Superman 2 Trivia


Gene Hackman did not return to do reshoots for the second film. All of his scenes were originally filmed by Richard Donner. Other scenes shot by the new director that required Hackman used a look-a-like and a voice impersonator to add any lines needed.149 of 152 found this interesting | Share thisIn a 2004 interview, Margot Kidder claimed that Richard Donner shot enough scenes to make his own cut of the film, and that the unused footage was “somewhere in a vault”. A website started a petition for Warner Brothers to allow and sponsor Donner’s cut of this movie. The footage was re-edited into Superman II (1980).131 of 134 found this interesting | Share thisChristopher Reeve felt that this was the best film in the franchise.82 of 83 found this interesting | Share thisDuring one take of the shot in which Lois punches Ursa, Margot Kidder accidentally punched Sarah Douglas and knocked her unconscious.92 of 96 found this interesting | Share thisIn the original script, the nuclear missile from Superman (1978) releases Zod and companions from the Phantom Zone. This scene was added to Superman II (1980), and the scene in Paris was deleted.58 of 60 found this interesting | Share thisTom Mankiewicz was hired to oversee the script, originally written by Mario Puzo, for Superman (1978), which was to be made simultaneously with this movie. Mankiewicz eliminated most of the camp elements Puzo added to the original draft, and went ahead with the filmmakers’ decision to keep the story’s religious allusions. Specifically: Jor-El (God) casts Zod (Satan) from Krypton (Heaven), Jor-El’s speech as he and Lara say goodbye to Kal-El (“The son becomes the father and the father the son), A ship in the form of a star brings Kal-El to Earth (the star of Bethlehem), Kal-El comes to a couple unable to have children (“How we prayed and prayed the good Lord would see fit to give us a child”), Clark Kent travels into the wilderness to find out who he really is and what he has to do (not much is known about Jesus during his middle years), and “You must live as one of them, but always hold in your heart the pride of your special heritage. They can be a great people Kal-El, they wish to be, they only lack the light to show the way. For this reason above all, their capacity for good, I have sent them you, my only son.”88 of 93 found this interesting | Share thisAccording to Sarah Douglas, in Japan, her scene of Ursa killing the astronaut by kicking him in his groin was cut, due to their sensitivity of a woman being so dominant.65 of 68 found this interesting | Share thisEve Teschmacher disappeared from the storyline after she and Lex Luthor leave the Fortress Of Solitude, and her absence from the rest of the movie is never explained. This is due to Valerie Perrine‘s scenes being filmed by Richard Donner, who was fired from the sequel before completion.39 of 40 found this interesting | Share thisDespite Lex Luthor always being depicted as bald in the comic books, Gene Hackman refused to wear a bald cap for the movies. So it was agreed that he would instead wear a series of ill-fitting wigs that would imply baldness. Hackman relented to wearing the bald cap for the prison scenes, however, as it was unfeasible that Luthor would be allowed to keep his wig collection while locked up.25 of 25 found this interesting | Share thisGene Hackman (Lex Luthor), Ned Beatty (Otis), Valerie Perrine (Eve Teschmacher) and E.G. Marshall (The President) were the only actors not to participate in the film’s re-shoots under the direction of Richard Lester.35 of 36 found this interesting | Share thisChristopher Reeve‘s physique changed significantly during production. Some earlier scenes had to be re-shot.44 of 46 found this interesting | Share thisOn August 1, 1981, a television spot for the film was the first commercial ever aired on MTV.34 of 35 found this interesting | Share thisThe 1984, ABC Television broadcast of the film used over thirty minutes of footage deleted from the theatrical release, almost all directed by Donner. The ABC scenes include: Superman flying past the Concorde (intended for the first film), extra dialogue between Luthor and Otis in jail, extra dialogue between Luthor and Eve flying to and within the Fortress of Solitude, the death of the young boy trying to escape East Houston, Idaho, the soufflé, and scenes between Superman and Lois. Nearly fifteen minutes of extra footage with Gene Hackman included a pivotal scene in the Fortress, where Luthor begs forgiveness