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Review – Superman: Man of Tomorrow

Superman: Man Of Tomorrow starts with the newly established DC sign, led by Batman and Superman.

For the first time in I don’t know when, as a DC fan, I don’t feel apologetic about seeing it.

The triple whammy of Justice League: Snyder Cut, the awesome trailer for The Batman — and the Fandome event in general, really has elevated DC it feels like it’s stolen a march on Marvel, who have rightly taken a breather

If you’re one of the fans that has managed to realise you don’t have to choose between the two, it’s really a great time to be a comic fan.

As the WB logo crawls on, it all feels incredibly comforting. You feel in safe hands. This is new territory for me as I’ve never got into the animation side of Marvel or DC. Truth be told, the closest I’ve gotten is the brilliant Teen Titans Go To The Movies on a loop with my 5-year-old.

Initially, the animation feels a bit basic. But you soon realise that’s part of its charm. Especially when it starts fantastically… Clark, as a boy, watching a science fiction show with his mate. Then he starts breaking down in tears as the show portrays aliens as evil and manipulative. His friend thinking he’s just scared calls for Martha (why did you say that name?!) to come and collect him.

It’s an interesting scene to start with, setting up Clark as insecure. All of it playing out in a scene you could see Snyder exploring with Costner and Cavill.

So far, so impressive. Although I’m gathering quite quickly that’s not for everyone. Xenophobia as a theme isn’t what everyone wants in their Superman films, apparently. It then lags a bit before the arrival of Lobo, who as a character I really enjoyed. Whether it’s quips such as “well frag the shit out of me”, or kick-starting the violence with a Gatling gun attack on Superman (initially clad in bike biker gear).

I’m not your guy to tell you how official this all is. How faithful will depend on your own favourite take, of which there’s now thankfully been many, starting to mirror the ample comics we all crave.

Saving STAR lab workers from under the rubble there’s a real Snyder vibe. As I said, the violence especially involved whole buildings capitulating. The scale is impressive and shows off all of Superman’s powers as you’d hope and expect.

The voice work, so often key, is strong too. Reading around, it’s clear that bigger fans than me have issues. It turns out vulnerable Clark/Superman isn’t for everyone, although I really like that angle.

After Red Son, which I really hope will be an angle they take up soon in the films, it seems the bar was set a little too high.

Throwing in another Superman origin story isn’t for everyone either. People have seen it all before. I can see why people would have fatigue. Especially when Superman goes up to the sun for the first time to regenerate, only to return to finish Lobo off… um… butt naked. It’s an interesting take.

I also really entitled the Shadow, too. Is he CIA? Is he something else. Appearing early doors and viewing from afar, he’s always just there…much like the sparring between Clark & Lois covering the fact she’s already done an expose on Lex Luther (an interesting take from Zachary Quinto).

Villains wise it all feels fresh to me. Lobo and Parasite are interesting characters and you can see DC testing the waters before they potentially have a big-screen debut.

Martian Manhunter makes an appearance. Better late than never.

I really enjoyed it. Those that know their stuff may not find as much as they’ve found elsewhere, but I liked it a lot.

There was a lot of bashing the fact that The Batman was going to cover Batman’s origin again. The death of his parents etc etc again and again and again. The recent trailer soon put an end to that.

Here, the equivalent of the well-worn territory is Superman as alien, hero, saviour. But again, I thought it was a good take. Kansas drawn in vast open spaces. Bold, bright use of colours — especially the sun, or specifically sunsets.

By the time Martha presents the first suit to Clark, I was all in. More, please.

“They meet someone from the stars, & their first thought is to fire at will.” Better fire back, Supes.

Superman: Man of Tomorrow is out on 7th September 2020.

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