May 1, 2014

Superboy in West Hollywood

Seems like there's always a version of the Superman mythos on tv or in the theater.

One of the more obscure was Superboy (1988-92), a syndicated reboot that was, for obvious reasons, very popular in West Hollywood.

It sends the teenage Clark Kent to Schuster University (named after his creator), where he rooms with Daily Planet editor Perry White's son T. J. (James Calvert), moons over co-ed Lana Lang (Stacey Haiduk), and butts heads with villain-to-be Lex Luther (Sherman Howard).

23-year old stage actor John Haymes Newton was not quite as muscular as other Men of Steel, but he was handsome, and he could fill out a Superman costume better.

In fact, he's probably the biggest Superman of all time.

After the first season, Newton left the series.  He spent the 1990s capitalizing on his good looks and superlative physique, sometimes in missteps, such as the self-explanatory Desert Kickboxer (1992) and the tv schlock Models Inc (1994-95), but also in some blockbuster series like Melrose Place: he played Ryan McBride, younger brother of restaurant owner Kyle McBride (Rob Estes).

And in 2004-2005, he played the gay Jonathan Lithgow on Desperate Housewives.

Meanwhile, Superboy was retooled, becoming less gimmicky, more realistic, and the Boy of Steel was recast with bodybuilder and romance novel cover model Gerard Christopher.  Not as impressive beneath the belt, but considerably more muscular.

The series lasted another year before folding.

Since Superman, Christopher has done mostly soap operas.

No particular gay content in his work.  Boy Culture has an article about meeting him at a Hollywood Autograph Show, surrounded by gay fans asking him to sign revealing swimsuit photos.

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