Viral Video: The Death And Return of Superman (featuring Simon Pegg cameo)

A new nerdy short film is going viral around the web this week. Created by Max Landis, writer for the recently released sci-fi film Chronicle (and son of director John Landis), the film features Max retelling the story of the death of Superman from DC comics in the early 90s. It also features a number of celebrity cameos, including Star Trek’s Simon Pegg.


Max Landis’ The Death And Return of Superman

This new short film from Max Landis features a number of celebrities, including Ron Howard, Mandy Moore, Elijah Wood and Simon Pegg (playing Max’s father John Landis). Pegg has a small part, but the video is fun for any fan of comics.


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I saw this and noticed Pegg. I also saw Ron Howard at the end.

Not for nothing, but I can’t help but get over how hot Mandy Moore is.

I also remember getting on the Death of Superman badwagon back in the 90s. I also remember getting pissed at how he came back.

Correction: Badwagon = bandwagon.

Although, the story was so stupid that it was a bad-wagon.

Pretty funny and cool at the same time.

Love the (extra) emo version of “I’m Afraid to Fly.”

Kewl stuff. I guess Max has Chronicle bucks, so he can get the babes.

…and Chris Hardwick I think.

I got pissed off within the first four seconds. I give a f*** about Superman, jerk. It seems like this guy is just trying way too hard to build himself up by trashing a beloved character.

Superman didn’t “ruin” death. it’s not like Superman was the first property to ever kill off a character and bring them back. Star Trek fans know exactly what I’m talking about.

Hey, Max, I bet your dad wishes he could bring back the people he killed.


I believe Arthur Conan Doyle was the first writer to kill off a beloved character (Sherlock Holmes), and then, after much public outrage, he was forced to bring him back to life.

Also, it would seem that Pegg is as eager to preen for the camera as Shatner! Yikes!

Is this what passes as humorous critique now? As interesting as parts of that were (I knew little about the Death of Superman), and though there were moments of humour in it, it was also quite irritating. Swearing isn’t always funny you know…

All that said, making such a huge deal of killing Superman and then bringing him back in the very next issue is a disgrace. Whilst it was inevitable he would return, they could have left it a bit.

I think the issue is that there are no budgetary constraints to comics, so they can do absolutely anything they want. Chuck in new heroes; bring back old ones, make absolutely stupid things happen, simply because all you need to do is draw it. The best comic I am reading at the moment is the new IDW Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Why? Because they are making it believable. They haven’t gone mad because they can draw whatever they want, they’ve actually put some thought into it. (The Star Trek comics are also awesome, which I feel I should mention). If comic book writers approached their work with some restraint, I think comics would be a much more popular medium!

Oh and how much water does he have in his whiskey!? Should go out drinking with him, teach him a few things.


Thank you. This guy is a jerk. SUPERMAN rocks.

Hey dude, do you have another word in your vocabulary other than the F-bomb? Twelve year olds shouldn’t upload their videos to the internet.

Nice try, lIttle Landis. But arrogant hipster criticisms bounce off Superman like so many bullets.

“The Death and Return of Superman” is a classic. It’s far better than this little punk’s video and will be remembered for decades after this kid is dead.

As for Superman’s return….it happened over the course of AN ENTIRE YEAR. Not “the next issue.”

I highly recommend reading it, but with an open mind.

This was fun… reminds me of Drunk History. (youtube it – you’ll love it)

I hated the DOS – knew it was a $$ grab and a way to “reboot” Supes… I did like John Henry tho’…

That was BEYOND stupid!! 17 minutes of my life wasted that I’ll never get back. I’m not sure who to feel more pity for- the people he talked into making cameos or the people who unfortunately will get sucked into watching this as well. Everything was F#@* this and F#*@ that!!! and he acted incredulous and bewildered over a comic book. He probably spells cool as KEWL also. sigh….

I *wish* I had the time and energy to spend that much effort to dump on a twenty year old comic book storyline I hated. Some of us have to work for a living though.

I thought Singer killed Superman?