from Superman. While these scenes were included in the Australian theatrical release, subsequent television screenings there had them deleted.31 of 32 found this interesting | Share thisAnti-smoking campaigners opposed the film, as the largest sponsor was the cigarette brand Marlboro, who paid $43,000 (approximately £20,000), for the brand to be shown twenty-two times in the film. Lois Lane was shown as a chain smoker in the film, although she never smoked in the comic book version. A prop included a truck sign written with the Marlboro logo, although actual vehicles for tobacco distribution are unmarked, for security reasons. This led to a congressional investigation.31 of 32 found this interesting | Share thisOn the first day of filming, set designer John Barry suddenly collapsed on the nearby set of Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980), and died from meningitis. Peter Murton was then hired in Barry’s place.30 of 31 found this interesting | Share thisAccording to Sarah Douglas and Jack O’Halloran, they did not get along with Christopher Reeve.68 of 74 found this interesting | Share thisAn early version of the script had four Kryptonian exile villains. Jak-El (a name probably inspired by the German and Danish name “Jakel”, the trickster handpuppet in the Punch and Judy tradition) was supposed to be an evil prankster and source of comic relief. He is described as “a psychopathic jokester, whose pranks and practical jokes are only funny to him when they cause death and suffering to others.” The character was never cast.37 of 39 found this interesting | Share thisMargot Kidder was very unhappy during filming, as her marriage to Thomas McGuane was ending, she missed original director Richard Donner and was aware that she was being very well-paid to do a small amount of work. In a 1981 interview with Rolling Stone, she recalled that “for several weeks I sat around my dressing room, listened to music, read The Great Shark Hunt and Orwell and a lot of French literature, wrote letters, worked on a screenplay, went through the divorce, and every so often I went on the set and said a line like, ‘Oh, Superman, Superman.'”28 of 29 found this interesting | Share thisDirector Richard Lester was not sympathetic to the epic look that Richard Donner had given Superman (1978), saying that he didn’t want to do “the David Lean thing”. Lester decided to scrap most of Oscar-winning cinematographer Geoffrey Unsworth’s footage, and hired director Michael Winner‘s cinematographer, Robert Paynter, to create a style that would evoke Superman’s roots in comic books. Lester, Paynter, and camera operator Freddie Cooper replaced Unsworth’s gliding camera with horizontal panning and static framing to evoke comic books and comic strips, with static frames crammed with people and objects. Similarly, the composition of shots the trio developed for Superman II (1980) had objects and people crammed into the frame. To further emphasize comic book composition, the action was photographed from one angle, to give the film a desired flatness. Harkening back to the techniques of the early sound era, Lester’s films had always been shot with three cameras filming the action simultaneously; two cameras for close-ups, one for the long shot. Lester’s technique added to the friction on the set caused by Donner’s firing. Margot Kidder particularly disliked him.58 of 63 found this interesting | Share thisApparently Richard Lester had to (re-)shoot a large volume of the film to gain a sole director credit, rather than just shoot the remainder of the Richard Donner version scenes to “fill in the gaps”. This is why there is a portion of duplicate alternate versions of certain sequences, and scenes in one director’s version not appearing in the script of the other version, rather than 2 alternate edits of one combined source of shot material. Hence why the Donner and Lester cuts are radically different, yet confusingly similar.17 of 17 found this interesting | Share thisJohn Williams did not return as composer, due to scheduling commitments with Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981). However, Williams granted the Salkinds permission to use his original themes, and even recommended composer Ken Thorne, a personal friend of Williams, to compose the film’s score.33 of 35 found this interesting | Share thisHenry Fonda was the front runner for the major cameo role of the U.S. President. Instead, his 12 Angry Men (1957) co-star, E.G. Marshall got the role.25 of 26 found