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DC Universe finally brings Captain Marvel into its animation fold with The Return of Black Adam, albeit in an extended short that pairs him with Superman against the eponymous super-villain, and bolsters the whole thing with three previously released shorts featuring Green Arrow, Jonah Hex, and the all-too-rarely-seen Spectre. Black Adam serves as a sufficient origin story for the World's Mightiest Mortal, with scrappy orphan Billy Batson meeting wizard Shazam (voiced by James Garner, of all people), who grants him limitless powers. Enter Black Adam (Arnold Vosloo), Shazam's former disciple, who wants to destroy the new-minted hero, but thankfully, the Man of Steel is around to show Marvel the ropes. Producer-director Joaquim Dos Santos (who oversaw all the shorts) brings just enough information and action to Black Adam to keep viewers entertained, but the venerable Captain Marvel truly deserves his own feature, and one without the extraneous appearance of Superman (who, it should be said, gets his card pulled by Black Adam before the Big Red Cheese intervenes). And despite the abundance of action, it pales in comparison to the depth of character and story evinced in the three accompanying shorts. DC Showcase: The Spectre (from Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths) features Gary Cole as the supernatural avenger in a '70s-grindhouse-influenced mystery that flirts with genuine horror, while Neal McDonough voices Green Arrow (from Superman/Batman: Apocalypse) in a tense stand-off with master criminal Merlyn (Malcolm McDowell), while the Jonah Hex short (Batman: Under the Red Hood), featuring Thomas Jane as the scarred bounty hunter gunning for outlaw Michael Rooker, offers more entertainment in its 10 minutes than the entire live-action version with Josh Brolin. The disc is rounded out by informative commentaries by the respective writers for each short, including award-winning novelist Joe R. Lansdale (Jonah Hex), 30 Days of Night creator Steve Niles (The Spectre), and Gargoyles' Greg Weisman (Green Arrow). Four episodes from Justice League Unlimited, each devoted to the respective stars of these shorts, round out the set. --Paul Gaita
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review by . December 09, 2010
The UNDERCARD Proves Better Than The Main Event!
Fact: Captain Marvel in Whiz Comics used to outsell Superman in Action Comics back in the golden age of comics until DC (known as National comics publications then) sued the company (Fawcett Publications) for infringement. This lawsuit was a sham. Fact: DC Comics used to publish “DC Showcase” in the 70’s. Opinion: Bruce Timm and company is about to do another money-grab for a less than stellar dvd release. Statement: It is amazing that the supporting 12-15 minute shorts prove a …
Superman/Shazam: The Return of Black Adam
Superman/Shazam: The Return of Black Adam
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