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View Poll Results: "S" plastic shield vs broken neck.
"S" shield, cool new power designed to kill powerless enemies. 7 6.93%
Broken neck to save a family and millions of future innocent lives. 94 93.07%
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Old 06-17-2013, 06:41 PM   #751
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Default Re: How Superman Resolved the Issue of Zod *MEGA SPOILER*

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If I hear one more person say “Why didn’t he lure him away?”, with regard to Superman getting Zod away from people, I'm going to scream. Zod isn’t stupid. He's a tactical military leader with a plan. And he wasn't planning to chase Superman. His aim was to punish Superman by killing the people of Earth, not just to follow Superman wherever he went for the heck of it.
Exactly.

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Old 06-17-2013, 06:42 PM   #752
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Default Re: How Superman Resolved the Issue of Zod *MEGA SPOILER*

^ Great post. I'll have to rewatch it then. I wasn't as upset as many people are. Besides, it's not like the ending kiss shown Superman NOT helping. Since you saw him with super-hearing throughout, he'd probably help a screaming victim. So either the buildings are empty (like the cartoons) our they are dead and there's nothing Superman can do now.

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Old 06-17-2013, 06:44 PM   #753
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Default Re: How Superman Resolved the Issue of Zod *MEGA SPOILER*

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Exactly.
I'm sorry .... as "tactical" as we were "told Zod was, his scene at the end was far from tactical. It was pure rage. He went bat***** crazy and wanted to exact revenge on Supes for screwing up his "purpose" and sending his cohorts back to the Phantom Zone.

He didn't have a well-thought out plan on how he was actually going to go around killing every single human on the face of the planet.

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Old 06-17-2013, 06:47 PM   #754
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Default Re: How Superman Resolved the Issue of Zod *MEGA SPOILER*

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I'm sorry .... as "tactical" as we were "told Zod was, his scene at the end was far from tactical. It was pure rage. He went bat***** crazy and wanted to exact revenge on Supes for screwing up his "purpose" and sending his cohorts back to the Phantom Zone.
Where was he going to go? His people were dead or in the Phantom Zone.

As he said, one of them had to die.

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Old 06-17-2013, 06:48 PM   #755
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Default Re: How Superman Resolved the Issue of Zod *MEGA SPOILER*

^ I honestly think the issue of him killing was EXPLAINED well enough. It's a film, not a radio show!
Superman was heartbroken but put this situation behind him. To address that again undermines his ability to cope with his actions. While I do want that to be addressed in the sequel, I don't want a brooding, guilt-ridden Supes. I want a Superman who's at terms with his actions but never wants to go down that path again. Optimally, Superman wouldn't have to kill in his first updated movie. But that doesn't change what happens next. The next film should be more lighthearted, slow-paced, and character driven. But MOS is the reboot I think Superman needed to allow him to GET to that point. I give 8/10.

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Old 06-17-2013, 06:48 PM   #756
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Default Re: How Superman Resolved the Issue of Zod *MEGA SPOILER*

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So Supes couldn't cannonball Zod away from Metropolis? It was shown he could sure punch him around like a ragdoll and cannonball other Kryptonians.
You obviously don't understand what I'm talking about.

Yes. He could have. Potentially. Temporarily. Zod...wasn't going to stop trying to kill people, regardless of what Superman did.

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Old 06-17-2013, 06:49 PM   #757
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Default Re: How Superman Resolved the Issue of Zod *MEGA SPOILER*

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Where was he going to go? His people were dead or in the Phantom Zone.

As he said, one of them had to die.
I'm not arguing against Zod's death.

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Old 06-17-2013, 06:51 PM   #758
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Default Re: How Superman Resolved the Issue of Zod *MEGA SPOILER*

^ Yeah. Paralyze him, and he could still heat vision nurses. Knock him out, and he could wake up and destroy the cells and escape, causing more harm. Zod had to die-unless Goyer (and possibly Nolan) allowed the Zone to remain open long enough for Superman to put him in.

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Old 06-17-2013, 06:51 PM   #759
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Default Re: How Superman Resolved the Issue of Zod *MEGA SPOILER*

Superman DOES always make the perfect decision...except that sometimes I think he is completely wrong.

Other superheroes mock Superman for being naive and too much of a goody goody boy scout, unable to make the hard choices. Wonder Woman darn near disrespects him and thinks his decisions are stupid.

Superman is not like other heroes. His role in DC is as the Jesus-like moral center. Yes, he uses his powers...but to defend people/stop the threat. He never sees himself as a soldier.

The name Man of Tomorrow came because he is the ideal that we all strive to be. He sees things in a way that we can't yet. Sometimes, the way he sees things is impractical and makes the world more dangerous...but that is how he sees things. His perfection is not necessarily "perfect" since he is the only Man of Tomorrow and the rest of us are living in Today.

