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Old 11-06-2013, 02:18 PM   #5
Clark Kent > Superman
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: South West, UK
Posts: 11,848
Default Re: The Double Standards Against Superman

Herolee10, you are a poster I'd call a friend, so I'm gonna take the time to answer all your issues as best I can.

Always thought we'd be virtual high fiving and hugging after MOS came out, but somehow we came out feeling very different ways about the finished product.

I'll do my best to explain why

Originally Posted by herolee10 View Post
I thought it wouldn't hurt to have a thread about this topic over here, but one of the things that I wanted to discuss about with everyone is regarding the "Double Standards" that people seem to have towards the character of Superman, especially as of late.

Personally, and I could be proven very wrong about this later on (which I'll gladly admit when done so), but I do strongly feel that the character has a huge stack of double standards set against him by audiences and fans, and this has been proven even more so with the release and reaction to "Man of Steel".

One of the gripes that I've seen a lot of people have and even make fun of is how Superman is no longer "Superman" due to the massive carnage that took place within Metropolis. Yet it feels like people constantly forget that most of the damage that took place within the city was due to Zod's Black Zero ship and that Superman was like on the other side of the world where he was trying to stop the World Machine, where it's destruction was the only way to stop Black Zero from destroying more buildings and killing more people.
There is one bit of destruction that I couldn't help but take issue with.

When Zod and Supes are in the Scout ship and he decides to bring it down by destroying it with his heat vision - he then proceeds to allow the ship to smash through several buildings on it's way down.

I mean, beyond the question of how many people might have been hurt/killed by debris or the ship itself on the way down, what a missed opportunity that was for an incredibly shot of Superman flying outside of the ship as it's falling apart and using an extreme amount of effort to stop it from crashing into buildings/people in the city, finally setting it down in some open space... Heck, if I remember rightly, there was even a shot of a river running through Metropolis that we see the Scout ship zoom past on it's way towards smashing into things.

It was just careless to me.

Originally Posted by herolee10 View Post
Then there's the whole issue of how people bash Superman for having fought Zod the way he did in the city. Now granted, perhaps the fight could have gone better, surely people couldn't have forgotten that this type of battle and collateral damage takes place all the time within the comics.
Personally I agree with you there. I have no issue with a certain amount of destruction during a super fight in the middle of a city. It really can't be done 'clean' so to speak, or it'd look ridiculous.

Originally Posted by herolee10 View Post
Heck, if I had a nickel for every time I saw someone mentioning in the past on how they hoped that we'd get a fight with superman on the big screen like the ones that we've seen with him in the animated shows/films, I'd be pretty rich right now.

So why is it that Superman is getting bashed for doing something that has taken place several times within the comics and animated shows?
The majority of what I've heard people complain about here isn't the destruction itself, it's that for whatever reason Snyder/Goyer chose not to include a single moment of Superman trying to stop people from getting hurt in the destruction.

Like in Spiderman 2, for example, when Doc Ock is chucking people from the train to slow Spidey down because he knows he cares enough to wanna catch them and not let them fall to their death.

Zod SAID all this stuff about making the humans suffer, but apparently there was not a human in sight for him to attack until they crashed through the train station... Which seems really odd, and again IMO is a missed opportunity for some good 'Superman' moments of him rescuing people in costume.

Originally Posted by herolee10 View Post
Not to mention, given the context that Clark had no prior experience in dealing with foes that had powers like him and wasn't really "superman" until the very end of the film, you'd think that people would be more understanding.
I feel like he wasn't even Superman then. I won't feel like he's Superman until he talks about what he actually wants to DO as Superman.

Cause to me, it's more than just 'I'll help out if the world's about to get destroyed.

There should be a much bigger picture for him.

But that's definitely something that I hope, and think will come up in the sequel, especially with Batman involved and JL on the cards for the future.

Originally Posted by herolee10 View Post
Furthermore, the whole death scene with Zod.... as much as we would like for Superman to find the other way, some times, there just isn't the other way. No matter what decision Superman made, he was going to lose something in the end and he chose the lesser of two evils. Personally, I applaud them for having the guts to put him in that realistic situation because to say that there's always another way is just B.S. imho.

It's not like Superman will go out and start killing off his villains, I mean just look at the reaction that he had from having done so to Zod in the first place.
I understand what you're saying, and had it been handled a little better I'd agree with you (while still personally not liking it).

Let me explain.

On a personal level, I just wish Goyer had written an ending that didn't put Superman in that position. Because I don't want that from a Superman film. Any other film, and I'd praise it. But not Superman.

Most of the time (bar a few AU GN's I like) I love Superman because I like to be cheered up. Because sometimes I'm in a 'lie to me' mood. Because sometimes I want to believe for a second that there is such a thing as unshakeable good, and everything can turn out shiny - even though obviously in the real world that may not be true.

So when Superman snapped Zod's neck, it was like my happy place had just be shattered into a million pieces.

Now I know I know, he's done it before, blah blah.

Yeah, in Superman 2 some people fell down a hole, and in some comics I'd heard of and never read or gave any importance too he'd killed them too. And sure, in the great 'Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow' he killed (though there were immediate consequences he imposed on himself for that).

