Superman: Unbound is the latest DC Universe Animated Original Movie based on an Action Comics arc written by Geoff Johns and drawn by Gary Frank. Though not bogged down by New 52 continuity or pre-Flashpoint Superman Family architecture, the movie does a fair job at retelling the story of the five part Superman: Braniac in 75 minutes. Rumors are that this could be the last DCAU movie set in the old timelines, so continuity buffs and those wishing to celebrate Superman’s 75th birthday this year should give this a chance if you have not already. Since the story references Silver and Golden Age Superman subjects like the Bottled City Of Kandor and Collector of Worlds, this is both a movie for new fans anticipating Man of Steel and those with the House of El’s shield tattooed on their arms. Speaking of which, Supergirl is in for the action too.
Our story opens with Lois being abducted by some bad dudes in all black swat outfits from The Daily Planet. Perhaps a nod to our favorite Superman joke, Lois is in a pink outfit (and later has a pink phone and a pink laptop). She’s amazingly calm, because in this version, Lois and Clark are boyfriend and girlfriend. He has a way of saving her from these things.
It turns out that she’s not going to be rescued by big blue because he is dealing with an earthquake elsewhere. High over Metropolis, Miss Lane is in the back of a helicopter, almost helpless if not for her wit.
Heeding the call for action Supergirl uses her powers to defeat the bad guys until Kal shows up.
Cousin Kal reprimands her for using excessive force. This serves the story as an opportunity to introduce the villain of the movie, Braniac. Though not a direct sequel to Superman/Batman: Apocalypse, one can see this as the introduction of the character of Kara-El, cousin to Kal-El Superman.
Both movies rely on Supergirl’s motivations to drive the main story, in fact my girlfriend pointed out to me that the first film should really have been called Superman/Supergirl Apocalypse, as Batman and Wonder Woman were secondary characters.
Back on Krypton, before the explosion and Kal being sent to the Kent Farm, older cousin Kara witnessed a ship helmed by Braniac invade the capital of Kandor and slaughter many innocents. As the collector of worlds, Braniac bottled the city after shrinking it and he put this among his collection. Kara’s parents survived the blast and live in the bottle. Kara now can’t stand bullies, so she feels justified using so much force.
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