52Batman versus Superman - the ultimate showdown. Sure, Superman has super powers and could kill old bats in about a second - if he was clever enough - but he's not. Superman is too busy thinking 'hey, I'm invincible' to actually try and take preventative measures. So Batman always wins. I've always preferred him out of the two - and he is probably my favourite 'super' hero of all time. One of the best interpretations of the original comic stories is actually the animated series, sometimes regarded as even better than the cinematic visions. Soon after the success of Batman: The Animated Series, the creators unleashed a spin-off Superman series, following the exploits of the Man of Steel. Irrespective of my preference of other comic book characters, Superman still makes for entertaining visuals and. in the hands of the masters behind the Batman series, it is easy to see how this might be great fun.
This is Volume 2 of Superman: The Animated Series, collecting the eighteen episodes from the second season of the show. In it we see Superman face off against his worst enemies - from Metallo to Lobo, Bizarro to Lex Luthor himself. Right from the outset he's trading punches with super-villains, fighting erupting volcanoes, preventing bombs from exploding, terrorists from taking over planes, ships from sinking and generally saving the world. One person he saves more than most is the reporter Lois Lane, whose complicated relationship with him continues to twist and turn (she loves Superman, Superman is Clark Kent and Clark Kent loves Lois, but she does not know that they are one and the same - yes, glasses really do appear to entirely change his identity).
Starting with quite a good episode where two Supermans appear in Metropolis, we see him journeying out of town to combat old enemies, fight strange villains that get inside his head and combat those who he previously assumed were either incarcerated or dead. Some of the episodes are clearly based on stories ripped straight out of the comics and it is the World's Finest three-parter that works out as the most engaging of these interpretations, where we get to see Superman and Batman reluctantly join forces when The Joker and Lex Luthor decide to form an alliance. These easily mark the best episodes in the collection, although the alternate reality Brave New Metropolis story and the season finale where he teams up with another superhero (who is introduced earlier on in the series) are also quite good.
As for the vocal talents, Superman himself sounds suitably upstanding as voiced by Tim Daly (The Fugitive), Dana Delaney sounds the perfect Lois Lane, George Dzundza (The Deer Hunter) is The Daily Planet's Editor, Perry White and Clancy Brown (Carnivale) makes a suitably imposing Lex Luthor. We also get appearances from Mark Hamill (Star Wars) as The Joker, Tank Girl's Lori Petty as Livewire (in the great episode, Double Dose, where she teams up with Parasite), Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange) as Metallo and Kevin Conroy (who voiced the Batman Animated Series) as Batman.
Superman: The Animated Series - Volume 2, is a great addition to this expanding collection of 'Animated' shows, all done by mostly the same crew. Just like Batman's animated adventures were for Batman, this is probably one of the best interpretations that we have of Superman - the closest thing we will get to the fun and action of the original comics. It is superb that all of these fantastic animations are finally getting the treatment they deserve and this second season of Superman is strongly recommended to those who enjoy watching any of them.
Episodes : Identity Crisis, Target, Action Figures, Mxyzpixilated, Double Dose, Solar Power, Monkey Fun, Brave New Metropolis, Ghost in the Machine, World's Finest - Part One, World's Finest - Part Two, World's Finest - Part Three, Father's Day, The Hand of Fate, Bizarro's World, Prototype, The Late Mr. Kent, Heavy Metal
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