He just did it the other way around…he returned him and then killed him.

What a nobjockey.

Trek on, peeps. Trek on! >:)

Yeah, it wasn’t the next issue at all. He skipped the whole “Funeral for a Friend” storyline that happened between Death of Superman and Reign of the Supermen.

Funeral for a Friend spent months dealing with the world’s reaction to Superman being gone, how his friends reacted to it and such. And how Metropolis was less safe as a result. THEN it was Reign of the Superman, in which Superman wasn’t actually back; it was four Superman imposters. Then, finally, Superman actually returned, sans powers, and it was an epic quest to destroy Engine City (which had replaced Green Lantern’s Coast City) before it consumes the Earth, making it into a giant weapon — and Superman without his powers.

The “fantastic four” thing is correct though, kinda funny. lol.

Gee, that was entertaining. Thx TM!

I guess that he has a esteem problem. The story was good. It would have been better if it was not degraded with all of the “F” words. He must need more education to expand his vocabulary.

Fing funny…. now if this guy could do a triad about Macross, Robotech & Battletech not being able to be made into a US aired TV show or movie….

I was a big Superman comic/Batman comic reader in the late 80’s early 90’s. I gobbled up these Death of Superman/Funeral for a Friend/Reign of the Supermen comics…then, slowly got turned off by Superman as the stories just were like, meh and focused my comic book reading on Batman. Then they “killed” off Batman and I stopped reading comics. Saved me from having my wallet raped further with all this “let’s find a way to kill off a character, but not really because we’ll just bring him back” drek mentality.

Kinda like how they killed off the ST Prime Universe.

12, You might want to give the movie that opened last weekend ” This little punk” as you put it wrote called “Chronicle” I imagine he will have a huge career like his father John Landis. And in case you missed it the whole point of the short film is he is making a commentary on the corperate mindset of D.C. comics at the time, and how they were so desperate to find a way to make the character “RELAVANT” but clearly were bankrupt on ideas so they hatched this Death and Return story.
Artists and writers who worked on various DC comics durring and before that period have said that the video is funny and infact spot on in what their bosses were wanting them to do with the storyline.

@danielcraigsmywookiebitchnow I couldn’t agree more, in fact if people can get over their indignity they might realise Max obviously loves superman. Otherwise he would not have gone to this effort. At least DC are now getting their act together and rebooting the DC universe so as to give it coherence!

More then a bit tired of the younger generation (and older) thinking the way to conquer our imaginations is through unfounded opinionated profanity shock. It’s like Howard Stern does comics. This guy is more interested in telling the story then the story itself. I give you my time and you give me a mediocre recap filled “f-bombs”. Is this what holds our interest these days. Sales versus substance. Jerky boys humor.
I’ll give you that Superman wasn’t relevant anymore because he was so out of touch. I look at Alex Ross’s Superman and it was a reinstatement of the idea of “hero” and then “superhero” especially in today’s world. His version made all of us feel that those of us who chose non-value added approaches to life ashamed. The brillance and strength of his drawings.
Frank Miller’s version of the Dark Knight was about getting your head back in the game (his message to Superman). It was gritty because the world is gritty, but the idea and integrity of “hero” was never sacrificed. But we’ve moved even pass that these days. A “hero” will maintain their true value and integrity in the face of adversity. A symbol, an essence, a belief, and more importantly a way of life. Sorry about the rant just tired of the crap.

Wait, so Simon Pegg played John Landis?


Some of you guys are taking his short film WAAAAAAY too seriously. It was a funny film about a funny book. He’s right about the death of Superman. It did kinda kill “death” in comics. It also brought about the over-saturation of multi-title crossovers, endless amounts of “collectible” variant covers, and in essence killed comics’ ability to appreciate over time since the comic companies all started over-printing in hopes of having another “death of superman” on their hands. It’s just like the federal reserve. The more you print, the less valuable it becomes.

Has pegg been making out with the orion slave girls off set?

Spock did it first.