this interesting | Share thisOriginally, Richard Donner had filmed Superman talking to his father for this movie, but Marlon Brando sued for (and won) a share of the first film’s gross. The lawsuit also awarded him a share of this film’s gross, even though he doesn’t appear in it. Brando’s scenes were replaced by scenes with Superman’s mother. Brando’s scenes appeared in Superman II (1980), and briefly during a scene in Superman Returns (2006).39 of 42 found this interesting | Share thisThe scene where General Zod, Ursa, and Non use their super-breath to create a storm in Metropolis was shot over three freezing November nights at Pinewood Studios in England. Richard Lester improvised most of the jokes.28 of 30 found this interesting | Share thisOriginal director Richard Donner was fired by the producers.45 of 50 found this interesting | Share thisWarner Brothers released the film in Europe at the end of 1980, and in the U.S. in the summer of 1981.32 of 36 found this interesting | Share thisSarah Douglas said she had more fun working with Gene Hackman than any other actor from the first two Superman films.32 of 36 found this interesting | Share thisCreative consultant Tom Mankiewicz and editor Stuart Baird declined on returning for this movie, in support of Richard Donner. However, Mankiewicz was still credited for it.11 of 11 found this interesting | Share thisThis was the third most popular movie at the U.S. and Canadian box-offices for 1981.16 of 17 found this interesting | Share thisThere is a framed photo of Bill Cosby on a wall in Perry White’s office. In one of his early stand-up performances, Cosby did a skit about Superman. It can be heard on his 1963 comedy album “Bill Cosby Is A Very Funny Fellow, Right!”25 of 28 found this interesting | Share thisIn an interview many years later, Margot Kidder said she’d come to “agree with the prudes” that Lois Lane should not have gone to bed with Superman.40 of 48 found this interesting | Share thisThe scene when Lex Luthor escapes from the prison yard is inspired by true events. Three I.R.A. prisoners escaped from Mountjoy prison, when a helicopter lifted them out of the yard.26 of 30 found this interesting | Share thisThe only one of the first four Superman movies not to have any scenes in Smallville.17 of 19 found this interesting | Share thisRichard Donner claims he was fired from Superman II because of the pettiness and greed of the Salkinds. And this is pretty much what the public (as well as the cast and crew of the movie) thinks too. But the Salkinds have a different story: They say that they offered Richard Donner the director’s seat again for Superman II; but Donner made a demand that Producer Pierre Spengler be fired for him to return. Spengler reportedly fought with Donner about going over-budget and going over-schedule often on the set of Superman; to the point where Donner felt he could not work with him anymore. But unfortunately Spengler was one of the original people, along with the Salkinds, who spearheaded the project in the first place. They did not feel they could let him go. So instead of acquiesing to Donner, they moved forward without him. So technically, if that’s true, that wouldn’t be a firing, that would be a breakdown of negotiations.8 of 8 found this interesting | Share thisIn an early draft of the screenplay, the crystal chamber which removes Superman’s powers (and which ultimately enables him to defeat Zod and company) was lined with Yellow (or Gold) Kryptonite, exposure to which, as in the comic books, will strip him of his super-abilities. Had it been kept, this would have been the movie’s sole reference to Kryptonite.12 of 13 found this interesting | Share thisTowards the end of the movie, when Clark Kent enters the Daily Planet floor to talk to Lois for the last time, a sign in the background on the white board says “Daha iyisi olamaz”. It’s in Turkish, and means “There can’t be anything better”.22 of 26 found this interesting | Share thisWhen Cosmonaut Boris meets General Zod on the moon, the approximate Russian translation is, “What is your name? Identify yourself!”24 of 29 found this interesting | Share thisU.S.