The Death of Superman
Blu-ray cover
Blu-ray cover
Directed bySam Liu
Jake Castorena
Written byPeter J. Tomasi
Based onThe Death of Superman
by Mike Carlin
Produced bySam Liu
Amy McKenna
Edited byChristopher D. Lozinski
Music byFrederik Wiedmann
Distributed byWarner Bros. Home Entertainment
Release dates
Running time
81 minutes[3]
CountryUnited States

The Death of Superman is a 2018 American animated superhero film produced by Warner Bros. Animation and DC Entertainment. It is based on the comic book storyline of the same name, and the second animated adaptation to chronicle the battle between Superman and Doomsday. It is the 33rd film in the DC Universe Animated Original Movies and the eleventh film of the DC Animated Movie Universe. Released on July 24, 2018, the film received a limited theatrical release on January 13, 2019.[4] A sequel, Reign of the Supermen, was released on January 15, 2019.[4]


Superman has become a popular superhero in Metropolis and the world. After foiling an attempted abduction of the mayor by Intergang, he takes a piece of their technology to S.T.A.R. Labs for analysis. Following this, Superman is interviewed by Daily Planet reporter Lois Lane about his family heritage and the origins of how he came to Earth. Later that night, Lois meets Clark Kent's (Superman's human identity which Lois doesn't know) adoptive parents. Because of her little knowledge about Clark's personal life, Lois leaves upset and reconsiders their relationship.

At S.T.A.R. Labs, Dr. Silas Stone and Dr. John Irons examine the technology from the Intergang attack and confirm it to be of mixed Apokoliptian[N 1] and Earth origin, leaving Superman to suspect that his archenemy Lex Luthor was involved in supplying Intergang. Luthor, who is currently in government custody, denies his involvement, but Superman remains suspicious. Meanwhile in space, astronauts Hank Henshaw, his wife Terri, and their crew are suddenly impacted by a meteorite, killing Terri and the crew and leaving Hank's fate unknown. After the rocket crash-lands in the ocean, Lex Luthor and Atlantis send crews to investigate. However, they are attacked and killed by a large being in a containment suit, who tears across the country on a rampage.

At a restaurant owned by Superman fan Bibbo Bibbowski, Clark confesses to Lois that he is Superman and that he loves her. Meanwhile, the unknown being heads toward Metropolis, attacking everything and everyone it sees until the Justice League arrives to confront it. The being leaves several members of the League injured and nearly kills Wonder Woman before Superman arrives to confront it. The being emerges from its suit and is revealed to be a gray-skinned, white-haired monster with incredible strength, stamina, and invulnerability. The creature, dubbed "Doomsday" by Lois, attacks Superman, who grapples with it. Superman and Doomsday engage in a fierce battle across Metropolis which eventually leaves Superman critically wounded and exhausted. When the monster sees Lois and prepares to kill her, Superman flies toward it at full speed and deals a blow that snaps Doomsday's neck, ending its rampage. Superman is victorious but is stabbed in the chest and dies in Lois' arms, a scene filmed by Jimmy Olsen.

In the aftermath, a state funeral is held for Superman and the Kents welcome Lois into their family. Sometime later, Jimmy brings Lois back to Superman's memorial, where his coffin is empty. As the world watches, a figure resembling Superman flies away.

In a series of mid-and post-credits scenes,[N 2] a clone of Superman survives numerous failed experiments from LexCorp, Dr. Irons is seen forging his own Superman suit from steel, Superman's rocket buries itself in the North Pole, resulting in the creation of the Fortress of Solitude, and a Superman-like cyborg is seen flying in space.

Voice cast

Voice actor Character
Jerry O'Connell Kal-El / Clark Kent / Superman
Rebecca Romijn Lois Lane
Rainn Wilson Lex Luthor
Rosario Dawson Princess Diana / Diana Prince / Wonder Woman
Nathan Fillion Hal Jordan / Green Lantern
Christopher Gorham Barry Allen / Flash
Matt Lanter Orin / Arthur Curry / Aquaman
Shemar Moore Victor Stone / Cyborg
Nyambi Nyambi J'onn J'onzz / John Jones / Martian Manhunter
Jason O'Mara Bruce Wayne / Batman
Jonathan Adams Mayor Booker
Rocky Carroll Silas Stone
Perry White (uncredited)
Trevor Devall Bruno Mannheim
Dabney Donovan
Paul Eiding Jonathan "Pa" Kent
Astronaut Jim (uncredited)
Patrick Fabian Hank Henshaw / Cyborg Superman
Jennifer Hale Martha "Ma" Kent
Dr. Klyburn (uncredited)
Camper (uncredited)
Charles Halford Bibbo Bibbowski
Kryptonian AI / Eradicator (uncredited)
Erica Luttrell Mercy Graves
Max Mittelman Jimmy Olsen
Steve Lombard (uncredited)
Toks Olagundoye Cat Grant
Rick Pasqualone Dan Turpin
Amanda Troop Maggie Sawyer
Terri Henshaw (uncredited)
Cress Williams John Henry Irons
Officer (uncredited)

Mera, Alfred Pennyworth, Damian Wayne, Hawkman, Kate Kane and others appear in non-speaking cameos during Superman's funeral.


