Comic Vine News

677 Comments

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
Edited by Vitality

G-Man clearly never watched the animated shows.

Buildings and vehicles in traffic were destroyed in nearly every single fight Superman was in.

Posted by Vitality
Posted by bloggerboy

@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.

The ending of The Dark Knight seemed to indicate there was a manhunt against Batman 'cos of the "crimes" he committed. I'll grant you that they could have just blamed The Joker but at least there was a reason for Bruce to lay low. The other reason would be that there was no organized crime in Gotham anymore. Blake even jokes about going after people with overdue library books.

When trouble's brewing (Bane) Bruce immediately jumps at the chance to be Batman again. Alfred states he feared Bruce would want to get back into the game, not that he'd die after so much downtime.

Edited by G_Money_Christmas

I almost completely disagree. I do agree about the mass amounts of violence and him not caring about the people around, but what could he do? The world engine was already destroying Metropolis pretty quickly, so it was like anything he did wouldn't have happened otherwise. He's fighting multiple enemies who are at his power level but are more skilled fighters. They're all Kryptonian soldiers, Clark is a farmer with no training. He's at almost unbeatable odds and I know it kind of goes against Superman, he's young, this is his first battle. He's fighting how ever many Krytptonians so there will be some definite collateral damage. It's hard to take a battle to a new location when you're being thrown through buildings at every turn. And with Zod at the end, I don't think there was any other way. How would he have beaten him otherwise? No matter what he did, Zod would never have stopped. Earth does not have the technology to hold someone with his power. There is no Kryptonite and they've already sent the rest of them to the Phantom Zone. There is nothing he could have done.

Edited by Vitality
Edited by Guardiandevil83

@noj: Yeeeah. And didn't Clark basically use his powers to humiliate that Trucker at the Diner who beat him up earlier in the film? Not very Superman like to me.

Edited by kennybaese

I guess my problem with these complaints it that we barely see Clark become Superman in this movie before being thrown into the fight, so I feel like this stuff is mostly forgivable based on his inexperience. There are two sides of the fence you can fall on with regards to the movie's "what if Superman happened in the real world" theme, but I think that Superman and Zod clashing would cause a ton of damage and a lot of people would likely die in the cross fire. As to Clark's seeming disregard for civilians, there are several times in the Smallville fight with Faora and Nam-ek that he tried to fly away and the villains wouldn't let him. In the fight in Metropolis, Clark moves the fight with Zod into a construction zone.

Much like The Dark Knight dealt with the repercussions of Batman's unconventional war on crime, I bet Man of Steel 2 (or whatever they call it) deals with Clark's evolution into a protector instead of a warrior as a result of the destruction and death likely caused in the first movie. Man of Steel is about Clark's journey to becoming Superman. That he wasn't completely successful in that makes that journey that much more believable. If he just put on the tights and was perfect, the effort that they put into humanizing the character would have been wasted and unbelievable.

Posted by Aeroman

people need to get over this

Posted by aquahawk

He was still learning how to really be Superman, and he made a mistake when he was backed into a corner. I could see the sequel being around him still feeling remorse about having no choice but to kill Zod (instead of going about it another way, which he maybe could have) and trying to stop that from happening again, which could make for an interesting conflict where the military and the people want him to destroy a new threat (Braniac?) but he refuses and tries to find another way or something like that. This disagreement could cause strains between him and the military, ultimately setting the scene for Lex Luthor to appear in a third movie?

I don't know. I just watch the movies. I'm no screenwriter.

Edited by bloggerboy
@hart7668 said:

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.

Yes because 75 years worth of character history is worth squat!

The reason we know Superman is on the level is because despite his powers he won't become judge, jury and more importantly the executioner. If Superman were real (like these movies like to pretend he is) and started killing people everybody would go nuts. Because once you start that path it's easy to continue and every time it will be a little more easier and simpler.

And given we're talking about a single powerful being who makes up these decisions...that would be a road to hell. Because sooner or later Superman will kill someone who didn't deserve it. Or a large number of people will be displeased by something Supes does. And Superman might snap...literally! Then wham, instead of Superman he's Ultraman.

