One of most controversial and divisive story arcs of the nineties is brought to the small screen in an epic fashion, and DC and Warner manage to adapt the final half of the “Death of Superman” storyline for a broader audience. While nineties kids will love to see the whole mystery of the Four Supermen once again, DC works within the limitations of the characters they’re allowed to use, and re-imagines most of the storyline of the Reign of the Supermen, right down the primary antagonist working behind the scenes.
Almost a year after Superman sacrificed himself to take down the unstoppable alien known as Doomsday, the Justice League find themselves spread very thin. Now with Earth realizing how much they needed Superman, four mysterious super beings simultaneously arrive in Metropolis. A Steel Superman, A Teenage Superman, an Alien Superman, and a Cyborg Superman emerge, all resembling the Man of Steel in some form, and all claiming to be the Man of Steel. When a stunned Lois Lane begins investigating them, she uncovers a heinous plot involving clones, a threat waiting in another universe, and the true intentions of the foursome.
With the Justice League stuck in another dimension, can someone save Metropolis before it’s too late? “Reign of the Supermen” is actually a very good adaptation of the original source material, when you consider how much meat had to be cut from the storyline. Also considering characters like the Teen Titans, and Supergirl are essentially unusable, Sam Liu does a bang up just stream lining the story arc. What’s improved upon is the increased importance of John Henry Irons aka Steel, who isn’t just a hero looking to claim Superman’s place, but manages to become a worthy ally, aiding Lois in uncovering the mystery that introduces all kinds of twists and turns.
I wish we could have held off on “Reign of the Supermen” and seen what happened in the six months after Superman died, as we did in the comics. I would have loved to see all kinds of Metropolis locals trying to step up for the man of steel including the Guardian, and Bibbo. That said, the cast do a bang up job (including Jerry O’Connell, Rebecca Romjin, Cress Williams, Cameron Monaghan, and Rainn Wilson respectively) and “Reign of the Supermen” captures the spirit of the source material, while also paying tribute to what makes Superman irreplaceable.
The new release comes with a DVD Copy and Digital Copy. If you got the 4K, the release comes with a Blu-Ray copy, and the Digital Copy. Featured is a nine and a half minute look at the next DCU movie “Justice League vs. The Fatal Five,” a continuation of the DCAU “Justice League” series. “Lex Luthor: The Greatest Nemesis” is a sixteen minute look at the history of Lex Luthor in all media forms, and how he’s been applied to the DCAU. Finally, there are two episodes “From the DC Vault.” There’s “Heavy Metal,” from “Superman: The Animated Series” which features the DCAU debut of Steel as he fights Metallo alongside Superman, and “Panic in the Sky,” from “Justice League Unlimited” an episode that focuses primarily on Superman and co-stars Steel.