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Superman Returns: The Movie And Other Tales Of The Man Of Steel
Martin Pasko, et al.
Titan / DC Comics graphic novel £7.99

review by J.C. Hartley

Curious one to review this, not having seen the film; these graphic novelisations come over as a bit of a cash-in, although the first X-Men movie tie-in from Marvel used new material in the extra space to give some back story to the main characters.

Just a few points, in the frame where Superman and Lois Lane are reunited Supes looks more like Superboy, and if Lex Luthor's crystal island fortress is seeded with deadly Kryptonite, how is Supey able to pluck it from the ocean bed and fling it into space and, if it continues to grow in orbit around the Sun between Jupiter and Mars its going to knock asteroids out of the way, and Superman is going to be pretty much Earthbound, so that seems to be a big hint for a sequel.

You can tell a lot about a super-guy by the company he keeps, and the other reprinted tales in this package are a curious choice. The Origin of Superman is the one where Ma and Pa Kent are childless old-timers who hand in the alien infant and then manage to cut through the adoption red-tape when he starts juggling with staff in the orphanage. A Night At The Opera sees Lex Luthor going to sociopathic monomaniacal extremes to show off to Lois after her marriage to Clark Kent; this struck me as a pointless and annoying story given the state of the rain forests. The Second Landing sees Superman disrupt a junior baseball game by slugging it out with Major Force, a blatant rip-off of Marvel's Super Soldiers, a government conspiracy tale one minute, a folksy All American tale the next, Superman glowers and twinkles in equal proportions. Walking Midnight has Superman and Lois flying around the world on New Year's Eve, taking in as many celebrations as possible, and allowing Superman to answer his Dear Santa type mail, including the chance to gee up the boys in Iraq. This story features some frames of Lois and Clark in bed in their underwear, in which the latter clearly has an early morning super hard-on. Following on, Lois & The Big One sees the Daily Planet's ace reporter ranting because mild-mannered Clark Kent has pinched her Superman exclusive, but it ends with her meeting the big guy on the roof.

A curious bunch of stories then, foregrounding the relationship between Lois and Superman/ Clark, but ultimately confusing to readers who only know the characters through the movies, or are revisiting the comics because of the return to the big screen.
Superman Returns comicbook adaptation

Read our review of
The Art Of
Superman Returns

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