Thursday, April 21, 2016

Superman: Doomsday (2007)

Believe it or not, I actually have something of a connection to the comic that this is based on. One day, I walked into my high school's library and saw a graphic novel on the table next to the couch that read, The Death of Superman, and had an image of Superman's tattered red cape flowing in the wind as it hung from a pole in the ground. Even though I was mainly into Batman at that time, the idea of Superman dying was quite a shock and it was enough to catch my attention and make me pick it up. I didn't read the entire thing but I flipped through it and saw Superman getting brutalized by Doomsday and I always remembered that last page where you had Lois holding his lifeless body in her arms, crying her eyes out. It was pretty damn shocking and I couldn't believe that they actually killed him off. I never saw that comic again but, years later when I became a fan of the Christopher Reeve movies, I saw the documentary, Look Up In The Sky! The Amazing Story of Superman, which was made to promote the release of Superman Returns (that documentary is excellent, by the way), and they talked about this comic and how it basically ground the entire comic book world to a halt when it was published in 1992. It was also in this documentary that I learned that Superman was not actually killed and eventually came back to take care of four imposters claiming to be him. I thought that was interesting way to go about bringing the Man of Steel back but, not being a comic book reader, I didn't think any more about it until a year or so later when I saw the DVD for this at Wal-Mart. Seeing Doomsday in the title and the red, bleeding S-symbol, I figured that this had to be based on that comic and, looking on the back, I was quite surprised to see that it was rated PG-13 for violence since none of the previous DC animated stuff ever got that grim, save for the alternate cut of the Batman Beyond movie, Return of the Joker (I'm pretty sure this was the first of these more adult-oriented DC animated movies, so there was no precedent for it at that point). However, I wouldn't see the film until 2013, when I really became interested in all of these animated flicks that had been released in the years since and I bought a bunch of them the week after my birthday that year. I had heard pretty mixed opinions on it, with many of the criticisms being how it barely followed the comic that it was based on, and I had some reservations of my own when it came to some of the casting and character designs, but, upon watching it, I thought it was pretty good. From what I know about it, it's not a very good adaptation of that comic and there are some things that I think could have been handled better, but I think it's an entertaining, well-made, and fast-paced animated Superman flick.

Clark Kent supposedly heads off to Afghanistan to act as a foreign correspondent but, in reality, he heads to the Fortress of Solitude to spend some intimate time with Lois Lane as Superman. While Lois admits to Superman that she's not satisfied with the secrecy, as well as her suspicions that he's really Clark, employees of LexCorp working on a drilling operation discover a buried spaceship and accidentally release a powerful and lethal monster known as Doomsday. After killing all of the workers, Doomsday goes on a homicidal rampage across the countryside, attacking and brutally killing everything he comes across, eventually making his way to Metropolis. Upon learning of this, Superman heads to the city and fights Doomsday in a devastating and violent battle that ultimately ends in both warriors seemingly dying. The world, especially Metropolis, mourns the loss of its greatest hero, with a special memorial being erected in the city in his honor, and the people he knew personally, like Lois, Jimmy Olsen, Perry White, and especially his adopted mother, Martha Kent, find different ways to cope. Crime rates go up in the weeks following his death but things take a surprising turn when Superman seems to rise from the grave just in time to save some kids and Lois from the villain Toyman. Metropolis and the world at large celebrate this sudden but welcome miracle, while Lois gradually becomes suspicious as to whether this really is the man she knew, especially when Clark doesn't return to work at the Daily Planet and he doesn't visit his mother, whom Lois now knows personally. Sure enough, this Superman is revealed to be a clone created by Luthor from a blood sample he retrieved following the battle with Doomsday, while he keeps the real Superman's body preserved in a large tube at LexCorp. That is, until the body disappears very mysteriously. A robot from the Fortress of Solitude retrieved Superman, who was never actually dead but rather whose vital signs became so weak that he merely appeared to be so, and, at the fortress, manages to revive him. Superman begins undergoing rigorous exercises to completely restore his strength, not knowing that his clone has begun rebelling against Luthor and is compelled to protect Metropolis his way: by using terror tactics and making an example of Toyman as to what will happen if the law is not abided by.

This film actually has three directors, who I believed handled the film's three acts in the order that they're listed in the credits. The first is Bruce Timm himself, making this the only one of these DC animated movies that he's actually had a hand in directing, whereas he usually works as some type of producer (he also co-wrote the story with Duane Capizzi). The second director is Lauren Montgomery, who before this had only directed some episodes of Legion of Super Heroes but would go on to direct a number of DC animated movies, like Wonder Woman, Green Lantern: First Flight,  Superman/Batman: Apocalypse, and Justice League: Doom, as well as co-direct Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths and Batman: Year One and direct episodes of Young Justice and Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated. Finally, you have Brandon Vietti (he's the one pictured here, with Bruce Timm in the background, so you at least have an image of two of the directors), whose first directing credits include Jackie Chan Adventures and The Batman (which netted him an Emmy) and after this, he went on to do episodes of Batman: The Brave and the Bold (he directed every third episode of that show) and Legion of Super Heroes, as well as Batman: Under the Red Hood (one of my personal favorite DC animated movies), Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery, and Lego DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League vs. Bizarro League. He's also noteworthy in that he developed and acted as co-producer on Young Justice.

Adam Baldwin voices Superman here and he's quite good in the role, playing him a bit softer and not as stern as Tim Daly's portrayal while, at the same time, keeping that very human and relatable edge. In fact, to say that Superman is as pure-hearted and benevolent of a super hero as you can get in this film is an understatement. When you first actually see him, you learn that when he's not saving people's lives from disasters and villains, he's trying to find a cure for cancer, saying he wants to help mankind in a way other than being "its resident strongman." And when Doomsday arrives in Metropolis and begins wreaking havoc, he doesn't hesitate to go there to stop the monster and continues to fight him, even as he's getting absolutely brutalized, because, as he tells Lois at one point, "It's why I'm here." Right before he apparently dies in Lois' arms, he asks her if eveyone is alright and when she assures him that they are, his last words are, "That's all that matters." When he awakens at the Fortress of Solitude, surprised that he's alive, he tries to get back there as soon as possible but he has to go through rehabilitation exercises in order to build his strength back, which take some time. But, when he sees what his clone is doing, he decides to go face him even though he's not back to full strength, saying that what power he has regained will have to do since he can't stand by and watch his city be terrorized the way it is. When he confronts his clone, he tells him he doesn't approve of his methods and when the clone says that Metropolis will remain under his protection for the rest of time, Superman tells him, "Over my dead body." My favorite line of his in the film, though, is when his clone says he's a reflection of him as he might have been and Superman says, "If I were raised by Luthor? You're self-righteous, misguided, my reflection in a cracked mirror." But, despite his hatred for the clone's methods of instrumenting justice, when he's mortally wounded and asks Superman to protect the people with his dying breath, Superman, again, says, "It's what I'm here for." And as if you didn't need any more evidence as to what a true saint he is, Superman also at one point tells Lois, "They say I'm brave, but I'm bulletproof. Ordinary men and women who put their lives on the line, they're the real heroes." This movie really captures what I like about Superman as a character. I know many people don't find him to be that interesting of a character because they say he's too pure and incorruptable, which they feel doesn't make him multi-faceted, but I've always liked the idea of someone who is the ultimate example of what a hero should be, what everyone else should strive for. The idea of someone who's basically the most powerful being in the universe using his gifts to help those who can't help themselves and are less fortunate than him, who absolutely will not stop until everyone is safe, is a very appealing and inspiring notion to me. In short, if Supes ran for president, like Richard Donner suggested he do in that Look Up In The Sky! documentary, he'd have my vote without any hesitation!

