All Things Batman v Superman: An Open Discussion (TAG SPOILERS) - - - - - - Part 307

Discussion in 'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice' started by Thread Manager, Mar 4, 2017.

  1. Dr. From parts unknown

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    A familiar, recurring thought experiment: what if Jesus came to Earth now? This scenario has actually been the basis for more than a few novels and movies. And typically what happens is that Jesus and his message are greeted with suspicion, cynicism, repudiation and even violence. IOW, it’s pretty much the same reaction as the first time. :word: Needless to say, such “elseworlds” tales don’t function as criticisms of Jesus; they’re indictments of us, of humanity. Therefore, these stories tend to be plot driven - about the implications of the central premise - rather than an in-depth character study of the protagonist.

    In my view, BvS is conceptually analogous. It asks the question “what if Superman were real?” and then explores the real-world reactions to having a god-like entity in our midst. Ultimately - and much like Jesus - we reject/destroy the thing that might have saved us.

    Now, obviously, this isn’t exactly “feel good” material. And on that basis, it’s seen as antithetical to a true/idealistic representation of Superman. Alternatively, some accept that this is a worthy storyline; but we could have used a more traditional Man of Steel sequel (or two) before diving into the heavy stuff. But there are those who actually liked the movie (they do exist) - and were receptive to a more philosophical deconstruction of the mythos, the “beautiful lie.”
     
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  2. TheVileOne Registered

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    Superman isn't Jesus.

    The DCU Universe isn't the real world, nor is this movie, despite it's poor attempts.
     
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  3. MaceB Registered

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    he’s a magic man that comes to earth. The parallels do exist.

    Realism usually helps viewers buy into the drama. A more grounded take on the character is what the fans wanted. Batman v. Superman was not a great movie, but I don’t blame Snyder for trying to ground Superman in the real world. It was a matter of time. It’s sad To me how territorial fans get about Superman. It’s this impulse to not change a thing that makes Superman such a tough character today.
     
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  4. TheVileOne Registered

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    Jesus was a pacifist and the son of god. Superman is an alien who punches people. Sure there are parallels. But this isn't Passion of the Christ. And then you can't expect an audience to feel heartbroken or sad about Superman dying when you never actually start to like or sympathize with him as a character. He doesn't even look like he wants to help people. He looks sad about it. He looks sad that everyone's always questioning him.

    Unlike the comics, Superman does think he's a god, and it makes him unhappy. In the comics, the thought of him being a god doesn't occur to him. He doesn't think of himself that way. First and foremost he's a hero. He's the person that runs to danger when others run from it. He's the person that stands in front of the weak and innocent no matter the cost, no matter the outcome. That's what it means to be Superman.

    The problem with calling it a grounded movie is that characters don't act in a grounded, realistic way.

    If it was grounded, Bruce hearing Martha isn't going to stop him from wanting to kill Superman.
     
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  5. MaceB Registered

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    I agree that Snyder didn’t do a good enough job of bringing out our Clark’s character. And he is sad... it makes sense that he’d be sad. Superman is not allowed to show emotions?

    the idea that Clark or the Earth would not see Superman as a possible god is silly. Of course they would. Such things do t need to be brought up in cartons, but in a live action film... you’d better address the elephant in the room. It’d be silly not to.

    I think Superman is the guy who rushes in too. I just wish authors would give us a better reason why than ‘well he was raised on a farm” Snyder tried to give context to Superman’s good deeds. He tried to answer the question ‘why.’ That’s a good thing IMO.

    I agree that the character motivations in the movie were poor. The Martha moment.... ehhh.... it was fine in concept. Just executed poorly.
     
    #1155 MaceB, Jun 15, 2020
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  6. TheVileOne Registered

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    It'd be nice to see Superman as something other than a mopey, depressive borderline antihero. I feel like Man of Steel explored that enough and by the end it was sort of a way to bring him back to a more classic iconic Superman role. Instead Snyder reverted.

