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The Death of Superman

The Death of Superman 2018

This was actually my first theater visit of 2019, second Fathom Events superhero film as I watched this in a double feature with the sequel The Reign of the Supermen. This is the second two-part animated movie in the DC Animated Universe after the Dark Knight Returns. This is also the third adaptation of the Death of Superman after what’s generally considered the first DC Animated Universe film release Superman/Doomsday and the much looser adaptation in the live action Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. It was one of the few major comic books that I actually read when it was released as my friend had a couple copies and I remember skimming through the Doomsday fight but only vaguely remember the latter half of the story. Where this film really shines is not just the fight with Doomsday, but it really gets to the human heart of the story and is one of the most touching versions of Superman’s death that I’ve seen.

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Superman Doomsday

Superman Doomsday 2007

This was advertised as the first animated Superman movie rated PG-13 and was really the start of the DC Animation boom that’s continued to this day. Before this, most of the movies released were drawn from the various animated series like Batman, Batman Beyond, and The Adventures of Superman. This one was based on one of the most popular comic books of all time, the Death of Superman, though there were many significant changes to the story. I was actually vaguely familiar with the Death of Superman story because one of my friends bought into the whole craze at the time so I read through the first issue shortly after it first came out. When this movie came out, I had heard that there was a brief cameo by Kevin Smith which referred to the giant mechanical spider he was asked to include during his work on the Superman Lives script. In the end, it turned out pretty well, though I do think it is one of the weaker animated projects, likely due to the fact that it was one of the earlier ones.
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