And I doubt Man of Steel II will take the Kingdom Come route as an aftermath scenario. But you never know.

Posted by ForeverMan

I don't think the Superman movie Tony is looking for would be a good one.

Outnumbered by superhuman enemy equals, risking the existence of the world in the most desperate battle possible to make sure each and every collateral random makes it out okay is the stuff of comics, not good movies.

The killing of Zod is a final and absolutely reasonable and relatable end to a fight with a now insane and vengeful superpowered alien. The final break that shows where Superman stands, with humans. Again some contrivance where that didn't have to happen would work okay in a well written comic, but IMO would feel unnatural in a movie.

They did change Superman, they showed how human he was and since this was the story of his origin as a hero I felt it was entirely apt. Thats part of why they got a decent movie instead of another awful Superman Returns.

Posted by darkwingdan

Personally, I found this movie to be very enjoyable. I didn't go into this movie expecting a fully formed Superman - I expected a young hero that is going to make mistakes. Keep in mind, up until the confrontation with Zod and the Kryptonians, Clark had never been in a physical fight.

As far as Lois uncovering Clark's identity, it may have been quick as far as the movie's run time is concerned, but it's shown in montage form. It's not as though she uncovered it overnight. Perry White mentions later that she'd been working on this for 6 months, so it's not like it was a quick discovery.

As for Zod's death - Clark's hands were sort of tied. Zod had said that their battle would end with one of them dead. Zod, unlike Loki, was not going to be overpowered by 5 heroes. Clark was facing a foe that was physically on par with (an more likely superior to) his abilities. Would an experienced Superman, that had been at this for a couple of years, found a better way? Absolutely. But a Superman on his first day on the job? No, he was lucky to come out on top.

Posted by McDerpyson

Just came back from the theater, and most everyone there came out of the movie RAGING. "Man of Steel" joylessly drags Superman's name through the mud, but more importantly, it's just bad cinema. I know it made good money and the sequels are inevitable, but I pray that they will be helmed by a different screenwriter and director.

The supposed narrative arc of this movie is that Superman's two fathers both implore him to be a force for good and inspire people. OK, great. How does that work out?

The world doesn't even see him until his fellow aliens start killing people to get at him. He saves the world from a crisis that he is the cause of. Thousands die. He kills Zod in front of a family (and the scene was staged in such a way that there were about 17 ways he could have stopped Zod without killing him). The fallout from the shocking act of Superman taking a life in his first movie? He feels sad for a minute, and gets a hug. Then it's back to being cocky and smiling, and female soldiers thinking he's "cute."

After all the death and destruction caused by Earth's first contact with an alien race, the real ending of this movie should be everyone in the UN working out a plan to make Superman leave or die. It makes no sense for anyone in the world to see him as heroic, when the only thing they know him for is saving them from his own legacy. That, and snapping the neck of the last of his race in front of some kids. Way to go, Kal.

Yep

Edited by ShadowHuntR

Thank you. I feel like I'm in the minority I was really let down by this movie it just didn't feel like superman to me and him killing Zod just sealed it, this wasn't a superman movie.

It's based on the New 52. Superman in the New 52 doesn't seem to really care about how he hurts others, as long as they are safe. God, he almost killed Batman in the Justice League. And he didn't seem to be feeling that bad when he beat Batman in Batman the Dark Knight 5...

And anyway, it's a movie. Don't know why you guys gotta be so crazy about so little details. Was I the only one who found Thor very weak in his movie and the Avengers? Stalemate against Iron Man? That's the funiest thing I've ever seen. That's even worst.

Posted by lilben42

Found this on IGN and thought it explained everything perfectly.

