The Death and Return of Superman
review by Bobby Blakey
DC continues to churn on some great animated features with some of them based on iconic properties including The Killing Joke, The Dark Knight Returns and more recently Batman: Hush. Back in 2007 DC released the film Superman: Doomsday focusing on the famed story arc that including the death of Superman. In 2018 DC took on the story once again with the film The Death of Superman followed in 2019 by The Reign of Supermen. Now they are bringing them together in one epic collection with The Death and Return of Superman Complete Film Collection.
The Death and Return of Superman finds Superman in a fight to the finish when the Man of Steel becomes the only hero who can stand in the way of the monstrous creature Doomsday and his unstoppable rampage. Superman saves the planet, but not himself, leaving Earth’s citizens – and his heroic contemporaries – dealing with a world without Superman. The aftermath of Superman’s death, and the subsequent disappearance of his body, leads to a new mystery – is Superman still alive? The question is further complicated when four new super-powered individuals – Steel, Cyborg Superman, Superboy and the Eradicator – emerge to proclaim themselves as the ultimate hero. In the end, only one will be able to proclaim himself the world’s true Superman.
While this version of the story is altered from the source material it does manage to capture the original story pretty well. I was a bit bummed they didn’t go the more classic route to use the original Superman look for this story, but get it in and it is interesting to see the ongoing universe they have built. There was way more down time and story than I had expected going in with the first half of the film as they build towards the full unleashing of Doomsday, but it made for a better film once things hit the fan. Where the story is obviously more focused on the big fight between Superman and Doomsday they give plenty of screen time to other members of the League
including letting each of them get in on their own one on one brutal fight. All these fights are great, but once Superman enters the fray things really pick up with a no holds barred fight that more than live up to the hype. There is a brutality to the fight all around that really gives you the sense of the danger that Doomsday really brings leading to the ending that while we all know is handled really well with all the emotions it deserves.
After Superman’s death we are introduced to the new players and it pretty much becomes a non-stop ride of action that is great fun to watch. There is a great four way fight that lets all the Supermen shine all while keeping the energy and fun intact without fully outshining each other. The voice cast all did a great job and the animation is on point as well. As with most of these there are some adjustments to the looks of them all, but they impressively kept them pretty accurate to the source material. Filled with tons of action, fun and more Supermen than you could want this film once again shows why DC reigns supreme in the animated feature genre. These were great films by themselves, but I am so glad they brought them together as one piece as it works so much better to make it feel all the more epic. Hardcore fans of the source material might have some issues with the changes and direction of some of it, but still think it worked pretty well.
The Death and Return of Superman Complete Film Collection Gift Set Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack features an Ultra HD Blu-ray disc in 4K with HDR and a Blu-ray disc featuring the film; the Blu-ray Combo Pack features the film in hi-definition. The Ultra HD Blu-ray and Blu-ray Combo Packs both include a digital version of the film, and each gift set will feature 45 minutes of new enhanced content, an Ultra HD Blu-ray disc in 4K with HDR bonus disc of Superman: Doomsday (first time in 4k) and a dazzling, four-inch figurine of the popular character Steel.
Grab your copy of The Death and Return of Superman Complete Film Collection Gift Set when it hits 4K Ultra and Blu-ray on October 1st from Warner Bros.