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Off My Mind: Why 'Man of Steel' Wasn't a Superman Movie

There was a lot to love in the movie but sadly it fell short in big ways. Note: there will be spoilers.

Man of Steel hit theaters this past weekend like Superman punching through a brick wall. It was a spectacular movie with great visuals and some truly touching scenes. Yet the movie didn't seem to be the Superman movie some wanted.

Let's be up front and clear on this. This is strictly my opinion. You've already seen Gregg's Comic Vine review for the movie. We even debated some of the things we did and didn't like over email. We are all entitled to different opinions. I am not knocking the creative process of this movie. It just didn't really feel like a "Superman movie."

Let's also note there will be spoilers for the movie.

Who is Superman supposed to be? He is a hero we can all look up to. Some of those that complain about him refer to him as the "Big Blue Boy Scout." He's the hero that can do no wrong. And as mentioned in this movie and comics, he's supposed to be a symbol of HOPE.

In a day where many young kids aren't too familiar with Superman (there isn't an ongoing show and the title of the movie and trailers make no mention of his name). This could have been a huge leap in connecting with new fans of all ages. Perhaps it still can and will. The problem is a huge part of who Superman is supposed to be was altered in big ways.

The movie did have some great moments. We got to see the struggle of young Clark trying to fit in and showing restraint against the bullies of the world. Kevin Costner did a superb job as Pa Kent, doing everything he could to protect his "son." There were many scenes filled with emotion and it looked like we were getting the Superman movie we've been waiting for these past several years.

Even thought this was nearly two and a half hours, there were parts that felt rushed. Lois Lane managed to easily uncover Clark's trail that must have covered years of his life. Yes, she is one of the greatest reporters around but, in the movie, it felt like she had no difficulty in tracking down this mysterious super-man to the Kent Farm. Clark may have grown up on a farm but he did manage to wiggle his way as part of the crew in a top secret government research center. The passing of time also flew by when Clark finally discovered who he was and quickly put on the suit. But these are things I could easily overlook.

Once we see Superman in costume, he seemed to not possess that need to put all others above himself. Yes, I know he makes a sacrifice at the end, we'll get to that in a moment. Whether it was Pa's words of wisdom in putting himself first, Clark seemed to struggle back and forth with the notion. He did give himself up to Zod in order to save the entire planet. Unfortunately when the attack against his mother occurred, he made no effort to try to remove the fight to a safer location. Downtown Smallville had to fend for themselves. He did manage to get Zod away from the farm but also left the other Kryptonians there with Ma.

Superman made no effort to try to protect the innocent townspeople of Smallville. During the big showdown in Metropolis, the same could be said but on a massively larger scale. Did most residents in Metropolis manage to evacuate before the buildings started to topple? Again, Superman made no effort to try to move the fight elsewhere. Granted, up against others with the same level of power, it wouldn't be the easiest thing. Even in the aftermath when it appeared Zod was defeated, Superman just stood there while thousands were likely trapped under rubble. "Hey Lois, how you doing?"

Again, even this could be overlooked. He was still a "new" hero. He may not have been as heroic as we expect Superman to be but he did push himself as far as he could. He did overall save the day. The fact that many innocents were harmed probably was meant to give the movie a bigger feel. It made the danger more severe.

Then there was that final scene with Zod. Why didn't the movie simply end with Zod pouting in the ravaged destruction of Metropolis? Instead, Superman does the one thing he's not supposed to do. He kills Zod.

You could call this heroic. He gave up his personal moral (that we assume he had) and ended one life in order to save others. He showed an extreme level of remorse and you could utterly feel his pain. The scene was simply completely unnecessary. I'm not a prude. I'm not old fashioned. I just don't see why we have to have a movie, one that introduces Superman to a new crowd, where the hero has no choice but to kill.

Isn't Superman supposed to be better than us?

Why is Hollywood determined to have the villains die at the end? Norman Osborn in Spider-Man, Doc Ock in Spider-Man 2, Two-Face, Ra's al Ghul, etc in the recent Batman movies. I understand this was a PG-13 movie but Superman doesn't kill in the comics. Lois also doesn't say "dick" and so on. Is killing and profanity the only way to appeal to the average movie-goer?

I am aware that Superman has killed before. He did kill Zod before, a Zod from a "pocket dimension" (in SUPERMAN #22 in 1988). He was so filled with remorse and questioned his place. This lead to Superman exiling himself into space.