You're correct that the 50's may be creeping back into the mythos...that Superman might torture a woman to get a confession. This very clearly makes him a Man of Today, not a Man of Tomorrow. I do not welcome the return of the Superman who embodies all of our frailties and flaws. I prefer the idea of being inspired by greatness.

If I wanted the superhero you describe...I could read any other superhero book that is published.

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Old 06-17-2013, 06:51 PM   #760
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Default Re: How Superman Resolved the Issue of Zod *MEGA SPOILER*

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I sort of wish people could get past the whole “Superman doesn’t kill” bit (he does when he "has to", read more of the mythology), and realize that this goes beyond that. It presents an interesting moral and intellectual discussion beyond "This isn't like what we're used to from Superman".

People have talked about the ideals Superman is supposed to inspire in humanity based on the film. Yes, Jor-El talks about this, but he also says “In time". Not "the first time you encounter humanity". Give that theme and character element of Superman some time to develop, as it’s clearly going to be part of the entire franchise. Protecting innocents at all costs is a pretty good ideal to strive towards in the meantime.

If I hear one more person say “Why didn’t he lure him away?”, with regard to Superman getting Zod away from people, I'm going to scream. Zod isn’t stupid. He's a tactical military leader with a plan. And he wasn't planning to chase Superman. His aim was to punish Superman by killing the people of Earth, not just to follow Superman wherever he went for the heck of it.

I continue to be amazed at people who think Superman was just recklessly battling Zod during the finale. During the battle, Superman was clearly trying to prevent more damage. During one of the few points in the fight where he has the upper hand, he flat out punches Zod AROUND two buildings they're passing near in their flight arc, instead of through them. For most of the fight, however, he couldn't even do that, as Zod was beating the hell out of him. But for the most part, the reason for the collateral damage was down to ZOD. Zod was tossing him through multiple buildings, and doing so very much on purpose.

And it’s all well and good to talk about what Superman COULD have done at the end of the movie other than snapping Zod’s neck, but that's missing the point. Because the point of the scene and the result of analysis is that, even had he done those things, Zod showed that he was not going to stop hurting the people of Earth. If Superman flew Zod away, then odds are Zod would have flown back and kept killing people. If Superman put his hands over Zod's eyes, then Superman would have burned his hands...or Zod would eventually have, yup, kept on killing people.

Which obviously Superman cared about. I'm not sure where the idea that Superman doesn't value life is coming from. What the movie shows doesn't indicate this at all. And to be honest, the movie shouldn’t have to spell out a common sense idea like “human life is important” anymore than it should have to spell out the common sense that “sons love their mothers and fathers”.

Regardless, in the end, it’s not really a question of there being no other way around killing Zod at that moment...it’s a question of Superman making a choice, based on Zod’s actions and Zod's declaration of war against the people of Earth, to end the threat Zod posed.

And as far as the morality of his actions in relation to "But it's Superman!" goes...Superman doesn’t have super-morals. What the hell is that supposed to mean? He continually makes good moral choices because he's a good man. He's far from a perfect one, though.

And with regard to the Kents...there's this crazy idea that they're somehow morally confused, or holding Superman back. How? The idea that the Kents worked against the morality of Superman is ridiculous. The Kents taught Clark to do the right thing in terms of the big picture and the greater good, not just what felt right at a given moment. Which is an important distinction to make, and part of growing up, and having a realistic, mature view of the world.

Along these lines, a lot of people seem to be seriously misunderstanding the actual lesson Jonathan Kent was trying to teach his son. This movie isn’t about Clark rejecting what the Kents taught him…it’s actually about him learning to understand and embrace what they taught him.

Because Jonathan never told Clark not to save lives. What he told Clark was to figure out the reason he was sent to Earth, to be patient, to embrace and accept his destiny when the time came, and to be mindful of the impact his presence would have on the people of this planet.

Clark was not ready to accept his destiny at the time of Jonathan’s death…because 1, he was rejecting and resentful of his nature as an adopted alien and outcast, and 2, he didn’t know what he was supposed to be to the people of Earth and Krypton yet.

But Pa Kent was not advising Clark not to save lives. He was telling him that he had to keep that side of him a secret....until he knew what his purpose was. And this is a lesson that Clark took to heart after Pa Kent’s death, when he went globetrotting as a sort of nameless, faceless cypher who saved lives wherever he could...and searched for his purpose.

Superman killing Zod and the others was not a mistake in the comics. It was a beautiful part of the character’s history, that finally gave him and his mission some moral depth and put things in perspective about this Godlike being with immense power. And yes, the storylines that followed in the comics were fantastic, but they weren't necessarily fantastic because Clark was depressed over what he had done. They were fantastic because they got him offworld and into some really cool stories.

