Based on one of the most iconic and controversial miniseries of all time, “The Death of Superman” is a curious adaptation of the series that suffers from definite pitfalls but comes out in the end as a pretty damn good movie, overall. One of the very few DC animated movies not centered on Batman, “The Death of Superman” is much more centered on the original source material than 2007’s “Superman Doomsday,” and if the final scene is any indication, we’re looking at a pretty length depiction of the story arc from the comic books right down to the Super mullet.
After Superman defeats intergang and thwarts their efforts to rob Metropolis, he confronts his blossoming relationship with Lois Lane. Soon wondering if Lois is in love with Clark or Superman, he decides to come out to her and reveal his true identity. Just then a massive beast emerges from the Earth and begins wreaking havoc. Known only as Doomsday, the beast only desires to kill and destroy. With the Justice League put up against impossible odds, it’s up to Superman to put him down once and for all. “The Death of Superman” is a very good animated adaptation that takes a lot of the more interesting elements from the arc and injects a lot of the more contemporary DC comics elements for good measure.
But with everything the DC Animated universe has been introducing it feels like a missed opportunity that we only get to see the Justice League battle Doomsday. Granted, they bring in everyone to fight Doomsday from Aquaman, Hawkman, and Green Lantern, but it would have been entertaining to see Teen Titans crash the scene and have their try. How about Justice League Dark? Give us the ultimate crossover until Superman has no choice but to intervene and give his life for the planet? That said, the action is exciting and the animation is solid most times. There’s a greater emphases on Wonder Woman battling the monster, but the writers never let the heroes off easy when they battle the monster.
Cyborg is torn apart, Batman is broken, hell, Martian Manhunter burns in a horrendous fire. Through and through, though, this is a Superman movie and Jerry O’Connell does a bang up job playing the Man of Steel who is wholly unprepared and pushed in to a corner when Doomsday arrives and begins to win the battle. O’Connell conveys Superman’s anger and confusion well and works great alongside wife Rebecca Romjin as Lois, as well as Shemar Moore, Rosario Dawson, Nathan Fillion, and Rainn Wilson, respectively. While it surely isn’t a masterpiece, it’s a damn good time with Superman at his most heroic. I hope DC continues the saga with “Reign of the Supermen” storyline.