Superman shouldn't have to kill. In the scene in question in the movie, maybe he didn't have another way. That's debatable. Perhaps it would take careful scrutiny and a repeated viewing. Could he have blocked the heat vision with his hand? Could Superman have found the strength to overpower Zod, just as he managed to overpower that gravity machine? Maybe Superman was just really tired, right?

I wouldn't go so far as to say it was a horrible movie. I did enjoy moments of it. Am I too close to the character since a Spanish Superman/Flash comic was the first comic I ever saw or because I used to have a Superman MEGO that I played with until his leg fell off or because I have a tattoo with Kryptonian writing? There should always be another solution. And the filmmakers could have come up with another angle/ending.

Man of Steel may have been a good movie. It just wasn't the Superman movie I was hoping for.

692 Comments
Posted by darkrider

you said it before tony comicbook movies are not for comic book fans as for why the villain die because americans wants the bad guy dies at the end to feel good

Posted by Vulshock

Your thoughts about the movies negative sides are the same as mine. But I ended up thinking that he didn't try to save that many people because of inexperience. in Metropolis there wasn't any time. I think he made the decision to destroy the machine because if he failed Earth would be doomed.
I do agree that super hero movies tend to kill too many of the villains but on the other hand they haven't killed Loki but I still think he has had to many appearances in the Marvel movies.
My biggest concern about this movie is the shared universe they want to make. Metropolis looks like it has been hit by a WMD in the first movie. Secondly how are they going to make a shared threat? How can they make a movie where Batman can help Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash or Green Lantern?

Posted by Johnni_Kun
Edited by JHorton10

@superpenguin:

The Movie had no flaws you douche, this film was exceptional

Posted by SuperPenguin

@jhorton10 I mean flaws like a hotdog van driving down a road while a huge fight was taking place

Posted by Mister_Sensational
  1. I mean really @g_man you were bothered by how they didn't go in depth about how Lois discovered who Clark was? I mean did you want to see a Superman movie or a film about the process of what an investigative journalist goes through? LOL
  2. You said you were bothered by Clark's lack of concern for the collateral damage he was causing, won't disagree with you there, but seeing as how the sequel has already been green-lit, assuming they picked up right where this one left off, imagine a new downtown Metropolis being built by none other than Lex Luthor! We already saw the Lexcorp building in the background so we know he exist and it'll be a perfect way to introduce him and we can finally get that rich, arrogant, businessman Luthor who will immediately have a sense of entitlement because he is helping the city of Metropolis recover from the Kryptonian invasion, which Luthor will see as Superman's fault of course, and because of this and the fact that despite the fact that he is rebuilding the city the people seem only obsessed with the new phenomenon that is "Superman."
  3. Now as to your point about Clark killing Zod... I also struggled with this at first but then I began to look at it this way, what if in this new take on the Superman tale it is this one death that forces him to adopt his "I shall never take a life" mentality simply because of the emotional toll taking this one life, however justified, had on him?

@teerack said:

Then I guess the Nolan Batmans aren't Batman movies.

Great point because in everyone of those films one of his villains died either by his actions or inaction. Of course in Begins it was Ra's al Ghul, in Dark Knight it was Two-Face, and in Rises it was Talia al Ghul.

Posted by theTimeStreamer

@jhorton10: watch it bub. no insulting each other.

Posted by Decoy Elite

Eh, the movie was more about Clark becoming Superman rather than being Superman.

At least that's how I take it, given how they barely even call him Superman throughout the film.

Edited by viin

I believe that the death of zod was a good choice...I think its gonna be something that will carry on into the next movie...everyone is expecting Lex Luthor so it would seem like a good plot would be the choice of hero or villain. Lex feels like he is doing things for the greater good in many ways and wants superman to be seen as a villain.

Posted by Shazam78

Hey Zod said it himself it would only end when one of them was dead. Supes did struggle with decision to kill Zod and when he did it's not like put his hands on hips and started smiling. Nope he broke down emotionally. As for Lois finding him by tracking leads that's what she does.

Edited by millennium

its a origin movie just because its a more" realist version" of superman now we get a "this isnt a real superman" article come on besides theirs a good chance you'll get your i dont kill and i save everyone because im god superman in the next movie (me personally i dont wont to see that superman in the movies i liked the realistic one) and why didnt this type of article only come out for superman why not for iron man 3 or i dont know the avengers i didnt see this article out last year for that movie and they did the same thing if not more so than in the superman movie dont go criticizing one company and not the other it makes you look very unprofessionally as a journalism site

Posted by neale7

I swear people just nit pick at movies for the sake of it. Comic fans seem to be the worst for it though. I used to do it myself, but can't be bothered now. I enjoy a film for what it is.


