After the death of Superman by the brutality of Doomsday, the Reign of the Supermen begins as other heroes fill the void left by the absence of the Man of Steel in Warner Brothers’ latest direct to home video animated feature.
Reign of the Supermen (2019)
Released: 29 Jan 2019
Runtime: 87 min
Director: Sam Liu
Genre: Animation, Action, Sci-Fi
Cast: Rainn Wilson, Rosario Dawson, Cameron Monaghan, Nathan Fillion
Writer(s): Jon Bogdanove (character created by: Steel), Brett Breeding (character created by: Doomsday), Tom Grummett (character created by: Conner Kent/Superboy), Gerard Jones (comic book), Dan Jurgens (character created by: Doomsday), Karl Kesel (character created by: Conner Kent/Superboy), James Krieg, Bill Messner-Loebs (comic book), Jerry Ordway (character created by: Doomsday), Tim Sheridan, Joe Shuster (character created by: Superman), Jerry Siegel (character created by: Superman), Louise Simonson (characters created by: Doomsday & Steel), Roger Stern (character created by: Doomsday)
Plot: After the death of Superman, several new people present themselves as possible successors.
IMDB rating: 7.5
Studio: Warner Brothers
Distributed By: N/A
Video Resolution: 1080P/AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HDMA, Spanish 5.1 DD, French 5.1 DD
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Run Time: 1 Hr. 27 Min.
Package Includes: Blu-ray, DVD, Digital Copy
Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)
Release Date: 01/29/2019
The Production: 3.5/5
In The Death of Superman(2018), the Man of Steel sacrificed himself to save Metropolis from Doomsday, an alien warrior. Reign of the Supermen picks up where the 2018 animated feature left off, with Lois Lane and the Kents grieving over the loss of Clark while the Justice League steps in to pick up the slack. Almost as though Kal-El has been resurrected, a group of Supermen appear in Metropolis and people wonder if Superman has returned from beyond. One of them is a young Superboy, a cocky, wisecracking youth who may be what Clark Kent would have been if not raised by Jonathan and Martha Kent. Another is the Eradicator, bearing a physical resemblance to Superman but dealing out justice like an “Old Testament” Kryptonian. Another Superman resembles mechanized Steel, hence the name Steel. There is even a cyborg Superman with human and robotic features. Observers are led to wonder which of these new personalities is the true reincarnation of the Man of Steel.
Reign of the Supermen is adapted by Jim Krieg(The Death of Superman) and Tim Sheridan(Justice League Action) from the storylines that appeared in the Superman comic book series in 1992 and 1993. The story is fairly faithful to the source material, although the animated story is abbreviated, since the multiple stories of the print version were streamlined for this 87 minute film adaptation. The returning voice case includes Jerry O’Connell and Rebecca Romjin as Clark and Lois, respectively, as well as Nathan Fillion, Rosario Dawson, Rainn Wilson, Patrick Fabian, Jason O’Mara, Christopher Gorham, and Shemar Moore.
Reign of the Supermen is a worthwhile follow-up to The Death of Superman. Viewers who have read the original source material may find the story to be superficial, but this would have been a necessity in translating hundreds of pages of graphic novel material into one hour and a half of animated film. Those who have not read the original comics on which this is based will not feel that they are missing out on anything, as the feature does a nice job of capturing the highlights and tone of the original story.
3D Rating: NA
Reign of the Supermen appears on blu-ray in a 1.78:1 screen aspect ratio. The colors are vibrant on this animated feature with fine line work that is served well in the detail on this high definition transfer. Blacks are solid without any perceptible black crush.
The English DTS-HD 5.1 audio track performs well in a fine sound mix that combines the orchestrations composed by Frederik Wiedmann(Acts of Vengeance) with sound effects and dialogue that is always audible at the top of the mix. French and Spanish audio are available in Dolby Digital 5.1.
Special Features: 3.5/5
Special features on the blu-ray disc include all of the following:
A Sneak Peek at DC Universe’s Next Animated Movie, Justice League vs. The Fatal Five(9:29): Producer/animator Bruce Timm, screenwriters Jim Krieg and Eric Carrasco, and director Sam Liu preview the next DC animated film that returns to the roots of the original Justice League animated series.
Lex Luthor: The Greatest Nemesis(16:08): Original comic series editor Mike Carlin, artist Jon Bogdanove, and others talk about the nature of Lex Luthor as archenemy for Superman.
From the DC Vault: This includes an episode each of Superman: The Animated Series and Justice League Unlimited.
Superman: The Animated Series(“Heavy Metal”)(20:52): This episode features the introduction of the character of Steel into Superman: The Animated Series.
Justice League Unlimited(“Panic In The Sky”)(23:04): This episode is the second of a two-parter in which Steel works with the Justice League.
Trailers: Shazam!(2:28) and The Death of Superman(1:42) are the featured trailers.
Trailers for Aquaman(2:34,), Constantine: City of Demons(2:03), and 4K UHD(1:07) play by default at the beginning of the blu-ray disc.
Also included is the film on DVD and a paper insert for digital download of the film via the Movies Anywhere app.
Reign of the Supermen is a brisk animated feature that entertains without overstaying its welcome. The video and audio presentation are first-rate on this blu-ray disc, and the special features are genuinely interesting and not mere filler. Anyone who enjoyed the first part of the story in The Death of Superman(2018) will probably enjoy the continuation of the story in Reign of the Supermen.