Generally considered the high point of the series, partly because it allows Christopher Reeve to humanize the Man of Steel a bit. This is the one, after all, in which Superman briefly abandons his powers to win the love of Lois Lane (Margot Kidder) and subsequently learns the humiliating taste of his own blood. His superior strength – and the rest of his superpower package – are sorely missed, however, with the threat of three black-clad super villains from Clark’s home planet (Terence Stamp, Sarah Douglas and Jack O’Halloran). Gene Hackman returns as Lex Luthor, but it’s Stamp who distinguishes Superman II. He’s a real threat while also a source of deadpan humor (“I like the globe that flashes red like our sun, but not the irritating noise,” he says of a police cruiser). Richard Donner, director of the original Superman, did some of the work here, with Richard Lester completing the project. All told, a sequel that retains the gee-whiz geniality of the original while still going in interesting new directions.