-born Richard Lester, an American expatriate living in England, claimed he’d never heard of Superman before he was hired to replace Richard Donner. He said that comic books weren’t allowed in his house when he was child.26 of 32 found this interesting | Share thisWhen John Williams, the Oscar-winning composer of the Superman (1978) soundtrack, was shown the rough cuts of Superman II (1980) by director Richard Lester, he decided he could no longer commit to the project based on the direction it had taken and because Richard Donner had just been fired. He bowed out at that point and refused to compose a score. Ken Thorne, another Oscar-winning composer for A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1966), was enlisted at that point to take over composition duties for the movie.14 of 16 found this interesting | Share thisSarah Douglas was the only cast member to do extensive around-the-world press tours in support of the film, and was one of the few actresses who held a neutral point of view in the Donner-Lester controversy.19 of 23 found this interesting | Share thisThere are two controversial scenes in this movie that fanboys, film geeks and critics have complained about for years. The first is Superman’s amnesia-inducing kiss. Fans complained this was a deus ex machina type ending and a cheat, because this Superman skill was never mentioned in the comics. In fact, it actually appeared once or twice, but it was very obscure. The second controversial scene is the one where Superman removes a strange plastic-y film from his “S” insignia which magically grows as he throws it at Non, covering him and then subduing him for a second, before vanishing altogether. Fans and critics criticized this scene for being random, not taken from the comics, and also pointless, since it didn’t do anything meaningful to Non. The scene was parodied in an episode of Family Guy (1999).19 of 23 found this interesting | Share thisChristopher Reeve (Superman), Margot Kidder (Lois Lane), Jackie Cooper (Perry White) and Marc McClure (Jimmy Olsen) are the only actors to appear in the first four “Superman” films. Of these, McClure was the only one to appear in Supergirl (1984).20 of 26 found this interesting | Share thisSarah Douglas later made a guest appearance on Supergirl (2015) in season 3’s “Supergirl: Fort Rozz (2018)”, playing a Kryptonian priestess, Jindah Kol Rozz, for whom the eponymous Kryptonian maximum-security prison is named.7 of 9 found this interesting | Share thisAt Niagara Falls when Superman makes a last minute rescue a woman is heard saying, “Such a nice man, of course he’s Jewish you know”. This is a reference to his creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.3 of 3 found this interesting | Share thisTwo “007” veterans contributed to the screenplay, although neither is credited. George MacDonald Fraser co-wrote Octopussy (1983). Guy Hamilton directed Goldfinger (1964), Diamonds Are Forever (1971), Live and Let Die (1973), and The Man with the Golden Gun (1974). Tom Mankiewicz, an uncredited co-screenwriter of Superman (1978) and this film, also co-wrote the latter three 007 films.11 of 17 found this interesting | Share thisAccording to various behind the scenes material, and somewhat weirdly as many would assume it was an actual USA location, the small town set, where Zod and co arrive at, was actually on or near the (original) Pinewood Studios backlot, around Iver Heath, using some fake perspective. This is also the same Chobham Common, with an alternate set build, used as the real world location of James Bond ancestral home in “Scotland”, in Skyfall.4 of 5 found this interesting | Share thisDespite Jack O’Halloran’s 6’6″ height, he wore lifts to be more imposing.4 of 5 found this interesting | Share thisGordon Rollings played the fisherman in this film. He went on to play the “Man in Cap” during the opening sequence of Superman III (1983).6 of 9 found this interesting | Share thisOriginally, the Salkinds considered Guy Hamilton for director, but he declined.6 of 10 found this interesting | Share thisThe film features two actors who appeared in this film and a James Bond film, both times playing similar roles; Shane Rimmer played a ground control crew member in You Only Live Twice (1967), while Clifton James played the Sheriff J.W. Pepper in Live and Let Die (1973) and The Man with the Golden Gun (1974).10 of 22 found this interesting | Share thisDuring the battle over Houston, ID, several Green Berets can be seen using M3 “Grease Guns”. Chambered in .45 caliber, these guns had largely fallen out of favor during the 1960s in the US military. The exceptions were tank crews and Special Operations Forces including Green Beret and Delta teams. These groups found multiple practical uses for the firearm for a variety of reasons well into the 1990s.4 of 7 found this interesting | Share