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Blu-ray Review: DC Universe 10th Anniversary Collection

by Matt Sernaker, Managing Editor

Since 2007, fans have been treated to animated direct-to-video adventures featuring a variety of characters in the DC Comics universe. From Superman: Doomsday to Batman and Harley Quinn, all 30 of the original movies and the 5 short films have been collected into a single epic Blu-ray release: The DC Universe 10th Anniversary Collection!

To celebrate the release of this limited edition set, here is a link to the individual ComicsOnline reviews of the DC Universe Original Movies featured in this collection:

  1. SUPERMAN: DOOMSDAY
  2. JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE NEW FRONTIER – COMMEMORATIVE EDITION
  3. BATMAN: GOTHAM KNIGHT
  4. WONDER WOMAN – COMMEMORATIVE EDITION
  5. GREEN LANTERN: FIRST FLIGHT
  6. SUPERMAN/BATMAN: PUBLIC ENEMIES
  7. JUSTICE LEAGUE: CRISIS ON TWO EARTHS
  8. BATMAN: UNDER THE RED HOOD
  9. SUPERMAN/BATMAN: APOCALYPSE
  10. ALL-STAR SUPERMAN
  11. GREEN LANTERN: EMERALD KNIGHTS
  12. BATMAN: YEAR ONE
  13. JUSTICE LEAGUE: DOOM
  14. SUPERMAN VS. THE ELITE
  15. THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, PART 1
  16. THE DARK KNIGHTS RETURNS, PART 2
  17. SUPERMAN: UNBOUND
  18. JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE FLASHPOINT PARADOX
  19. JUSTICE LEAGUE: WAR
  20. SON OF BATMAN                             
  21. BATMAN: ASSAULT ON ARKHAM
  22. JUSTICE LEAGUE: THRONE OF ATLANTIS
  23. BATMAN VS. ROBIN
  24. JUSTICE LEAGUE: GODS AND MONSTERS
  25. BATMAN: BAD BLOOD                                                       
  26. JUSTICE LEAGUE VS. TEEN TITANS
  27. BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE
  28. JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK
  29. TEEN TITANS: THE JUDAS CONTRACT
  30. BATMAN AND HARLEY QUINN  

“DC Showcase” animated shorts:

  1. The Spectre
  2. Green Arrow
  3. Jonah Hex
  4. Catwoman
  5. Superman/Shazam: The Return of Black Adam

Special Features

All of the original bonus features from the original DVD/Blu-ray releases have been included in this set on their respective discs.

In addition, the WHV team has included over two hours of brand new bonus content specific to this release, including:

  • The Hero In All of Us Documentary
  • Mark Hamill: Finding The Laugh – If you had the chance to see The Killing Joke in theaters, you might have seen this special documentary on the work of Mark Hamill. Hamill discussed his career, getting the role of the Joker, and more!
  • A Tribute Panel to Darwyn Cooke – This special feature looks back to the amazing work of the man behind Justice League: The New Frontier.
  • DC Universe 10th Anniversary Panel: San Diego Comic-Con 2017 – It was only a few months ago that several of the talented creators and voice actors associated with this special box set assembled to discuss the legacy of the DC Universe Original Film Series. Check out this special feature for insights on the creation process, voice work, and maybe a few hints about the future of this direct to video series of films.
  • San Diego Comic-Con 2008: Wonder Woman Panel – Flashback to the year 2008 for a special look at the Wonder Woman Panel. Cast and creative team discussed bringing Diana Prince to life in this special release.
  • A Comic Book History of Justice League Dark – Who are the members of Justice League Dark? Learn more about the individual characters and their interesting history in this special feature.
  • Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles – Didn’t get enough of the Bruce Timm created Gods and Monsters series? Check out this new special feature for more of the G&M universe!
  • Lookbook – Image Gallery
  • 40 Page Adult Coloring Book – This will surely keep fans busy for hours. If you enjoyed the creative covers for any of the DC Universe Original Film series, you will get a kick out of this inclusion.
  • 3 Collector Coins – Featuring Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman.

