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Superman Returns Mass Market Paperback – June 1, 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As novelization of movies go, this one was fairly good. There were some revelations that weren't evident to me when watching the movie - mostly about the Krypton tie-in. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Kindle Customer
I was hoping to get a few more details than seen in the movie, but there's not much different here. There's one significant departure, which I actually wish the movie would've... Read morePublished 23 months ago by A reviewer
Wanted to get a feel for the story, wanted to see if he thought of himself as Clark, Kal'el, or Superman. It depended on what he was doing at the time. Read morePublished on December 13, 2011 by ellison
Too much filler made it too long for what it was. Much of the characters' motivation and behavior made little sense. Read morePublished on November 29, 2011 by Jim B.
This is a great novelization of a fun movie that I saw in theaters. You pretty much get the same story in the movie as in the book. Read morePublished on October 11, 2011 by Sci Fi Fan
People are going to say I'm wierd, but I they shouldn't bother. I already know and I'm not troubled by it. Read morePublished on September 20, 2007 by Kay
I gave this two stars out of respect for Superman, but wow was this bad. I think one of the main problems was that it was just too long. Read morePublished on January 29, 2007 by A Superfriend