This is a mostly spoiler-free review of Reign of the Supermen, which is now available to purchase in Digital HD and will be released on Blu-ray on January 29.
Last year’s The Death of Superman proved to be a generic addition to DC’s lineup of direct-to-DVD animated movies, failing to add much to a story that had already been told once before in 2007’s Superman: Doomsday. The good news is that its sequel, Reign of the Supermen, is given more room in which to carve its own identity. Unfortunately, that’s still not enough to help it measure up to the best of these animated adaptations.
As Jim Vejvoda noted in his review of The Death of Superman, there’s a very “been there, done that” quality to the Superman/Doomsday rivalry, with variations of that story playing out in both the animated and live-action realm in recent years. Reign of the Supermen focuses on the part of that story we haven’t really seen told outside the comics. Picking up six months after the events of The Death of Superman, this film explores the rise of four new heroes in Metropolis – teen clone Superboy (Cameron Monaghan), armored hero Steel (Cress Williams), a ruthless vigilante known as The Eradicator (Charles Halford) and the mysterious Cyborg Superman (Jerry O’Connell and Patrick Fabian). Can any of these newcomers fill the void left by Superman, especially as a threat even greater than Doomsday looms over Metropolis?