With the other version, it feels like Clark's attitude is just "Well, guess it's time to head off to the city now, and become a superhero, or something." And then he comes back home for advice like he's just some 20 year old trying to make it on his own for the first time.
It's all just a little too cute and perfect and ideal for my taste, and makes him seem too much like a perpetual kid (never more so than on L&C).
I find that a rather bizarre attitude. Plenty of people grow up and lead productive adult lives while still having close relationships with their parents. Indeed, that's the whole reason Byrne made the change: because it had become far more common by the late '80s for adults to have both parents alive and well than it had been in the '40s or '50s.
Byrne asserted that Clark had gone out to travel the world and help people anonymously for years before he was outed. Mark Waid's Birthright
shows more of this process, demonstrating how Clark's travels helped shape him into the hero he became. Here was someone who'd been raised in a loving, nurturing environment, going out into the greater world and discovering all the pain and injustice and cruelty and abuse that people suffered out there, and finding it unacceptable that everyone wasn't treated as well as he had been treated by the Kents and the people of Smallville -- and taking it upon himself to pay forward the goodness his parents had paid him, to live according to their example.
The really important part of the Donner origin story isn't Jonathan dying -- it's Jonathan teaching his son that he was here for a reason, that his powers needed to be directed toward a good purpose. True, his subsequent death did underline that message, because, let's face it, Clark essentially killed his father by unwisely challenging him to a race -- so there's a Spider-Man-like "With great power comes great responsibility" lesson in there. But it's the basic message itself that's the more important element. Clark going out into the world, seeing suffering and experiencing the losses that occur if he doesn't act, can teach him that lesson too. Sure, it may not seem as personal because it's not his own family dying, but that's kind of the point: that Superman transcends our instinct to value our own kind more than others, that he cares for everyone just as much as his own family.
i think the death of ONE of Clark's adoptive parents is necessary -- to keep him humble and show that even with of his great powers, he has limits, and is a SuperMAN, and NOT a god.
i think MOS was able to show that humility for Clark (that & Zod's death)....but going back to the original post...
i can't really think of what moral lessons (one element of a good hero movie) can be learned...other than wait at least one month after having sex with someone before you fly off to another part of the universe for several years
I don't "hate" SR...but it's not a movie that gives me inspiration or joy, which i think is a part of Superman...