Juuuuuuuuust like the “death” of Spock “killed” death in the movies? Why not blame it on Kirk, Scotty, McCoy, etc,. who were “killed” in the series but brought back the same episode?

Come on, characters have been killed off and brought back for a long long time, in the comics and TV. Even Sherlock Holmes was killed off and brought back. Superman was hardly the first, just the highest profile, with the biggest and longest story arc, since in comics such events were usually limited to one issue. If it was SO BAD, why have so many other comics copied it since then until now?

Today’s youth are too cool for an old-schooler like Superman, I suppose, so they mock him. And then go and make other superheroes of their own. Why not just show respect for him being the first and best?

Say what you will about the storyline of Death and Return, but Max Landis is right about one thing: Superman is really only famous because he was the first superhero.

You kill a vampire the same way Jon Landis killed Vic Morrow and that kid during the Twilight Zone movie. Somebody should ask him about that one.

I’ve used most of these exact arguments (Plus a similar point of view to all Crisis and Crisis sequels) to explain why DC comics lost their head twenty years ago and never found it back and Marvel is the only hope for the superhero comic book history.

Don’t stop at the “he came back” end of the video, which we know everyone does. I mean all of it. DC’s yearly “greatest event ever” are allways an enormous pile of incoherent nonsenses which anyway get deleted in the aftermath.

I couldn’t agree more with everything the video says.

Haha @ Marvel Comics being the only hope for comics. You definitely shouldn’t bring them up when talking about superhero death nonsense. They’re more guilty than DC is. How many times has Jean Grey died and come back? Captain America died and came back while killing the other Captain America (and bringing him back)….after having already killed him and brought him back. If their heroes aren’t dying and coming back, they’re fighting each other (Civil War) or diving headlong into another dumb crossover that doesn’t matter (Fear Itself, Siege, World War Hulk). Screw them.

I believe Andy Samberg is in there as the dancing kid Superman.

And is John Landis at all concerned about how much Max resembles his 80’s collaberator Ivan Reitman?

Why spend so much time and energy on something you despise, Landis?

Thank you to all those who have spoken in support of Superman and his great comics. This Landis kid just doesn’t get it and he comes off as such a hater.

But Marvel works around the dying and coming back plotwise in character oriented sagas (If it is a relevant character. If not, they go at the “but now I’m better” like anyone else. DC simply resets the whole universe every once in a while.

Come on. The second Robin came back to life because the superboy from another reality who survived the last two reboots was punching reality and he leaked through a crack. And THAT is how they explain it in the comic itself!

And they’ve reinvented Huntress from scratch twice in four months!. DC lost their minds twenty years ago and havent found them yet.

DC has got the best finished tomes of sagas for single characters (Mainly Batman) when they manage to finish a plot, there’s no doubt on that, but you are lucky if two of them have any kind con continuity in between them. As a monthly coherent universe, Marvel simply has no rival.

So much butthurt nerdrage in here. It’s like reading a comment thread every time a Harry Plinkett or Nostalgia Critic review comes out.


36 Because he doesnt Despise superman,if you actually paid attention to the video instead of just blindly bashing it you might have noticed.

I would argue its you who just doesnt get it.

23. 27. 39. Agreed!

7, 11, 25, 30. To sum up: “Today’s youth are too cool for an old-schooler like Superman, I suppose, so they mock him.”

WTF. Come on, the death of Superman was during this guy’s lifetime, in the mid-90s, which isn’t so old-school in the superhero scheme of things, and it was mainly about boosting comic book sales. It was a marketing event.

Come on, this how dare this guy have an opinion on Superman outrage here is kind of rotten. Have you guys been following Supes at all during the last 15-20 years or so? He probably has. And, who knows whether he’s read a lot of the earlier stuff — most fans do.

I stopped DC years ago because I just couldn’t keep track of what the heck was going on/had gone on. I’m trying to catch up on Post-Crisis stuff now, but… meh.

It’s like saying that only people old enough to have seen Trek when it first aired are old enough to have an opinion on it. Or anybody questioning TOS is disrespecting their elders or Gene Roddenberry or something. It’s a mild form of the bunk that leads to some folks calling anybody who disagrees with them, or who questions authority, unAmerican.

