Man of Steel: Superman’s Aversion Toward Killing

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In My Humble Opinion:  Man of Steel serves as an origin story for the Superman character which provides background for his aversion toward killing.  I’ve read so many posts, comments, rants and raves from people about how pissed off they were that in the new Man of Steel movie Superman/Kal-El/Clark Kent ends up (SPOILER) killing General Zod in their final battle.  Superman has Zod, excuse me General Zod, in a headlock and is doing his best to keep Zod from killing a human family.  Superman is left with no other choice but to break General Zod’s neck in order to save the family.  Obviously, after the act has been committed, Superman is pretty upset with what he had to do.

My question to all those people who are upset at how the final battle went down is this.  Taking into account that this film reboots the franchise and serves as an origin story; couldn’t this be the moment in Superman’s history in which he establishes/realizes his disdain toward killing?  There’s no other part in the movie that discusses the morality or consequences of taking another life (a lot of people know Superman is against killing because of the comics).  As a stand-alone movie, which will surely spawn sequels/spin offs and develop the character further, the fact that he killed Zod seems to be in line with the rest of the film.  Then again, that’s just my opinion, I could be wrong.


A Bird, A Plane, A Man Of Steel SPOILER ALERT

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The planet Krypton faces imminent destruction due to an unstable core, and its ruling council is under the threat of rebel General Zod and his followers. Scientist Jor-El and his wife Lara launch a spacecraft carrying their newborn son Kal-El and a genetic codex. After Zod murders Jor-El, he and his followers are banished to the Phantom Zone, but manage to escape when Krypton explodes. The infant Kal-El lands on Earth in Smallville, Kansas, where he is discovered by couple Jonathan and Martha Kent, who name him Clark and raise him as their adopted son.

Clark’s Kryptonian physiology affords him superhuman abilities on Earth. With Martha’s support, young Clark gradually learns to hone the abilities that initially cause him confusion and discomfort. Jonathan reveals to a teenaged Clark that he is a humanoid alien from another world, and advises him to not utilize his powers publicly, fearing that society would be dangerously apprehensive of him. After Jonathan is killed by a tornado, an adult Clark spends the next several years living a nomadic lifestyle, working different jobs under false names to cover his tracks and hide his identity. He eventually discovers a Kryptonian scout ship whose technology allows him to communicate with the consciousness of Jor-El in the form of a hologram. Lois Lane, a young journalist from the Daily Planet, also discovers the ship while pursuing a story, and is rescued by Clark when she is injured. Lois’s editor Perry White rejects the story she submits about her “superhuman” rescuer, whom she tracks back to Smallville.

Detecting the scout ship, Zod travels to Earth where he demands that Kal-El must surrender to him. Because Zod threatens the population if he does not comply, Clark agrees to surrender to the U.S. military, who thus hand Lois and Clark over to Zod’s right hand Faora. Zod reveals that he intends to use a terraforming “world engine” in conjunction with his own spaceship to transform Earth into a more Krypton-like planet and eradicate the human population, then use the codex (which has been revealed to be located within Clark’s cells) to repopulate the planet with genetically-engineered Kryptonians. After Clark and Lois escape with the help of a computer copy of Jor-El’s personality uploaded into Zod’s ship, the superhero arrives to stop Faora’s force at Smallville from seizing the spacecraft that brought Superman to Earth. The confrontation leads to a destructive brawl with the Kryptonian land forces while the US military attacks them all indiscriminately. While Clark manages to defeat the renegades and convince the military that he is on their side, the general learns that the codex is imprinted into Clark’s own genetic structure. With reassurances that Kal-El need not be taken alive to get that information, the General deploys the world engine to the Indian Ocean and initiates the terraforming by hovering his ship over Metropolis.

To stop this attack, Clark, now dubbed “Superman”, and Lois inform the US military of a countermeasure suggested by the Jor-El program: use the spacecraft that brought Superman to Earth in an aerial strike against Zod’s ship, thereby creating a portal to return the Zod’s ship crew to the Phantom Zone. Meanwhile, Superman stops the engine in the Indian Ocean with considerable difficulty and then manages to return to Metropolis to enable the bombing run to succeed despite the renegade Kryptonians’ resistance. Zod, having been separated from his ship earlier, still remains, and he and Superman use their powers to engage each other. After a battle, Superman is forced to kill Zod to save a group of innocent civilians from his nihilistic rampage, but he is supported by Lois to cope with this traumatic necessity. Superman decides to blend into the normal world by resuming the identity of Clark Kent, and is hired by White as a reporter for the Daily Planet.


Can Superman Save The Justice League?

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In My Humble Opinion:  Any attempt by Warner Bros. to make a Justice League movie will end in disaster.  Apparently the powers that be over at Warner Bros. have decided to hang the fate of a Justice League movie on the box office receipt totals of Man of Steel (the new Superman reboot directed by Zach Snyder).  Personally, I think The Avengers was lucky to perform as well as it did.  I liked the movie, hell I pretty much liked all the movies leading up to The Avengers (Captain America was a little lame) but I think the success of  The Avengers was a situation where everything came together just at the right time.  For Warner Bros. to try to use this formula and apply it to The Justice League is going to end badly.  Other than the Batman franchise, Warner Bros. doesn’t have much to lean on in the way of hope with The Justice League being successful.  In fact, while we’re being honest, the latest Batman, The Dark Knight Rises was the weakest of them all which doesn’t bode well for trying to sustain momentum going forward; and let’s not forget Green Lantern, which showed more “green” on-screen than it took in at the box office.  Anyway, I’m excited about Man of Steel.  I hope I’m wrong about Warner Bros. and it is able to move forward with a Justice League movie (I know my son would be excited too)…I just won’t get my hopes up and I’d advise you don’t either.  

Part of the Variety article below:

Stakes are high for “Man of Steel.” Other than Nolan’s Batpics, Warners has not been able to effectively exploit the DC library. Its 2011 “Green Lantern” underperformed, and a “Justice League” film wouldn’t likely be in theaters before 2015, as Warner’s top brass has indicated that they are awaiting the results of “Man of Steel,” which opens June 14, before moving further ahead.


Two New Man of Steel Teasers Released

In my humble opinion:  Who else was thinking in the first teaser, “On this season of Deadliest Catch…Superman kicks some ass?”  Kidding aside, I thought the teaser was great, the music was beautiful and Kevin Costner’s voiceover was spot on.  I especially like the part that shows the Man of Steel’s younger years when he is running around with a cape, possibly with dreams of growing up to be a superhero.  How great would that be to have those dreams as a kid only to one day realize them as an adult?

The second teaser uses all of the same images but Russell Crowe does the voiceover and while he does well, I still prefer the Kevin Costner one myself.  But like the title of my blog, its my humble opinion, let me know what you think.