The Death of Superman (film)
|The Death of Superman|
Blu-ray cover depicting Superman's torn cape wrapped around a damaged pole rising from a pile of rubble
|Written by||Peter J. Tomasi|
"The Death of Superman"|
by Dan Jurgens
|Music by||Frederik Wiedmann|
|Edited by||Christopher D. Lozinski|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Home Entertainment|
The Death of Superman is a 2018 American animated direct-to-video superhero film produced by Warner Bros. Animation and DC Entertainment. It is based on the DC comic book storyline of the same name. The film, which chronicles the battle between Superman (Jerry O'Connell) and Doomsday, is the 32nd installment in the DC Universe Animated Original Movies and the 11th film in the DC Animated Movie Universe. The Death of Superman was released on July 24, 2018. A sequel, Reign of the Supermen, will be released in 2019.
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Superman has become an icon of virtue for the citizens of Metropolis, a notion that still infuriates billionaire and Superman foe Lex Luthor, who considers the alien a threat to his city. After foiling a kidnapping attempt of the mayor by Intergang armed with Apokolips technology, such as the Mother Box, Superman and the Justice League send the pieces to S.T.A.R. Labs for analysis. Meanwhile Superman, in an unprecedented move, presents the rocket that brought him from Krypton to Earth, and its birthing matrix, containing Kryptonian DNA technology to the world, through an interview with the Daily Planet ace reporter Lois Lane. Lois is in a romantic relationship with Superman's alter-ego, Clark Kent. Despite their long term relationship, and meeting his parents Jonathan and Martha, she is apprehensive of Clark's secrecy about his past. Clark's reluctance to reveal everything about himself, from his alter-ego to his past in general, creates a rift between the two, making Lois reconsider their relationship.
At S.T.A.R labs, Silas Stone and his associate Dr. John Henry Irons analyze the fragments to be made of a metal alloy composed of both Apokoliptian and Earth elements, leaving one suspect whose company has the means to synthesize Apokoliptian and Earth technologies: Lex Luthor. Superman confronts a currently house arrest and ankle monitor wearing Luthor, who denies any involvement. Meanwhile, an astronaut team under the guidance of Superman admirer Capt. Hank Henshaw, is repairing a satellite aboard the Excalibur space shuttle when a boomtube opens propelling a meteorite towards Earth, with the shuttle in its way. Though Henshaw hopes Superman will save them like he has before, the shuttle is destroyed by the meteorite's debris with only Henshaw's body unaccounted for as the meteorite crashes 10,000m into the ocean floor near the East Coast in the Atlantic Ocean, monitored by Luthor and his team of scientists in an underground research facility. Luthor, escaping his house arrest through a decoy, sends a team of deep sea explorers to the crash site. The explorers encounter Atlanteans at the crash site with both survey groups annihilated by a 9-foot giant humanoid beast that emerges from the wreckage.
The beast reaches the US coastline, murdering two campers and a grizzly bear, while en route towards the most populated city in the vicinity: Metropolis. After going on a rampage decimating police units, the Justice League arrive to fight him. But the beast single-handily defeats each League member with them barely surviving, the Martian Manhunter managing to telepathically delve into the beast's mind to reveal him as a living weapon with zero empathy and designed specifically to annihilate large civilizations. As the beast heads to Metropolis, Batman notes their last hope is Superman. At the same time, Clark and Lois meet for lunch at a tavern owned by Superman fan Bibbo Bibbowski, where Clark finally reveals his truth when removing his glasses, revealing himself as Superman to a shocked Lois. The two resolve their differences before Clark receives a distress call from the Justice League. Now in the city, Wonder Woman fights the beast before falling victim herself as Superman arrives in time to save her from being stabbed by the beast using her broken sword.
The beast is dubbed by Lois as "Doomsday" as the fight between him and between Superman is reported live from the air by Lois and her cameraman Jimmy Olsen. The news crew is attacked by Doomsday until they are rescued by a wounded Superman, fighting through Metropolis before they end up at the Hall of Justice where Doomsday is winning. Luthor, having enjoyed Superman losing against, arrives in his own battlesuit to kill Doomsday and win over the Metropolis citizens as their true savior. But Doomday recovers with Superman saving Luthor before resuming the fight, only for Lois to realize he is taking his toll on him as she pelts Doomsday with a rock. Doomsday extrudes a bony spear through his arms as he walks toward Lois to kill her. Superman sees this, and with one final burst of war cry, hurls himself straight towards Doomsday; Superman's speed is enough to twist Doomsday's neck around to kill him, but unfortunately, Doomsday stabs him at the chest at the same time, killing the Man of Steel. Lois holds a dying Superman in her arms. Having been assured that Doomsday is dead, and that the city is safe, Superman smiles and lets his last breath.