While we barely get any Clark Kent in this film, we do get a big look at Superman's human side, particularly in regards to his now full-on romantic relationship with Lois. It's interesting to see them this way, not only passionately kissing, unable to keep their hands off each other, and even in the afterglow of sex, but also being quite flirtatious with each other, like when they're in the Fortress of Solitude, Lois has just finished showering, is wearing only a towel, and when she comments on the cold, Superman says, " Next time you catch a chill, give me a holler. I'll warm you." When Lois asks if he'd use his heat-vision, he says, "No, just the x-ray," and it's like, "Whoa! Superman is human!" Speaking of which, he and Lois also have their first squabble as a couple, mainly over how he still won't admit that he's Clark, even though she's beginning to figure it out and brings up some legitimate reasons why he should drop the act. He tries to give her the old shpeel about how revealing his secret identity would put her in danger and, when that doesn't work, says that it's tied to why they've gone to great lengths to keep their relationship a secret, both of which she calls bullshit on in a clever way that I'll go more into when we talk about her. Ultimately, she feels that it comes down to a very human fear of commitment, and while it's never made 100% clear what the reason is, Superman does decide that it is time to tell her everything, although he doesn't get a chance to do so because of Doomsday and it's only at the very end of the movie that he confirms her suspicions that he is Clark. All in all, I'd say that Superman is well portrayed in this film. Lastly, let's talk about his design. It's virtually the same design from Superman: The Animated Series, right down to the way the face and eyes look and the design and richness of the costume's colors. The musculature isn't quite as massive but, otherwise, he looks pretty much the same, save for one major difference: those hideous lines underneath his eyes. I don't know whose idea that was or what they were trying to accomplish with them (maybe to make his cheekbones stand out more) but they do not look good at all; in fact, they make Superman look rather elderly! Everything else is fine, including the way he looks in the nice-looking black and silver suit with that mullet, but those lines are just ugly and distracting to me.

The Superman clone is an interesting character as a result of the arc that he goes through. At first, he's simply a puppet of Luthor's who serves his purpose of convincing Metropolis that Superman has risen from the grave and is protecting them again, as well as doing work for his creator behind the scenes. He also suffers some abuse from Luthor when he traps him in a room with red-sunlight lamps and beats him with Kryptonite gauntlets, both to show him who's in charge and to take out some frustration for not getting the chance to kill the real Superman. However, when he hears that Toyman, in a hostage situation, murdered a four-year old girl, the clone's act of protecting the city grows to not only being very real but also dangerous when he kills Toyman in cold blood, describing him as an example. He now feels that he's the one who has the right to decide how to protect Metropolis and begins making it clear to both the civilians and the police that they'd better abide by the law or else, with the police unable to do anything to stop him. Furthermore, he rebels against Luthor and figures out how he intends to kill him if he steps out of line again: a small shard of Kryptonite within his brain that's shielded by lead. He manages to remove the shard and heads out to not only kill Luthor but to destroy the army of Superman clones that he's created as a big reserve. He succeeds in the latter and almost in killing Luthor as well, having grown wise to his trick with that special room, which he tears out of the building and throws to the street, with Luthor inside. He then proceeds to basically put Metropolis under martial law and retaliates against the military when they attempt to stop him, calmly saying, "I'm doing this because I care." When confronted by the real Superman, the clone tells him that Metropolis is doing just fine without him and that it'll remain under his protection, which leads to the battle between them. During the fight, the clone tries to tell Superman that he's who he would have been if he were "stronger," but, as stated before, all Superman sees is who he would have been had he been raised by Luthor. Superman does ultimately defeat the clone and, right before he dies, asks Superman to protect the people, showing that, despite his questionable and misguided methods, he wasn't really evil and did truly care about preserving order in Metropolis, feeling that he was what it needed.

Except for the 1997 disaster flick, Volcano, I am not a fan of Anne Heche at all. When I think of her, two things come to mind: that inane remake of Psycho where she was horribly miscast as Marion Crane and that moment where, after she broke up with Ellen Degeneres, she wandered around the desert and showed up at some stranger's house, telling the police officers who were called on her that she was God and she was going to take everyone away in a spaceship. So, when I read on the back of the DVD case that she was the voice of Lois Lane here, I thought, "Oh, lord!" But, that said, I don't think she was that bad. I would have preferred them to have brought back Dana Delany but Heche surprised me in how well she fit the part (I think she did better than Kate Bosworth's boring performance in Superman Returns the year before). She embodies Lois' feistiness really well, with her first scene involving her getting into an argument with Perry White about an article she wants to write about Luthor's charity organization, which she plans to expose as a front to acquire money to develop high-tech weapons to sell on the black market. As usual, she's not at all afraid of getting caught up in a major disaster, such as covering Superman's battle with Doomsday by flying into the battlefield in a helicopter, constantly telling Jimmy Olsen to keep his camera on the action, risking her own life to save a bus of kids being held hostage by Toyman, or getting in the midst of the final battle between Superman and the clone, retrieving Superman's Kryptonite gun in order to help tip the odds in his favor. She also comes up with a nice way of breaking into Luthor's office to look through his files, which is acting all broken and seemingly allowing him to seduce her, when, in reality, she distracts him with a passionate kiss so she can inject him with a tranquilizer right in the back of his neck (it's also funny to see her spit with a very loud, "Pew!" afterward). But, again, it's also really interesting to see her and Superman in a very intimate, romantic relationship, exchanging passionate kisses, flirting, and even see the aftermath of them having made love. And finally, she grows enough of a brain to realize that Superman and Clark Kent are probably the same person (one would hope that, after being as close to him as she has, she would be able to see through whatever disguise those glasses provided for him). Granted, her reason for suspecting is the odd coincidence of Clark always being "off somewhere" whenever they're together in the Fortress of Solitude, but at least she's now not looking quite as dumb as she often has in the past. Like I said earlier, I really like how she calls bullshit on Superman's reasons for not revealing his real identity to her. When he says it's to keep her safe, she says, "My safety was compromised the moment I met you. How many times have you had to rescue me?" I'm sure that made a lot of people go, "Thank you!" And when Superman says it's the same reason why they haven't gone public with their relationship, Lois tells him, "Try reading a gossip column. Practically all of Metropolis thinks we're dating anyway." Again, at least she's acknowledging something that has irritated comic book fans for decades.

