I assume that the title Superman/Batman: Apocalypse was chosen because The Women of DC Kick All The Asses, Superman Throws Some Hissy Fits And Also Batman is There was too long to fit on the box. Yes, in the end Batman save the day, but the movie belongs to Supergirl, Wonder Woman and Big Barda. Which is pretty darn fantastic if you ask me.
Apocalypse is based on “The Supergirl From Krypton” storyline and is set up as a direct sequel to Public Enemies. I like Public Enemies a lot but Apocalypse is a vast improvement in quality, not only from an animation stand point but also from a storytelling standpoint as well. It begins with a voice over that lets us know it’s been a few months since Batman saved Earth from that kryptonite asteroid, but it’s still affecting the world, as smaller meteor showers have been hitting Earth. One such meteor showers lands Supergirl in Gotham Bay. After nakedly fighting off some would be assailants, (A staple of her story) she’s found by Batman and Superman and brought back to the Batcave.
Of course Kara flips out and fries the Batputer, before Clark can calm her down. After discovering that they’re cousins, he takes her back to The Fortress of Solitude to learn to control her powers. She sort of does, and also she learns English. Batman comes to visit and makes it very clear that he does not trust her. Superman gets annoyed and whines at him. After this conversation, Clark takes Cara down to Metropolis, where she decides she wants to be a normal Earth teenager. There’s a cute montage where Clark takes her shopping, stares down some dudes who are checking out her ass, and disapproves of a sexy outfit. Then as they wrap up their day, they walk through a park with a giant Superman statue and discuss her future in a vague way. Then Wonder Woman kidnaps her.
This scene is amazing, because after the montage, but before their conversation we see Darkseid order Granny Goodness to bring him Kara. So we assume that it’s Darkseid who’s after Kara, so when it turns out that Diana and Bruce masterminded the whole thing, it’s easy to feel Clark’s rage. It turns out that they’re doing it for her protection as Harbinger has been having visions that Kara is in danger. So, she’s taken to Paradise Island to be trained, and train she does. After her training and another hissy fit from Superman, the forces of Apokolips attack Paradise Island and during the chaos of battle Kara goes missing and Harbinger is killed.
Darkseid begins his brainwashing of Kara promising her power and glory as the captain of his honor guard, a position once held by none other than Big Barda. So of course, that’s the first person Clark, Bruce and Diana go to for help. The four head to Apokolips to retrieve Kara. They split up, Barda and Diana taking on Granny and The Furies, Batman looking for weaknesses (which he of course finds) and Superman confronting Darkseid directly. There, new slutty Kara beats on Superman for a while until he snaps her out of it. Batman threatens to destroy Apokolips, which Darkseid finds amusing, so he lets them all go. Once back on Earth, Clark takes Kara to Smallville, where Darkseid is waiting to have his revenge. The three of them fight, leveling The Kent Farm, and after their victory, Kara decides to become Supergirl.
It’s quite a movie. I love the action. The voice cast, lead once again by Kevin Conroy and Tim Daly is spectacular. Summer Glau takes on Kara, and I mean, who doesn’t love Summer? She’s great. Andre Braugher plays Darkseid. No need to elaborate, Braugher is awesome. Susan Eisenberg is back as Wonder Woman, which is great. I love any interaction of The Big Three, mostly because Batman always winds up being the comic relief, not because he’s silly, but because Diana and Clark are so earnest, that Bruce can’t help but react with a sort of sarcastic disdain that winds up being hilarious. Ed Asner is Granny, which in and of itself is a hilarious decision. It’s just overall fantastic.
It does bum me out that the movie isn’t just called Supergirl. It’s the same problem that leads to stupid things being said like, “the market isn’t ready for a female led superhero movie,” when the market is ready for a gun toting raccoon and a talking tree man. It’s why we need a Wonder Woman movie to make billions upon billions of dollars so that people will stop having this argument. Of course even that won’t stop the argument because no matter how many Emmys Tina Fey wins, or how big Kristen Wiig gets people still talk about women breaking into comedy being difficult. Even if Wonder Woman makes more money than The Avengers, it won’t matter. It will be a fluke. Ugh, I’m ranting, I apologize. But it just bugs me. This isn’t a Superman/Batman movie, it’s a Supergirl movie, it’s a Wonder Woman movie, it’s (to a lesser extent) A Big Barda movie. But in order to sell it, they had to slap the Big Boys names on it, and that pisses me off.
But I love the movie, so there’s that. It’s funny, and has great fights, and amazing character arcs and performances. Up next is the DC Showcase Shorts, of which I absolutely love 2 and couldn’t care less about the rest, but we’ll get there.