Bendis to Bring Superman IV Villain Into Comics

Superman IV Villain Comes to Comics

Superman IV villain Nuclear Man - sketch by Ivan Reis
Nuclear Man – sketch by Ivan Reis

Writers love playing with lost and forgotten characters. After all, look at how Tom King made Kite Man, of all people, a sympathetic character. But some characters are buried deep for a reason. For years, it was due to the camp factor of some, or the racist portrayals of others. And for some, their few appearances were so god-awful that they were locked in a vault to never see the light of day again.

On Thursday, Brian Michael Bendis let one out of the WB water tower. The Superman scribe revealed, during his takeover of the DC Comics Instagram, that he would be bringing Nuclear Man into the comics. The post revealed the look of the character, drawn by Ivan Reis. The character’s comic book debut will be in Superman issue 2, out in August. Now some of you might be asking, “Who is Nuclear Man?” Trust me… this is a doozy.

Superman’s Worst Foe and Worst Movie

Even Zack Snyder haters would have to admit that Man of Steel is magnitudes better than the infamous Superman IV. The fourth of the Christopher Reeve films, it is considered the worst of that series. By a lot. Written by Reeve as an attempt to promote denuclearization, it was overly campy, silly, and had effects that were dated by 1980s standards. Though Gene Hackman came back as Lex, he and Jon Cryer (playing his nephew) were overshadowed by Nuclear Man. An evil clone of Superman (with his voiced dubbed by Reeve) created when Superman’s DNA was mixed with a nuclear explosion, the villain came off more as a half-baked Bizarro. 

To give you an idea of how silly and bad this villain is, let me dip into my childhood. Whenever Superman IV was the movie of the week on the WB network, Nuclear Man was described in the ad as “a villain in desperate need of a manicure.”

That being said, it is quite possible that Bendis can breathe new life into this character. If he can redo this character for a new medium and new century, more power to him. If anything, it will be an experiment to see whether the concept works.

Superman issue 2 is out August 8th. Bring a nail clipper.

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About the author

Daniel Kalban

Daniel is the writer of The Eagle webcomic and aspires to one day join his favorite writers at the Big 2. Until then, he keeps plugging away at various projects, as well as serving as a reporter for Word of the Nerd on various subjects, especially the DC Comics "beat".

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