Star Battles, Winter 1978


The Winter 1978 issue of Star Battles, a science fiction magazine published by Stories, Layouts & Press, Inc., featured a cover story on Superman The Movie and a pair of articles about Superman’s other film appearances. It is printed in black and white on newsprint, and includes additional features about Battlestar Galactica, Jane Seymour, Dawn of the Dead, Roger Corman, and others. There aren’t many ads inside.


Superman The Movie

What’s most interesting to me about this article isn’t specifically any fact about Superman The Movie, but the insight into fan thinking about the use of their heroes in popular media, which is a relevant topic even today. How do you get normal people to see a superhero film? In today’s world of The Avengers and Iron Man and a #1 CBS sitcom about nerds, it’s less of a problem, but back in the 1970s, behavior and attitudes about superhero and science fiction fandom were completely different. I’m also struck by the author’s virulent hatred of the 60s Batman TV show, which definitely swayed attitudes about superheroes for a long time (probably until the 1989 Batman movie). During that period, you couldn’t find an article about comics aimed at mainstream readers without the hackish “POW! ZAP! BAM!” introduction.

It’s a Serial, It’s a Series, It’s Superman

This article looks at the history of Superman on the silver screen, from the Kirk Alyn serials to George Reeves’ TV series Adventures of Superman.

Superman’s Animated Debut

Finally, this article focuses on Superman in animated form, mostly recapping the legendary Fleischer cartoons from the 1940s.

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