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Superman III

Superman III

Writer: William Kotzwinkle
Screenplay by: David Newman and Leslie Newman

Published by: Warner Books (June 1983)

Reviewed by: Aaron Thall

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Clark Kent is growing frustrated with his need to hold back in his secret identity. Through a chaotic morning both as himself and as Superman, he wishes he could just cut loose.

At the same time, a computer expert and reformed criminal named Gus Gorman is growing increasingly dissatisfied with his deadend job, and uses his programming skills to transfer every rounded-down half penny from the rest of the company's paychecks to his own account. This action draws the attention of his boss, Ross Webster, a humanitarian hiding a megalomaniacal and sadistic persona. Webster gives Gus the option of helping him destroy Columbia's coffee been crop, or going to jail.

Clark soon goes home to Smallville for a school reunion, stopping along the way to save countless people from a potentially deadly chemical fire. Upon his arrival, he renews ties with his high school romance, Lana Lang, but, as Superman, he must save Lana's son from a runaway thresher. This act gets Superman summoned to the boy's upcoming birthday party.

Webster's plan is put into effect, hijacking a sattelite and affecting Columbia's weather. Superman saves the crops, and draws Webster's ire. Hearing of Superman's upcoming trip to Smallville, he has Gus use the sattelite to analyze debris from Krypton so they can make synthetic Kryptonite.

The plan doesn't go according to plan. Instead of killing Superman, the false Kryptonite turns him uncaring, selfish, and almost evil. As Superman works hard to destroy his own reputation, Webster prepares to take over the world by controlling its oil.

But Gus's design for a new super computer offers Webster even more power than an oil monopoly could.

With Superman not himself, things seem grim. Now only two things can save the world... A criminal's conscience, and the faith of a young boy in his hero. But Superman's greatest challenge will be a battle for his own soul...

To save himself and the world, Clark Kent will have to destroy his alter ego.

4Story - 4: Obviously, as a movie adaption, the novel must work with what it's given, in this case, the plot and script for the less-than-stellar Superman III. Still, this novelization does a good job of getting the story across, thankfully downplaying some of Gus's goofier moments from the film. While there are no serious deviations from the film, this novel doesn't tread new ground, either. But it does the job well.

4Cover Art - 4: It's just the poster for the movie with some bonus text. Does the job, happens in the book. But you can see Christopher Reeve's eyes saying "Why did they make me do this?" And that hurts it just a little.

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