MAN OF STEEL - Grading & Discussion

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Agent Richard07, Jun 11, 2013.

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Grade the movie...

  1. A+

    10.6%
  2. A

    20.9%
  3. A-

    18.3%
  4. B+

    9.9%
  5. B

    11.4%
  6. B-

    4.2%
  7. C+

    4.9%
  8. C

    4.9%
  9. C-

    3.4%
  10. D+

    3.4%
  11. D

    3.8%
  12. D-

    2.7%
  13. F

    1.5%
  1. The Lensman

    The Lensman Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Ex-fucking-actly.

    Here's why this conversation exists in the first place:

    Superman, like all superheroes of his day, especially DC heroes (1938-1960's) was written for CHILDREN. Not middle aged men, not teenagers, CHILDREN. Pretty much every superhero had a code against killing because children were the target audience and largest consumers of comic books.

    But the middle aged men who now run the show demanded that their childhood entertainment grow up with them and now, unlike when I was a kid, you can't hand a child an issue of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, or Green Lantern because they're too violent for them.

    So now we have middle aged men who took superheroes away from children because they wanted more "mature" (and by "mature" I mean more violent) superhero comics getting their panties in a wad because someone took the approach they wanted and actually dealt with it in the morally grey area of adults.

    For some bizarre reason, this is where they try to make some kind of stand over some tiny element of nostalgia despite having upturned everything else. Yes, it was okay for every other hero to let go of the code against killing, but not Superman, no matter how powerful or maniacal the foe. It is patently ridiculous watching people say that Superman shouldn't have killed a guy who just mass murdered several thousand people and who was going to go on a killing spree with the choice being this: You'll have to kill me to prevent me from killing everyone else.

    Despite having a popular movie that hammered this theme over and over, apparently some people didn't get it:
    The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one.

    They want the writers to present them with a cuddly situation where we don't ever have to face a situation like that so that they can pretend those situations would never exist in a world with super powered beings. Or they want the writers to make sure there's conveniently another option. They want a more "mature" superhero universe, but want the writers to make it just "mature" enough so that they don't have to feel embarrassed about reading about people in tights, but not too "mature" for them to have to deal with actual adult situations and the morally grey world that adults live in.

    Well too bad. Don't like it, then they should have let superheroes remain as the children's entertainment that it was meant to be. Where they could adhere to codes that were as unrealistic as the black and white worlds they inhabited.

    But hey, let's say Kal didn't kill Zod, what do these people think was going to happen? What was the body count in Metropolis? 5000? In a world where we executed Bin Ladin for a smaller body count and less property damage, what do these people think was going to happen to Zod? Here, I'll tell you: Zod would stand trial and be found guilty in the quickest open and shut trial in the history of the human race. Then he would be sentenced to death, and since humans have nothing that could do the job, who would that task fall to?

    Superman.

    That would probably be a pretty compelling story, but it would be too much for the people who can't see that Superman was in the right for killing a single person who just mass murdered thousands of human beings in order to prevent him from killing billions.
     
  2. DEWLine

    DEWLine Commodore Commodore

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    If NORAD had been able to take Zod alive, it would likely have fallen out as you suspect.

    And that would indeed be an interesting story in its own right.

    Anyway..."Don't like it, then they should have let superheroes remain as the children's entertainment that it was meant to be."

    The italics represent my one quibble with your argument. That aside...
     
  3. kirk55555

    kirk55555 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The problem I see is that Superman was never meant to be realistic. He's an ideal, the embodiment of being a hero. Sure, in real life nobody would let Zod or people like The Joker keep getting away to kill again. I don't watch superhero movies or read comics for realism. If I want to see a realistic view of bad people getting caught, I'll watch Cops. When I want to see an alien who at one point could move the moon by himself with his bare hands and go through time just by flying fast enough, I want the Superman who never kills and is the hero of the story. That's not to say that comics needed to stay in the silver age. Some realism is fine, and so is having characters be complex and have personalities.

