Film Review: The Death Of Superman

Directors: Jake Castorena and Sam Liu

Actors: Jerry O’Connell, Rebecca Romijn, Rainn Wilson, Rosario Dawson, Jason O’Mara, Shemar Moore, Christopher Gorham, Jennifer Hale, Rocky Carroll, Matt Lanter, Cress Williams

Producers: Alan Burnett, Sam Liu, Matthew Mahoney, Amy McKenna, Sam Register and James Tucker

 

A Brief History Of Reboots

Hollywood has a rich history of remakes and reboots. Most consider the first to be Ben-Hur. Charlton Heston played the title role of Judah Ben-Hur, a wealthy heir and businessman in Jerusalem. Hur chooses to stand against the Roman Empire as they oppress the Jewish people. Ben-Hur arrived in theaters in 1959, but the original version was a silent film released in 1925. It was based on an 1880 novel titled Ben-Hur: A Tale Of The Christ.

Fast-forward to September 17, 2007. Warner Bros. releases its first animated movie under its “DC Universe Original Animated Movies” line. The film was titled Superman: Doomsday. It was loosely based on “The Death Of Superman” story arc that ran in DC Comics in the early 1990’s. I liked the movie, but it missed the cohesion of showing how important Superman is to the Justice League. The Man of Steel is also essential to Metropolis and the world.

James Tucker took over as Supervising Producer of the DCOAM with Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, instituting a new canon which borrowed heavily from DC’s New 52 initiative. Then, in 2017, Tucker and company fulfilled a promise made to fans long ago by releasing Teen Titans: The Judas Contract.

This team is rewriting history again. This time, they’ve decided to tackle The Death Of Superman again. This version is a success.

The (Inter) Gang’s All Here

The Death Of Superman hits all of the right marks. It leaves room to tell a fuller story than the one we saw in Superman: Doomsday. The movie extends past the trio of Clark Kent, Lois Lane, and Lex Luthor and also lets us see the story through the eyes of other supporting characters.

Animated movie veteran Sam Liu is joined by Jake Castorena on directing duties. Castorena cut his teeth storyboarding art on shows such as Young Justice and Batman: The Brave and the Bold. He would eventually move to the director’s chair with Scooby-Doo & Batman: The Brave and the Bold, as well as episodes of Justice League Action.

Castorena and Liu shepherd a wealth of acting talent in this film. Jerry O’Connell seems tailor-made to play Superman. His wife, Rebecca Romijn, is cast as Lois Lane, and their banter makes for some touching scenes. Rainn Wilson of The Office gives us a menacing, yet almost heroic Lex Luthor. Rosario Dawson, Nathan Fillion, Jason O’Mara, Shemar Moore, and Christopher Gorham always turn in superb work as the Justice League.

Conclusion

The Death Of Superman has excellent directing, casting, writing, and acting. I have to be honest; I was not sure about making a reboot of a storyline that was already touched. I’m of the “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” camp and, please let me clarify – Superman: Doomsday is not broken, but The Death of Superman has brought a famous arc into the universe created by James Tucker and company, and it’s all the better for it.

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Kevin Gunn

Kevin is married with 4 children and 4 grandchildren. He loves all things related to DC Comics, even those movies that get a bad rep like "Batman & Robin" and "Catwoman." Kevin is the Editor in Chief of Dark Knight News. He has a degree in Communication, and is currently pursuing a Masters in Public Administration. His favorite DC hero and villain are Black Lightning (though Batman is a close second) and Black Manta respectively. Kevin tries to exemplify being a hero everyday by helping others. Something interesting about him: he was a contestant on "Wheel of Fortune." Follow Kevin on Twitter - @captsigma