"Superman/Batman: Public Enemies," the latest animated feature to fly out of the pages of DC Comics, brings DCU faces from Metallo to Black Lighting onto the screen to star alongside its two title heroes. The story also centers around one of the publisher's most infamous villains—and his rise to the White House.
Veteran animation writer Stan Berkowitz relished the chance to tackle that material—particularly when it came to crafting its political environment, where he predicted U.S. President Barack Obama's Democratic victory, even if he failed to envision the current financial crisis.
"I didn't quite predict the catastrophe we'd be seeing in 2008," said Berkowitz. "But I figured that something bad would happen, and then Democrats would be elected in 2008, they wouldn’t be able to solve the problem and, in 2012, a tough, Ross Perot-style third party bid would be the one who'd be elected."
With 30 years of writing credits already under his belt, ranging from the classic "Batman: The Animated Series" to DC's "Justice League: The New Frontier," based on Darwin Cooke's epic DCU miniseries, Berkovitz knows what he's doing. But "Public Enemies" provided a unique challenge for him to figure out how to make the movie's political circumstances relevant.
"[W]e needed the movie to show an audience, who might not be familiar with the comics, exactly what would have to happen for Luthor to be elected," Berkovitz said. "I sort of envisioned Luthor ascending to the Presidency somewhere around 2012."
That's a bleak vision for the U.S. in 2012, but safely on the map of Jeph Loeb's original story. Here's hoping that scenario stays in the movie and comics, and doesn't approach reality any time soon.
What do you think of Stan Berkowitz's take on Jeph Loeb's original story for "Superman/Batman: Public Enemies"? Do you think Lex Luthor's election would be possible in the real world? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!