1992’s The Death of Superman was something of a landmark in the superheroes mythology with fans of DC’s Man of Steel amazed that this could even be considered by the company. However they once the comic was published it sold immense numbers with its story of an Asteroid that hurtles through the atmosphere and with it arrives an unstoppable force known only as Doomsday. With innocent lives threatened and Metropolis under attack, the Justice League rally to meet this otherwordly menace. But when the dust settles, only an epic showdown between superman and Doomsday can decide the fate of the Metropolis and ultimately, planet Earth.
It was followed up by reign of the Supermen picking up some months since the unfathomable death of Superman, with the world still shaken when four Super Heroes arrive in Metropolis, all battling to be the reincarnation of the Man of Steel. Even Metropolis isn’t big enough for these brawlers, it’s only a matter of time until dark forces make their moves from the shadows…….
The stories have now been made into a two-part animated adaptation and features an all-star voice cast led by Jerry O’Connell (Stand By Me), Rebecca Romijn (X-Men,) and Rainn Wilson (The Meg) as the voices of Superman, Lois Lane and Lex Luthor, respectively.The potent trio is joined by the DC Universe Movies’ returning voices of the Justice League: Jason O’Mara as Batman, Rosario Dawson (Sin City) as Wonder Woman, Shemar Moore (S.W.A.T.) as Cyborg, Nathan Fillion as Green Lantern/Hal Jordan, and Christopher Gorham as The Flash.
There are facets of the story which are ingenious and are perhaps less well known to those used to the Christopher Reeve films – Lex Luther is not quite the all bad guy he’s often portrayed as, a love triangle between Superman, WonderWoman and Lois Lane is introduced and there’s a comic element with an over confident teenage superboy trying it on with Lois and the ladies.
Released in cinemas for just one day the two parter is now out on DVD / Blu ray & digital download and is a must have for diehard fans of the story. Here the animation keeps with the almost Saturday morning animated TV style with its, at times, slightly manga-esque style but suffers in comparison with the recent releases of Spiderman into The Spiderverse which has taken the superhero animation to another level. But this animated two parter is very much for the fans with its story being a turning point for Superman and was as important for the superheroes mythology as 1987’s Frank Miller’s Batman Year One was.
For the rest of us it’s interesting to see what all the fuss was about but for fans it’s an essential buy.
The Death of Superman is available on DVD / BLU RAY on 28th January 2019