Opening directly where Death of Superman ended Metropolis is mourning the passing of their greatest hero Superman (voiced by Slider’s Jerry O’Connell) who was defeated by the seemingly unstoppable alien menace known as Doomsday sent to our world by the evil Darkseid (voiced by horror icon Tony Todd).
Filling the void from out of nowhere four very different heroes appear, all fighting crime, all attempting to protect the planet and all claiming to be Superman returned from the dead. Voiced by Gotham’s Cameron Monaghan, Superboy as he is dubbed by Metropolises media, is a cocky upstart teen version of the Kyptonian hero with suspiciously close links to Lex Luthor (voiced by The Office’s Rainn Wilson).
Next to arrive is a futuristic looking version of Superman whose brutal brand of justice and violent outbursts earn him the title of The Eradicator. Although far less aggressive Cyborg Superman (voiced by Patrick Fabian from The Last Exorcism) is even more high tech looking blending what looks like parts of Clark Kent‘s with robotic elements he claims are Kryptonian. Last of all making up the fearless foursome is a literal Man of Steel in a suit of shining armour swinging a huge hammer, but the real question is are any of them the real Superman?
This is the puzzle that plagues Lois Lane (voiced by X-Men’s Rebecca Romijn) and in an attempt to heal the hurt left by the loss of her love Clark Kent she sets out to unmask the imposters and find the real Kal-El if she can.
I have ranted numerous times on this website about the creative chasm between the brilliant output of the animated films made by Warner Bros. Animation and DC Entertainment compared to the terrible derivative dark drivel the live action film department churns out and safe to say the second part to this sensational Superman story is handled wonderfully well by director Sam Liu who is making a great name for himself in the industry.
Like The Death of Superman there is plenty of epic action along the way and all out battles between not only all four Supermen but the whole of the Justice League taking on an alien invasion as well. The scale of the fights is far more impressive than anything achieved in recent live action DC movies and looks far better as well.
Jumping straight in without delay the mystery that forms the central story line is expertly eked out with information coming in through Lois’s investigation enriching and enlightening each of the Supermen along the way.
Although it is not essential to have watched The Death of Superman to understand what is going on the experience is enriched by seeing both films as there are some cleaver connections that add tons to the overall impact.
Ironically the most interesting character ends up being the one who is initially the most annoying as SPOLIERS Superboy is revealed to be a clone created by Lex Corp as a product to be marketed and sold to the populace as a new saviour. The idea of a human owned by a corporation, covered in branding, whose life is controlled like the release of a new phone is fascinating and the boyish comedy foil quickly becomes a tragic character we truly sympathise with.
Funny, frightening, exhilarating and engaging Reign of the Supermen further proves the power and potency of animation in bringing classic comic stories to life, something Marvel may finally be learning with the success and Oscar nomination of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
Fans both old and new of DC’s roster of hero’s should definitely seek this and the other marvellous movies made in this series out as soon as possible and see how a superhero movie is properly done.
REIGN OF THE SUPERMEN is out now on Digital Download and available on Blu-ray™ and DVD January 28