The Big Picture: Man of Tomorrow

TripleDaddy

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I didn't find Clark to be mopey or dreary at all. He's guarded, which is something entirely different. He's relaxed around his mom and becomes relaxed around Lois. Why? Because he trusts them. I mean, it's not like he's been told his entire life that humanity would be afraid of him if they ever found out who and what he really is. Oh, wait...THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED.

The movie ends with Clark finally comfortable in his own skin. Who he is and where he fits in the world. Did Movie Bob not watch the last five minutes of the movie?

Furthermore, it's a huge leap to think that because Superman killed Zod that he now thinks it's okay to kill. In fact, Superman's reaction says something completely the opposite.

I think one of the other posters got it exactly right in that Movie Bob is looking at Man of Steel through Comic Book Guy eyes.
 

Trishbot

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Red X said:
Trishbot said:
So... Superman kills. And the movie tries to say that that's okay because the villain put a lot of people's lives at risk...


So, who's looking forward to the "Injustice" movie Warner Bros. is apparently trying to make?
And as for Injustice? I won't go into the whole alternate universe thing but remember what happened in Injustice is the opposite to what happened in Kingdom Come and similarly in the JL cartoon.

Stop getting it twisted, it's not that Superman doesn't kill, it's that he shouldn't, he should always find a better way, it won't be a perfect way, just a better one. I'm not even a Superman fan and even i can get that :S
I actually was mocking the movie for having Superman kill. Stupid internet sarcasm being so hard to pull off...

My point was, in Injustice, the act of Superman outright killing a villain is what sets the stage for the entirety of Injustice, where Superman is a DICTATOR with the view that killing is okay if done for the greater good of the people... and how diametrically opposed this morality is to the values he once had, and that others like Batman still stand for.

Even the Justice League did this story, where a Superman that is "okay" with killing a criminal if he decides there's no other choice is what creates the "Justice Lords", and the series very smartly ends that arc with the proper Superman put in the situation of killing Luthor to save lives, only to answer "I'm not the man who killed Luthor. I wish to heaven that I was, but I'm NOT."

The movie gets it wrong. VERY wrong. FUNDAMENTALLY wrong. I'm actually quite sad knowing the Transformers/Michael Bay-loving generation is going to just love this movie because of all the action and maybe even cheer when Superman snaps Zod's neck. That's what the public wants. A spectacle. Violence. Grittiness and brutal death (pulls the Gladiator "are you not entertained?!" card). So much destruction, so much violence, that's what makes him SUPER, right?

Hell no. F*** no. What makes Superman "super" is not his powers. His powers are the most generic powers any hero can have. So many superheroes have flight and super strength and even laser vision. What makes him "super" is his morality, his values, his virtues. Superman is not just any superhero. He's the superhero OTHER superheroes aspire to be. He is the best of us, the "hope" of what a superhero ultimately means, the greatest good that humanity (the Kent family) can bring to temper the godlike power of a would-be tyrant. It's why a storyline like "Red Son", showing a Superman not raised with the morals his parents gave him, would be a terrible thing and a completely different person.

The movie utterly, completely fails to be Superman at its emotional core, at its very soul. Sure, he wears the cape. Sure, he flies and punches things really hard. Sure, he flirts with Lois. Sure, he's an alien raised by folks in Kansas. But when it matters most, his very character, what he stands for, it all falls tragically apart.

I'll just leave off with this, from Alan Moore's acclaimed "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow" storyline:
 

endtherapture

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The thing that will stop Superman killing is that he will feel guilt over killing Zod and then decide never to kill again.
 

ExtraDebit

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You know what I learn from this movie? Krytonian's can't control the laser from their eyes with their eyes, they can only shoot straight and need to move their heads.

Zod could've easily just look right and kill those innocent, instead he look straight. That's why I never liked DC, too much plot holes, too much space magic.
 

80sboy

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canadamus_prime said:
Wait, Superman kills Zod? That's not right. Superman doesn't kill.
Didn't Christopher Reeves Superman also kill Zod in Superman 2? He threw him in a chasm in the fortress of solitude when Zod become weak like human. Yeah! Doesn't seem like much of a rule for me.

