Updated: Jan 24, 2019
‘Reign of the Supermen’ is the latest addition to the long line of animated DC movies that Warner Bros has produced. It serves as a sequel to ‘The Death of Superman’ an animated movie which released in 2018. ‘The Death of Superman’ was received fairly well by critics so it was important that Warner Bros met the standard that they previously set, and they definitely did not disappoint.
Even though ‘Reign of the Supermen’ serves as a direct sequel there is a stark contrast in between the two movies, some good and some not so good. Due to the nature of the movies a difference in tone would be expected, with reign of the supermen offering a much lighter atmosphere to the grittier death of superman. This comparatively lighter tone is matched by the introduction of a brand new character to the DC animated universe, Superboy a clone of everyone’s favourite kryptonian(voiced by Cameron Monaghan). The shift in approach allowed his character to shine through and show glimpses of why he was such a popular figure in the 90’s and still a fan favourite to this day. The same does not apply to every character as both the Eradicator and John Henry Irons (voiced by Charles Halford and Cress Williams respectively) fall short of delivering animpactful performance which could be described as forgetful.
’Reign of the Supermen’ is quite an achievement when you consider the fact the movie successfully manages to adapt the famous comic book story despite the creative changes, including changes to the writing team. ‘The Death of Superman’ was written by Peter J. Tomasi and while Tim Sheridan and Jim Krieger wrote ‘Reign of the Supermen’ the two movies seamlessly blend together as one, showing off the talent of the respective and showing what can be done with a good foundation in terms of following someone else’s work. This is a movie that relies on fan service and that was duly noted as we finally got to see Superman on the big screen in a slightly different aesthetic and sporting a more 90’s hairstyle, although this was expected it was certainly something that many fans in Superman’s classic image would appreciate and it is moments like this that carry the movie and make it a great success.
Unfortunately Warner Bros. have continued the trend of disappointing animation in these movies as it is noticeably poor in places and especially in the final phases of the movie. With five ‘super’ characters at their disposal the action scenes were not as “super” as they could have been and it really does these characters a disservice. This shines through even more when you compare it to the action scenes in the prequel to this movie where the battle between Superman vs Doomsday was breathtaking, there were moments where Superman and Doomsday were in the clouds and the audience felt as if we were with them, or moments where Metropolis gasped and we did too. But the actions scenes in Reign Of Supermen just didn’t quite capture the same essence. Every battle felt relatively low scale either due to a lack of care for the character or just poor fight sequences, even the final fight with the Cyborg Superman (voiced by Patrick Fabian) I expected more.
Warner Bros. done well to allude to what you can expect to come in the future in the DC Animated universe as it seems to point in a certain direction, this is shown throughout the movie and also with a post credits scene which will leave fans excited for the next installment. Overall this is a stellar addition to the universe and Warner Bros. should consider this an accomplishment.
REIGN OF THE SUPERMEN is out now on Digital Download and available on Blu-ray™ and DVD January 28
Ryan, The Nerd Council