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    Loathsome Characters Wiki

    Nuclear Man (Superman IV: The Quest for Peace)

    Nuclear Man
    "If you will not tell me, I will hurt people!"
    Gender: Male
    Type: Generic Doomsday Kryptonian Villain
    Age: TBA
    Species: Kryptonian
    Portrayed by: Mark Pillow
    Gene Hackman (voice)
    Status: Deceased
    Media of origin: Superman IV: The Quest for Peace
    First appearance: Superman IV: The Quest for Peace


    Nuclear Man is the secondary antagonist of Superman: IV: The Quest for Peace (which he was exclusive to that film instead originated from the Superman comics). He was created by Superman's archnemesis, Lex Luthor with the use of Superman's DNA. He is portrayed by Mark Pillow and is voiced by Gene Hackman.

    Why He's The Most Definitive Worst Generic Doomsday Villain Ever

    1. Nuclear Man, in this instance, was never in the comics in the first place and was made exclusively for the movie he first appeared in, as he feels like a generic plot device and feels nothing like a Superman villain.
    2. He often doesn't do much more than just act as a glorified henchman for Superman's archenemy, Lex Luthor (who created him from his archenemy’s DNA).
    3. The character is poorly written and has no personality other than just monotone and emotionless.
    4. Just like Ross and Vera Webster, the main antagonists from Superman III, he is never straight from the comics in the first place as mentioned in WHTWGDVI#1.
    5. He may not be from the comics, but he tries way too hard to take him seriously, instead, he tries way too hard to be goofy and a much more powerful threat to Superman (which previously was General Zod and his two subordinates from Superman II).
    6. His weakness itself is very pathetic and contradicts itself as while he is weak while isolated from the Sun, there are several scenes where he is indoors without the sunlight.
    7. He provides a lot of awful dialogue, such as "I am the father now!" and infamously, "If you will not tell, I will hurt people". A lot of his dialogue ties into the deleted scenes involving a failed prototype of Nuclear Man, making his dialogue in the end product just weird and nonsensical.
    8. He feels like a poor rip-off of one of Spider-Man's villains Electro, or a replacement for Superman villains, Parasite, and even Brainiac. Also, he even looks like an early rejected prototype version of a female Superman villain, Livewire, from the animated series of the same name.
    9. Also, his name is taken from Firestorm’s tagline, which that character came out the same year as the first Superman film.
    10. His costume design looks laughable and too goofy to be a parody as it came straight from those rejected WWF wrestling clothes, which could have worked well for WWF standards, and not for DC movie standards.
    11. He barely has any goal, besides attacking Superman and trying to kidnap Lacy Warfield, the latter of which he does just because he sees her on the cover of a magazine and finds her attractive (this again made more sense with the deleted scenes including proto-Nuclear Man, albeit not a whole lot more). This makes him aimless.
    12. Nuclear Man can easily be compared to the WFC Trilogy counterpart of Nemesis Prime. Both are generic doomsday villains and were created by another villain (Nuclear Man was created by Lex Luthor, and Nemesis was created by Unicron.), have their names consist of two words and start with the letter "n", and their defeats are quite bad. The only differences are that Nuclear Man is a Kryptonian organic and that Nemesis Prime is a Cybertronian Robot (while being a duplicate copy of Optimus Prime); the latter is also the future self of the protagonist while Nuclear Man isn't.
    13. His defeat is laughably horrible with Superman dropping him into the cooling tower of a nuclear plant, and this somehow destroys him.
    14. Even more laughable is how he originally defeated Superman. He scratched Superman's neck with his giant golden fingernails. No, really.
    15. In the comic adaptation of the movie, his other powers are still ridiculous as he transforms himself into a giant and also becomes a nuclear missile.

    Redeeming Qualities

    1. Mark Pillow did a fine job portraying him.
      • Gene Hackman does a good job voicing him.
    2. His fight with Superman can be enjoyable in a "so bad, it's good" kind of way.
    3. He was meant to be hated.

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