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Superman/Shazam: The Return of Black Adam (DC Showcase)

3.8 out of 5 stars 305 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Make your stand against evil with this exciting Collection of 4 DC Showcase Animated Shorts starring favorite DC Comics super heroes! Chosen the world’s protector against the Seven Deadly Enemies of Man--pride, envy, greed, hatred, selfishness, laziness and injustice--young Billy Batson accepts his destiny as Captain Marvel. Battling alongside Superman against nefarious Black Adam, Billy soon discovers the challenge super heroes ultimately face: is it revenge or justice? For bounty hunter Jonah Hex and hard-boiled cop turned vengeance ghost The Spectre, getting their hands dirty is part of the job-- maybe even the fun part. But Superman, Green Arrow and Black Canary follow an internal moral code to guide their actions. They know it’s easy to get lost in the darkness of the fight, especially when villans like Merlyn the Magnificent and Count Vertigo place no value on human life.

DC Universe finally brings Captain Marvel into its animation fold with The Return of Black Adam, albeit in an extended short that pairs him with Superman against the eponymous super-villain, and bolsters the whole thing with three previously released shorts featuring Green Arrow, Jonah Hex, and the all-too-rarely-seen Spectre. Black Adam serves as a sufficient origin story for the World's Mightiest Mortal, with scrappy orphan Billy Batson meeting wizard Shazam (voiced by James Garner, of all people), who grants him limitless powers. Enter Black Adam (Arnold Vosloo), Shazam's former disciple, who wants to destroy the new-minted hero, but thankfully, the Man of Steel is around to show Marvel the ropes. Producer-director Joaquim Dos Santos (who oversaw all the shorts) brings just enough information and action to Black Adam to keep viewers entertained, but the venerable Captain Marvel truly deserves his own feature, and one without the extraneous appearance of Superman (who, it should be said, gets his card pulled by Black Adam before the Big Red Cheese intervenes). And despite the abundance of action, it pales in comparison to the depth of character and story evinced in the three accompanying shorts. DC Showcase: The Spectre (from Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths) features Gary Cole as the supernatural avenger in a '70s-grindhouse-influenced mystery that flirts with genuine horror, while Neal McDonough voices Green Arrow (from Superman/Batman: Apocalypse) in a tense stand-off with master criminal Merlyn (Malcolm McDowell), while the Jonah Hex short (Batman: Under the Red Hood), featuring Thomas Jane as the scarred bounty hunter gunning for outlaw Michael Rooker, offers more entertainment in its 10 minutes than the entire live-action version with Josh Brolin. The disc is rounded out by informative commentaries by the respective writers for each short, including award-winning novelist Joe R. Lansdale (Jonah Hex), 30 Days of Night creator Steve Niles (The Spectre), and Gargoyles' Greg Weisman (Green Arrow). Four episodes from Justice League Unlimited, each devoted to the respective stars of these shorts, round out the set. --Paul Gaita

Special Features

Includes four shorts: Superman/Shazam The Return of Black Adam, and the extended versions of The Spectre, Jonah Hex, and Green Arrow with never-before-seen footage
Bruce Timm presents four bonus cartoons featuring Green Arrow, Jonah Hex, Shazam!, and The Spectre

Product Details

  • Actors: Zach Callison, James Garner, George Newbern
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: November 9, 2010
  • Run Time: 63 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (305 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003Z8ZCDO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,798 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Superman/Shazam: The Return of Black Adam (DC Showcase)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By N. Durham HALL OF FAME on November 9, 2010
Format: Blu-ray
Superman/Shazam: The Return of Black Adam, is actually a compilation of DC Universe animated shorts, the main attraction being the main title of course, which is also the only one here that's new. In Superman/Shazam, the evil and ultra-powerful Black Adam (voiced by The Mummy himself Arnold Vosloo) seeks to take out the new inheritor of the Power of Shazam, which happens to be young Billy Batson (voiced by Zach Callison). Superman (voiced by Justice League Unlimited Supes George Newbern) shows up to lend a hand as Billy gets a crash course in being Captain Marvel (voiced by Jerry O'Connell), and there's some great action and animation throughout. As said before, Superman/Shazam is the only new short to be found here, but that's not saying that what's also included is bad either. The short featuring The Spectre is worth the price of admission in itself, as DC's resident spirit of vengeance (voiced by Gary Cole) exacts brutal retribution upon the guilty in a noir-ish type style, while a short starring Green Arrow (voiced by Neal McDonough) finds the Emerald Archer defending a princess from his arch-nemesis Merlyn (voiced by Malcolm McDowell), and finally a short starring Jonah Hex (voiced by Thomas Jane) finds the scarred bounty hunter taking on a murderous madam (voiced by Linda Hamilton). The other three shorts have been released before on special editions and Blu-Ray's of previous DC animated features, so if you already own them, there isn't really much here to warrant a purchase unless you're a die hard completest. If you don't already own them however, then by all means pick this up, as you won't find many better animated comic adaptations in the market today.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
First Some Details about the Movie Itself

