Today would have been Christopher Reeve’s 69th Birthday. Here at SUPERMANIA, and similarly with Superman websites all across the globe, we honour his legacy by remembering him as a husband, father, actor, humanitarian and the actor who would forever personify the original comic book hero.
Over forty years since he set the standard by which all other comic-book based performances would be judged, his BAFTA-winning portrayal still resonates, his powerful influence still echoed in the many live-action interpretations produced since. For many fans though, his timeless combination of sincerity, physicality, compassion and overall righteousness have made Christopher Reeve virtually incomparable. The story of his casting is now as big a part of cinematic history as when Vivien Leigh was cast as Scarlett O’Hara as was his ascension to to Superstardom and ultimately, tragedy.
Such was the impact made on a generation that most refuse to consign his memory to history, instead honouring him through media for later generations to enjoy. One of the best recent examples is DC Comics Superman ’78, a six-part series with written by Robert Venditti and illustrated by Wilfredo Torres that perfectly echoes the Donnerverse by emulating the late Geoffrey Unsworth’s cinematography on paper accompanied by dialogue delivered in clear homage to writer Tom Mankewicz. At the centre, of course, is Reeve’s dual characterisation back in action again, delighting its core audience whilst appealing to the new. This, with new licensed merchandise appearing regularly ensures that the definitive Man of Steel remains at the forefront of popular culture and, through the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, a significant contribution to humanity left by a super man.
Rest in peace, ‘Toph…