But none of them where such a violent moment that I wouldn't want a child to see it. None of them made me feel like an arrow had been shot through my heart.

And even beyond my personal feelings, I can't help but criticise the way it was done.

Even if you think them taking this super depressingly realistic take on what would happen if too Super beings fought to the death is a daring choice by the director - there are some glaring thoughtless mistakes IMO.

1) As mentioned above, this family is the first attempt Zod has made on a human... The decision would have felt a lot more 'last resort' if they were the last of several attempts (thwarted with great effort by Supes) to kill someone. Then you'd really truly have been going 'OMG, I know you don't want too, but just KILL HIM!'.
2) The fact that it WAS a family upsets me. I mean, those children witnessed that. Are they going to be traumatised by that? Are they going to be afraid of him?

And even if they decided to keep it as a family for that shock effect, wouldn't it have been a stronger message if the father had come up to Lois and the devestated Superman and thanked him?

Again, that just seemed like a missed opportunity.

Of course then you have the issue of the scenes immediately following that, which are so jarring in tone. It doesn't help the message of the scene (whatever they were intending it to be, other than 'oh how shocking, Superman just snapped a guys neck') from resonating.

All it would have taken is them not putting that silly joke scene straight after, and instead going to the scene in the graveyard and having Clark express his guilt and mixed feelings to his mother, and say he wonders if his Dad would be ashamed of him... And for Martha to reinforce what had been set up - That he had no choice, that he was strong and made an impossible decision.

Instead, they just don't mention it again.

And yet, we have been told that in the next film they plan to use the ending as his REASON to not kill ever again.

How does that work?

By setting it up as an impossible choice and absolutely the right thing to do, how could they ever logically make a sequel in which they go back on that and act as though there IS another choice, and Superman decides to always find it.

It's just such an epicly badly concieved notion, and it will contradict it self ridiculously.

Originally Posted by herolee10 View Post
Bale's Batman has killed as well, despite having three films dedicated towards him having a "no kill policy" during moments where it was do or die.

He pushed Harvey to his death in order to save Gordon's Son and he killed Talia and her driver in order to apprehend the bomb before it exploded in Gotham.
I think plenty of people take issue with that too, but I'd say the main reasons it's not so bad is:

A) People don't mind being slightly depressed by a Batman film. I mean, you want him to be heroic, but you expect a bit of darkness.

B) It wasn't framed as a 'good thing' to do. It was clearly grey.

Originally Posted by herolee10 View Post
And I don't seem to recall anyone having issues with seeing Jor-el kill within MOS, which was a first I think as far as I know of in any takes featuring the character.
Jor-el is not the hero/main character. So no, it didn't bother me.

Originally Posted by herolee10 View Post
And don't get me started on how many times I saw someone say that they wanted Superman modernized for today's audience, only to cry foul and say that they should have kept him the same.
Good god I wanted him modernized.

I have no problem with it being set in a modern world. The DP was great, and there where a few (not many) real world ideals in there - namely 'People would be afraid of aliens'... So deep :sarcasm:

But I don't think they included ENOUGH of the real world. They didn't show much of a reaction. They didn't show any of the problems in the world that make Superman wanna help bring about change. They didn't put it in a tangible context for me, because the plot was mainly based around fantastical concepts outside of earth problems.

BB had a city polluted by corrupt politicians and people who turned a blind eye to crime because they were afraid.

TDK showed the results of a city under attack from a psychopathic terrorist, and pushed to the brink of what they might do to survive.

TDKR showed a city of people opressed by the rich, and how they would revolt given the freedom to share the wealth.

Those ideas are all easy for the GA to connect to, because they are connected to current events in the real world that we all feel passionately about.

And the inclusion of those ideas in Superhero film is what really elevated that trilogy to what critics consider 'intelligent'.

I guess when I heard MOS was from the same team, I expected something along the same lines. And I was so excited to see Superman in our modern world, and how his inclusion in it and our current world problems would play out.

That did not happen.

So sure, you can say it was modernised in a sense. But not in the way I dared hope/imagine it would.

Originally Posted by herolee10 View Post
Seriously, as a Superman fan, it frustrates me to no end on how much flack the character gets at times for no reason.

I can understand if people had issues with MOS because it's not a perfect film and it could have been better. But seeing the character made fun of and bashed for things like this, it' s just freaking annoying and so hypocritical.
It bugs me too. And it makes me even sadder that MOS wasn't good enough to stop all the mocking we've endured for years because people haven't seen the character I have.

But it wasn't good enough to do that. People laugh at it, because they think it was a bad film.

And just like Green Lantern, some people think the film was lame because the character is lame.

Well there we go, that was the most full description I've given of how I feel about the film since I saw it!

And I haven't even touched on how I felt about JK, his death, the writing in general, Zod, Clois, Lois, or the editing and camera choices!

Superman: "I can only tell you what I believe, Diana. humankind has to be allowed to climb to its own destiny. We can't carry them there."
Flash: "But that's what she's saying. What's the point? Why should they need us at all?"
Superman: "To catch them if they fall."
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