As you can tell from the cover of Back Issue # 109, the subject is the 1978 film of ‘Superman’ and hard to believe its 40 years since it original release. Mike Eury’s interview with Ilya Salkind in 2018 is really enlightening in that Warner Bros really didn’t know what they had on their hands with the Man of Steel and sold the licence be considerably cheaper. It was also one of their primary reasons to change National Periodicals to DC Comics so as not to pay Siegel and Shuster any more money. That went well for Warner’s, he says with a sarcastic note.
The multiple interview with actors Aaron Smolinski (the baby Kar-el), Jeff East (the student Clark) and Diane Sherry Case (the student Lana Lang) filled in on their time in the early part of the film. Smolinski has not only appeared in the first two Superman films but also in ‘Man Of Steel’. East explaining the wire stunts he was involved in with the train draws attention to how close things really went.
Edward Finneran was one of the two winners of ‘The Great Superman Movie Contest’ back in 1977 and goes into some detail of not only being in the film but also back to the DC Comics offices in New York. He still feels pretty humbled by his luck back then.
Eliott S! Maggin explains why there was never a Superman movie novelisation and how his own two books were used as tie-ins. I still have the first one, ‘Last Son Of Krypton’ myself but I never heard of ‘Miracle Monday’ so his article filled me in on the details.
Mike Eury also interviews actor Jack O’Halloran about how he moved from boxing to acting and how Robert Mitchem became his mentor. There’s a lot about filming ‘Superman’ and the changing of directors in the second film. Some things were omitted but discovering here who his father was I can understand why the Salkinds paid his fee upfront.
If you were curious about the differences in the film posters around the world, there are several here as your guide.
Joe Stuber examines the film tie-in merchandise. Like him, I own the double album of John Williams soundtrack although didn’t put my name inside it. Treat this as a guide for what you might have missed although he’s not sure what was done outside of the USA.
Comicbook scribe Cary Bates goes over his time working for the Salkinds and his own proposed film featuring Brainiac and why it didn’t work out. The Salkinds would have preferred Brainiac to Luthor was something I hadn’t known.
John Trumball goes over the film influences on the comicbook version and this isn’t the first time that has happened. The most significant element of that is Christopher Reeve himself and you do have to wonder if a decade down the line will a similar thing be said for Henry Cavill. It was only in recent years that Krypton has followed the film but that was more a copyright issue.
Finally, Chris Franklin looks at everything from the 1984 ‘Supergirl’ film to the ‘Superboy’ TV series to…well, you get the picture or ‘Superman’ TV series. Without that first ‘Superman’ film, I doubt if we would have had many of the super-films and such we’ve had today. Not all of them as successful as the Chris Reeve version but they gave the Man of Steel his current media presence.
When I started this issue of ‘Back Issue’, I did wonder if I would learn anything new about a film I was very familiar with and surprised by how much I hadn’t known. I should also point out that there’s loads of photos, making this issue a worthwhile purchase.
1932-6904. Direct from them, you can get it for $ 7.61 (US))
check out websites: www.TwoMorrows.com and http://twomorrows.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=98_54&products_id=1369