Dedicated To…

KC_1KC_2KC_3KC_4Another addition to SUPERMANIA’s series of recommended comic reading for fans of the Superman Movie series is this epic graphic novel published by Titan Books in 1997.  Collecting the Elseworlds run originally published by DC comics and written by Mark Waid, Kingdom Come is a grand, ambitious project permitting creatives to indulge themselves with the characters of the DC Universe without consequence as outlined below;

“In Elseworlds, heroes are taken from their usual settings and put into strange times and places – some that have existed  or might have existed, and others that can’t, couldn’t or shouldn’t exist.” 

Ironically, besides the awesome and touching dedication to Christopher Reeve on page 1, there is little content thereafter reminiscent of anything seen on the big screen.  Despite Kingdom’s astonishing hand painted art by the unparalleled Alex Ross, every panel may well be suitable for framing but purposefully portrays alternate versions of all the DC frontrunners -some more convincingly than others.

In fact, Kingdom is a heavygoing, sometimes exhausting read, just as the definition above precludes.  Its an epic tale crammed tightly into a format that can’t really accommodate it and therefore does it little justice.  The dialogue is sharper than the premise and in a similar vein to Alan Moore’s Watchmen, you realise from the outset this is a doom-laden morality tale.  Kudos, however should be given to the characterisations of Batman and Wonder Woman and the notion of making Captain Marvel an atomic version of Lenny from Of Mice And Men…

Lois Uncovered…

SUPERMANIA extends its best wishes to you & yours this Christmas and by way of present I offer select pages of this rare article featuring our favourite Lois Lane, Margot Kidder.  Interviewed by Fred Robbins for the January 1980 issue of High Society magazine, Ms. Kidder’s featured portfolio and candid views on relationships are probably best left to another website – meantime enjoy Margot ‘stripping the pants off Truth, Justice & The American Way’ with this pictorial containing stills from Superman: The Movie

Curveball…

Clark_StrikeClark_Strike2Kent_Farm1Kent_Farm2More exclusive behind the scenes images from the SUPERMANIA collection – this time from the Kent Farm set faithfully recreated in the village of Baldock in Hertfordshire, England.  From the top – Christopher Reeve as Clark Kent observing the preparation of the air cannon to fire the baseball, (a similar technique was used for the football in the Smallville scenes of Superman: The Movie) the crew gathering round to rehearse the scene, (notice Reeve still brandishing the bat in the centre) Director Sidney J. Furie conferring with Reeve (far Left) by the remains of the Kent House, and Reeve stood next to his double for the walk up the dusty trail for Clark’s opening shot as Furie is presented with the storyboard…

Action Packed Fun..?

Select pages from one of a clutch of tie-in publications (see listing on 2nd pic down) by Grosset & Dunlap, this competently illustrated ultra-kitsch Supergirl cut-out paper doll book was a blatant cash-in on the young female demographic.  Though not as outrageously girly as the trading card set, this bizarre collectable nonetheless remains the only opportunity the world will ever have to see what style shorts Marc McClure’s Jimmy Olsen wears…

Once Upon A Time Warp…

Though lacking a merchandising campaign on the scale of her cousin, Touchstone Pictures adaptation of the Maid of Might still yielded some global treasures. From the top, UK Poster magazine by London Editions, Japanese program book, (unusually presented in landscape format but featuring customary outstanding imagery) UK Exhibitors Campaign Book and last but not least, the Storybook based on the film.

In retrospect, with all the creative elements (not to mention budget) in place it seems mystifying now quite why the picture itself failed so dramatically.  Many seem to attribute it to a hurriedly rewritten script excising the appearance of Superman as Christopher Reeve infamously rejected the project last-minute.  As those early Super-team drafts to my knowledge have never been published I’m reticent to place the blame solely there though undoubtedly it would have been an entirely different experience (not to mention a cinematic first).

Director Jeannot Szwarc was quoted as saying “I don’t think it was a failure, It just wasn’t what people were expecting” neatly evading responsibility for flat direction whilst simultaneously making it the audience problem.  In truth, Supergirl did bear more similarity to other fantasy epics of the time such as Krull and The Dark Crystal rather than her Super-namesake due to the inclusion of magic as a plot device intended to emulate The Wizard of Oz but poorly realised.  Even the stunning flying effects (by the original Superman unit, perfecting their techniques) and a memorable score by Jerry Goldsmith (finally joining the Super-team having narrowly missed out previous entries) can’t save the flimsy story and a sweet but inexperienced lead actress from being gobbled up by scenery.  That being said, such is its cult appeal I must recommend the Anchor Bay DVD release featuring an extended cut as, if you’ve yet to see it, you’ve really not seen Supergirl at all…