Yesterday, Chris Gore reviewed Green Lantern: First Flight on DVDuesday and all of the nerds in the office waited with bated breath for his verdict (especially because of the upcoming Green Lantern movie and current Blackest Night story line making waves in the comic book). It was as if the film was setting the bar for all animated direct-to-DVD adaptions to follow. Quite the contrary. It's just the most recent in a long line of incredible comic book themed, animated DVDs. Here is a list of the top five such films currently available on DVD and Blu-ray.
Justice League: The New Frontier - Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and now the Green Lantern have all starred in their own animated films, but this is the only film that brings them, and a legion of D.C. Comics heroes, together in one place. There are more heroes featured in it than were probably ever featured in the animated Justice League series and yet, the film still manages to give each character their due, especially the big leaguers, and tell a cohesive, compelling story in seventy five minutes. Plus, the 50s, retro art style is damn beautiful.
Todd McFarlane's Spawn: Animated Collection - Thankfully, when Todd McFarlane decided to bring his comic book icon to the small screen he chose to do it on HBO, which totally allowed him the freedom to include blood, nudity and lots of violence. Appropriately dark, the series refused to pull any punches, making it exactly what an animated adaptation of an adult book about selling one's soul to the devil should be, awesome. The DVD collection of the series is somehow even more awesome.
Hulk Vs. - This DVD contains two entirely different short films, one focussing on Hulk's first encounter with Wolverine in the wilds of Canada and the other on an epic battle between the Hulk and the thunder god, Thor in Asgard. Amazingly, the movies feature appearances by a large number of staple characters such as Sabretooth, Lady Deathstrike, Omega Red, Deadpool, Loki and Baulder. The animation is crisp, the voice acting is top notch and you can't beat getting two movies for the price of one.
Watchmen: The Complete Motion Comic - This is perhaps the most faithful animated adaptation ever made, because it's essentially a panel by panel recreation of Watchmen with digital animation thrown in. It's a really cool must have for die-hard fans of Alan Moore's beloved work (who will love the fact that it's five hours long), but everyone else might be turned off by the fact that all of the characters, even the female ones, are voiced by only one actor, Tom Stechschulte.
Ultimate Avengers - The Ultimates books from Marvel are all very cinematic to begin with, so seeing them animated is almost breathtaking. Plus, the movie is an origin tale, so longtime fans can enjoy seeing revamped, harder-edged versions of Captain America, Iron Man, etc., while newer fans can jump on board without having to know almost fifty years of Avengers history.