Man of Steel, the latest big-screen adaptation of Superman, looks to be one of summer 2013’s box-office hits, and it should certainly be the top performer when all is said and done following its weekend premiere starting June 14 (in the U.S.). But just in case you can’t get in to see Man of Steel, or if it gets you on a Superman kick and wanting to see more, here are some places on TV where you can watch other versions of the last son of Krypton airing over the next week or so. All times are ET.
Superman II (1980) — OuterMAX, June 10 at 9:45pm; ActionMAX, June 11 at 2:30pm; MovieMAX, June 12 at 9:45pm and June 16 at 11am; Cinemax, June 13 at 6:10pm. General Zod, the main antagonist for Kal-El in Man of Steel, fills the same role in this rousing Superman pic, in which Zod (Terence Stamp) and two other Kryptonian villains escape their Phantom Zone prison and make their way to Earth for an epic clash with the one being on our planet who can stop them. Unfortunately, Superman (Christopher Reeve) picked just this wrong time to give up his superpowers in order to become more human, all for the love of Lois Lane (Margot Kidder).
Superman III (1983) — OuterMAX, June 11 at 2:20pm; MovieMAX, June 12 at 11:55pm and June 16 at 1:10pm. The beginning of the end for the Christopher Reeve Superman franchise, with a forgettable plot and villains, and even a noticeable decline in the visual effects and music. However, the scenes where Superman gets exposed to a bit of bad Kryptonite and starts displaying his jerky side are pretty funny.
Superman Returns (2006) — FX, June 11 at 8pm & 11:30pm; and June 16 at 8pm & 11pm. Bryan Singer’s (X-Men) lovingly crafted epic is meant to pick up where 1980’s Superman II left off (wisely pretending that Superman III and Superman IV never happened). But it’s almost too loving in its reverence not only for the character of Superman, but for the first two Christopher Reeve-starring titles, even down to using bits and motifs from the original, classic John Williams musical score. It almost feels like a remake of the 1978 film. Even the plot (a Lex Luthor land scheme that would result in the deaths of millions) is pretty reminiscent of the first Reeve flick. While enjoyable, and a valiant effort at rebooting the character on the big screen, it’s also easy to see why the film led the studio to go back to the drawing board and eventually come back with what looks to be a grittier Man of Steel.
Superman (1978, pictured above) — Cinemax, June 13 at 3:45pm; ActionMAX, June 14 at 6am; MovieMAX, June 16 at 8:35am. Terrific performances, especially from a then-unknown Christopher Reeve as Clark Kent/Superman; Oscar-winning visual effects; a still hummable and heroic John Williams score; and a plot that at the time really gave new meaning to the phrase “This looks like a job for Superman!” (stopping a nuclear missile and repairing the San Andreas Fault); all combine to make this still the one to beat so far for Superman feature films.
MTV First: Man of Steel — MTV, June 13 at 7:56pm. Man of Steel stars Henry Cavill, Amy Adams and Michael Shannon, along with director Zack Snyder, will appear on MTV to premiere an exclusive clip from the film. After they introduce the clip, they will be online at MTV.com for a 30-minute sit-down interview with MTV News’ Josh Horowitz, and will take fan questions via Twitter (using @MTVNews/hashtag #MTVFirst #AskSuperman).
Superman: The Animated Series Marathon — The Hub, June 14 from 4pm-6:30pm. The Hub is airing five memorable episodes of this 1996-2000 series that featured Tim Daly as the voice of the Man of Steel. The first three episodes comprise the three-part series premiere, “The Last Son of Krypton,” which retells Superman’s origin story. This is followed by the two-part 1997 episode “Blasts From the Past,” which has a thematic similarity to the film Man of Steel in that Superman finds himself battling two Kryptonian foes — in this case, Jax-Ur and Mala.