Chronicle is good, btw.

Wow, now I want a few f-bombs in the next Trek. Just because all this ‘smart people don’t curse’ crap is pissing me off.

I’ve calmed down a bit and realize that you guys didn’t actually watch the darned thing, beyond maybe the first ten seconds…

It’s funny, and a pretty good skewering, btw.

That video is absolutely hilarious!! :-)


They prime timeline isn’t dead. It still exists, running parallel to the altered one. You’ll just have to hope some studio executive is willing to fund a movie/TV show that goes back to it.

I have a sense that will not happen any time soon.

Not to sound like an old fuddy-duddy (I am an old(er) fuddy-duddy BTW, I just don’t like to SOUND like one) but what is about the younger generation that drives them to excessive profanity in everyday conversations? Multiple F-bombs to open a discussion on Superman??? Really? Is that what it takes for them to feel like they are reaching the right target? What? Have to sound all “street” to be take seriously…while they are taking comic books?

Comes off to me as a desperate kid trying hopelessly to sound relevant and hip.

This Lois Lane was the best I’ve seen in awhile.
oh yeah….F’n aye.



I think at this point in time, unless the parlance in racist/sexist, etc., a bit of profanity goes neither here nor there.

I still consider it a weakness in use of language (I respect language), but it is also a part of language which exists, and is in common use.

I recommend you watch the initial Detroit Police Station scene from Beverly Hills Cop 1, or listen to “Bodies” by the Sex Pistols to raise your F-bomb threshold.

If the topic were Axel Foley, then the F-bomb wouldn’t be an issue, but has regular ole Superman/Clark Kent ever been as profane as the kid in the video? Nope.

Landis may be a fan of Superman, may love him, may have read every issue, but he still has a lot to learn from the CHARACTER of Superman.

47. You didn’t watch the thing either, did you? ;) I don’t understand the ‘this kid’s got a lot to learn’ about the spirit of Superman / how dare he curse when the subject is related to Superman sentiment, it’s an effing YouTube comedy/nerd video. This discussion is absurd — the sketch is about the pretty awful Death of Superman and its aftermath, and about how business decisions and storytelling don’t mix… a little cynicism and ridicule is required. He’s not playing Superman on the big screen, or giving us a glimpse into Clark Kent’s soul. It’s a silly, irreverent comedy sketch about a cynical, calculated corporate decision.

Don’t like the cussing, fine. But spare me the high horse. This is like all that “nobody but a true fan can understand Star Trek” silliness.

BTW, Chronicle is one of the most enthralling flicks I’ve seen in awhile. It has all the classic/standard genre elements but tells the tale pretty darned well.

But yeah, new Superman tales are hard to tell, at least in a movie. He always saves the day, nobody knows he’s Clark Kent, kryponite is his kryptonite, he’s a boy scout with no angst, and, yeah. Where Trek doesn’t really need an origin story to function, Superman is kind of all about his origin/his mythology. And it’s all about nostalgia, hence the outrage over a few f^^ks.

I guess I’m on a bit of a horse myself. Not sure why I’m so bugged by this.


Don’t worry about it. Thanks for agreeing with me. I appreciate the support.

Honestly, the Death and Return of Superman did take a long time, and I agree killing a character like that is stupid. Iconic characters can’t be killed. They are too loved and usually the killer is not the creator of the character.

Star Trek was never the same after Kirk’s death in Generations, and even THAT had Shatner’s books to alleviate it.

What made Spock’s death work was his return in the next movie. Without ST3, TWOK’s ending would leave a bitterness over the death of a great character, despite how noble the sacrifice was. The fact that in the end, Spock comes back allows the viewer who would otherwise be pissed at the audacity of killing Spock to enjoy the movie for what it was.

Killing a great character also taints the previous adventures because when you watch them, you think about the bitter ending.

Personally, I don’t like death/return storylines, but if you’re going to have the death, you need to have the return.