Maid of Steel

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - LEISURE - KALEON RA­HAN Su­per­man/Bat­man: Apoc­a­lypse An­i­mated Movie Amaz­ing Spi­der-Man Thor First Thun­der

(DC) Di­rected by: Lau­ren Mont­gomery Pro­duced by: Bruce Timm, Alan Bur­nett and Bobbi Page Voiced by: Tim Daly, Kevin Con­roy, An­dre Braugher, Sum­mer Glau, Su­san Eisen­berg and oth­ers

Fresh on the heels of Bat­man Un­der The Red Hood and fol­low­ing up from last year’s Su­per­man/Bat­man: Pub­lic En­e­mies, is this star-stud­ded adap­ta­tion of The Su­per­girl From Kryp­ton story-arc. The orig­i­nal comics-based ad­ven­tures (see Su­per­man/Bat­man # 8-13) by Jeph Loeb and the late Michael Turner notched a few mile­stones dur­ing its ini­tial run, namely the in­tro­duc­tion of a “new” su­per­girl in Kara Zor-el.

But most of all it was also un­ex­pect­edly Turner’s last full comic book work. hence, while Su­per­man/ Bat­man: Apoc­a­lypse may stand out as one of the many an­i­mated flicks in DC’s sta­ble, it holds a spe­cial hon­our by pay­ing trib­ute to Turner’s undis­putable tal­ent, par­tic­u­larly his un­canny abil­ity in il­lus­trat­ing women.

If you have read the comic book, then this ac­tion-packed ad­ven­ture (78-mins) would have more of a trueto-la­bel sto­ry­telling feel (art­work, pac­ing, etc).

You also get a cou­ple of “must watch scenes” here that go be­yond what comics can of­fer – namely the Dark Knight’s shrewd ne­go­ti­a­tions and the im­pact of Dark­seid’s omega blasts!

As for new­bies, S/B Apoc­a­lypse of­fers a truck­load of char­ac­ters (apart from the Big Two, there’s also Won­der Woman and the best/worst from The­myscira and Apokolips) to the depth in char­ac­ter­i­sa­tion.

set right af­ter Pub­lic En­e­mies, Gotham City un­will­ingly plays host to a Kryp­to­nian vis­i­tor.

Meet Kara Zor-el, the niece of Jorel – mak­ing her the Man of steel’s bi­o­log­i­cal cousin. While she “shares” the name and her­itage as the orig­i­nal su­per­girl (in­tro­duced in 1959’s Ac­tion Comics # 252 and died in Cri­sis on In­fi­nite Earths # 7), this (re)in­tro­duc­tion of­fers a new lease of life for the Maid of steel.

Kal-el show­ers more at­ten­tion on Kara than Lois (who is left out from this movie). his new­found “de­vo­tion” is cer­tainly not shared by the Dark Knight or Won­der Woman.

De­spite the ini­tial re­sis­tance posed by Kal-el, both Bat­man and Won­der Woman suc­ceed in per­suad­ing Kara to un­dergo her “in­duc­tion” at The­myscira, where she meets her soon-to-be best friend in Lyla @ harbinger. Kara’s pres­ence does not only rat­tle the he­roes’ fra­ter­nity but also the forces of evil (as far as Apokolips!). There’s a job va­cancy at Dark­seid’s or­gan­i­sa­tion as he is in search of a leader for his Fe­male Fu­ries since Big Barda de­fected.

With Granny Good­ness scrap­ing the bot­tom of the bar­rel for a wor­thy can­di­date, they’ve ex­panded their search to cover earth. The tough act comes in terms of “snatch­ing” Kara from the com­bined might of su­per­man, Bat­man and Won­der Woman – but that feat be­comes eas­ier when you have an army of Dooms­day clones at your dis­posal. What fol­lows is the clas­sic act of re­demp­tion as our he­roes jour­ney to Apokolips to re­claim Kara – with a few twists and turns await­ing.

# 641 (One Moment In Time Fi­nale) (Mar­vel) (US$3.99) Writer: Joe Que­sada Artists: Que­sada, Paolo Rivera, Danny Miki and Richard Isanove WhILe the first two is­sues of this four-parter dis­ap­pointed me, the fi­nale to the event that prom­ises a “proper clo­sure” to the Peter-MJ re­la­tion­ship has got me re­con­sid­er­ing my ear­lier view.

The cre­ative team delivers a touch­ing ex­pla­na­tion on the cou­ple’s sta­tus – cov­er­ing past, present and fu­ture. # 1 (of 5) (Mar­vel)(US$3.99) Writer: Bryan J.L.Glass Artist: Tan Eng Huat WITh the count­down to next year’s movie de­but al­ready started, ex­pect the house of Ideas to fol­low through with the build up. This ti­tle re-en­acts the Thun­der god’s ori­gins. While the orig­i­nal Jack ‘King’ Kirby’s Jour­ney Into Mys­tery is­sues (# 83) may not be ac­ces­si­ble (or af­ford­able) for most of us, what we have here is a mod­ern trib­ute to the King’s thun­der­ous work.

One more im­por­tant point to note is that the artis­tic hon­ours go out to a fel­low Malaysian – Tan eng huat – who draws a wicked Mjol­nir!

Thor’s de­but is very much tied to Dr Don­ald Blake’s en­counter with alien stone crea­tures dur­ing a Nor­we­gian vacation. With a bum leg, Blake sought refuge in some caves and comes across a stick – which hap­pens to be Thor’s uru ham­mer @ Mjol­nir. The rest is his­tory. But why this five-parter is worth a visit is the re-in­tro­duc­tion of ma­jor char­ac­ters (Loki, Odin, Balder, sif, etc) in the Thor Uni­verse and of course, eng huat’s art! n Comics cour­tesy of Earth 638 (Lot 2.13J, 2nd Floor, Atria Shop­ping Cen­tre, Jalan SS22/23, Da­mansara Jaya, Petaling Jaya, Se­lan­gor), Hot­line: % 037729 6380. Email: (earth638@ streamyx.com).

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