"So Superman is a God and can save EVERYONE. Lets also forget the fact that he didn't have to fight Zod at all. Instead standing beside Zod watching the world inhabitants die. Superman did not cause most of the destruction. Zods machine did. Many of the buildings Superman destroyed were because Zod threw him into them. Hardly his fault. When he flew Zod towards Smallville it was hardly intentional. He was acting out of fear (for his mother), and anger. He is not a soldier. He has had no training. He made mistakes due to inexperience. He was mostly making it all up as he went. When he fought with Faora and the hulking kryptonian he made a couple of attempts to fly away, but the bigger guy just kept snatching him out of the air and slamming him into the concrete. Superman does save a soldier falling out of a crashing helicopter. He likely would have saved the copter as well except for the fact that he was immediately attacked by that damn big Kryptonian. He also saved the colonel from getting shanked by Faora, and saved a fighter jet from getting torn to pieces by Faora only to have a Kryptonian ship show up and blow them up anyway. Shit gets hard when your the only one capable of doing anything. He saved countless lives destroying the world engine even though there was a very good chance he to could have lost his life in the process. It's kind of hard stopping to save lives when you have a super pissed, super human dogging your every move. I guess maybe Superman should have called a timeout. He risked his life fighting the remnants of HIS people, sent them through a black hole, then killed his last link to his heritage leaving him as the soul survivor. Yea he didn't care at all."

Edited by kcvic

"girl power"

and just look at supes expression...." kneel before Wonder Woman"

Posted by WaveMotionCannon

I felt it was a realistic portrayal of what would happen if beings of Supermans power collided in a populated environment. Collateral damage is going to happen. Given he's a novice and never done thus before he can be forgiven for not thinking about bystanders. I had no problem with the ending as he did what was necessary to protect the Earth, part of being a hero is having to make hard decisions and he did the right thing.

Posted by SobeCin

At least there wasn't an island of Kryptonite for Superman to walk on and not be hampered by it.

Posted by Manwhohaseverything

@sobecin: LOL. I'd forgotten how incredibly stupid that was in SR.

Edited by hart7668

@bloggerboy: As memorable as his stories have been, yes history isn't worth squat. Create your own image, don't get bogged down on the past.

Second of all, killing villains isn't a slippery slope. The threat the likes of Zod and Doomsday present is far more serious than a rapist. I completely disagree with the premises of Injustice and the Justice Lords. Who says just because you kill a sociopathic supervillain you all of a sudden want to control the world? That's the showing of a control freak, not a level headed mature hero.

At some point you gotta know when to put down Old Yeller. Quarantine can only go so far. Particularly when we talk about the rogues gallery of Barman and Superman.

Posted by GothamRed

@straightedgejoe: I've found it's pretty mixed. You just might not be looking in the right places. I didn't like it either.

Edited by G_Money_Christmas

One thing I totally loved was, as a native Kansan/Kansas Citian, I loved that he was watching a KU game, wearing a KU shirt, and wearing a Royal's shirt. Glad they showed him supporting his home.

Edited by TheRyanHimself

I'm a huge Superman fan. Let me start off by saying that. I'm 26 years old and it wasn't until last year I had watched the first two Christopher Reeves Superman movies. And I hated them. The "zanyness" and "camp" of them, didn't read fun or enjoyable at all. It read as dated and corny, and stupid. Gene Hackman was God awful as Lex, though Margot Kidder and Christopher Reeves were both really good in their roles.

I never did bother with the third or fourth ones, as I heard nothing but bad things. I saw Returns in theaters and... the less said about that, the better.

Man of Steel however, blew me away. I thought it was amazing. And I can't believe every critic I enjoy, be it Brad Jones, Doug Walker, Noah Antwiler, and now Tony were displeased. My Batman obsessed, and biased friend even admitted liking Man of Steel more than any Batman movie she's seen.

I think this movie may be my favorite comic book fan of all time, outside of The Crow.

Edited by evilvegeta74

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.

