DC Animated Movies: Superman: Unbound 

Unbound

I was looking forward to Superman: Unbound for a lot of reasons, but not least of all because I hadn’t gotten a chance to watch it and it features the voice talent of the fabulous Matt Bomer. (The man who should have been Christian Grey) But also because it’s something very different than the things that I’ve been watching before, and I love any story that’s about Kal and Kara trying to come to an understanding about her place on earth.

Lois Lane is kidnapped by terrorists, because of course she is. Supergirl shows up first and starts fighting the guys and Lois is smirky and sarcastic. It’s great, then Superman shows up, they win and Supes and Lois head back to the planet. They banter a bit about going public with their relationship, as Lois and Clark, not as Lois and Superman, then another reporter comes in and hits on Lois and intimates that he thinks that Clark’s gay. It’s a fun scene and I love it a lot. Meanwhile, in Smallville, Kara is feeling listless, but assures the Kents that she’s grateful for their love and support. Martha Kent proves her infinite value as a character in her one scene where she comforts Kara. Seriously, was there ever a Superman story that didn’t benefit from the Kents involvement? (I’m a huge New 52 apologist, but even I think killing off Clark’s parents was an unnecessary measure.) Meanwhile, Superman fights a robot that leads him down the path to Brainiac. Once he finds Brainiac, he manages to visit the bottle city of Kandor, and meet Kara’s parents. Brainiac then reveals that he’s going to use Metropolis as his sample earth city. He bottles it, but Superman fights him, forcing him into the world to have brain overload and explode. It’s pretty damn cool. Then he releases Metropolis and proposes to Lois.

There are tons of great things about Unbound, not the least of which is the animation style. This is probably my favorite version of Kara that I’ve ever seen, and she’s one of my favorite characters ever. There’s also a moment where Lois literally gives Brainiac the finger and it’s one of the most spectacularly Lois Lane-y moments ever. When Superman explains to Brainiac that Earth is his home and his heart, it gets at the core of the character and his motivations in a tangible and familiar but new way.

And it’s time to talk about voice cast. Of course as I said, Matt Bomer was a big excitement for me while watching this one. And he did a great job. I mean, when you’re an actor and you look like Bomer, it’s not terribly unlikely that you spend a lot of time wondering if you’ll ever get to play Superman. (I love Henry Cavill, but talk about a missed opportunity.)He delivers well. Molly Quinn’s Supergirl is probably going to become the new gold standard, like Nathan Fillion’s GL. It passes all previous incarnations and she’s so enthusiastic about it (I saw her at New York Comic Con, bless her, she was a ton of fun.) Her Castle co star, Stana Katic plays Lois here and more due to the writing than Katic’s performance, I love this version. She’s fiesty, powerful and a lot of fun and Katic delivers a fantastic rendition. And then of course John Noble is Brainiac. I don’t think I need to explain that because John Noble is fantastic and should always be fantastic.

I really enjoyed this one, and it’s probably my favorite of the Superman movies I’ve watched, and certainly worlds about Doomsday.

Up next is Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, which is one of my favorite comics stories and an adaptation that I really and truly love. I don’t know when I’ll get a chance to watch it, since I’m going back to work, but I have every intention of getting it done.

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