thisRandall “Tex” Cobb was considered for the role of Non.5 of 11 found this interesting | Share thisThis film marks Otis’ second predisposition with ladders. In Superman (1978), he operated a book case step-ladder for Luthor’s personal library. In Superman II (1980), he spots a rope-and-plank ladder for Teschmacher’s hot air balloon.5 of 11 found this interesting | Share thisFor her role of Ursa Sarah Douglas‘s voice was partially dubbed by actress Annie Ross (who would go onto play Vera Webster in Superman III (1983)) in most of the Richard Lester-directed scenes while her normal voice is prevalent in the restored Richard Donner footage featured in Superman II (1980).2 of 3 found this interesting | Share thisIncluded among the American Film Institute’s 2001 list of 400 movies nominated for the top 100 Most Heart-Pounding American Movies.2 of 3 found this interesting | Share thisIt’s a mystery why the story writers have Superman blow up his hideout, the Fortress of Solitude, in part 2. Superman in the comics continues to use the Fortress as a home base; kind of like Batman’s Batcave; or Wonder Woman’s Paradise Island. He never blows it up in a symbolic coming of age gesture; severing the umbilical cord with Jor-el etc.1 of 1 found this interesting | Share thisSeveral Superman II cast members have also been in Star Wars movies. John Ratzenberger was Rebel Force Major Derlin in Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980). John Morton was Rebel Force Dak (Luke’s gunner) in Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980). Terence Stamp was Chancellor Valorum in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999). John Hollis was Lobot, Lando’s aide, in Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980). Richard LeParmentier was General Motti in Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977).1 of 1 found this interesting | Share thisSarah Douglas’s (Ursa) voice was dubbed by Annie Ross who played Vera Webster in Superman III.1 of 1 found this interesting | Share thisIronically Sarah Douglas who played villainous female alien Ursa would go on to play Pamela, another villainous female alien in V just three years later.1 of 1 found this interesting | Share thisSome of the Fortress of Solitude set background appears to have been built using relatively common large clear plastic corrugated sheets, often used as a roofing material in inexpensive building structures.3 of 6 found this interesting | Share thisThe most expensive movie ever made at the time of its release.1 of 2 found this interesting | Share thisAs previously mentioned, Ursa is based on the comic character Faora. They are both man-hating killers with an aptitude for martial arts. Non was an original character created for the movie. Both he and Ursa were introduced into the comic canon by Richard Donner during his run on Action Comics in 2007.Is this interesting? | Share thisWhen the sequel was put on hold, Christopher Reeve had commitments to make Somewhere in Time (1980) which overlapped with the return to making Superman II (1980). He also had reservations about the new script and the way Richard Donner had been treated so he was able to renegotiate his contract at a better rate and with more artistic input.Is this interesting? | Share thisWhen relationships with Richard Donner started to sour, Alexander Salkind and Ilya Salkind reached out to Richard Lester with whom they’d made The Three Musketeers (1973) and The Four Musketeers: Milady’s Revenge (1974), primarily to act as a mediator between the producers and Donner. Despite agreeing to do this, relationships between Lester and the Salkinds were still pretty rocky as they had withheld payments to Lester following the Musketeer films. He agreed to help out with the promise that he would finally receive what was owed to him.Is this interesting? | Share thisDouglas Fairbanks Jr. was also considered for the part of the US President. E.G. Marshall ended up taking the role.Is this interesting? | Share thisWarner Bros. had to face the same backlash after the release of the 2017 film Justice League. During production, original director Zack Snyder was replaced by Joss Whedon, who changed the film’s pacing and tone greatly. After a heavy bust of negative reviews and a three-year long internet campaign, Warner Bros. decided to release the director’s cut of Justice League, now labelled as ‘Zack Snyder’s Justice League’ (2021). Coinicidentally, this film will also feature Superman.Is this interesting? | Share this

