Originally Posted by gdw
Did you feel betrayed every time he's killed in the comic books too?
If he did in the comics - and thankfully he has not in the ones I have read-then yes, I would feel betrayed. Superman is supposed to represent our highest aspirations, in terms of his super-powers, power, and embodiment of our best characteristics. He has no need to descend to the level of organisms inferior to him-such as murderering-when he has the powers of a god at his disposal. If a man can turn objects to ice with his breath or hell, even fly, then there is no need for him to murder, especially so savagely. There's a reason why Superman is a secularized messiah-like figure: as the film (before the third act) and comics point out, he embodies the characteristics of messiahs from Judaism and Christianity. The subjects from both religions are above moronic violence; they are enlightened, and can use their super powers for the good of humanity, not to continue the mindless violence that marks humanity.
Now, don't get me wrong: I realize that Batman is guilty of it. However, the films acknowledge that they are distancing themselves from the non-killing comic Batman: Burton was infatuated with the comics from the 1930's and Nolan admitted in numerous interviews that he refracted Batman through James Bond. Yes, I acknowledge that they deviate from the comics, but it is part of the filmmaker's acknowledged intentions. Man of Steel built up the summary of our aspirations angle through the trailers, and then turned an enlightened man into a Kryptonian Rorschach.
Make no mistake: I like Punisher and Rorschach; I don't them informing a character who is supposed to represent the best parts of mankind.