Read or Watch Your Favorite DC Stories – Why Not Both?

by Roy Ranous
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What if I told you that once you finish reading your favorite DC stories – like The Death of SupermanBatman: Year One, or Wonder Woman: Gods and Mortals – that you could turn around and watch them on your television?

(Hint: The answer better be, “well duh!”)

The Death of Superman story arc began in 1992, collected into a graphic novel in 1993. Fourteen years later in 2007, we got Superman: Doomsday, an animated adaptation of the critically acclaimed milestone in modern comics. While the film itself was not entirely accepted as a milestone of animation (it currently has a rating of 57% on Rotten Tomatoes), it paved the way for a long line of animated retellings of favorite DC stories, like Wonder Woman: Gods and Mortals.

This origin of the Amazonian warrior princess that puts Xena to shame was originally collected into a graphic novel in 2o04. We see Diana of Themyscira take on Ares, the God of War, as she prevents the start of World War III right in the middle of the capital of Washington, D.C. The film adaptation released in 2009, retelling the amazing story. It was very well-received, which encouraged Warner Animation to keep going, and two years later, we got one of the hottest animated features that the studio has put out, which many consider to be among their absolute favorites.

Which animated film am I about to mention? Let me help you out. With the mad success of the first two films in Christopher Nolan’s trilogy, not since “Bat-Mania” in the 1960s had the Darkknight Detective been so popular. So of course the logical next project for Warner Bros. Animation to tackle was Batman: Year One. Originally released as a 4-part miniseries in 1987, the seminal event in Batman’s history is widely considered to be the origin story of the Caped Crusader, and was even canon…until the New 52, that is, and Snyder and Capullo’s smash hit “Zero Year.” But, I digress.

Batman: Year One released in 2011, starred Ben McKenzie as Batman, and was essentially his audition for the role of Gordon in Gotham on FOX. This animated film was by far the most accurate retelling of any major story out of the DC universe. And why shouldn’t it be? For all intents and purposes, Frank Miller’s origin for the Dark Knight was pretty much perfect. Why change a thing?

WHEW – let’s take a breather for a minute.

Okay, still with me? Good. So by now you’re probably wondering why I’ve been prattling on about these three films. Well, let me start by saying “Collectors, fanboys, and hoarders of all things DC Comics…prepare your wallets, for they are about to empty.”

On August 11th, DC Comics is re-releasing some of your favorite DC graphic novels – hardcovers bundled together with their respective animated adaptations.

These sets include the graphic novel and a DVD/ Blu-Ray combo pack. The stories featured this time around:

Batman: Black & White $26.99 (comes with the Nolan trilogy tie-in Batman: Gotham Knight)
Batman: Year One $26.99 (comes with Batman: Year One)
JLA: Earth 2 $26.99 (comes with Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths)
Justice League: Origin $26.99 (comes with Justice League: War)
The Death of Superman $26.99 (comes with Superman: Doomsday)
Wonder Woman: Gods and Mortals $26.99 (comes with Wonder Woman)

This appears only to be the beginning. Many more DC animated features were based on graphic novels, so there will probably be future bundles, as well.

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