SUPERMAN ’78: 13 THINGS We Want to See in DC’s Upcoming Comic

Fans dreams’ come true this summer…

Pretty much any fan who would be interested in comics set in the universes of 1978’s Superman: The Movie and 1989’s Batman probably knows that DC announced Tuesday that Superman ’78 (by Robert Venditti and Wilfredo Torres) and Batman ’89 (by Sam Hamm and Joe Quinones) are coming this summer. (Click here for the groovy details.)

But amid our wall-to-wall coverage, I wanted to take a step back and look at what fans might hope is included in the comics — so I’ve put together this list of 13 THINGS WE WANT TO SEE IN THE SUPERMAN ’78 COMIC. (We’ll be posting a Batman ’89 version Friday.)

I’m sure you have your own ideas, so feel free to add them in the comments below or in whichever social-media post you found this.

Meanwhile, dig these — in no particular order:

A Good, Old-Fashioned Superman/Lois/Clark Love Triangle. The first movie played with this classic trope, but pretty quickly tossed it aside in the sequel. Since DC makes clear this story takes place at a time when Lois isn’t in on the secret, it would be fun to see an old-school revolving-door subplot involving comics’ greatest couple.

Brainiac. Hands down, fans have wanted to see a big-screen Brainiac. We kinda-sorta got a knock-off version in Superman III, but I don’t count that. In any event, he should be the Big Bad in this story.

Yeah, this version would anachronistic, but so what. Looks great.

Superfeats. One of the most exciting and gratifying parts of Superman: The Movie was the Man of Steel’s first night, in which he criss-crossed Metropolis doing everything from saving Air Force One to rescuing a cat in a tree. DC points out in its brief description that citizens are still wowed by what Superman can do, so I hope to see a range of random Superfeats, which may or may not advance the overall plot, to keep that flavor.

Lex Luthor’s Classic Jumpsuit. I’ve no idea if Gene Hackman’s likeness will be used, or even if the creators want to use Luthor. But if he pops up, it would be a kick to see “Gene Hackman” dressed like this:

Ignore Superman III, IV and Superman Returns. I get the sense the comic takes place between I and II, but that’s not really clear. Either way, this world was at its best in the first two movies and I’d prefer the comic eschew the excesses of III and IV and the morose rehash of Superman Returns.

No, thank you

Focus on Metropolis, Downplay Krypton. Superman: The Movie is basically a story in four acts: Krypton, Smallville, Metropolis and California. For my money, the movie’s at its absolute strongest when Superman is in Metropolis, a very bright fish out of water in the dirty ’70s New York City analogue. References to Krypton are fine but I’d really prefer to see the spotlight stay on Superman’s adopted home city. Speaking of, the comic should make no bones that Metropolis’ stand-in is indeed New York. It’s one of the most important elements that gave the original movies their verisimilitude, as director Richard Donner would say. Superman Returns lost a lot for me by making Metropolis a timeless, idealized, Art Deco version of the City of Tomorrow. I’ll take Manhattan. (Torres’ promo art above suggests we’ll get NYC.)

Hey, Whatever Happened to That Chunk of Kryptonite? A dangling plot point from the movies that would be great to resolve: What happens when someone finds the Kryptonite that Miss Teschmacher threw down the sewer grate?

That could lead us to…

Metallo. If there’s no Brainiac, I’ll take Metallo as the villain. (Though you could have both. More than one villain could show up – an undercard and a headliner.)

Also anachronistic. Also don’t care.

Parasite. While we’re at it, I think Parasite would fit in this world, too.

A Good Jimmy and Lois Caper. Jimmy was underutilized in the first two movies, so hopefully there’ll be enough story space for a classic Lois-and-Jimmy adventure woven through the larger story — especially considering how wonderfully brassy Margot Kidder’s Lois is.

Jimmy Mutates at Least Once. And if you are gonna use Jimmy, you gotta have him mutate at least once. Grant Morrison pulled it off in All-Star Superman, so I’d love to see it happen in the Donnerverse.

A Variant Cover by Gary Frank. I noted this the other day, but I really hope the print editions have variant covers – at least the first issue. It would be a blast to see Gary Frank, whose Superman is already 90 percent Christopher Reeve, unleashed.

The John Williams Soundtrack. The print comic obviously can’t include this — though it would be neat if the digital version had musical audio — but you gotta listen while you read, don’t you? I will!


— SUPERMAN ’78: Why This Is the Only SUPERMAN Comic Book I’ve Ever Wanted to Read. Click here.

— The SUPERMAN ’78/BATMAN ’89 Comic Book Index of News and Features. Click here.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. I’d also like to see Miss Teschmacher featured – detail what happened to her. I can’t help but picture Superman helping her find the right path. Perhaps he even flies back home to see her mother?! Maybe even helps her find a job?

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  2. So many possibilities. “Superman: The Movie” remains iconic. I’d really love for “Superman ’78” to be as true to the decade it’s in as it is to the character of Superman. 🙂

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  3. Can’t wait for this we need the best cgi possible for the original characters likeness get john williams to score and Donners ideas for the planned sequels and Tom mankowitz ideas if available (written on paper or something) and put that on the big screen Wow !!! But I’m not complaining this is good news !

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