The sequel doesn’t need to be about a Clark burdened with regret…just about a Clark who knows his responsibilities to the world. There's no reason he couldn't kill again, or that he suddenly has to develop a code about never killing again. The point is that now he knows the weight of such an action. Which is a very human lesson to learn.

There’s some ambiguity to what that weight entails. Is it Superman griefstricken that he had to kill? Is he mourning all the deaths Zod caused? Is he mourning the last of his people, and the fact that he destroyed the remnants of his people? It could well be all of these things, and I'm betting it is meant to be.

But one thing that is not ambiguous is that, after the events of the film, this man is in serious grief and pain, period. And that's some powerful stuff.

And let's not forget, Superman can be SCARY. People forget this. This man has IMMENSE powers. Immense emotions. Superman has a temper. This is a Golden Age element that is finding its way back into the comics, and it was found in this film as well. Witness what he did to the trucker’ rig (My working theory is that it was actually Kara, who arrived on Earth before Kal thousands of years prior, and, based on the events of SUPERGIRL, has a reason to dislike ******* truckers).

The point is, he doesn't always make the perfect decision.

Because he is fallible.

Simply by acting as Superman he often acts as a vigilante, and outside conventional law, social norm and morality in several respects.

What makes Superman super is not "not killing". Human morality is too subjective to say that killing is always inherently wrong. What makes Superman “super” is his ability to do what must be done, doing what needs to be done, and having the moral fortitude to do the right thing, even when the right thing is difficult. And it has always been that way.

By any reasonable standard, he did the right thing.

But that doesn’t make it a good thing. And that’s the whole freaking point of the scene. And I wish people could see that, and its relevance to the overall concepts of superheroes. Superman does something horrible, something that disgusts and hurts him, to save innocent lives.

Now, there’s a lot of wishful thinking going on about what him killing Zod will mean, in the long run. The movie never suggest he has an issue with killing. Heck, he may never have thought about it, or about being a super soldier in a war for Earth's survival. But what we see is his reaction to having done so. It is a powerful one.

It’s a shocking, beautiful moment of bold cinema, and deserves to be seen as such.

But all the nonsense about “Superman is supposed to be the best of us”? Not necessarily. I don’t think the Man of Tomorrow would be bound by one person or culture or a few 40's writers' or childrens' groups moral absolutes.

The idea that Superman is somehow the best of us, morally speaking, is incorrect. If he was the best, morally speaking, he’d never resort to violence at all, would he? He’s not the best of us. He’s a VERY GOOD PERSON who makes difficult decisions when he has to. If you don’t agree with that, then your understanding of the character is quite simply, flawed and incomplete. So is your understanding of the concept of the superhero itself. And life, in general, to be honest.

If a policeman shoots someone who is threatening innocents, does that make them a bad person?

If a soldier shoots an enemy combatant, or say, a hostage taker or a terrorist, does that make them a bad person?

Why would it be any different for someone like Superman?

At its heart…the very concept of a superhero is about using physical strength, and yes, violence to overcome evil. It is about vigilantism and going outside the conventional morals of society. It is not about pure morality on any level. It never has been. There is an inherent duality in superheroes that does not allow for a simple black and white use of morality.

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Old 06-17-2013, 06:52 PM   #761
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Default Re: How Superman Resolved the Issue of Zod *MEGA SPOILER*

Couldn't Supes have thrown an expanding saran wrap S shield around him like in Superman II? Why didn't they show that power?

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Old 06-17-2013, 06:52 PM   #762
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Default Re: How Superman Resolved the Issue of Zod *MEGA SPOILER*

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You obviously don't understand what I'm talking about.

Yes. He could have. Potentially. Temporarily. Zod...wasn't going to stop trying to kill people, regardless of what Superman did.
Oh I understand, but the movie's seqences don't support your thesis.

Zod "verbally" said he will kill the humans .... it's simply a threat, as clearly his true focus is on battling Supes. We didn't see Zod at any point attempt to break away from the fight or incapacitate Supes in such a way that he could get to killing people. He just kept fighting.

So again, why wouldn't Supes canonball him away from the city?

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Old 06-17-2013, 06:53 PM   #763
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Default Re: How Superman Resolved the Issue of Zod *MEGA SPOILER*

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Superman DOES always make the perfect decision...except that sometimes I think he is completely wrong.

Other superheroes mock Superman for being naive and too much of a goody goody boy scout, unable to make the hard choices. Wonder Woman darn near disrespects him and thinks his decisions are stupid.
Yeah, but he's Superman....so **** 'em, y'know?

