“I look at Superman IV as the unmasking of Superman, with much more emphasis on the Kal-El, the being from Krypton.  It becomes clear in the film that both of his identities are a job – both Superman and Clark Kent are personae that he has to become for other people…”

To aid Christopher Reeve on his ambition to give Kal-El his own identity, costume designer John Bloomfield would select an understated casual wardrobe befitting a contemporary farmer for his Smallville homecoming in the opening scenes of Superman IV: The Quest For Peace.

Always trying to add new dimensions to the character, Reeve would pepper his story (to be adapted by Lawrence Konner and Mark Rosenthal) with subtle vignette’s expanding on the quote above by showing Kal-El just as ‘himself’ rather than his other assumed identities.  Whereas the comics would typically portray Clark Kent as permanently bespectacled whether ‘on duty’ or no, it was refreshing for audiences to see Superman’s transformation to ‘Everyman’ in very human (but ultimately deleted) scenes as visiting his adoptive parents graves (Top pic).

Today, that costume resides in the halls of The Super Museum in Metropolis, Il, where, it stands (seemingly unprotected) among hordes of other artefacts from the classic movies and beyond.  While it may not be the most memorable costume from the franchise, it does symbolise an advancement in the character that would be adapted in some form for every incarnation of the character going forward, most prevalently in Superman Returns years later…

Thanks to Jim Bowers of Capedwonder.com for the one-of-a-kind continuity Polaroid of Reeve in costume (Third pic – note his stand-in wearing an identical gilet).  To see more behind the scenes stills of this costume in action go here


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