Directed by: Sam Liu
Produced by: Bruce Timm and Sam Register
Running Time: 67 minutes
Release Date: September, 2009
Distributors: Warner Home Video

The latest entry in the DC Animated Universe comes from a remarkably strong pedigree. Bruce Timm is producing, Andrea Romano is casting, And it stars Kevin Conroy as Batman, Tim Daly as Superman and and Clancy Brown as Lex Luthor. It is based on the Jeff Loeb/Ed McGuinnes story arc in which President Lex Luthorsets up Superman and Batman to be branded fugitives. With a $1 billion bounty placed on their collective heads, soon every DC villain – as well as a few heroes – are looking to bring them in. What follows is non-stop action as the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight move and counter-move against Luthor’s forces, even as a kryptonite-laden meteor is plunging toward Earth.

The relationship between Superman and Batman is explored, though perhaps not as in-depth as I would’ve liked. Both have similar goals, but different means of acheiving them. This leads to no small difference of opinion, and squabbles often reminsicent of an old married couple rather than two long-time partners. However, as the story nears its end, I found myself a little disappointed in the resolution of the meteor threat, almost as if it were an after-thought.

The animation is everything we’ve come to expect from Warner Brothers, but with a bit of tweaking to reflect McGuinness’ character designs. In many scenes, Superman appears rather young, which I found a little distracting.

All in all, the film is an enjoyable ride. It’s great to see Conroy, Daly and Brown back in the roles fans have come to love. Nevertheless, I can’t help but wonder if that is the films greatest appeal.

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