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Plus, is the infatuation that teenage girls have with pseudo-vampires any less sad than your infatuation with men in spandex and Heath Ledger? Its probably more justifiable for them. :)
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Old 06-17-2013, 07:17 PM   #764
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Default Re: How Superman Resolved the Issue of Zod *MEGA SPOILER*

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Originally Posted by The Guard View Post
I sort of wish people could get past the whole “Superman doesn’t kill” bit (he does when he "has to", read more of the mythology), and realize that this goes beyond that. It presents an interesting moral and intellectual discussion beyond "This isn't like what we're used to from Superman".

People have talked about the ideals Superman is supposed to inspire in humanity based on the film. Yes, Jor-El talks about this, but he also says “In time". Not "the first time you encounter humanity". Give that theme and character element of Superman some time to develop, as it’s clearly going to be part of the entire franchise. Protecting innocents at all costs is a pretty good ideal to strive towards in the meantime.

If I hear one more person say “Why didn’t he lure him away?”, with regard to Superman getting Zod away from people, I'm going to scream. Zod isn’t stupid. He's a tactical military leader with a plan. And he wasn't planning to chase Superman. His aim was to punish Superman by killing the people of Earth, not just to follow Superman wherever he went for the heck of it.

I continue to be amazed at people who think Superman was just recklessly battling Zod during the finale. During the battle, Superman was clearly trying to prevent more damage. During one of the few points in the fight where he has the upper hand, he flat out punches Zod AROUND two buildings they're passing near in their flight arc, instead of through them. For most of the fight, however, he couldn't even do that, as Zod was beating the hell out of him. But for the most part, the reason for the collateral damage was down to ZOD. Zod was tossing him through multiple buildings, and doing so very much on purpose.

And it’s all well and good to talk about what Superman COULD have done at the end of the movie other than snapping Zod’s neck, but that's missing the point. Because the point of the scene and the result of analysis is that, even had he done those things, Zod showed that he was not going to stop hurting the people of Earth. If Superman flew Zod away, then odds are Zod would have flown back and kept killing people. If Superman put his hands over Zod's eyes, then Superman would have burned his hands...or Zod would eventually have, yup, kept on killing people.

Which obviously Superman cared about. I'm not sure where the idea that Superman doesn't value life is coming from. What the movie shows doesn't indicate this at all. And to be honest, the movie shouldn’t have to spell out a common sense idea like “human life is important” anymore than it should have to spell out the common sense that “sons love their mothers and fathers”.

Regardless, in the end, it’s not really a question of there being no other way around killing Zod at that moment...it’s a question of Superman making a choice, based on Zod’s actions and Zod's declaration of war against the people of Earth, to end the threat Zod posed.

And as far as the morality of his actions in relation to "But it's Superman!" goes...Superman doesn’t have super-morals. What the hell is that supposed to mean? He continually makes good moral choices because he's a good man. He's far from a perfect one, though.

And with regard to the Kents...there's this crazy idea that they're somehow morally confused, or holding Superman back. How? The idea that the Kents worked against the morality of Superman is ridiculous. The Kents taught Clark to do the right thing in terms of the big picture and the greater good, not just what felt right at a given moment. Which is an important distinction to make, and part of growing up, and having a realistic, mature view of the world.

Along these lines, a lot of people seem to be seriously misunderstanding the actual lesson Jonathan Kent was trying to teach his son. This movie isn’t about Clark rejecting what the Kents taught him…it’s actually about him learning to understand and embrace what they taught him.

Because Jonathan never told Clark not to save lives. What he told Clark was to figure out the reason he was sent to Earth, to be patient, to embrace and accept his destiny when the time came, and to be mindful of the impact his presence would have on the people of this planet.

Clark was not ready to accept his destiny at the time of Jonathan’s death…because 1, he was rejecting and resentful of his nature as an adopted alien and outcast, and 2, he didn’t know what he was supposed to be to the people of Earth and Krypton yet.

But Pa Kent was not advising Clark not to save lives. He was telling him that he had to keep that side of him a secret....until he knew what his purpose was. And this is a lesson that Clark took to heart after Pa Kent’s death, when he went globetrotting as a sort of nameless, faceless cypher who saved lives wherever he could...and searched for his purpose.

Superman killing Zod and the others was not a mistake in the comics. It was a beautiful part of the character’s history, that finally gave him and his mission some moral depth and put things in perspective about this Godlike being with immense power. And yes, the storylines that followed in the comics were fantastic, but they weren't necessarily fantastic because Clark was depressed over what he had done. They were fantastic because they got him offworld and into some really cool stories.

