Superman: Man of Tomorrow presents viewers a young Clark Kent (Darren Criss) as he heads from Smallville to Metropolis, knowing little of his history and getting a job as as an intern at the Daily Planet. One of his first assignments is assisting reporters at a press conference where Lex Luthor (Zachary Quinto) presents an orbital telescope intended to make contact with lifeforms in space.
Clark has no red and blue costume nor a name, but people are starting to take notice of someone doing superhuman things, including a shadowy figure who trails him. Lois Lane (Alexandra Daddario), a grad student who gets hired as a reporter at the paper, wants to find out more about who this mysterious figure is whom she dubs “Superman” and what his motives are.
Lobo (Ryan Hurst), an alien bounty hunter, comes to Earth, looking for the last Kryptonian. It’s a brutal fight with Clark assisted by J’onn J’onzz / Martian Manhunter (Ike Amadi) and a recharge from Earth’s yellow sun. Lexcorp janitor Rudy Jones (Brett Dalton) is infected by one of Lobo’s gadgets during the fight and becomes the Parasite, an energy vampire of sorts. When the Parasite absorbs enough energy from Clark, he loses his super abilities. Clark seeks help from Luthor, who inexplicably has Lobo working for him. Parasite keeps feeding and grows to Godzilla size. The heroes and villains team up against it.
Although as a longtime Superman fan I could do without yet another origin story, this iteration by screenwriter Tim Sheridan is an interesting take on the material. Criss does a good job capturing the emotional range of Clark as a young man coming into his own and learning about his history. Lobo isn’t as funny as I have found him in other appearances, including the two Superman cartoons included in the extras. Unfortunately, the plot wraps up much too easily to make the conclusion satisfying.
The video has been given a 1080p/MPEG-4 AVC encoded transfer displayed at an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. Colors are vivid in rich. Blacks are inky and whites are bright, and along with the appearance of shadows contributes to a strong contrast. The animators play with focus, creating depth. Unfortunately, they also create camera flairs, which is both distracting but nonsensical.
The audio is available as DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 Dialogue is consistently understandable plays in the front. The effects and Kevin Riepl’s score are heard across the surround system. The subwoofer delivers a very good low end bass that gets too strong at times like when a rocket blasts off and distorts the speakers.
The extras include two character featurettes: Lobo – Natural Force of Chaos (HD, 10 min) and Martian Manhunter – Lost and Found (HD, 9 min). A Sneak Peek at DC Universe’s Next Animated Movie – Batman: Soul of the Dragon (HD, 12 min), a ’70s Kung Fu-influenced adventure. Two previews of past releases: Justice League vs The Fatal Five (HD, 9 min) and Superman/Batman: Public Enemies (SD, 8 min). I reviewed the latter. Superman: The Animated Series: ‘The Main Man, Pt I & II’ (SD) finds Lobo seeking the last Kryptonian for a client. Brad Garrett creates a more humorous, enjoyable version of the character.
Available on on Digital, Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD, Superman: Man of Tomorrow is a story worth viewing, especially if it’s the start of new series of Superman movies. The high-definition presentation on Blu-ray offers strong video and audio, and the cartoons make a nice bonus, particularly for Lobo fans.