Superman vs. The Elite


Superman vs. The Elite

Screenplay by Joe Kelly

Based on the Action Comics #775 “What’s So Funny About Truth Justice & the American Way?”

Music by Robert J. Kral

Editing by Christopher Lozinski

Sound Design by Robert Hargreaves

Casting & Voice Direction: Dawn Hershey

Produced by Sam Register & Bruce Timm

Directed by Michael Chang


Voice Cast:

Superman - George Newbern

Lois Lane - Pauley Perrette

Manchester Black - Robin Atkin Downes

Coldcast - Catero Colbert

Managerie - Melissa Disney

The Hat - Andrew Kishino

Vera - Marcella Lentz-Pope

Atomic Skull - Dee Bradley Baker

Jimmy Olsen - David Kaufman

Perry White - Fred Tasticiore

Production Studio:

Theatrical: Warner Bros. Animation

Video: Warner Premier


Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p

Codec: AVC

Disc Size: BD25

Feature Size: 19.63  GB

Bit Rate: Moderate (ca. 24 Mbps)

Runtime: 74 minutes

Chapters: 7

Region: A


English DTS-HD MA 5.1

French Dolby Digital 5.1

Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1


English SDH, French & Spanish


• Audio Commentary by Joe Kelly & Eddie Berganza

• The Elite Unbound: No Rules, No Mercy - in HD (14:25)

• Superman and the Moral Debate - in HD (17:20)

• “Brave New Metropolis” - in SD (21:15)

• “Warrior Queen” - in SD (21:00)

  1. Digital Comic: “What’s So Funny About Truth Justice & the American Way?”

  2. Sneak Peak: Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (12:30)

  3. First Look: Batman/Superman: Public Enemies (7:45)

  4. First Look: All-Star Superman (10:45)

  5. DVD copy


Amaray Blu-ray Case: BRD x 1 + DVD

Street Date: June 12, 2012


The Movie: 7.5

Critical Response:


The story works in this animated feature as well as it did on the comic book page – primarily because the writer of the comic story (Joe Kelly) also wrote this animated feature version. The plot-points – sketching the modern world and how Superman’s idealism is outdated; edgy anti-heroes being more popular than classic super heroes – are all directly addressing questions that fanboys and average people alike have been asking – namely, why does Superman still matter?  All in all, Superman Vs. the Elite is a Superman flick that’s actually interesting to watch for intellectual reasons, but won’t blow you away in terms of visual splendor or action. In that sense it’s an easy recommend to those who maybe haven’t been able to connect with the character in a long time (Batman crowd, looking at you); though it may be less satisfying to the hardcore fans, who already know why they love Big Blue. - Kofi Outlaw


The Blog

The original story, "What's So Funny About Truth, Justice, and the American Way?" (Action Comics 775) was a better discussion piece than actual story.  Written by Joe Kelly, the story served as a rebuttal to the ultra-violent superhero storytelling found in the likes of Ultimate Avengers and The Authority.  The ideas contained within are potent, and the story took on a new level of social importance just months after its March, 2001 publication for sadly obvious reasons.  The gang over at the DCAU have taken this single 41-page story and in fact improved upon it, with an even greater emphasis of the story's moral debate while crafting a solid action drama in the process.  Rather than take multi-issue story arcs and try to whittle them down to 65-75 minutes, this time we have a single 'important' comic book brought to life in a perfectly appropriate 74 minutes.  As a result, this well-written and solidly acted drama is easily the best DCAU film since Batman: Under the Hood, which also improved on its source material as well. . . minor quibbles about its finale (and its finale is a bit of a 'explain what happened after the fact' cheat), Superman Vs. the Elite does exactly what it should do: tell a comic book superhero story that explicitly discusses real world issues in a non-patronizing manner. - Scott Mendelson


Comics Alliance

This might just be the first of DC's animated movies that's actually better than its source material. . . I don't just mean that it's better by default. Even though I don't particularly think the question it asks is one that needs answering, [the movie] does a much better job of doing so, and of exploring those characters in a way that makes you care about the fight and what's at stake. . . For example, the bad guys don't just show up out of nowhere and start issuing ultimatums. There's a much slower buildup that involves Superman and the Elite actually starting out on good terms, having a few team-ups while Superman gives them tips on being better heroes. . . There' a lot of great interaction with Lois that wasn't present in the original story, and she's a consistently fun character to watch on screen. It does a lot to keep him from seeming like a moralizing jerk when you're able to watch the way he reacts to the Elite in different situations, from his initial friendliness to his disappointment, and finally to his anger and resigned determination in the conflict at the climax of the movie. - Chris Sims


Image: 9/9

Image quality is superb and faultless even if the animation is grade school.  Colors are true and pop cartoonwise, edges are clean.

Audio: 8/7

The integration of voice actors, effects and music is carried off neatly, with lots of surround cues where you want them.  The audio mix has plenty of explosive power, though it lacks whacking focus, which is probably all to the good as it would “drown out” the animation.


Extras: 8

Writer Joe Kelly and Eddie Berganza, executive editor DC Comics host the audio commentary in a snappy conversation that strikes us as unrehearsed and give and take about everything you want to know about the movie.  My only complaint here is that it cannot be retrieved once the movie starts without returning to the menu of extra features. Several, but not all the bonus items are in HD, for example: “The Elite Unbound: No Rules, No Mercy” in which Joe Kelly talks about the Elite origins and further adventures as they appeared in the comics.  “Superman and the Moral Debate” is also in HD - lots of talking heads here whose perspectives are surprisingly varied: from attorneys and psychologists to a military vet and a DC Comics creative director.  Both of these extras include lots of great art work.


From the Warner Bros Animation Archive we are treated to two 20-minute features: “Brave New Metropolis” and “Warrior Queen,” both in standard def.  The three “first look/sneak peak” items vary in resolution: Batman/Superman: Public Enemies, for some reason is in SD, while the animated feature “The Dark Knight Returns” and “All-Star Superman” are in HD.  They are all sizable chunks ranging from about 8-12 minutes.  The one annoying disappointment is that the promised “digital version of Action Comics no. 775” contains only a few pages with a direction to purchase the entire piece on-line.  Very uncool.  Must be the work of the dude from Manchester.


Recommendation: 8

Superman vs. the Elite is better than your average DC Comics movie if for no other reason than it offers food for thought in a form that is entertaining and age-appropriate for young teens as well as adults.  Image and audio quality are in good form and the Extra Features are worth our time.  Recommended.



Leonard Norwitz

© LensViews

June 15, 2012

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