08 May 2013

Super History of Superman: Superman IV: The Quest For Peace (1987)

You know how I said that Superman III deserved props for trying? Superman IV: The Quest For Peace deserves no such benefit.

Where the Lana Lang love interest sort of worked, the introduction of  Lacy Warfield basically just gave more slapstick screen time to Clark Kent. Not only was the "humor" amped up for this fourth film, but the budget was cut and it shows.

Although for all I know Lacy had superpowers since she was able to survive in space. That was just one of the ridiculous plot point that indicated the writers had given up by now. Superman's amnesia inducing kiss also returned and super bricklaying vision was introduced.

In addition to the return of Lex Luthor, the nuclear man, one of the worst onscreen villains of all time, was introduced. Also debuting was the nephew Lenny Luthor, another poor attempt at a humorous stooge. I suppose it was nice to see Reeve one last time as Superman, its just a shame he went out on such a sour note. 

Ironically, there remains some demand among fans for more Superman IV as a key scene involving a fight with a proto-Nuclear Man was cut from the final film. Would the sequence have improved the movie? Doubtful; at the same time, the characters resemblance to Bizarro makes one wonder why the producers didn't just use the classic character instead of creating something terrible from scratch. Just like in Superman III where the inclusion of Brainiac may not have saved the film, but it would have paid a little bit of service to the few fans who actually went to see it.

Check back next week for another chapter in The Super History of Superman.


  1. I love full version of the 4th film much better than the real weak and failed 3rd part. 4th "Superman" is really watchable in it's full tv cut with first Nuklear Man, with scenes of saving girl in Smallville, with scenes from Russia, Spain, China, all over the world. Looks like an live action cartoon series, simple, entertaining, many action scenes, many hero scenes, good movie. Not really great superhero film like 1 and 2, but better than 3rd and than some cartoons and old animated series. Better than "Superboy" live action series also, Imho.

  2. I always thought Nuclear Man was an attempt to update the classic radio and movie serial villain Atom Man.