Agreed 1000%

Posted by Buckshot

If the whole thing is, "This wasn't a Superman movie because he killed Zod" then I'm not with you. As you've said yourself, Superman has done it before. Even without falling back on his comic counterpart though, I still don't see it as a mark against him. It's not like he became the Punisher in that moment, and it's not as if this is how he thinks he should handle problems. It was clear before he did it and even more after that killing is not what he wants to do. Whether or not there was another way, he didn't feel there was and did what he could to save the lives in front of him. (As for there being another way, I think there were other ways in that moment, but after that moment, Zod would still have been intent on killing humans and with no way to replicate the technology that made the phantom zone or that depowered Superman, which probably wouldn't work on Zod anyway, and without Superman standing over Zod for the rest of eternity knocking him out every time he woke up, which is basically murder anyway, nothing was going to stop Zod.) Superman's apparent lack of concern about the lives around him in the rest of the fights was an issue for me, but not to the extent that I'd say this wasn't a Superman movie. If anything, his killing of Zod suggests to me that he'll never do it again, and that from now on he'll always find another way. And part of what makes him Superman (and human) to is that even doing the right thing in that situation, it still ripped him apart because that should never be the right thing.

Now, if your position had been "This isn't a Superman movie because we don't see his values instilled in him" I would have been on board. Superman's goodness never seems to come from the movie's Pa Kent as much as I feel it should have, and to me it seemed almost like he had to overcome his father's fear to be the good guy he innately was, when I feel like his humanity should come from the humans who raised him.

Moderator
Posted by hart7668

@lilben42: I agree with this article so much. The author wins an internet and you ma'am, or sir, win stuff.

Posted by lilben42
Posted by Lurkero

If you are going to argue that Man of Steel isn't a Superman movie then you should also be arguing that Batman hasn't been Batman since The Dark Knight Returns.

Characters can evolve and change over time. The Superman that Goyer and Snyder have presented in Man of Steel is much more interesting and believable than the Superman that often pops up in cartoons and comics.

A Superman that doesn't kill is BORING. A Superman without destruction is BORING. People actually expect Superman to face threats from beings that can destroy Earth and not have death and destruction? Most of the destruction came before Superman even fought Zod. Two beings with god-like powers are going to destroy a lot of things. Let's not forget the military fired rockets at a narrow street in order to try and kill them. This isn't Dragonball Z. There is no flying to the desert to battle it out. Zod wanted to kill humans and Superman didn't have much of a choice.

Superman fighting Zod was the difference between some people dying and ALL people dying.

@foxxfireart:

Sometimes your rants about anime vs manga seem a little crazy, but this time I completely agree with what you have said. It is ridiculous that people want to have a Superman with god-like powers and the purest heart possible. That is BORING.

Posted by mark15

putting a fight in the middle of the desert is not visually interesting. Lets not forget this is an origin story and he has never faced a threat beyond saving a few people. If it was your first time stopping the apocalypse you wouldn't be trying to save everyone while an army of supermen are trying to destroy the world. No, Superman us not supposed to kill, but when Zod is so bent on enslaving the humans and literally says "this will end when you die or I do". There is no other phantom zone, there's no kryptonite, just Superman. I thought as a First Superman movie to kickstart everything, it was perfect. By Man of Steel 2 he should be the Man he was discovering to be in the first movie.

Posted by mark15
Posted by Phantim555

Hey @gman. I read and I agree with everything you've said but I do think its a Superman movie just one for a new generation. I think taking Zod's life will lead him down a path where he realizes how precious any life is. Plus since I think Lex will be in the next movie I think everything you brought up will be his bases for the next movie, painting Superman as a cold blooded alien who kills and does things with no regard for human life. He'll also probably be the one to rebuild metropolis and in the process sway public opinion against Superman. I would say don't give up just yet because there's still a larger picture at play. Again I hope you understand I'm not saying you're wrong but just remember this is just the beginning of a larger story. Superman as you said is still new to the hero game and has to learn to protect the people as well as the buildings in Smallville and Metropolis. Lets not forget in Smallville it took Clark 10 years to become the Superman we all know and love and in the process he learned the value of life even tho there were times he killed in order to learn that lesson (example: the phantom Titan in the episode combat) so that when he faced bigger villains like Brainiac, Zod, and even Doomsday he knew the true value of life.