Director Cameo 

Richard Donner: Walks out of frame during a point-of-view shot as Lois and Clark pull up to the diner.16 of 20 found this interesting | Share this


The trivia items below may give away important plot points.Clark uses the rare “super-kiss” to make Lois forget he is Superman. While this was a real power Superman had in the comics, it was rarely used, and eventually removed.56 of 58 found this interesting | Share thisClark decides to sacrifice his super powers and become human so he can live an ordinary life with Lois. In order to achieve this, he steps into a molecule chamber which uses red sunlight to strip him of his powers. The Superman in the comics has been depowered by red sunlight on many occasions such as in ‘Superman Under the Red Sun!’ (Action Comics #300, May 1963). It has the effect of simulating the red sun of Krypton, Rao, which renders him as powerless as he would be back on his homeworld.

In the comics the effect of red sunlight usually wears off once Superman is exposed to yellow sunlight. But in the movie the effect is permanent. In that regard, the molecule chamber in the film is closer to gold kryptonite insofar as it irreversibly deprives him of his abilities.1 of 1 found this interesting | Share thisThe film ends with Superman stripping the Phantom Zone criminals of their powers using red sunlight. The permanent effect of red sunlight in this film is closer to that of gold kryptonite in the comics. And while the Pre-Crisis Zod never lost his powers in this way, Quex-Ul did at the end of the aforementioned Superman #157. This story concludes with Quex-Ul being exposed to gold kryptonite and being reduced to the status of an ordinary human.1 of 1 found this interesting | Share thisThe idea of Superman going up against three Phantom Zone criminals dates back to ‘The Untold Story of the Phantom Zone!’ (Superboy #104, April 1963), in which Superboy faced off against three Kryptonian criminals at the same time. These three villains did not escape from the Phantom Zone however, but were instead frozen in suspended animation aboard a spaceship that then crashed on Earth. But the three-against-one dynamic is essentially the same as in Superman II.Is this interesting? | Share thisSeveral times in the film, Zod and his allies are shown to project energy beams from their hands. Kryptonian abilities and strength levels were not as consistent in the Pre-Crisis comics as they were later on. An example of this can be seen in Action Comics #473, where Faora possesses certain psychic abilities the other Phantom Zone criminals do not. The most notable of these is her power to project super-psychic energy bolts with which she incapacitates the other Kryptonians.Is this interesting? | Share thisThe film begins with Lex Luthor hatching a plan to escape from prison as do so many of his comic stories. One example is from Action Comics #286 (March 1962).Is this interesting? | Share thisThe movie fight scene in Metropolis visually recalls the epic battle in Action Comics #473, where Superman fights Zod, Faora and numerous other Phantom Zone criminals in Metropolis.

At one point in the Donner Cut Ursa mocks Superman’s chivalrous code, saying “What, you hit a woman?” Faora made a similar taunt when Superman first fought her back in Action Comics #471.

Superman uses both his heat vision and freezing breath for the first time during this sequence. He first used his heat vision in the comics in ‘Clark Kent… Daredevil’ (Action Comics #139, December 1949). He first used his super breath to freeze something in ‘The Death of Lois Lane’ (World’s Finest #64, May 1963).

At one point Ursa picks up a manhole cover and hurls it at Superman like a Frisbee. The super powered villainess Star Sapphire did something similar during a fight against Superman in ‘Slave of Star Sapphire!’ (Superman #261, February 1973).

Zod then lands on the ground and fights Superman one-on-one. On equal footing, Zod appears to be the better fighter of the two. This is consistent with their battles in the Pre-Crisis comics. The following example is from ‘The Race to Save Time’ (World’s Finest Comics #199, December 1970). Zod knocks Superman to the ground and tries to attack him while he is down, but Superman repels him with a double-footed kick. A comparison can be made to a visual depicted in Action Comics #473.

In the movie Superman grabs hold of Zod, spins him around and hurls him into a neon sign. In the comic he does something similar to Jax-Ur, spinning him around at super speed and hurling him into Zod and the other Phantom Zone criminals. This is yet another scene from Action Comics #473.