But, arguments aside, it's very clear that she really does love Superman, and I thought Heche played the really sad moments, like when he appears to die in her arms and when she visits Martha Kent and breaks down while talking to her about their relationship and the pain she's now going through, really well. Because of how well she knew him, it doesn't take long for Lois to realize that the Superman that appears to rise from the grave to protect Metropolis once again isn't really him, especially when he kills Toyman and starts threatening everyone around him into abiding by the law. She's also smart enough to know that Luthor, whom she was shocked to see in a newspaper photo with Superman at one point, had something to do with it, prompting her to come up with the idea to break into LexCorp and find out what's going on. And when the real Superman shows back up in that black and silver suit with that long hair, Lois initially doesn't know what to think but, as the battle progresses, she decides to take a leap of faith and retrieve the Kryptonite gun that Superman lost at the beginning of the fight to help him take out the clone. Everything that's happened before makes their reunion after the battle, complete with a passionate kiss that proves to be all the convincing she needs, satisfying. Although, I find her surprise at the end when he confirms her suspicion that he is indeed Clark Kent to be odd since I figured she already knew for sure that was the case when she began her friendship with Martha. Maybe she needed that one final piece so she could totally be sure or something. Finally, as for her design, I think she looks pretty good. I prefer the design from Superman: The Animated Series but this is still a nice, appealing look for her, with the right amount of sexiness.

I think out of all the incarnations of him that I've seen so far, James Marsters' portrayal of Lex Luthor in this film is possibly the most disturbing and pathologically insane that I've seen, not the least of which is due to his relationship with Superman. The film starts off with him describing Superman in a very... eyebrow-raising way: "Just look at him. So sleek. So powerful. So... beautiful, like some great golden god made flesh." He does go on to make it clear that he disdains Superman, saying, "There comes a time when even gods must die," but still, that's quite a way to introduce him, and it becomes even more fucked up after Superman's apparent death. Instead of being happy that his biggest enemy is now out of his way, Luthor actually mourns his death as well, mainly because he didn't cause it. He feels cheated out of the opportunity to come up with a sure-fire way to kill Superman and then impliment it. However, he then decides to take advantage of Superman's death by using a blood sample that was retrieved following the battle with Doomsday to create a clone of the Man of Steel that will do his bidding and only knows what he's programmed him to know. He also uses him as a literal punching bag for his frustration of not being able to kill Superman, trapping him in a special room with lights that project rays from a red sun and then beating him with Kryptonite gauntlets, all the while yelling stuff, "Why did you leave me?!" It's then revealed that Luthor stole the real Superman's body, mainly so the clone could appear to rise from the grave but also for his own sick amusement, keeping the body preserved in a tube so he can come in and mock it. When the body appears to have been stolen, Luthor is intent on getting it back, mainly to keep others from using it in genetic engineering like he has, but also probably because he simply feels he's the only one who's allowed to have it. The full extent of Luthor's depravity is revealed when Lois and Jimmy discover his army of yet to be awakened Superman clones, which he plans to make the world bow down to him, and he also has a contingency plan to take care of the current clone should he start to think too much for himself, which he does. Of course, Luthor's plan backfires when the clone removes the small shard of Kryptonite from his brain (his deadpan reaction of, "Oh, hell," when he realizes this is pretty funny) and he's nearly killed by his creation as well, being in severe traction in the film's final scene as he still plots to one day kill Superman.

As you might expect, his relationship towards Superman is hardly the only way in which Luthor is portrayed as a very twisted individual. As usual, he's also just simply a bastard when it comes to how he runs his corporation, making his workers sweat it out as they drill down into the earth for his latest project, while he kicks back and simply reaps the rewards. One really despicable thing that he does is that he comes up with a serum that will cure muscular dystrophy and plans to have his scientists find a way to make the medicine's effects so slow that the patient will have to take their entire life, saying that as an instant cure, which it is at the moment, "It's a mere $300 billion windfall." He ends up putting it away altogether since his main scientists are working on other diseases, saying, "Guess 'Jerry's Kids' will have to wait their turn," talking about Jerry Lewis' annual telethon for children with this disease. Yeah, that's pretty damn low. He also takes steps to cover up the trail that could connect the discovery and release of Doomsday to LexCorp, even going as far as to just randomly shoot his loyal personal assistant, Mercy (voiced by Cree Summer and who is a character that was introduced in Superman: The Animated Series), to doubly ensure that it doesn't happen. And finally, there's the way he comes on to Lois upon deducing that she and Superman were romantically involved, saying that she needs someone to take his place and going as far as to touch her leg and forcibly kiss her. "Creep" doesn't even begin to describe him there. All in all, Luthor is portrayed in a suitably unsettling way here and Marsters' low, creepy voice helps sell it, much more so than I think Clancy Brown would have been able to, although he is awesome in the role too. Speaking of which, Luthor's design here is basically a more thin and streamlined version of his look in the animated series, which I don't mind at all.

Of all the people who are affected by Superman's supposed death, Jimmy Olsen (voiced by Adam Wylie) is the one who changes the most as a result. At Superman's funeral, he's approached by the editor of a tabloid magazine called the National Voyeur and, not too long afterward, he quits the Daily Planet to work as their photographer, although when he does so, he seems like he wants to be sure that what they're doing is for entertainment purposes and nothing more. That, as you can expect, turns out to be a lie when Lois sees him taking photos of Toyman's body after the Superman clone drops him to his death, causing her to storm off in disgust. Speaking of which, the relationship between the two of them had taken a nose-dive long before that when he refused to help her in investigating whether or not this Superman is the genuine article, to the point where he threw a copy of the Planet back in her face and said that he liked his job at the Voyeur, which only added to her disgust in that latter scene. And yet, after that, they're suddenly working together again when the two of them break into LexCorp's genetic research labs and discover Luthor's army of Superman clones. Uh, okay, what happened? Did that murder convince Jimmy that, not only was his new job not that respectable, but that this guy isn't really Superman, something he wasn't convinced of beforehand? Did he go to her or did they just run into each other and decide to make up? And how hard was it for Lois to decide to work with him again? That would have been nice to see but, as it stands, their renewed partnership comes off as very, very abrupt. Still, it's good to see them working together again and Lois ordering him around like usual, like when she tells him, "Oh, for God's sake, don't be such a girl!"