Although I agree with Moviebob, but it's not that it's mopy, Superman just doesn't seem to be that well developed. Like Moviebob said, in this movie you don't even get the sense it's a rule until he freaks out for killing him in the end.
 

tzimize

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canadamus_prime said:
Wait, Superman kills Zod? That's not right. Superman doesn't kill.
I knoooooooooooooooow!

I'm 100% on board with Bob on this whole thing. The movie itself was an amazing spectacle at times with out of this world effects...but Superman DONT KILL PEOPLE. The whole POINT of the character is that he ALWAYS does the right thing!

If you're gonna change the one important thing the relatively boring character of superman has....there is no point in making this movie at all.

There are 2 good things about it though.

1: We didnt have to suffer through a terrible reason for Zod to be lured aboard his own spaceship and drawn into the phantom zone again.
2: Superman actually did something original.

But those points are moot when you break the character.

God damnit. A lot was riding on this movie, but DC just cant seem to get it right :|

Trishbot said:
-supersnip-
I feel ashamed snipping this awesome post, but I just gotta say. Thanks for saying what I'm thinking, only better. I agree wholeheartedly.
 

Nghtgnt

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Just saw the movie. I'm glad I'm not the only one that was bothered by Superman killing Zod. Movies never get a vocal reaction out of me, but that one shocked me enough to get a "Jesus!" and I teared up a little. The thing is, the effect that scene has on someone who grew up reading comics will be very different from someone who hasn't. Bob touches on this mentioning that there is little in the movie that shows how important the whole not killing is to Superman's character - I brought 20 years of reading comics and an iron-clad idea of Superman's persona with me into that theater.
 

Johny64

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Bob, the filmmakers deliberately omitted a scene where Superman establishes a "thou shall not kill" rule because he didn't make one. The reason he got upset about killing Zod was because of what it came down to; Choose Earth and finish Zod, or choose Krypton and let Zod live to rebuild it. This was a decision Clark spent the whole movie deliberating about, and Zod made him make a decision he wouldn't have been prepared to make otherwise. In a sense, the events of this film could be a catalyst to his rule on killing. The sequel could easily be about "You might have saved the world but you need to clean up your act..." and then he decides to avoid property damage, save and protect more people in his fights and most of all, decide never to kill again.
 

Canadamus Prime

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80sboy said:
canadamus_prime said:
Wait, Superman kills Zod? That's not right. Superman doesn't kill.
Didn't Christopher Reeves Superman also kill Zod in Superman 2? He threw him in a chasm in the fortress of solitude when Zod become weak like human. Yeah! Doesn't seem like much of a rule for me.

Although I agree with Moviebob, but it's not that it's mopy, Superman just doesn't seem to be that well developed. Like Moviebob said, in this movie you don't even get the sense it's a rule until he freaks out for killing him in the end.
I don't remember that part, but then I haven't seen Superman 2 in quite some time. I remember the Fortress of Solitude, but I don't remember Superman actually throwing Zod into a chasm.
 

DoctorImpossible

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I would much rather see Clark develop into a better man by struggling over an impossible decision early in his career than automatically be held to a contrived morality that only exists because of the antiquated and obsolete Comics Code.
 

ILikeEggs

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DoctorImpossible said:
I would much rather see Clark develop into a better man by struggling over an impossible decision early in his career than automatically be held to a contrived morality that only exists because of the antiquated and obsolete Comics Code.
Precisely. Better to establish this properly with non-comics fans than to expect them(unrealistically) to just take it for granted.
 

Deverfro

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I totally agree, SuperMan shouldn't kill. But I think it kinda worked here. Yeah, Batman esque SuperMan is kinda a drag. But in that moment of panic, I get why he killed Zod, plus, where the hell would they put the guy? He probably wouldn't spend too long in custody. I'd hope that now SuperMan thinks "Okay, theres got to be a better way to deal with this".

But yeah, Man of Steel, was pretty damn amazing! The city destruction was pure adrenaline fulled carnage! (But having not read any SuperMan comics, I was thinking, Man this reminds me of Image's Invincible (I know that that takes influnce from SuperMan))
 
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I would think that this younger and less experienced Superman would carry the weight of his violence into future iterations. It would flavor an older and more savvy Superman who has disavowed killing.