The Death of Superman is the 32nd installment in the DC Universe Animated Original Movies line, the 11th film in the DC Animated Movie Universe, and is based on the 1992—93 DC comic book storyline of the same name. The story had previously been adapted in the 2007 film Superman: Doomsday, but the film greatly altered and condensed the story to fit it within a 75-minute runtime, including the events associated with the return of Superman and that sequel-based comic. The Death of Superman was written to be much more faithful to the original story; according to DC's Tim Beedle, the film is "much less condensed and will include many of the fan-favorite moments from the story that were left out of Doomsday".[5] The film is co-directed by Jake Castorena[6] and produced by Warner Bros. Animation and DC Films.[7] According to supervising producer James Tucker, a primary theme of the film is relationships and their impact on Superman's world.[6]


The Death of Superman had its premiere at the San Diego Comic-Con on July 20, 2018[8] and was released in direct-to-video on August 7, distributed by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on DVD, Blu-ray, and on digital distribution platforms on July 24.[2] The film was also released in a limited theatrical release alongside Reign of the Supermen on January 13, 2019.[4] The film was re-released on home video, edited together with its sequel, on October 1, 2019 as The Death and Return of Superman.[9]


On Rotten Tomatoes 92% of the critics liked the movie with an average rating of 7.4/10 based on 13 reviews.[10] Kat Calamia of Newsarama called the film "One of DC's Best Animated Films in Past 5 Years", praising its epic scope and the emotional effect it invoked.[11] Evan Narcisse, writing for i09, praised Superman's character arc, his relationship with Lois, and the manner in which DC Universe Movies adapted pre-Crisis storylines into the film's continuity to explore different permutations of those storylines, and effect a sense of threat.[12] Jim Vejvoda, writing for IGN, pointed out that the film was the third time in 11 years that a DC film killed off Superman. Vejvoda found a "tedious" re-use of an old premise, even while conceding that the film presented that plot point in way that was more faithful to the comics storyline than either 2007's Superman: Doomsday or 2016's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.[13]

The Death of Superman peaked at #1 on the Top Ten Blu-ray Sellers for Week and the Top Five Home Media Sellers for Week, scoring a very strong Blu-ray market share of 78%.[14] The film earned $1,081,703 from domestic DVD sales and $6,529,102 from domestic Blu-ray sales, bringing its total domestic home video earnings to $6,527,374.[15]


The film was nominated for the Golden Reel Award for Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Sound Effects, Foley, Music, Dialogue and ADR for Non-Theatrical Animated Long Form Broadcast Media award.[16]

Comic book tie-in

In August 2018, DC released a 12-part digital comic series titled The Death of Superman: Part 1,[17] by veteran Superman writer Louise Simonson. In the US, retailer Best Buy offered an exclusive "Deluxe Edition" Blu-Ray containing a hardcover graphic novel titled "The Death of Superman: The Wake".[18] The Best Buy graphic novel includes the last four chapters of Simonson's digital comic series.[citation needed]


Main article: Reign of the Supermen (film)

A sequel titled Reign of the Supermen, was released on DVD and Blu-Ray on January 15, 2019. It is based on the second part of the storyline. The cast includes Cameron Monaghan as Kon-El / Conner Kent / Superboy and Charles Halford as Eradicator.[20][21]


  1. ^ A planet that invaded Earth in the 2014 film Justice League: War.
  2. ^ Setting up the 2019 film Reign of the Supermen.


  1. ^ "Comic-Con 2018: World Premiere of The Death of Superman". Retrieved August 16, 2018.
  2. ^ a b "The Man of Steel Meets His Match in Death of Superman Trailer". May 16, 2018.
  3. ^ "The Death of Superman". August 7, 2018. Retrieved August 16, 2018 – via Amazon.
  4. ^ a b c "'The Death of Superman' and 'Reign of the Supermen' Coming to Theaters". DC. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
  5. ^ Beedle, Tim (July 21, 2017). "The Death and Return of Superman Gets a Two-Part Animated Movie". DC Comics. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
  6. ^ a b Cecchini, Mike (March 29, 2018). "The Death of Superman Trailer Arrives". Den of Geek. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
  7. ^ Holbrook, Damian (March 26, 2018). "'The Office', 'The Librarians' & More TV Faves Join 'The Death of Superman'". TV Insider. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
  8. ^ "Comic-Con 2018". Retrieved August 16, 2018.
  9. ^ "The Death and Return of Superman Complete Film Collection Gets a Release Date". Retrieved August 25, 2018.
  10. ^ "The Death of Superman". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved October 30, 2021.
  11. ^ Calamia, Kat (July 23, 2018). "Advance Review: DEATH OF SUPERMAN 'One of DC's Best Animated Films in Past 5 Years'". Newsarama. Retrieved July 27, 2018.
  12. ^ Narcisse, Evan (July 22, 2018). "The Death of Superman Movie Changes Up a Classic DC Comics Story Just Enough to Work". io9. Retrieved July 27, 2018.
  13. ^ Vejvoda, Jim (July 22, 2018). "The Death of Superman Review". IGN. Retrieved July 27, 2018.
  14. ^ "Blu-ray Sales, August 5–11: Death of Superman Triumphs on Home Media". Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  15. ^ "The Death of Superman (2018) The Numbers Listing". The Numbers. Retrieved January 22, 2019.
  16. ^ Giardina, Carolyn (February 17, 2019). "'Bohemian Rhapsody' Wins Pair of Trophies at Sound Editors' Golden Reel Awards". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 29, 2022.
  18. ^ "The Death of Superman [Blu-ray/DVD] [Graphic Novel] [Only @ Best Buy] [2018]". Best Buy.
  20. ^ Bonomolo, Cameron (February 24, 2018). "'Death Of Superman' Animated Movie First Look Released". Retrieved April 16, 2018.
  21. ^ Matadeen, Renaldo (February 25, 2018). "Death of Superman Animated Film Debuts First Image". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved April 16, 2018.