Welcome to Issue 5 of ‘The Marvelous Da7e!’ Real quick mission statement: this column is for discussion of superhero movie news and superhero movies. Titular allegiance aside, this sphere includes non-Marvel properties. This week: I think the cinema has misused Superman as … Continue reading

Marvelous Da7e #5: Movies Have Gotten Superman Wrong Every Time

TheMarvelousDa7e5

Welcome to Issue 5 of ‘The Marvelous Da7e!’

Real quick mission statement: this column is for discussion of superhero movie news and superhero movies. Titular allegiance aside, this sphere includes non-Marvel properties.

This week: I think the cinema has misused Superman as a character and a podcast about functional design blows my mind and reveals the Man of Tomorrow.

Screen shot 2013-07-16 at 1.56.52 PM

Down in San Diego, our brethren unite to cover television, movies and comics. I can promise you full analysis of the superhero movies next week, but what’s the fun of calling shots when each new day could potentially bring new pictures of Jamie Foxx’s Blusferatu Electro make-up?

Instead, I think it’s time I face a new fear I’ve developed since the release of Zach Snyder’s Man of Steel: Maybe we’ve all been misusing Superman as a character in movies the whole time.

In a Twitter conversation with critic Todd Gilchrist, I stumbled across my own cognitive dissonance involving my relationship with Superman the iconic character and Superman as he had been portrayed in movies. I think this might be happening to a lot of us who turn out with reasonable hopes for Superman movies only to have this weird feeling during the credits that it all could have been better, somehow.

To me, Superman was never a compelling character to center a film on. Assuming that basic tenants of dramatics apply, it’s hard to change Superman and change is what makes a story a story. It’s why the Marvel Comics movie characters don’t have as hard a time with origin stories as the DC Universe characters do: Marvel characters get their powers in the realm of metaphor (scrawny teenager becomes Spider-Man, guy gets very serious anger issues from gamma radiation). But the two major DC Heroes were older than their Marvel counterparts and they also beat the other comics house to the silver screen, getting multiple films before Blade, X-Men and Spidey came around. In the early days of superhero cinema, there was no internet to make filmmakers feel responsible, so – in theory – they only had the restrictions of the movie to work around. To a certain degree, Richard Donner (‘78, Superman: The Movie) and Tim Burton (‘89, Batman) could shape the perception of these heroes, and to a great extent they did.

The choices that Richard Donner made in concocting Superman: The Movie were made out of concern for what was on the right side of that colon, not as an adaptation of what the character had been used for in the comics (though who could blame them after the Silver Age shifted the focus away from Supes himself and onto a colorful menagerie of Super-Stuff). “You will believe a man can fly” is a special effects promise, not a tagline to a plot. Superman: The Movie is fun. But it’s not a movie about Superman as he’s been represented in the American zeitgeist since his creation. When I tweet: “Superman is a movie about performances and flying and time travel.,” what I mean beyond a character limit is that Superman: The Movie is elevated by Christopher Reeves, Margot Kidder, Gene Hackman, flying special effects and a character-breaking plot twist that soils the story-universe because that’s what it takes to make God mourn at the climax of your movie. An all-powerful Superman is, fittingly, dramatic Kryptonite.

Franchise filmmaking being what it was, Superman II, III and IV provided diminishing returns as other creatives struggled to force Superman into something that could be used as a movie plot, but – because the comic book fan is capable of squaring continuities across multiple books, our natural inclination is to seek continuity in franchises as a manifestation of our fandom – all were doomed because they all were sequels to Donner’s movie about a guy who can turn back time literally without breaking a sweat. It was a mistake to do that as a storyteller, a mistake Tim Burton avoided in his Batman adaptation. Burton’s solution to distill what an iconic character is down to a digestible film was making The Joker responsible for Batman’s creation and Batman responsible for The Joker’s, so he’s avenging his parents and coming to terms with his own vigilantism. That, of course, is a comics continuity flub, but it didn’t matter at the time (and certainly doesn’t matter now). Continuity between sequels didn’t warrant much attention until Warner Brothers realized two things: You can’t recast Bruce Wayne film-to-film and you can’t trust Joel Schumacher with his idea of camp. Then, one-year after Christopher Nolan kicked-off our current era of character continuity, Bryan Singer inexplicably decided set Superman Returns as a Donner-sequel. Except this time he gave Jesus a son that Jesus abandoned, and we all remember the piano-destroying way that went down.