Perry White (voiced by Ray Wise) is his usual irascible, grumpy self, barking orders at everybody and angrily telling what they can and can't print. The movie truly begins with him refusing to print a story that Lois has been working on about Luthor's charity organization not being what it seems and when she asks if he's on Luthor's payroll, he says, "Excuse me for not wanting to get sued for libel... again!" And when Lois then adds that it's going to be either her or Superman who's going to bring LexCorp down, Perry adds, "If it's Superman, then it makes news and I'll be glad to print it!" He's also rather short-tempered with Clark as he heads off for "Arghanistan," telling him not to forget to write, and when Clark comments, "Sure thing, Perry," he clarifies, "Articles, Kent. Articles. That's what foreign correspondents do." When Superman apparently dies, Perry begins boozing it up a little bit (you never see him as a full-on alcoholic, though) and he's not at all happy when Jimmy quits the paper, calling him an ingrate as well as weak and unable to hold on to his ideals, although he admits that it's easy to do so in a world without Superman. He's also not happy about Lois' continuing to go on dangerous assignments since Superman isn't around to save her anymore, making it clear that he doesn't want to lose his star reporter along with one of his best photographers. Finally, his last scene is an interesting moment when he and some other people at the Planet watch the fight between Superman and his clone from their office and when one of them asks, "Who's the guy in black?", Perry says, "Who cares? He's kicking Superman's ass!", prompting the others to stare at him, which is a little funny.

It's highly suggested that this film took a page from the original Richard Donner movie and made Martha Kent (voiced by Swoosie Kurtz) a widow since Jonathan is nowhere to be seen here. In any case, like everyone else, she's absolutely devastated by Superman's death and attends his funeral in Metropolis, which further tips off Lois that Superman was really Clark. She's initially not too happy to see Lois when she shows up at her door, initially thinking she's there as a reporter, but when Lois pours her heart out to her, admitting that they had been lovers, and breaks down in tears talking about how destroyed she is over Superman's death, Martha invites her in and the two bond. Like the rest of Metropolis, Martha is overjoyed when it seems like Superman has returned, calling it a miracle, but as time goes on and he doesn't come by to visit her, she begins to have her doubts, which are confirmed when he kills Toyman and makes it clear on television that he made the criminal an example of what will happen if people don't start abiding by the law. Martha is never seen again after that scene but at the end of the movie, you get the feeling that Clark will call her once he gets a chance.

Speaking of Toyman (voiced by John DiMaggio), he's portrayed in this movie as much more deranged and homicidal than he usually is, taking advantage of Superman's death to steal a crap-load of money and then hold a school-bus full of kids hostage so he can "play" with them, even referring to them as his playthings, and threaten them in order to make the police back off. He tries to kill Lois in an angry rage when she helps most of the kids escape but is stopped by the Superman clone. But, like I said earlier, this is far from the most horrific thing that he does because you later find out that, while holding a daycare center hostage, he murdered a cute, four-year old girl, which prompts the clone to decide that enough is enough and use him to let Metropolis know that things are going to be different from now on. Just as the police arrive with Toyman at the police department, the clone grabs him, flies him up high into the sky, and when he tells the clone he has nothing to say to him, he coldly says, "How about, 'Goodbye?'" and drops him to his death, causing him to land right on top of the police car that brought him to the station. Honestly, I feel that the creep did deserve that for what he did to that girl (although, that doesn't justify the clone's following that up by threatening the populace in order to keep them from committing crimes). Toyman's design here is also weird, since he looks like a geeky Goth kid who doesn't have the best dental hygiene and not like someone who would have the resources and intellect to create weapons like the robotic spider-like vehicle he uses to hold the kids hostage. It doesn't match up for me.

At the Fortress of Solitude, there's an unnamed robot (voiced by Tom Kenny) who assists Superman, as well as acts as a source of information, telling him all about Doomsday once he appears, and also as something of an unintentional comedic figure, awkwardly standing there and watching as Superman and Lois passionately kiss and reminding Lois that Superman is also known as Kal-El when they're fighting about his refusal to reveal his secret identity to her, prompting her to tell him to shut up. Most significantly, though, he's the one who detects faint vital frequencies that indicate Superman is still alive and breaks into LexCorp to retrieve him, disrupting the surveillance equipment during the short time he needed to do so. He brings Superman back to the fortress and puts him through some rigorous exercises while being exposed to concentrated solar energy in order to build his strength back, but when Superman hears what the clone is doing in Metropolis, he decides he must go back to stop him, even though the robot warns him that his power has only been regenerated by 67%. To help Superman even the odds, the robot gives him a Kryptonite gun built by Luthor that was being kept in the fortress' archives.

Kevin Smith has a brief cameo here voicing a character simply listed as "Grumpy Man" and whose design is based around him. He appears in the scene where the Superman clone confronts and apprehends Toyman, prompting this guy to remark, "Like we really needed him to bust up a mechanical spider, right? Lame!" If you know anything about Smith's career or have seen one of his Evening with Kevin Smith Q&As, then you know that this is a reference to the aborted Superman Lives movie that he worked on in the mid-90's and the bizarre idea that crazy producer Jon Peters had of Superman battling a giant spider. While it's cute and a nice little way for Smith to finally get back at that idiot he had to work with for so long, and who tried to force a number of other insane demands down his throat, it's ultimately pointless and has no other purpose, but it's only a few seconds, so I'm not going to say that it should have been eliminated entirely.

The biggest criticism leveled at this film is how it just barely follows the comic storyline that it's based on and, while I do still enjoy the movie as it stands, upon reading up on said storyline, I do agree that it could have been adapted into an animated film much more faithfully. For me, the biggest flaw of this film is the way it handles Doomsday himself: even though his name is in the title, he's only in the first third of the story and is killed about 26 minutes in, which is disappointing because I think he's a cool-looking monster and the path of destruction he leaves in the comics sounds absolutely amazing and really establishes him as a major threat. In the movie, you still get the sense that he's a force to be reckoned with, seeing as how he brutally murders anything he sees, and the battle between him and Superman in Metropolis is still very effective but, again, they spend so little time on him that his impact is lessened to a great extent. In fact, they very easily could have devoted an entire movie to him since they had enough material from the comics, with Doomsday not only cutting a much longer path of destruction through the countryside but also fighting with the Justice League, having several fights with Superman before the big climactic one in Metropolis, nearly killing Supergirl, and causing more destruction in Metropolis before he and Superman have their final battle. That sounds really epic and I also like the idea that the storyline begins with the Justice League receiving a distress call that leads to an investigation of a long trail of senseless destruction. I always like stories that begin with something of a mystery that leads up to a very great threat (like the beginning of the 1954 monster film, Them!, the mysterious incident at the Norwegian base in John Carpenter's The Thing, or the gradual introduction of Cell in Dragonball Z) and this sounds like it would have made for a great one in animation. Finally, as great as Superman's battle with Doomsday here is, both it and his apparent death do feel like they should have been the ending to the movie rather than the conclusion of the first act. If the whole film had been building up to it rather than attempting to shove every part of this storyline into a 77-minute movie (that's with credits), I think it would have been even more impactful. Just the idea of the movie ending with a brutalized Superman apparently dead in the arms of a devastated Lois Lane? That would have been so powerful.