I don't see how people are coming up with stuff.


It was 3 against one, and the villains were as strong as Supes, how is he supposed to move a battle somewhere when that’s where the villains are attacking. It was shown a few times during the attack with Faora and the other big guy. Supes tried to fly off during an opening while he was getting beat up, but the big guy grabbed his leg and smashed him back down. These are powerful villains.

Yeah there was a lot of destruction, but it’s going to happen when dealing with characters with that amount of power. You can't help where you land or what building you go through after taking a super punch from Zod. I can understand that superman was smashing him through buildings too, but he was just trying to stop Zod.

I can't really imagine Supes asking Zod and his crew to hang back on the destruction of the world, while he tries to help others in need, or during the final battle, when their smashing through metropolis. It’s not going to happen. If Supes turns his back on Zod to try and help others, he's going to get smashed by Zod, and the civilians probably killed. Or Zod is going to fly off and cause more damage. Superman can’t be everywhere at once. Especially when dealing with the threat that he had.

There was a ton of destruction in the Avengers; no one seemed to pick on that.


Pa Kent was looking out for his son. He didn't say Clark should have let them drown, he said maybe, he wasn't sure himself. Pa Kent didn't want his little boy taken away by the government and have experiments done on him. He was a parent doing what he thought was right to keep his son safe.


The killing didn't bother me one bit. Supes was struggling holding Zod down. He had to do it; I really don't see how he could not.

People have pointed out that he’s killed before. Also during the Doomsday story, didn’t Superman leave a young lad to burn in a house fire because he was hot on Doomsday’s trail and didn’t want to risk losing him? He could hear the kid’s screams, and calling him, but he just had to blank it out. The kid had a red hat, jeans and a green shirt on. It was when Doomsday still had one arm behind his back.

I thought the film was excellent. One of my favourite superherofilms ever.

Posted by ekrolo

I think this is the reason why the film is getting a lot of mixed reviews, it has a lot of pulpy sci-fi influences in it and its a drastically different interpretation of the character, for a guy like me who dislikes almost every version of Superman, I can say without a doubt this is my definitive version of the character.

Edited by Immortal777

I really enjoyed the movie and will be buying the movie when it comes to out on dvd. I didn't like the destruction but Superman was only Superman for what that day he's a newbie cut him some slack. Superman killing I wasn't surprised because after Zod saying one of them had to die it was obvious it was going to happen but I did cringe at the sight of it.

Posted by bloggerboy

@bloggerboy said:
@ultimatesmfan said:

@teerack said:

Then I guess the Nolan Batmans aren't Batman movies.

^basically......the aim of this movie was that they wanted it grounded in reality. If we got Comic Superman,we would have loved it but the mainstream audience wouldn't take to it like us.

Because the mainstream audience hated The Avengers...

No, but for some reason they hate Superman( Too Good, Too Powerful, Not Relatable) and plus the Avengers kill all the time,atleast thats how they portray it in the movies,their "Morale" is nothing compared to Superman's

Good points and hearing stories about people applauding when Superman does kill Zod does paint a picture that times are a changin'.

On The Avengers though. You gotta remember that Marvel and it's heroes are different from DC. DC Comics is about pantheons where as Marvel Comics is about realistic or at least relatable heroes. Sure these two do mix and match from time to time. Marvel heroes would look up to DC heroes is what I'm saying.

Now if this sounds like a bs explanation then let's put it this way. Captain America is a soldier who fought in in WWII. He is expected to kill, that was he was bread to do. Hawkeye and Black Widow are government agents with martial arts skills and long range weapons intent to inflict mortal wounds. Iron Man was a weapons dealer with a nickname "The Merchant of Death". Thor, the God of Thunder is based on Norse mythology which is a bloody one. Gods in general are petty and cruel no matter if there are heroes amongst them too.

When you compare that to Superman's history it's a different story. Clark Kent was raised amongst two humble god fearing people in Kansas. That's the premise. He grew into a good young man who wouldn't hurt a fly and someone who shouldn't feel sorry for himself or his powers. Why? Because that's Spider-Man's MO. I know Superman was created first but he was never angsty, he always had a positive view on life. All-Star Superman has Supes claim: "There's always a way."

