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With: (voices) Matt Bomer, Stana Katic, John Noble, Molly C. Quinn, Diedrich Bader, Jason Beghe, Frances Conroy, Ian James Corlett, Melissa Disney, Alexander Gould, Sirena Irwin, Will Yun Lee, Andrea Romano, Stephen Root, Wade Williams
Written by: Bob Goodman, based on the comic book by Geoff Johns, Gary Frank
Directed by: James Tucker
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sequences of violence and action, and a rude gesture
Running Time: 75
Date: 07/05/2013

Superman: Unbound (2013)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Brainiac Damage

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Superman is often written off as a simplistic hero with no inner demons, but he's certainly the center of some fascinating moral conundrums. For some reason, the Superman stories that have been coming out of the DC superheroes animated pipeline have been far more thoughtful than the rest, and Superman: Unbound is among the best of them.

As our story begins, Superman (voiced by Matt Bomer) already has his hands full with his secret relationship with Lois Lane (voiced by Stana Katic), and with his rebellious, uncertain cousin Supergirl (voiced by Molly C. Quinn). Things get tougher as Superman learns about the villainous Brainiac (voiced by John Noble), who was responsible for capturing the Kryptonian city of Kandor, shrinking it, and keeping it inside a bottle. Unfortunately, Brainiac decides to make the Earth his next target, with Metropolis the next addition to his collection.

Director James Tucker, who has much experience in animation but makes his feature directorial debut, provides clean appealing lines for the characters and a strong sense of space, clarity, and gravity. Superman's fight scenes really pack a punch here. Tucker deftly balances the story -- which is based on a 2008 series of comic books by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank -- allowing for character development, rich ideas, and slam-bang excitement. It fills out its 75 minutes perfectly.

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