SUPERMAN: MAN OF TOMORROW Spoiler-Free Review; "An Exciting, Visually Pleasing New Take On The Man Of Steel"

SUPERMAN: MAN OF TOMORROW <font color=red>Spoiler-Free</font> Review; "An Exciting, Visually Pleasing New Take On The Man Of Steel"

Superman: Man of Tomorrow serves as the opening chapter in this new era of DC Animated Universe adventures, but does it manage to put a fresh spin on the Man of Steel's origin story? Here's our verdict...

In Justice League Dark: Apokolips War, the reset button was hit on the DC Animated Universe thanks to time-travel, and Superman: Man of Tomorrow serves as the opening chapter in what looks set to be a new era of storytelling for these popular direct-to-DVD heroes. The animation style appears to have been overhauled (it remains to be seen whether this is the new norm or if each movie will feature a different look), and this takes us back to the beginning for another take on the Man of Steel's origin story with a fresh voice cast. 

Skipping some of the more obvious story beats, the movie transitions Superman's early years in Metropolis into the story of an immigrant coming to terms with his place in the world. Joined by two more aliens who are the final members of their respective races, Man of Tomorrow becomes a surprisingly timely tale which addresses the prejudices of humankind and what Superman needs to do in order to be accepted by them. With Lex Luthor taking on just a supporting role, it's up to Parasite (an excellent Brett Dalton) to serve as the lead villain, but his story in portrayed more effectively here than in past appearances. For the most part, while characters like Lex and Lois Lane have been given a fresh coat of paint, they remain familiar, and it's a shame in some ways that they haven't been shaken up quite as much as Superman.

While he's still very much the hero we know and love from the comic books, his youth and inexperience points to the DCAU now having a very different Clark Kent, especially as he's clearly going to struggle to find his place in this world (even if people are starting, perhaps a little too quickly, to accept him as a hero). Overall, this origin story is a strong, compelling reimagining of the character which gives him a contemporary update that will be welcomed by fans...oh, and he just so happens to have his red underoos back! 

Visually, the animation remains somewhat simplistic, but this overhaul often looks like a comic book come to life, and that's a style it's easy to get on board with and lost in. There are some great action scenes (Superman's battle with Lobo is a highlight, while Parasite looks terrific in action), and the story definitely manages to deliver some surprises along the way, even if it plays it safe during the final act. As if often the case, the voiceover work tends to be a little hit-and-miss, and while Alexandra Daddario and Zachary Quinto are perfectly suited to Lois Lane and Lex Luthor, both could have done with injecting a little more life into their respective characters. If you're familiar with Neil Flynn's comedic work in Scrubs and The Middle, we're sure you'll agree that it would have been nice for him to get display some of that with his take on Pa Kent, but that's only likely to bother you if you're a fan of his work! Ryan Hurst, meanwhile, makes for a badass Lobo. 

Darren Criss is tasked with bringing Superman to life, and he does a phenomenal job from start to finish. His youthful, enthusiastic take on the Man of Steel feels perfect for this updated iteration of the character, and it's exciting to think about where he could go moving forward as Superman finds his feet as a superhero and becomes the version of Kal-El capable of leading the world's most powerful team into battle against threats like Darkseid and the Anti-Monitor! 

Superman: Man of Tomorrow would have benefited from delving a little deeper into certain themes and characters, but it proves to be an exciting, visually pleasing new take on the Man of Steel which successfully freshens up his origin story. 
 

IF

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