afdb2_the-evolution-of-the-man-of-tomorrow-by-brian-stelfreeze-570x429

Zach Snyder made a good Superman movie. Unlike Donner’s universe, this new one can exist with a very powerful, but not all-powerful Superman. He punches and flies, but he’s up against a villain that represents his past (Batman-like) and that is a real threat to him. Maybe the only threat to him. What I saw on screen jives with the character I associate with the icon. Man of Steel’s sin, in my eyes, is rebooting the Superman universe in a way that AGAIN had to shuffle around the cinematic version of the character’s non-action. In this case, David Goyer uses slight of hand flashbacks to distract us from the fact that adult Clark Kent has already made the decision to be humanity’s savior by the time we fade up on bearded Henry Cavill. The character actually makes his decision somewhere in-between Pa Kent’s death and when we catch up with him fully grown. Zod does force him to make himself known to humans, but that feels as cosmetic as him getting the suit, because we don’t see him struggle with it and we don’t get the idea that things have changed. He hid out in some job secretly saving people at the beginning of the movie and by the end he’s killed enough of Metropolis’ population to hide out in a reporter’s job and secretly save people. Once again, Superman causes a lot of problems for everything around him, but as a character remains unchanged.

But, says my inner self-loathing: Aren’t you being too harsh on a movie that delivered a version of Superman you recognized to the screen? Yeah, I might be, inner self-loathing. I used to say I’d just be happy if I could see Superman punch someone through a wall. That happens a lot in Man of Steel. But, inner self-loathing, you’re a fan of superhero movies. Movies that take superhero characters and mythology and explore them in compelling ways. I can’t, for instance, say I liked A Good Day To Die Hard because I’ve never seen John McClane jump through that much glass. I recognize it’s hard to live up to my expectations, but the movie doesn’t live up to the expectations it sets for itself (as many have pointed out, Superman doesn’t save a lot of people considering that seems to be his primary purpose, he ushers them into buildings he blows up seconds later), so we have a good Superman movie that is not in-itself a good movie*.

Now would be the time I would consider abandoning hope if this was a lesser franchise with a lesser character leading it, but this isn’t a lesser character: It’s Superman. If you know anything about his history, you know he was created by two Jewish kids to be the pinnacle of justice. He was adapted into a symbol for America and adds the spice of awesome to comics like Justice League and Frank Miller’s Dark Knight books. As someone who professes a deep love for this type of movie, do I even have a leg to stand on critically if I’m suggesting the archetypical American hero can’t be adapted into a satisfying film?

Glen Weldon, author of Superman: The Unauthorized Biography and one of the four amazing panelists on the Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast, made an appearance on another podcast called 99% Invisible. It’s on episode 82, called “The Man of Tomorrow” and what Weldon had to say totally changed my expectations for Superman as a cinematic character:

“The thing you have to understand about Superman is that he was never intended to be the character we identify with. He’s not a hero like Batman, he’s not a hero like Spider-Man who have foibles and psychological hangups that we can empathize with. He’s not the hero we identify with, he’s the hero we believe in, it’s different. He’s an inspiration, he’s supposed to be better than us. It’s right there in the name. He’s called Super Man for a reason.”

I feel it all comes down to flying versus leaping tall buildings in a single bound. Flying is something humanity can’t do without the aid of a machine. But we can jump. We can’t jump a tall building in a single bound, but it’s the same thing Captain America hinges on with the Super Soldier serum: before he was given the means to fight, Steve Rogers was one of us. Superman is also that example. He jumps higher, he punches harder, he’s bigger, more muscular he’s MORE. Strip away everything we’ve added to Superman through other media, like flying and Kryptonite and he’s STILL an American Jesus, but in a tangible way. He’s not God descending from the heavens and telling us to love each other, he’s a guy that represents the best possible qualities of a human. He doesn’t want to secretly save us like in Man of Steel, he wants to publicly save us and be the example we all strive for.

