Superman Unbound is a 2013 DC Comics Universe animated movie release. In this one the legendary Kryptonian Superhero, Superman/Kal-El goes up against his highly dangerous old nemesis, Brainiac. The animated movie is based on the 2008 DC Comics storyline Superman: Brainiac.
Superman Unbound begins with Lois Lane being taken hostage by some heavily armed terrorist. Supergirl and Superman both arrive to save Louis. Lois who now knows Superman’s identity as Clark Kent wants to make their relationship public. A roundish shape metallic object shows up in the sky and is heading towards Metropolis. Superman intercepts it and activates its transmitter, after defeating the robot within it. He takes the disabled robot back to his Fortress of Solitude.
Supergirl tells him that the robot is one of Brainiac’s drone soldiers. Brainiac used his robot army and his skull ship to invade Kandor (Capital of Krypton). The robots killed some of the citizens of Kandor and also downloaded their knowledge. She tells Superman that her parents and the rest of the remaining Kandorians were taken prisoner by Brainiac. Supergirl was sent to earth, while Kandor was miniaturized by the large skull ship. After an argument with Lois, Superman learns of Brainiacs origins. The being, Brainiac is a former Coluan scientist who augmented himself with cybernetic and genetic enhancements.
Brainiac travels the universe, miniaturizing worlds he invades, and uploads the knowledge of the living people he captures. The planets are not destroyed, he just keeps them in his skull ship. Superman is captured by Brainiac when he tracks him down to a planet that is being invaded much in the same way as Kandor. Superman fights off the robotic mechanisms within Brainiac’s ship. He enters a room and is shocked to see a bunch of bottled planets prior to their invasion by Brainiac. Brainiac tells Superman that he has been scanning information about all the planets and of the people. He uploads the information before destroying them. Brainiac also reveals to Superman that he knew Krypton would eventually be explode and that’s why he spared his home world. Earth’s location is revealed to Brainiac by Superman’s birth rocket guidance system. Brainiac tells Superman his next target is earth before teleporting him away to Kandor.
Superman’s powers are significantly reduced while on Kandor because of its red sun. He spends some time with his uncle and aunt, Zor-El and Alura. Superman creates an aversion to attract the attention of the drone robots. He defeats the two that appear and uses their teleportation ability to return to the skull ship. Brainiac is seemingly defeated by the rejuvenated Man of Steel. Superman now has in his hands the shrunken city of Kandor and flies back to earth using the birth rocket. Lois is informed by Supergirl of all what has transpired and alerts the Pentagon of a possible invasion by Brainiac. Elsewhere, Brainiac reawakens, repairs his ship, and heads to earth. He defeats the heroic efforts of earth’s forces and encases the planet within his ship. Superman and Supergirl are captured by Brainiac. The legendary Kal-El eventually breaks free from the clutches of Brainiac and an epic battle between them ensues.
Superman Unbound: The Review
Superman Unbound at 75 minutes long is a well put together animated film. It is well written and will keep you interested. The voice acting and story is top notch. The pace is fast and filled with a lot of action. Superman/Clark Kent is decently voiced by Matt Bomer. I do prefer Tim Daly though. He just sounds more convincing as the heroic Man of Steel. Stana Katic does a great job as Lois Lane. She is very much like the, “stop right there buster”, that Margot Kidder brought to the Lois Lane character. Since Supergirl/Kara Zor-El is a teenager she naturally is whiny and a bit of a brat. Molly Quinn does a good job at making her annoying. I am not familiar with this version of Supergirl since I rarely read recent comics to keep up with the new characters.
The only version of Supergirl in the comics I remember wasn’t even Kryptonian. She was a shape shifting protoplasmic life-form called “Matrix”. Brainiac had the best voice in Superman Unbound. John Noble from The Lord of the Rings and the science fiction themed TV Show, Fringe comes off as cold and menacing as Brainiac. He does a perfect job as the very evil, Brainiac. I usually enjoy the DC Comics Universe animated movies and Superman Unbound does not disappoint. Out of all the ones I have seen,
Superman/Doomsday is the only one that let me down. That one didn’t turn out good and seemed rushed. The animation and character designs in Superman Unbound have a lot of detail and they are very vibrant. The animation quality can be considered hit or miss, because at times the characters look too skinny. The design for Superman might come across as being somewhat odd looking to some. He appears to disproportionate throughout some scenes in Superman Unbound.
At times his arms are way too skinny for a guy who has a huge muscular chest. The way his face is drawn makes him look like actor Nicolas Cage. I find that kind of funny considering Nicolas Cage was scheduled to be Superman in the canceled 1998 Superman Lives movie. The movie’s script was somewhat based on the Death and Return of Superman storyline. Ironically, Brainiac was the main villain in it. He unleashes Doomsday on earth to kill Superman after he blocked out the sun to weaken him. Jimmy Olsen is drawn to look no older than 13 in Superman Unbound which is also odd. This animation style seen in Superman Unbound somewhat reminds me of Aeon Flux.
Brainiac puts up a good fight in Superman Unbound. Just like in the comics he is a formidable villain. The fight scenes are brutal and not too short. There is also some blood in Superman Unbound since a weakened Man of Steel is seen bleeding in two scenes. Some might be disappointed by the fact that Lois Lane doesn’t have a big role in the animated feature. There’s hardly any romance between her and Clark Kent. Superman Unbound has a well written plot and the whole movie is entertaining. Superman Unbound is based on the 2008 storyline Superman: Brainiac, which would eventually lead to the New Krypton story arc. I did not read those storylines so I am not familiar with them.
Superman Unbound Review: Done By Rancel
Superman Unbound (2013) Trailer
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