Well, it’s one thing to sneak an Easter Egg into the background of a panel as some artists want to do, but it’s a whole other when you base an entire story beat around a terrible character and/or a reviled movie such as Superman 4’s Nuclear Man.
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So when they first announced I was taking over Superman, @nickderington did a sketch of nuclear man from Superman 4: the quest for peace. people started challenging me to put him in my run. Challenge accepted!!! 🙂 This is by @ivanreisart and you’ll find it in superman issue two #superman #superman4thequestforpeace #dcnation #dccomics #bendisdcinstatakeover
Now, while the image does look cool, according to the post, Bendis claims “people,” challenged him to put the character in the comics and he’s taking to it like a spoonful of cinnamon or an ice bucket.
For fans too young to remember the awful Superman 4: Quest For Peace, The Nuclear man was a Solar Powered villain created by Lex Luthor using DNA gathered from a hair from Superman’s head (which he stole from a Museum). Superman goes on an anti-nuclear weapons kicks and tosses all the world’s missiles and war-heads into the sun, not knowing that one payload has Luthor’s DNA Clone project attached. Soon after, out pops the Nuclear Man, played by (no joke) a Chippendale’s Dancer named Mark Pillow, but voiced by Gene Hackman himself. As a character, he’s fond of saying, “Destroy Superman” and trying to do so with his super sharp nuclear nails and additional cheaply CGI electric powers. He might have succeeded, if not for his one weakness… shade. Not Darkness, just good ol’ fashioned umbrella or awning shade. See, The Nuclear Man needs constant DIRECT sunlight or else he curls up like a little paralyzed baby. So, he’s a villain with a very early bedtime. They built a whole movie around this baddie and it was garbage. And now, seemingly on a dare Bendis is bringing him into the comic book fold.
This isn’t technically his first Comic book appearance, as the movie itself was adapted into a comic, drawn by the legendary Curt Swan. But as that comic wasn’t Canon, Bendis would be making the Nuclear Man an official part of the DC Comic Universe. Wizard Magazine’s (anyone remember that?!) nominated him as one of their “10 Villains We’d Like to Forget.” That said, if anyone can turn this character into a bigger or joke or flip the script and make him great, it’s Bendis. His Superman run is killing it so far and I’m excited to see where all this goes.
If this is how Bendis is scraping up ideas for stories and villains, I’ve got the worst, most reviled, and hated Superman villain of all for him to incorporate… the rings from Superman’s Nintendo 64 game!!!!
Challenge Accepted, Bendis?!