‘The Death of Superman:’ Movie Review

I think that just about every comic book fan alive in 1993 knows where they were when they found out Superman died. I was in a grocery store checkout line, jaw scraping the floor, and wide eyes that wouldn’t go away for weeks. How was it possible that one of the biggest heroes of my childhood could die? It wasn’t like we were talking about Aquaman (who wasn’t so cool back then – poor Aquaman). This was the Man of Steel. Heroes like him just didn’t die.

Since his death devastated the geek world, there have been several takes on his last days. The Death of Superman (Limited-Edition Gift Set) approaches it as a DC Universe animated movie. With a rollercoaster of high emotions and bold brutality, this film does the hero’s death justice - if such a thing were possible.

MINOR SPOILERS BELOW

There isn’t much room for spoilers, since the story has been done before and the title says exactly what will happen. The first half of the film builds up to the destined battle between Superman and Doomsday by showing viewers how great Superman’s life is. He’s got an even balance between saving Metropolis and his alter ego, Clark Kent. Soulmate Louis Lane still has no idea that Clark is the same as her hero in the red cape. Their relationship is on the upside, with Clark taking her home to meet the folks, but he also struggles with his secret identity and wanting to reveal it to her. Even The Flash gives him some advice on communication in marriage, in between his quick-wit and comic relief.

Then comes Doomsday, crashing into the ocean in a meteor, to keep everyone from the happy ending they desire. He leaves bloody bodies in his wake, finally leading up to his big scene with Superman. Once that action starts, it’s pretty much a non-stop ride to the death. Post-Superman’s death, the emotions are brought to a new high, and it works so well. Knowing a character is going to die from the start of a movie makes it difficult to portray the shock and mourning, but The Death of Superman doesn’t let the viewer down. There’s a bit more to the story after that, but be sure to stay tuned for some fun surprises during the credits.

The Limited-Edition Gift Set, which is numbered and limited to a 50,000 run, also includes a four-inch stationary figure of Superman mid-battle. His cape is gone, his costume is ripped, and he’s worse for the wear, but it’s a great figure to add to any collection.

The Death of Superman is one of those stories that will be told many times over in the future, but it may be a long time before we get another retelling as good as this one.


Creative Team: Jake Castorena and Sam Liu (directors), Peter Tomasi (writer), et. al.
Cast: Jerry O’Connell (Superman), Rebecca Romijn (Lois Lane), Rainn Wilson (Lex Luthor)
Production Companies: DC Entertainment, Warner Bros. Animation
Distributed by: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
Click here to purchase.


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