That leads to the next point: instead of trying to condense the entire storyline into one film, it probably would have been better if this were the first of three movies that each told a different section of it. You could have had the first one be all about Doomsday, the second be about the effect that his death has on Metropolis and the world at large, specifically dealing with the emotions of his friends and even some of his enemies as it is in the comics, and the third be about his eventual return. I guess since this was the first of these DC animated movies, they weren't sure whether or not this would work out and they'd be able to do more, which is why they tried to do the storyline in one movie, but it would have had worked out better had this been three films. Once again, as effective as the aftermath of his death in the actual movie is, spending an entire film showing the devastation it has on his friends and family (in the comic, Jonathan Kent suffers a heart attack as a result of his grief, which would have been very powerful to see in motion), how crime in Metropolis skyrockets as a result, and how the other heroes try their best to deal with it but just aren't as successful as Superman was, would have been even more so. Now, as for the third part of the storyline, with four Superman imitators showing up to take over from him before he eventually does return, I feel that this is the most convoluted section. There are some interesting aspects to it, such as finding out who each of these Supermen really are and how one of them becomes an out and out villain that two of the Supermen go up against with the real Superman's help, but overall, it sounds a little too complicated and I think that it's the aspect of the storyline that was handled most effectively in this film. I like the idea of all those imitators being condensed down into a clone created by Lex Luthor and, as you read earlier, I found the character arc that the clone goes through to be really fascinating. In fact, if this had been three different movies adapting each section of the storyline, I think I would have had the first two be very close to the comics, while have the third be about this clone and developing him more, rather than trying to tell the complicated story of the four imitators. But, again, I'm not a comic book guy, so what do I know?

Visually, the film reminds me a lot of Superman: The Animated Series, whether it be many of the character designs (especially when it comes to Superman and Lex Luthor), the feel of Metropolis, even though it's not as futuristic as it was in the show, and the overall look to it, which is very reminiscent of the art and color style Bruce Timm and company used on their shows in the mid-to-late 90's, like Superman and The New Batman Adventures. In the Fortress of Solitude, you can even see items from that show in the background, like the lead suit that Superman wore whenever he had to deal with Kryptonite (the design of the Fortress itself, though, reminds me of the crystal-like structure in the Christopher Reeve films, right down to a crystal Superman is seen pushing down into a control panel). It reminds me so much of that show, in fact, that the film's more violent and sexually-charged moments really jarred me into remembering that this is in fact a PG-13 film that's primarily meant for adults. While not a gorefest, it gets surprisingly bloody at points, particularly at times during Superman's fight with Doomsday like when a small streak of his blood hits Lois' face, he coughs up a puddle of blood at one point, and the completely battered look that he has by the end of it. That's also to say nothing of the aftermath of Toyman's death, where you see blood runing out from under the tarp covering his body, pooling next to the car that the Superman clone dropped him onto, and a moment during the final battle when a shard of glass grazes Lois' cheek and it begins to bleed, as well as the people and animals that Doomsday murders (the grisliest parts of those murders are off-screen but the idea and what you do see are just as unsettling), the physical abuse that Luthor puts the clone through, and the notion that Toyman murdered an innocent, four-year old girl off-screen. The sexual aspects of this film are also surprisingly bold, like Lois' walking up to Superman in the Fortress of Solitude while she's wearing only a towel and the banter the two of them exchange, the scene where they're both wearing sheer-red robes after having had some apparent "fun" together, the shot where the robot has Superman in a tank of liquid meant to help with his rejuvenation and you can tell that the spot where's standing is all that's keeping us from seeing Supes' bare necessities, the nude Superman clones that the main one destroys, and the penultimate scene where Superman comes out of the shore with only a towel around his waist while Lois is wearing a pink robe with a nightgown underneath. Stuff like that will very quickly remind you that what you're watching is only related to that family-friendly show in terms of visuals and nothing more.

The action of the film begins gradually, with LexCorp workers at a dig site near Metropolis discovering a spaceship buried deep in the earth. As they attempt to unearth it further per Luthor's wishes using a special laser drill, they accidentally hit the edge of the ship's door, activating a large release of steam from within it. As Luthor's watches from his office via an uplink to a camera at the site, a hologram of an alien being is transmitted from within the ship, and while the workers don't understand the language it's speaking in, Luthor can tell that it's some kind of warning. The steam stops expelling, the front of the ship becomes transparent enough to where you can see the slihouette of a figure break its way out of some ice, and Doomsday punches through the door and begins his rampage. He grabs one worker and slams him into the rock, pounds another into the ground, jumps and throws another off his seat before jumping and delivering a crushing blow to someone right below him. He smacks away a guy to his right, turns over the enormous machine behind him, grabs another worker, holds him above his head, and the film then cuts back to Luthor watching the mayhem but we can hear a sickening bone crack, easily kills two more workers, and turns his attention to the cameraman, punching him down to the ground and causing him to drop the camera. The guy tries to crawl away but Doomsday kills him with one powerful punch before heading to the cave's entrance. As Luthor deduces that the only reason the monster was trapped inside of a spaceship and then sent to Earth would be that the race that did so couldn't kill him, Doomsday continues his rampage outside the cave, where several vehicles are already up in flames. He throws a man up against the side of a truck and prepares to leave the site when he hears a sound to his right and sees a deer grazing. He immediately chases it down and remorselessly grabs its antlers and snaps its neck. The film then begins cutting back and forth between Doomsday's rampage and Superman and Lois' time at the Fortress of Solitude. When we go back to the killing spree, we see a guy in a house out in the country who can't get to sleep because his dog won't stop barking. But, when the dog lets out a pained howl and the barking stops, he goes outside to investigate, wielding a shotgun. He yells for the dog when Doomsday rises up behind him and when he turns around and sees the monster, he manages to shoot him in the face, which does nothing. He backs up, shooting Doomsday again, but this results in him getting pounded down to the ground in an instant death. Doomsday continues stomping through the woods, knocking over trees like they're nothing, when he looks up to his left and sees a tanker truck driving on a mountain road. Within seconds, he attacks, jumping on the truck's cab, tearing through the roof, grabbing the driver by the head, and pulling him up, with the guy shattering the windshield with his kicking feet. Doomsday tosses him away like a limp toy and the driver-less truck loses control and falls off the road, exploding into an enormous fireball, although Doomsday steps out of the fire completely unscathed and then sees the Metropolis skyline. At the Fortress, Superman is made aware of Doomsday's rampage and is told by the robot what he is as he watches live footage of the monster wreaking havoc on the bridge leading into Metropolis.

