Redeye Rogue unabashedly loved Man of Steel – and was perplexed and vexed to discover that the movie was not well received.
We’ve turned the floor over to our resident Lewis Black – Doc Aquaman – and his take on what we feel was the best depiction of Superman in movies thus far.
Take it away Doc Aq.
PLENTY OF SPOILERS….
After I told you that I enjoyed Man of Steel, I listened to you rant and rave that I was wrong. I heard your well thought out arguments about how it was wrongheaded and not a true Superman movie. I watched the Man of Steel parody movies that you made me look at on youtube, and admit Man of Steel: The Animated Series was especially amusing.
Then, you assumed because I did not have a quick comeback to your arguments that you won. But, here’s the thing: When you hate something, it is so easy to point out the thousand flaws in it. This is proven by the fact that whenever a fanboy hates something, he writes a 20 page statement pointing out every infinitesimal problem with said thing on his blog, when such time would be better served doing something more useful like masturbating to internet porn.
But, when you like something, you like it on a visceral level. You do not need to give an excuse for liking it, it just touches you in a way that you get it. It takes some time to explain why you liked something, and I have taken that time, and here it is.
First, I once talked to a guy who really enjoys the Marvel superhero movies, and states that he thinks the problem with doing DC superhero movies is that they are all perfect and we cannot relate to them but can relate to the flawed Marvel superheroes. I think the truth is something else entirely. The truth is that the DC heroes have had it way too easy. If Batman has a problem, he always has something in his utility belt that can fix it. The Flash can utilize his super speed to fix any problem, and Green Lantern’s ring magically solves everything. The problem is worse with Superman, because, every time he comes across an unsolvable problem, he either discovers he has a new super power or a super doodad in the Fortress of Solitude suddenly appears that can fix everything. My favorite example in comics is when he first defeated Titano, a 50 foot gorilla who could shoot kryptonite out of his eyes!
Superman suddenly gained the power to go backwards in time to drop Titano in prehistoric times, because he could do no damage there. But, this was not the ridiculous part: When Lois asked him how he knew that Titano was happy there, Superman explained that his super imagination assured him. We also saw this in the Christopher Reeve movie, where, when Lois knows his secret identity, he suddenly has a super kiss that can make her forget.
Doesn’t this make it obvious that this is getting so nuts, that it is impossible to create any suspense for a Superman movie, because the writers will just pull something out of their asses to fix everything?
Second, you complain that the world of Superman is bleak, whereas the Avengers lived in an optimistic world. In both movies, there was lots of property damage and thousands of people had to have died. It’s just that in Avengers, we only saw the survivors who worshiped the heroes and smiled and cheered happily. Isn’t it more likely that the ordinary people would just see the death and destruction this battle caused, and assume anyone with super powers was responsible for it? I have a feeling that this optimistic world will get old quick, since, why do you need heroes in a happy shiny world? It is a better written story if you start with a bleak world, and the advent of heroes makes it better. Yes, the movie did not end happy shiny, but making the world better does take some time, especially in the real world.
Finally, the statement that Superman never kills is an absolute lie.
Superman, in fact, has killed General Zod every single time he fought him, because killing him is the only way Superman can stop him. In the comics, they just sanitize this fact. The typical way is conveniently having a phantom zone projector laying around and sticking Zod in the phantom zone. But, let’s look at the facts: going into the phantom zone means you are for all eternity placed in an area where you are a moaning shade. In other words, Superman kills you and places you into Hell. In fact, the Superman in Superman II was kind of an ass when dealing with Zod. He happened to have a machine that takes away all of a Krytonian’s powers, so the threat was ended and he could have just placed Zod in jail. Instead, he breaks the hand of a now defenseless man and, with a big grin and a clever quip, throws him down a bottomless pit. I know you are saying, ‘But, Zod could have survived all that.’ At which I ask you, could you survive having your hand broken and being thrown down a bottomless pit? At least, in Man of Steel, they had the guts to really kill off Zod, and, when Superman did it, he did not grin and quip – he cried in horror at what he did. Superman had nothing that could have stopped Zod from killing every living person on Earth. He had no phantom zone projector, no other super heroes that could have minimized the damage, and no magical kiss that could make Zod forget how much he hates humanity.
So I will continue liking Man of Steel and that is my right. You have your right to hate it, though, usually, when I hate something, I just stop watching it and watch stuff that I actually enjoy. I know, it’s a weird concept.