The sequel doesn’t need to be about a Clark burdened with regret…just about a Clark who knows his responsibilities to the world. There's no reason he couldn't kill again, or that he suddenly has to develop a code about never killing again. The point is that now he knows the weight of such an action. Which is a very human lesson to learn.

There’s some ambiguity to what that weight entails. Is it Superman griefstricken that he had to kill? Is he mourning all the deaths Zod caused? Is he mourning the last of his people, and the fact that he destroyed the remnants of his people? It could well be all of these things, and I'm betting it is meant to be.

But one thing that is not ambiguous is that, after the events of the film, this man is in serious grief and pain, period. And that's some powerful stuff.

And let's not forget, Superman can be SCARY. People forget this. This man has IMMENSE powers. Immense emotions. Superman has a temper. This is a Golden Age element that is finding its way back into the comics, and it was found in this film as well. Witness what he did to the trucker’ rig (My working theory is that it was actually Kara, who arrived on Earth before Kal thousands of years prior, and, based on the events of SUPERGIRL, has a reason to dislike ******* truckers).

The point is, he doesn't always make the perfect decision.

Because he is fallible.

Simply by acting as Superman he often acts as a vigilante, and outside conventional law, social norm and morality in several respects.

What makes Superman super is not "not killing". Human morality is too subjective to say that killing is always inherently wrong. What makes Superman “super” is his ability to do what must be done, doing what needs to be done, and having the moral fortitude to do the right thing, even when the right thing is difficult. And it has always been that way.

By any reasonable standard, he did the right thing.

But that doesn’t make it a good thing. And that’s the whole freaking point of the scene. And I wish people could see that, and its relevance to the overall concepts of superheroes. Superman does something horrible, something that disgusts and hurts him, to save innocent lives.

Now, there’s a lot of wishful thinking going on about what him killing Zod will mean, in the long run. The movie never suggest he has an issue with killing. Heck, he may never have thought about it, or about being a super soldier in a war for Earth's survival. But what we see is his reaction to having done so. It is a powerful one.

It’s a shocking, beautiful moment of bold cinema, and deserves to be seen as such.

But all the nonsense about “Superman is supposed to be the best of us”? Not necessarily. I don’t think the Man of Tomorrow would be bound by one person or culture or a few 40's writers' or childrens' groups moral absolutes.

The idea that Superman is somehow the best of us, morally speaking, is incorrect. If he was the best, morally speaking, he’d never resort to violence at all, would he? He’s not the best of us. He’s a VERY GOOD PERSON who makes difficult decisions when he has to. If you don’t agree with that, then your understanding of the character is quite simply, flawed and incomplete. So is your understanding of the concept of the superhero itself. And life, in general, to be honest.

If a policeman shoots someone who is threatening innocents, does that make them a bad person?

If a soldier shoots an enemy combatant, or say, a hostage taker or a terrorist, does that make them a bad person?

Why would it be any different for someone like Superman?

At its heart…the very concept of a superhero is about using physical strength, and yes, violence to overcome evil. It is about vigilantism and going outside the conventional morals of society. It is not about pure morality on any level. It never has been. There is an inherent duality in superheroes that does not allow for a simple black and white use of morality.
Vintage Guard. Well said.

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Old 06-17-2013, 07:26 PM   #765
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Default Re: How Superman Resolved the Issue of Zod *MEGA SPOILER*

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I'd like to point out another reason why killing Zod was wrong for this movie that people seem to be overlooking...

What is Superman's purpose?? SIMPLE...it is to be the Man of Tomorrow...to inspire people to become better...for humanity as a whole to be in awe and hope to follow his great example. In that, he IS like Jesus. People will stumble, but through his example, they will hopefully someday walk with him.
Superman killed a depowered Zod in Superman II (Lester cut) crushing Zod's hand and seemingly enjoying it. Lois also punched Usra, also depowered off, the edge in the Fortress.

Also,

- Superman giving up his powers against his father's (Jor-el) wishes just to be with Lois.

- Clark humiliates the guy at the diner at the end of Superman II.

- Clark puts a custard pie in some poor guys face during the credits of Superman III.

- Clark humiliates Brad (Lana's boyfriend) at the end of Superman III.

- In the Quest for Peace, Supes just messes around Lois and Stacey during the double date.

- Superman throws Nuclear Man into a powerstation in Quest for Peace.

- Superman leaving Earth for 5 years (Superman Returns) on a whim that Krypton is still there, leaving Earth unprotected.

- The memory kiss at the end of Superman II, leading to Lois in Superman Returns just noticing after 5 years that her kid is Superman's son.

What those examples show is that Superman was brought up on Earth, still has human frailities. He can get jealous like we do, get angry, feel rage etc.
Those examples are just the past films, and that doesn't scratch the surface of 75 years of Superman doing questionable acts.

