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February 6, 2011

Stay Tooned Sundays: Superman: Doomsday

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Written by: nickz
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Welcome back to another brand new STS. So everyone is all abuzz about the news that Henry Cavill has been cast as Superman in the next feature film. Cavill is a fine actor, but he just isn’t someone that springs to my mind when I think of Superman. I will, however, wait to cast judgement until after I see the movie. Meanwhile, in the Superman comic books, Doomsday seems to be making a big comeback! The Superman killer can be seen in the “Reign of Doomsday” story line that is currently running though many of the Superman related books. With both of these big guys back in the spotlight, I thought it a perfect time to  revisit an old animated adventure featuring the duo.

Title: Superman: Doomsday
Written by: Duane Capizzi, Bruce Timm
Director: Bruce Timm, Lauren Montgomery, Brandon Vietti
Company: Warner Bros. Animation
Distributed by: Warner Home Video
US Release Date: September 18, 2007
Length: 75 min.
MPAA: Rated PG-13

Superman: Doomsday is loosely based on the classic “The Death of Superman” story line from the comics that was huge in the early 90s. In this version, Lex Luthor, played by the always great James Masters, has his people digging to the center of the Earth in order to find a new power source for Metropolis. The team uncovers an alien craft of some sort and they accidentally release Doomsday onto the world. After Doomsday kills a whole lot of people (on screen even!) and causes all kinds of carnage, Superman finally shows and they have an epic throw down. As in the comics, the battle ends in the apparent death of both Superman and the creature.

After a short mourning period where Lois, Jimmy, Perry, Lex, and Martha deal with their feelings over Superman’s death, he apparently returns just in time to save Lois from falling to her death. It doesn’t take long for Lois and Martha to realize that there is something not right about the newly resurrected Man of Steel. As it turns out, this “new Superman” is actually a clone created and controlled by Lex Luthor. Luthor also stole Superman’s body from his grave and has it hidden deep within Lexcorp. As is usually the case in stories like these, it doesn’t take long for the clone to turn against Lex and start taking a much more aggressive approach to protecting Metropolis. His new, harder stance on crime includes killing Toyman, threatening everyday citizens, and pretty much becoming the absolute law for all of Metropolis.

While all this drama is going on, a robot servant of Superman’s from the Fortress of Solitude discovers that Superman did not actually die, and is instead in a kind of healing state that only resembles death. The robot steals Superman’s body back from Lex and begins to use Kryptonian technology to help speed up the healing process. Before having time to heal to full strength, Superman learns of what his doppelganger is up to in Metropolis and sets out to stop him armed with a yellow sun absorption suit and a Kryptonite gun. There is another epic battle in which Superman fights Superman, and you can probably guess how it ends.

I had already seen Superman: Doomsday back in 2007 when it was originally released, but watched it for a second time prior to doing this review. This movie was so unremarkable that I had actually forgotten most of the plot. As a matter of fact, I had forgotten the entire second half of the movie dealing with the Superman clone and all that other stuff. I think this movie was so forgettable due to two main reasons. The first reason is that this movie seems to be made up of two completely different stories that the writers tried and failed to mashed up into one cohesive film. The Doomsday half of the movie is very slow moving and actually quite boring at times, while the Clone story is more interesting but moves much too quickly. Both of these stories do not lend well to each other, and by the time the second half of the story is in full swing, you’ve actually forgotten about Doomsday altogether. Call me crazy, but when one of the title characters is forgotten halfway through the movie, it’s not a good thing.

The second issue that this movie faces is in its casting. Andrea Romano, the casting director who usually does a fantastic job in all the other animated DC endeavors, really drops the ball here. Both Adam Baldwin as Superman and Anne Heche as Lois leave much to be desired. While they are good actors in their own right, neither of their voices lend well to these characters. In fact, it is so distracting that every time that they speak during the movie it actually pulled me out of what was going on in the plot. There have been plenty of other actors that have played these parts well in the past, that could have easily been cast here, but I think they may have been going more for name recognition when casting, and that never works out very well. My final word on this movie is that if you want to see a good Superman animated flick, see something else, but if you have time to kill or you are just a major fan of Supes, then check it out. I just don’t want to get any emails later blaming me for the fact that you lost 75 minutes of your life.

Nick Zamora



  1. billy

    I thought this flick was just ok. Although I think my standard for Timm + crew is extremely high. This movue definitely paled in comparison to the Justice League episode.

  2. I thought it was a pretty decent movie but I did want a lot more out of my Superman vs Doomsday battle. Plus whenever I think of Superman vs Superman I’m always taken back to the junkyard fight in the Superman III movie. Now THAT was a fight 🙂

  3. @Billy I also have high standards for this team and this time they didn’t live up to them. The JL episode was way better!

    @Speech Yes more Doomsday would have been cool, they should have had some of the JL fighting him too. That fight between Clark and Superman is the best! It’s the only good thing about Superman 3.

  4. Eli

    This one was definitely a little flat for me. Entertaining for sure, but seriously lacking when compared to the rest of their work.

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