Give me, if you will, a paragraph to speculate: What if Man of Steel’s plot was actually about Lois Lane instead of a science fiction story about a dead planet’s last survivors? Like, actually making Amy Adams the central character who has to change by story’s end? The movie feints a few times in the beginning that it might be interested in this thought before delving into more Kevin Costner tells-the-audience-what-to-think flashbacks, but never commits to Amy Adams. What if the movie didn’t center on Clark, but on Lois? It would be an imperceptible switch as far as the plot is concerned and, in my mind, I’d rather focus on a Lois plot that builds to the kiss at the end and sacrificed Ghost Crowe on the Zod ship. Instead, Lois could be made better by example, or at least expand her view of the universe knowing gods walk among us.

My point being that Superman films would do better if Superman was a character on the periphery. Not cameo-level periphery, but…like: who thinks the first Transformers movie would have been better if there was no Shia LaBeouf/Bumblebee storyline and we just picked up from Optimus Prime falling to Earth? You may think that, but you’d be wrong (and overlooking the best contribution Steven Speilberg made to that series as a storyteller). The stuff that’s fun about Richard Donner’s Superman is the stuff that isn’t about Superman being alone dealing with things. It’s about Margot Kidder’s one-liners and facial expressions selling the flying date. It’s about Christopher Reeve making Clark and Supes so different. It’s about Gene Hackman chewing the scenery. It’s the helicopter rescue. None of those things necessitate Superman as the protagonist, so why do it?

If a protagonist has to change and forcing Superman to change (or, hell, even doubt) causes massive story problems, maybe the solution is to let Superman be an example again. Don’t try to make Jesus a flawed person, let him be the example, show us how he appears to the people that have to enact real change. Like a punching Ghandi or something, not a compelling lead but a colorful addition.

SO, WARNER BROTHERS: If you insist on making Man of Steel 2 Superman-centric, just put Batman in the movie and compare/contrast The Vigilante against The Ideal, then we’ll all see: he was just a Super Man all along.

*[Not a good movie. Any future revelations I may have about the character, Man of Steel doesn’t function by it’s own rules and therefore falls short. I’ve had great conversations with people about how Iron Man 3 is about using the power of thought to overcome physical and mental disability, because the movie can support that level of reading. Man of Steel just has the Clark = Jesus imagery  and - honestly - if Jesus didn’t die for everyone, what you’re left with is a guy telling us to love each other. Which is also to imply Jesus didn’t demolish most of a major city or make out with his disciples because it was the third act and something was supposed to happen. Man of Steel is more like a mood poem, but mood poems and fantasy-heavy science fiction are not two things easily mixed]

  • DON

    Batman as the main antagonist for the next movie!

  • Gus

    The dramatic structure you’re describing, with Lois as the character who undergoes a change and Superman acting as a catalyst for said change, sounds a lot like “The Shawshank Redemption.”

    In “Shawshank,” Morgan Freeman’s character changes in that he renews his faith in his ability to exist outside the institutional setting of the prison, inspired by the example set by Tim Robbins’s character. Robbins’s character, on the other hand, apparently changes by succumbing to the despair of prison life. By the end, of course, we realize that, for his entire incarceration, Robbins not only maintained his sense of hope, but has secretly been planning an elaborate escape. Robbins hasn’t “changed” at all, at least not in the sense Freeman has. Robbins has stood strong against being broken by prison life.

    Interesting concept for a Superman story. In fact, it’s perfect if you take Weldon’s view that Superman’s greatest ability is to inspire others. Lois acts as the audience surrogate, not Superman, and is inspired by Superman. I think it might work, as long as Superman isn’t reduced to a “cameo” character, as you say.

  • Checho Kiko

    Thanks bro. Saved me the trouble of seeing this. Had a bad vibe about it. One of the takeaways from Sharknado was never take yourself too seriously which was the beauty of Superman II.