    But, if I wanted realism, I wouldn't deal with superheroes. Even shows like Arrow are, in the end, fairly unrealistic, and thats fine. Superheroes are supposed to have an element of fantasy and fun to them. Its ok to be dark or realistic at times, but trying to do that the majority of the time just misses the point. The Marvel movies get the combination just right. They have serious moments and threats, but the heroes aren't just going off and snapping necks or brooding, even when things get really tough. Its a fine line to walk, because most of the time you don't want to go too silly, either (although there is a place for that with certain characters).

    As for having more reason to kill, Batman shot Darkseid to stop him from keeping all of Earth (and eventually all of the universe) as his slaves with the anti life equation. Those stakes are a bit bigger than Superman killing Zod because he didn't want to move his head. Even if Zod had won in MoS, the effects would still have had less consequences for the universe than an anti-life equation equipped Darkseid, so I think Batman in Final Crisis was a bit more justified in what he did than MoS Superman.

    The other people AllStarEnterprise listed, wether they had less reason or not, are not Superman. Many of them have never said they wouldn't kill. Thor has "vanquished" evil creatures for millennium. Even then, he still doesn't kill most of his villains (I can't honestly think of one he did kill, although it wouldn't surprise me if he did kill one or two). Captain America probably killed Nazis, he was a soldier. GL and Phoenix were possessed and completely out of their mind, Wonder Woman killed a guy who almost certainly couldn't be held safely (plus, as an amazon she definitely didn't have a no kill oath), and trying to compare Punisher/Spawn's kills to actual superheroes is kind of ridiculous. Yes, the demon and the guy whose mo is killing gangsters might have killed people when they didn't need to. They're not even superheroes, they're anti-heroes at best. You could say the same about Wolverine's kills. I looked up Spider-Man's kills. You can't count Norman Osbourne, he pretty much killed himself. Gwen Stacy was also a weird situation, not a spider-man kill so much as an Osbourne kill with Spider-Man not being able to save her. The few other kills (from what I read on spiderfan.org) were usually the villains getting themselves into the situations where they died, he didn't just go out and straight up kill anyone. Iron man seems to have most of his kills be under mind/armor control, although he did at least once pull a MoS. Flash and Green Arrow killed people in revenge, which isn't really justified but not something normal Superman would have done anyway (we're not counting alternate Earths, they're not the mainstream superman). I seriously can't find who Aquaman killed. I don't count the new 52, since everyone is basically willing to kill, so if you're talking about Black Manta's Dad in the new 52, that doesn't count, and it was an accident anyway.

    Superman is held to a different standard, that's just the way it works. While almost every superhero tries not to kill, its different when Superman kills someone. He's supposed to be the ideal superhero, the one people judge themselves against. Its fine for him to be a person, with flaws like the rest of us, but he's still supposed to be different.

    Superman's oath to not kill is not supposed to hold up to real world situations, at least not as something that he never breaks. Just like how real people can't fly or dress up like a bat or get power rings. Trying to make heroes super "realistic", dark and brooding was root of the problems with all of the DC live action movies since Batman begins, but MoS definately used the worsr superhero to try to make "realistic". He's superman, if you can't take him having a bit of fantasy, and hope, well then you probably shouldn't be telling a story with him.
     
  4. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Clean Old Mod Moderator

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    Don't look at me, I didn't write the story.

    It was the honorable thing because it was established in the Superman canon of the time that if he ever broke his oath, he'd renounce his powers. He did exactly that. One can debate whether it would have been better for the world to keep a Superman who happened to have a body count of one, but the man kept his word.
     
  5. shivkala

    shivkala Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^
    The story itself even labels itself as an imaginary story. In the end, aren't they all?

    What you didn't show was the full scene, including the panels that directly followed the one you posted:

    [​IMG]

    That's Superman going into a room with Gold Kryptonite, which in pre-Crisis continuity permanently removed a Kryptonians ability to absorb yellow solar energy, turning them, in effect, into a normal human.

    Instead of beginning his heroic career after killing a villain, Superman effectively retired.
     
  6. DEWLine

    DEWLine Commodore Commodore

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    And that was pretty much Weisinger's Superman.
     
