Zack Snyder's vision for the DC filmverse remains one of the most divisive comic book movie topics. His dark, gritty takes on Man of Steel and Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, coupled with the failure of Justice League to course correct what many feel is an overly violent vision, led to Warner Bros. reportedly parting ways and aiming for lighthearted superhero adventures.
BvS was especially criticized for its packed cast and convoluted plot, particularly the second half of the film which rushed an adaptation of Superman's death at the hands of Doomsday. It didn't resonate well with audiences, which had issues with everything from the motivations of the film's heroes, the story's pacing and the uber-villain's design.
The latest animated adaptation eliminates what didn't work while using what did from Snyder's movie, essentially merging the latter them with the best elements from the eponymous comic book storyline by Dan Jurgens, Roger Stern, Louise Simonson, Jerry Ordway and Karl Kesel. Both movies have epic action, cities being destroyed and tons of collateral damage, but one of the main reasons The Death of Superman works better than BvS is because directors Sam Liu and James Tucker employ simplicity in their storytelling.
There's no complex plot with Jesse Eisenberg's Lex Luthor playing everyone like pawns on a chessboard, trying to get them to turn on each other. There's no misplaced sense of morality complicating matters, with a villain who was planning kidnappings and plotting superhero civil wars. In The Death of Superman, Lex simply wants to unleash Doomsday and show up Superman.
This simplicity allows Liu and Tucker to build an emotional connection which Snyder's film lacked. Here, we connect to Lex and his ego, as opposed to the eccentric BvS villain. We also get more romantic moments with Lois and Clark (Snyder really did made sure these were few and far between), the Kent family sharing warm dinners, an earnest Jimmy Olsen (whom Snyder rashly killed off in an unnamed cameo appearance), and a better understanding of both Superman and Clark Kent's place in the world.