Superman may not be the most popular DC character right now but Superman is still the most important character in the DC Universe and getting him right seems to be so hard for the writers. They say he is too powerful, he is unrelatable, it’s hard to find a real challenge for him. But ask the fans and they’ll tell you how Superman is relatable and how despite him being an alien, he is the most human DC Superhero there is. And that’s how you write Superman. That’s where he shines to a mature audience, not in all the cool things he can do but in his character.
Superman isn’t Super because he has powers. This is a fact fans understand and haters completely do not get. Some say he would be living a normal life were it not for his powers and that’s probably true. He wouldn’t fight crime the way Batman does. But that wouldn’t make him any less of a hero. What makes Superman is not an accident, a tragedy, or where he was born, what makes a young infant from another planet, a Superman, is his upbringing. The ideals instilled in him by the Kents. There are several instances in the Superman mythos when he has been powerless but he did not stop helping people. That did not stop him from putting himself in the face of danger to protect others.
“It is a remarkable dichotomy. In many ways, Clark is the most human of us all. Then… he shoots fire from the skies and it is difficult not to think of him as a god. And how fortunate we all are that it does not occur to him.” -Batman
Superman is an example that power doesn’t necessarily has to be corrupt. How can that not be interesting. Now that we have established where Superman’s true strengths lie, as a character, let’s talk about the Man Of Steel sequel.
There are only so many scenes in movie history which are more talked about than the movie itself. This particular scene where Superman kills Zod has been debated online for years and I’ve found people who read every negative thing there was about man of steel instead of watching it, and then debating about how the movie sucked, with special mentions to this scene. Yeah, that happened. It’s surprising how many people did not get why Superman had to kill the only link to his world with his bare hands or why taking the fight out of the city was not an option.
Related : The Impact Of Superman on Comic books
But I believe it’s not that hard to understand how devastating that was for him. It’s like a Disney’s Tarzan story, only our Super Tarzan is fully dressed and unlike Disney’s Tarzan, who still had a world left in case he wished to go out of the jungle, Superman did not have the luxury. His pain was clearly demonstrated in one of the most emotionally painful screams I’ve heard in a long time.
Raise your hand if you can still hear it in your head seeing that picture. Just kidding.
So, by the end of Man of Steel, Superman was completely screwed. And there was so much potential for the next movie which everybody was speculating to be a Man Of Steel sequel since the movie, while divisive, performed well enough. It became the biggest Superhero origin story on film, a record Deadpool beat after 3 years.
Man Of Steel 2 was supposed to be the movie that shows a broken Superman transition from an inexperienced farm boy with Superpowers into a symbol of hope which felt like what the first movie was trying to do. It would’ve been such an interesting movie to watch.
Instead, we lose 18 months of what could’ve been a better Man Of Steel and jump into Batman v Superman where Superman is suddenly this god that people love and fear. They demonized him, had him go against Batman for about 8 minutes in a fight where most people were rooting for Batman even though he was the one not in his right mind, the murderer. And to top it, before the world could get a chance to see the truth and lift him as their hero, Superman is killed without giving audiences a chance to connect with him. Sure a few little kids cried but did you notice the tone of the movie? Did it seem like it was for kids?
This is not bashing on Batman v Superman as a movie, I loved the extended version, but when I’m not being a fan boy, I can see how many serious issues the movie had. This is about how Superman was portrayed. Ignoring what the majority of the audiences felt, and assuming the movie was made for me only, I think it’s one of the best ‘standalone’ Superman stories on film. It didn’t need Man of Steel to make sense. It wasn’t a Batman story despite his larger share of screen time. But as a non fanboy audience, the movie only ruined the Superman story that could’ve been.
The Dawn of Justice could’ve waited. Batman v Superman was a brilliant idea for a Man of Steel sequel. Doomsday could’ve waited. There was no hurry, let the avengers make a billion dollars, batman made a billion dollars twice, on his own.A super divisive Superman movie with just about 54% ratings became the biggest origin story. Had it not been a Superman story, a film with 54% ratings usually turns out to be a box office failure. That’s how popular and iconic DC characters are.
But now that they have killed all those potential plots with the death of Superman, what can we hope for next? Remember that the Justice league is coming before the Man Of Steel sequel. Superman will most probably appear towards the end of the movie, saving the day after the Justice League gets beat up. So there goes your return of the Superman story arc too.
What’s left to tell now of a Superman story? His rise as the symbol of hope, his fall in people’s eyes because of an elaborate Luthor plan or a tragedy, and his demise at the hands of doomsday have all been done with. All the interesting aspects of his stories worth at least 3 movies have been ruined in one movie where he had about 42 dialogues. To compare, Spiderman in the Civil War had more dialogues.
Now the only interesting Superman plot I can think of is bringing him back from the grave as a tyrant and God knows I am so not ready to deal with that crap before getting a decent Superman movie that is loved like the Christopher Reeves movies were. Not saying Man Of Steel disappointed me in any way though, but more love for the movie could’ve been better.
This sequel could’ve been so much more, but I’ll be hopeful and hope that it’s not yet too late. Before signing off, this was a completely personal fan boy opinion and I’d love to hear yours in the comments below.