  7. The Lensman

    The Lensman Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Hmm....would "intended to be" fit better? I dunno. I know that I probably enjoyed the 70's to mid 80's era the best as I felt that it probably had a good balance of tone that allowed us kids to read superhero comics while being enjoyable fare for older audiences as well.

    Important words bolded by me. Times change and no one is advocating Superman become the Punisher or kill with regularity.

    As for the end of "Whatever Happened To The Man Of Tomorrow", even as a teen I thought the ending ridiculous because there might come a time when the power of Superman is needed again to stop a threat only he could stop. He should've realized that and also realized that if you're in the business of entering into conflict with people who want to kill others, take over the world, destroy the world or the universe or something like that, then you're going to have to face the possibility of taking a life at some point. If you don't like that, then you're probably in the wrong line of work.
     
  8. M.A.C.O.

    M.A.C.O. Commodore Commodore

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    I hear you man. Not disagreeing with you at all. I've been following Supeman since the 90's and have read back to the 50's. I love the character, however I do think there are allowances that need to be made. A villain can't be a villain if he's only playing footsy with the protagonist. It would be dishonest story telling to show Zod is willing to go as far a total genocide against a planet's species (Loki tried the same thing against the Jotenheim and even committed patricide) but Superman is unwilling to kill Zod to prevent more death and destruction? With no tactical advantage over such an adversary, what should Superman do to defend himself and the people of Earth? It very well could've been Supes in that headlock, and Zod wouldn't have hesitated to kill him.

    Rewatching the scene it's apparent that Zod wanted to die. All he had to do to escape was fly up. Instead he forces Superman to end his life, despite Superman's pleas that he stop. [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CyPGlMXUwVg[/yt]

    I haven't read Final Crisis in years so I don't remember all the details. I remember Superman and Darkseid having a conversation after Batman "died". Which was followed by the Flashes leading Darkseid's own omega effect into him. Also Supeman creating the Miracle Machine to rid the universe of Darkseid forever. I need to read it again.

    Zod in the comics had Pre-Crisis strength. Which displayed by Pre-Crisis Superboy and Superman allowed him to travel through time uninhibited, move planets out of their orbits, never needing to eat, sleep or breath (could be used for deep space travel) and have no quantifiable limit to their kryptonian abilities. Ever heard of Superboy-Prime? That's the kind of threat Zod, Quex-Ul and Zaora presented when they threated Byrne-era Supeman that they would come to his universe and kill more people. With the rules of Kryptonite being what they are. Outside of magic and red sun radiation, those 3 would have have terrorized Byrne-era Superman's universe if they escaped the pocket universe.

    The issue here is that Superman has to have credible threats, and villains to combat. As powerful as he is, Superman cannot have weak villains with weak motives. Remember his comics have to sell. So the writers and editors at DC take a lot of creative liberty with the character.

    You look at villains like
    Brainiac
    Metallo
    Luthor
    Parasite
    Zod
    Doomsday
    Darkseid
    Mongul
    Cyborg Superman

    You think they're going to treat Superman with kid gloves? They are all very dangerous and are capable of killing Superman. When writing stories you want to be faithful to the character's abilities. It would be disingenuous to nerf these character's abilities and their potential to be great antagonists by not handling them as the threat they truly are to Superman and society.

    Let's be clear, besides Doomsday and Pre-Crisis Zod with 2 accomplicies (who fought a weaker Post-Crisis Superman who had no knowledge of how to make a phantom zone projector), Superman has refrained from killing any of them. His biggest threats he always finds away to avoid killing them. Look at JLA Earth 2 by Grant Morrison for example. In it Brainiac had a mad plan to merge the anitmatter universe with a positive matter universe. The merging would cause a cascade of energy which Brainiac would use to become and Nth level intelligence. This of course would kill everything in both universes except Brainiac. Superman was ready to destroy Brainiac as he has no qualms about destroying a machine. It's not until he sees Brainiac of the antimatter universe that he recoils and becomes unable to act. Brainiac is an organic head in a tube in the antimatter universe. Superman could not bring himself to harm him, despite the clock ticking down and a decision needed to be made in order to stop Brainiac.