  • http://da7e.com/ Da7e

    YES. Great example!

  • Ali

    Marvel movies are the most boring, forgettable superhero movies. The main problem with marvel is the villains are generic and quite honestly so are the superheroes. However Superman and Batman are just iconic. They have great villains. I think Man of Steel was fantastic and eagerly look forward to the next movie with Henry Cavill and I hope they retain the seriousness. Camp is lame, I am sick of the complaints of “where was the humor?” THE PLANET’S NATIVE POPULATION WAS ABOUT TO BE EXTERMINATED. Superman would have been an insensitive jerk if he was cracking jokes.

  • Jason

    Or the Marvel comic “Marvels”.

  • myclawismypenis

    Also tired of people complaining about the ending. Its as though no one read the superman comics which had him battle doomsday. He had no choice.

  • AlexiasLazar

    And he just killed Dr. Light in the comics…

  • Ditko

    The “You´ll believe a man can fly” tag wasn´t just refering to the FX. It meant you´ll believe a MAN can fly, because Superman was very human, more so than most humans are.

    (And now I´m thinking about that Rob Zombie song…but you get my point)

  • Blake Kelner

    My thoughts for Man of Steel 2. Have Superman realize the mistakes he made in Man of Steel. ****SPOILERS*** He should have saved his father, damn the consequences. Regret the disaster he, reluctantly at best and willingly at worst, caused by fighting in Metropolis. And regret killing General Zod.

    You have to have him vow to protect everyone he possibly can in the next film. How could he not have saved his father? How could he have protected the people of Metropolis better? How could he have stopped Zod without taking his life?

    I guess, I see the second as the payoff of all of the mistakes he made in the first film.

  • http://da7e.com/ Da7e

    More human than HU MAN. Now I’ve got that orgasm-laden intro stuck in my head.

  • http://da7e.com/ Da7e

    “Ah have eh confession, ‘ank. I only like zee Batman because he has zee best vill’ayns.” – La Tuer, Venture Bros, The Family That Slays Together Part II.

  • jamthemaj

    I thought that was the problem with Superman II. Go see Man of Steel. It’s excellent.

  • jamthemaj

    Very good example. I LOVED the film, and I loved Shawshank!

  • Tim

    Great article Dave. I always felt the only angst Superman should have is that he can’t save everyone. That was the whole point of the way Pa Kent died in the ’78 film. It gave him a sense of humility. I felt like they kept that in Superman II (esp the Donner cut) by having him fight the Kryptonians. They confront him with this limitation, and play on it during the battle in Metropolis. That humanity was completely lacking from the end of Man of Steel. Watching Henry Cavill punch Zod through a skyscraper looks cool, but Chris Reeve luring Zod away from the city to avert more destruction just makes more sense to the Superman character.

  • Darth Kaos

    Don’t you mean the mistakes the filmmakers made? The death of Pa Kent was weak…he could of saved him cuz at the end of the day everyone knows Clark is Superman (oh, oooops…unnamed guy who can fly). MOS was such a awful movie, and I’m glad more and more people are realizing it once the Nolan cum stains have dried up form their mouths. My wish is a total re-boot, start over…again. Keep Cavill and Snyder, recast everyone else…. and for god-sakes keep Nolan and Goyer away from it……..

    …ahhhh, but a man can dream.

  • cerebrum

    I was also severely disappointed with MOS. The story was a total let down after seeing that trailer. The film just felt unfinished… almost rushed, giving it a choppy vibe. Hopefully, the sequel will right the wrongs and give us the Superman movie we’ve been waiting for.

  • Steve Croft

    “The character actually makes his decision somewhere in-between Pa Kent’s death and when we catch up with him fully grown. Zod does force him to make himself known to humans, but that feels as cosmetic as him getting the suit, because we don’t see him struggle with it and we don’t get the idea that things have changed.”