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Old 06-17-2013, 07:27 PM   #766
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Default Re: How Superman Resolved the Issue of Zod *MEGA SPOILER*

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Spoiler!!! Click to Read!:
I sort of wish people could get past the whole “Superman doesn’t kill” bit (he does when he "has to", read more of the mythology), and realize that this goes beyond that. It presents an interesting moral and intellectual discussion beyond "This isn't like what we're used to from Superman".

People have talked about the ideals Superman is supposed to inspire in humanity based on the film. Yes, Jor-El talks about this, but he also says “In time". Not "the first time you encounter humanity". Give that theme and character element of Superman some time to develop, as it’s clearly going to be part of the entire franchise. Protecting innocents at all costs is a pretty good ideal to strive towards in the meantime.

If I hear one more person say “Why didn’t he lure him away?”, with regard to Superman getting Zod away from people, I'm going to scream. Zod isn’t stupid. He's a tactical military leader with a plan. And he wasn't planning to chase Superman. His aim was to punish Superman by killing the people of Earth, not just to follow Superman wherever he went for the heck of it.

I continue to be amazed at people who think Superman was just recklessly battling Zod during the finale. During the battle, Superman was clearly trying to prevent more damage. During one of the few points in the fight where he has the upper hand, he flat out punches Zod AROUND two buildings they're passing near in their flight arc, instead of through them. For most of the fight, however, he couldn't even do that, as Zod was beating the hell out of him. But for the most part, the reason for the collateral damage was down to ZOD. Zod was tossing him through multiple buildings, and doing so very much on purpose.

And it’s all well and good to talk about what Superman COULD have done at the end of the movie other than snapping Zod’s neck, but that's missing the point. Because the point of the scene and the result of analysis is that, even had he done those things, Zod showed that he was not going to stop hurting the people of Earth. If Superman flew Zod away, then odds are Zod would have flown back and kept killing people. If Superman put his hands over Zod's eyes, then Superman would have burned his hands...or Zod would eventually have, yup, kept on killing people.

Which obviously Superman cared about. I'm not sure where the idea that Superman doesn't value life is coming from. What the movie shows doesn't indicate this at all. And to be honest, the movie shouldn’t have to spell out a common sense idea like “human life is important” anymore than it should have to spell out the common sense that “sons love their mothers and fathers”.

Regardless, in the end, it’s not really a question of there being no other way around killing Zod at that moment...it’s a question of Superman making a choice, based on Zod’s actions and Zod's declaration of war against the people of Earth, to end the threat Zod posed.

And as far as the morality of his actions in relation to "But it's Superman!" goes...Superman doesn’t have super-morals. What the hell is that supposed to mean? He continually makes good moral choices because he's a good man. He's far from a perfect one, though.

And with regard to the Kents...there's this crazy idea that they're somehow morally confused, or holding Superman back. How? The idea that the Kents worked against the morality of Superman is ridiculous. The Kents taught Clark to do the right thing in terms of the big picture and the greater good, not just what felt right at a given moment. Which is an important distinction to make, and part of growing up, and having a realistic, mature view of the world.

Along these lines, a lot of people seem to be seriously misunderstanding the actual lesson Jonathan Kent was trying to teach his son. This movie isn’t about Clark rejecting what the Kents taught him…it’s actually about him learning to understand and embrace what they taught him.

Because Jonathan never told Clark not to save lives. What he told Clark was to figure out the reason he was sent to Earth, to be patient, to embrace and accept his destiny when the time came, and to be mindful of the impact his presence would have on the people of this planet.

Clark was not ready to accept his destiny at the time of Jonathan’s death…because 1, he was rejecting and resentful of his nature as an adopted alien and outcast, and 2, he didn’t know what he was supposed to be to the people of Earth and Krypton yet.

But Pa Kent was not advising Clark not to save lives. He was telling him that he had to keep that side of him a secret....until he knew what his purpose was. And this is a lesson that Clark took to heart after Pa Kent’s death, when he went globetrotting as a sort of nameless, faceless cypher who saved lives wherever he could...and searched for his purpose.

Superman killing Zod and the others was not a mistake in the comics. It was a beautiful part of the character’s history, that finally gave him and his mission some moral depth and put things in perspective about this Godlike being with immense power. And yes, the storylines that followed in the comics were fantastic, but they weren't necessarily fantastic because Clark was depressed over what he had done. They were fantastic because they got him offworld and into some really cool stories.

The sequel doesn’t need to be about a Clark burdened with regret…just about a Clark who knows his responsibilities to the world. There's no reason he couldn't kill again, or that he suddenly has to develop a code about never killing again. The point is that now he knows the weight of such an action. Which is a very human lesson to learn.

