‘The Death of Superman’ – the animated movie on HBO Max

Based on the landmark comic book event of 1993, The Death of Superman (2018) is the 32nd feature in the DCU Animated Original Movie series of direct-to-video animated features and the first to remake an earlier animated original.

Superman: Doomsday (2008) was the first film in the animated DCU and a looser, less ambitious adaptation of the original story. The Death of Superman, which is part of the interconnected DC Animated Movie Universe, pits Superman (voiced by Jerry O’Connell) against the alien killing machine Doomsday after it has defeated the Justice League and Lex Luthor (Rainn Wilson). Familiar voices return to play the Batman (Jason O’Mara), Wonder Woman (Rosario Dawson), Green Lantern (Nathan Fillion), and The Flash (Christopher Gorham), who all get memorable scenes.

As in the comics, Clark reveals the truth to Lois Lane (Rebecca Romijn) just before going into battle and the film presents the longest sustained fight sequence in the animated DCU, which directors Jake Castorena and Sam Liu make interesting with dramatic imagery and inventive twists. The film ends with the death of Superman, as promised, but the story is not over, as the epilogue teases. The conclusion arrives in Reign of the Supermen (2019).

It’s a more faithful and impressive adaptation that the earlier Superman: Doomsday and one of the best of the animated DCU features to date and should appeal to fans of the series and original comic books.

Rated PG-13

Add to My List on HBO Max

Also on Blu-ray and DVD and on SVOD through Amazon Video, iTunes, GooglePlay, Vudu and/or other services. Availability may vary by service.
The Death of Superman [Blu-ray]
The Death of Superman [DVD]
The Death of Superman [4K UHD]
The Death and Return of Superman: Complete Film Gift Set [Blu-ray + DVD]

Don’t miss a single recommendation. Subscribe to the Stream On Demand weekly newsletter (your E-mail address will not be shared) and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

The DVD and Blu-ray releases include a featurette, a two bonus DC animated shows, and a sneak peek at Reign of the Supermen.


Sean Axmaker is a Seattle film critic and writer. He writes the weekly newspaper column Stream On Demand and the companion website, and his work appears at RogerEbert.com, Turner Classic Movies online, The Film Noir Foundation, and Parallax View.

Related posts