    And how was that any different to the original Donner Superman movie? In that one, literally nothing happens to make him decide to be Superman? He just dons the tights, rescues Lois from a falling helicopter and BAM he’s Superman! At least in this, during his youth he is tested multiple times, has to learn to control his anger, vent it appropriately, he quests around the world, secretly helping people, deciding if he wants to be the man he could be. It builds up to being who he can be? I’m sorry but MoS handled this FAR more eloquently than Donners movie ever did. The ‘somewhere between Pa Kents death and Zod’ spanned fifteen years or so, so it’s not like it was a flash moment?

  • fernando

    He still was an insensitive jerk that preffered to save 4 stupid people and break a guys neck after basically 9/11 x10000000 metropolis.

  • The Usual Suspect

    Which is entirel your opinion brother Ali. I found Man of Steel to be completely overrated and forgettable, the only thing I remember about the movie is the pounding headache I had when it was over.
    You saw a memorable villain in Zod? All I saw was Dwight Schrute’s angry dad.

  • The Usual Suspect

    Exactly, everyone seemed to have blown their load once they saw Nolan’s name attached to the project.
    Now onto what Da7e wrote…the reason no Superman movie has ever been good? The character is flawed and in my opinion the most unoriginal superhero there is. It’s like a child created him and gave him every power they could think of…and then decided a green rock would be his ultimate downfall and weakness. Yeah, good stuff.
    But I loved Cavill as Superman, which was one of the very few good things about the movie. The dude definitely commands attention when on screen, just sucks that he got stuck playing a lame-o character.

  • Dan Riedel

    Ok folks… let’s be real about things:

    This is post-911. The instant the world engine started smashing things, people would’ve evacuated any tall buildings. So the fight between Zod and Supes at the end took place in an abandoned city.

    Or did you guys forget that Superman approached a defeated Zod in a plot of rubble that stretched a good 3-mile radius?

  • jamthemaj

    Sigh… except that in the comics and the animated series and many of the animated movies, Superman punches bad guys through buildings. But heaven forbid they do that in a live-action film! If Supes had left Metropolis, Zod would have slaughtered the entire city. It’s corny to think that he just would’ve followed him. He wanted to make Kal suffer.

  • jamthemaj

    It was more like a 1 to 1.5 mile radius, but I agree. Superman didn’t kill anybody, and it certainly wasn’t his fault that Zod decimated part of the city. He was doing his best to stop it by destroying the world engine.

  • jamthemaj

    First, I want to admit that I did enjoy your article; it was a good read, though I disagree with many of your statements. And that’s ok! Different strokes for different folks!

    I absolutely loved Man of Steel; I saw it three times. The movie was epic, emotionally resonant and complex. Superman is not my favorite comic character (that title belongs to Batman), but he is one of my favorites. I used to read the comics; I loved the movies when I was little, even III and IV. I didn’t know better! Haha and I loved the animated series. Most of the newer animated movies are good, as well. Hell, I mostly enjoyed Superman Returns, even though they made a lot of mistakes.

    For me, Man of Steel was a masterpiece, and Snyder and crew nailed every aspect of the character. They got his essence absolutely right, and it was the Superman movie that I always believed could be made. The cast was perfect, especially Cavill as Supes. The look of the movie was gorgeous, and Hans Zimmer’s score is his best in years. I’ve listened to it several times. I’m a huge film score lover though, so that’s normal dorkiness for me. :)

    Man of Steel was set in the real world, a post-9/11 world, and if Superman were real, I expect people and the government would react exactly as presented, if not worse. Of course, Superman is not realistic at all, but they grounded the movie in realism as much as possilbe, which I thought worked extremely well. People are so paranoid now, and they captured that in the film.

    I love the fact that they made Clark/Superman relatable; I cared for the character more than I ever have before. I loved that once Kal gets to Earth, it jumps to him being an adult. The flashbacks worked extremely well, giving us enough of young Clark to get to know the character. Costner was amazing as Jonathan, and his scenes were very emotional. I LOVED the way they portrayed his death. Clark loved his father, and because of that love, he trusted and obeyed him. And Jonathan loved his son; he sacrificed himself to protect his son. That scene put a lump in my throat, and honestly, it made me miss my own dad (he loved Superman).

