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 ...