Edited by twentysix26

I agree with the very last section... Superman just doesn't kill. It's the ONE trait that makes him exclusively Superman. GLs kill (Sinestro Corps War), Wonder Woman kills (Maxwell Lord), I don't remember Batman marking an X but there are plenty of shady moments with the Dark Knight. Superman has the ability to kill and never does. I understand that the family was in danger of getting scorched, but couldn't they have re-written the moment? Blow to the head to knock him out, SOMETHING to stay true to the nature of Superman. Obviously, the kill was an insane ending to the film (it sure as hell took MY breath away) and I'm sure it is a lock in regards to bringing consumers to see the next film but to the comic geeks as myself and all the die-hards who have stuck with Kal-El for so long.. it takes a bit out of the movie.

However, I think @lilben42's IGN post nailed it on the head. There is no time to save everyone else. This isn't Lex Luthor or some joe-schmoe crook. These are military soldiers with the same powers and abilities as Kal-El. he can't just leave them to go tend to every single building that caves in Metropolis. He saved who he could when he wasn't engaged and that is what Superman does.

Nevertheless, I absolutely loved Man of Steel. It blew all other superhero movies out of the water, and is one of the greatest movies I've ever seen.

Posted by sagejonathan

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.

I agree with this.

Posted by Ultra_beleco

@teerack said:

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

Edited by sasquatch888

the movie was dark..the action intense ...im tired of clark kent being portrayed as a clown...this superman was ripped and serious ,,he wasn't a funny guy and that was good ,,,that funny bull killed green lantern ....the battle in smallville was awesome and so was the end battle....zod was awesome, jor el was awesome...krypton was amazing .(we need to see more of krypton in flashbacks in future movies).non stop action on a planetary level with mass levels of destruction .. buildings destroyed , jets , helicopters , the army ,missiles, spaceships aliens planets exploding and not bogged down with too much love story crap ...tons of action a great supporting cast ...the dark tone of this movie would fit perfect with batman ...whats not to like?? the movie was great ...stop hating if you want the old superman then watch those old richard donner films of superman returns ...if they would have done the same type of superman movie a bunch of 40-50 year old guys would be happy seeing superman smiling ,saving cats from a tree and catching burglars and the new generation of fans would have dismissed superman as "a has been" like people dismissed superman returns . its easy to say you know what superman would have done but remember superman is new in the comics ,,,he's five years into his super heroics and hes not the boyscout he was before the reboot in 2011 ...its time to move on and accept change not hold on to a fading memory of a Christopher Reeve superman fighting Richard Pryor ...stop hating ...im sure you went into the theater with preconceived notions looking for any and all faults real of imagined

Posted by Ben3000

I agree with you Tony, this was in my books a good Sci-Fi movie. I don't think I could call it a Superman movie. I always feel as though with any superheroes they should be able to find another way without resorting to killing. Superheroes are supposed to be able to do the impossible and not take the easy way out. Something in most of these Comic Book Movies, the heroes are taking the easy way. Hopefully Man of Steel two will fix the problems I had with this movie. Then again David Goyer will be writing it and he doesn't know how to write "fun" in any of his movies. So here's to hoping the Superman I envision will be on screen.

Edited by MrMazz

I thought killing Zod was handeled correctly. Supes said stop Zod said never was about to kill us humans Supes made the call and snap. It's going to be like how Zod feels about killing Jor-El, he doesn't like that he did it but would do it over and over again if he had to. Personally I thought Zod should of gotten some sort of suicide by eye lasers or whatever after he gave that lil speech about all he has ever done was or the betterment of his people, which is true. Without that gone he had no reason for living so he should of gotten Supes to kill him. Instead they had yet another eh fight scene at the end that is there because of genre not because of story.

This movie had 2 and kind of sorta 3 (krypton) films going on at the same time. Seperatly I REALLY love all the Superman flashback stuff. Becasue those moments are more about our perception of what the Superman is. These moments though also failed to really characterize Clark, which completly undermines the second half of the film aka Transformers 3. If these had been seperate films it would have been better. The Zod stuff made for better sequel story stuff than origin story stuff.

