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Sunday, July 23, 2017 

One of the most overrated Superman stories of the 90s is being turned into a cartoon film

And it may not even be the first time. The Death & Return of Superman from the early 1990s is being adapted, in quite a display of creative bankruptcy:
Superman is about to die and return with some new friends.

At Comic-Con International: San Diego, Warner Bros. Animation, DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment announced plans to adapt the popular “Death and Return of Superman” storyline as two animated movies releasing in 2018 and 2019.

Fans of DC Entertainment’s animated movies may remember that 2007’s Superman: Doomsday, the very first film in the series, also adapted this battle. However, in order to condense the entire epic story of Superman’s death and return for a 75-minute film, many omissions and alterations were made. DC Entertainment promises that Death of Superman will be a more faithful adaptation and include several moments that were left out of Superman: Doomsday.
This is all they can think of adapting? The story does not stand the test of time, was an early example of publicity stunts for the sake of money, and not mentioned in the article is that Gerard Jones, recently arrested on charges of storing child pornography, had some story credit on an issue or three of the connecting storylines. In retrospect, it's so embarrassing to think of all the speculator collectors who bought multiple copies that won't be worth much on the market in the future. Yet DC/Warner think this weak tale is worthy of animating, simply because of all the headlines it made back in the day?

There's plenty of other Superman stories, both serious and comedic, worth adapting to cartoons, and instead of trying those out, they have to reach for the lowest. Or, if they have adapted them, they don't seem to get as much attention by the press as those based on the worst publicity stunts that brought down mainstream superherodom.

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Heh. Death of Superman was one of the biggest comics industry debacles ever. It destroyed the casual collector market as too many were printed to be worth anything but was advertised as a "collectable". It also coincided with Marvel deciding to distribute themselves which killed Capital and left Diamond as the only real distributor. The resulting slump in comics sales put at least half the comic stores out of business inside of 3 years. On the flip side, it boosted independent comics quite a bit as pissed off comics stores reduced their Marvel and DC buys and bought independents instead.

For whatever faults came from the aftermath (DC and Marvel as usual not taking the right lessons from the event's success) the story itself was at least good and showcased (in the issues I've seen) what Superman means to the world. It's how you do a publicity stunt well, even if it did lead to Eventitis and every DC hero in the 90s seemingly having some big tragic event, like Batman's Knightfall storyline.

I can think of a few good things about "Death of Superman." Two to be precise.

One: Steel, i.e. John Henry Irons, the Man of Steel. He got his start in the wake of Superman's death after realizing the criminals of Metropolis were using copies of the weapons he'd designed prior to quitting that job to work in construction. Steel was a perfect example of how to do "diversity" RIGHT; he wasn't shoehorned in to replace an existing character, he made it very clear how much he admired and respected his white male progenitor, and when Superman came back he shook Steel's hand and told him how proud he was.

Two: Bibbo Bibbowski, Superman's longtime fan. After Superman's demise he too chose to fill in for Superman- by dispensing food to the hungry, saving drowning puppies, and doing all the things that members of the Real Life Superhero movement do. Lois Lane herself said that of the various "Supermen" running around (several of them claiming to be Superman himself), he was the closest to the real deal. THAT was Superman at his best - not the superpowers, not the fighting, but the inspiration, the GOODNESS. No angst, no grim and gritty stupidity, no martyrdom or vengeance as motivation, just "I'm doing good simply because I can."

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