2013 “Death And Return Of Superman Pitch” by Max Landis



Writer/Director Max Landis' fan film "The Death and Return of Superman" was an internet hit, not to mention very funny and ultimately insightful. A year after its release, Landis claims to have been approached by DC to do an actual comic version of the basic premise for the New 52 as a weekly series with Greg Pak, but scheduling got in the way. Instead, Landis shared his aborted ideas for the project in a forty-three minute verbal telling (with NSFW language.)

I get a kick out of Landis' YouTube videos, because he's a natural raconteur with a gift for telling a story conversationally. On the other hand, I'm glad the project never made it further than this, because while there are some neat touches, this tale falls into the same trap as most Doomsday stories. In essence, the entire DC Universe gets thrown under the bus to make Superman look better than anyone else, but since that only works when you game the plot, picking apart the holes is child's play.

Also, to pass judgment on Superman creators, they rarely have the imagination to come up with a credible resolution. I mean, they choose to write the most magnificentest super-duper dude with every power who can't be hurt, so their main job is to find ways to forestall an inevitability. Landis made a big show of mocking the "fratboy punch face" from the original 1992 story, but he has Superman pick up a bit of unfinished business from Wonder Woman and tag-out Doomsday. Worse, the story goes on from there, without even the illusion of a death and resurrection for the Man of Steel, plus a second anticlimax as an additional foe is introduced. I liked Chronicle as much as the next guy, but no, you don't get to breeze out of Hollywood, break Wonder Woman like a twig, jump on Superman's jock, and collect an Eisner.