Directed by Chris Palmer
August 23, 2020
- Kal-El/Clark Kent/Superman-Darren Criss
- Lois Lane-Alexandra Daddario
- Lex Luthor-Zachary Quinto
- J’onn J’onzz/Martian Manhunter-Ike Amadi
- Lobo-Ryan Hurst
- Rudy Jones/Parasite-Brett Dalton
- Jonathan Kent-Neil Flynn
- Martha Kent-Bellamy Young
- Perry White-Piotr Michael
Daily Planet intern Clark Kent encounters the Parasite and intergalactic bounty hunter Lobo while first crossing paths with Lex Luthor early in his heroic career.
The story begins in Clark’s early days of super heroics. He starts out this movie as the office bitch getting coffee for those who do the actual reporting. It is so early he has not even adopted a costume yet instead preferring to don goggles and regular clothes. At one point in the film his regular clothing gets destroyed leaving him in the buff. This in turn leads to his human mother Martha crafting a more durable costume from fabric from the ship that delivered him to Earth.
Superman: Man of Tomorrow has a pretty good story. The animation looks sharp and the music works. The weakest part of this movie though is the voice cast. None of the voices really stands out. The character voices feel interchangeable. Usually the voice cast in a DC animated feature is as distinct as the characters they are playing. You should be able to close your eyes and tell the difference between the characters.
They just do not sound that different from each other in Superman: Man of Tomorrow. You probably could have cut the cast in half and had them voice everybody and saved a few bucks. Normally in the DC features there is more differentiation but not this time around. Lex Luthor sounded like Superman who sounded a bit like Perry White who could have just as easily voiced Clark Kent. Ma Kent sounded like Lois Lane who sounded like every other female character in the movie. This was a fumble on the part of casting in this film.
In Superman: Man of Tomorrow Clark Kent/Superman is at home on Earth and not an outsider. He is just a person that prefers to remain in the background for obvious reasons. He was way too comfortable in my opinion. He just complained about not knowing where he came from yet displayed no discomfort as an individual.
Pa Kent in this film is more of a realist than a protector with Martha being protective before she finally accepts that her son needs to be out in the world and can survive the dangers he puts himself into. Ma Kent even fashions his costume for him with a cape like Batman.That part is a little cutsie.
I am not a big fan of the character of Lobo in the comics. He is a lot like Deadpool without the cosplaying fan base. The point of the character is to be humorously offensive and I just think he is incongruous with the general seriousness that comics writers have handled their material and does not fit with a character like Superman yet here Lobo is.
In Superman: Man of Tomorrow Lobo is responsible more or less for the creation of the film’s villain the Parasite. And the rest of the time he is either making family friendly double entendres or family friendly crude jokes. And being what they are they fall flat and generally put the brakes on things. The character being what it is does not work as family friendly. If this was a test run for a solo film then do a short and not pair him with Supes.
I liked the introduction of the J’onn J’onzz/Martian Manhunter here though he just felt a little like he popped up out of nowhere. He is mysteriously watching Superman but his existence prior to becoming involved with Superman is just, well, there is not any. We learn that he is the last of his kind but how that came to be is not really touched on. His actual Martian form is really good looking, but his less alien form looks as if it was ripped right from the Supergirl series. His banter and character moments with Superman provide for some good character moments and that is where Martian Manhunter really shines in this story.
Lois Lane is the rising star at the Daily Planet. She is a bit thoughtless towards those she sees as beneath her and likes using power moves on people in order to get the story. She uses one on Lex in an off-camera scene and tries to use one on Superman. She admits this to Clark without realizing that he’s Superman and he turns it back around on her and it’s a nice bit of comeuppance.
In Superman: Man of Tomorrow there is a moment that is heavy handed towards the end with the message they are going for here. He talks about people being afraid of aliens and that they should not be afraid and all that but when it occurs it seems a little inappropriate given that a giant alien looking purple monster is smashing the hell out of Metropolis. Really? It is about accepting those that look different/are different from you. It looks like they were talking about immigrants in the scene but when the immigrant stand in has been trashing your fictitious city it might not be the right time to preach and deliver such a message.
As said before I enjoyed the animation. I found it very reminiscent of older comic book drawing and that touched the child in me whose eyes would get excited by the spinner rack at the pharmacy. I still enjoy much of the work of today but with all the modern technology that some artists use it has lost something.
Superman: Man of Tomorrow is a passable DC animated feature. Visually impressive but the voice casting is a bit generic. Still though it is an entertaining watch that with a few tweaks could have been much better. I am waffling on this one. Part of me says if you want but I lean more towards a watch it. I will say watch it here.