5. A little background: In 1999, comic book writer Warren Ellis and artist Bryan Hitch created The Authority, a superhero team that liked drinking, cursing, screwing and killing — the antithesis of Superman and Justice League of America.
4. In 2001, writer Joe Kelly responded with “What’s So Funny About Truth, Justice & the American Way?” — a tale in which an Authority-like group of rough and tumble super heroes who kill and force Superman to stand up to them and emphasize the need to see the grace of humanity even in its darkest hour.
3. This story became the “Superman vs. The Elite” animated film released Tuesday, which made a good translation from print to DVD in the hands of Kelly, who returned to write, and the Warner Bros. Animation studio.
2. The animation is middling, save for a spectacular opening title sequence, but the voice cast is top notch from George Newbern as Superman to a sublime turn by Robin Atkin Downes as Manchester Black, leader of The Elite.
1. The story, though, is top notch and illustrates a couple of important points about comic’s greatest hero: First, there are still good Superman stories to tell for creative minds and secondly, Superman should always, always, always be inspiring and never, never, never embrace the darkness.
SUPERMAN VS. THE ELITE
Time: 1 hour, 14 minues
Director: Michael Chang
Finney’s Flicks Grade: B