If you were a comic book fan in the early 1990’s you no doubt remember a major event that took place from December 1992 to October 1993: the death of Superman. The event was such a major happening in the comic book world, mainstream media reported the event, and “Superman” # 75 sold over six million copies. making the issue the top selling comic of 1992.
Of course comic book fans know most superheroes never really die, and Superman was eventually revived. The story has been adapted to various media, including a 2007 animated film loosely based on the storyline. The 2016 film “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” drew narrative elements from “The Death of Superman”, as the hero battles Doomsday, a monstrous creation developed by Lex Luthor with the aid of Kryptonian engineering.
Flash forward to 2018 and we have the first of a two part animated adaptation “The Death of Superman”. This film will be followed by the 2019 release “The Reign of the Supermen.” The film begins with Superman doing his typical duties in Metropolis, saving people from harm, courting Lois Lane, and dealingwith Lex Luthor. Meanwhile, above the Earth, an astronaut team is repairing a satellite, only to be confronted by a meteorite heading towards Earth. The meteorite is headed directly toward the crew of astronauts and even though one of crew just knows Superman will save them, sadly it never happens. The meteorite crashes into the ocean floor, and some Atlanteans discover, along with a group of explorers sent by Luthor, the meteorite contains a 9-food giant humanoid beast. Eventually the beast we know as Doomsday battles members of the Justice League, but handily defeats them. As Doomsday heads to Metropolis, Batman realizes the League must find Superman to help them bring the creature down. When the creature arrives in Metropolis, Wonder Woman shows up to make an attempt to defeat Doomsday. Despite her strength and best efforts, she is defeated and as the creature is about to deal a death blow to Wonder Woman, Superman arrives to save her. As in the original comic book story, the battle between Superman and Doomsday is a knockdown drag out affair, culminating in what is no surprise, Superman’s death.
This animated film is high-quality and can be enjoyed by kids, adults, comic book fans and of course Superman fans. The film also conveys the relationship of the Justice League and how they compliment one another and know their roles. The animation is fantastic, and “The Death of Superman” is yet another triumph in the series of films from the DC Animated Movie Universe. I thoroughly enjoyed this effort, and despite being a Batman fan, recommend this animated film featuring a truly heroic turn from the Dark Knight’s best friend.