We reviewed BATMAN 89. So it’s only fair to look at SUPERMAN 78!
Same basic idea. Take the world of one movie version of a classic character. Write and draw a semi sequel we never quite saw on film. Cue nostalgia, imagination, unfinished business finally cleared up on the comic book page!
SUPERMAN 78 is every bit as good as BATMAN 89.
They had more to work with (4 movies with Christopher Reeve as Superman, vs two with Keaton’s Batman). The first two Superman movies also left us the DNA of hanging threads onto which one could attach plot and character development, organically.
And we knew Richard Donner had plans for an epic series that would have taken Superman throughout his life and mapped it on screen, movie by movie. Batman had no such luxury, in part thanks to the constant shifts of vision both between and within director’s regimes (Tim Burton’s second Batman movie is a differing animal to the first even before Joel Schumacher took over for the third and fourth films).
VERISIMILITUDE! CONTINUITY! Thankfully those are here in abundance. This SUPERMAN 78 comic IS the TRUE sequel to SUPERMAN 2 in a manner parts 3 and 4 (much as I love those) and SUPERMAN RETURNS (which I hate for most part, occasional moments of charm aside) simply weren’t.
It feels on one hand like another day in the life of Clark Kent and Lois Lane, with the Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder mannerisms and movements captured perfectly in each panel. On the other? This is FINALLY giving us a comic book canon super villain (Brainiac) to take on Superman, beyond the usual Lex Luthor /General Zod tropes. And one can still expect the Gene Hackman Luthor on the page in editions to come as his image is a big selling point here, too.
So: if you love comics, if you love comic book movies..you will LOVE SUPERMAN 78. A must read / buy, asap.