    Batman has addressed it. He comes to the conclusion that the thought simply doesn't occur to Clark. He doesn't see himself as a god. Clark views himself as one of us.

    It's more than being raised on a farm. He's a genuinely good person. He wants to help people. He has the power to help people. He does it because it's the right thing to do. I realize in 2020, that's sort of a radical idea, but it's not rocket science and people simply can't accept that.

    In 2020 everyone wants to know some sort of ulterior motive.
     
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  7. MaceB Registered

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    Good post though I disagree.

    IMO, Superman being good just because he was born that way is like the definition of a one dimensional character. We’re not born all-good. We become good or bad based upon our experiences... some of us are able to overcome those experiences through therapy, family, and friends. Supermans actions should be motivated by something internally.

    I do agree though that Snyder did a bad job with this, but I do think his goal was the right one. Superman needs better motivations, and I’m Still eager to see a live-action Superman that feels more like a complex character than a cartoon, Personally. I like movies like The Kingsmen.... I can seee why folks would want a less serious movie like that, but I still want a realistic representation of Superman.
     
    #1157 MaceB, Jun 15, 2020
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  8. TheVileOne Registered

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    Maybe Superman's experiences helped make him good and influenced his behavior? OK, so Superman was raised by people with good values on a Kansas farm.

    Bruce Timm and Paul Dini didn't struggle characterizing Superman or Clark Kent and they did one of the best jobs with it. We saw his upbringing too where he certainly had his time where he was more of a punk kid and he didn't know what to do with his powers first as a teenager or struggled comprehending with what was happening to him.

    Toshinori Yagi became All Might in My Hero Academia because he saw the strife the world was going through with the emergence of people with quirks or superpowers. It caused mass prejudice and derision. All Might took it upon himself to become the world's pillar of hope and symbol for peace in the harshest of times. He wanted this goal since he was a kid and that's how he convinced his predecessor to grant him the One for All power.

    In other words, My Hero Academia did a better job of creating a modernized Superman than Zack Snyder.
     
    #1158 TheVileOne, Jun 15, 2020
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  9. Vaibow Registered

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    I disagree... he was raised as one of them, he was sent there because he looked like one of them... he fits in so well. He was raised in a healthy, loving family.

    Then his life changes in the fact that he can do so much more than anyone else...

    He never has to work to be a part of his new home. Clark is who he is and Smallville accepts him. He can totally connect with people...

    No it's not a problem. He was raised a decent human being. He is the guy next door... that's his character. That's the way he is, who he is.

    He just so happens to have the means to do way more good... by stopping the bad. If he wasn't a kryptonian he may well have gone on to be a farmer - feeding people, a fire fighter, a cop... a journalist.... all things that you know, do good for people, pretty inspiring.

    superman is so much more than an alien punching people... if that's your take away the probably best to end the discussion.
     
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  10. TheVileOne Registered

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    He's so much more than a Jesus Christ allegory too, but that's what a lot of people want to boil him down as.
     
    #1160 TheVileOne, Jun 15, 2020
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  11. MaceB Registered

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    To me, he wasn't. Superman developed powers fairly early on, and was taught to hide his true self from people fairly early on in his life. In fact, it's this double nature that is so key to Superman, right? There's a reason why he is thought of as an icon in the gay community... because he lives a double life.

    Second, immigrants look like us too. Immigrant orphans are able to fit in too. But deep down, they know that they are different. Again... it's that fitting in.. but not really fitting in... thing that's in play here, which is actually so analogous to Superman. Superman may be raised as a human, he may look like a human, he may be able to put on a human costume and fit in relatively well with humans at times (questionable), but he's not human. And he knows that. These two separate spheres of Clark's life.... one as Superman, and one as Daily Planet reporter... are two things that are in conflict with one another. IF he did fit in so well, then Clark wouldn't need the disguise. He could fly around to his heart's content as Clark. But he doesn't fit in. He's an alien. So he hides that part of himself from the world. Clark may be the strongest man in the world, but he carries the burden of his secrets. And that's compelling story content just waiting to be mined.

