Superman/Shazam: The Return of Black Adam

Superman/Shazam The Return of Black Adam is the latest incarnation of the DC Showcase line of animated features. This one however is a little deceiving since the main feature with Superman and Shazam is only a half hour long. This is the origins story of Captain Marvel and his first meeting with Superman. They are both drawn together to oppose Black Adam (the evil version of Captain Marvel). Because of the title, apparently Black Adam was returning from somewhere and is not very happy. There is very little story with the exception of the Shazam wizard imputing powers onto a young Billy Batson. The strongest part of animated short is the combat between the three. There are some great exchanges and the collateral damage is high. After a few of these DC Showcases, I am starting to wonder if it’s an asset or liability to have a hero live in your city. I can imagine there is special ‘superhero’ insurance clause just in case your vehicle gets flung into a building or something- but I digress. Overall this is a fun and polished looking short. Done in an japanese animation style, the detail is high and the animation is fluid. Two thumbs up for how it looks.

Since this was only a short, they couldn’t justify releasing it on its own so they added a few other new stories to include Spectre, Green Arrow, and Jonah Hex. Overall, I was impressed with these bonus shorts. Surprisingly, Spectre was particularly strong. Done in a horror/revenge 70′s flick genre, Spectre really won me over to that character. The Green Arrow short was entertaining too as he battles another arrow welding foe in an airport. There is only so much you can do with a guy who shoots arrows but they made the most of it. Jonah Hex was boring in comparison to the others. Not sure how Hex ever became a hero property because no one cares about him. Also on the DVD is a few selected episodes from Justice League Unlimited and Batman Brave and the Bold. They are nice additions but look dated in comparison to the new releases.

If you are a hardcore fan of DC then put this on your Christmas list. If you are casual fan then I would just rent it from Netflix. If you are just curious, then wait till a buddy comes over with the pirated version on his laptop.

I give it a 3.5 Babbles out of 5



Filed under Animated, DVD Faves, Reviews

3 responses to “Superman/Shazam: The Return of Black Adam

  1. Jeffra

    I have to admit that I have not read as much Captain Marvel/Shazam comics. Most of my encounters were probably when he guested in Superman, Action Comics, Adventure comics, etc. But this does sound intriguing. I wonder if it will become available through Netflix streaming? (Oh, and I’ve wondered about the collateral damage & insurance myself, but knowing insurance companies and the resistance to covering wind-blown water, i.e. Katrina hurricane, I have some doubts.)

    I recently watched Batman: Under the Red Hood on netflix streaming. I missed Kevin Conroy as Batman/Bruce Wayne, though fortunately I am a fan of Bruce Greenwood (did you ever watch Nowhere Man? great show). I don’t know why they even showed Nightwing in the movie (if they were going to show him, I wanted more), because he really had nothing to do with the story, so I’m not sure what his function was. In fact, if he had intervened I think it would have been a detriment to the Bruce/Jason story. Dick sort of being the perfect son, and Jason being the son gone bad. Poor Jason Todd, he is the saddest Robin of all. I’m a big, huge, ginormous fan of Dick Grayson, but never quite connected with Jason Todd. I used to collect Robin comics when Tim Drake was just starting out as Robin. I believe I even own the Tim Drake-Robin origins comic book. Awww, I think I’m rambling at this point…

    • Tony

      Jeffra, didn’t know you were such a fan of Batman! Yea Conroy is the definitive Bats but I also agreed that Greenwood did alright. I enjoyed Red Hood and how mature it was. I did think it was the best of the Batman movies/stories of the past few years. My only complaint was that I felt they should have withheld who the Red Hood was till the end. The ending was anticlimatic. I also thought Dimaggio did ok as Joker but I still heard his Futurama Bender at times. Mark Hamill is the best Joker ever!

      Thanks for commenting!

  2. Jeffra

    Yes, a Batman fan. It might have even been BTAS that really got me into Batman.
    Mark Hamill definitely the most awesome Joker voice ever. I remember when I learned it was him, I was so shocked. I had no idea that his voice could go to that pitch level.
    I sort of knew who Red Hood was from the first moment he appeared because why else would they show the long death scene of Jason Todd. So I guess I didn’t mind that it was revealed earlier than the end. Plus Batman would have to figure it out sooner than the end (he is the great detective after all), though I suppose that they could have kept us in suspense while he had already figured it out. His reveal didn’t seem the point of the climax, but rather what would he do, what would Batman do when confronted with the past and present? (Oh, and it was a bit vague on the after the explosion part. Do you think we are meant to assume that Jason escaped alive?)
    Sadly since I don’t really collect comic books like I used to, I mostly keep up through wikipedia articles. Sort of lame, I know.

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