The Death of Superman, based on a comic by the same name, is a Justice League team up film where the team must face and defeat Doomsday. Now, we have seen different variations of this fight in three films now: Superman: Doomsday, Batman v Superman, and lastly Death of Superman. In my opinion, Death of Superman was really able to succeed where the other adaptations have failed, making it one of my favorite DC animated films to date.
The writing in this film was absolutely superb. Peter J. Tomasi has already made a name for himself in the world of comics and the same is becoming true in the realm of comicbook movies. His adaptation of the Death of Superman possessed all of the elements required to this story, sticking almost exactly to the source material. Although the same basic story, Batman v Superman does not even remotely compare to this. (Hey, maybe the DCEU should get in touch with Tomasi since he obviously knows what he is doing!)
One of the most successful aspects of this film is the development of relationships. One of the most intriguing relationships was that of Superman and his public image. Throughout the entirety of the film we see the love and gratitude the people of the world, but especially that of the people of Metropolis, feel towards Superman. We see several characters, known and unknown, want to stop Superman and tell him just a simple thank you. He is beloved and it shows. This also showed the depth of Superman’s love for the people. Never once do we see him get annoyed or overwhelmed with the attention. Superman very obviously takes his responsibility of protector very seriously and loves the people just as much as they love him. This directly opposes the Superman of the live action film. He is revered like a god and so there is a tangible distance between him and the people.
Another relationship that is built up beautifully throughout the film is that of Superman and his teammates. Whenever they were seen training or sitting down to discuss strategy it was almost as if it was just another day at the office with some coworkers (but I assume if you are all extraordinary beings that fight crime, these things would be considered a regular day at the office). I liked that the team members pushed Superman to integrate his heroic life and his everyday life together. I can’t help but feel cheated that an animated film was able to create such an organic, complete dynamic between the Justice League characters while a multi-million budgeted live action film fell so completely flat.
The Doomsday character was amazing. Completely and utterly brutal. One of my favorite scenes is when the Justice League is battling Doomsday (and losing) and Batman asks Martian Manhunter to figure out what Doomsday’s motives were. Martian was unable to get anything other than rage and love of the battle. This made him a more terrifying monster. There was no placating him or bargaining. He just wanted to destroy. Another favorite scene of mine took place during this battle. Wonder Woman was phenomenal. She faced Doomsday like the complete and total badass that she is (in the animated films/comics at least). When her sword shattered I gasped aloud. The action sequence between the two was beautiful. In that particular moment, Diana Prince managed to steal the entire movie for me. The only complaint I have about the battle scene is the lack of inclusion of Blue Beetle. I definitely feel like Blue Beetle has gotten the short end of the stick in terms of representation, especially considering he is one of the very few Latin American supers we have.
The ending battle scene between Superman and Doomsday was exceptional. Although I knew the outcome, it kept me guessing the entire time. I don’t want to give too much away for those that still haven’t watched this film so I won’t go into too many details after the battle but I highly recommend Death of Superman to those that want to see what Batman v Superman should have been.