Kal-El, better known to the world as Superman, has had a hit-and-miss relationship with the box office. Six films have been produced depicting the ongoing story of the last son of Krypton. From 1978s Superman up through 2013s Man of Steel, Supermans film incarnations have proven inconsistent to say the least. In fact, only two main things have proven reliable enough to be assured. First is the dependability of Kal-Els supporting cast of characters and circumstances: Metropolis, The Daily Planet, Lois Lane, Perry White, cub-reporter Jimmy Olson, Kryptonite, Lex Luthor, Smallville and the rest. If it is a Superman movie, then these are the people, places and things fans expect to see. Second, regardless of the quality of the film itself, from the best (Superman, Superman II, Man of Steel) to the worst (Superman III, Superman IV, Superman Returns), fans can expect to be treated to a handful of exciting sequences and set-pieces per film. In anticipation of 2016s geekfest Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, WhatCulture.com has culled through the entire Superman movie collection and collected the top ten moments that capture the excitement and spectacle of superhero action at its most legendary.
10. Superman - Two Missiles
The list begins with the over-the-top final set piece from Kal-Els cinematic debut, Superman: The Movie. In this scene, Lex Luthor has launched two missiles, one towards each coast of the United States. His plan: to trigger the San Andreas Fault and cause a massive earthquake to bury California beneath the sea. Luthor bought massive plots of barren desert just east of the fault line and its status as the new West Coast will drive up the value of the land and leave him, of course, filthy rich. Superman escapes Luthors Kryptonite chain and diverts the eastern missile into space. The second missile, heading straight for California, is where things get complicated. Adding to the tension is the fact that both Lois and Jimmy are in the area: Lois driving through the desert and Jimmy up on top of a dam. The missile hits, the dam breaks, Superman saves Jimmy at the last moment. Lois, however, is not so lucky. Angered by her death, Superman does the only reasonable thing he can do: fly around the Earth so fast that he causes it to rotate backwards and reverse time. Technically, the effects were groundbreaking for 1978, but unfortunately they do not stand up to time. Also, it is hard to ignore the fact that everything on Earth would be destroyed by the sudden reversal of its rotation and I am afraid the experience of time does not work like that. Still, this is a great cinematic Superman moment and a fitting end for the first modern film adaptation of The Man Of Tomorrow.
David Wagner is an author/musician who splits his time between Oakland, CA and Istanbul, Turkey.
David has published two novels, both available on his website, and as a fan of movies, comics, and genre television, he is happy to be working with WhatCulture as a regular contributor.