And wasn't Man of Steel about choice. Wasn't Kal-El supposed to be the equalizer? The movie corners him and forces him to make a tough decision. Realistic? Yes. In character and fitting to the central theme of the movie and the mythos. No.

People these days seem to put a lot of emphasis on realism and relatability in favor of a good story and character. But hey, maybe Man of Steel II will tell a good story based thematically on the outcome of MoS.

Posted by UltimateSMfan

@bloggerboy: i agree totally with what you said and as you said it Marvel characters are generally more relatable and realistic,flawed if you will and superman is meant to be this Ideal but sadly in todays day and age people dont generally find that appealing. so in this movie they made him flawed,to humanize him,which in reality is plausible cuz not everyones perfect from the start, not even superman. Now that the Origin and thats what i think ppl are glossing over,this is an origin, has been told,we'll probably see the Superman we know him to be,the Superman he becomes and im really looking forward to the sequel cuz if i think they go the way this movie sets it up,he's gonna be challenged by the world in the next one and maybe(hopefully) Lex speaking against him and then maybe the Ideal will come across more. Till then,well we just have to wait and hope.

Posted by soldierofel

I loved man of steel. For me it it was a essential superman film. I can't see why people can't get over the killing thing. Ill admint I was shocked but I knew it would happen. If superman were to exist in a film with the mannerism that we think of it wouldn't work. We'd end up with another Chris revve superman. But what goyer and Snyder did was bring him into our world. The destruction aspect didn't bother me because if anyone's watched the jl cartoons metropolis or any other city was always getting wrecked. And the whole moving the fight somewhere else was not gonna work. All the kryptonian's that he fought knew how he cared for the humans which is why zod did what he did. In the end that choice superman made was for the greater good. Otherwise zod would of killed everyone. I'm sure that they'll use this as supermans incentive to never kill. Still I loved the film and it's now top of my list of comic book movies.

Posted by bones360uk

@pokeysteve: totally agree, plus if zod and superman were an even match in strength plus zod having no care for human beings how could superman get zod away from metropolis? he wasn't strong enough to over power him and drag him out of the city and what could he say to persuade him to fight elsewhere?

people seem to rage about every little part of these films to a frustrating end, they dont explain every single detail, they leave some parts to the viewers imagination even though that's fine in other film and these plot gaps and leaps of logic exist in comics people choose to ignore them but get over the top upset with the likes of man of steel and the dark knight.

i appreciate this new take on the man of steel, if i wanted to see a film just like the Donner films i would re-watch the Donner films.

Superman is learning who he is and wants to be as is like most origin stories and it feels real for this, if he was saving every single person in the world without fail it just wouldn't be believable. nobody mentions the destruction and death in the avengers finale which the heroes just make silly jokes all the time while buildings get blown up and people die.

I don't understand why people get upset that it's not their superman or the story they wanted. why see a film makers vision if you only want to see what you want to see

anyway rant over. i loved the man of steel and i think this perfectly reflects superman to a 2013 audience

Posted by snyderman567

How do we know there was any civilian deaths caused by superman crashing through buildings? We didn't see any bodies. Maybe superman with his X-ray vision and abilitiy to see things down to the quantum level knew to avoid any people. Also just cause we didn't see him help clean up the city doesn't mean he didn't.

Maybe him killing Zod is when he vows never to kill again. Maybe he needed to kill to feel how awful it was no matter if it's justified or the only course of action seemingly available.

Excellent point.

Posted by Perezite

@bloggerboy: i agree totally with what you said and as you said it Marvel characters are generally more relatable and realistic,flawed if you will and superman is meant to be this Ideal but sadly in todays day and age people dont generally find that appealing. so in this movie they made him flawed,to humanize him,which in reality is plausible cuz not everyones perfect from the start, not even superman. Now that the Origin and thats what i think ppl are glossing over,this is an origin, has been told,we'll probably see the Superman we know him to be,the Superman he becomes and im really looking forward to the sequel cuz if i think they go the way this movie sets it up,he's gonna be challenged by the world in the next one and maybe(hopefully) Lex speaking against him and then maybe the Ideal will come across more. Till then,well we just have to wait and hope.

Pfff....

