An unabashed, unapologetic Superman fan and pop culture aficionado, Towers’ favorite movie is 1978’s Superman – the godfather of today’s super-hero movie phenomenon – starring the late Christopher Reeve as the titular character and his alter-ego Clark Kent.
“Superman was my earliest childhood memory and my favorite,” said Towers. “My parents took me to see it ahead of my 4th birthday in early 1979 and I was mesmerized.”
Towers, along with Caped Wonder Superman Podcast partner/co-host Jim Bowers, has organized a Christopher Reeve Legacy Reunion at May 13-15’s Comic Con. It features surviving actors from all four Reeve Superman movies: the aforementioned Superman, 1980’s Superman II, 1983’s Superman III, and 1987’s Superman IV: The Quest for Peace. Out of the seven reunion actors attending, the most prominent include Marc McClure (Jimmy Olsen), Sarah Douglas (Ursa), and Jack O’Halloran (Non).
“These films manage to spark childhood nostalgia and happiness for so many fans, so a reunion like this is just another way to reignite that inner childhood happiness,” said Towers.
Partnering with the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation
Initially, Towers and Bowers wanted to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Superman IV. Then they realized Superman IV was Reeve’s final appearance as Superman, which led to this reunion. In 1995, Reeve was paralyzed in a horseback-riding accident and became a tireless spinal cord injury research advocate. He died in 2004. Reeve’s wife/caregiver, Dana, died in 2006.
“It was also important for us to do something special in his memory. So, I reached out to my friends at the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation (which is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury) and asked if we could have an official partnership to fundraise for them. Motor City was generous enough to work with us and DC Comics to release a special variant cover of the new comic series Superman ’78 No. 1 (which occurs in the movie’s continuity), which will be available during Comic Con weekend. A donation will be made to the Reeve Foundation for every comic sold.”
Further, the Superman ’78 creative team of writer Robert Venditti and artist Wilfredo Torres will be present to sign copies. Towers will host the actors on FOX 2 Friday, May 13, before Comic Con begins later that day. This is the first time these seven actors will appear together, he stated. That night at 8 p.m., Superman IV will screen at Emagine Novi. Towers will also be a moderator for the Reeve Legacy Reunion Panel Saturday, May 14, at Comic Con.
The Definitive Man of Steel
For many, including Douglas and O’Halloran, Reeve is the definitive Superman.
“There’s no doubt he’s the definitive Superman. There’s no doubt about it at all. There’s a lot that’s been said about Christopher from different places. I certainly had the most wonderful experience with him,” said Douglas. “He was absolute perfection. He got it down brilliantly. He was very much like Clark Kent – that’s how he was to me. He was a regular, nice guy and very polite – ‘Yes, ma’am/No, ma’am’ – that sort of guy. I never got the feeling I was with Superman when I was around him.”
Added O’Halloran: “They can never replace him. (Superman director Richard Donner) brought something out of him that (Reeve) never did again. It was his first big picture. He listened to Donner, and Donner got quite a performance out of him as both Superman and Clark Kent that no one will touch. He had a great look, but he listened to Donner. Every other picture you see Chris in, he’s stiff or he’s this or that. He really flew under Donner.”
Both Douglas and O’Halloran are no strangers to Comic Con. This year is their third appearance.
“The fans are fantastic. They’re always good because we have a really good fanbase. For me, it’s always a pleasure,” said Douglas. “I did struggle with my image with Ursa… However, when I started going to conventions and saw the OUTPOURING of love people had for these characters, how it’s changed so many people’s lives, and how it’s meant so much to them, and how you affected them – (it’s) wonderful!”
Christopher Reeve Legacy Reunion actors
In addition to McClure, Douglas, and O’Halloran, the following actors will also appear:
Aaron Smolinksi (Baby Clark Kent in Superman)
Mark Pillow (Nuclear Man in Superman IV)
Mariel Hemingway (Lacy Warfield in Superman IV)
Damian McLawhorn (Jeremy in Superman IV)
Other notable actors appearing at Comic Con include:
William Shatner (Star Trek)
Christopher Eccleston (Doctor Who)
Alan Ritchson (Reacher, Smallville)
Alicia Silverstone (Clueless)
Katie Cassidy (Arrow, Taken)
Caity Lotz (Arrow, Mad Men)
Freddie Prinze, Jr. (I Know What You Did Last Summer, Scooby Doo)
Motor City Comic Con show info and prices:
Friday, May 13, from Noon to 7 p.m.
Saturday, May 14, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Sunday, May 15, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The price of tickets ranges from $10 to $259. Admission to the con does not cover the cost of parking, nor does it cover the cost of celebrity autographs. Visit https://motorcitycomiccon.com/ for the latest information.