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Superman Returns & The Question of Consent…

March is Superman month here at the m0vie blog, what with the release of the animated adaptation of Grant Morrison’s superb All-Star Superman. We’ll be reviewing a Superman-related book/story arc every Wednesday this month, so check on back – and we might have a surprise or two along the way. I figured that, today, I’d take a look at Superman-related movies.

As I was watched Superman Returns again for the first time in what seemed like years, a question occurred to me. It wasn’t exactly one that the plot addressed, but it was probably one of those idle little thoughts which is best reserved for the late hours, as one enjoys a pre-bed snack, or fodder for a wandering mind on a long bus journey. The title of this post kinda gives the game away, but read on for more.

A super night...

Note: This article contains fairly basic spoilers for Superman Returns, but I think you probably already know what I’m going to talk about.

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Richard Donner & Geoff Johns’ Run on Action Comics – Last Son, Escape from Bizarro World, Superman & The Legion of Superheroes & Brainiac

In light of the recent announcement that the villain of Christopher Nolan and Zack Snyder’s Superman reboot will be General Zod (brought to the screen by Terrence Stamp in Superman II), we thought we might take a look at the run which reintroduced Zod to comic book audiences (written by the director of the first two films).

You kinda figure that Geoff Johns would be the perfect fit for Superman as a character. I mean, no character needs to re-engage with his roots while seeming fresh and renewed quite like the modern Superman. Despite his iconic status, the character hasn’t really registered on global pop culture since Richard Donner brought him to life in Superman, the first of the modern superhero films. Fittingly enough, legendary director Donner joins Geoff Johns as co-writer for the first half of the run – if you needed any more indication that this was a pairing to be excited about, consider the fact that Donner gave Johns his first “in” in show business, working as the director’s assistant. If you needed any more, take a look at how perfectly illustrator Gary Frank draws the Man of Steel, making him look like Christopher Reeve. However, although the run is entertaining and engaging, it can’t help feeling a little incomplete – as if Johns is spending more times aligning the pieces on his board rather than playing with them. Still, it’s a pretty damn good collection of Superman stories that Johns and Donner have put together here.

Superman is adrift no more...

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Non-Review Review: Superman II (The Richard Donner Cut)

Superman II has had a somewhat rocky production history. Essentially conceived as the “second half” of the original Superman film, it was all beautifully and carefully mapped out since before the original was released – in fact, Donner had done most of his work on the sequel before the original saw the light of day, and Gene Hackman didn’t even officially work on the second film (his filming blocks overlapped). It was a bold gambit, but one which could have returned an almost infinite reward. Instead, the producers of the film – the Salkinds – would fire director Richard Donner before he could finish his work and hire Richard Lester to come in a film some replacement footage. Perhaps the most telling thing about Lester is that, on viewing Donner’s epic take on the Man of Steel, the replacement dismissively stated that he wanted to stay away from “the whole David Lean thing”. Because the last thing he’s want to do is make a good movie. However, Donner would eventually get an opportunity to tell his version of the story – or as close to it as possible. Although there’s only so much editting can do, Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut makes almost as solid a case for its director’s vision as Superman III and Superman IV do for his successor’s lack of same.

Let's put this to bed...

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