You can tell the part of the script where David Goyer had most control over it aka the last half. That was really dumb. The only reason this secondhalf is bad though is because of the ending where Clark joins the DP as areporter and Metropolis and the DP are totes fine right after EVERYYTING Being blown up. It asked us to have emotional attachment towards the 10000000 of people who died and than does not pay it forward at the end.

Supermans fathers though were really good. Kevin Costner made me cry a lil bit. Russel Crowe was just fun.

my review on CV

When in Doubt Kill Bill

Posted by Deranged Midget

I feel like I've already said my piece a few times throughout different threads prior to this but I'll do so again. First and foremost, thank you for the article Tony and while I don't agree with your opinion, I still respect it completely. After all, it is your own opinion! :)

So, in a sense, I do agree with you in regards of this not being a Superman film in its entirety. Why? Because for the better part of the film or for almost the entirety of it, Clark isn't Superman yet. This is the point of the film, it's a starting point, an origin story. It's unfortunate because people seem to neglect that fact. This takes place before Clark becomes the Superman the world comes to know, that all the comic book readers and die-hard Superman fans (such as myself) have come to idolize and adore.

Which brings me to the next point. Clark is severely inexperienced with his powers, that much is clear throughout almost the entire film. He doesn't even learn how to begin to control his powers or utilize them properly until he meets Jor-El. I think it's unfair to compare this film's version of Clark to the Donner films and especially comics, the best example constantly being reused is "What's so Funny about Truth, Justice and the American Way?". As I stated earlier, this Clark doesn't have the benefit of having years of experience under his belt, he hasn't tested his limits, grown with his capabilities and been able to learn he who or what he wants to be. I mean, once he gets the suit and begins to learn the extents of his powers, he's thrusted into an alien invasion with time to breath.

As for the destruction caused and especially the controversial Zod death scene, I will have to admit here that my first viewing of the film was severely ill-received due to the latter development. I, like many people especially Tony and Mark Waid, were irked by the fact that Clark killed Zod. Although, the more I thought about it, the more I understood it and why that scene was so brilliantly written and how I applaud the writers greatly. In the comics, Superman always has some ridiculous plot device that aids him in stopping his enemies, especially those as powerful as he is. He's in a world full of spectacular people such as himself who can aid him, who have the benefit of advanced technology to imprison such beings.

With Man of Steel, none of that is the case. The last of the Phantom Drives were used up or destroyed when Faora and the other Kryptonians were sent back into the Phantom Zone. Some may argue that there possibly may have been the Phantom Drive left on Clark's "Fortess of Solitude", but that's not the case. Even if it was still operational, how would Clark be able to get Zod back across the city and have the time to utilize it? Zod was clearly showing that he was just as powerful, if not more so than Clark was with the addition of his warrior nature edging out the favour. That's why it worked here. Clark didn't have any other option of stopping Zod.

I told myself in my first viewing, "Why didn't he fly up through the ceiling, why didn't he knock his head down, why didn't he cover his eyes with his hand?" How would that aid him? Clark would potentially lose his upper hand with the choke hold and even if he did knock him out? Then what? There is not a single thing on the planet that could hold Zod or Superman. He would just get back up and start causing even more unwarranted destruction. Clark's decision to kill Zod was the only way of stopping him and protecting the billions of people on Earth from potential annihilation as it was clear that Superman was beginning to lose that fight. There is no comic book plot device that could save Clark in this situation and we see a character, one of the most iconic in the world, put into a situation with no other choice.

Which leads me to my final point that connects with all the others. Clark is not Superman yet and definitely not the one we know. I believe that decision he made is what causes him to create that unbreakable moral compass, that one moment that reminds him what he should strive to avoid at all costs in the future. To me, it feels like a behind the scenes look at what helped build Superman into the person we know and who comes to inspire humanity to be greater than itself and it's something I am sure the sequel has plenty of room to cover.

So to close things off, is Man of Steel a perfect film in my opinion? No, not even close. But it greatly succeeds in what it set out to do and I applaud the crew for not taking the liberties with the character and trying something unique and different.

