Superman:Doomsday

Superman: Doomsday is the first in a series of DC Universe animated straight-to-video movies that will be released over the next year or so. The series has also released Justice League: The New Frontier, Batman: Gotham Knight, and the most recent Wonder Woman movie which Marla has been so grievously coveting of late (I’ll SHOW you “very long wait,” Netflix!). I’ll be reviewing the entire series in due time.

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Superman: Doomsday is based on the extremely popular DC comic book multi-issue arc The Death and Return of Superman, although the film takes liberties with the material. The film’s got some great voice work with Firefly‘s Adam Baldwin (Jayne!) as Clark Kent/Superman:

superman house by you.

Crazycakes Anne Heche following crazycakes Margot Kidder’s footsteps as Lois Lane:

lois by you.

Buffy, Angel and Smallville alum James Marsters as Lex Luthor:

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(here with his assistant, recent Smallville character Mercy!)

Swoosie Kurtz as Martha Kent (she’s good, but she’s no Annette O’Toole):

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and Twin Peak’s Ray Wise as Perry White:

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The film also features Futurama‘s John DiMaggio (BENDER!) as Toyman/Winslow Schott and an awesome cameo for impassioned defender of the Superman universe (and the instantly recognizable) Kevin Smith, who hilariously dismisses one of Superman’s heroic rescues as “Laaaaame!”:

kevinsmith by you.

Superman: Doomsday begins in a world that has grown comfortably used to the idea of Superman arriving in the nick of time to save the day; the citizens have even begun to take it for granted. Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen and Clark Kent all work at the Daily Planet under blustering editor Perry White. Lois is ensconced in a secret affair with Superman, whose true identity she is beginning to suspect, as “Clark” leaves for assignment in Afghanistan…

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…just as “Superman” suggests they take a romantic get-away to the Fortress of Solitude for a few days:

lois superman by you.

Superman: Doomsday is not a kid’s flick, and its maturity is established quickly through the very adult relationship Lois and Superman are enjoying. They enjoy some risquè flirting followed by a very grown-up argument about Superman’s commitment issues that are the root of his refusal to give Lois his real name; followed, in turn, by some even more risquè making up.

lois superman 2 by you.

But unfortunately, their reconciliation is interrupted by a violent disruption in Metropolis.

LexCorp has been mining in some godforsaken territory (leading to a hilarious bit where his disgruntled employees mock Lex’s many elaborate schemes) and uncovered a mysterious alien device. Upon their ill-advised opening of the receptacle, they liberate a monstrous, unstoppable killing machine. Namely, Doomsday.

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No, not that Doomsday; who would mind that? Certainly not me! THIS Doomsday:

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Not as pleasant, no? According to Superman canon, Doomsday was created on Krypton eons ago. He was created to be the ultimate life form, an unrestrainable, murderous soldier hellbent on destroying any and every form he encounters.

Superman returns to Metropolis to fight this creature and quickly discovers that this will not be his typical wham-bam victory. In fact, this is one motherloving epic battle. It is AWESOME.

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The action is intense, as is the violence. This seriously ain’t for kids. Doomsday crushes skulls in his bare hands, he rips the antlers off a stag and tosses tanks at hundreds of innocent civilians. And? He kicks. Superman’s. ASS.

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Well, actually, he kills him. For realsies. Doomsday is the only creature in all of comic book lore who can boast that particular claim. Although Superman manages to destroy Doomsday before he can wreak any more havoc on the citizens of Metropolis, Doomsday does actually kill Superman. And Lois, Jimmy, and half of Metropolis witness it.

superman dead by you.

It’s pretty heart-breaking; I may have shed a few tears upon first viewing. It becomes even more so when Metropolis is left with nothing more than a shit ton of collateral damage and plenty of shattered ideals at the loss of their noblest and most beloved hero.

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A devastated nation tries to endure in the face of rapidly rising crime and crushing disillusionment. As Perry White says over his bottle of bourbon, “[Your ideals] are kinda easy to lose sight of, I guess, in a world without Superman.” In particular, Lois and Martha Kent are left to deal with the torment of knowing that they are the only two people on the planet who knew who Superman really was.

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Weeks later, after Toy Man appears to plan an extravagant misdeed against a school bus filled with children (with Lois on board trying to both report and rescue), Superman suddenly returns! To a triumphant score, he soars through the air, saves the schoolbus, charms the crowd and drops Lois at her home. The world rejoices; Lois and Martha are in shock. But they soon realize that something seems to be a tad askew with Superman. Could he have returned from the dead or is something even more macabre at work here?

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Superman: Doomsday is an immensely entertaining, gripping 75 minutes of nonstop fun. The score is both rousing and emotive and the dialogue is bitingly clever. The action sequences are vivid, original and breathtaking. The film looks just fantastic. The colors are gorgeous and the animation is top-notch.

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 James Marsters-as-Lex is an ideal villain; hot, witheringly superior, remorseless and in possession of a whopping slew of homoerotic antipathy for Superman. “Who’s your Daddy?” he asks him. “Superman, you did a very very bad thing. I’m gonna have to mess up that pretty face. Come to Papa.” Fans of the Lex-Clark hoyay on Smallville will NOT be disappointed.

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Lois is strong, intelligent, and calm. As she and Jimmy witness Superman’s calamitous defeat at the talons of Doomsday, Jimmy looks at her with sympathy and fear and asks, “Do you think Superman’s going to be okay, Lois?” Despite the growing dismay in her eyes, she steels herself and replies, “Camera on the action, Jimmy.” She continues to bravely tackle dangerous assignments even after Superman can no longer rescue her. She’s the first to realize something’s amiss once Superman returns. She even manages to outsmart the malevolently ingenious Lex Luthor. She is one kick-ass lady.

lois bazooka by you.

If the other straight-to-vids in this DC Universe series are anywhere near as cheerfully diverting (while still claiming a substantial story), I can’t wait to watch them. With Superman: Doomsday, I was hooked from Lex’s opening voice-over: “Enjoy your reign while you may, Superman. For as surely as night follows day, there comes a time when even gods must die.”

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5 Responses to “Superman:Doomsday”

  1. you know what’s funny? as you were saying who voiced the characters, I started thinking they looked like them.

    you know how i feel about comic books, BUT this looks fun!

  2. Haha, “I’ll show you very long wait!” haha! And OF COURSE she’s no Annette O’Toole, who could be?

  3. wow, this looks AWESOME. i agree with erin, though… i totally started picturing lex as spike. i can’t help it!

  4. Josh Peters Says:

    I think now that superman has been killed by doomsday. I think they should make a movie right now in 2011 or a comic book but it should be a movie when no super hero can stop doomsday and they take a lead at a super viilan named Killer Croc and he should beat and kill doomsday with no chance of doomsday ever comming back he should be killed once and for all. Killer Croc has the same speed strength and the same heeling powers and Doomsday. But unlike Dooms Day Killer Croc from What I have read up on he has Stamina ajility Brout force He is Taller I think but there is some more things I do not remember. I like Killer Croc and Killer Croc just Flat out looks cooler with his igsact looks he has in batman Archam asylum. Plus Killer Croc seems more real while Doomsday has all them spike but you could make them look so real in movies. Doomsday=Killer Croc Winning the fight Killer Croc all the way.

  5. Josh Peters Says:

    I think if Killer Croc VS’d Doomsday Killer Croc would come out with a victory. Killer Croc would prob be in some real bad pain after the fight. But with them havind the sam Speed,Power and Healing rejeneration + Killer Croc has a bit more abilities that dooms day does not match. Killer Croc my opinion would beat him no problem Killer Croc wins.

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