Box Set Design

If you had picked up a copy of Smallville: The Complete Series, you might be familiar with some of the aesthetics of the Warner Home Video box sets. These gorgeous collections come in a hardbound book with top loading disc sleeves. Each of the pages features artwork from the individual films, laid out in a manner that will be thrilling for fans new and old. The book rests within a protective box (with magnetic cover), which also holds the coloring book and collectable coins.

Top 5 Films

While 30 films might seem a bit daunting of a task to work through, here are our Top 5 favorites included in this collection:

5. Wonder Woman – Before she made the jump to the big screen, Diana Prince was featured in her own animated adventure as part of the DC Original Films series. Her origin story was perfectly adapted with a modern twist, and included vocal performances by Keri Russell (Mission Impossible: III), Nathan Fillion (Firefly) as Steve Trevor, and Alfred Molena (Spider-Man 2) as Ares. If you enjoyed the live action Wonder Woman film, make sure you check out this adventure for a more detailed version of Diana’s history.

4. Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths – While there are several fantastic Justice League stories included in this set, one of my favorites is Crisis on Two Earths. While this script was originally intended to be a bridge between the Justice League and Justice League Unlimited cartoons, it was ultimately reworked into a stand alone piece. When Lex Luthor from Earth Two arrives in our dimension asking for assistance, the Justice League will soon learn that the entire multiverse is at stake! James Woods (The Way We Were) as Owlman is about as perfect as it gets in terms of casting. The story also featured fantastic performances by Gina Torres (Firefly), Josh Keaton (Green Lantern: The Animated Series), and Vanessa Marshall (Star Wars Rebels).

3. The Dark Knight Returns (Parts 1 & 2) – While this is technically a listing for two of the films in the collection, The Dark Knight Returns Parts 1 & 2 showcase one of the greatest Batman stories ever told. Frank Miller’s seminal Batman story comes to life in animated form, and features “The Last Batman Story”. This piece features Peter Weller (Robocop) as Batman, Michael Emerson (LOST) as The Joker, and Mark Valley (Human Target) as Superman

2. Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox – The Flash takes center stage for this adaptation of the recent comic event series. What happens when The Flash finally gets to correct the timeline and save his mom? World War III. With a little help from Batman (not the one you are thinking of), Cyborg, and some new friends, this unlikely team must stop Aquaman and Wonder Woman from destroying the world! This adventure features Christopher Gorham (Covert Affairs) as The Flash, Kevin Conroy (Batman: The Animated Series) as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Kevin McKidd (Trainspotting) as Thomas Wayne, Ron Perlman (Hellboy) as Deathstroke, Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride) as Aquaman, Vanessa Marshall (Star Wars Rebels) as Wonder Woman, and more!

1. Batman: Under The Red Hood – This story features one of the most brutal moments from Batman’s history: the Death of Jason Todd. While he might not have been the most popular Robin, his death definitely left a mark in the comic world. John DiMaggio (Futurama) gives a memorable and dark performance as the crowbar wielding Joker, and Jensen Ackles (Supernatural) steps up to give us an intense and emotional version of Jason Todd/Red Hood. This animated feature is one of the most beautifully adapted stories in the collection and is a must watch for any Batman fan.

Overall

If you have only seen (or own) a handful of the DC Original Movie Series, then this would be the ideal way to play catch-up with your collection. Alternatively, this would also make one hell of a gift for the geeky guy or girl in your life. Thirty films, five shorts, and hours and hours of bonus content make this set a must own for fans of the DC Universe. The collection has been assembled in a beautiful final product, and the team behind the creation of this set have really outdone themselves.

Rating: ★★★★★
ComicsOnline gives DC Universe – 10th Anniversary Collection –  5 out of 5 films that truly do JUSTICE to their respective characters.

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About Matt Sernaker

(Managing Editor/Director of Media Relations) Matt interviewed MacGyver once (true story), and was invited on a submarine to the Arctic. It hasn't happened yet, but Matt hopes that some day he will get the call and he and Richard Dean Anderson will go off and have a wacky adventure.

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