Rant over :)

Moderator
Posted by Kal'smahboi

My mom suggested that Zod should have died by his own fault, that his rage and desperation make him make a mistake, or that he should have taken his own life, accidentally or otherwise.

As a huge Superman fan, I was absolutely shocked by the fight's finale, but the immediate and powerful remorse made me feel okay with it. He was young, he was new to "heroing," he had to make a very quick decision and he had a villain on his hands that he could literally not lock up. Having a Phantom Zone projector would have been very convenient (and kind of lame for a modern take if you ask me) but he did not have one.

Saying that this is a poor introduction to today's youth (because of killing and language) misses the point, I think. If they had wanted to make a child-friendly movie, they would have. They weren't trying to save the comic book industry or to plug a Superman cartoon (both of which will come from this movie.) They were trying to make a good movie, while staying true to the character, and I think they did that. They could have constructed a situation where the choice he made was not necessary, but they didn't. I think that Superman's decision, in the situation in which he was placed, was not only necessary, but in character. It killed him to do what he did, and I think that it will be a defining moment for how he presents himself as a hero for the rest of the franchise.

Edited by mervinsphere

Thanks for this. It was like being punch in the stomach when he killed Zod. Superman just doesn't kill.

Edited by granddemonharlequin
Posted by Omega-Man

Really getting tired of nit picks of Man Of Steel, your points are not really interesting. Man Of Steel is a Superman movie end of. Sure it's not comic but then again in comics even RECENT comics Superman has killed Para demons in the new 52. The damage and saving people? Superman can't be everywhere and do everything no matter how powerful or fast he is. These dealings with Zod being killed by Kal will be brought up. and also the 88 pocket universe Zod in comics that Superman killed haunted him for years which this could also. It's not too far out from what Superman actually is.

You are just nit picking end of. Did you nit pick against Avengers? that wasn't a super hero movie and it had more problems against it than Man Of Steel had. Apparently everyone loved Avengers yet didn't question the crap that movie pulled.

Thats all I'm saying.

Posted by noj

@guardiandevil83: that's because he wasn't Superman at that point. Plus he hardly humiliated the trucker he just destroyed his truck. That's not humiliating him. Humiliating him would've been if he had used his powers to beat him up in the bar. That moment of restraint where he decided to just take the guys abuse was a VERY Superman moment.

Edited by Om4zd

Superman killed all of the Kryptonians that could have lived too, but no one's moaning about that?

Posted by kbrackie

Once they killed Superman (what ever multi-verse that was) they seem to have taken liberties with him. I admit that I've been away from comics for a long time and have been trying to pick up what's going on (WHAT???!!!) The Superman of my youth was a comic book god, better than us and trying to show us the way. I was excited to see this movie, but now I don't know, may wait for the DVD. I think as we have lowered the standards for ourselves, we have to lower the standards for Superman and all other superheroes, or we won't be able to achieve the ideals that they represent.

Posted by sasquatch888

While chatting to Empire, Man Of Steel director Zack Snyder speaks at length about the decision to have Superman kill General Zod in order to save a family of innocents. He reveals that in the original version of the script the character was simply once again banished to the Phantom Zone, but Snyder was adamant that Kal-El should kill Zod -- because otherwise where does his aversion to killing originate from? He also shares details of another action scene on Kryton that didn't make the final cut, in which one of Jor El's AIs takes humanoid form and battles Zod's pack of genetically engineered dogs! It's all great stuff so be sure to take a listen from the time Snyder comes in around the 50 minute mark, and then David S. Goyer chimes in too, revealing that Chris Nolan was against Zod's death at the hands of Superman at first. Plus, he once again speaks about WB's plans for a shared DC movie universe

Posted by Zeeguy91

@g_man: I really don't understand why people are so up in arms about Superman killing Zod. He's killed before in the comics, so its not like it doesn't have precedent. Anyway, you have to ask yourself the question now: would you rather Superman have just...let Zod kill millions of people? As someone who has studied the doctrine behind justification and conduct of war and other warlike practices, I would definitely say that Superman killing Zod was wholly justified. In fact, it would probably be encouraged if a scenario like this played itself out in our world. For example, if you knew that the terrorist attacks were going to happen on September 11, 2001 and you had the chance to kill Osama bin Laden before he had the chance to order the attack, would you kill him or just...let it happen? Obviously, I think the majority of people, even if they had a very moral upbringing, would say they'd kill him because killing him would in fact be the moral thing to do.

