Superman: Man of Tomorrow
Superman-man-of-tomorrow-4k.jpg
Directed byChris Palmer
Written byTim Sheridan
Based onCharacters from DC
Superman
by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster
Produced byJim Krieg
Kimberly S. Moreau
Starring
Edited byBruce A. King
Music byKevin Riepl
Production
companies
Distributed byWarner Bros. Home Entertainment
Release date
  • August 23, 2020 (2020-08-23) (Digital)
Running time
86 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish

Superman: Man of Tomorrow is a 2020 American animated superhero film produced by Warner Bros. Animation and DC Entertainment. It is the 39th film of the DC Universe Animated Original Movies. It was released on Digital on August 23, 2020, and on Blu-ray, DVD, and on 4K Ultra HD on September 8.[1] The film chronicles the life of Clark Kent, early in his career as Superman. It is also the first installment of a new animated universe that is continued in Justice Society: World War II, Batman: The Long Halloween and Green Lantern: Beware My Power.

Plot

Following his homeworld Krypton's destruction, Kal-El was sent by his parents to Earth, where he was adopted by Jonathan and Martha Kent, who named him "Clark", and raised in Smallville, Kansas. Growing up, Clark became isolated from humanity due to his superhuman abilities which he had developed over time due to Earth's yellow sun. In the present-day, Clark works as an intern for the Daily Planet in Metropolis. One day, he meets S.T.A.R. Labs janitor Rudy Jones, who informs Clark about extraterrestrial experiments going on inside the lab, while attending the launch of a LexCorp orbital rocket telescope hosted by Lex Luthor. After reporter Lois Lane exposes Luthor of gross negligence leading to his arrest, the rocket misdirects to Metropolis. As the Flying Man, Clark throws it back into space. Unbeknownst to Clark, he is being watched by a mysterious figure dressed in a trench coat.

When S.T.A.R. Labs detect a UFO coming towards Earth, Clark heads to investigate, only to find himself confronting an alien bounty hunter named Lobo. Lobo reveals that Clark is the last of his kind and has a bounty on him, which Lobo is after, leading into a fight between the two across Metropolis. Clark takes the fight elsewhere to S.T.A.R. Labs where Rudy gets caught in the crossfire and covered in purple liquid. Lobo discovers Clark's weakness is Kryptonite that was forged in his ring and uses it to beat him up with it. The figure arrives, exposing himself as a Martian, and intervenes the battle. As the Martian distracts Lobo, Clark uses the sun to heal himself, returning to finally defeat Lobo. Afterwards, Clark faces a dilemma of whether he should reveal himself to the world or keep his identity a secret despite the consequences. That night, a hospitalized Rudy awakens and discovers he has the ability to drain energy from life and turn people into husks. The Martian visits Clark in his home in Smallville and properly introduces himself as J'onn J'onzz. J'onn reveals to Clark his true origins and that they must keep themselves a secret to humanity due their history of xenophobia.

Martha gifts Clark a caped suit with an "S" imprinted on the chest while the media officially coin the Flying Man as "Superman". Rudy attacks S.T.A.R. Labs to find answers but frees Lobo in the process after draining the energy from his cell. However, due to draining energy, Rudy is converted into a parasite-like being and begins attacking Metropolis, endangering its civilians. Superman and J'onn head to battle the Parasite. While battling them, the Parasite manages to extract information from them; although as a result, Superman's abilities are drained and J'onn is apparently burnt to death. A powerless Superman turns to an imprisoned Luthor for help to gain him access to space so he can use the sun to restore his abilities. Luthor agrees to help Superman. Through S.T.A.R. Labs CCTV footage, Superman realises Rudy is the Parasite thanks to Lobo's grenade which was an organic EMP. The organic EMP consisted of a purple foam/liquid and was designed to absorb any and all energy it came into contact with, but instead bonded with Rudy's DNA to create the Parasite.

Luthor deduces that the Parasite would have gained Superman's weaknesses from absorbing his energy, and reveals that he has enlisted Lobo after buying out S.T.A.R. Labs. Together, they plan to lure the Parasite to the Metropolis power plant and use Lobo's Kryptonite ring to weaken it. As their plan commences, the ring fails, Lobo suicide-bombs the Parasite, and the military intervene, only to make the Parasite stronger. Luthor equips the ring to a LexCorp magnifying pulse rifle and shoots the Parasite with it, taking it down. He then attempts to double cross Superman with it but is stopped by J'onn, who reveals to have faked his death by using his projection abilities. Luthor then flees with J'onn following. With the plan failed, Superman attempts to calm the Parasite down by using his morality against him. While doing so, Superman properly introduces himself to the world. Suddenly, the plant's reactor begins to overload. With Superman still weak, the Parasite sacrifices himself to stop it.