There’s some ambiguity to what that weight entails. Is it Superman griefstricken that he had to kill? Is he mourning all the deaths Zod caused? Is he mourning the last of his people, and the fact that he destroyed the remnants of his people? It could well be all of these things, and I'm betting it is meant to be.

But one thing that is not ambiguous is that, after the events of the film, this man is in serious grief and pain, period. And that's some powerful stuff.

And let's not forget, Superman can be SCARY. People forget this. This man has IMMENSE powers. Immense emotions. Superman has a temper. This is a Golden Age element that is finding its way back into the comics, and it was found in this film as well. Witness what he did to the trucker’ rig (My working theory is that it was actually Kara, who arrived on Earth before Kal thousands of years prior, and, based on the events of SUPERGIRL, has a reason to dislike ******* truckers).

The point is, he doesn't always make the perfect decision.

Because he is fallible.

Simply by acting as Superman he often acts as a vigilante, and outside conventional law, social norm and morality in several respects.

What makes Superman super is not "not killing". Human morality is too subjective to say that killing is always inherently wrong. What makes Superman “super” is his ability to do what must be done, doing what needs to be done, and having the moral fortitude to do the right thing, even when the right thing is difficult. And it has always been that way.

By any reasonable standard, he did the right thing.

But that doesn’t make it a good thing. And that’s the whole freaking point of the scene. And I wish people could see that, and its relevance to the overall concepts of superheroes. Superman does something horrible, something that disgusts and hurts him, to save innocent lives.

Now, there’s a lot of wishful thinking going on about what him killing Zod will mean, in the long run. The movie never suggest he has an issue with killing. Heck, he may never have thought about it, or about being a super soldier in a war for Earth's survival. But what we see is his reaction to having done so. It is a powerful one.

It’s a shocking, beautiful moment of bold cinema, and deserves to be seen as such.

But all the nonsense about “Superman is supposed to be the best of us”? Not necessarily. I don’t think the Man of Tomorrow would be bound by one person or culture or a few 40's writers' or childrens' groups moral absolutes.

The idea that Superman is somehow the best of us, morally speaking, is incorrect. If he was the best, morally speaking, he’d never resort to violence at all, would he? He’s not the best of us. He’s a VERY GOOD PERSON who makes difficult decisions when he has to. If you don’t agree with that, then your understanding of the character is quite simply, flawed and incomplete. So is your understanding of the concept of the superhero itself. And life, in general, to be honest.

If a policeman shoots someone who is threatening innocents, does that make them a bad person?

If a soldier shoots an enemy combatant, or say, a hostage taker or a terrorist, does that make them a bad person?

Why would it be any different for someone like Superman?

At its heart…the very concept of a superhero is about using physical strength, and yes, violence to overcome evil. It is about vigilantism and going outside the conventional morals of society. It is not about pure morality on any level. It never has been. There is an inherent duality in superheroes that does not allow for a simple black and white use of morality.
I also think it depends on whether someone is holding Superman to the standards of a real person with extraordinary abilities, or...for lack of a better term...a god or ideal. In the latter we often expect them to be above what we are, better in ways that we can't be..and eventually above judgement as well. And in a lot of ways, looking at Superman as more of a real person is invariably deconstructing that...and much like with religion, there are those who will oppose that as a principle.

In that respect it's nonsensical to rationalize along the lines of a regular mortal person...a person who can be judged. I the other hand, that dogmatic air surrounding the goody-goody such-and-such is probably what's allowed him to fall out of favor with more recent sensibilities. So I think there will always be a divide there just as there is, well, real life.

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Old 06-17-2013, 07:32 PM   #767
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Oh I understand, but the movie's seqences don't support your thesis.
Yes it does. Especially when Zod tries to kill the people right before Superman stops him.

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Zod "verbally" said he will kill the humans .... it's simply a threat, as clearly his true focus is on battling Supes. We didn't see Zod at any point attempt to break away from the fight or incapacitate Supes in such a way that he could get to killing people. He just kept fighting.
It is to be assumed that Zod wanted to kill people based on his words and his actions, as Zod's actions, what with all the toppling buildings and such, were likely killing people.

By the end of the movie, it is no longer only a "threat".

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So again, why wouldn't Supes canonball him away from the city?
I just explained that. He potentially could have. It would not, in the longrun, have solved the issue.

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Old 06-17-2013, 07:48 PM   #768
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Oh I understand, but the movie's seqences don't support your thesis.

Zod "verbally" said he will kill the humans .... it's simply a threat, as clearly his true focus is on battling Supes. We didn't see Zod at any point attempt to break away from the fight or incapacitate Supes in such a way that he could get to killing people. He just kept fighting.