Did we forget Superman killing another version of Zod? Superman II depicts a far worse death of Zod than Man of Steel.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUORL-bvwA0
 

Zetatrain

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Well count me as one of the people who doesn't really have a problem with Superman killing Zod. First of all Zod kinda of forced Superman's hand and it was a very heat of the moment kind of thing. Plus Superman does show regret over killing Zod. Now while people are right in that this does create a slippery slope its possible that this will play a part in future Superman movies and is not a sign of the writers just casually dismissing Superman's "thou Shall not Kill" code.

As for the whole collateral damage argument, hasn't this happened countless timeless in the cartoons and comics? This more or less done for a stylized effect. Now yes he probably could have drown Zod out into a desert, but given how Zod wants to make Superman suffer he would have just stayed back and slaughtered innocents to draw Superman back. I suppose there could have been a scene or two where he rescues some people form debris, but it doesn't really bother me.

If anything my only complaint about the whole killing issue is that the movie doesn't really explore or explain why its bad for Superman to kill, why he has this code (as if its something we are suppose to assume or already know).
 

Edguy

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The way I see it, the reason why it was never mentioned that he had a strict "no killing" rule before in the movie, was because he didn't. I mean, he'd just "been Superman" for a matter of days. Isn't it logical that killing Zod was the defining moment that made him decide never to kill again. Also, I'd like to point out that killing someone with your hands is a lot different to accidentally killing someone out of view as collateral. Remember, Clark is not a rational guy like Bruce Wayne (well, not Nolan's Bruce, but that's another issue..), he's emotionally driven; a virtue ethicist.

This movie's main issue was the complete lack of screen time dedicated to character development (Clark & Lois after meeting each other like two times, with no chemistry at all..). I bet sometime during the production, they said "Hey, our character development is pretty weak, but the action sequences are awesome. Let's half the former and double the latter."
 

Trishbot

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canadamus_prime said:
80sboy said:
canadamus_prime said:
Wait, Superman kills Zod? That's not right. Superman doesn't kill.
Didn't Christopher Reeves Superman also kill Zod in Superman 2? He threw him in a chasm in the fortress of solitude when Zod become weak like human. Yeah! Doesn't seem like much of a rule for me.

Although I agree with Moviebob, but it's not that it's mopy, Superman just doesn't seem to be that well developed. Like Moviebob said, in this movie you don't even get the sense it's a rule until he freaks out for killing him in the end.
I don't remember that part, but then I haven't seen Superman 2 in quite some time. I remember the Fortress of Solitude, but I don't remember Superman actually throwing Zod into a chasm.
It actually depends on the version of Superman 2 you watch. In the Richard Donner version, they get sent back to the Phantom Zone. If you watch the movie studio edit version, I believe he gets thrown down a pit or something.
Mcoffey said:
Trishbot said:
While I agree with you about Superman, I still feel the situation in the movie is vastly different from the situations presented in Justice League and the Injustice comics.

Zod and Superman were on equal footing in terms of strength and ability. He's not Superman to Zod. There was no strength or speed advantage in that final scene. It wasn't a situation of where the Joker and Lex will probably be in a situation in the future where they'll kill people, and he wasn't passing judgement on Zod for what he'd done. It was a moment where Zod was directly going to kill people, and he was unable to use any other option of restraint or deflection. Superman literally had no other option. And it destroys him. He openly weeps for what he was forced to do. This isn't some macho Die Hard movie where he scowls at the camera while looking cool but remorseful. I don't expect any bros talking about how sweet it was when Supes kills him and immediately starts sobbing.

The movie makes it clear this was a terrible thing Superman had no choice but to do. And I very, very much doubt that Superman will be offing his baddies in the sequel (Which will hopefully feature Brainiac because that was all I could think about when those Kryptonian helper robots where on screen).

