Superman: Man of Tomorrow (Blu-Ray)
The next DC Animated movie arrives on 4K UHD and blu-ray this week, helping to usher in the latest era of DC Animation with an impressive, updated tale of Superman’s origins. Check out our full review to learn why it’s worth watching!
I’ve always been a fan of the DC Animated films, and even though their interconnected DC Animated Universe might be over, they aren’t slowing down. The most recent release dives back into the Superman mythos. Ostensibly, it’s another origin story, but isn't rooted in the past. Instead, Man of Tomorrow moves Superman into the modern day, showing what revealing himself as an all-powerful alien would look like in the present day.
Clark Kent is an intern at the Daily Planet, looking to make his big break, all while harboring the secret of his alien origins. Even he’s still coming to grips with the powers he has, and debates on fully revealing himself to the world. Would he be accepted or reviled? It’s a question that haunts him even as he tries to lead the dual life.
With the arrival of the bounty hunter Lobo, however, which then brings about the arrival of the entity known as Parasite, Clark no longer has a choice. In order to save the planet, he’ll have to fully embrace his role as protector, find a way to combat the inherent fears of those he’s trying to rescue, and somehow defeat his toughest foes. To beat back Parasite, he’ll have to work alongside Lex Luthor (who’s not yet his greatest enemy) and the mysterious Martian Manhunter.
It’s a story that feels familiar, but the way in which the story unfolds makes it feel fresh and engaging. I love that they moved this origin tale up into the modern day. It makes the story of Superman, which has been around for 80 plus years now, feel more relevant than ever.
I don’t want to dive too much into spoilers, so I’m being purposefully vague here. Even though it hits on some familiar beats, there’s enough newness in there that manages to hit you right in the emotions.
Couple that with some excellent pacing, great voice acting, and a really sleek art style and there’s a whole lot to love about it. It’s a really strong Superman story that not only brings in the comic book action elements we expect, but also hammers home poignant themes. I can easily see myself coming back to this one time and time again.
Sight and Sound
Visually, I really loved the art style they went with for Man of Tomorrow. There’s something that feels a little old-school about it, bringing the hard-lined look of the Filmation style, though none of the shortcomings. It’s an interesting choice, but ensures that each frame feels bold and interesting.
The blu-ray transfer (which is what I was given to review) highlights this style perfectly and makes it pop on the screen. There’s a dynamic range of colors throughout the film, and the high-res transfer keeps them bright and crisp. The sound is excellently handled, ensuring the dialog has proper priority while giving each battle a distinctive “oomph.” In all, the technical aspects of the blu-ray are solid.
The Bonus Features
The Superman: Man of Tomorrow blu-ray includes a DVD and digital copy insert as well as these special features on the disc:
Lobo: Natural Force of Chaos (New Featurette) – He’s the rude, crude, galactic bounty hunter who has been more than a thorn in the side of DC’s greatest heroes. This is a full throttle look at Lobo.
Martian Manhunter: Lost and Found (New Featurette) – This is the personal journey of J’onn J’onzz. A stranger in a strange land who emerges from the shadows as a force for peace and justice.
Look Back: Justice League vs. The Fatal Five (Featurette) – The Earth’s future hangs in the balance when the Justice League faces a powerful new threat – the Fatal Five. Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman seek answers as the time-traveling trio of Mano, Persuader and Tharok terrorize Metropolis in search of budding Green Lantern, Jessica Cruz – whom they need to be able to free remaining Fatal Five members Emerald Empress and Validus in order to carry out their sinister plan. But the Justice League discover an ally from another time in the peculiar Star Boy – brimming with volatile power, could he be the key to thwarting the Fatal Five? An epic battle against ultimate evil awaits!
Look Back: Superman/Batman: Public Enemies (Featurette) – Based on the popular Jeph Loeb/Ed McGuinness comic series/graphic novel, the film finds United States President Lex Luthor using the oncoming trajectory of a Kryptonite asteroid to frame Superman and declare a $1 billion bounty on the heads of the Man of Steel and his “partner in crime,” Batman. Heroes and villains alike launch a relentless pursuit of Superman and Batman, who must unite – and recruit help – to stave off the action-packed onslaught, stop the asteroid, and uncover Luthor’s devious plot to take command of far more than North America.
From the DC Vault: Superman: The Animated Series, “The Main Man, Part I”
From the DC Vault: Superman: The Animated Series, “The Main Man, Part II”
– Justice League Dark: Apokolips War
– Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge
– Superman: Red Son
A Sneak Peek at the next DC Universe Movie – An advanced look at the next animated film in the popular DC Universe Movies collection.
To be honest, the bonus features on most DC animated films go for quantity over quality. They featurettes aren’t necessarily bad, but they don’t offer up much for fans to really come back to. The Lobo and Manhunter featurettes offer a nice refresher course on the characters in general, though I doubt long-time fans will get anything new out of it.
There’s a lot of special features to pour through, which offer some nice bang for your buck, but other than that, the main reason to pick this up is the movie itself.