So, the new Blu-Ray/DVD from DC Entertainment is out: the documentary (sort of) Necessary Evil: Super-Villains of DC Comics, featuring a gathering of the super-villains in the DC Comics Universe.
It’s not really a documentary. It’s not really a story. There’s no history here about where these characters came from. No origin stories. No tall tales from the editorial offices of how Bill Finger or Jerry Robinson or Carmine Infantino or Jack Kirby or Siegel & Shuster or Bob Kane or any number of creators actually came up with these characters.
Instead, this is more of a 99-minute showcase for most of the villains who are featured in the New 52. It’s a sales pitch, really. It’s a way for DC to get some of their creative talent (including, surprisingly, James D. Robinson) to talk about what they like about these villains: Joker, the Riddler, Catwoman, Sinestro, Darkseid, Lex Luthor, Ra’s Al Ghul, Cheetah, Captain Cold, Black Adam…
Christopher Lee narrates, which is a nice touch. To hear him say “The New Fifty-Two” almost gives it a certain amount of respectability.
The only other props I can give it is to acknowledge that they’ve pulled images from all over their library — animated stuff from Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Justice League, Young Justice, Green Lantern: The Animated Series, and a variety of animated features, plus a selection of live-action going all the way back to the Christopher Reeve days. They even pull a few bits from video game footage. So, it’s a really nice mix of imagery. Too bad there’s no meat on the bones.
Overall, this is simply a puff piece that doesn’t give us anything new. DiDio and Lee give us corporate speak — and Lee actually calls New 52 a “soft reboot”. I kid you not. A soft reboot. What are they smoking over there?