Sunsoft were kind of the DC Comics licensing company of video games during the early to mid 1990’s. Sunsoft brought us Batman on the Nintendo Entertainment System, on the Sega Genesis and other platforms. They also brought us Justice League Task Force in partnership with Acclaim on the Sega Genesis. This game was based on past successes. Sunsoft was not about to pass up a chance to bring over The Death and Return of Superman to consoles. Namely the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis.
Superman was in a pickle
You see, DC Comics were in a bind with the whole Superman comic series. How do you change things up for a character that is basically a god walking among mortals? Someone that is unstoppable by conventional means, if he ever chose to do evil. Simple. You kill him in one of the most shocking- we never saw it coming, moments in comics. There were rumors that leaked that DC Comics were planning a death with Superman. Fans figured it would be a “dream” or some other cop out for DC Comics. After all, how do you get around Superman’s stupidly powerful abilities? Nope, DC Comics went all out on this one. The Dark Knight was not safe either. DC Comics were on a tear.
The game is not quite as expansive as the comics
The comic story arc was drawn out and involved a ton of characters from the DC Comics universe. The Death and Return of Superman videogame was straight forward, featuring only Superman himself and a few key villains. Fans of the comics were probably more than a little let down. They were not getting a more “sweeping” storyline in the game. What can you expect from a brawler though?
Doesn't follow Superman comics arc 100%Sunsoft had to take some liberties with the license to make a decent game. The Man of Steel takes damage and can be stopped by the villains if not healed. Enemies can withstand several hits by Superman before expiring. Hey, what do you expect? An invulnerable Superman just walking over everyone? That would be no fun.
Some liberties were takenThe Death and Return of Superman kept the ability to fly and throwing enemies into scenery. This throw causes damage to both. There are also cut scenes that tell a very abridged version of the overall story.
This article was originally published on Retro Gaming Magazine.