Superman retreats from the battle when he sees innocent people being harmed in the crossfire. This is a good example of Superman’s moral code in effect. He values the preservation of life, however small, above all else. And he would rather be perceived as a coward than risk endangering the people of Metropolis in his battle with Zod. He then retreats to the Fortress of Solitude and the villains pursue him. Superman also fled from the battlefield during his first battle against Faora in the comics. He realized he couldn’t beat her in combat and so retreated to the Fortress of Solitude. But Faora went after him and infiltrated the Fortress’ defenses, just as Zod does in the movie.Is this interesting? | Share thisMario Puzo spent several days at the offices of DC Comics researching the Superman mythology. He plotted the first two Superman movies at the same time.

One storyline in particular which seems to have heavily influenced Superman II is the Phantom Zone arc that ran from Action Comics #471-473 (May-July 1977). This storyline was notable for introducing the female Phantom Zone criminal Faora Hu-Ul, who was the inspiration for the movie character Ursa, played by Sarah Douglas. It was also the most recent General Zod storyline at the time the script for Superman II was being written.

In the movies the Phantom Zone is a dimensional prison resembling a mirror spinning through space. In the comics, the Phantom Zone is an insubstantial state of being in which criminals can see into Earthling’s world, but not physically interact with it. In both the comics and the movie it is used as a prison to house Krypton’s most dangerous criminals. It was first introduced in the comics in ‘The Phantom Superboy!’ (Adventure Comics #283, April 1961), which was also General Zod’s debut story.

In the comics, Dru-Zod was a Kryptonian general who attempted to overthrow the planet’s government using an army of Bizarro clones. The Zod played by Terence Stamp is an amalgamation of the comic Zod and several other Phantom Zone criminals; most notably Quex-Ul. The first similarity to note between the film Zod and Quex-Ul is the physical resemblance. Zod in the comics was originally a bald, clean shaven man in a military uniform and cap. By contrast, Quex-Ul was depicted as a slender dark-haired man with a widow’s peak and goatee.

Quex-Ul first appeared in ‘The Super-Revenge of the Phantom Zone Prisoner!’ (Superman #157, November 1962). He was incarcerated in the Phantom Zone after being found guilty of genocide, having allegedly wiped out the Kryptonian species of Rondors (Superboy later discovers he was innocent of these charges). This is obviously different from the movie Zod, who, like his comic counterpart, was sent to the Phantom Zone on a charge of insurrection. However a similarity exists in the fact that Jor-El, Superman’s father, was the presiding council member who condemned Quex-Ul to the Zone.

For legal reasons, Marlon Brando‘s Jor-El does not appear in the theatrical cut of Superman II. He does however appear in Superman II (1980). And he is the one who casts the deciding vote that sends Zod and his minions into the Phantom Zone.

Upon being released from the Zone, both Quex-Ul and Zod vow revenge against the son of their jailer.Is this interesting? | Share thisIn the movie the Phantom Zone criminals deface Mount Rushmore using their heat vision. In Action Comics #473, Zod and his fellow criminals deface a statue of Superman in a similar manner.Is this interesting? | Share thisThe theatrical cut of Superman II kicks the action off with a terrorist situation at the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Needless to say the Superman in the comics has visited pretty much every famous landmark in the world, and the Eiffel Tower is no exception as evident in ‘The Superman Spectaculars’ (Action Comics #211, December 1955).

When Clark learns of the crisis in Paris he dashes through an alleyway and changes into his Superman costume mid-stride. This visually recalls his transformation in the classic Bronze Age comic ‘Superman Breaks Loose’ (Superman #233, January 1971).

The scene where he lifts the elevator containing the nuclear bomb and hurls it into space is remarkably similar to a scene from ‘The Electronic Ghost of Metropolis!’ (Superman #244, November 1971), where Superman races to a power plant to prevent a nuclear explosion. In the comic the atomic pile has been tampered with by the villain and is about to explode. So Superman flies underneath the atomic furnace and hoists it up into the air, lifting it into space like he does the elevator in the movie.

