Reign of the Supermen continues DC Animation’s streak of solid entries as it delivers on an action packed film that will satisfy fans of the iconic story.
Reign of the Supermen is a direct continuation of 2018’s The Death of Superman. Following the two part model DC Animation used with Jay Oliva’s The Dark Knight Returns, Reign of the Supermen is a solid retelling of the classic story. While many liberties were taken with the plot to streamline it to fit the wider animated universe, Reign of the Supermen does a satisfactory job in providing fans a more complete look at the classic Superman Story. While Superman: Doomsday, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League all interpreted the Death of Superman storyline, none properly looked at the Reign of the Supermen! comic arc. Directed by Sam Liu and starring voices both new and old, Reign of the Supermen plays it safe does a solid job bringing the story to life. Being a dense arc with multiple character angles, the film streamlines much of it and changes the later parts to have it fit a cleaner and moire focused narrative.
Reign of the Supermen follows the aftermath of Superman’s death. Metropolis mourns the fallen hero for a short while before four new Supermen show up in Metropolis. Steel, Cyborg Superman, The Eradicator and Superboy all claim to be the Man of Steel and attempt to fill the shoes left behind by Kal-El. The plot quickly establishes each Superman’s motivations and goals while also keeping some characters in the dark. The standouts here were Superboy and Cyborg Superman. Superboy, voiced by Cameron Monaghan, truly resembled his comic counterpart and was a rooting interest in the film.
On the other side of the spectrum, Cyborg Superman remained the clear villain for those with knowledge of the comic events. With each Superman operating with their own motives and goals, it quickly becomes apparent that the real Superman’s absence is that much more glaring. The story does a solid job in his resurrection and conclusion of the plot and it was nice to see a redesign for Superman mirroring 2016’s Rebirth. Overall, the true hero of this film was Lois Lane. Investigating the mystery of the new Supermen, while also mourning the loss of Clark Kent, Lois is as determined as ever and has more heroics than the characters with the iconic shield. The film does a great job giving Lois a character arc that makes sense and she was definitely one of the shining aspects of the film.
At New York Comic-Con last summer, The Farooqi Bros had the pleasure of interviewing the cast and crew of Reign of the Supermen. In the interview above, we talk about the film and the process of adapting the iconic story with director Sam Liu, producer James Tucker, designer Phillip Bourassa, the writers and cast. Feel free to subscribe above for more interview and coverage from our site.
Reign of the Supermen does a satisfactory job in telling the comic storyline. Due to the fact that it has never been adapted before, the film feels fresher than its Death of Superman counterpart. At the same time, the action sequences are not as engaging and the plot tends to waver at times to crunch the dense arc into 75 minutes. Another aspect of the film that tends to be apparent is the weaker animation. Comparing this film to DC’s own track record with Justice League War, The Dark Knight Returns and even Superman Doomsday shows a lack of fluidity in the movement and action. With WB and DC cranking out 3 animated films a year, one might think making it into 2 films will increase the individual budget and quality for films like this. Overall, these are small complaints in an overall solid animated movie.
At the end of the day, Reign of the Supermen will definitely satisfy fans new and old. Comic readers will enjoy seeing this classic story being adapted for the first time while newcomers will get to experience characters and stories in a fresh and engaging way. DC has been on a great streak of solid films in their animated slate and it is safe to say, it will continue to improve.