I loved this movie, and I think they absolutely nailed the character of Superman. Absolutely pitch perfect.
I'd disagree on a few things (and it's okay to disagree). Maybe it was the fault of lousy editing, but Superman, yes, shows he didn't WANT to kill Zod and lets out that pained "what have I done?" scream... but it was only a few mere minutes later that he and Lois are cracking jokes and flirting and the repercussions of what he's done seem to have almost instantaneously dissipated. In the comics, the moment he does what he does in the 1980s story, he flees from Lois in disgust because he can't even bear to look her in the eyes because of what he had done. He flat out disappears for two years. Obviously, the movie wanted to wrap things up on a comparatively "happier" note, but the way the scenes played out didn't make me think "wow, this is totally going to linger with him for years to come", not when he seemed to be coping with it just fine shortly thereafter.

And the argument that he was "on equal footing" with Zod to make it okay doesn't convince me either. It wasn't because they were equal in strength; you admit yourself it was because Zod was threatening civilians and Superman saw no alternative (though, seriously, those civilians should've MOVED. Stop standing there, morons!) Any villain can put Superman in that situation, no matter if they're strong or normal. Joker could have Lois hooked up to a bomb with his finger on the trigger, or Luthor could have arranged a deathtrap for Jimmy that only his death would prevent. Their strength doesn't matter, especially when intelligent villains can outsmart Superman to put him in a position of vulnerability. It was a REALLY BIG DEAL when Wonder Woman snapped a powerless human's neck because he had mind controlled Superman to go on a rampage and only his death could stop it... and even though it was "justified", both Batman and Superman were horrified with what she had done, even if her position was understandable.

But, well, if Brainiac is next... Brainiac isn't a person. He is not technically "alive". He's a cold computer program, and by all means Superman can "kill" him all he wants because he's neither alive nor even a physical being (hence why he keeps "dying" in the comics and has so many back-up copies of himself). So I fully expect, if Brianiac shows up, that he'll be "killed" just like Zod.

And, I don't know, that's a huge part of Superman the movies failed to grasp; apart from him barely spending a second to help the THOUSANDS of people no-doubt killed in their fight (seriously, lure him out of the city! Even DBZ characters are THAT smart), the fact that Superman resorts to basically pummeling the villain to death as his only means of victory shows how little they know or understand Superman. He's not a brute. He's smart, cunning, intelligent, resourceful, and he'll always use his fists as a last resort. At least in the two decades of comics I read, he made plans, set traps, outsmarted villains MORE often than he out-muscled them, and he managed to go all that time without ending a single life.

The Superman in the movies is the "punch him to death but feel bad about it" type, neither raised with the moral convictions that Pa Kent should've given him (seriously, go to hell, Pa Kent... you're like a Bizarro version of Uncle Ben's "great power comes great responsibility"), the brains to use his powers in ways that don't cause wanton destruction, or the charm and humor he always brought to those around him. Superman, more than any other hero, was a hero not because of some tragedy in his life, not because he has no choice but to stop the villains, but simply a means to do his civic duty with the abilities he had. He became Superman long before he had a villain to fight. He saved kittens from trees as equally as stopping aliens from conquering the planet. One of my favorite stories was when he just saved a bankrupt local deli by eating there and making people go "wow, Superman eats there? I want to eat there too!" so the old couple that ran the place wouldn't lose their income.

That, to me, is what makes Superman "super". Doing something like that speaks volumes more to him as a hero than snapping Zod's neck, but feeling really bad about it for a few minutes.
 

Canadamus Prime

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Trishbot said:
canadamus_prime said:
80sboy said:
canadamus_prime said:
Wait, Superman kills Zod? That's not right. Superman doesn't kill.
Didn't Christopher Reeves Superman also kill Zod in Superman 2? He threw him in a chasm in the fortress of solitude when Zod become weak like human. Yeah! Doesn't seem like much of a rule for me.

Although I agree with Moviebob, but it's not that it's mopy, Superman just doesn't seem to be that well developed. Like Moviebob said, in this movie you don't even get the sense it's a rule until he freaks out for killing him in the end.
I don't remember that part, but then I haven't seen Superman 2 in quite some time. I remember the Fortress of Solitude, but I don't remember Superman actually throwing Zod into a chasm.
It actually depends on the version of Superman 2 you watch. In the Richard Donner version, they get sent back to the Phantom Zone. If you watch the movie studio edit version, I believe he gets thrown down a pit or something.
Ok, I'm going to have to see that movie again because I'm having difficulty remembering just how he finally dealt with Zod apart from the red sun radiation thing.