It’s been about a week since I saw MAN OF STEEL. If you haven’t read my previous post on MAN OF STEEL, you should do so now.
SPOILERS! Don’t read any further if you haven’t seen MAN OF STEEL yet.
I still don’t like it, and I probably like it even less now. Maybe even hate it.
Then I read this article and got even angrier. First at Zach Snyder and David Goyer for having the idea, and then at Christopher Nolan for changing his mind and then signing off on it. And then at DC Comics for okaying it.
What the fuck? Why would DC do that? That’s the most brain-wrinkling thing about this mess.
While it’s true that less than a month ago I begged DC to take more chances with Superman, I had no idea they would do… That. The fact that they allowed Superman to kill someone in what is supposed to be his reintroduction to the world, or debutante ball, is astounding. (Okay, I only said that so I could post this drawing.)
For many people this will be their first experience with Superman, in any medium, and for Superman breaking Zod’s neck be the final moment of his first battle is troubling for the people who are fans of Superman. Who love him because of his code, because of what he stands for.
For the people for who MAN OF STEEL was their first Superman experience, I am sad for them. What they saw was a flawed and lost man. Superman is not flawed. His greatest weakness is not kryptonite. It’s his humanity.
Superman’s biggest flaw is that he can’t save everyone. But he sure as hell tries his damnedest to do so.
Superman didn’t try to save everyone in this movie. He defeated (read: killed) Zod and saved the world indirectly. That doesn’t make a great Superman story.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. The Superman in MAN OF STEEL was not Superman. He definitely wasn’t our Superman. The Superman I grew up loving.
Christopher Reeve had an amazing quote about Superman:
“It’s very hard for me to be silly about Superman, because I’ve seen firsthand how he actually transforms people’s lives. I have seen children dying of brain tumors who wanted as their last request to talk to me, and have gone to their graves with a peace brought on by knowing that their belief in this kind of character really matters. It’s not Superman the tongue-in-cheek cartoon character they’re connecting with; they’re connecting with something very basic: the ability to overcome obstacles, the ability to persevere, the ability to understand difficulty and to turn your back on it.” – Time, (March 14, 1988)
That’s the power of Superman. He is supposed to inspire us. Bring us hope. Superman is an inspiration.
MAN OF STEEL didn’t give us a Superman that could do that.
Jor-El said this in MAN OF STEEL:
“You will give the people of Earth an ideal to strive towards. They’ll race behind you, they will stumble. They will fall… But in time, they will join you in the sun. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders.”
We didn’t see that in MAN OF STEEL. Superman didn’t give us an ideal to strive towards. We didn’t stumble. We didn’t fall. Superman did.
For those of you who want to read a good Superman story check these books out: