Tuesday, October 12, 2004

in the end, just a man...

I guess I'm getting to cynical...my first thought when I read the headline about Christopher Reeve's death was, "Oh man...right before the election? Kerry-types will have a rallying point on the stem-cell research issue." Second thought, "What're they gonna do on Smallville?"

Then it hit me, Reeve was dead. Superman, in a sense, was dead. Reeve's work taught me everything I knew about Superman for years to come. Watching him fly, made me want to. It made me think I could. I can remember the feeling of elation sitting there in the theater, watching him fly, watching him save the day (watching him do really stupid things with Richard Pryor...ick). Maybe my boys feel the same way when they see Toby Maguire swing across the screen (actually, I think I kinda feel that way), but I can't think of anything else on the Silver Screen that could get that kind of reaction from a kid.

And he owned the role. He was Superman. Dean Cain, John Haymes Newton, and Tom Welling couldn't do anything without being compared to him. The same will be true for whoever Bryan Singer gets for the role. (tho' he did seem to pass the baton to Welling in his work as Dr. Swann on Smallville)

Granted, that caused some problems for him as an actor...but, Somewhere in Time, Remains of the Day, and Speechless (to name a few) showed he could pull it off. And he seemed to be getting better parts before his accident. And then the way he kept going on, kept acting, directing, working for research...he seemed more super then than in the movies (for the moment ignoring the ethical problems with some of the solutions he championed).

You will be missed. You may not have had the powers (or the weakness to green glowing rocks), but you were in your own way, a hero.