Superman: The Animated Series Vol 2 : 4 of 5

It's interesting to look at the style of superhero animation today and trace its origin back to Warner Bros. groundbreaking work on both the Batman and Superman animated series. As I was watching this second volume (which I had to get since I enjoyed the first volume so much), it surprised me when I realized these shows were produced back in 1992 with traditional cel animation (no CGI at all), yet they look as fresh and exciting as the current DC-based shows I watch today (although the occasional scratch shows up every now and then). The big star of this DVD set is the three-part episode World's Finest, which teams up Superman and Batman for the first time in the series. Not only is the story intelligent, well-paced, and fascinating, but the animation work is simply amazing for the 1990s (animated in Japan by TMS Entertainment). This set also includes great stories such as Brave New Metropolis (with an evil Superman in an alternate future) and The Late Mr. Kent (a nice murder mystery tucked neatly into a single episode), plus a full assortment of villains, including the first appearances of Bizarro and Mr. Mxyzptlk. Unfortunately, they really skimped with the audio commentaries on this set, but it was kind of fun to watch the "video commentary" which features the show's creators actually sitting in front of a TV so you can watch their reactions. There's also a documentary on Superman's villains, but it's almost too short to count as a feature! But of course, the show itself is the important thing, and I completely enjoyed experiencing these great episodes again. I'm looking forward to the next volume, which will be on this year's Christmas list if I don't buy it sooner!

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