Drunken Reenactment Of ‘The Death And Return Of Superman’ Is Hilarious

Drunken Reenactment Of ‘The Death And Return Of Superman’ Is Hilarious

I don’t know if you caught this over at io9, but Max Landis’ drunken, half-crazed retelling of the saga of “The Death and Return of Superman” was the funniest thing I saw last weekend.

Landis, whose father is director John Landis, sits in a chair while drinking whiskey and retelling the saga of DC comics’ early ’90s murder-and-eventual-revival of Superman. He alternates between gleeful rage, face-burying disbelief and unfocused yelling.

“Nobody gives a f**k about Superman,” begins Landis. “You don’t give a f**k about Superman, even if you think you do. What’s special about him? That he was the first superhero, that’s it.”

And with that, Landis and a bunch of people who I have to assume are his actor friends go on a 15-minute gonzo reenactment of the birth of Doomsday, and the dumbassed punching contest that led to Superman’s death, the reign of the Supermen, and the eventual return of the newly enfollicled Man of Steel.

Plenty of great cameos ensue, from Elijah Wood to Simon Pegg to Mandy Moore, whose husband, songwriter Ryan Adams, we just learned is apparently a Skyrim fan.

God, I remember when these comics came out. It really was a big deal. I wasn’t that old, nor was I particularly into Superman, but even I knew the whole thing was kinda bullshit. I don’t know how many facts Landis has right here vs. how many he gets wrong, but I do know enough to know that’s not really the point — it’s really just very funny.

Favorite bits:

  • The look Superman gives the camera.
  • Superman: “How hard did I punch him did I punch him pretty hard?”
  • Mandy Moore’s anguished “Noooooo!” over Superman’s body.
  • The new version of Five for Fighting’s painfully cloying piano ballad “Superman.”
  • Everything about Green Lantern.
  • Everything about John Henry Irons: “I can’t. I can’t. I can’t.”
  • And actually, the lesson at the end about comic book death. I’m not sure if Superman really did break comic book death, but it does seem as though death has gotten fairly silly in comics over the last 10 or so years, to the point that whenever publishers talk up a character’s Big! Shocking! Death! everyone pretty much knows it will mean nothing.

Anyhow, if you haven’t seen it yet, enjoy.


  • I actually DC have solved the problem in an interesting way. Superman’s defeat comes from the hands of the people. If you read “Kingdom Come”, or “What’s so funny about Truth, Justice and the American Way?”, here Superman is at full power, yet utterly defeated, not by a fist fight, but by society deeming him and his views on morality to be obsolete and irrelevant.
    It lets him continue to be this untouchable paragon juggernaut, while still presenting him a genuine challenge.

    • I probably completely misunderstand but from what you’re saying I am imagining that the new Superman has become “The Trials And Tribulations Of A Struggling Republican”.

      • No, it’s more that, people want results. They don’t want heroes who try to reform villains. They want heroes who kill villains.
        In Kingdom Come, Superman was replaced by Magog, a character designed to represent the Anti-Hero of the late eighties/ early nineties (think punisher, cable, etc).
        In “What’s So Funny”, he’s replaced by the Elite, a thinly-veiled reference to “The Authority”, who again, kill without hesitation as a first solution to any problem.

        Both of these comics portray Superman at the height of his physical power (able to withstand even a Kryptonite-infused nuclear bomb), yet make him powerless in the hands of a disapproving public.

        Both of these also touch on Superman realising just how right Luthor is about “Superman Syndrome”.

  • On another note, since the death of Superman, people developed this rule of a hero is permadead if: You see them die, they recover a corpse, a medical professional examines the corpse, they are cremated. Then that rule got broken, and the new rule became: “Nobody stays dead except for Uncle Ben and Jason Todd”. Then some tosser brought back Jason Todd, and now the rule is “UNCLE BEN IS DEAD”

  • How has this story been allowed to sit here for a few hours now without somebody pissing and moaning about how it’s not video game related? Come on people! Where are you?!

    • It hasn’t since you just pissed and moaned about it.

      Idk in my mind while not related to gaming it’s a decent video and in a way you could tie it into video games in that if any character dies in a video game they can at any time be bought back.

  • Is Batman still dead? I’m pretty sure that was permadeath, but I never really followed it. Can someone fill me in?

    • Nope. Bruce was just sent back in time. Dick was Batman for a while, but Bruce was never dead… and now he’s back! (in Pog form!)

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