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Superman Returns Mass Market Paperback – June 1, 2006

3.8 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


* 'Like JD Salinger or Hemingway before her, Jeannette Walls has the talent of knowing exactly how to let a story tell itself, crafted without self-pity or analysis or judgement' Independent on Sunday * 'A terrific story, grippingly told' Sunday Times * 'Funny and brilliantly written' Evening Herald * 'There isn't a shred of self-pity in this deeply compassionate book' Marie Claire

About the Author

Marv Wolfman is the former Editor-In-Chief of Marvel Comics and longtime comic writer. He wrote the landmark DC Comic series Crisis on Infinite Earths, created the character 'Bullseye' for Daredevil comics and the current iteration of Robin (Robin III/Tim Drake) for DC comics.

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (June 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446606529
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446606523
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,699,069 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Blake Petit VINE VOICE on July 1, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Although I got this book about a month ago, I held off on reading it until after I saw the movie it was based upon. (When it's a movie based on a book, I do it the other way around.) Superman is my favorite comic book hero of all time, and I dearly loved the movie. Although I was disappointed with Wolfman's previous novel, an adaptation of his own Crisis on Infinite Earths, I wanted to give him another shot. I'm glad to say this is a far better effort than the Crisis novel. Perhaps because the scope of this story is smaller, with a smaller cast of characters and none of the time travel hullaballoo to deal with, Wolfman manages to give us an adaptation that does just what you want a novelization to do: gives you the basic story of the film while filling in gaps, explaining more of the characters' motivation and history and throwing out occasional "Easter Eggs" for fans of the comics or earlier adaptations of the character.

Like you see with novelizations sometimes, though, there are a few discreprencies between the film and the book, including a fairly major plot point towards the end which is done away with in the novel. When this happens, particularly in the case of such an important element, it's usually the case of the filmmakers adding something in too late for the novelist to include the change. You can't really fault Wolfman for it, but at the same time, it still makes the book a little less satisfying to read as an adaptation. Still, it's a fun book based on a fantastic movie, and I'm glad I gave Wolfman another chance.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Marv Wolfman writes fast-paced, involving comic-book stories, so I expected his paperback adaptation of the new Superman film to be solid and enjoyable. And it generally turned out to be so. Here are a few notable aspects of this fast, entertaining read:

The sequence depicting Superman exploring the remains of Krypton, excised from the film, is here in all its glory, and it's a nicely realized bit. With luck, we'll eventually get to see it in a future extended cut of the film.

A little awkward are the flashback scenes fleshing out Superman's parents' life on Krypton in the days before they rocketed their son to Earth. We see Lara negotiating her salary to work as an assistant to Jorel (before she fell in love with him), and, later, her painting and decorating baby Kal-El's bedroom. Those scenes were a little too mundane and Earthlike to me, not like a strange alien culture at all. And how in the world do you paint a bedroom made of crystal, anyway? While most of Mr. Wolfman's added background scenes were fine, these and a few others were a little off.

The novel adds a very interesting plot point showing clearly that it was Lex Luthor who tricked Superman into going on that five-year jaunt to explore the remains of Krypton. As described in the novelization, it was Earth's scientists who discovered the remains of Krypton, but it was Luthor who planted false information in the press that there was a chance that some life still existed on the planet's burned out remains. It was Luthor's false information that made Superman have to see for himself what was out there across the galaxy. That makes the tragedy of Superman losing Lois to Richard even more, well... tragic, as Superman leaving Earth for all that time was essentially needless.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I watched the movie last year, now I'm reading the book, then I"ll watch the movie again.

The nice thing about movie novelizations is that they include details that we often don't get a chance to see in the movie, or which the producers assume we'd figure out on our own.

We even get to hear the words that baby Kal-El is thinking on Krypton and in the rocket, and get additional scenes (or better understanding of some scenes). For example, I don't remember young Clark's room having stars on the ceiling, nor do I remember "returned" Clark looking up at that ceiling, but the five year old Clark had actually arranged the stars on the ceiling in the constellation patterns as seen from Krypton, which Clark did not realize until he returned from his trip to Krypton Space.

But in this particular novel, the book leaves out details that are in the movie. There is nothing in the book about little Jason Lane having superpowers that are slowly developing, which is unfortunate. I was looking forward to learning more about that from the book.

For those of you who love all the incarnations of Superman, check out: Archives.org where you will find many of the now public-domain RADIO episodes of Superman from the 1940's.

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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is easy to read. I finished it in a day and overall I enjoyed the story, though there were a few things that I didn't think worked too well. I really enjoyed the history pieces about Krypton. That'd make a fascinating story in itself.

Here are my initial reactions: (WARNING! Spoilers ahead...)

1. I was surprised that Superman and Lex Luthor have so few scenes together - and that all of their time together was clumped in just a couple of chapters near the very end. I thought it was obvious that Luthor planted the fake story about Krypton still having life in an effort to divert Superman away from Earth.

2. There were a lot of pieces of dialogue that appear as direct quotes from the 1978 movie. This is not bad. In fact, it's a nice touch in a lot of ways but after a while I started wondering if the writers were afraid to create new "classic" lines instead reusing the old ones. I don't know how many of those lines will make it into the final release of the movie.

3. I expected some closure with Superman and Lois Lane but the story really only progresses their relationship a small bit. The stuff with Jason (where I think it's pretty obvious that he's really Superman's son) goes unresolved - though they hint at something that should be continued in the sequel. I'm referring here to the scene where Lois visits Superman in the hospital and tells him something private but we as an audience don't get to read what she tells him.

4. I was surprised at how little there was of Superman actually in action. Sure, there are a few great action scenes, but for the most part Superman/Clark Kent is a bystander, watching the story unfold. The story seems to be more of a soap opera about the world he lives in and not so much a character-driven piece.
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