Superman vs. The Elite (2012)

7.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 7/10

Fun characters and story

Doesn't push it quite far enough

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Superman vs. The Elite

Studio:  Warner Bros. Animation

Genre(s):  Animated/Comic Book/Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Release Date(s):  June 12, 2012

MPAA Rating:  PG-13


We’re the new Supermen, Superman!

Superman is a thing of the past when a new team of heroes called the Elite appear on Earth.  The Elite are willing to make the hard choices and kill to protect people from enemies.  When Manchester Black, Menagerie, Hat, and Coldcast show that their way is the new way of the world, Superman finds himself not only battling for his morals but his life.

Directed by Michael Chang, Superman vs. The Elite was a DC Comics animated film in their DC animated line.  The story is an adaption of Joe Kelly’s Action Comics (1) #775 (March 2001) issue titled “What’s So Funny about Truth, Justice & the American Way?”  The PG-13 film was released on June 12, 2012 and written by Kelly himself.


Atomic Skull…you were always lame anyway.

I am a big fan of The Authority and first heard about Action Comics #775 long after reading the original Authority run.  It actually was a rather difficult issue to track down and I did enjoy the parallels Kelly created between the Authority and the Elite…that being said, I think that the message of the comic is even better served in this film.

The idea of killer superheroes is not a new idea, but the Authority presented them in a different way.  Their mission was cool, calculated, and idealized.  It might be more realistic, but it isn’t necessarily the “best of man”.  Kelly took these ideas and put the “best of man” aka Superman (who ironically is alien) and contrasts the ends justifies the means ideas of the Elite with his more positive approach.


Shut your mouth!

The basic message is compelling storytelling and if you didn’t know the story from the comic, it is a bit of a mystery as to how Superman is going to get out of the situation he placed himself in.  With a PG-13 rating, the movie has a bit more leeway to get dirtier than the average superhero story and this helps keep a mystery of what is going to happen…Will Superman murder?  I do find his act a bit over-the-top and imagine him tediously programming his robots for the specific acts in his “play”.

Superman vs. The Elite is one of the fun entries in the DC Animated Features series.  The movie is 14th film (following Justice League: Doom and followed by Batman:  The Dark Knight Returns—Part 1), and I have to say DC kills Marvel in these films.  With a number of these films made, they continue to help develop and evolve the characters in interesting ways.  It is fortunate that these movies (for the most part) fit in the DC Universe created in the cartoons.  Check out Superman Vs. the Elite if you are a fan of Superman and sometimes wonder what would happen if he just killed his enemies.

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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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