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Superman IV

Superman IV

Writer: B. B. Hiller
Story by: Christopher Reeve, Lawrence Konner, and Mark Rosenthal
Screenplay by: Lawrence Konner and Mark Rosenthal

Published by: Point and Scholastic Inc. (July 1987)

Reviewed by: Aaron Thall

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Clark Kent is in Smallville, preparing the farm for sale. With his parents long gone and his spaceship hidden, he's ready to move on. However, his ship reveals a long buried secret, a legacy from Jor-El.

Meanwhile, Lex Luthor escapes prison with the help of his nephew. But Clark Kent is too busy dealing with the recent sale of the Daily Planet to an unscrupulous publisher that values sensationalism over quality. Worse, the man's daughter has designs on Clark.

A young boy's request that Superman rid the world of nuclear weapons soon leads Superman to do just that, after much soul searching. However, Lex Luthor has stolen a strand of Superman's hair, to create his own super being called Nuclear Man.

And then, before the world, Nuclear Man apparently kills the Man of Steel...

2Story - 2: Let's face it, the fourth Superman movie was admittedly very weak tea compared to the first two. This novel, unfortunately, is a tenatiously accurate novel, adding no new scenes nor fleshing out events more. Each chapter is but a few pages, and the entire novel is the shortest superhero book I've ever read (even beating out the notoriously tiny "Spider-Man: Carnage in New York" and it's sequel, "Goblin's Revenge"). Its lack of length and depth hurts the story tremendously, and the entire story is far too preachy for its own good.

Add to that the fact that Superman KILLS the original Nuclear Man without hesitation, and you have a novel on shaky ground.

Really, only the subplot involving the Daily Planet's sale lets this book get even the 2 rating.

4Cover Art - 4: Superman standing before the American flag on the Moon. Straight from the movie. Iconic, cool, and the best image from an otherwise unforgettable affair. Of course, I could have done without the added image of Superman holding up and showing off his 50th birthday cake.

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