Synopsis: Daily Planet intern Clark Kent takes learning-on-the-job to new extremes. Follow the budding hero as he engages in bloody battles with intergalactic bounty hunter Lobo and fights for his life to halt the attack of power-hungry alien Parasite. The world will learn about Superman…but first, Superman must save the world!
Review: After decades of superhero consumption, I had mixed feelings about yet another reboot of Superman’s origin story. Fortunately, Superman: Man of Tomorrow staved off the tedium by incorporating two other popular DC characters, which allowed Clark different lenses through which to view himself.
Bringing in Lobo and the Martian Manhunter weren’t writer Tim Sheridan’s only bright ideas, though. It also helped that he started the story during Clark’s childhood and then added a judicious time jump. This eliminated genuinely needless exposition. Additionally, Sheridan cleverly shifted the dynamic with Lex Luthor in ways that continued to minimize the exposition, while ratcheting up the tension for future storytelling in this new continuity.
Finally, there’s Lois. Sheridan took advantage of the fact that decades have gone by. He presented viewers with a hungry, savvy Lois who grasps the business she’s in to an even greater extent than other modern iterations, and that’s saying something. She isn’t a monolithic know-it-all, however. We’re left with the understanding that Lois and Clark will be helping each other learn and grow as this new continuity evolves.
The character portrayals weren’t the only selling point, though. The animation was equally strong. The film had extremely well realized landscapes and vistas. As for the character work, I was particularly impressed by the art behind Parasite and The Martian Manhunter.
Darren Criss offered an excellent take on a young man who was an intern on every level. He showcased the range the part requires and has the tools to front the Super franchise in this new continuity.
Zachary Quinto did a wonderful job with what he was given in this initial outing. I can’t judge, yet, if he has what it takes to match Clancy Brown, who remains the definitive Lex an animation. Like Criss, he certainly has the tools to make the role his own.
Alexandra Daddario portrayed the young, self-assured Lois extremely well. She got across that Lois operates like a seasoned pro, because that’s what she ultimately aspires to be. That aspiration combined with competence will get her there in the end.
Superman: Man of Tomorrow was a promising start to this latest go-around. Given what this iteration had to offer, I can’t wait to meet the rest of the Justice League in this continuity.
Superman: Man of Tomorrow is available on DVD, Blu-ray and V.O.D. now.