What is all this "helpless person" nonsense you're going on about? Zod was the furthest thing from helpless in this movie, and made it quite clear that he was going to continue his rampage against humanity unless Superman stopped him (even saying "I will not stop!!")....
I do agree we probably should have seen a bit more reflection from Superman after the fact, but the fact the movie decided to jump ahead in time doesn't mean that reflection didn't happen (I think that's a problem more with the editing than with the story itself).
There not actually being any heat vision it's easy to forget that it's officially part of the story. It's a kind of made up excuse to remove all moral blame, so I tend to skip over it. (Incidentally it also removes all moral credit as well. Superman is not acting as an independent moral agent, and it's all about the killing and a few moments' angst.)
If Superman had merely choked Zod unconscious, and the people escaped, the same supposed necessity to kill Zod would have been there. Except that seeing Superman kill Zod in "cold" blood would have been less entertaining. The heat vision crap was just mischief designed to an end: Superman kills. Many people think killing the villain is a fun ending. But if it just do it barefaced, so to speak, it becomes a little embarrassing. So the mediocre writers dress it up. I guess it's like roleplaying in sex? Nobody really, truly believes the pretense but it's sort of like somebody else is doing the dirty?
The moment Zod reappeared I knew where this was going. I was detached, moderately bored and mildly put off. Personally I never expected too much from a comic book movie, so I paid more attention to the good stuff.
Locutus of Bored wrote:
All of the Kryptonian prisoners besides Zod are still alive in the Phantom Zone, there's a chance that there were Kryptonian colony worlds or offshoots of those worlds that Zod missed, there's Kara (Supergirl) if you take the prequel comic into account; and if you don't the open cryopod implies that someone might have survived from the Earth scoutship even in the film, and Kal-El still has the Kryptonian Codex embedded in his cells -- which Jor-El intended for him to extract and bring back his people somehow when he felt the time was right for them to peacefully coexist with humanity.
The cryopod doesn't have to be opened from the inside. All Superman really knows about is the last. Superman has no intention of recreating Kryptonians on Earth, even if he knows how. Otherwise, he could have, should have and would have tried talking Zod down with the hope of eventually using the Codex.
davejames, fyi, Zod was in the scout ship with the birth pods that crashed away from the singularity which is how he escaped. When I saw the movie, I remember thinking, oh no, are they going to continue the Zod story in the sequel because he went down with that ship and didn't get caught in the singularity. LOL, guess not.
I missed that too, probably because I still have no idea why the birth pods wouldn't go into the singularity too.