Moderator / Reviewer
- Apr 4, 2017
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Reign of the Supermen
Sam Liu is pretty much dominating these WB DCAU films recently. He’s directed the vast majority of the new DCAU films by FAR, as well as been heavily involved with the production/directing of The Batman and several other DC animated enterprises. So it was more than natural to have him helm the second part (or sequel shall we say) to 2018’s The Death of Superman (one of the most iconic comic book story lines in all of Superman history) with his resurrection in animated form. Reign of the Supermen is a solid sequel to The Death of Superman, wrapping up all the coy little winks and nods from that movie, as well as bringing in some fresh blood in the from of Superboy and Man of Steel as well. The end is a bit lacking for such an epic story line, but the movie is a satisfactory addition of the new DCAU film series and a fun watch.
Small spoilers from The Death of Superman (sorry, the title along gives away the biggest one). Superman (Jerry O’Connell) was killed by Darkseid’s (legendary character actor Tony Todd) tool Doomsday, and the world is reeling from the lack of Superman. Metropolis is not long for superheroes, as the city sees an uptick in crime, followed by an uptick in super men. The first being a child wonder with all the powers of Superman, but only a fraction of his age, named Superboy (Cameron Monaghan). The second a powerful entity wearing the superman cape and a brutal sense of justice known as Eradicator, a man of LITERAL steel who dons the cape, and a mysterious half human, half cyborg who claims he IS Clark Kent (e.g. the real deal) himself. None of these super MEN have the exact code of the one they claim to be, and each one vying for a spot in the limelight as the new king of superheroes.
Lois Lane (Rebecca Romijn) is more than suspicious of the newcomers, especially Superboy, who is bankrolled (and ruled) by Lex Luthor (Rainn Wilson) himself. However, she is inexorably drawn to the Cyborg Superman, who claims that Kryptonian technology has made his return possible. He says the right things, he has enough of the memories, but there’s something “off” about him. When the rest of the Justice League is transported to another dimension via a Darkseid portal, Lois begins to dig deeper into the identities of these Super Men and slowly uncovers a plot that emanates much further away from her normal targets of Luthor and evil on earth.
Still, there is a lot of fun to be had with the varying super men vying for power, and the battles are actually really neat. The opening one at the podium with Eradicator, Superboy and Steel is a (literal) blast, but sadly the Justice League themselves are only there for window dressing. It seemed like the studio felt that they needed more big name characters thrown in, so they did so, even if the result was that they were only in the movie to wave at the camera and then vanish.
Rated PG-13 for sequences of action violence
• A Sneak Peek at the next DC Universe Movie, Justice League vs. The Fatal Five
• From the DC Vault: Superman: The Animated Series, "Heavy Metal"
• From the DC Vault: Justice League Unlimited, "Panic in the Sky"
Reign of the Supermen is a solid conclusion to last year’s Death of Superman, even though it culminates with a less than stellar ending for the film. The action is intense, the technical specs quite pleasing, and a rather fun watch from beginning to end. Fans of the series will be glad to know that it ties together all the loose ends of The Death of Superman, with the only issue being the before mentioned weaker ending. Definitely worth checking out for fans of the DCAU.
Starring: Jerry O'Connell, Rebecca Romijn, Rainn Wilson, Patrick Fabian, Charles Halford, Cameron Monaghan, Nathan Fillion Rosario Dawson, Cress Williams
Directed by: Sam Liu
Written by: James Krieg, Jim Sheridan
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1, AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, French, German, Spanish DD 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, German SDH, Japanese, Spanish, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish
Studio: Warner Brothers
Runtime: 87 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: January 29th, 2019
Recommendation: Solid Watch