"Bibbo" Bibbowski, the good-hearted owner of Metropolis's Ace o' Clubs bar, serves as the glue that holds the animated feature film version of The Death of Superman together, according to executive producer James Tucker.
The movie -- a loose adaptation of the "Doomsday!" story but still far closer in its execution to the original material than was the 2007 animated movie Superman: Doomsday -- tracks Superman and the Justice League as they battle Doomsday in an epic smash-em-up that leaves the League down for the count, Superman and Doomsday dead, and the world reeling. And to sell that point, producers wanted a decidedly human angle.
"You know, Bibbo -- I think of anything that came from the original event, Bibbo was the thing that was kind of the glue for the whole movie, really," Tucker said. "He really does represent the everyman. He's not Lois, he's not Jimmy, he doesn't really have a deep, personal connection with Superman. He's us, he's a fan, and so the way he sees Superman is the way that fandom sees Superman. He's emotionally hit by what happens almost more than some of the regular cast members. He was very important. They pretty much insisted we use him, and I was all for it."
In the comics, Bibbo (who identifies himself as Superman's biggest fan) was a major player in "Funeral For a Friend," the story that followed "Doomsday!." In the story, he strong-armed a street vendor capitalizing on Superman's death by selling an unseemly bagged edition of the Daily Planet along with souvenirs and a commemorative armband. Later, he was seen praying alone, asking God why he would take someone like Superman and leave comparably insignificant people like himself alive.
The story has been adapted a few times -- not just in Doomsday but also in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and on some of the animated series that The Death of Superman producer James Tucker has overseen for Warner Bros. Television over the years -- but the latest movie is the first to really use the comics as a template and to see the death of Superman as a storyline to be adapted, rather than just a concept to be absorbed into an unrelated tale.
The Death of Superman is available on video on demand services now, and will be available on DVD and Blu-ray August 7.