Heroic History…

Supes_Smile Super_Turnsup75-lineupPresented in celebration of Superman’s 75th anniversary, DC Comics and Man Of Steel director Zack Snyder have collaborated with Bruce Timm (Superman: The Animated Series) and Warner Bros. Animation on a spectacular new short to chronicle the many incarnations of the Caped Wonder.

Originally intended as a special feature on the upcoming Man Of Steel DVD/Bluray release, (out Nov 12th) the 2:14 film highlights Superman’s evolution from the Siegel & Shuster days through comic, television video game and silver screen appearances to his current personification of Henry Cavill.

Shown above are screen captures from the Christopher Reeve segment (featuring the famous end title flyby) and bottom, a character study by artist Dusty Abell profiling all the character designs for how they would appear in the short.

For a project engendering considerable hype in advance of its premiere (EW.com ultimately getting the scoop), its a pity the final product ends up reminiscent of a commercial than genuine tribute. While its a delight to hear John Williams theme in any context, the transitions from era to era are rushed & clunky and the choice of incarnations to define them are highly questionable.  While there is a reasonable explanation provided for this, (click on the EW link above) the omissions of Kirk Alyn, Brandon Routh and Dean Cain are nevertheless galling in light of their contribution to the mythos…

Multiverse/Movieverse…

Supes2Zod1Supes1Zod2What better way to commemorate the ninth year of Christopher Reeve’s passing (Oct.10th) than a long-awaited new action figure announcement from Mattel.

Currently shown as prototypes at this years New York Comic-Con and available next year as part of their DC Comics Multiverse line, the 4″ articulated figures of Reeve’s Superman and Terrence Stamp’s General Zod form part of an expansive line based on classic superhero movies including Tim Burton’s Batman and Batman Returns.

While any news regarding fresh merchandise based on the classic movie era is welcome here at SUPERMANIA, the impact of this particular surprise is lessened by the curious choice of scale and typically untidy prototypes (best of the bunch clearly DeVito’s Penguin) where simple but important details (like Superman’s chest shield) compromise the whole piece by looking like stuck-on confectionery.  While the sculpts are admirable (especially for the size) in light of Mattel’s punchy, fun and not cancelled after all Batman ’66 line this already seems like a wasted opportunity to capitalise on the infinitely more popular 6″ scale…

(Pics above taken at NYCC by Toyark.com – full gallery (including the Superman live-action Costume lineup) here.

The GSMB..!

GSMB1GSMB2GSMB3GSMB4In great anticipation of Jim Bowers upcoming and definitive account of the Richard Donner Years, SUPERMANIA looks back at what is, amazingly and to date, the only dedicated reference book on the subject of the Superman Movies in the BFI library.

First published by Scholastic Book Services in 1981, The Great Superman Movie Book is unashamedly geared towards a younger audience and by that reckoning, is pretty spectacular for the time.  Presented as a softcover ‘factfile’ packed with pics & info (featuring a full-colour photo gallery from Superman II) the reader was also gifted a large poster of Superman in flight (utilizing the same image from the gatefold soundtrack LP) which I suspect was a permanent fixture on the walls of many a child in the ’80’s.  Due to that very fact its no surprise that most surviving copies available today are devoid of it, making complete volumes easily the most coveted today.

Happily though,  there would be a revised and updated edition accompanying the release of Superman III in 1983 with a 15 page ‘Mini-magazine’ insert devoted to the new movie compiled by Chip Lovitt.  This reprinting would feature virtually the same cover (save for the ‘Includes Superman III’ blurb in place of ‘Fantastic Facts!’ and is more commonly found with the poster included being a later issue.

As a member of the school book club at the time of this book’s publishing one wonders how something like this (which as an 8-year old would’ve been manna from heaven) managed to elude me completely until the age of the internet.  This plus the fact no details/pricing can be found inside for European territories lead me to believe this may have been a US only release?  Could anybody else from the UK testify to having this book back in the day I wonder..?

From the top – Cover of the 1983 reprint, Intro page (listing Scholastic territories, London included) A favourite page from the Q&A section about the Superman Costume and back cover featuring uncommon ‘in flight’ pic…