Superman: Unbound (2013)

superman unbound poster 2013 movie
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 7/10

DC's animated films are generally decent

Nothing special

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Superman: Unbound

Studio:  Warner Bros. Animation

Genre(s):  Animated/Comic Book/Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  May 7, 2013

MPAA Rating:  PG-13

superman unbound vs brainiac soldiers

Brainiac, I’m coming for you!

Something is headed toward Earth. When a drone of Brainiac is destroyed by Superman, Superman learns from his cousin Supergirl that Brainiac’s actions destroyed her home of Kandor. Brainiac has set his sights on Earth and even two Kryptonians might not be enough to defeat him if he chooses to destroy it.

Directed by James Tucker, Superman: Unbound is a DC Universe Original Animated Movie. The movie adapts Geoff Johns’ “Superman: Brainiac” storyline which ran in Action Comics (1) #866-870 (August 2008-December 2008). The film followed Batman: The Dark Knight Returns which was also released in 2013 and was released to mixed to positive reviews.

DC animated features are amazing strong. Building on the popularity of some of their television series like Batman: The Animated Series and Superman: The Animated Series, the films seem to dive into “comic book movies” with a vigor that isn’t met by Marvel live action films or DC live actions films. Superman: Unbound is in the same vein.

superman unbound brainiac kandor

If I could save Kandor in a bottle…

The series has a lot of things going on it and does little to set it up. The animated films assume that the audience knows the characters and knows the stakes going in. It is kind of refreshing compared to the long, origin movies that are presented in the theater. In this movie you know Lois and Clark are dating, Supergirl is on Earth, and Brainiac is coming. They are able to do enough background, but it isn’t slow and methodical like a TV series or big screen movie.

It largely feels like you are reading a story-arch in a bigger story. A great example of this is Lois and Clark’s relationship in the film. Lois knows Clark is Superman, but her relationship with Clark isn’t public. This would largely be a comic subplot and like the movie, the reveal would be at the end that they are together and getting married. It is the presentation that sets it apart…people know the story of Lois and Clark, and it is refreshing not to just have rehash.

superman unbound supergirl

I was going to get you one of those “Cousins are your first friends” posters…but I got you Brainiac’s head instead

The animation is rather solid and in line with the other films in the animated line. I wish that the series had actually been part of the DC Animated Universe, but it does well as its own standalone title. The animation isn’t as high quality as a traditional theater animated film, but it is better than most TV series.

Superman: Unbound is probably mostly for comic book fans or fans of DC’s other animated movies. It is a solid film, but the movie doesn’t have mass appeal and isn’t as big of story as something like Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. While I overall enjoy the movie, I recognize that it feels like a minor work or a longer-than-average cartoon. Superman: Unbound was followed by Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox also released in 2013.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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