Edited by TheAuroraChild

@mild_karl said:

The less said about the surprisingly bland Lois Lane character, the better. Love Amy Adams but she didn't have much to work with here. This Lois is an amazingly competent reporter but lacks the spunk & fire that you'd expect from the character.

I thought that they really did a bad casting decision with Amy Adams. Her voice was too soft and girlish and didn't have any of Lois's firmness and attitude. The only time she started to sound like Lois was when she raised her voice at Perry. At first, I thought that this was a new version of Lois, but I realized that the lines all belonged to classic Lois; it's just that Adams sucked at delivering them. There was no fire in her eyes, strong willed spirit in her voice or attitude in her body language. The way she and Superman suddenly started kissing towards the end felt forced. No chemistry in it.

Edited by DoctorFluxx

@teerack: They aren't Batman movies. I have a fundemental issue with a Batman who quits being Batman after 8 months because the girl that he was going to stop being Batman for anyways dies. Also, without the metahuman presence, Batman can't be as special as he actually is by being the most dangerous "man" on the planet. In Nolan's "real world" he's just James Bond in a cape. I hope they find a way to make a legit JL Batman...

Posted by SNascimento

I agree with you.

The good wasn't good enough for me to love it. I loved parts of it. But it was good enough to make me look foward to the future of DC's films.

Posted by Michael_Moran

I love th movie and really disagree with everything. Even the death at the end. I feel he was still learning to be supes when this happens and this could totally define him as he progresses in movies to come.

Edited by LordRequiem

You're being petty about him killing. The fact that the public were harmed gives it a more realistic feel, in the other superman films, hardly anyone, if not anyone at all, dies. I liked that he killed Zod, so that we can't have the old run of ideas so bring the same villain back sequel. You're trying to stick to closely to the comics, and as we know, the transition to film is always difficult to stay completely true.

Posted by dngn4774

The point of the movie was to update the Superman movies to the modern age and not simply continue a tradition.

I agree with the notion that Clark's and Lois' journey felt rushed, as did the whole military involvement.

The thing about collateral damage when people like Superman start throwing down with someone on equal power, I thought, was justified, because getting someone like Zod out of a given area should be damn hard even for one who has the same power. And even if it's managed (as it was) he will just come straight back again. It was the same thing with Doomsday, despite how much Superman and everyone else tried; hundreds ended up dead (story is very likely the same whenever a city or a large portion of one is wiped out). Added, as mentioned, Clark is at this point in time totally green in large scale situations.

As for the killing of Zod, well Zod said he would never stop because of what Clark had done and had sworn he'd kill the entire planet if he could. Then you have the trouble of the movie universe having no way to contain him, they sent that option off with Zod's cronies. And finally you had that final scene where Clark was put in an impossible situation, he couldn't block Zod's heat vision indefinitely with a hand or and arm because it would burn through it eventually and moving him bore the risk of loosing his grip or turning the beams on someone else. It was a moment where killing Zod was the only option he had, and the reaction he gave after it was evident enough that Clark couldn't think of anything else.

The preoccupation in movies about killing bad guys I think has to do with most of them being planned for much shorter life spans and not to be an unending story like comics, so they can allow for more final (and realistic) solutions to criminals that would have been put down in the real world. Imagine if the Nolan Joker showed up again in a movie, unlike comics, the mafia groups will have learned from the last encounter and promptly kill him if he showed up on their doorsteps. Also it is perhaps a tiny bit silly to think villains always end up going to jail, regardless of how many lives they've taken or how much damage they've caused. (Not to mention it's not exactly new; the Joker, Two-Face and the Penguin all ended up dead in the earlier Batman movies.)

pretty much everything I had to say. Also it annoyed me in the comics that such an amazing reporter like Lois Lane couldn't break through the Clark Kent disguise, it's literally just the same face with glasses. It only took Blake Lively like 40 seconds to realize that the Green Lantern was Hal Jordan and he was wearing a domino mask.

Posted by RazzaTazz

The no killing thing is not that important to me, Superman vs Zod in the movie was not much different than Wonder Woman versus Max Lord

Moderator
Posted by cloudzackvincent

@pokeysteve said:

Wow at this article. I can't wait for the nit picking of this to be over.

What would have happened if he tended to the hundreds of people in the rubble? Zod and crew would have gone on about their business with no interference and it'd be over for Earth.

Before the final fight with Zod he moves towards the rubble and then catches Zod moving. Maybe you just forgot the part where he lets the oil tower fall on himself to get those workers out.

