DCU: Superman: Unbound (DVD)
An unstoppable android on the horizon. A mysterious fireball hurtling toward Earth. A fearless – and beautiful – reporter who will stop at nothing to get her story. It's just another day for the heroic Man of Steel… only this time, for better or for worse, he has his unpredictable cousin, Supergirl, by his side. The gritty adventure begins as Superman learns about the ruthless force known as Brainiac, who has seized and miniaturized Krypton's capital city of Kandor. Determined to liberate the captured metropolis and protect his home planet from Brainiac's increasing power, Superman takes on his most menacing enemy yet in this DC Universe animated original movie based on the gripping comic book miniseries.
The return of an old foe poses one of the greatest challenges for the Man of Steel in Superman: Unbound, a feature-length animated adventure from DC Universe. Based on a 2008 story arc by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank in Action Comics, the feature revives the classic Superman antagonist Brainiac along the lines of his Superman: The Animated Series incarnation, as a merciless android bent on capturing, shrinking, and absorbing the collective intellect of alien cultures. When Earth, and specifically Metropolis, becomes Brainiac's latest target, Superman (voiced by Matt Bomer, White Collar) and cousin Supergirl (Molly Quinn, Castle) are called into action. As with many of DC Universe's best efforts, Superman: Unbound offers a solid balance of action-thrills and emotional and thematic depth: Superman's fight with Brainiac requires not only his incredible powers but also considerable heart, as it threatens his growing relationship with Lois Lane (Stana Katic, Castle) and the development of Supergirl's own power and personality on Earth. Brainiac's assault on the Kryptonian city of Kandor--a deeply traumatic event for Supergirl--adds further personal layers to the story, elevating it beyond the (admittedly impressive) pyrotechnics of Superman's climactic battle with the villain. Superman: Unbound also supports the quality of its scripting with top-notch animation and vocal performances, with Bomer, Katic, and Quinn providing some of the best interpretations of their iconic characters to date and John Noble (Fringe) lending considerable menace to Brainiac. Supplemental features on the DVD are unfortunately limited to a preview of DC Universe's Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox feature. --Paul Gaita