The Original Shazam/Superman is 22 minutes long With the the extra shorts the Green Arrow, Jonah Hex,And Spectre making up the other 39 minutes. The unfortunate part for those who have purchased past animations from Dcu is your basically paying 19.99 for shorts you already own. I hope this wont be a practice we will continue to see from Joaquim Dos Santos and his crew of anime creators.

The Movie itself is a basic knockdown drag out between Some of the Dcu mightiest heros. But everything seemed to be to linear. everything happened just as expected without any real surprises.Situation just happened to unfold just like it was a setup. From the lunch meeting between Clark Kent and Billy to the first introduction of Black Adam. By not having that extra time to create a full storyline we were left with the quick rush rush of events mentality.

If you don't own the others story's this can have some retribution on you you will see some great short story's but to those who have purchased the others your outta luck. Surprised?
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Format: DVD
DC Universe decided to go ahead and take their DC Showcase features from three of their prior regular full-length releases into a single movie anthology, along with a brand new longer segment, the headliner of Superman/Shazam: The Return Of Black Adam. It also claims to have all three of the previous shorts now in expanded editions, but that is not the case with this as none of the shorts of The Spectre, Jonah Hex, or Green Arrow were changed in any way from their original release. Why they advertised it like this I have no idea, as Warner Bros. is usually pretty straight forward with their promotions and let you know what you're really getting.

The first feature is of Superman/Shazam that actually acts as an origin story for Captain Marvel, which is pretty cool since there's never really been anything done of him outside the comic books. BTW, I need to point out that this is the DC Comics' Captain Marvel who is really the original one, and not the Marvel Comics character of the same name. There's a long history behind that involving copyrights and whatnot, that I suggest you look up on your own time. Anyway, it opens with an evil superpowered baddy called Black Adam arriving on Earth after hitchhiking it across the galaxy for the last 5,000 years. Adam was given the powers of the Greek Gods by the wizard Shazam long ago, but went rogue, so the wizard sent him far into space. Now that he's returned, Adam seeks out the next one who will inherit the powers of Shazam. It turns out to be a young orphen named Billy Batson who is currently being interviewed by Clark Kent for a news report on the homeless(even though he has an apartment). Adam shows up and flings Kent through a wall, although conveniently Superman shows up(weird!)to give him a run for his money.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
The title of this particular animated feature is kind of misleading. My initial expectations were that of a movie in which Superman and Shazam teamed up to take on Black Adam. While that does happen it often feels a bit forced, and the pacing feels very condensed. Which makes sense, considering it's only about 18 minutes of the footage. The rest of the 1hour 2 minutes is dedicated to Specter, Green Arrow and Jonah Hex. I'd give this short 3 out of 5 because of some awesome action sequences.

The Specter feature is a pseudo 1970s horror-flick and is animated as if it were a live action film from the era. There are some twists and turns in the story, but the overall arch is a bit cheesy for me. I enjoyed the retro feel, some of the specter being the specter and thats about it. The length of this short really hampers it and puts any possibility of strong story development or character attachment in the very difficult to pull off category. Overall I'd give this short a 2 out of 5.

The Green Arrow minor feature is my favorite of the bunch, it relies, abit, on your prior knowledge of the DC U. Particularly, when it comes to knowing who Dinah is. I like the overall pacing and the the finale of the piece, but still it suffers from "Just getting started" syndrome. It feels like the piece should go one for another 45 minutes building on the story. 3.5 out of 5.

Finally, we have Jonah Hex (Tom Jane). It has a great western feel(as it should with Mr.Hex) to it, but it just doesn't have enough gusto for my liking. 3 out of 5 has a decent fight scene and that is about it. Still wayyyy better than the horrible Jonah Hex movie.
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