Superman-Vs-The-EliteWarner Premiere
2012
PG-13

Superman’s effectiveness as a super hero comes into question when a new group of super powerful crusaders, known as “The Elite” appear on the scene, led by British public identity hero Manchester Black.  As super heroes, the Elite know no bounds, and are more than willing to kill, even on a massive scale, to stop villainy – putting them on a collision course with the ever-ethical and decidedly non-lethal Man of Steel.

Deconstructing super heroes is nothing new.  Some of the best stories in the past few decades have come from those taking a critical look at what makes a super hero tick, and what it means for society at large.  Heck, Allan Moore pretty much built his career on doing just that.  In movies, this is almost standard fare.  Even the animated superhero shows and direct-to-video movies have taken that route, giving us fanboys and girls some of the better stuff for the watchin’.  I would put Superman Vs. The Elite up there with the list of better stuff for the watchin’.

And while the whole Traditional Superhero Who Won’t Kill vs. Modern Antihero Who Will Kill angle has also been done before – the 1997 comic miniseries classic Kingdom Come springs to mind immediately – Superman Vs. The Elite is a very effective look at what happens when the phrase “the ends justify the means” is taken to its most extreme outcome.  When the traditional way of doing things is jeered at, and violence is not only accepted but cheered on.  And what happens when two polar opposite ideologies clash.

Based on the “What’s So Funny About Truth, Justice & The American Way?” story in Action Comics #775 back in 2001, the script for Superman Vs. The Elite was also written by that comic’s writer, Joe Kelly, who was also responsible for the classic run on Deadpool, one of my all-time favorite titles.  The script is smart, engaging, and entertaining from beginning to end.  The voice acting was spot on, and the dialog was snappy.  Overall, Superman Vs. The Elite was a good watch and continues the great track record the DC Animated movies have had since 2006.  Recommended viewing.