Official Synopsis: The super-human crime-fighting champion who started it all battles the forces of evil in 14 breathtaking fan-favorite, animated episodes drawn from multiple Superman series. Together for the first time ever on two collectible DVDs, it’s the Man of Steel starring in over four hours of the most astonishing animated adventures. “The Last Son of Krypton” chronicles the young Kal-El’s journey from infancy to invincible superhero. Then, witness more gravity-defying exploits in the Academy Award (R)- nominated classic ”Superman” and an Earth-shattering fight against the Legion of Doom in “Wanted: Super Friends”. Next, Kryptonian rogues run amok in “Terror from the Phantom Zone” and Superman takes on his most formidable arch-nemesis in “The Doomsday Sanction.” And that’s just a sampling of the action-packed super heroes awaiting you in The Best of Superman.
1. The Last Son of Krypton, Part 1
2. The Last Son of Krypton, Part 2
3. The Last Son of Krypton, Part 3
4. Superman (AKA The Mad Scientist)
5. The Chimp Who Made It Big
6. Wanted: The Super Friends
7. Terror from The Phantom Zone
8. The Krypton Syndrome, Invasion of the Space Dolls, The Terror on the Titanic
9. Darkseid’s Golden Trap, Part 1
10. Darkseid’s Golden Trap, Part 2
11. The Seeds of Doom
12. The Death of Superman
13. For The Man Who Has Everything
14. The Doomsday Sanction
Remember how last year’s The Best of Batman DVD was essentially a collection of Batman: The Animated Series episodes with an additional The Batman cartoon tossed in? Well, it seems Warner Home Video has learned from that since The Best of Superman touches upon a fair amount of Superman’s animated incarnations, from the earliest Fleischer cartoons to the recent Justice League Unlimited. The result may be a mixed bag, but it’s a still an interesting and unquestionably enjoyable release.
What we get here is a true mix of Superman cartoons from a host of different eras and, for the most part, all of these are really enjoyable cartoons. There's something to be said about the classic 1960s and 1970s cartoons, even if the action quotient is very low. This release includes a host of material from the assorted Superfriends cartoons, including "The Death of Superman" and "Darkseid's Golden Trap." As someone who didn't really enjoy Superfriends, I actually got some enjoyment revisiting these older cartoons. However, I was very thankful to see the likes of the first Max Fleischer Superman cartoon includes, along with episodes of Superman: The Animated Series and Justice League Unlimited.
And what are the episodes? This release includes “The Last Son of Krypton, Part 1," "The Last Son of Krypton, Part 2," "The Last Son of Krypton, Part 3," "Superman (AKA The Mad Scientist)," "The Chimp Who Made It Big," "Wanted: The Super Friends," "Terror from The Phantom Zone," "The Krypton Syndrome, Invasion of the Space Dolls, The Terror on the Titanic," "Darkseid’s Golden Trap, Part 1," "Darkseid’s Golden Trap, Part 2," "The Seeds of Doom," "The Death of Superman," "For The Man Who Has Everything," "The Doomsday Sanction."
As you can tell there is kind of an method behind the the order choice for some of the episodes, with the collection starting off with some "origin" tales before going through Superman's assorted cartoons in chronological order. Honestly, all the episodes included are stand-alone enough (though that'd debatable for "The Doomsday Sanction," which I consider somewhat of an odd choice of inclusion here) that each can be enjoyed on their own merits. And they're all pretty safe for all ages consumption though, again, "The Doomsday Sanction" might push the boundaries a little bit there. Naturally, your enjoyment out of these will be entirely subjective, but I find some of these episodes will spark the imagination of the little ones.
It’s a fair collection in terms of presentation. The audio and video is on par with the previous releases featuring these episodes and the packaging is nice (though the artwork is oddly comic-inspired, weird given the content). For the type of release, it looks good. If I have any complaint, it’s the horrible default menus. Warner implemented these horrible, and very cheap looking menus, on their home video releases last year and they never look any better. The terrible buttons, the generic menu screens and bland text – it looks so, so cheap. Just look at those menu screens above. Simply awful. Everything else is just fine about this release, except those menus. Hideous.
I suppose if one is looking for a good sampler of Superman adventures – a mix of genuine ‘best of’ episodes and those featuring the Man of Steel himself- this is a great place to start. The price is cheap enough that it won’t make any real dent in your wallet and the quality is varied enough that there's bound to be something worth watching in here. Just note that the episodes are in the same condition as their original assorted DVD releases and there is no new bonus content to speak of. However, again, the sheer variety of content here is worth at possible for purchase for those who own the original DVDs. If you're looking for a quick impulse buy that the kids will unquestionably enjoy, then look no further. Want a nice sampler of Superman throughout the years? Well - here you go! The Best of Superman is a fun release that I would Recommend to anyone!