Posted by The Stegman

I feel like I've already said my piece a few times throughout different threads prior to this but I'll do so again. First and foremost, thank you for the article Tony and while I don't agree with your opinion, I still respect it completely. After all, it is your own opinion! :)

So, in a sense, I do agree with you in regards of this not being a Superman film in its entirety. Why? Because for the better part of the film or for almost the entirety of it, Clark isn't Superman yet. This is the point of the film, it's a starting point, an origin story. It's unfortunate because people seem to neglect that fact. This takes place before Clark becomes the Superman the world comes to know, that all the comic book readers and die-hard Superman fans (such as myself) have come to idolize and adore.

Which brings me to the next point. Clark is severely inexperienced with his powers, that much is clear throughout almost the entire film. He doesn't even learn how to begin to control his powers or utilize them properly until he meets Jor-El. I think it's unfair to compare this film's version of Clark to the Donner films and especially comics, the best example constantly being reused is "What's so Funny about Truth, Justice and the American Way?". As I stated earlier, this Clark doesn't have the benefit of having years of experience under his belt, he hasn't tested his limits, grown with his capabilities and been able to learn he who or what he wants to be. I mean, once he gets the suit and begins to learn the extents of his powers, he's thrusted into an alien invasion with time to breath.

As for the destruction caused and especially the controversial Zod death scene, I will have to admit here that my first viewing of the film was severely ill-received due to the latter development. I, like many people especially Tony and Mark Waid, were irked by the fact that Clark killed Zod. Although, the more I thought about it, the more I understood it and why that scene was so brilliantly written and how I applaud the writers greatly. In the comics, Superman always has some ridiculous plot device that aids him in stopping his enemies, especially those as powerful as he is. He's in a world full of spectacular people such as himself who can aid him, who have the benefit of advanced technology to imprison such beings.

With Man of Steel, none of that is the case. The last of the Phantom Drives were used up or destroyed when Faora and the other Kryptonians were sent back into the Phantom Zone. Some may argue that there possibly may have been the Phantom Drive left on Clark's "Fortess of Solitude", but that's not the case. Even if it was still operational, how would Clark be able to get Zod back across the city and have the time to utilize it? Zod was clearly showing that he was just as powerful, if not more so than Clark was with the addition of his warrior nature edging out the favour. That's why it worked here. Clark didn't have any other option of stopping Zod.

I told myself in my first viewing, "Why didn't he fly up through the ceiling, why didn't he knock his head down, why didn't he cover his eyes with his hand?" How would that aid him? Clark would potentially lose his upper hand with the choke hold and even if he did knock him out? Then what? There is not a single thing on the planet that could hold Zod or Superman. He would just get back up and start causing even more unwarranted destruction. Clark's decision to kill Zod was the only way of stopping him and protecting the billions of people on Earth from potential annihilation as it was clear that Superman was beginning to lose that fight. There is no comic book plot device that could save Clark in this situation and we see a character, one of the most iconic in the world, put into a situation with no other choice.

Which leads me to my final point that connects with all the others. Clark is not Superman yet and definitely not the one we know. I believe that decision he made is what causes him to create that unbreakable moral compass, that one moment that reminds him what he should strive to avoid at all costs in the future. To me, it feels like a behind the scenes look at what helped build Superman into the person we know and who comes to inspire humanity to be greater than itself and it's something I am sure the sequel has plenty of room to cover.

So to close things off, is Man of Steel a perfect film in my opinion? No, not even close. But it greatly succeeds in what it set out to do and I applaud the crew for not taking the liberties with the character and trying something unique and different.

Rant over :)

Fantastic....SUPER post. I agree 110%

Posted by ULTRAstarkiller

Great Article