Some time later, Superman and J'onn meet up on the roof of the Daily Planet, along with Lobo, who survived blowing himself up. As J'onn laments that they are each the last of their species, Lobo reveals there might be more Martians and Kryptonians out there.

Voice cast

Voice actor[2] Character
Darren Criss Kal-El / Clark Kent / Superman
Alexandra Daddario Lois Lane
Zachary Quinto Lex Luthor
Ike Amadi J'onn J'onzz / Martian Manhunter
Ryan Hurst Lobo
Brett Dalton Rudy Jones / Parasite
Neil Flynn Jonathan Kent
Bellamy Young Martha Kent
Cristina Milizia Maya, Petey, Kaylie
Eugene Byrd Ron Troupe
April Stewart Mrs. Ross
Piotr Michael Perry White
David Chen Med Student, Scientist

Production

In May 2020, the voice cast were revealed for the film.[2] In a July interview with DC Comics, writer Tim Sheridan said he drew inspiration from comics Superman: American Alien and Superman: Birthright, with a touch of several others.[3]

Release

In July 2019, Superman: Man of Tomorrow was announced at San Diego Comic-Con.[4] The film was released on digital on August 23, 2020, and on Blu-ray, DVD, and on 4K Ultra HD on September 8, 2020. The film was made available online for free during DC FanDome on September 12.[5]

A soundtrack album by Kevin Riepl was released by WaterTower Music on September 10, 2020.[6]

Reception

The film peaked at #1 of the Top Ten Blu-ray Sellers for Week and the Top Five Home Media Sellers for Week, achieving an HD market share of 100%.[7] It earned $3,234,932 from domestic home video sales.[8]

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 100% based on 13 reviews, with an average rating of 7.1/10.[9]

Jesse Schedeen of IGN rated the film a 7 out of 10: "Superman: Man of Tomorrow a safe and largely predictable take on the Man of Steel's iconic origin story. While that lack of narrative ambition is disappointing at times, there's a reason this particular story has endured so well over the years. Man of Tomorrow gets to the heart of Clark Kent and the emotional journey he has to experience before he can truly become Superman. With a revamped visual style and a strong voice cast, Man of Tomorrow serves as a solid start for this new animated universe."[10]

The film was nominated for Best Superhero Film at the 2021 Critics' Choice Super Awards.[11][12]

Future

Superman: Man of Tomorrow is the first installment of the "Tomorrowverse" continuity which begun following the conclusion of the 2013-2020 animated film series. Darren Criss reprised his role as Superman in Justice Society: World War II.[13]

References

  1. ^ Burwick, Kevin (April 30, 2020). "First Superman: Man of Tomorrow Image Arrives as Voice Cast Is Announced". MovieWeb. Retrieved May 2, 2020.
  2. ^ a b Vejvoda, Jim (May 1, 2020). "Superman: Man of Tomorrow Movie Voice Cast Revealed". IGN. Retrieved May 7, 2020.
  3. ^ Taylor, George (July 21, 2020). "A New Hero Takes Flight in Superman: Man of Tomorrow". DC Comics.com. Retrieved July 7, 2021.
  4. ^ Lovett, Jamie (July 20, 2019). "Superman: Man of Tomorrow Movie Announced". Comicbook.com. Retrieved May 7, 2020.
  5. ^ Scott, Ryan (September 12, 2020). "Superman: Man of Tomorrow Is Streaming for Free at DC FanDome Right Now". MovieWeb. Retrieved September 13, 2020.
  6. ^ "'Superman: Man of Tomorrow' Soundtrack Album Details". Film Music Reporter. Retrieved September 9, 2020.
  7. ^ "Blu-ray Sales, September 5–12: Superman Soars Above Other Titles".
  8. ^ "Superman: Man of Tomorrow". The Numbers. Nash Information Services, LLC. Retrieved June 25, 2022.
  9. ^ "Superman: Man of Tomorrow". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved October 10, 2021.
  10. ^ Schedeen, Jesse (December 4, 2020). "Superman: Man of Tomorrow Review". IGN Entertainment. Retrieved June 25, 2022.
  11. ^ Hammond, Pete (November 19, 2020). "'Palm Springs', 'Lovecraft Country' Top Movie And Series Nominations For Inaugural Critics Choice Super Awards; Netflix Lands 35 Nods". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 24, 2022.
  12. ^ Ramos, Dino-Ray (January 10, 2021). "Critics Choice Super Awards Full Winners List: 'Palm Springs', 'Soul', 'The Boys' Among Top Honorees". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 24, 2022.
  13. ^ Nelson, Samantha (April 28, 2021). "Justice Society: World War II is a messy start to a brand new DC Universe". Polygon. Retrieved June 25, 2022.