The genesis of an artistic partnership that would thrive for decades to come, the collage above (top) represents the first published Superman piece by one Jerry Ordway.
Found on the impressive wrap-around cover of pulpy but highbrow magazine ‘The Comic Reader’ for its November 1979 issue, Ordway’s dynamic but realistic style was a perfect compliment to the characters as represented in Superman: The Movie.
Of arguably more interest, however, were the contents of the magazine and in particular, the views of comic-book purists on this fresh take of what was, at the time, a 40 year-old beloved flagship character.
Indeed, the excellent review of the movie (cropped and reformatted here for ease of continuity, click for larger) is referred to by Mike Tiefenbacher as ‘refreshing & wonderful’, highlighting the major differences between the movie and the comic book but interestingly not to its detriment. In fact, many of the observations here (modelwork on the dam/turning back the world) are still hotly debated today and some are even prophetic (describing it as a benchmark/suggesting a Superboy TV series/longer TV edits) all of which make for great reading.
Tiefenbacher’s follow-up piece is an insightful, personal critique of the character’s evolution which incorporates everything from ‘The Great Superman Book’ by Michael L. Fleisher to Elliot S! Maggin’s Superman: ‘Last Son Of Krypton’. The latter notable for its mistaken identity as the novelisation of the movie.
If this has whetted your appetite for vintage reviews by comic journalists you may want to check back soon for scans from from the ‘Comics Journal’ – a monster review spread over two posts..!