    Superman did NOT kill any civilians. That is a ridiculous statement. Like someone else commented on here already, this was a post 9/11 world; it’s safe to assume many buildings were evacuated before the final fight. Now, it is NOT Superman’s fault that Zod’s world engine killed anyone. He couldn’t have known what it would do, and he did what he could to stop it… and then he stopped it. Now, as he and Zod were fighting, Superman didn’t demolish any buildings, and everytime he went through a building, it was due to Zod punching him, not the other way around. That’s physics people! And while we’re at it, most of the city was not destroyed. In fact, MOST of the city was just fine. Only a small cluster of buildings was destroyed by the engine. That’s a few blocks, maybe a mile radius. Superman punches villains though buildings and vice versa all the time in the comics and animated incarnations, so why do so many people pitch a fit when it happens in live-action?! Makes no sense to me. Oh, and to people that say Superman should have lured Zod away. Oh please! Zod wanted to make Supes suffer by slaughtering humanity, plus he was a much more adept warrior. That wouldn’t have worked at all. As much as some of you love Superman II, that’s corny and unrealistic.

    Some people say that Man of Steel was too dark and took itself too seriously; it lacked heart, humor and inspiration. I couldn’t disagree more. During all 3 viewings, I felt like a giddy little kid again. I felt inspired, and I left the theater feeling uplifted. The kid in me wanted to be a superhero again. Superman made some impossible choices, but he is the Superman of the comics, through and through. He wasn’t dark at all… he was inherently good and spent his life helping and saving others while trying to find his place in the world. Then he becomes Superman and saves the world, sacrificing his Kryptonian heritage for humanity in the process. The Dark Knight proved that comic book films can be deep and taken seriously. I hope WB continues that trend. For people that want light-hearted, action/comedy kiddy fluff, we have the Marvel flicks (which I love too, btw). I loved Man of Steel, and I cannot wait for what’s to come. Sorry this was so long!!! I really didn’t intend it. I’m a dork sometimes, what can I say?! :)

  • jamthemaj

    Disagreed! :D

  • jamthemaj

    He saved the world by destroying the very machine that was destroying Metropolis.

  • jamthemaj

    I love the Marvel flicks, but I agree that Man of Steel and the TDK trilogy trumps everythig they’ve put out. I love that the movies are taken seriously. The light-hearted stuff is good, but I prefer the deeper stuff. Camp doesn’t belong in DC’s flicks! I don’t want all comic book films to be the same!

  • jamthemaj

    Agreed!!!!

  • myclawismypenis

    YEP!!!!

  • myclawismypenis

    Did anyone complain this much about avengers when they were fighting in the city?? How lame!!

  • myclawismypenis

    Send a bill to the avengers as well.

  • jamthemaj

    Super lame!!!!

  • fernando

    Sure, S.H.I.E.LD or Tony would pay for collateral damage after saving people (You now evacuation and all that stuff)

    How many journalist Paychecks that work because they want to keep save their identity and not because they like their job does it take to build a city from basicaly scratch and conmemorate all the people that die?

  • Dan Riedel

    ^ Thank you! Glad I’m not the only one!

    Although, I did think Pa Kent’s death shouldve happened when the truck was thrown at him. It wouldve been more believable, and got people to jump out their seats (read:action)…because he couldve laid in the ditch to avoid the twister.

  • jamthemaj

    Yeah, maybe he could’ve, but at the same time, it was a pretty freakin big twister. I don’t know that laying in a ditch would’ve helped any. His ankle or foot was broken as well, so he couldn’t have gotten there easily anyway, other than crawling. We’ll never know! haha

  • Dan Riedel

    Pa could’ve FELL DOWN and been in the ditch – he was seriously THAT close!!! It was right next to the road.

    It would’ve been his only shot – but that doesn’t mean that he wouldn’t have been smashed by a tossed automobile. But that’s the risk he’d have to take… and it’s better than waving bye, lol.

    But yea, people have to stop knocking this film. And I thought Zod’s death was fitting, but it could’ve been more dramatic, ala Superman III:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=yL12bbRPUz4#t=305s

    Watching the lights slowly dim for Zod, literally, would’ve been awesome.

