An In Depth Analysis of The Superman Doomsday Movie

DC Comics recently came out with an animated straight to DVD movie titled Superman: Doomsday. This is meant to be an adaptation of the Death of Superman storyline from the comics, which began in 1993 and ended in 1994. This animated movie was created by the same people responsible for the Superman, Batman, and Justice League cartoons. However, it doesn’t quite take place in the same universe.

I got the DVD a couple of weeks ago but put off watching it because it’s Ramadan. I ended up watching it Saturday night after I broke my fast in the evening because I got nostalgic for the Superman animated series after catching the end of an episode on cable. So what follows is a look at the movie, with comparisons to the comics. You really don’t have to read what follows if you’re not interested in the topic. Really folks, turn back now or you can’t complain about how much thought I’ve given to this:


Still here? Ok, here goes. . .

First things first: I liked it. Some of you may know that I really didn’t care for Superman Returns, which was released in theaters last year. It wasn’t the type of movie I wanted to see. I wanted to watch a Superman movie based on the Post Crisis Superman comics. Instead, Superman Returns was essentially a sequel to Superman II, complete with a corny Lex Luthor played by Kevin Spacey, who was channeling Gene Hackman’s Lex Luthor for his role.

Superman: Doomsday created more of that type of atmosphere that I liked. I felt that Superman came off as more human than he did in the live action movie. Also, Clark, in the few scenes he had in the animated movie, was portrayed not as the bumbling Clark from Pre-Crisis comics. The story of the movie, while not perfect, was better than Superman Returns. Ok, really, to me anything was better than Superman Returns.

Ok, now for my gripes of the movie:

Superman/Clark Kent had these weird lines on his face. At first, I thought they were scars or something but then I couldn’t figure out what they were. Not a very appealing look for the Man of Steel and very distracting.

Superman/Doomsday

I thought maybe since this movie didn’t take place in the established DCAU would bother me, but it really didn’t. I was even fine with the new voice actors. . . with one exception: Anne Heche as Lois Lane. She didn’t fit as a “Lois” and I really missed Dana Delaney, the original voice of Lois Lane for the animated series.

The story became a bit weak after the death of Superman. In the comics, so much happened after the death of Superman, including the emergence of 4 “would be” Supermen, two of which actually claimed to be the real Superman. Granted, this animated movie could not have gone into that storyline, but I still think it could have made for a better movie if they included one of the impostors from the comics posing as the real Superman, either the Eradicator or the Cyborg Superman (the latter would have been preferable). The movie could have been infinitely cooler if you had someone posing as Superman who actually had a vendetta against him. The ‘impostor’ in this movie was sort of lame.
Cyborg
Cyborg Superman

The relationship between Superman and Lois kind of bothered me. In Superman:Doomdsay, Superman and Lois Lane already were in a relationship without Superman ever telling her that he’s actually Clark. This is just too weird for me. In the comics, Clark proposed to Lois after they had gone out for a while and then he told her that he was Superman. It makes more sense to me that way.

In the end, I thought Superman:Doomsday was above average – better than Superman Returns but not as good as it could have been and definitely not as good as the Superman/Justice League animated series. Although, it made me even more nostalgic for Superman: The Animated Series. . . which is why I ordered all three seasons off of Amazon. I couldn’t help it. I’m weak.

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