2.11.2010

Superman: The Animated Series Vol 3 : 4 of 5

One of the staples of my Christmas gifts each year is the continuation of certain cartoon DVD sets, and I've been enjoying this fantastic Warner Bros. series for the past few years. This third volume completes the Superman set, and it's filled with awesome episodes that manage to take on a very new feel so late in the show's run, including lots of innovative team-ups as well as the ground-breaking Darkseid/Apokolips episodes (based on Jack Kirby's Fourth World). These stories are packaged as incredible two-parters that include the introduction of Supergirl, the shocking death of Dan Turpin, and even the brainwashing of Superman to the point where the general public doesn't trust him, not to mention the first kiss of Superman and Lois! I absolutely love the team-up stories, because along with expected heroes like Batman, we also get to see Green Lantern (including an origin story for Kyle Rayner), Aquaman (in a very serious Atlantean protector role) and even the Legion of Superheroes from the future. All of the usual villains appear at least once, though Lex Luthor surprisingly shows up very little in this entire season. There are a few really unique (and not so great) episodes too, such as Unity, in which an alien spore takes over Smallville causing the residents to shoot disgusting tentacles out of their mouths, and Little Big Head Man, which features the comedy of Bizarro and Mr. Mxyzptlk (though I really like seeing Bizarro protect his little rock world). There are only a few episode commentaries and one interview, but I enjoyed them all since Bruce Timm is so funny with his dry humor and has definite opinions on his own and others work. While Superman: The Animated Series will never be as fondly admired as Batman: The Animated Series, it's still a landmark in superhero cartoons, and I completely enjoyed seeing it all again!