  • jamthemaj

    Totally agreed, I loved Zod’s death and Supe’s pain after the deed.
    But seeing the lights slowly dim, that would’ve been haunting and totally awesome.

  • Greg Springer

    Honestly, I thought it was the Green Lantern Corp who had a thing against the color yellow. Not Kryptonians…

  • perc2100

    A Superman movie where Superman is not the focus. Maybe it’s because my brain is already fried from the last three days of attending Comic-Con, but I think that might be not only a pretty interesting angle, but also the best one at this point. The one thing I kind of dug about SUPERMAN RETURNS is that Superman’s evolution was also mirrored by Metropolis’ people: going from a “we don’t really need Superman anymore” mentality to “we NEED and love Superman” (I might be remembering that wrong and giving that film more credit than it’s worth: I honestly don’t remember it much and haven’t thought about it much since it’s theatrical run). It would be interesting to see a radical change of formula to a Superman film: not just to be ‘different’ but because it might be the most feasible move.

  • Cedhollywood

    I’ll make this simple,why was MOS a awful movie? Better question is what was sooooo good about it? I mean really what did anyone see that made you call up someone and say man I just saw something I never saw in a superhero movie before. Or I just saw a outstanding character performance(s) that I never saw before. Or even a man they really took that story of superman that i grew up with and flipped it on its head where its a totally new and fresh story. This character has been around for 75 years. Countless of comics,radio shows,tv shows and movies have told thousands of stories about superman. Point is that MOS the movie didn’t bring anything new or different that hasn’t been in someway been done before. Is it a good action movie of people smacking each other around and big explosions with a destruction of a mostly “vacant” city,I guess. But if I want to see a senseless movie of CGI effects then I’ll go see a Michael Bay movie. But as I stated earlier for a character that’s been around a lot longer and with thousands of comic stories to draw inspiration from and dozens of tv shows and a couple of movies to see what worked and what didn’t,yeah I expected more and was highly disappointed.

  • Shallbecomeabat

    IF you would actually read modern Superman comics, you would see that Man of Steel is an almost perfect representation of Superman. All haters haven’t read a comic in ages, or are stuck in nostalgia land. It is really that easy.

  • Daniel Patrick Roche

    The idea that a nearly omnipotent hero cannot be dramatically interesting is just wrong. The dramatic stakes for that kind of hero are easily found in the fact that he can anything, but not everything. (Donner’s use of Pa Kent’s death in the original film very artfully explored that idea.) What kind of toll would it take if, say, a fully loaded passenger jet were crashing at the same time as a volcano erupted near a populated village and you COULD and HAD TO make the choice of who lived and who died? That kind of dilemma shows why you can make a hero who is “too powerful” and “too good” interesting without compromising either quality of the character. You just need a writer better than David Goyer to do it.

  • Onechi

    I can’t understand this need for a romantic comedy from superman. The dude is an alien God. Center the story around Lois? Wtf? Who writes this shit?

  • The Dude Abides

    That’s because a whole segment of that battle was about the Avengers containing the damage to a certain segment of the city and distracting the aliens from killing people while they escaped. Or was that too subtle for you?

  • Daoofgeek

    But how effective do you really think that was when entire buildings were demolished just as much, if not more so, than in Man of Steel?

  • Daoofgeek

    I really don’t think you get it (not trying to be a smart ass or anything) but those 4 people were a symbol of ALL of humanity. It was that moment where he knew that Zod was indeed hellbent on killing everyone, not just that family.

    This is the thing, a hero’s job isn’t just about doing what’s right, it also entails the idea that sometimes, for the greater good, you have to be willing to sacrifice that which you hold most dear. I agree it’s a very slippery slope though I argue that Man of Steel portrayed it as well as any movie I’ve seen.

  • Daoofgeek

    Thank you! You pretty much summed up my entire attitude towards Man of Steel (I saw it thrice as well :)

    I dont think people realize that Zod was a BORN soldier, used to fighting. The one advantage Superman has was that he was used to his powers. If he’d given Zod more time, it’s HIGHLY unlikely that such a green Superman would not have come out victorious.

