It’s finally all coming together on Friday where all the superheroes from the Marvel Cinematic Universe clash to bring down one of the galaxy’s biggest threats. Since its introduction in 2008, Marvel and Disney have made building universe look easy, but many modern studios have proven it’s an impossible task to pull off competently. Before Marvel and DC there were many established Extended and Shared, and if you’re looking for a break from Marvel, these are five you might love.
Whether you love or hate “Batman Ninja,” you have to admit DC is at least going for something completely different and radical this time around. With a different crew and approach toward the mythology, “Batman Ninja” is a unique time traveling tale that finds Batman at his most godlike, worshipped as a near invincible warrior in Feudal Japan. Beautifully directed by Junpei Mizusaki, “Batman Ninja” puts the entire aesthetic of the DC character in to some of the wildest anime filters, and it works most of the time. Some concepts land with a thud, but when “Batman Ninja” soars, it’s quite spectacular.
Edwing is a fairly typical kid with his own problems and dreams. As bullying and ostracizing rise, he feels less and less understood and has a hard time figuring where he belongs. The anxiety and loneliness pushes him to go along with his best friend Fluke’s plan.
“Hell to Pay” is chapter two in what is one of the more under appreciated animated DC series currently in stores. While DC mainly focuses on Batman and Superman, we’re given a second shot with “Suicide Squad” who DC is thankfully not above sharing for the home entertainment audiences. After the very good “Assault on Arkham,” the team known as Task Force X return with a premise that—let’s just say it—should have been the premise for the live action movie. It’s a small covert team, they should do small covert operations that involve the DC Universe, for crying out loud.
“Up in the sky, look! It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s Superman! Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, this amazing stranger from the planet Krypton, The Man of Steel: Superman! Empowered with X-ray vision, possessing remarkable physical strength, Superman fights a never-ending battle for truth and justice, disguised as a mild-mannered newspaper reporter, Clark Kent.”
John Jordan’s short animated experiment is a film that would have pretty much benefited from a longer format, some original voice work, and perhaps better dialog in the end, but for what he serves up in the form of original animation and the public domain cartoons, “Superman vs. The Giant Robot from Outer Space” is a great short for the Super Geeks out there.
Back in the nineties, there was this strange movement to take pulp and serial heroes and revive them for a modern audience. Everything from Flash Gordon to Doc Samson were revived. Some of them, like “Zorro,” were big hits, while a lot of them surprisingly missed with audiences. I’ve always loved the pulp and serial heroes, but a lot of the box office and ratings for movies and television decided that they were best left in their era. One of the bigger movements was to place serial heroes in to the future. So, The Phantom was placed in to a futuristic setting, and Sherlock Holmes was brought back a la “The Demolition Man.”
It’s all been leading up to this! After the end of “Iron Man” where Tony Stark is confronted by Nick Fury about the Avenger Program, here we are about to enter in to the iconic “Infinite Gauntlet.” We fans spent years just hoping for a good Captain America movie, now we’re here optimistically awaiting their third battle for the fate of Earth. While the MCU villains get a bad rap I think they all brought something to the table. Here are five of my absolute favorites from the entire library.