Back at Metropolis, the city is in a state of panic, while the military forms a blockade on the bridge as Doomsday approaches. When he gets close enough, the soldiers open fire on him with their assault rifles and bazookas but he just charges right at them, shrugging off the hits that he takes, and smashes down on the front of the blockade, sending three soldiers flying while he picks up a convoy vehicle and throws it into the bay, knocking two more soldiers off with it. Superman and Lois arrive, with him dropping her off at the Daily Planet, but Lois, as usual, refuses to stay where it's safe and calls Jimmy, telling him to meet her on the roof with his camera. Back at the bridge, Doomsday breaks a screaming soldier's neck before charging at a tank that's firing at him with its mounted gun. When the tank fires a shell at him, he punches it in mid-air, causing a big explosion and shockwave as he charges out of the fire, knocking one soldier away while smashing another into the concrete and then tossing his body aside. He grabs the tank and tosses it down the street, causing it to land on top of another. Soldiers use missile launchers against him as he picks up another tank and holds it above his head. He runs at them and throws the tank, but before it can come down on them, Superman flies in, catches it, and lowers it to the ground. Doomsday charges at him but Superman uses his super-breath to freeze him right before he reaches him. However, Doomsday quickly bursts out of the ice and tries to bring his fists down on Superman, who catches them, although the force of it causes his feet to smash into the concrete. He's able to force Doomsday back and dodge a punch before delivering a couple of his own to the monster's head, but Doomsday then catches his fist and punches him a couple of times, sending him tumbling down the street. Doomsday charges again and Superman does so as well, with the two of them hitting each other in mid-air and landing on top of a military vehicle as civilians and soldiers run for it. When the dust clears, Doomsday charges out of the flames, dragging Superman along the road by the head, before tossing him up and punching him towards the top of a nearby building, causing him to slam into the side near the top. Meanwhile, Lois and Jimmy take off in a helicopter in order to get to the action, while Superman flies down the building and then heads right at Doomsday, delivering a series of massive punches all over his body, including his face and gut, managing to knock one of his teeth out at one point, and delivers a blow that knocks him up into the air. Lois and Jimmy then arrive on the scene, as Superman pushes Doomsday back, only to get grabbed and slammed headfirst into the concrete. Doomsday grabs him by the leg and slams him across from him before kicking him across the way into a slab of concrete, grabbing him by the throat, and delivering four punches that smash his head into it and then allowing him to collapse to the ground, where he then gets stomped on the back.

As Jimmy has his camera on the battle, Doomsday turns his attention to the helicopter and leaps at it, grabbing onto one of its landing skids and climbing up the side. Seeing this, Superman flies up to them, putting Doomsday in a headlock before he can punch Jimmy, and tries to force him off the helicopter. However, Doomsday reaches around, grabs him by the head, and flings him off, as Lois tries to regain control of the craft. Doomsday, again, tries to punch Jimmy but his side of the helicopter has been so weakened by the monster that he's able to kick him off with a little bit of the edge. Doomsday grabs ahold of the skid and grabs the helicopter's underside with his other hand, when Superman flies at him, grabs his arm and wrenches it off the helicopter, before using his heat-vision to slice through the skid, causing them both to fall. Superman tosses Doomsday down towards the ground, causing him to crash through the roof of a building and fall all the way through it, which is followed up by the building collapsing on him, while Supes safely lowers the helicopter to the street. He helps Jimmy, who then vomits, and Lois out, when Doomsday pulls himself out of the rubble, ready to continue the fight. Superman tells Lois to get away from the spot and he and Doomsday collide in the middle of the street, their punches meeting each other and forcing them both backwards. They both charge at each other again, with Superman managing to get some punches in before getting elbowed to the ground. He dodges a punch and then flies at Doomsday, knees him in the chin, grabs his upper jaw with both hands, and throws him towards the skyline, causing him to go straight through a building. Luthor watches the battle from his office, while Superman catches Doomsday in mid-air as he goes through another building and throws him towards an electrical station, sending him through three sets of electrical wires and causing him to crash into a transformer. He tries to deliver a punch but Doomsday grabs him by the throat and runs with him, smashing him through the wreckage of the station before heading back into the street, running up and jumping off a car, and slamming him down in the middle of the street, causing them both to crash into the subway below. He tries to break Superman's neck but gets blasted off by his heat-vision, which doesn't stop him from grabbing Superman by the leg and throwing him into the wall on the other side of the tracks. He dodges a blow from Doomsday when he jumps at, smashing a big hole in the wall, and blocks some punches before grabbing his arm and throwing him onto the tracks. Superman is clearly starting to get tired but he pushes forward, flying at Doomsday, only to get backhanded down the tunnel, slamming against the wall and falling on the tracks. Doomsday is about to attack again when an oncoming train gets his attention and he runs at it. Superman tackles him and slams him into the wall, but Doomsday pushes his head away by the chin, causing it to smack against the side of the train as it passes by. He drops to the tracks and Doomsday reaches for him.

Up above, everyone gathers around the hole in the street, listening to the battle going on below, with the street smashing up from underneath at a couple of points, before Superman is sent up through it and against a building, falling down to the ground very roughly. Doomsday then hops up through the hole and tries to attack the bystanders, but Superman stops him by flying at him and punching him in the stomach, only to get smashed down into the street. Seeing how tired and weakened Superman is by this point, Jimmy tells Lois that he's never seen him take such a beating, while Doomsday grabs him by the hair and tries to punch him, but Superman catches his fist and delivers a series of punches that send him down the street and even knock him down at one point. Superman charges at him but his punches are now blocked as Doomsday delivers a headbutt to the face. From her home in Smallville, Martha Kent watches news coverage of the battle, as the newscaster comments on the uncertainy of the outcome. Back in Metropolis, Superman gets sent flying through the air and tumbles down the street, with Doomsday then lifting him up by the hair and punching him repeatedly in the stomach, strong enough to send a streak of his blood across Lois' face as she watches from nearby. Dropped down to his knees, Superman vomits up a lot of blood, prompting Jimmy to seriously worry about him, while Lois insists he keep his camera on the action. Doomsday picks Superman back up by the neck and prepares to punch him again, when the sound of a little girl crying nearby gets his attention. He drops Superman, walks up to the girl, and prepares to kill her, but Supes quickly flies up to him and grabs him from behind. He then takes off up into the sky with all of his remaining power, flying out past the Earth's atmosphere, and then heading back down at full-speed, all while holding Doomsday. The monster manages to get free and the two of them exchange punches as they head back down, with Superman managing to grab ahold of Doomsday again as they plummet to the ground like a meteorite. They hit the ground with a very loud boom and send shockwaves throughout the city, causing more destruction, and as the dust settles, a gigantic crater is revealed, with Doomsday lying in the middle. His red, glowing eyes slowly fade, indicating his death, and as everyone rushes to the crater, Superman emerges from the dust cloud, completely brutalized, and he stumbles towards Lois before collapsing to the ground. Once she reassures him that everyone is safe, he appears to die in her arms, as Lois cries her eyes out, as does Jimmy as he snaps a picture from nearby and Martha Kent as sees the news on the television. The scene ends with Luthor reacting to the news, turning from his computer monitor with a serious look on his face, while back at the Fortress of Solitude, the robot sits down at the main computer, on which he's seen the tragedy as well.

