Originally Published: October 23, 2009, on 1050ESPN.com (now ESPNNewYork.com)

I had promised this a while ago, but due to unforeseen circumstances, breaking news, and surprise interviews, this review has been pushed back for weeks. Now, finally, without further ado, here is my review of Batman/Superman: Public Enemies.

It is one of the best titles to come out from DC in a long time and it gives a fresh look into the psyches of their two heavy lifters, Batman and Superman. Aptly titled Batman/Superman (or Superman/Batman, not really sure since they use a Superman symbol inside a giant bat), this series, started by comic book veterans Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness five years ago, has seen some of the most interesting situations the Dark Knight and Man of Steel have ever been thrown in. From alternative universes to Lex Luthor’s presidency, Batman/Superman never has a dull moment while the limits of the DC Universe’s logic are always pushed to the limits.

Because of the success of this series’ run, DC Animation felt it would be prudent to strike while the iron was hot. Considering that the storyboards were already in place for the most part since this story was to have been done on Cartoon Network before the Justice League series was cancelled, it only needed minor tweaking to turn what would have been a two or three episode arc for the half hour cartoon into a full 67-minute feature.

Thus, we have Batman/Superman: Public Enemies. Following the story arc where Lex Luthor is president and puts a bounty out on the heads of our two favorite heroes, Public Enemies is a testament to DC Animation when they get it right.

This cartoon was the comic come to life. There were some parts cut out like the Superman from Earth-2’s visit, but they were all for the sake of keeping the story crisp and free of clutter. I understand that, but when the movie is only 67 minutes, would 10 more minutes of animated story straight from the comic killed you? The animation style looked just like the drawings from the comic and having veteran voice actors reprise their roles from previous DC cartoons like Kevin Conroy as Batman, Tim Daly as Superman, and Clancy Brown as Lex Luthor made fanboys everywhere jump for joy.

The only real problem I had with the cartoon was that it didn’t depict the motivations of our heroes nor did it say why they interact with each other the way they do like in the comics. Of course, the lack of thought bubbles is a problem when taking something from a comic, but it is such an integral part of the comic that Public Enemies doesn’t feel as deep as it should. With the uniqueness of the relationship between Batman and Superman being a large part of the book, it made the cartoon feel a little empty without being able to properly depict that.

Also, the scene that was added where Luthor makes out with Amanda Waller was grossly unnecessary. With everything else that was cut to keep the story as streamlined as possible, that addition made no sense.

When you consider the awesome special features for the 2-disc special addition (that also comes with a sweet Batman figurine!) including a sit down with Andrea Romano (casting director for DC Animation), Bruce Timm (executive producer), and Kevin Conroy (voice of Batman), and two Adventures of Superman cartoon episodes from the late 90s and the $19.99 price tag seems well worth it.

Minor character development problems aside, this was an awesome movie and the special features make it all the more worth it. Include the great voice acting and animation and this is a must buy for any DC Comics fan.

Batman/Superman: Public Enemies gets a 4 out of 5.

-Ray Carsillo