2010 Movie News Archives

September 28, 2010: "Superman/Batman: Apocalypse" - Comic Book Comparison

Apocalypse By Jeffrey Taylor

The new DC Animated feature on DVD and Blu-Ray was released today. You can read Jeffrey Bridges' review from the premiere in Hollywood. But how did it compare to the source material?

This story was originally published in Superman/Batman #8-13, released between March and November, 2004 entitled, "The Supergirl From Krypton." Later there was a hardcover and a softcover titled Superman/Batman - Volume 2: Supergirl. So the first major difference between the comic and the movie is the title. In a video interview posted on the Superman Homepage, producer Bruce Timm admitted that the DVD releases with male superheroes in the title have sold better than those oriented around females, thus the title change.

From the first moments of the film, this was clearly in continuity with the Superman/Batman: Public Enemies DVD, which came out a year before and covered the first six issues of the Superman/Batman comic book series. Although little beyond the initial setup connects the two stories directly, it can be read or watched without prior knowledge of the events from the first arc. The film version even played it down so much that the first movie could have been skipped over entirely for the second story to stand on its own.

One major aspect of the Superman/Batman comic book series from the beginning all the way up to current issues is that both of the title characters share their thoughts with readers through differently colored text blocks. This has shown how Superman and Batman view their situations quite differently and it usually adds a lot to the narrative. The movie format had to abandon that style, just as it did in the first film. It probably would not have worked and certainly wasn't worth the risk since it could have ruined the film.

Superman/Batman: Public Enemies had a stylized animation that was made to look like Ed McGuinness' original art. Apocalypse tried to do the same with the late Michael Turner's approach, but in a less precise manner. Turner's artwork was just as distinctive as McGuinness', but in a different way. He always seemed to create a look of over-idealized realism, which potentially could have worked for this film, but might have been too difficult to properly showcase. The animation actually looked more like the line of action figures that the comic inspired than the art in the book itself.

Comic Book Movie

Read Jeffrey's complete "Superman/Batman: Apocalypse" comic book comparison right here at the Superman Homepage.

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