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Death & Return of Superman Short Film: It’s Funny Cuz It’s True (& Has Amazing Cameos)

The Death and Return of Superman is “a somewhat-mostly-accurate educational parody film,” according to its creators. Those creators? Bryan Basham and Max Landis, the son of famed director John Landis. This is a video comic fans will get very excited over (whether positively or negatively) and that non-readers will get a kick out of because it’s so ridiculous it couldn’t possibly be true. Except it kinda is. It also includes cameos from Mandy Moore, Elijah Wood, Chris Hardwick, Simon Pegg (as John Landis) and one more extra special appearance I don’t want to spoil. Give it a watch. 

Even though it sounds as if he’s completely trashing the genre, you could say the younger Landis has a keen interest in superheroes. He wrote the screenplay for the new film Chronicle, which revolves around a group of teenage boys who find themselves with superpowers.

“I’m not drunk in the video, I only get about three cups in,” writes Landis. “The original rant was 45 minutes long, so of course we had to cut a bunch of stuff out for time, and because it was just too stupid. Like for instance the part where Pa Kent dies of a heart attack and literally GOES TO HEAVEN. AND SEES SUPERMAN.” Yeah, that also happened. He also neglected to include the real impetus for the 1992 Death of Superman storyline. That was Lois Lane and Clark Kent’s marriage in the comic being put on hold to coincide with their marriage on the ABC television series, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman and the creators needing another big event to take its place. Yes, true story.

(via Nerd Approved)

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  • Ernesto Bravo Jr.

    I am now convinced that Mandy Moore should have been asked to play Lois Lane after watching this.

  • Jinxy Blastwave

    I was young enough when this came out that I didn’t see it for the cash grab that it was… and I loved it.  Looking back, ok yeah it was awful.  Doesn’t change how bad ass I thought it was.  I thought Superboy was the coolest guy I’d ever seen (let me stress again that I was wee), and I wanted a leather jacket.  Badly.  So that happened.  The others I could take or leave, but Superboy was awesome in the eyes of a wee Jinxy.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but he was an early take on the Superhero as Celebrity, no?  He showed up, was heroic for about a second, and assumed the world owed him a check.  He also did what I think most of us would do given god-like powers… he moved to Hawaii and did as little work as possible to still be famous and get paid.

    I loved the video’s take on this event breaking death in comics, it’s something we’ve all been seeing over the last few years, but it’s interesting to see “patient zero” laid out before us.  Great video.

  • Ric Merrill

    I remember an Entertainment Tonight story during the Death of Superman. (yeah, it was a big enough topic for Mary Hart and John Tesh to pay attention.) In the interview DC pretty much said: “Super heroes die and come back all the time.” In DC’s defense, they were pretty up front about his imminent return, much to the shagrin of everyone who bought a hundred issues they knew were going to be worth a billion dollars one day.

  • Anonymous

    I watched this, completely unaware that there were celebrities in it, and then I had to go back and watch it again. Best half hour spent this week!

  • Randall Kirby

    I thought it was enjoyable, but the bit about Superman being the instigator for dead heroes coming back and that the storyline was the reason that sales fell are both astoundingly untrue. I’m amazed that both are being taken at face value.

  • Timothy Tankersley

    Superman’s return was definitly not the start of dead heroes being brought back. But I’d say it is the trope codifier.

  • Thor Hoaglz

    Max Landis created videos like this a couple of years back.  It is acted by his college friends.

    Drunk Comic Book History: The Robins

    Cooking with Comics: Knightfall

    Vague Recollections of Watchmen

  • Anna B

    Anime has been killing characters and bringing them back for years before any of this. Dragonball Z did it practically every week. 

    That being said, I think this is the funniest thing I’ve seen today.

  • Angela Fortin

    This is great and I love it but mostly, I’m starting to think that Elijah Woods should cameo in everything. EVERYTHING.

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  • Stevi Ferguson

    “Lois Lane and Clark Kent’s marriage in the comic being put on hold to
    coincide with their marriage on the ABC television series, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman” Which L&C marriage? The one with the clone Lois, or the real one half a season (and some  amnesia) later? I loved that show, but the long drawn out story arc between the weddings was awful.

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