Like I said, that should have been the climax of the movie but it's not the case, with the story slowing down for a bit as Metropolis and the world mourns Superman's passing. Soon, crime spikes back up in Metropolis, with Toyman using a spider-like contraption to place a bus full of kids on the roof of a building and hold them hostage, threatening to push the bus off the edge if the police who've gathered down below don't back off. With no choice, the police leave the scene, although Lois decides not to stand by and let those kids, heading up to the roof with her new photographer and sneaking over to the bus while Toyman is distracted. She opens the doors and tells the kids that it's okay, only to find that Toyman left a knife-wielding doll in the driver's seat as a guard. The thing jumps at Lois but she quickly grabs a backpack and slams it against the windshield. She stomps and severs its head from its neck when it hits the floor and then motions for the kids to get off the bus. All but one get out and when Lois tries to assure her that it's okay, the doll, with its head hanging from its neck by internal wires, stands back up and threatens them with the knife, causing the girl to scream. Toyman hears this and, upon seeing that all of the other kids have escaped, he rushes his spider-vehicle at the bus, while Lois and the girl get cornered in the back by the doll. He lunges one of the vehicle's legs through the windshield, trying to hook Lois and the kid and pull them out, but only manages to tear up the inside of the bus, as well as destroy the doll. Elsewhere, a fist bursts out of the ground in front of the Superman memorial monument, while Toyman grabs the bus and drops it down the side of the building. Right before it can hit the street, though, it seems to suddenly zoom back up into the air, much to the surprise of Lois and the girl. It hovers through the air and is then lowered down to the street, with Lois shocked to see "Superman" come into view through the back window. He then flies up to the top of the building and confronts the shocked Toyman, who tries to escape by crawling down the side. Superman, however, cuts him off and makes short work of the spider-craft, cutting off some of its legs with his heat-vision and tearing off the two front ones, sending it plummetting to the ground. He pulls Toyman out before it can crash into a fiery heap and hands him over to the authorities. The scene ends with Superman flying Lois back to her apartment, but even though she wants to believe that it's really him, the fact that he misses her building at first and acts surprised when she kisses him makes her wonder.

Following that is a scene that reveals this Superman to be a fake. He goes to Luthor's office, seemingly to confront him, and follows the sound of his voice, unable to see through the walls because they're lined with lead, to a room with an automatic door. When he steps inside, the door closes behind him and the room glows red from the rays of red-solar lamps, instantly weakening him and causing him to fall to the floor. Luthor, shirtless, walks up to him and shows off some gauntlets infused with Kryptonite, commenting, "Red and green: the colors of Christmas," before laying into Superman with the gauntlets, punching him in the head, while yelling, "And you... are on... the naughty... list!" He grabs his head, screaming, "Why did you leave me?! Why?!", before punching him again, sending to his knees, and then grabbing him by the hair and punching three more times, knocking him flat on his back. Luthor sits on his chest and delivers another series of vicious punches before throwing the gauntlets away, breathing heavily, and asking, "Who's your daddy?" before revealing that he's not the real Superman by telling him that he's doing a fine job making the world think he is so. That scene ends with Luthor talking to the body of the real Superman in a tube in the next room, revealing the full extent of what he's done and how he now intends to have Superman help him achieve his goals. Not much happens for a while, as the film simply builds up the climax, with the robot recovering Superman from LexCorp and taking him back to the Fortress of Solitude to revive and help him build his strength back up, while the clone's mood begins to darken when he brutally kills Toyman as revenge for what he did to that little girl and begins using scare tactics to prompt the citizens to begin abiding by the law. He threatens an elderly woman for allowing her cat to climb up a tree outside her home, forcing him to waste time by getting her down when he could be attending to more urgent matters, and he's then confronted by the police, who tell him that the commissioner would like to speak with him. When he makes it clear he has no intention of going, they try to take him by force, only for him to use his heat-vision to blow their guns up right in their hands. The one cop almost says, "Son of a bitch," but Superman cuts him off, growling, "Watch the language," before taking a few steps down the sidewalk and floating off into the night. In one surprisingly dark scene, the clone, pondering how Luthor could make good on his threat to kill him if he steps out of line again, goes into a beauty salon, sits down in front of a mirror, and uses his X-ray vision to see a lead pellet that Luthor's placed within his brain. Deducing that it has to be hiding some Kryptonite, the clone reflects his heat-vision off the mirror and at his forehead, burning a hole straight through his skull, and then, in front of a bunch of horrified women, uses a pair of scissors to dig it out and toss it down the sink. On his way out, he explains, "A safe Superman means a safe Metropolis."

The climax begins with Lois managing to get into Luthor's office and, after knocking him out with a tranquilizer, calls Jimmy to meet up with her with his camera and then begins looking through the files, eventually coming to one titled, GENETIC RESEARCH. While the real Superman continues building his strength back up at the Fortress of Solitude, Lois and Jimmy break into LexCorp's genetic lab, using the unconscious Luthor to get past a retinal scanner, and find an army of Superman clones in reserve, waiting for activation. They're then threatened at gunpoint by Luthor, who's regained consciousness, but before he can kill him, his gun is sliced in half by the main Superman clone's heat-vision. Luthor attempts to kill the clone with the Kryptonite shard in his brain but when he sees that the clone has removed it, he realizes he's no longer in control and watches helplessly as the clone destroys all of the tubes containing the other clones with his heat-vision, along with the control panels they're connected to. After telling Lois and Jimmy to evacuate, he pursues Luthor to that special room, where he activates the red solar lamps and straps on the Kryptonite gauntlets, ready to kill the clone the hard way, but his creation isn't falling for it this time and, instead, closes the door, locking him in. Then, he tears the room up through the roof of the building, carries it up into the sky next to it, and, after telling Luthor, "You're a menace to society, Luthor. You won't be missed," throws it through the roof of the LexCorp building, where it shreds through Luthor's office and out the other side, smashing into the street out in front of it. Back at the Fortress of Solitude, Superman completes his latest exercise and then learns of what his clone is up to in Metropolis from a news report on his apparent murder of Luthor. Hearing that the president has declared a state of emergency and that the army is being mobilized, Supes decides he can't wait to recover his full strength and that the 67% he's now at will have to do. In Metropolis, the clone stands on a building, watching the military mobilizing a number of soldiers, tanks, and convey vehicles down on the street, while at the Fortress, Superman puts on a black solar suit so he can absorb sunlight on the way to the city and is given a Kryptonite gun by the robot before heading out. Lois and Jimmy manage to sneak past the police lines as soldiers take positions on nearby rooftops with both assault rifles and large turrets guns pointing at the clone, although they realize that they have no chance of winning this fight. One of the soldiers asks the clone to step down with a bullhorn but when he does nothing of the sort, the military have no choice but to use lethal force. Before they can get a single shot of, though, he destroys their combat vehicles with his heat-vision, causing a lot of explosions through the street and forcing the soldiers to fall back. A squadron of fighter jets try to take him down but they meet the same fate, as does a group of attack helicopters. The situation looks hopeless, when Jimmy sees the real Superman fly in from the opposite side of the city and then stop in front of the clone. While Lois and Jimmy aren't sure what to make of the situation, Superman and his clone debate about the methods the latter is using to protect Metropolis, with Superman then attempting to use the Kryptonite gun. However, the clone manages to dodge the shot and smack the gun out of his hand, sending it flying to the other side of the city.