Jimmy broadcasts the death live all over the world, with the footage of Superman's ripped cape on a damaged pole rising from a pile of rubble, creating a global mourning. A state funeral is held for the Man of Steel where everyone except Batman, who is seen at Wayne Manor with his son mourning, attends the funeral. After the funeral, the Kents welcome Lois into their family. Jimmy rushes to Lois urging her to come with him to Superman's mausoleum where they find his coffin open and a figure observing Superman's statue before he flies away. At the same time, at S.T.A.R. Labs, an exonerated Luthor attempts to request custody of Doomsday's corpse for Project Cadmus before Superman's rocket self-starts and flies off.
Superman's rocket buries itself under the Arctic Ice near the North Pole and terraforms the Fortress of Solitude as a Superman-like figure watches. Inside a Cadmus laboratory, numerous failed Superman clones are destroyed as one successful prototype walks away and escapes. Dr. Irons is seen forging a metallic version of the Superman symbol onto a suit of armor. And lastly, a cyborg resembling Superman is shown flying above Earth's atmosphere.
The Death of Superman is intended to be the 32nd installment in the DC Universe Animated Original Movies line, the 11th film in the DC Animated Movie Universe, and is based on the 1992—1993 DC comic book storyline of the same name. The story had previously been adapted in the 2007 film Superman: Doomsday. However, Superman: Doomsday greatly altered and condensed the story to fit it within a 75-minute runtime, including the events associated with the return of Superman and that sequel-based comic. The Death of Superman was written to be much more faithful to the original story; according to DC's Tim Beedle, the film is "much less condensed and will include many of the fan-favorite moments from the story that were left out of Doomsday." The film is co-directed by Jake Castorena and produced by Warner Bros. Animation and DC Films. According to supervising producer James Tucker, a primary theme of the film is relationships and their impact on Superman's world.
The Death of Superman had its premiere at the San Diego Comic-Con International on July 20, 2018 and released in direct-to-video on August 7, 2018, distributed by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on DVD, Blu-ray, and on digital distribution platforms on July 24, 2018.
Reviews for The Death of Superman have been positive. It currently holds an 91% on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 11 reviews. Newsarama called the film "One of DC's Best Animated Films in Past 5 Years", praising the epic and emotional punch the film accomplishes in all three acts. i09 gave another positive review, praising Superman's character arc, his relationship with Lois, and the story at large because the DC Universe Movies adaptations currently "graft pre-Crisis storylines onto a new continuity, which affords different angles, strengths, and weaknesses... Because the backdrop for this version of Death of Superman is different, new choices get made to communicate a sense of threat." It was because of that, that "The Death of Superman film adaptation justifies its existence." Website WhatCulture.com gave a mixed review, explaining that the film is "an affecting tribute to the Superman mythos and an animated film frustratingly hamstrung by blatant corner-cutting both technically and creatively" as which it "fails to live up to its colossal potential." The website also ranked the film's pros and cons, with mediocre animation, tone inconsistency, and mixed acting overshadowing the positives of having Superman's death being more effective in execution, and being faithful to the source material. Regardless, they still stated that the film "delivers the basic goods and should rouse enough intrigue for the sequel, Reign of the Supermen." 
Comic book tie-in
In August 2018, DC announced a 12-part digital comic series titled "The Death of Superman: Part 1", written by veteran Superman writer Louise Simonson serves as a prequel to the film. In the US, retailer Best Buy offered an exclusive "Deluxe Edition" Blu-Ray containing a hardcover graphic novel titled "The Death of Superman: The Wake." The four-chapter series, also written by Simonson picks up shortly after the events of the film.
A sequel, Reign of the Supermen, will be released in early 2019. It will be based on the second part of the storyline. The cast includes Cameron Monaghan as Kon-El / Superboy, Cress Williams returning as Steel, Eradicator, and Jerry O'Connell as Cyborg Superman.
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- "The Death Of Superman Review: 5 Ups & 6 Downs". WhatCulture. Retrieved July 27, 2018.
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