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DVD Shopping Bag: Man of Steel Dilemma

Yes, Superman Kills

By Robert T. Trate     November 12, 2013
Source: Mania.com

With today’s release of Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel, I thought I would open up a wound that has not necessarily healed. Before we get into the heart of the matter, I had a few thoughts I would like to share with you. The first is that I have discarded all that has come before with Superman in the movies. I am NOT saying that I don’t love the original Superman movies. In fact, the first two are very near and dear to my heart. I remember my dad picking me up and flying me out of the theater to John Williams’ score. I even occasionally watch the third and fourth one just to see Christopher Reeve do what he does best, be Superman (and Clark Kent). I see this relaunch as a new universe, a year zero for Superman. A universe in which Batman does exist and Superman kills. 

After watching the film again, I have decided that Superman (Henry Chavill) really had no other choice than what General Zod (Michael Shannon) left him with. In the confines of this story, Zod was genetically bred/ programmed to fight for his people. In this extreme situation, Zod could not just walk away from the only means at re-establishing his race. He was born to defend Krypton and this abomination (Kal-El) was standing in his way. The flip side to that is that Kal-El had to defend the only home he had ever known and a people which he saw himself a part of. It was kill or let the people of his world die. The choice was easy. 

The destruction in the film was a bit extreme. I’ll grant you that. However, at which point does Superman say to Zod, “Can we take this up to the moon or perhaps out to the Sahara desert?” The World Machine was right there in Metropolis, not some far off desolate battle ground. Yes, Metropolis was going to take a beating. Yet, many of you thought back to the classic movie battle between Zod and his cronies against Superman in Superman II. Superman sees that the people are in danger and there is no stopping these Kryptonian criminals. Yet, at the particular moment, there was no greater threat to the rest of humanity. It was a time to take off and regroup, a luxury our new Superman did not have. 

When Superman snapped Zod’s neck, the rules did change in a big way. Not only do we live in a universe where Superman kills, but we have a Batman who will not. A great parallel to these iconic characters. With all that happened at the end of Man of Steel and how it sat with the fans, can it all be explained away with a lot of story in the Man of Steel sequel (Batman vs Superman)? Bruce Wayne and Wayne Enterprises could come in to help rebuild Metropolis. Lex Luthor (hopefully played by Bryan Cranston) could emerge from the ashes and label this Superman as a threat to the good people of Metropolis. However, the son of Jor-El will probably rebuild Metropolis, thus endearing himself to people. 

You probably don’t agree with my assessment of the situation in the Man of Steel. You probably think that Superman does not kill. You are entitled to your opinion and mine is stated above. What I suggest is that you voice your opinion below and with your wallet. If you didn’t like the Man of Steel and the direction in which Zack Snyder and company took the character, then voice that opinion to the only person(s) that matter, Warner Brothers. Stop buying Superman movie tickets. Stop buying Superman comic books. When any new set of writers or artists take their crack at an iconic character, we always get something different. Since this superhero just turned 75 years old, isn’t it time for a change?

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COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

Showing items 1 - 10 of 94
1 2 3 4 >  >>  
TheStinkyCheese 11/12/2013 12:37:54 AM

 I think this movie will only be more appreciatted as time goes on.

chiefBrody 11/12/2013 1:00:33 AM
 The ending was over the top for me and the way Zod died was so easy for Superman, you're just wondering why he waited so long. For the rest, it was pretty good.

Also, if Snyder wants to make it like "the real world", the president and the entire propulation would want Superman to leave the earth after all the mess he made in the city...

SmokingFrog77 11/12/2013 1:44:19 AM

Couldn't agree more Robert Trate!  At the end of the day, Zod was not an unstoppable force, and Superman did what was needed to save lives. In the comics he has killed Zod before, this is hardly a new sin to lay on Snyder and Co. I don't recall people cracking the shits when Batman killed Two-Face at the end of TDK - I mean come on, what did he think was going to happen? He pushed him off a ledge several stories up! Does it make it less of a killing if he was accepting that he might get killed in the fall too? No. Did he do what was necessary to save lives? Yes.

My copy of MoS shipped from Amazon today, just got to buy a new tv this week so I can watch it when it arrives!!

death4sale 11/12/2013 1:53:37 AM

As someone who specializes in philosophical ethical questions, I engaged in many a heated debate with philosophy students as well as teachers about the situations that Kal-El faced in this movie. Killing is not something he wanted to do, he never wanted to kill Zod despite what Zod was doing to the Earth. Unfortunately, Zod forced his hand. He had to do what had to be done and Superman has always been the guy who will do whatever is necessary. Superman doesn't kill? He killed Doomsday in one of the greatest Superman comics ever made. He did it because he had no other choice and he paid the ultimate price, his life. People have brought up the idea of taking the fight elsewhere. Do you think Zod would have let the fight go somewhere else? If Supes flies away in an attempt to make Zod chase him, Zod doesn't take the bait in this situation. He stays right where he is and begins killing innocent civilians. Didn't Faora tell Supes that they would kill as many people as it took? This was a bad situation for Supes all around. My philosophy teacher complained about the fictional collateral damage that occurred as a result of the fight and he refuses to buy the it's-a-movie argument. He can't watch a film in which 100,000 lives were lost because of Superman and Zod. He thinks it conveys a bad message about society when we can easily gloss over little details like that in films. Since they are not real people dying, but fictional deaths, I told him I could less about that fictional collateral damage. On an ethical note, I also told him that the deaths of 100,000 people may be sad, but it was a necessary sacrifice to ensure the survival of 6 billion lives. It might weigh on Supes quite a bit that so many lost their lives, but he was not at a point here where he had the experience to know how to save them (if he could at all). It's a pretty cool debate to have with a philosophy professor.

RedHood2010 11/12/2013 3:38:21 AM

I had no problem with it during the 4 times I saw it at the movies and I look forward to seeing his journey again tonight!!  Looking forward to part 2.

akiraakobus 11/12/2013 3:47:03 AM

I am glad to see I am not the only one who did not mind the ending to the movie, I thought this movie was very good and enjoyable overall, and am really sick of the Internet whiners complaining about the ending, given how the movie did in theaters, WOM was pretty strong,  and the haters will just have to except that outside the internet  most people really enjoyed this movie.

Wiseguy 11/12/2013 4:19:40 AM

I still hate the ending and it soured what was otherwise an enjoyable movie for me.

Guess I'll just download a torrent copy so WB hears me, I already stopped buying DC comics but I did that when they introduced the New 52 which was a good jumping on point for newbies but it was also a perfect point for me to alight

hanso 11/12/2013 4:23:55 AM

Buying it today, just wished it didnt have ultra violet copy.  Just give me an itunes copy WB!

 

Wiseguy 11/12/2013 4:27:41 AM

Bob if we beg you not to write up a box office report would that push you to write one? Just wondering because it appears you  to do the opposite of what most seem to want

jedibanner 11/12/2013 5:36:11 AM

The movie was great but the ending was very disapointing. Now it seems there is a new generations of fans that apears to be ok with a hero that kills and worst, it seems it's embraced.

That's the scary party....now it's required almost for superheroes to kill and that is just sad.

Christopher Reeve must be spinning in his grave....

1 2 3 4 >  >>  

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