“Superman: Man of Tomorrow” Animated Movie Review

Superman: Man of Tomorrow

Digital Release: August 23, 2020
Physical Release: September 8, 2020

WRITTEN BY: Tim Sheridan
DIRECTED BY: Chris Palmer

Darren Criss as Superman
Zachary Quinto as Lex Luthor
Alexandra Daddario as Lois Lane
Brett Dalton as Parasite/Rudy Jones
Ryan Hurst as Lobo
Ike Amadi as Martian Manhunter
Neil Flynn as Jonathan Kent
Bellamy Young as Martha Kent
Cristina Milizia as Maya, Petey & Kaylie
Eugene Byrd as Ron Troupe
April Stewart as Mrs. Ross
Piotr Michael as Perry White

Reviewed by: T.A. Ewart (aka liheibao)

The Timmverse and Tuckerverse have come and gone, and now (reportedly) the DC Animated Universe begins anew, and, rightfully so, with Superman. In the new animated feature, Superman: Man of Tomorrow, viewers are treated to the first days of Superman’s adventures, in addition to Clark Kent’s adjustment to city life in Metropolis and interning at the great metropolitan newspaper, the Daily Planet. Lois Lane, Ron Troupe, and Perry White, of course, are all on hand to provide support. Lex Luthor, Lobo, and the Parasite provide the villainy. There are more than a few positive steps made in the overture of Superman and the DCAU’s new status quo, and some areas that could definitely stand improvement despite the aforesaid.

Viewers who were attached to the animation of the Tuckerverse, may find the design of Superman: Man of Tomorrow 180 degrees different. Superman is slimmer, more athletic in build. Characters seems less 3-dimensional, noting the looser, lighter style. However, it’s also much brighter than previously shown, so much in fact that one would believe the sun didn’t exist in previous films. Clark Kent is his standard, mild-mannered self, while Lois Lane has a contemporary upgrade, designed to be more sporty, less femme-power in a pencil-skirt. The Kents are a mixture of indecision. Old, yet fit, rural though cosmopolitan in dress. The biggest change is given to the Parasite, who receives a kaiju enhancement for this film… and for little reason. Luthor and Lobo, we’ve seen this duo before, nothing new to note. It’s a fresh design for the most part, allowing for a new world of Superman to be created and hopefully believed.

The voice acting of all the newcomers should be commended. Darren Criss does good turns with both Clark Kent and Superman, providing the needed nuance between the voices without any thick additives. Alexandra Daddario’s Lois Lane is precise. Her tone is feminine, dismissive, and alluring, but without the brusqueness that fetters too many Lois Lane renditions. Zachary Quinto’s time as a villain pays out great dividends here as Lex Luthor, as viewers know by his cadence that he’s not a man to be trusted… and proves that throughout the film. All of the corners of the film are in steady working order, but it is the crucial angle of the story where things become a little unsteady.

Superman: Man of Tomorrow is effectively an origin story for Superman. Viewers should learn who he is, why he acts as he does, and how those actions are necessary to the world he lives in. While we are given some fine moments in the film to enjoy, that crucial part of Superman: Man of Tomorrow is missing, overall. The characterization between Clark and the Kents is perfectly familial. The interplay between Lois, Clark, and Superman is some of the best since Superman: The Animated Series. Lois trying to dupe Clark into giving up his story to her is a classic move on her part, as is Clark’s repost. The fight between Superman and Lobo was excellent, even if we’re shown more of Superman than we needed to view. However, the integral part of any Superman story is that he’s the hero, the needed component to solve the problem that besets the people. While a “Story of Superman” victory is still a win, it’s a triumph for a more established Superman, one with a “Story of Superman” to activate. This is Superman’s first outing, and viewers really needed to see a capable Superman in addition to a caring one.

Still, the foundation of what will (hopefully) be the DCAU has been laid, and it is steady, if the initial constructions are incomplete. Superman: Man of Tomorrow is bright, entertaining, and a good opening. It will please new and long-time fans of Superman, which is the best outcome a film can ask. The new adventures of Superman begin, once more, again.

P.S. Trunks!

T.A. Ewart

Superman: Man of Tomorrow is available NOW for digital download, and will be available on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack (USA $39.99 SRP; Canada $44.98 SRP) and Blu-ray Combo Pack (USA $24.98 SRP; Canada $29.98 SRP). The 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack features an Ultra HD Blu-ray disc in 4K with HDR, a Blu-ray disc featuring the film in hi-definition, and a digital version of the movie. The Blu-ray Combo Pack features a Blu-ray disc with the film in hi-definition, a DVD with the film in standard definition, and a digital version of the movie.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
August 26, 2020 7:25 pm

No no, an all around fair assessment of the first instalment in the post-“Justice League Dark: Apokolips War“ era of the DC Universe Movies’ franchise.

Personally I thought it was just hella dope af, and one of the best Superman animated movies been put out yet.

I truly hope we get a sequel down the line — regardless of it not being intended as the foundation for a new continuity (the PTB on the movie said it’s not intended to kick off a new main continuity line).

August 26, 2020 8:58 pm
Reply to  Anthony_Mage

I am so looking forward to seeing this film. Hopefully I will avoid any spoilers. I haven’t read this review yet. I will wait till I see the film before I read it. I skipped to the comment section because I wanted to read what fellow Superman fans have said about it. Although that might not be a good idea since anyone could spoil it. Lol 🙂

Last edited 3 years ago by Superman2878
August 27, 2020 9:45 am

So by your implication I’m guessing Superman is seen nude at some point? If so, this just seems like more of DC’s desperate, dumb, and debilitating concern with being “edgy” like the cursing, gore, and all that. Not that there’s anything wrong with the human body it’s just ..why? Other than the novelty of “This ain’t ya daddy’s Super Friends” it’s not actually adult or mature.

Last edited 3 years ago by MattComics
August 27, 2020 2:28 pm
Reply to  MattComics

Yeah. He’s “out” there. 😉

August 27, 2020 4:52 pm
Reply to  MattComics

its done in a way where you literally see naff all So don’t worry

August 27, 2020 4:52 pm

I liked it but thought the ending was anticlimactic

August 29, 2020 12:21 am
Reply to  Bobbywoodhogan

– I completely agree with you. I really enjoy most of the film and I loved almost everything. But you’re right….the ending was anti-climatic.

August 29, 2020 12:33 am

I enjoyed this film. However, the finale was not as thrilling as I had hoped. Overall, I give the movie a 6/10.
Here’s it’s placement on my list of solo Superman animated movies:

(1) Superman vs. The Elite
(2) All Star Superman
(3) The Death of Superman
(4) Superman: Unbound
(5) Superman: Man of Tomorrow
(6) Reign of The Supermen
(7) Superman Red Son
(8) Superman: Doomsday
(9) Superman: Brainiac Attacks

NOTE: I didn’t include “Public Enemies,” “Apocalypse,” “The Return of Black Adam” or any other “Justice League” animated movies because Superman really isn’t the solo lead character.

August 29, 2020 9:13 pm

I’m going to be *that* guy again (what a surprise) and disagree with the consensus. I hated every single minute of it. Every line of dialogue feels forced, there is no flow in conversations. The lines are predictable, unnatural, borderline “trailer-talk”. There is no tension throughout most of the film; a common problem with these animated features lately, largely because of their reliance on long, meandering action sequences that often don’t connect to much else. The structure is sloppy, to put it mildly. Information coming out of nowhere, when the film nees it. The plotting is all over the place.… Read more »

Last edited 3 years ago by NeoRanger