Animated ‘Reign of the Supermen’ Slated for January

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release the animated superhero movie Reign of the Supermen through digital retailers Jan. 15, and on Blu-ray, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Jan. 29.

The latest entry in the DC Universe brand is a sequel to The Death of Superman, released earlier this year, and continues the adaptation of the popular 1990s comic book storyline. Reign of the Supermen finds Superman’s absence filled by four super-powered individuals, each claiming his legacy after the Man of Steel’s body disappears, fueling rumors that he could still be alive.

The cast includes Jerry O’Connell as Superman, Rebecca Romijn as Lois Lane, Rainn Wilson as Lex Luthor, Cress Williams as Steel, Cameron Monaghan as Superboy and Patrick Fabian as Hank Henshaw, plus Jason O’Mara as Batman, Rosario Dawson as Wonder Woman, Shemar Moore as Cyborg, Nathan Fillion as Green Lantern, Christopher Gorham as The Flash, Nyambi Nyambi as Martian Manhunter and Tony Todd as Darkseid.

The Blu-ray and digital versions will include a “Lex Luthor: The Greatest Nemesis” featurette; a preview of the next DC Universe Movie, Justice League vs. The Fatal Five; and bonus cartoons

“Heavy Metal” from “Superman: The Animated Series,” and “Panic in the Sky” from “Justice League Unlimited.”

The Death of Superman

BLU-RAY REVIEW: 

Street Date 8/7/18;
Warner;
Animated;
$19.98 DVD, $24.98 Blu-ray, $39.99 Blu-ray gift set, $39.99 UHD BD.
Rated ‘PG-13’ for sequences of violence and action including some bloody images.
Voices of Jerry O’Connell, Rebecca Romijn, Rainn Wilson, Jason O’Mara, Rosario Dawson, Shemar Moore, Nathan Fillion, Matt Lanter, Christopher Gorham.

The Death of Superman packs a punch, in more ways than one.

The latest entry in the DC Universe brand of animated superhero movies is one of the more faithful representations of its source material, resulting in one of the most emotionally resonant movies based on a comic book in quite some time.

The Death of Superman is based on the legendary 1992-93 storyline that saw Superman sacrifice himself to save Metropolis from an unstoppable alien entity called Doomsday. Subsequent storylines dealt with Superman’s return amid the arrival of four new heroes each claiming the legacy of the Man of Steel, but that’s the subject for the next DC Universe movie, Reign of the Supermen.

The “Death of Superman” has provided inspiration for several adaptations over the years, most prominently in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (though the subsequent Justice League movie ignored most of the comic book’s storyline for his resurrection). A highly condensed version of the death and return arcs formed the basis of the first DC Universe animated movie, Superman: Doomsday, back in 2007.

And while Superman: Doomsday remains among the best-selling of the DC animated movies, it’s also regarded as something of a lost opportunity to really dive into the juiciest aspects of the storyline, given how much of it was altered to fit into the limited running time of a single movie. The Death of Superman does much to rectify that.

The new film is a continuation of a continuity that has established within the DC Universe films the past few years, allowing this film to build upon pre-existing character relationships. However, Superman was mostly a background player among an ensemble in those, so this is really the first of the sub-group to really give the character his due.

The movie begins with Superman, in his guise as Clark Kent, fumbling through a newfound love affair with Lois Lane, and getting relationship advice from, of all people, Wonder Woman, who had dated Superman in one of the earlier films.

The screenplay by Peter Tomasi is filled with wonderful insights about the Lois and Clark relationship as it explores the challenges of finding love when one is living a double life to conceal superpowers, as well as the tug-of-war between being a hero for the public and enjoying a private life.

There are also fun nods to other movies featuring the characters, such as Wonder Woman joking about an uptick in her popularity in the past year, and references going as far back to the 1978 Superman movie and its own iconic portraying of Superman’s courtship of Lois Lane.

The effectiveness of the story is given considerable weight by a great voice cast led by real-life husband-and-wife Jerry O’Connell as Superman and Rebecca Romijn as Lois (whose natural chemistry comes through despite the two not recording their lines together).

Rainn Wilson also has some fun in his portrayal of Lex Luthor, who is maneuvering in the background to understand what makes Doomsday tick even as Superman and the Justice League give their all to stop the monster’s rampage.

The film’s efforts to layer in its character dynamics pay off with a terrific climactic fight between Doomsday and Superman, who is all that stands in the creature’s way when the rest of the Justice League can’t stop it.

The Blu-ray includes a 16-minute featurette called “The Death of Superman: The Brawl That Topped Them All,” a good retrospective about the original comic book storyline involving many of the creative minds behind it, intercut with an analysis of the fight itself.

There’s also a 10-minute preview of the Reign of the Supermen movie due next year.

Finally, the Blu-ray includes the “Legion of Superheroes” certoon series two-part episode “Dark Victory,” which incorporated some ideas from the “Death of Superman” storyline.

Animated ‘Death of Superman’ Released Digitally July 24, on Disc Aug. 7

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release The Death of Superman, the latest entry in the DC Universe line of animated superhero movies, digitally July 24, and on Blu-ray, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Aug. 7.

The Death of Superman, based on the iconic 1990s comic book storyline, finds Superman as the last hope in stopping the destructive rampage of the monstrous Doomsday.

The comic was previously adapted in an abridged form as the first DC Universe animated movie, Superman Doomsday. Parts of the storyline were also used in the live-action Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

The new Death of Superman will be the first of a two-part adaptation that concludes with Reign of the Supermen in early 2019.

The voice cast includes Jerry O’Connell as Superman and his wife, Rebecca Romijn, as Lois Lane, with Rainn Wilson as Lex Luthor, Jason O’Mara as Batman, Rosario Dawson as Wonder Woman, Shemar Moore as Cyborg, Nathan Fillion as Green Lantern, Matt Lanter as Aquaman and Christopher Gorham as The Flash.

The DVD and Blu-ray will include a sneak peek at Reign of the Supermen.

The Blu-ray will also include the featurette “The Death of Superman: The Brawl That Topped Them All,” plus bonus cartoons — the two-parter “Dark Victory” from the “Legion of Superheroes” animated series.

There will also be a Blu-ray gift set that includes a Superman figurine.