    Villains like
    Bizarro
    Mxyzsptlk
    Titanno
    Livewire
    Prankster
    Toyman
    Bloodsport
    Silver Banshee
    Kryptonite Man
    Intergang

    These are all less of a threat, but Superman always finds ways to handle them despite the degree of personal danger to himself. Bizarro being a clone of Superman, Silver Banshee with her killing scream, Titanno and Kryptonite Man who radiate kryptonite, Mxyzspltk with his magic and reality altering powers, and Livewire with her electric powers. Superman has not used lethal force against any of them. Not even Toyman who is a child murderer and a pedophile.


    I think Superman is a great role model and an ideal. The world is tough out there, in fiction and IRL. Superman gives 110% in every adventure he has. What makes Superman compelling is he has these stories and villains to challenge him. The Zod's, Brainiac's and Darkseid's will always be the most evil and commit the greatest crimes against civilians. How Superman conducts himself against his strongest opposition, is what I think defines him to the audience he is presented to.





    In "What Ever Happend to the Man of Tomorrow", I seem to recall Lois telling the reporter at the beginning that all of Superman's other enemies were already dead. Mxyzsptlk brought the remaining ones together against Superman as a way to kill and torture him.

    I'm not sure anyone remembers the duel between the two Supermen from Infinite Crisis back in 2005-2006. Where the modern age Superman fights the Golden Age Superman. The dialogue they exchange puts our debate of changing times in to perspective sort of.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2013
  9. M.A.C.O.

    M.A.C.O. Commodore Commodore

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    ***Double Post from refreshing browser***
    Sorry
     
  10. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Clean Old Mod Moderator

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    His villains may have been dead, but jobs for Superman didn't always come from his rogues gallery.

    And whoever decided to have Golden Age Superman stand for old fashioned morality is conveniently forgetting that he was the one who used to throw thugs out windows and run them into the paths of their own bullets back in the early days.
     
  11. timothy

    timothy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Picked up the blu ray this week still a great movie :)
     
  12. Flying Spaghetti Monster

    Flying Spaghetti Monster Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I am going to refuse to buy this movie unless it's discounted. It's just that bad.

    People say the best performances are from Crowe and Costner. Even Caville. They were fine. But the woman who played Faora was quite good. and I wanted her to be the main villain, because all the Zod in this film did was chew the scenery. He had none of the charisma of the Terrance Stamp version. "This only ends one way, Kal, with you killing me or me killing you." Great. I wonder if the screenwriters lit cigars after thinking that gem up. Oh, and Superman being called "Kal" was stupid. I know his name was Kal-El, but somehow, shortening it so it sounds like a relatively common Earth name takes the Kryptonian mystique out of the name. In the originals, the villains called him "Superman," but they mean it in a degrading sense, and they used it to put him down.

    The movie was way over the top that there wasn't a trace of Superman left by the time the oil tanker blows up but Superman couldn't care less about it. In the original, when Zod was about to blow up an oil tanker, Superman cared enough to stop it.
     
  13. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I have no problem with bright and fun superhero movies like Raimi's Spider-Man or the Marvel movies, but I don't need EVERY superhero movie to be done in that style. It would get old and predictable awfully fast. And I don't see why Superman should be excepted from that rule either. There have been Superman comics done in all kinds of styles and tones, with some being darker and edgier than others.

    So I don't see why we couldn't have a Superman movie being done in a slightly edgier style as well.

    The fact it WAS so hard for him to kill Zod, and the way it seemed to completely tear him apart inside, I thought did more than enough to get across the point that this is something Superman takes much more seriously than others.

    I don't exactly remember Batman crying out in anguish after leaving Raas to die in Begins. Or any of the Marvel characters reacting that way after killing their villains.
     
  14. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    After watching the scene posted above, I thought they made it clear that Superman didn't want to kill Zod, but at that point felt he had no choice. Sure, Superman might have been able to think of another way to stop Zod, but at that point he was in an extreme situation, and the longer he hesitated the higher the body count was going to climb. He need to stop Zod now, and killing him was the only way he had available to him to stop him permanently.
     
