In great anticipation of the full reveal of the hopefully-soon-to-be-finished Superman 1:1 display I’ve been working on, lets turn the world back (at super-speed!) to the year 2007 and the fantastic creation pictured above that started it all.
Having tackled many a unique and complex project most wouldn’t dare even attempt often resulting in fabulously accurate prop reproductions (from Star Wars through Flash Gordon) – my good friend and Superfan Chris King next turned his attention to recreating the now classic Superman costume. Arguably now the godfather of all current Super costume reproductions, Chris would refine his designs over no less than six attempts to reach his goal of the closest screen-match possible.
Along the way Chris also tinkered with display options that would include a full 1:1 clothed statue. As the options for this at the time were limited in the extreme, Chris took the typically ambitious measure of commissioning an artist to sculpt a definitive bust with a view to grafting it to a suitable mannequin later (should one ever materialise).
To that end, Chris brief to the Nikolas Art Studio was simple;
“I’d like to commission a Christopher Reeve lifesize sculpt that has “life” to it with an expression that captured Chris Reeve’s portrayal of the character”.
While the result was irrefutable (see above and more here) and all the more astonishing for not having been completed with reference of a lifecast, (Stuart Freeborn’s master was years away from resurfacing) the euphoria would be short-lived as only a precious few casts were ever produced.
So even as this post serves as a nostalgic tribute, its also a cautionary tale to fans who may have seen this same bust offered more and more frequently on popular auction sites. Like so many pieces of original prop art, this has also fallen victim to the crime of recasting and will have suffered inherent degradation in quality. As with all high-end Superman props both screenused and replica I continue to lobby for the consumer to do his research before buying, and hope the provenance offered here deters yet another Superfan from purchasing anything other than the real deal…