So again, why wouldn't Supes canonball him away from the city?
A 'threat'? Zod was actually firing his beams towards the family. Zod had nothing to lose, Krypton gone, the codec in Superman so it was kill or be killed (Death by Cop).

Cannonball Zod away? Supes did that earlier when he flung Zod into the Wayne Satellite in space, but the fight came back to Metropolis anyway.

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Old 06-17-2013, 07:51 PM   #769
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Yes it does. Especially when Zod tries to kill the people right before Superman stops him.



It is to be assumed that Zod wanted to kill people based on his words and his actions, as Zod's actions, what with all the toppling buildings and such, were likely killing people.

By the end of the movie, it is no longer only a "threat".



I just explained that. He potentially could have. It would not, in the longrun, have solved the issue.
It would have solved the problem because at no point did Zod attempt to break away from the melee. His ego put him toe-to-toe with Supes in a fight to the death.


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Old 06-17-2013, 07:53 PM   #770
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A 'threat'? Zod was actually firing his beams towards the family. Zod had nothing to lose, Krypton gone, the codec in Superman so it was kill or be killed (Death by Cop).

Cannonball Zod away? Supes did that earlier when he flung Zod into the Wayne Satellite in space, but the fight came back to Metropolis anyway.
That was in the end. Supes could've canonballed him long before that.

I am arguing that Zod was fully engaged in the fight. If he had won he would've pursued his threat to annihilate the human race, but he had to go thru Supes first. So cannonballing him would've worked. The fact that he tried to laser beam a handful of randomly displaced humans was out of coincidence. He did not purposely seek those people out, he randomly found himself upon them as he was battling Supes.

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Old 06-17-2013, 08:04 PM   #771
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Default Re: How Superman Resolved the Issue of Zod *MEGA SPOILER*

^ Then he would have Canonballed Zod forever. Also, Supes had the disadvantage for most of the fight.

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Old 06-17-2013, 08:19 PM   #772
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^ Then he would have Canonballed Zod forever. Also, Supes had the disadvantage for most of the fight.
I'm not talking about canonballing the guy into submission. That would be ridiciculous.

At that point in the movie Supes was strong enough to do it. All he needed to do was get in one good one and remove both of themselves out of the city.

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Old 06-17-2013, 08:27 PM   #773
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Default Re: How Superman Resolved the Issue of Zod *MEGA SPOILER*

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Superman killed a depowered Zod in Superman II (Lester cut) crushing Zod's hand and seemingly enjoying it. Lois also punched Usra, also depowered off, the edge in the Fortress.

Also,

- Superman giving up his powers against his father's (Jor-el) wishes just to be with Lois.

- Clark humiliates the guy at the diner at the end of Superman II.

- Clark puts a custard pie in some poor guys face during the credits of Superman III.

- Clark humiliates Brad (Lana's boyfriend) at the end of Superman III.

- In the Quest for Peace, Supes just messes around Lois and Stacey during the double date.

- Superman throws Nuclear Man into a powerstation in Quest for Peace.

- Superman leaving Earth for 5 years (Superman Returns) on a whim that Krypton is still there, leaving Earth unprotected.

- The memory kiss at the end of Superman II, leading to Lois in Superman Returns just noticing after 5 years that her kid is Superman's son.

What those examples show is that Superman was brought up on Earth, still has human frailities. He can get jealous like we do, get angry, feel rage etc.
Those examples are just the past films, and that doesn't scratch the surface of 75 years of Superman doing questionable acts.
Yes...many, many times comic book characters have been poorly written and poorly adapted. I don't care if it has happened 1,000 times...it does not excuse the 1,001st. I was opposed to Deadpool becoming the teleporting, optic blast shooting merc with no mouth, and I was opposed to Dr Doom being an effeminate businessman with no mask, and I'm opposed to this take on Superman. I'm consistent that way.

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Old 06-17-2013, 08:31 PM   #774
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I'm not talking about canonballing the guy into submission. That would be ridiciculous.

At that point in the movie Supes was strong enough to do it. All he needed to do was get in one good one and remove both of themselves out of the city.
Well...the reasoning there is that Zod was SO strong after a few hours on earth that Superman couldn't lift him, couldn't move him, couldn't really do anything to him except snap his little neck like a twig. Now...you might say that this makes no sense...but...you know...it was so cool and stuff.

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Old 06-17-2013, 08:51 PM   #775
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Default Re: How Superman Resolved the Issue of Zod *MEGA SPOILER*

I kept wondering why he simply couldn't have covered Zod's eyes with his invulnerable hand if it was that big an issue for him. He did it to Darkseid in TAS.

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