Another great adaptation from Frank Miller's arsenal, it'll kick the teeth out of you and you'll still end up smiling!
As winter grows colder by the day, we now give you the second instalment from the direct to DVD animated feature film! The story became more revealing compared to the first part of the series seeing how officials run their state while the upper echelon gets greedier wanting to own more lands and provoke war no matter how many lives are at stake!
Gaining the authority from the Mutants broken down leader, Batman has now become the battle cry of a new congregation "The Sons of Batman"! From here, it does not get any better when James Gordon from the talent of David Selby (The Super Cops) steps down and hands over his duties to upcoming Commissioner, Ellen Yindel who was voiced by Maria Canals Barrera (Cop and A Half).
A profound speech was given by the former Chief, contrite but with all honesty that the work he has done for his city was not meant for the faint of heart and in times of uncertainty, panic and chaos you will need an ally who will help you to restore order! In spite of the handing over ceremony, the Batman condemned for his vigilantism and notoriety went up another notch while being ostracized by the media, civilians and the police department and to makes things worse, the newly appointed officer announced a warrant of arrest!
So goes the manhunt...
There were multiple fronts that were relayed in the premise considering that countries and people vies to be the best and to be the strongest and with this arrogance, it has never been antiquated by our lust for power and destruction! In this era, superheroes are mere puppets by the government, controlling them to bid their own will. But the Batman does not overlook these permutations and believes that human rights are vigilant especially in Gotham City; a strong leader does not need to show force as a way to convince the populace that peace and order is still a choice!
While one man and a sidekick continually contests the law with their own bare hands! Another man watches quietly the television and gains an epiphany on how he was always been so hated and sobers. While a trusting soul who offers him solace, a chance for retribution and for everyone's salvation commences! Enter... (don't forget your lipstick) The Joker! Dumbfounded at first he soon realised that Batsy's the only one getting the attention, why not try me for size he says? He was voiced by the eccentric and exceptional Michael Emerson (Straight Jacket) who has given the "Clown Prince of Crime" a remarkable comeback after being humiliated for so many years. While making for his grand entrance for a public television show with his very reputable "shrink", Batman and the new Robin voiced once more by Ariel Winter (Life is Hot in Cracktown) gets some playtime with the Police Department (not too rough guys).
This is where all hell breaks loose... (but wait, that's just the first round!)
As the war goes on in Corto Maltese between the UnIted States and Russia, in retaliation the latter sends a nuclear war head only to be thwarted but without a price as it left a country wide blackout in which chaos reigned, but not in his city not in this vulnerable time!
This is absolutely brilliant coming from the mind of Frank Miller (Sin City) who sends everyone down to their knees with its gripping storytelling. A future where outlaws rule and shoot to kill is bequeathed to be enforced! One of the few animated films that consent mature audiences seeing the conspiracy, betrayal, violence, cursing, murder and societal poverty conditions which runs amok among the communities! Another aspect I liked was that it did not just focus on Batman's universe with Alfred Pennyworth and Selina Kyle on the onset but extending the context even further to other characters like Sarah Essen, Lana Lang, Jimmy Olsen and Star City's very own Oliver Queen.
Directed by Jay Oliva (The Next Avengers) his background on being a Storyboard Artist helped him provide a fantastic story amalgamating it with the best in the business from voice work to Producers Michael Uslan and Benjamin Melniker with Bruce Timm and Andrea Romano serving as Lieutenants to get the job done.
Christopher Drake (Superman/Batman: Public Enemies) still provides the sound of dread and danger at the same time courage and the adamant will to survive the odds. So far we have introduced the villain and now we give you the hero of heroes, the champion of champions, the summit of strength and here he is the "Man of Steel" Superman! Mark Valley is the man and he is no stranger to DC Comics and their projects seeing that he contributed already in the hit series "Human Target" as the assassin Christopher Chance. Well diverse who fits perfectly with his given character, though you would not want to cross paths with him seeing that he has very close friends from high places. While an inevitable battle is looming in the horizon, one thing is for sure someone will die in the process! In Sun Tzu's the "Art of War" it says that "keep your friends close and your enemies closer." and as his sparring partner The Dark Knight prepares for the boxing main event, let us reintroduce the man behind the cape, Peter Weller (Robocop) who believes that brains always trumps brawn but of course with a little help...
All in all, another great work from the minds and hearts of DC Comics very well written though too many scenarios at a given time but it all blended well at the end. With this chapter closing its book, some friends and foes have died while others live to fight another day! I just hope they will still consider making the sequel from this graphic novel adapted screenplay. From the same Writer and Artist "The Dark Knight Strikes Again" is much darker, sicker and grittier but with mediocre ratings from fanboys and readers I think they can push on with other projects as long as it does not stay dead...or someone will hear it!
Until death do us part...or one of us dies trying!