With his mom, the others weren't assaulting her. Zod was. He says as much immediately after the tackle.

The ending seems to be the biggest issue and I don't understand why. I was a little iffy with it right when it happened but the remorse he shows just really worked for me. What if he did manage to beat Zod unconscious. What happens when the guy wakes up? He's just gonna chill in prison haha. Zod made it perfectly clear. It ends when one of us is dead. He told Clark flat out that he was going to kill every single person on the planet. What other way out was there? Every second that fight continued people got hurt.

When a movie comes out that is amazing there is always that group of people that pick apart the stupidest details. This nailed Superman's character way more than Nolan did Batman.

Everything you said I agree with.

i agree as well

Posted by ThreadPool

"Man of Steel may have been a good movie. It just wasn't the Superman movie I was hoping for."

The title of this article should be closer to that. Can we please stop saying, "This wasn't Superman."?

It's tiresome and a complete lie. It's Superman. That isn't a debatable point. Was it the Superman you wanted? No. Let's leave at that.

Posted by IronAngelX

You asked isn't Superman supposed to be better than us. I think that's the thing about this movie, he's not emotionally cut off from us, yes he's better in every way physically but he's still struggling with emotions he's never had to face. I think it was an awesome seen when he tackled Zod in Smallville, because, anyone who has their mother being attacked is going to react the same way. I don't think he meant to move the fight to Smallville's town, the longest time he was in the cornfield. But when anger overtakes you, it's hard to realize what you are doing, like a black out. The destruction in Metropolis also I think can be blamed a lot on the fact that Superman was a new hero and meant to end it at every stage, not to drag it out across the entire city. As far as him killing Zod, I don't think you elaborated enough into that, he didn't just kill Zod, it came down to him having to choose between allowing himself to be cut off from the human race by allowing Zod to kill that family with his heat vision or allowing himself to be cut off from Krypton by killing Zod. The whole time he tried to tell Zod to stop, because he didn't want to kill him. The reaction is evident of that fact. But this Man of Steel, Zack Snyder said is a prequel to the entire DC film universe, this is issue 0 so to speak. They wanted him to kill Zod so that he, above anyone else, would truly understand the avoidance of killing. He made the ultimate sacrifice killing the last surviving member of his race (in his mind I'm sure things will come to pass later on). But Snyder and Goyer are right, we all know that killing is wrong, but we don't truly understand the pain it causes, we've never dipped into that sinkhole and we don't know the psychological horrors that it causes. Isn't Superman supposed to be better than us? Isn't he supposed to be the example? Yes, but what great example has ever NOT made mistakes...mistakes which made their principles stronger. It's been confirmed by writer David S. Goyer that this was a Christ story in his sacrifice to the human race and offering himself to be killed, but he also confirmed that it's a Moses story. Think about it, Moses killed the Egyptian to save the Hebrew, he didn't walk away without regret from that decision, but I'm sure it resonated and shaped who he was from that point on. Same with Superman, who better to tell us not to go down that dark road than Superman, a man who has actually tasted it's bitter results. I think this was the best Superman story to be told, it's grounded in reality without being watered down on the Super aspect, but I don't think Superman was being portrayed as better than us, on the contrary, I think he's being portrayed as no better than the rest of us, doing things that we would all have done...it's right there in the title: MAN of Steel. I look forward to the future of DC's film franchise if it's more like this one.

Edited by hart7668

Honestly, I'm glad the movie (or any comic book movie, for that matter) doesn't emulate the comics. I don't care how iconic Superman is, don't simply "reprint" him on the big screen without any changes. I expect a different take in a movie than I do in a comic. Honestly, I think the whole "don't kill your supervillains because it will make you no better than them" mentality is ridiculous to begin with anyways.

Posted by mcaraballo

I think if superman would've just used his x-ray vision to look around and scout for people and just save a few here and there and showed the people of metropolis that he was a hero than superman would've seemed more of a hero. I feel the movie needed superman addressing the world somehow. also I know everyone will hate me for this but becoming a reporter I know its in the comics and all but its just not realistic you have to be stupid not to realize that clark kent the reporter is not superman. I really was hoping for something else and different I know its not true to the comics but its the one thing that will never make sense. I mean he told the army he group up in Kansas, if lois found him out that easy you think that no body else would? lets be real here. for this movie to really have been great superman needed to show more concern for people not just the family at the end. I mean the people in smallville had to be dead with all that chaos..at one part I went from yeah kick his ass he hurt your mother... then ok you took it too far now your hurting other peoples mothers, by dragging zod through a gas station and in the middle of busy street. its nit picking I know but it just would've been great the Christopher reeves movie made me love superman and put on a cape and be like clark as a child this movie didn't do that for me. Oh and just a thought who before superman wore a cape little clark was imitating himself? idk.... either way the movie was still great and cant wait for the sequel!!

