Because it's not viable for every DC Comics character to be featured in their own DC Universe Animated Original Movie like the company's biggest stars Superman and Batman, DC Showcase casts a spotlight on lower-tier characters by having them star in animated short films. This new release contains four DC Showcase shorts, three of which have previously been paired with other DCUAOM releases as extras. They claim the three have been extended, but at a minute it's negligible.
"Superman / Shazam! - The Return of Black Adam" (HD, 25 min) sees Black Adam (Arnold Vosloo) arrive in Fawcett City from space after being banished across the universe 5,000 years ago by the wizard Shazam (James Garner), and he is angry. Reporter Clark Kent (George Newbern) is in town interviewing a young orphan named Billy Batson (Zach Callison), and Black Adam seeks the boy out. Adam and Superman battle while Billy stumbles across Shazam who bestows upon him great powers, which turn him into Captain Marvel (Jerry O'Connell).
While Captain Marvel is an enjoyable character because his light-hearted, good nature is a refreshing contrast to so many heroes, this story made no sense. How is it that in 5,000 years Billy is the first person worthy of the Captain Marvel powers? And why does Shazam let Adam destroy Fawcett City rather than send him away for another 5,000 years?
Previously released on Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, "The Spectre" (HD, 13 min) is a hybrid of styles combining '50s cop-drama dialogue with a '70s vibe as The Spectre (Gary Cole) administers his own brand of supernatural justice as he solves the murder of a Hollywood producer who is the father of an old flame. It has been made to look like old, damaged film as digital effects create overexposed lighting, scratches and dirt throughout. - Only roughly a minute longer
Previously released on Superman/Batman: Apocalypse, "Green Arrow" (HD, 12 min) finds the emerald archer (Neal McDonough) at an airport when the security team of a visiting dignitary, who happens to be 10-year-old princess, is taken out, and naturally he steps in to keep her safe from assassins. This had potential but it was disappointing when rather than our hero saving the day, the victory comes from out of the blue. - Only roughly a minute longer