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Why Superman Movies Matter More Than the Comic Books 

© 1983 - Warner Bros. All rights reserved.

Superman III (1983)

What it's about: Richard Pryor is a computer programmer who invents synthetic kryptonite that (eventually) splits the Man of Steel into an evil Superman and a good Clark Kent.

Best bits: The junkyard fight between the two super-selves still holds up.

Worst bits: "Richard Pryor is a computer programmer."

Contribution to the zeitgeist: Grievously wounded the Superman film franchise, and made everything about the Man of Steel seem small, low-rent and risible.

Super-power the filmmakers pull out of their asses: The whole splitting-in-two thing actually bears a long comics provenance. So, shockingly: none.

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Your idea of Superman -- by which I mean the conception of him that floats in the cultural ether -- is simpler and cleaner than the internalized idea of Superman by comic book nerds. Your idea of Superman was shaped, overwhelmingly, by the movies. Read the full Superman story by Glen Weldon.

Read our full Man of Steel movie review.
Published on June 10, 2013
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