Once he is at a safe distance from the Earth, he hurls the furnace/elevator into space and watches the nuclear explosion go off.Is this interesting? | Share thisOn storyline in Superman II sees Lois Lane figuring out that Clark Kent and Superman are the same person. Jerry Siegel wrote an unpublished story in 1940 called ‘The K-Metal From Krypton’ that would have depicted Lois discovering Superman’s true identity.

Another story to depict Lois discovering Superman’s true identity (and one which was published) is ‘Superman Takes a Wife!’ (Action Comics #484, June 1978). This story takes place on Earth-Two, the home of the original Golden Age Superman. The story begins with Lois suspecting a connection between Clark and Superman.

She decides to put her theory to the test. In the comic, she conceals a camera in the closet where she suspects Clark is changing into his costume. In the movie she takes the more drastic approach of hurling herself into a river (or out of a window in Superman II (1980)) in the hopes that Clark will change into his Superman apparel and rescue her. In both cases, the test proves inconclusive and Lois puts aside her suspicions.

Later in the comic Lois’ suspicions are reawakened after she sees Clark struck by gunfire. She then examines him up close and observes his lack of visible injuries. A similar incident occurs in the movie, except instead of bullets it is a burning flame that fails to leave a mark. In both the comic and the movie, it is Clark’s imperviousness to physical damage that betrays his secret to Lois.

In the comic Clark, is suffering from amnesia and has forgotten he is really Superman. So Lois tests her theory further by attempting to cut his hair while he sleeps, only for the scissors to break on his super strong strands of hair. In the movie, she just comes right out with it and confronts him on the matter, forcing him to admit his true identity.

Once Clark regains his memory, he flies Lois to the Fortress of Solitude where they are married. In the movie he also takes her to the Fortress. Although he doesn’t marry Lois in the film, he does share his secrets with her and make a lasting commitment to her.

The Donner Cut shows Lois exposing Clark’s true identity by shooting him with a gun. Clark then admits he is invulnerable, only for Lois to reveal the gun was loaded with blanks. Although this didn’t happen in the comics, it does recall a somewhat similar scene from Superman #10 (May 1941) where a hypnotized Lois fires a gun at Clark and he interprets her actions as an attempt to prove he is Superman.Is this interesting? | Share this‘The Sons of Batman and Superman!’ (World’s Finest Vol 1 #154, December 1965) presents a ‘what if’ scenario where Lois and Clark get married. There’s a scene where the two of them are relaxing by the waterfalls when suddenly Clark has to run off and perform a rescue. In the movie, he saves a kid from plummeting over the falls, while in the comic he saves an entire ship from a similar fate.Is this interesting? | Share thisThe scene in which Clark uses a memory-wipe kiss to make Lois forget that he’s Superman is perfectly consistent with the abilities of the Pre-Crisis Superman. For one thing, the Pre-Crisis Superman possessed the power of super-hypnosis. He could use this power to erase people’s memories and would occasionally do so in order to preserve his secret identity, as seen in Action Comics #247 (December 1958). A later example of this power being used occurred in Superman Special #3 (April 1985).

The Pre-Crisis Superman was also capable of delivering a super-kiss that could knock Lois off her feet and leave her dazed and disorientated as evident in Action Comics #306 (November 1963).Is this interesting? | Share thisSuperman drops Lois back at her apartment, and in Superman II (1980) she says “Up, up and away” as she watches him fly off into the night. This is the famous catchphrase Superman would often say when taking flight in the comics and radio series.Is this interesting? | Share thisThe scene in Superman II (1980) where Lois tests her theory that Clark is Superman is adapted almost shot-for-shot from ‘The Satanic Schemes of S.K.U.L!’ (Superman’s Girl Friend, Lois Lane Vol 1 #63, February 1966). In the comic, Lois is testing her theory that Superman will show up to rescue her whenever her life is in danger, and she believes that Clark can somehow contact him.Is this interesting? | Share this

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