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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Superhero Coolness in the Discount Bin

While coming home from my sister's wedding today, I stopped off in Edmonton to do some poking around. I was going to see The Dark Knight, but based on the lines and my timing, I figured "not today." However, I did stop by HMV and did some fishing in the ol' discount bin, and I found two bits of DC Comics animation that were finally at a great price. And I'm bragging about it!

Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker -- The Complete, Uncut Version - Let me set the scene. The year was 2000. George W. Bush and Al Gore were running to become the leader of the free world. Suddenly, violence in entertainment became an election issue, and the centre of the issue, the upcoming straight-to-DVD animated movie Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker. Apparently, the preview copies sent out to the critics had it declared too violent for kids. So then, at the disgust of comic book fans everywhere, Warner Brothers pushed it back several months, and re-edited it to tone down the violence. Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker eventually came out to rave reviews, and with toned down violence. However, those preview copies sent to critics became popular items at comic book conventions. I, myself, was given a bootleg copy by a friend. So, around a year and a half later, once the controversy had died down, and fan demand was still great enough, Warner Brothers finally released the original, unedited version. And this time, to settle any worries about it being too violent, they submitted it to the MPAA for a rating. Apparently, they were quite stunned when it came back rated PG-13. Anyway, my bootleg copy is pretty much wore out, so when I saw the original, unedited version in the discount bin for $5, I figured it was time to get it.

The Batman/Superman Movie - We've had our Justice League cartoon. On both Batman: The Animated Series and Superman: the Animated Series, we had our fair share of superhero team-ups. But for pure, unadulterated superhero cool, there's still nothing that tops The Batman/Superman Movie. It was produced at the peak of both the Batman and Superman cartoons. It was originally a 3-part episode of Superman: The Animated Series, and you can buy it in its original, 3-part form on Superman: The Animated Series -- Season 2. This thing was a freakin' EVENT when it was first on TV. For those who have forgotten, let me sum up the plot: the Joker gets his hands on 20 pounds of kryptonite and heads to Metropolis with a deal for Lex Luthor: $1 billion for the death of Superman. Naturally, Batman follows to apprenhend the Joker and warn Superman. And throw in the complicating factor that Lois Lane falls for Bruce Wayne, leading to a rather interesting love triangle between Lois, Bruce, and Clark Kent. This thing just fires on all cylanders. And since it'll probably be a while before I start getting Superman: The Animated Series on DVD, I figured this was worth the $5 in the discount bin.

Man, these just rock!

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