Posted by leych

Are people forgetting that Superman has actually killed before? It's only the Comic Code Authority that comics started to become more campy.
Has everyone forgotten that Superman kills a de-powered Zod in Superman 2?

Zod even says it himself in the movie, either he dies or Superman dies.
What other way was there to end it? It was obvious that Zod had gone out of control, he couldn't be stopped.
The way to Phantom Zone was closed, even if Superman found a way to end Zod without killing him; it's obvious he would be back for revenge.
We even see Superman regret having to kill him, with his own bare hands, having the kill the last of his race.

Posted by IronAngelX

Wow at this article. I can't wait for the nit picking of this to be over.

What would have happened if he tended to the hundreds of people in the rubble? Zod and crew would have gone on about their business with no interference and it'd be over for Earth.

Before the final fight with Zod he moves towards the rubble and then catches Zod moving. Maybe you just forgot the part where he lets the oil tower fall on himself to get those workers out.

With his mom, the others weren't assaulting her. Zod was. He says as much immediately after the tackle.

The ending seems to be the biggest issue and I don't understand why. I was a little iffy with it right when it happened but the remorse he shows just really worked for me. What if he did manage to beat Zod unconscious. What happens when the guy wakes up? He's just gonna chill in prison haha. Zod made it perfectly clear. It ends when one of us is dead. He told Clark flat out that he was going to kill every single person on the planet. What other way out was there? Every second that fight continued people got hurt.

When a movie comes out that is amazing there is always that group of people that pick apart the stupidest details. This nailed Superman's character way more than Nolan did Batman.

Glad that there are those who aren't "purists" who would have the movie ruined with stupid humor in the middle of fighting. Superman has been corny for way too long, I think it was time it was proven why his existence is still relevant for our current culture...which is what this movie did. You want to watch a classic Superman? It honestly reminded me a lot of the Superman Earth One graphic novel.

Edited by The Lobster

Zack Snyder has come out and said that originally he wasn't going to kill Zod.

BUT...........

People got to remember that this is an origin story. Superman Begins. Snyder has stated that there wasn't really anything in the movie or in Superman's past in the comics that made learn that killing is wrong. He was just kind of born with it. Which makes him seems more like a robot than a person.....Which is why Zod had to die. In the sequel, Snyder has confirmed that Superman will be morally shattered and will understand the frailness of life (because he's taken not just one away but an entire race of people because Zod was the last Kryptonian other than Clark) and not kill.

Think long term people. Snyder knew what he was doing.

Snyder and Goyer talk about it in an interview here.

Posted by ALFMutant
  1. Zod was mad, his only chance to resurrect Krypton was gone. He wanted to die and was forcing Superman to do it, we call that ''Suicide by cop''.
  2. People were evacuating the city. Superman did try to save people in the attack of Smallville but was losing the fight because he could not manage to fight and protect at the same time. So he had no choice than concentrate his moves on the Kryptonians or he would have died.
Edited by Manwhohaseverything

As I posted elsewhere, the "danger of the civilians" made PERFECT SENSE to me. Kal wasn't dictating the terms of the fight....Zod was. Kal is new to all this, he's not acting as much as he is reacting. Zod, on the other hand, has a very clear purpose in his mind. He was programmed from Day One of his existence to "fight for the good of Krypton"which is exactly what he felt he was doing, and Zod could care less about Smallville or Metropolis.

Like @sentryman555 said, I'm baffled as to why other films with this EXACT same problem weren't called out on it. (Which to me isn't a problem..if beings like this existed, we probably wouldn't get to dictate where the battles are fought.) Both TDK and The Avengers also had plenty of plot-holes and pacing issues. I guess Superman is held to a higher standard?

I also wonder why we think it' been so easy for Kal to get Zod away from Metropolis, and act there is NO WAY Zod could have led Kal back there.

