Review: Death of Superman

A brutal slugfest to the death… This is going to be good!

Overview:

Superman/Clark Kent is finding comfort on Earth, finally. Clark’s relationship with Lois Lane is progressing fast. The Justice League has bonded to the point of a family. Everything is going great. Which means, it is a great time for everything to go wrong.

A mysterious asteroid has come crashing down on Earth. Hidden inside the rock comes a beast with only one objective, kill everything. While Clark is distracted by sharing some very important new with Lois, the Justice League goes to confront this new foe. The monster easily does away with big names including Cyborg, Green Lantern, Batman, and Wonder Woman. There is only one man that can stand between this Doomsday and the destruction of everything, but Superman may have to make the ultimate sacrifice to do it.

Our Take:

The Death of Superman was a monumental occurrence in the world of comic books. There was a massive hype for this series, and specifically, the final black-bagged issue in which Superman finally met his fate. Comic book sales were at a low at this point during the early 90’s, but no one wanted to miss this ground-breaking milestone in Superman history.

It is no lie that characters die and come back in comic books on a seemingly weekly basis. But, not Superman. Superman was the first superhero, without him there would be no comic book industry today – at least not how we know it. Beyond being the first, he was also the greatest. There was never an argument to this point that anyone was more powerful than Supes. It is what he represented, pure, untouchable strength. Superman was a god. So, when Superman died it shook a whole industry to the core, no one was safe anymore.

If you have read the original book from 1992, you know it wasn’t all it was hyped up to be. Besides the heartbreaking conclusion, there wasn’t much to it. Doomsday shows up, after being alluded to for many issues prior and begins his rampage. He takes out Justice Leaguer after Justice Leaguer until finally, he faces the big guy. And for the rest of the story, it is a panel after panel slugfest. All action, all hits, until they both fall (oh yeah, spoiler: Superman dies in this one.)

Thank goodness they decided to stretch upon the story a little bit for the movie. Well, actually, they have had a couple of runs at this. In 2007, Superman: Doomsday was the first screen adaptation of Supermans infamous death. And, for some reason, they decided to slip this milestone into the end of the live-action Batman v Superman film. So they have learnt a thing or two about what works, and what really doesn’t work.

Death of Superman does a great job of cramming in some emotional investment before the clash of blows began. The Lois and Clark love story worked really well, which is a good thing because sometimes it can be sloppy. And, seeing the Justice League sitting around cracking jokes and talking family is always good entertainment, especially if Flash’s jokes are on point. They made the stakes high, and you knew Supes death was inevitable the whole time.

Well, if this story is all about the action, let’s get into it then. First off, Doomsday looked amazing. There have been many renditions of this mysterious titan, but I truly appreciated this one. They stayed true to the source material, starting him off in a creepy suit that is slowly blown off piece by piece the more hits he takes. And, from start to finish it was the same Doomsday from 1992, but with some slight adjustments for some detail. He looked freaky.

The Justice League battled hard, but I also loved that it took Doomsy no time at all to deal with these lightweights. In the comics, he powered through a bunch of c-list characters with no problem at all. This time we get to see him take out the A-team one at a time.

When Superman finally joins the fray you can’t help but get pumped. The hits were so much bigger, you could almost feel them. I am sure if this was on the big screen, you would shake. The punches go all-out, and you can’t help but wonder as these gods take hit after hit that would kill a normal man a thousand-fold. And, Superman’s final hit is of pure brutal gruesomeness, taking this Superman movie to as dark of a place as you would expect from a Batman-Joker movie.

It was all really well-done. A complete thrill ride. I do wish the first half of the movie paced a little quicker. As I mentioned, they built up a lot of emotion, because of that beginning lacked anything eye-catching. They also messed with the ending in a confusing way, but this does tie in with the DC Animated Movie Universe, so maybe these were hints as to what we can be expecting. Which is anyone’s guess. Anyways, it was the thrill ride, action-packed, slugfest I was hoping for in the end. Needless to say, I loved it.

Score
8/10

Jesse Bereta

Jesse (Green Onion) Bereta is a chef of words. Classically trained in the kitchen, Jesse changed careers in ‘015 to pursue his passion of writing (and being a full time pop culture nerd). Aside from his work as a freelance writer, Jesse also operates his own website, podcasts, and is a father of two budding sprouts. The Green Onion headquarters is located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

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