|The Death of Superman|
|Directed by||Sam Liu|
|Produced by||Sam Liu|
|Written by||Peter J. Tomasi|
|Based on||The Death of Superman by|
|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 (a story previously adapted in Superman: Doomsday), is the 32nd installment in the DC Universe Animated Original Movies and the 10th film in the DC Animated Movie Universe. Released on July 24, 2018 the film received a limited theatrical release on January 13, 2019. A sequel, Reign of the Supermen, was released on January 15, 2019.
Superman has become a popular superhero in Metropolis and the world. After foiling an attempted abduction of the mayor by Intergang, he takes a piece of their technology to S.T.A.R. Labs for analysis. Following this, Superman is interviewed by Daily Planet reporter Lois Lane about his family heritage and the origins of how he came to Earth. Later that night, Lois meets Clark Kent’s (Superman’s human identity which Lois doesn’t know), adoptive parents. Because of her little knowledge about Clark’s personal life, Lois leaves upset and leaving her reconsidering their relationship.
At S.T.A.R. Labs, Dr. Silas Stone and Dr. John Irons examine the technology from the Intergang attack and confirm it to be of Apokoliptian[N 1] and Earth origin, leaving Superman to suspect that his archenemy Lex Luthor was involved in supplying Intergang. Luthor, who is currently in government arrest, however, refuses his involvement, but Superman remains suspicious. Meanwhile in space, astronauts Hank Henshaw, his wife Terri, and their crew are suddenly impacted by a meteorite that portaled out of nowhere. The meteor damages their ship, killing Terri and the crew, leaving Hank’s fate unknown. Upon crash landing in the ocean, Lex Luthor sends a submarine crew to investigate while the Atlanteans do the same. Without warning, the Atlanteans and the sub crew are attacked and killed by a large being in a containment suit, who tears across the country on a rampage.
At a restaurant owned by Superman fan Bibbo Bibbowski, Clark confesses to Lois that he is Superman and that he loves her. Meanwhile, the unknown being heads toward Metropolis, attacking everything and everyone it sees until the Justice League arrives to confront it. The being leaves several members of the League injured and nearly kills Wonder Woman in a struggle until Superman arrives to confront it. The being emerges from its suit and is revealed to be a gray-skinned, white-haired monster with incredible strength, stamina, and invulnerability. The creature, dubbed "Doomsday" by Lois, attacks Superman, who grapples with it. Superman and Doomsday engage in a fierce battle across Metropolis which eventually leaves Superman bleeding and exhausted with pain. When the monster sees Lois and prepares to kill her, Superman flies toward it at full speed and deals a blow that snaps Doomsday's neck, ending the monster's violent rampage. Superman is victorious, but is severely wounded and seemingly dies in Lois' arms while Jimmy Olsen records the heartbreaking scene.
In the aftermath, a state funeral is held for Superman and the Kents welcome Lois into their family. Some time later, Jimmy brings Lois back to Superman’s memorial where his coffin is empty as the world watches a figure resembling Superman fly away. In a series of mid- and post-credits scenes[N 2], a clone of Superman survives numerous failed experiments from LexCorp, Dr. Irons is seen forging his own Superman suit from steel, Superman’s rocket buries itself in the North Pole resulting in the creation of the Fortress of Solitude and a Superman-like cyborg with Hank Henshaw’s face is seen flying in space, heading towards Earth.
The Death of Superman is 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. The film was also released in a limited theatrical release alongside Reign of the Supermen on January 13, 2019. The movie has been re-released on home video, edited together with its sequel, on October 1, 2019 as "The Death and Return of Superman"
Reviews for The Death of Superman have been positive. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a rating of 92% based on 13 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." IGN put out their own mixed review, pointing out that "The Death of Superman marks the third time in 11 years that a movie has killed off the Man of Steel... making this latest DC animated offering a tedious case of been there-done that. While this new version hews more closely to its bestselling 1992–1993 namesake comics event than either 2007’s Superman: Doomsday or 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice did, it nevertheless lacks anything truly fresh or revelatory to add to this now well-worn tale."
The film earned $919,629 from domestic DVD sales and $5,033,391 from domestic Blu-ray sales, bringing its total domestic home video earnings to $5,953,020.
Comic book tie-in
In August 2018, DC announced a 12-part digital comic series titled "The Death of Superman: Part 1", by veteran Superman writer Louise Simonson. 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 Best Buy graphic novel includes the last four chapters of Simonson's digital comic series.
A sequel titled Reign of the Supermen, was released on DVD and Blu-Ray on January 15, 2019. It is based on the second part of the storyline. The cast includes Cameron Monaghan as Kon-El / Conner Kent / Superboy and Charles Halford as Eradicator.
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- Narcisse, Evan (July 22, 2018). "The Death of Superman Movie Changes Up a Classic DC Comics Story Just Enough to Work". io9. Retrieved July 27, 2018.
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- Bonomolo, Cameron (February 24, 2018). "'Death Of Superman' Animated Movie First Look Released". ComicBook.com. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
- Matadeen, Renaldo (February 25, 2018). "Death of Superman Animated Film Debuts First Image". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
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