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Superman Returns: Novelization

Superman Returns: Novelization

Adapted by: Marv Wolfman

Published by: Warner Books (June 1, 2006)

Reviewed by: Neal Bailey

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Well, this isn't going to be too long, and I apologize for that. Strange how a full script can give you three pages of material, and a novel only most of a page, but nonetheless, the reason being, by now we all know the story, and this is more a chronicling of how well this book summarizes it coupled with what extras it can offer...

The novelization is great. It takes a bit of a foray into extra materials in the beginning, offering a new dimension to Krypton and its history, and spends some time on Lara and Jor-El.

Is it original? Not if you've seen the movie. Don't expect anything new here, like for instance, when you read Death and Life of Superman or No Man's Land (novelizations), which add dimensions of character depth and seamlessly interchange things. If anything, think Craig Shaw Gardener.

It doesn't add much to the film beyond interpolation into the motives behind the characters. Much of what I suspected of both Lois and Superman and even Lex's motivations is elaborated on here, giving me a bit of a perspective that I had the right impression, which is cool.

It also gives a lot of extra little snippets of dialogue that got left on the cutting room floor, including the return to Krypton and a lot of other interesting extras.

The one thing it lacked, very notably, was any mention of Jason's powers. Lois actually kills Brutus instead of the kid, and in the end, Superman never visits the boy and what Lois says is never elaborated on. I wish it had been, but alas.

Maybe this was to protect the secret of the film, maybe they added the powers of the kid at the last minute. I'm not sure. Honestly, the film would have worked better for me had what Lois whispered been a secret to be revealed in the next film, and had the kid not been shown to have some sort of powers he later never uses at all.

Good writing, pretty stereotypical. It's hard to be experimental with a novelization, but it's poetic enough. Worth a read if you either really love the movie, Wolfman, or extra little bits of deleted scenes. Otherwise, average.

For me? 3.5 of 5.

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