  • SubSumeYou

    Bah.

  • fernando

    Well if you think that four people represent humanity more than a whole city of people.

    You sir, are the one not getting it.

  • Daoofgeek

    1) Oftentimes the micro is more effective than the macro in many situations. What is your suggestion regarding how he should have fought Zod, a trained fighter who was starting to grasp the totality of his powers and, given time, would have wiped the floor with a very new to this type of fight Kal-el?

    2) Remember that little machine that was tasked with terraforming earth? It’s safe to say a lot of people got out of the buildings during the time it started its gravity ‘bombing’ and Superman flew to the other side of the world to destroy the World Engine. And call it what you want, but there was not a single person in any of the buildings that were destroyed.

    3) Are you suggesting he should be at the beck and call of the military? If yes, fine; of course, then he wouldn’t be Superman then. Sure, he’ll work with them but he’s not a government sanctioned hero like the Avengers.

    4) Based on a lot of the backlash re: killing Zod, my comment about sacrifice for the greater good was killing Zod who just happened to be his last living connection to his home world. You have to understand how big a sacrifice that had to be.

    To be honest, I get by your comments you are stuck on lambasting what you obviously thought was a bad movie so I won’t waste any more time on this, which is a shame because I do like differing views to contest.

  • fernando

    You like them so much i can see.

  • Pingback: Marvelous Da7e #7: Jamie Foxx And Spawn | Latino-Review.comLatino-Review.com

  • Pingback: Marvelous Da7e #7: Jamie Foxx And Spawn

  • LJ

    How can the original superhero also be the most unoriginal superhero?

  • sircadlab

    Yes he sucks both in the comics and movies now.

  • Ronin

    Strong argument. But the Transformers comment nearly killed it.

  • http://www.arrby.wordpress.com/ Arby

    What on earth are you going on about? The Superman movies are making me give up on Superman. It’s bad enough (and it will never change) that he flies like a missile (and you even have to stand back when he launches, but only sometimes.) He flies like a missile doing ballet! And he ‘sometimes’ leaves a chem trail! They’re having fun at our expense. What’s next? Will he wear lipstick? As for his loyalty to the fascist American state and it’s murderous leaders, Rather than tweak ‘that’ out, the favored Hollywood/ Pentagon producers and directors are embracing it. I’m done with the 1 percent’s hitman, James Bond (and used to love him). I’m all but done with Supes. Batman, of the 1%, isn’t working for me either.

    Where’s the superhero who will rescue us from Hollywood/ Pentagon and all the fools who think that that’s a good thing?

  • Ed

    You lost me at “He should be a peripheral”

  • ERAYNA

    Just going with what has happened in the recent movies, it almost feels like a Bizarro world. In Nolan’s Batman, the Joker poses the question, what happens when an unstoppable force meets and immovable object. Strangely, enough, the question is answered in Man Of Steel. I lived and breathed DC comics in my elementary years. I tried to block out all of that and enjoy MOS with fresh eyes. I truly enjoyed it, felt it was one of the top 5 comic book movies of all time – TDK, IM, TDKR, Avengers being the others. BUT I was personally disappointed when he killed Zod. I don’t need anyone to rehash to me why he did it – I understand. I just didn’t like it. At that moment, I felt betrayed and disappointed. I am just referring to what actually happpened, kudos to the director and writer for putting in what I feel was a major plot twist and I truly didn’t see it coming. At that instant, Supes and Batman changed places in my mind. I wouldn’t have thought twice about Bales’ Batman killing someone. Go back to Batman Begins and he spares 2 lives midway through the movie – the hooded criminal captured by the League and R’as Al Ghul – he could have let him fall off the cliff. Supes is the one instead who takes a life. And again I get why, I just don’t like it. So, all of that to say, MOS2 will be anti-climatic because, among other things, what moral ground will Supes have to question Batman – ever? That Batman’s methods are excessive, that he goes too far.