The battle then begins, with Superman catching the clone's fist when he goes for a punch, the force of which creates a shockwave that damages the buildings down below. Superman then catches the clone's other fist and the two of them grapple in mid-air before spiraling downwards and slamming into the side of a building. Superman, still holding onto the clone's hands, manages to turn the tables and slam the clone into the building's side. Lois and Jimmy take off in an army jeep, following the action as the clone plows Superman through building after building and then tosses him in mid-air. He tries to zap him with his heat-vision but Superman manages to fly around it and fire his own. The clone dodges the attack and they both fire their heat-vision at the same time, the two sets of beams meeting in mid-air before exploding and sending Superman plummetting towards the ground. The clone flies after him as he hits and tumbles across the street, pounding him into the concrete when he comes to a stop. Superman then charges up at the clone, rams him, grabs his cape, swings him around, and throws him, but the clone manages to propel himself off the side of a building back at him. Superman does manage to block a punch and knock him through a nearby billboard but when the two meet in mid-air again, the clone delivers some punches that shatter the nearby windows and then grabs Superman by the leg and throws him into the side of a building before ramming him down through the floors. He floats down to him, picks him up the hair, and slams him back and forth against the wall. Lois and Jimmy arrive as the clone explodes out of the building's roof while carrying Superman, causing the building to collapse as a result. Upon seeing how this looks like a repeat of the Doomsday battle, Lois decides she's not in the mood for another funeral and turns the jeep around and speeds off in the opposite direction. In mid-air, Superman manages to land a punch but the clone dodges his other attacks and punches him up in the gut before grabbing his legs and flinging down to a loading dock. The clone tears out a crane and throws it at Superman, but he dodges it, grabs a large chain, lassoes the clone, and slams him down through the dock and into the water below. He floats over to the hole, waiting for the clone to attack again, when he rises up behind him, supporting an entire ship! When he throws it, Superman tries to catch it in mid-air but its momentum pushes him down a street and hits him against the lobby of a building. Pushing it aside, Superman flies at the clone but he catches his fist and slams him onto the street, holding him down with his foot on his chest. The clone remarks, "You're out of shape," with Superman shooting back, "Do tell," before grabbing his foot and flinging him off onto the street, before delivering a series of powerful blows in mid-air, smashing him back down to the street. Superman lands, panting heavily, when the clone steps out of the cloud of smoke, with his only injury being a bleeding bottom lip, and comments, "Wow. That almost hurt." When Superman prepares to continue the fight, the clone tries to give him the opportunity to leave while he can but Supes, unwilling to leave the city in his hands, refuses and the battle resumes, while Lois and Jimmy find the Kryptonite gun.

The clone, again, catches a punch from Superman and knocks him down towards a tanker truck, slamming into it and pouring oil all over the ground. He tries to fight back but the clone dodges his attacks and flings him into the Superman monument, knocking it over. The clone hovers in front of him, saying, "I guess this time I'll need to see to it that you stay dead," when he's hit from the side by a blast of Kryptonite. Lois, having just arrived, jumps out of the jeep and tries to shoot the clone again but this time, he jumps out of the way of the beam and blasts the gun apart with his heat-vision, sending the casing containing the Kryptonite into a puddle of oil. Superman uses the distraction to tackle the clone from behind and the two of them fall into the oil, sliding across it, but he's eventually knocked off and the clone then sits on him and punches him repeatedly in the face. Superman grabs his head with his feet, flips him over, and turns the tables, doing the same thing to him, but he gets flipped over again and the clone tries to pin him. Superman kicks him off and he slides across the oil but he gets right back up, charges at Superman, and they exchange a couple of punches before the clone grabs him by the hair and knees him repeatedly in the face, dropping him down onto the ground. The clone then flies over to the Superman monument, picks it up, and hovers above Superman, preparing to end the fight with it. However, Superman tells him, "You have all my strengths... and my weaknesses," and the clone then realizes that the Kryptonite casing is sticking to his chest due to the oil. Superman explodes it with his heat-vision and the clone is engulfed in a green cloud, coughing and instantly losing his strength, crashing back down to the ground with the monument. As Superman watches, along with Lois and Jimmy, the clone emerges from the cloud and futilely tries to fight him but is only able to grab the front of his suit before collapsing to the ground. With his dying breath, he tells Superman to protect the people, to which he says, "It's why I'm here." With his double dead, Superman then convinces Lois that he is the genuine article, and while it seems like the people of Metropolis won't trust him again for a while, that proves not to be the case as his genuine return is then celebrated by everyone.

The music for the film was composed by Robert J. Kral, an Australian-born composer who's most often worked in television on shows like Angel, Jake 2.0, Duck Dodgers (for which he won an Annie Award), The Dresden Files, and The Inside. DC animation-wise, he's also scored a couple of segments of Batman: Gotham Knight, Green Lantern: First Flight, Superman vs. The Elite, and Batman: Assault on Arkham. He also done a lot of music for Scooby-Doo, although the movie scores he has to his credit are The Hostage and The Haunting in Connecticut. In any case, his score for Superman: Doomsday is a pretty respectable one, with the most memorable piece being the main theme for Superman himself, which is this big, grand piece that goes, "Dun, dun, dun-dun, dun-dun-dun, dun, dun, dun." It's got nothing of the Superman theme that John Williams composed back in the 70's or even the main theme for Superman: The Animated Series, but it's an adequately heroic piece of Supes. The other most memorable pieces of the score are the frantic-sounding, somewhat bombastic themes for Superman's battles with Doomsday and the clone, and the sad, tragic-sounding theme when he seems to die in Lois' arms after killing Doomsday. I can't describe or hum the rest of the music but I do remember it fitting the scenes it accompanied, which is all you can really ask for in a film score.

I like Superman: Doomsday. I think it's a pretty well-told, animated superhero movie with a pretty good voice cast and characterizations, a nice, colorful art-style and character designs that are often reminiscent of Superman: The Animated Series, a couple of really good, epic battles involving the Man of Steel, some surprisingly gruesome and mature moments, and an above-average music score. However, the film is hardly perfect, with Superman's design having some details I'm fond of, its being bookended by two, enormous battles without many action scenes of note in-between, and, most significantly, its attempt to cram an enormous storyline into a 77-minute movie instead of adaptating the three major parts of said storyline into three separate movies, which results in Doomsday only being part of the first act, his battle with Superman losing some of its impact since it's not the climax the entire movie has been building to, and the story overall not being as effective and epic in motion as it could have been. Therefore, if you really like The Death of Superman storyline from the comics, you probably won't like this and will come out of it thinking they shortchanged it big time. But, if you can look at it on its own merits or if you're like me and not really a comic book person, you might find yourself being surprised at just how well-made and entertaining it actually is.