Movie Review: Reign of the Supermen (2019)

[Please note: as a direct follow up to 2018’s The Death of Superman, there may be spoilers for that film in this review.]

The 13th entry in the DC Animated Movie Universe is a continuation of the animated adaption of The Death of Superman comics arc, Reign of the Supermen, begins with a simple, painful truth: Superman is dead. In his place rise four new heroes: a young, arrogant hero with all of Superman’s powers; a steel-clad warrior with a mighty hammer; a ruthless vigilante with no qualms about killing; and a half-man, half-machine hero with the desire to uphold truth, justice and the human way of life. In Superman’s absence, Lois Lane (Rebecca Romjin) sets out to discover more about this new quartet, with the help of Wonder Woman (Rosario Dawson) and even Lex Luthor (Rainn Wilson).

+ although hardly a minor character in the preceding film, Lois Lane gets a real opportunity to shine through Rebecca Romjins voice acting in this entry. Romjin’s scene or two with Wonder Woman (Dawson) are some of the best non-action moments. Now that the shock of Rainn Wilson as Lex Luthor is gone, you can see he is having fun with this (though I would have liked a bit more menace in this movie)
+ I enjoyed the four new additions, and I feel they did all get a chance to shine in their own ways. It is clear that some of them will be more prominent going forward than others, but taking them at face value in this movie, they were all fine. Those who don’t know the comics may find a few surprises in here, too
+ while the first film was a fresh retelling of an old tale, this entry tells the story of things that happens after that ‘old tale’; we’ve seen Superman and Doomsday duke it out several times, whether it be in animated form in the Justice League series or Superman: Doomsday or the live Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, so it was great to see what happens after that fact
+ in general, there is more action here, and on a larger scale than just Supes versus Doomsday, and it is pretty good, if a little bit too hectic at times. Still, it’s not often we get multiple people as powerful as Kryptonians on screen at once, so it made for a unique viewing experience, if nothing else

A fatal four way of new arrivals on the Metropolis hero scene (unnamed here, to avoid spoilers).

– this film does take more liberties with the original story, omitting entire characters and events in place for a more contained story. I felt the first film of this duology was perfectly paced at just under an hour and a half, but this entry definitely could have used another 30 minutes to include those events, to set things up further down the line

> without going into another “DC live action movies were so bad” rant, this would have been a fantastic story to do live action (in the future), as it introduces the opportunity to in-universe ret-con Superman himself, and maybe find a breakout star in one of the four new heroes

Should you see this film: This main premise here was interesting, but ran itself to the ground pretty quickly. The omission of characters and incidents which would prove integral to the comic universe of the time leave little wiggle room, unless the inevitable sequel to this film adds them in. This was okay, and well worth watching as a two-part viewing session, but it may not click with you in the same way the first film did.


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