18 Years Ago in TIME

It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's Superman Returns, the new installment of the man of steel's big-screen story, out this week. Does he still stand for truth, justice and box-office brawn? At 50, SUPERMAN was soaring high

It was a heroic scenario: the explosion of the doomed planet Krypton, the miraculous escape of the infant son of a Kryptonian scientist, the discovery of the baby's spaceship by an elderly couple near the Midwestern town of Smallville. And the gradual revelations of the child's superhuman strength, the foster parents' exhortation that he "must use it to assist humanity," the youth's...

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