    But they don't accept him, do they? Clark has been picked on and thought of as a nerd for a lot of his life. And again, he has to hide a rather significant part of himself, so it seems weird to say they accept him.

    Can he connect with people? Ehh, it depends on the rendition you are viewing I guess. But Clark being clumsy and aloof is a reoccurring theme in the comics. Why do you think he does that? It's a camouflage to distract people from looking too closely into the Clark personna. "Oh, Clark can't be Superman. He's too clumsy and nerdy." So not even Clark is an accurate representation of who Superman really is. He can only truly be himself around Lois, his parents, and.... the Justice League, I guess?


    I don't know what that means to be honest with you; it's so cliche. Is it that everyone who was raised on a farm in Kansas is just inherently a good person, or is it because he's an alien that Superman is just all around good? Maybe he wants to APPEAR like the guy next door, but Clark is the last of his kind... a rare and beautiful bird, hiding among the pigeons. He spends his time on a secret base of SOLITUDE so he can just be himself.

    And I don't have a problem with Clark being wholesome. I just think this whole, "oh he's just a good guy naturally" thing does not make for compelling storytelling. People wonder why audiences have a hard time connecting. Well, why not use the natural material that Superman is gifted with? Superman is an orphan, like Bruce... but whereas Bruce was a product of trauma, Clark was not. Clark is the last of his kind. Sent by his father as a modern Moses, to connect two people together. The heavy burden of being alone... of not having true parents or people who can mentor you through these totally unique times... but also to have this incredible search for meaning. You want to throw all of that away in favor of, "oh he's just a good person, no explanation needed." It's one dimensional. It's boring. It doesn't even make sense... like in a way that we can real world relate with...

    Okay, but I reject the idea that police, or firemen just get up out of bed one day and are like... "hey I'm gonna do some good." It's important to put it in context. That's where good storytelling comes from. Maybe the kid's dad was a fireman, and it's important to him that he be as good as his dad. Maybe a woman becomes a paramedic, because someone asphyxiated in front of her, and she refuses to let it happen again, etc. etc. People are complicated. But if you are putting yourself in harms way, then there's a reason for it... whether known to the individual or not. And I'm sorry, I wouldn't want to watch a multi-movie series about Jon, the firefighter with a heart of gold who grew up with loving parents, is universally loved, and emotionally secure. Tune in next week for the next burning building he's going to put out. Seen one, seen them all, right? Jon isn't going to grow. Grow where? He already has everything he needs. Let's not do that to Clark...anymore than we already have.
     
    #1161 MaceB, Jun 15, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2020
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  12. AVEITWITHJAMON Darksider

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    The thing is though in live action he has always been used as a Jesus allegory. The Donner movies probably laid it on thicker than any Supeman movie since. Thought Returns wouldn't be far behind, but that was following Donner continuity somewhat.
     
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  13. TheVileOne Registered

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    I find that lazy.
     
  14. Vaibow Registered

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    maybe so... but I didn't say that.
     
  15. Vaibow Registered

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    Clark developed powers early on - Superboy.

    Clark needs the disguise to protect loved ones as guess what - bad people.

    Clark being picked on for being a nerd - big whooped do - who hasn't? Who hasn't been picked on for being super smart, talented... jealousy is out there and people can relate.

    Clark in the office being that way is again to hide the fact he is Kal El, to protect others around him.

    Clark in the office is never meant to be a true reflection of Kal El. Superman isn't even. true reflection of Kal El.

    Clark in smallville, is Kal El.

    He was raised a good way, period, they coulda have done the same parenting job in the city, but there is something romanticized about the American farm.. Also, it's two contrasting elements... farm and city. Fish out of water.

    You find the Jesus link lazy but don't mind Moses? And being a good guy naturally people an't connect to a good guy? Ok, well, that's weird.

    One could argue that being an orphan makes him appreciate love and family even more... he is not theirs yet they treat him like theirs, again, great upbringing. They didn't carry him in their womb, but but carry him in their heart.

