Death of Superman appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. I felt happy with this image.
Sharpness excelled. The movie always came across as tight and well-defined, so don’t expect any signs of softness.
Jaggies and moiré effects also remained absent, and the image lacked edge haloes or artifacts. In addition, print flaws were a non-factor and didn’t appear at any point.
In terms of colors, Death went with a fairly bright palette that could lean teal, but it also emphasized primary colors. The tones looked solid within those parameters.
Blacks were deep and tight, while shadows showed nice clarity. Across the board, the image worked well.
I thought the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Death opened up the comic book material well. The forward channels brought out the majority of the material, but the entire package added a lot to the movie. Music presented strong stereo imaging, while effects cropped up in logical spots and blended well.
The surrounds also contributed good information. For the most part, these reinforced the forward channels, but they also contributed a fair amount of unique material.
These instances mainly occurred during bigger action scenes, but they spread out in quieter scenes as well and even featured some directional dialogue. The back speakers brought out a nice sense of space and environment.
Audio quality always satisfied. Speech was warm and natural, without edginess or other issues.
Music sounded lively and full, while effects displayed good definition. Those elements seemed accurate and dynamic. All of this led to a positive presentation that deserved a “B+”.
Only a few extras appear here, and we start with a featurette called The Brawl That Topped Them All. It lasts 16 minutes, 23 seconds and offers notes from DC Entertainment Creative Director Mike Carlin, artist Jon Bogdanove, co-director Jake Castorena, and martial artist Christian Medina.
“Brawl” examines the creation of Doomsday, story/characters, fight choreography, and visual choices. This doesn’t become a great look at the production, but it mixes enough useful details to deserve a viewing.
Two episodes of Legion of Superheroes pop up as well: “Dark Victory: Part 1” (22:54) and “Dark Victory: Part 2” (22:50). These shows focus on a conflict with Brainiac.
Why do they appear alongside Death? I don’t know. Sure, they involve a post-Death Superman spinoff and an alien threat, but otherwise there’s no major link.
Whatever the reason for their inclusion, the “Dark Victory” episodes offer passable entertainment. They give us a reasonably interesting story but the cartoony depiction doesn’t suit the basic drama at hand.
A Sneak Peek at Reign of the Supermen runs nine minutes, 33 seconds and features info from Carlin, director Sam Liu, screenwriters Tim Sheridan and Jim Krieg, voice director Wes Gleason, Warner Home Video EVP Jeff Brown, and actors Cress Williams, Cameron Monaghan, Rebecca Romijn, Rainn Wilson and Jerry O’Connell. It provides basics about Reign - the sequel to Death - and exists as mainly as an advertisement.
Trailers presents promos for Batman Ninja and Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay.
A second disc presents a DVD copy of Death. It includes the sneak peek and the trailers but lacks the other components.
In the visual domain, The Death of Superman gives us a dynamic effort. In the auditory realm, though, a weak score and some iffy voice acting damage the end result. The Blu-ray provides very good picture and audio along with a smattering of supplements. Death’s strengths make it worth a look, but it could’ve been better.
Note that this version of Death is a “limited edition” that includes a Superman action figure. The same Blu-ray/DVD combo is also available on its own without the toy for $5 less.