The Truth Behind Superman II's Infamous Memory-Wipe Kiss

The infamous "super-kiss" at the end of Superman II actually has its roots in comic book mythos.

Superman II Amnesia Kiss
Warner Bros.

The 1980 blockbuster, Superman II, is considered a classic, even though it doesn't live up to its epic and critically-acclaimed predecessor, Superman: The Movie. This is largely due to the film's troubled production, during which director Richard Donner was fired due to a dispute with the producers, and replaced by Richard Lester, whose style was admittedly sillier than Donner's.

This style, coupled with the inconsistencies during production, led to many weird moments in the film, to say the least. For example, during the final battle in the Fortress of Solitude, Superman somehow conjures a cellophane version of his "S" symbol to throw at his opponents, and that same "S" fades out of existence seconds later

Superman II S
Warner Bros. Pictures

And then there's the much-ridiculed scene at the end of the film, the one that has seen so much derision from audiences and critics alike, wondering whether the screenwriters were out of their mind to include such a ludicrous moment. The moment in question is when Superman kisses the love of his life, Lois Lane, following a melodramatic monologue from her about the burden of his secret identity on her - and somehow that kiss manages to wipe her memory of the events of the film and of Superman's identity!


But, contrary to common belief - and unlike the magic cellophane "S" - this ridiculous power actually appeared in a Superman comic published seventeen years before the film, in the midst of the Silver Age.

The Silver Age was full of silly, campy stories and concepts, everything from Superman trying to burn Batman as a witch (World's Finest #186) to Superman being able to conjure mini-Supermans from thin air (Superman #125), so it's hardly surprising that the "Super-Kiss" also debuted during this period - more specifically, in Action Comics #306, dated November 1963. At the end of the story "The Great Superman Impersonation", the Man of Steel kisses Lois so fiercely that she ends up dizzy and faint.


Action Comics #306 – digital3ra

This laughable story was written by Robert Bernstein and pencilled by Al Plastino, and it's astonishing that of all the Silver Age wackiness to choose from, the screenwriters of Superman II only chose this particular power to put in the film. But fortunately, Superman II marked the last appearance of the "Super-Kiss", and hopefully it stays that way.

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