Reign of the Supermen Blu-ray Review: Too Much Story Compressed into a Small Amount of Time

Enjoyable but not as much as it should have been.
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In the previous DC animated film, The Death of Superman, the Man of Steel met his demise at the hands of the powerful Doomsday. It’s been six months since the loss of our hero and four new superheroes have risen to take his place. Superboy (Cameron Monaghan) is a teenage clone more interested in girls and media attention than crime fighting, and who happens to be created by Superman’s (Jerry O’Connell) arch enemy, Lex Luthor (Rainn Wilson). Steel (Cress Williams) is a man made of metal with a giant war hammer as a weapon. But is he a robot, a man in a suit of armor, or something completely different? The Eradicator (Charles Halford) looks and sounds exactly like the original except that he wears a yellow visor and desires to literally eradicate every criminal he comes across. And finally, Cyborg Superman (Patrick Fabian), a half-man, half-machine version who seems to embody his noble spirit and great compassion and empathy for the people of Earth.

While most of the people believe that one of them is the real Superman or a possible reincarnation, Lois Lane (Rebecca Romijn) is looking to discover the truth and to find out where his missing body is located. As Lois searches for her answers, Lex Luthor is using Superboy to promote his own agenda and make himself look like a hero for creating the clone. But his plan backfires as Superboy is not easy to control. During a joint mission with the Justice League to guard the President, which should be a simple and mostly a promotional job, things go seriously wrong. Not only does the entire Justice League go missing, Cyborg Superman shows up to save the day. Having been rescued, the President and most of the viewing world declare Cyber Superman the heir apparent.

Having finally chosen a new hero to carry on the Superman mantel, Cyborg Superman begins recruiting for the Cybercorp. This new organization is to be made up of regular humans fitted with cybernetic implants in order to give them super powers so that they can replace the missing Justice League members and protect the planet. It seems like a good idea at first, but things begin to take a sinister turn when the new recruits do not appear to have a mind of their own. It will ultimately come down to Lois and her superior sleuthing skills to get to the bottom of the story and find out what really happened to the original hero so that once again the world can be saved from ultimate destruction.

The Blu-ray is presented in 1080p High Definition 16x9 1.78:1 DTS-HD video with an English 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio track. The picture was bright and clear with a good, immersive surround sound.

There were three special features on the Blu-ray. “A Sneak Peek At DC Universe’s Next Animates Movie, Justice League vs. The Fatal Five”, which was an in-depth discussion with the creators on the next DC film that is being worked on. There was discussion on the new villains with more time spent on the lesser-known heroes, Mr. Terrific, Starboy, Miss Martian, and Green Lantern Jessica Cruz

“Lex Luthor The Greatest Nemesis” focused on Superman’s biggest arch nemesis and the motivations behind his hatred for the Man of Steel. “From the DC Comics Vault” are two episodes from previous animated releases. Superman: The Animated Series: "Heavy Metal" featuring the villain Metallo and Justice League Unlimited: "Panic In The Sky” where Amanda Waller calls for an attack on the Justice League.

The premise of the story was interesting and had lots of potential. The problem was that there was so much story and so many new characters being added to the mix that everything felt rushed. By the time you learned the differences between the supermen, the film was over. While The Death of Superman and Reign of the Supermen was a two-part film, it would have been better as a trilogy, giving the audience time to digest all the intricacies and nuances of the individual characters. It was still enjoyable, but not as much as it should have been.

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