Produced by James Tucker
Directed by Sam Liu
Written by Tim Sheridan, Jim Krieg
Based on characters published by DC Comics
Starring Jerry O’Connell, Rebecca Romjin,
Rainn Wilson, Cress Williams, Patrick Fabian,
Cameron Monaghan, Jason O’Mara, Tony Todd
Rosario Dawson, Nathan Fillion, Shemar Moore
It has been six months since the events of The Death of Superman and four new Supermen are in town to pick up the slack in Reign of the Supermen.
Both films are to replace 2007s Superman: Doomsday, an earlier adaptation of the 90s comics.
Can Superboy, The Eradicator, Cyborg Superman and Steel fill the big red boots?
Rainn Wilson returns as a sinister Lex Luthor and Rebecca Romijn returns as Lois Lane. Lois calls upon Wonder Woman (Rosario Dawson) for information about The Supermen, revealing that the two heroes have a complicated and romantic past.
Luthor reveals his secret weapon to the world as he reveals his clone, Superboy, to the world as Metropolis’ new protector. At the gala, goggle-wearing Superman The Eradicator attacks, claiming to be the one true Superman, and eventually Steel and Cyborg show up as well for a really fun explosion into action in the first half hour of the movie. How do you make up for not having Clark around? The same way they did in the comics, replace him with four copies!
As Lois tries to learn more about Cyborg, he reveals to her on her balcony that he has Superman’s memories but is replaced by cybernetic parts. The best Daily Planet interviews are conducted on that balcony!
A new Justice League Watchtower makes an appearance at an event presented by the current president, but Parademons invade. Luthor plans on making a play to have Superboy be recognized as the one true Superman, but Cyborg Superman steals the spotlight and sends Lex into a tizzy.
The Justice League is seemingly crushed in the melee, and Cyborg saves the President, but what does that mean for the future of the League?
Cyborg raises an army of patriotic supporters for his cause while Lois and Steel try to investigate. Eventually, Lex, Lois and Steel discover each other’s secrets as Superboy is revealed to have half of Lex’s DNA as well as Clark’s.
Darkseid is revealed to be the mastermind behind Cyborg Hank Henshaw growing his Super army as the dark lord sets his sites on making Earth the New Apokolips. The League finds itself in another dimension, waiting for a boom tube back home.
Up in the Fortress of Solitude, the real Kal-El has awakened and joins Steel, The Eradicator and stowaway Superboy for a plan to take down Darkseid. This version of Superman has a scruff, flowy hair and a black suit. Not quite a mullet in this 2019 production but we all know it’s business up front and party in the back for this reborn Superman! He is weaker than usual but is looking to soak up some of that yellow sun! They do work in some source material cuts via Superboy’s “Slammin'” dialogue, who has been binging 90s sitcoms!
What is fun about this particular movie is the relationship with Lex and Lois as he turns out to at least temporarily to be an ally to the Supermen vs. Darkseid cause.
I did a little bit of research and revisiting of these classic comic stories but didn’t get as far as where the movie goes. These two movies seems to be taking some new twists and turns while still staying true to the source material. Sam Liu’s directorial vision on this generation of DC Animated Movies offer consistent casting and great visual choices from character designs to background stories for a multitude of familiar DC characters.
Tony Todd’s Darkseid is scary both visually and his sparse dialogue. This is the second two-part feature movie from this recent DC Animation studio, a great way to deliver longer stories for comic fans or to have a follow-up to long running arcs such as Death of Superman, collected in no less than five collected editions, as dense as the key to the Fortress of Solitude. Jerry O’Connell gets to add Cyborg Superman to his already stellar Clark and Superman performances as well.
The red trunks aren’t back in the DCAU, but Liu’s Superman and Clark Kent is Cavill-level handsome and has returned by the end of the feature. Sure, that’s technically a spoiler but these movies are about the journey and learning more about our beloved DC heroes. Reign of the Supermen shows different sides of Superman, Lois, Lex and even Superboy.
The only consistent behavior is that of Darkseid, who remains, as always, a dick.
Reign of The Supermen is available now on Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack,
Blu-ray Combo Pack, Digital HD and on the DC Universe streaming service.