Posted by herrweis

So in an earlier article comic vine praised this movie. http://www.comicvine.com/reviews/man-of-steel/1900-1840/

Now they are somewhat bashing it. What gives

Edited by The Stegman

The only thing I agree with here is the pacing being bad, Superman not saving people and killing Zod made no difference to me.

Posted by JV

@mild_karl: Agee 100%. I was going to write my thoughts on Superman killing, which I found to be questionable in my mind, and I am still torn. (and personally, I think there could have been a different outcome) But as for the destruction, I think people need to realize. What is going to sell? If you want word of mouth to get around so that a movie reaches 300 million, then in today's Summer blockbuster frenzy, you need destruction. And listen, I am not some young kid. I am 40 yr old conservative guy with two kids, but I get what sells. If Superman had taken the fight somewhere else to an isolated area, then you just have a boxing match in a field or space. What left the majority of the people with their mouths on the ground was the level of destruction that we have never seen before in a Superhero movie. So a purist may disagree and I am a purist when it comes to Superman and Baseball, but it is a movie that has to appeal to the masses and I think WB and DC did their job. When I told my friends about Man of Steel, who could care less about Superman or any other superhero movie, they were ok ok ok, when explaining the movie, but when I told them about the carnage. Their eyes lit up and I know three of them have gone and seen the movie in the last two days, otherwise they would not have. They loved it.... but you have to entice the general viewer and CGI and carnage do in a Summer blockbuster.

Edited by lilben42

Again, this movie isn't supposed to show the superman we all know and love. Its supposed to show an inexperienced Superman that is just starting out. Why can't people understand that. If Superman left Metropolis or Smallville no one would follow. Faora and Nam-Ek were fighting the army at the time. Zod would just kill everybody he could find. As for destruction its hard to avoid buildings when a maniac keeps hitting you into them.

Edited by wolverine1610

'no son. don't save me. let the tornado kill me.' and no 'kneel before zod'. and amy adams.

i was so hoping Zod would have said that :(

Edited by Pwok21

@herrweis:

Those articles are written by two different people.

This article specifically mentions this fact at the beginning.

Posted by RazzaTazz

  1. You said you were bothered by Clark's lack of concern for the collateral damage he was causing, won't disagree with you there, but seeing as how the sequel has already been green-lit, assuming they picked up right where this one left off, imagine a new downtown Metropolis being built by none other than Lex Luthor! We already saw the Lexcorp building in the background so we know he exist and it'll be a perfect way to introduce him and we can finally get that rich, arrogant, businessman Luthor who will immediately have a sense of entitlement because he is helping the city of Metropolis recover from the Kryptonian invasion, which Luthor will see as Superman's fault of course, and because of this and the fact that despite the fact that he is rebuilding the city the people seem only obsessed with the new phenomenon that is "Superman."

There was also a Lexcorp truck that got thrown at someone.

Moderator
Posted by JV

"You can save them, you can save all of them" - Except for the 2000 that died in the fiery apocalyptic destruction of Metropolis lol lol Love the movie, just thought that was some afterthought funny....

Posted by doordoor123

Worst movie I've seen in a while. It wasn't a Superman movie at all. It wasn't even a movie.

Posted by clayscarface

I understand where this is coming from. To an extent the collateral damage was out of character - more so in Smallville than Metropolis, though. In Metropolis the machine was already ravaging that area. Yeah, it's not a safe bet to assume everyone's evacuated or dead already, but the main areas of the fighting were already pretty well destroyed by the machine. And in the heat of that battle, I totally buy the amateur hero thing.

As for the ending - why doesn't Superman kill? No - I know he doesn't because it's part of his moral system - but why is it there? What's the character choice that leads him to so strongly oppose killing? Because it's right, sure. But he's SUPERMAN. He'll be fighting impossible odds all the time with hardly any equal because of his raw power. The death at the end is why he will (hopefully) refuse to kill in the future. That was one of the most powerful moments in the film and EVERYONE in the theater seemed to be holding their breath and hoping that something else would happen.

But it didn't. Superman had to kill Zod or he would never have stopped, and that's something that will weigh on this incarnation through the rest of the films.

Posted by HBKTimHBK

I was fine with what happened to Zod, I was hoping they'd have the balls to do it and I liked it. It shows that Superman when it comes down to it is willing to cross that line to save people. Makes for an entirely different characterization to Batman, so it feels different than what I've seen the last 3 DC movies.

I also think the destruction of Metropolis could be a great set up for the sequel, and fuel to the fire for the next villain (Lex).