Poster Postulation: Superman IV


Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987)

Superman IV poster


What the poster seems like the movie is about:

Superman has finally snapped and is going around to various missile silos and popping the corks on some nukes, while drugged-up Lois Lane, old-timey race car driver Lex Luthor, a high-class call girl, Jerry Seinfeld’s father, and an ’80s rent boy look on with disinterest.

What the movie is really about:

Superman wants to rid the world of nuclear weapons, so he gathers them up in a big net and hurls them at the sun. But Lex Luthor has somehow made like an embryo of Superman, and when the missiles explode it turns into Nuclear Man, who looks nothing like Superman even though he was made from Superman’s DNA. You know what, it’s pretty much indescribable.

Which is better?

We’ve already seen Superman lose his cool in Superman III, but it would be swell to see how Lex Luthor would fare against some of the best racers the Roaring ’20s had to offer.

Biggest problem with the poster?

Ok, I get that Superman wants to dispose of nuclear weapons, but he’s going about it the exact wrong way on the poster. Apparently he’s just rocketed through the missile silo, ripping the top off of one of the nukes with supersonic speed and making his point in style. However, he didn’t just break that missile in half: that’s the warhead he just knocked into the sky, and it’s plummeting back down to where all the other nuclear warheads are. There’s about to be a massive nuclear explosion with a force this planet has never seen. Everything within several dozen miles will be vaporized, and the fallout will be devastatingly widespread. Superman has just destroyed Nevada. And he’s not looking back.

Alternate titles:

  • Superman: The Day After
  • Man of Nukes
  • 43 Seconds to Doomsday
  • Why, Superman, Why?
  • Nuclear Man: The Motion Picture
  • Kal-Hell
  • Dr. Superlove: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb That is Superman IV

7 thoughts on “Poster Postulation: Superman IV

  1. Poster Postulation, eh? You know I can’t resist some good alliteration. Consider this my stamp of approval–even if I haven’t seen Superman IV. Or III. Or II. Or the first one.

    …I really need to watch the old Superman movies, don’t I?


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