Trench reviews Batman: The Killing Joke


Normally I don’t review things that are bad. I don’t believe in spreading negativity about a project that a creative team probably poured their hearts and souls into. However, The Killing Joke was such an iconic comic that I felt I need to do a review of it that’s not your typical internet nerd hate-fest.

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Trench reviews Superman vs. The Elite


It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of the DC Animated movies. I think their work is better than the comics and the live action movies. However when I read the description of Superman vs. The Elite I thought I was going to hate it.

Basically the concept of the movie is Superman still relevant in today’s world? He faces this question of crisis when a quartet of superhumans who are willing to kill their opponents appear on the scene. I thought this going to be a preachy feature but I couldn’t have been more wrong. It was a well written story with plenty of action. As a matter of fact the last 15 minutes of the movie were super intense. Pun intended.

The voice work was outstanding. I thought this was George Newbern’s best work voicing Superman. Pauly Perrette was excellent as Lois Lane. I thought she was a great mix of both Margot Kidder and Dana Delaney.

All in all this has become my favorite DC Animated movie only second to Under the Red Hood.

The sad part is that this movie was all about the classic Superman in the red briefs and not the New 52 popped collar douchey Superman.

Trench reviews Justice League: Doom


As you should probably know by now I am a huge fan of the DC Animated movies. To me, Bruce Timm and company can do no wrong. However, I was a little disappointed in Justice League: Doom.

First off it’s based on the comic JLA: Tower of Babel which I have not read so I can’t tell how faithful it was to the comic.

The voice acting was incredible since it had most of the voice actors that we know and love such as Kevin Conroy and Tim Daly. The animation was ok but it made Superman look really effeminate. Not as bad as he did in Superman/Batman: Apocalypse though. I also thought the action was lacking in this feature. Apocalypse, Crisis on Two Earths and Under the Red Hood really spoiled us with how much action they contained without sacrificing the story. In Doom, the action was short-lived and not all that great. I also felt with the exception of Bane and Vandal Savage that the villains were B-list at best. Speaking of B-list Doom also includes Cyborg as one of the featured heroes. Cyborg has never been one of my favorite characters and Doom is no exception.

2 1/2 Solomon Grundys out of 5.

Review of Batman: Year One DVD


It’s been a while since I read Year One. I probably haven’t read it since shortly after it came out however I’m sure this is still pretty faithful to the comic since the DC Animated series of movies are either as good or in some cases better than the comics. I really think they should let Bruce Timm run the comics and the live movies as well but that’s another rant.

Anyway if you were looking for lots of grappling hook and ass kicking action from Batman this is not the movie for you. The title of this movie really should be James Gordon: Year One as it focuses on his first year with a corrupt Gotham PD.

Now don’t get me wrong, this still makes for a good story as James Gordon is a badass in his own right. However this is basically a crime drama with occasional glimpses of Batman.

I didn’t care for the animation style of this feature though. It reminded me too much of Scooby-Doo Hannah Barbera.

I recommend this one but it’s not for the fanboys and definitely not for the kids as it does have mature situations. For the fanboys I recommend Under the Red Hood.

3 fedoras out of 5.

Review of All Star Superman DVD


Let me preface this by saying I was not a fan of the All Star Superman series of comics. I personally thought that it highlighted everything that has been wrong with the Superman franchise in the last 70 years. With that in mind I was not happy to hear that the latest release in the series of DC Comics animated DVDs was going to be an animated adaptation of All Star Superman.

However I was surprisingly pleased with the DVD. On the plus side they cut out a lot of what I thought was unnecessary filler in the comic books which I thought led to a much tighter story on the DVD.

On the other side the voice acting really bothered me. Perry White was played by Ed Asner which for us old folks who remember Lou Grant this was an awesome choice for the role.Anthony LaPaglia played Lex Luthor but to me he sounded exactly like Ed Asner. so when Luthor talked to Perry White it sounded like Ed Asner was talking to himself.

I would not recommend this one for kids either. It really doesn’t have any mature subjects however there are some scenes that may disturb the young ones but for the most part the story will be over their heads.

I give it a 2 1/2 out of 5.

Review of Superman/Shazam: The Return of Black Adam


When I was a little kid I loved Superman. I watched the old black and white TV shows and all the cartoons. I wanted to be Superman so bad.

Then one day while someone from my family was in the hospital I saw a comic book in the hospital gift shop. It was called Shazam and it contained the stories of Captain Marvel, the world’s mightiest mortal.

I thought to myself that must make him even more powerful than Superman. Then I read the contents and learned that Captain Marvel was actually Billy Batson, a small kid just like me. It was then that I stopped wanting to be Superman and started wanting to be Captain Marvel.

I’ve been a fan of Captain Marvel ever since because of his old-fashioned values and how he still acts like an innocent kid from the 1940s.

Just the other night I finally got around to watching the DC Comics animated short Superman/Shazam: The Return of Black Adam and I was not disappointed. The short is only 25 minutes long but it was packed with a ton of action as Superman and Cap battle the evil Black Adam. Think of Black Adam as the reverse Captain Marvel.

My only regret with this DVD is that it was not a full length feature. I would love to see the Big Red Cheese get his own DC Animation feature film as at one time Captain Marvel was the comic book superhero even outselling Superman.

Wonder Woman DVD


I just finished watching the animated Wonder Woman DVD. Now I was a huge fan of the DC Animated Universe from the first episode of Batman to the last episode of Justice League Unlimited. I’ve also been a fan of the DC animated DVD’s made by a lot of the same people who worked on the DCAU.

Now Wonder Woman has never been one of my favorite characters but I enjoyed this DVD. I liked the even more modern interaction between Diana and Steve Trevor. The voice acting was phenomenal with a great cast. But the story wasn’t without faults. While it answered some questions about Wonder Woman’s origin it left one really big one just unexplained.

This DVD isn’t for little kids though. Lot’s of violence and adult situations.

All in all, I found it enjoyable but not a must-have. I give it a 3 1/2 golden lassoes out of 5.

Superman: Doomsday

So I watched the animated Superman: Doomsday today and it kicked ass. This is the movie that Superman Returns should have been. Lots of Superman smashing the crap out of stuff.

It’s based on The Death of Superman storyline which I never read so I can’t tell you how accurate it was. One warning though, this is not for little kids. It’s rated PG-13 for a reason. It contains blood and there’s a fairly high body count.

The only thing I didn’t like about it was they didn’t use the voice actors that were used for these characters during the DCAU. It took me half the movie to get used to Adam Baldwin as Superman. Anne Heche was ok as Lois Lane. But I’m sorry, Clancy Brown is Lex Luthor. Luckily he’s reprising his role on The Batman.

Anyway overall I liked it a lot. It’s worth a buy.

4 1/2 fedoras out of 5.