A little late to the party, but since my theme is based in the 1960s, I don’t suppose a few weeks really matters. You see, back when I was (first) collecting comic books like a madman, everything Superman did was, well, “super.” All his powers were super, his cousin, dog, and probably his dry-cleaner were “super,” and even his mistakes were “super-mistakes.” (Kind of like “Same Bat-time, same Bat-channel.“) As time went on, this trend faded. But it seems that the era of “super-mistakes” has not passed away.
As anyone who is interested is aware, at the end of “Man of Steel,” Superman kills General Zod. (I had heard something of this ilk was up, and never saw the movie. But it’s common knowledge now.) This editorial decision was not popular in some quarters (to say the least). And it appears that the ghost of this choice has never been exorcised; it still haunts the sequel, “Batman v. Superman.” Zack Snyder, the director, is having none of it.
“People are always like ‘You changed Superman.’ If you’re a comic book fan, you know that I didn’t change Superman. If you know the true canon, you know that I didn’t change Superman. If you’re a fan of the old movies, yeah, I changed him a bit. That’s the difference. I’m a bit of a comic book fan and I always default to the true canon…”
Well, yes and no. When he was first introduced, Superman was like the Punisher. It is rather shocking to our latter-day eyes just how ruthless he was. But that was 75 years ago. He’s changed. In many ways, becoming both much more powerful and much more controlled.
Now, we’ve gotten used to cinematic heroes who kill–even superheroes. I’m a fan of “Arrow,” but man, that guy has laid out his share of baddies. And Deadpool’s coming out; he’s not exactly a pacifist. (Not to mention Wolverine…) But there’s a large and critical difference between those guys–and almost everybody, really–and Superman, which is…he’s Superman. Faster than a speeding bullet, flies, can’t be hurt by much of anything.
Face it, the only thing between Superman and taking over the world is that he doesn’t want to. The only thing between Superman and getting rid of anyone who annoys him is that he doesn’t kill. Because he chooses not to. And now, Zack Snyder, you’ve taken that away.
So, yeah, that’s a super-mistake. Now that Superman has killed, he can kill again. What’s to stop him from being the super-bully? Superman was always the one you could look up to, the one who always did the right thing. Now he’s just another vigilante. And yes, that’s what “Batman v. Superman” is all about. But you know by the end of the movie they’re going to be friends, or at least colleagues. So you’re left with a tortured killer who roams the city seeking justice in memory of his lost parents–and Batman.
Sorry, Zack, but you were handed the goose that laid the golden eggs…and you broke them to make omelets.