Review – “The Death of Superman” Animated Movie Comic-Con Premiere

By Luis Jaime

THE DEATH OF SUPERMAN
SAN DIEGO COMIC-CON 2018

The film begins in Metropolis. Intergang has kidnapped the mayor and his wife. The SCU, led by Maggie Sawyer, is first to arrive. Intergang are wearing bulletproof armor, which appears to be from Apocalypse. The Man of Steel arrives just in the nick of time, and makes quick work of the bad guys.

One of the onlookers is Bibbo Bibbowski. He calls out to Superman and has a brief conversation with him. He invites Supes to his new joint, The Ace O’ Clubs, and gets his picture taken with Superman. Superman has somewhere he has to be, so he calls the Justice League for a little help with the clean up.

We then see Lois Lane, as she impatiently waits for Superman to arrive. They exchange some witty banter, and they proceed to a laboratory. Inside is his Kryptonian rocketship. He tells Miss Lane that he’s grateful for her stories about Superman. Those stories helped him earn the people’s trust. Now, he wants to share his Kryptonian tech with the world.

Superman offers Miss Lane a lift to the Daily Planet. Once inside, Lois bumps into Clark Kent, knocking over all the papers and notes they are both carrying. Clark mentions that he has an exclusive story about Intergang. Lois says, “That’s nice,” and tells Clark to follow her. He asks what story could be bigger than Intergang. He then realizes, rather defeatedly, that it has something to do with her “super friend.” Lois gives him a smirk, and then takes Clark into a supply closet and they start to kiss. Clark mentions that she’s always a little turned on after she sees “him.” She says it’s probably the tights. Clark says that he’ll pick up a pair if that’s all it takes.

They discuss their plans for the weekend. Clark has to cancel because his parents are in town. Lois says that the weekend just got more interesting. Clark is a little apprehensive about Lois meeting his parents. This is uncharted territory for him. Lois reassures him that everything will be fine.

We then go to S.T.A.R. Labs, where Superman, Cyborg, and Dr. Silas Stone are examining a piece of metal from Intergang’s armor. Dr. Stone calls in Dr. John Henry Irons for some help identifying its origin. It’s possible it may have come from LexCorp, so Superman flies off to pay Lex a visit.

At the LexCorp Tower, Lex appears to be meditating when Superman shows up and starts demanding some answers. Lex tells him he can’t possibly know anything about that, since he is under house arrest and is forced to wear an ankle monitor.

Back at the Daily Planet, Lois has a short talk with Cat Grant, who grills her about Clark and meeting his parents. She tells Cat it’s not a big deal, and as of right now, her and Clark are just “good friends.” Cat knows they are more than that ever since Lois stopped referring to Clark as “Smallville.”

Next scene takes place in space, at an orbiting satellite in Earth’s orbit. Dr. Hank Henshaw and his wife are repairing the satellite. Once they finish, he tells his crew to take one last good look before they head back home. Hank Henshaw says that if you look closely, sometimes you can see a red cape flying through the exosphere. Hank tells his crew how Superman saved his life. “You can always count on Superman,” he says with a smile.

A little further beyond Dr. Henshaw and his crew, we see a Boom Tube open. A large asteroid comes out and appears to be heading towards Earth. It threatens Henshaw and his crew. The debris is on a collision course with the satellite. Henshaw and the crew get aboard their ship to escape, but it is too late. The debris has damaged the ship. Hank tells everyone not to worry because he’s sure that Superman is on his way. He tells his wife that it’s okay, “You can always count on Superman.”

An asteroid severs the tail of the spacecraft, and the crew, along with Hank’s wife, get sucked out into space. Another asteroid hits the ship dead on, destroying it completely, with Hank Henshaw still onboard. Hank’s final thoughts were of Superman.

As the large asteroid, that exited the Boom Tube, enters the Earth’s atmosphere, it starts to break up, revealing a large, bound creature. It crashes in the ocean, and rests at the bottom of the sea. Lex has been monitoring the whole situation, and is now sending a team to retrieve the asteroid.

Next, we see Wonder Woman fighting with Cheetah. It should be noted, that Wonder Woman is wearing her New 52 outfit, which has appeared in several DC Universe Animated films. She yells at Clark for an assist. Superman shows up, but he’s busy fighting Metallo. He tells Wonder Woman to please use code names when they are in the field, as he doesn’t want his real name public. They bring up how they used to be in a relationship together some time ago, mirroring the events in the New 52.

This all takes place within the first 20 minutes of the movie.

I won’t spoil the rest of movie, even though I’m sure you know how it’s going to end.

From this point forward, we see Doomsday’s trek toward Metropolis.

Lois meeting Clark’s parents.

The Justice League fighting Doomsday.

Clark telling Lois his secret.

And Superman’s final battle against Doomsday.

I will have to say, watching Superman dying in Lois’ arms brought tears to my eyes. Jimmy was videotaping the whole fight with Doomsday, so the whole world experienced the death of Superman at he same time.

The memorial service was beautiful. His body was laid to rest underneath the classic statue of him with an eagle on his arm.

With the world in mourning, there is a scene straight out of ACTION COMICS #685, with Bibbo asking the Lord, “Why would you let Superman die? When a washed up, roughneck like me goes on living? It ain’t right God. It just ain’t right.”

I can remember, very vividly, how I felt when I first read those words, now over 25 years ago. That was the first time a comic book had ever made me cry. The scene from the movie brought all those feelings rushing back. This was my favorite scene in the whole movie.

The epilogue sets up the next movie, which feels just like the end of ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN #500, with four different Supermen appearing.

I enjoyed the movie, it is worth watching when it comes out, and I am looking forward to seeing the REIGN OF THE SUPERMAN and how it will be interpreted on the big screen.

THE DEATH OF SUPERMAN will be available digitally on July 24, 2018, and on Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD August 7, 2018.

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