‘Man of Steel‘ director Zach Snyder collaborated with DC animation super producer Bruce Timm to pay tribute to comics’ first super hero, Superman. This stunning video opens with an animated version of Action Comics #1, the hero’s first appearance, with him lifting a car over his head. As you may notice, he doesn’t have the ability to fly at the start of the video, until he morphs into the Fleischer Studios version.
From there, we get to witness animated versions of the Curt Swan’s, Kurt Schaffenberger’s and Neal Adams’ takes on the hero (complete with Krypto, Steaky and Beppo). Most adapted versions of the hero are also highlighted, from George Reeves to Christopher Reeve and finally Henry Cavill. (Yeah, sorry Brandon Routh, Dean Cain and for the most part, Tom Welling, although there is at least a reference to ‘Smallville‘.) In addition to the Fleischer version of Superman, the video also acknowledges the two most famous animated versions of the hero, on ‘Super Friends’ and ‘Superman: The Animated Series’.
According to Timm, “I would have loved to have Kirk Alyn in there, the first live-action Superman from the serials, but he didn’t quite make the cut. And there have been several different Superboy shows, but we were like, ‘Okay, those are Superboy, not Superman, so they don’t make it.’”
The iconic hero’s major bad guys also pop up, from an early version of Lex Luthor, to the Silver Age version of Brainiac, as well as Mister Mxyzptlk, Bizarro and Doomsday. Oh an Muhammad Ali. Not that he’s a villain, but he fought Superman in a famous special release, which is referenced here.
The Man of Steel’s most famous friends and allies pop up in one form or another, including the Turtle Boy version of Jimmy Olsen, as well as Lois Lane, Supergirl, the four “Reign of the Supermen” characters, Batman and Robin, Aquaman and Wonder Woman.
The clip features the famous John Williams score from the live action movies, but toward the end transitions into Hans Zimmer’s score to ‘Man of Steel‘.
The short was intended for Cartoon Network’s DC Nation, but there was no way to whittle Superman’s history down to one minute. Timm explains, “It was Zack Snyder’s idea. We had approached him about maybe doing a short for the ‘DC Nation’ program on Cartoon Network. He said, ‘I’ll think about it,’ and then he had this idea to do basically the entire history of Superman in, like, a minute. We said, ‘Okay … whoooo.’ We started working and quickly realized there was no way to do it, even in a minute.”
Check the video out below or on the ‘Man of Steel’ BluRay on November 12th.