So, on New Year’s Eve, I continued my New Year’s Eve tradition by watching The Death of Superman. When the news broke that they were going to be doing an adaptation of The Death of Superman comic book, I was surprised, yet somewhat puzzled. The reason I was puzzled was they had already done such an adaptation, an entire decade ago, in fact! It was in the form of Superman: Doomsday.
But what it really should’ve been called was:
Superman: Doomsday only shows up in the first act, and the rest is Reign of the Supermen.
That would’ve gotten the point across quicker. But hey, let’s see what the damage is on this film.
- The decision to focus on Superman is interesting, because most DCAMU movies have been focused on Batman, and the bat-family as a whole. The thing is, even in the Justice League DCAMU movies, while Superman does get a role in the Justice League movies, it always felt as if he was playing second fiddle to everyone’s favorite Bat-Detective. Now, he’s got his very first movie all to himself (in this continuity)!
- Lois and Clark, as if it needed to be said, make a great couple. I found their interactions genuine, and Clark being careful to keep his secret from Lois, so she doesn’t get harmed by his secret quite reminds me of his Smallville counterpart, and that’s always a plus.
- The League being in this movie is one of the best things to happen, seeing as how in non-Justice League movies, they often don’t do a whole lot, other than stand around, giving orders, and not doing much of anything. Like in Justice League vs. Teen Titans (Which really should’ve been named: Teen Titans: OH FUCK, IT’S TRIGON, AND THE LEAGUE FIGHTS THE TITANS, TOO) most of their screentime is spent being possessed by Trigon, and the Titans do the rest.
- Lex Luthor, as if it needed to be said, is a scientific badass. He constantly outsmarts the heroes at every turn, evading his house arrest, creating a clone of Superman (remember that for later), going toe-to-toe with Doomsday, and when he loses, he goes, “I’m supposed to win! I’m Lex Luthor!” It’s just, ah, peak Luthor.
- Doomsday. Holy shit, Doomsday. The very first time he appears, he kills 4 astronauts, one of whom was waiting for Superman to show up, but nah. One of the things that I didn’t really like about Superman: Doomsday is that it basically goes, “Here’s Doomsday, he kills a few people, and now him and Superman fight.” Here, they actually go to the process of building him up as a legitimate and horrifying threat. Throughout the movie, he’s shown killing random people, Atlantians, innocent bystanders, police officers, and it’s all leading to the next fight…
- Doomsday vs. The Justice League. The moment that Doomsday finally appears in Metropolis, shit is going down. One by one, all of the League members fall. Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkman, Cyborg, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, and even the GOD DAMN BATMAN.
- And the fight with Wonder Woman, it’s possibly one of the second-best fights in the movie, and it shows off Diana’s determination and tenacity. And this segues seamlessly into…
- SUPERMAN VS. DOOMSDAY. Holy shit, the very moment Superman shows up, it goes 100 miles an hour, and it doesn’t stop for anything. Supes gets thrown around like a ragdoll, and it feels like the whole city is going to fall under the pressure, and you can feel the tension as you’re watching the movie, as the fight keeps progressing in scale, and as Superman is getting worn down, it starts to seep in that, “Holy shit, Supes might not make it out alive.” And the end of the fight where Superman saves Lois from being killed by Doomsday, man, I felt that.
- The following funeral for Superman, and showing the reactions of people all around the world, I love it shows that it’s not just Lois’ loss, it’s not the League’s loss, or Metropolis’ loss. It’s the loss of the ENTIRE WORLD. And the funeral showcases that.
- Lois and Clark are now in a relationship, as in canon. I don’t nessasarily have a problem with this, but it presents a continuity problem, since Clark and Diana are, or were, kind of in a committed relationship in this universe. This movie just brushes all that under the rug, saying, “Yeah, it wasn’t a serious thing, but it sure was fun while it lasted!” I mean, what? It kind of was a serious thing, from what I saw in the last few movies. And for them to sweep it under the rug like that, I just feel, That was not Kino.
- Luthor’s voice actor. As much as I love Lex in this movie, that does not mean that I love his voice in it. It sounds much too whiny and nasally for me.
- I feel that the movie would have had a more significant punch if it had just ended with the world mourning Superman’s loss. Hell, you could even end it with the ship going outside of STAR labs, but we have to get that sequel hook, even though we announced beforehand that we were making this movie a two-parter!
- I get why Damien wasn’t in this movie (aside from the 10-second cameo), because this isn’t about him. But I’m kind of on the fence about the excuse they used for his absence. On one hand, I kind of get it, because Damien is underage, and needs to be in school, but I don’t really see Damien getting along with Private School preppies, character development or not. Plus, he kind of carries his sword everywhere…
Overall, I felt that this was a great way to adapt The Death of Superman, it built up the fight very well, and didn’t completely blow its load on the very first act. I loved the League being there, because it built up Doomsday significantly.
Final Grade: 4.2/5
The Death of Superman is available on DVD, Blu-Ray, and digital download, and is available for streaming via the DC Universe app.
Check back to this blog tomorrow, where I will be covering Episode 2 of The Promised Neverland! Stay Twisted, Everybody.
Since The Promised Neverland airs on Thursdays instead of Wednesdays, here's a bonus attraction.