it is funny, I felt that 'Man of steel' was actually a pretty decent film adaptation of the comics, I say this as someone who has spent many years reading said comics and keeping up with the general evolution and development as the years go on.
Here is the thing, 'Man of steel' did the same thing that Marvel did with some of it's heroes in films but it was competing not with comics but the Christopher Reeve/Richard Donner films and that is honestly a bad comparison to draw as the Reeve/Donner films are pretty far from the mark no matter how good they are.
So, when Bob (and a number of others who share the same points of reference) watch 'Man of steel', they agonize over how "joyless" it is, how serious the whole thing has become, how violent the film is and how callously it regards the lives of those living in Metropolis and finally, how it all comes to a end.
The Reeve/Donner films were entirely different, they were going for a borderline comedic tone with a healthy splash of Norman Rockwell style Americana meets 70's New York style and it worked because that was the kind of film folks wanted at the time.
What 'Man of steel' did right was give us a Metropolis that is a bit closer to what we might find in a modern Superman comic, it gave us a pensive Clark Kent who is unsure of his own basic identity without making him unreasonably naive, he is a strong character that does not even need the suit to be interesting (something that Donner struggled with in his films).
What it also gave us was a origin story for Superman that made sense in the same way the 'Birthright' trade paperback made sense (and just as controversal apparently), Clark did not suddenly decide "I am going to be Superman and save the world and all it's occupants as my full time job", he had to ease into it, he puts on the suit but he is still NOT Superman, he does not reach that point really until the end.
That is the key here, many (Bob included) get so upset about bits and pieces of this film without really looking at how it all fits together, without seeing the world that is being created and the rather accurate (when compared to modern Superman comics) view of Superman as a character.
To me, 'Man of steel' is no different than Iron man (another comic character I have been reading since I was a little kid) or even Captain America (specifically 'The winter soldier'), it takes the ideas from the comics, figures out what works in film and makes it happen, the only difference is that it seems Marvel has gotten a bit of a "free pass" with it's films because most eager film-goers know NOTHING about the character in the comics, they have nothing to draw from, with 'Man of steel', they have the past Superman films and maybe, just maybe a handful of comics, as such, they tend to compare 'Man of steel' directly to the Reeve Superman films and complain when it is not exactly like those.
Seriously, read some modern Superman books and then watch 'Man of steel', you can see some specific elements that were pulled directly from various books and in my opinion, they worked.
Perhaps I am just annoyed because everyone seemed to love Nolan's Batman films until it became "cool" to complain about how "grimdark" or "edgy" they are, it was fine to make a bunch of Marvel films that are sometimes barely even close to the original characters (Thor, Iron man) but when 'Man of steel' does a pretty strong interpretation of modern Superman comics, it gets lambasted for doing what it needed to do to sell a story.
Before I hit post, I just want to quickly go over something, the massive amount of destruction in 'Man of steel' is frequently cited as a major flaw with the film, this makes no sense to me, I mean, if you look at the comics, Superman (and the Justice league) frequently get into battles that cause a ton of destruction, there are villains that kill a ton of folks in the DC universe and even Superman himself is capable of pretty much taking a city apart without really breaking a sweat.
So, with that in mind, why is it so hard to deal with a few rather violent and militaristic Kryptonians doing exactly what they are capable of (even in the comics) to a scale that actually makes sense. seriously, a fight between Superman and Kryptonians is not going to be the playful, slow motion affair (with more product placement than we saw in Man of steel BTW) that we got in the Donner films, it would be fast, massively destructive and many folks would actually die.
So, what is the problem? I don't really get it.
Bob talks about Marvel doing well because it took the core idea and did something really good with it without agonizing over the details and that is EXACTLY what 'Man of steel' did, sadly, it was doomed before anyone even saw it because it was never going to be exactly based on what many seemed to want (for some reason), the light hearted, golden age, comedy level Donner/Reeve films.