  15. JacksonArcher

    JacksonArcher Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'll be more forgiving of the "Superman kills Zod" plot thread if it gets addressed in the upcoming Batman/Superman movie. If not, then I'll be disappointed.
     
  16. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

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    It's probably the reason why Lex dupes Batman into going after him!
     
  17. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Clean Old Mod Moderator

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    In a world with supermen, Bats's primary asset is his brain. It won't look very good if he's easily duped.

    OTOH, Superman and Lex have no history in this version. What if the plot involves Lex duping Superman...?
     
  18. The Lensman

    The Lensman Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Except that Thor snaps a guys neck in the new movie when things got tough, and kills this rock based life form at 2:20 in this trailer:

    [yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=assKdG5CVD4[/yt]



    And no, just because this creature is a different life form doesn't give Thor a free pass. We see this creature hit one guy, we don't know how many people he's killed, if any at all. (Unlike Zod who murdered THOUSANDS of people and was going to murder the entire population of the Earth which numbers in the BILLIONS.) Thor simply kills this creature in a scene designed to elicit laughs. (Unlike Superman in MoS).

    Way to go Thor, you killer.

    Oh, and he broods plenty in this movie. First brooding over Jane, then brooding over something tragic that happens in the middle, then brooding some more near the end after some more tragic stuff.

    Sure, there's plenty of jokes, but plenty of sad face too.

    Is an aspect of one incarnation of Superman. The original guy who was a wild hit with the public had no problem killing

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This is the original version of Superman. You like one particular incarnation of Superman, no more real or valid than any other.

    Or we can look at his roots that had plenty of fantasy, hope and serious ass kicking from a proactive social crusader who actually got off his ass and helped the poor and downtrodden.

    He also flaunted the law, got shot at by the cops, did whatever the fuck he wanted, and did so with an attitude.
    Superman is the original ass kicking, wise cracking hero. But that was when he was actually fun and interesting to read.
     
  19. kirk55555

    kirk55555 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Ok, the golden age version may have killed. This is about the most prevalent version of Superman, and the kind of crazy GA version was basically goneby the 50s, if not even sooner. For decades, from the silver age all the way to the eighties, he was the no kill Superman, and from COIE to 2011 it was still basically his thing to not kill, with just a few lapses that were usually a big deal and with much higher stakes on the line. He also usually had less choices in the matter, like with Doomsday. GA Superman is like GA Batman. It was a very early period of comics, and a lot of the stuff they did then didn't stay around as a core part of the character, so its kind of goofy to use the Golden Age characters as examples. Superman also didn't fly for years in the Golden Age, that doesn't mean that flying isn't a big part of Superman.

    I already brought Thor up specifically. He's an asgardian warrior before he's a superhero, and he has killed in the past and will kill in the future. He has killed mindless monsters, and completely sentient beings. He's also not Superman, and has never even tried to pretend that he won't kill. Then again, you'll notice he doesn't usually go around killing earth based villains, or even really dangerous Asgardians like Loki or Enchantress, even though he's had the opportunity (even if Odin wouldn't let him kill Loki, there have been times without Odin where Thor could have done it).Anyway, this is not about saying superheroes should never kill. I'd say they mostly shouldn't, but every character is different. This is about Superman never killing. Superman and Thor are fairly different characters, with different backstories and motivations.

    Also, brooding makes sense in a some situations, and when used sparringly. Both Goyer's Superman and Nolan's batman basically did it every second they were on screen, outside of a few rare moments. Other characters can brood at points, its not brooding itself thats the problem. Its making that a focus of the characters, like Goyer and Nolan did. When your character's main "emotion" is brood (and Clark basically brooded for two hours in MoS, with only a few brief moments doing something else) then its a problem.
     
  20. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

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    Every recent Marvel crossover has revolved around Thor murdering someone.... Black Goliath in Civil War (it was Clor, I know!), Wasp in Secret Invasion, Sentry in Siege, and the Builder in Infinity... funny, that.