    You reject the idea that police or fireman wake up and say 'I am gunna go do good today!' that's the whole point of their job... to do good.

    I'm starting to see a pattern that maybe you have a hard time seeing good in people.

    And finally, you don't want to see a good man do good things?

    You just don't get it...

    The challenge Clark has as Superman is to speak and fight on behalf of those who cannot. He stops the petty crime, he talks a suicidal teen off the building, he stops a bank robber, he rushes into a burning building when no one else can and get's people out safe... you wouldn't see the joy in those victories?

    As Clark, the reporter... he is uncovering truth and justice, again, dealing with corruption, drama... of every day life... that's not interesting to you? Whilst Clark knows governments are after him therefor he has to keep a low profile in the office... knowing full well as superman, Lois worships him.
    Or maybe how on the farm... where he grew up and is his home and community... where he can be himself, he has to make sure nothing comes of them, from his exploits as the man of steel.

    And also, don't forget, a comic, a cartoon, a movie... it's entertainment.

    Clark was taken in by the world, he sees the beauty in that and wants to show gratitude.

    I feel you are looking at one interpretation of superman and assuming that's the definitive take on the character.
     
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  16. AVEITWITHJAMON Darksider

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    Not like it isn't also done in the comics though
     
  17. MaceB Registered

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    And he hid those powers early on. From an early age, Clark learned that he couldn't reveal his true self to his friends.

    And why does Clark need loved ones? He's an alien... not of this world. There's a double bind here. Clark doesn't need to be Superman... he could protect his family better if he didn't get involved and just acted like every human. However, Clark can't act like every human, because he is compelled to help others. Thus, he wears the costume, so he can have it both ways... so he can protect strangers, as well as his family members. This demonstrates the internal conflict.

    You said that Clark is accepted by Smallville. And I said, not really... he's not a sports star or a popular kid... he's a science geek that gets picked on. How is that accepting him for who he really is? Superman. ? It's just accepting the clumsy Clark disguise. Jealousy? Jealousy of what? Clark doesn't get the girl. Clark can't participate in sports.

    Again, you could easily make the argument that he's actually putting them at risk. He doesn't need to pretend to be human at all. He doesn't need to be a reporter. He chooses to be, despite the risks... because acting human is important to him.

    That's my point.... Walking around with a secret is a heavy burden, even for Superman. Why would we not want t mine this dramatic material?

    Again, not really... Clark can't go out and fly to the basket when he dunks it. Clark is restrained in Smallville, just like he's been taught his entire life.

    Basically, what you're saying here is that there's nothing special about Superman. Any other Kryptonian who was raised by two loving adults would be just the same. If all it took was for folks to be raised well in order for them to be selfless, then we'd have a better world indeed. Also, such a motivation is boring and one dimensional. Hey, why is Jon the best fireman who always runs into the fires even at great personal risk? Well... gee... his mom and dad did a good job.

    I'd suggest to you that Jon the fireman and Superman have a greater motivation than that. Motivation can be complex, and unknown to people. Maybe why Jon really runs into the fires first, is because he was small as a child, and he feels like he has something to prove. All kinds of possibilities. But just saying, "well he's naturally good" is lacking for the greatest superhero of all time.

    I don't find the Jesus link lazy. You're confusing me with another poster I think. I actually rather link the Jesus link. I think it's stuff like that which can help give Superman complexity, and I think that's what Snyder was trying to do. I ultimately think it wasn't a great result, but I applaud his effort to make Superman interesting.

    I know! This is what I'm saying! Many orphans are eagle scouts. They feel an obligation to do good for their foster parents. In this case, Superman's foster parents is the Earth. There's nothing wrong with leaning into that psychology for Clark. That gives him complexity and makes his motivations more unique and interesting.

    Yeah, the question I'm asking is "why?" They could have been fisherman, or masons, or city officials... but they chose to put themselves in harms way, in a job that is critical, but often thankless. Why? Saying, "oh just because they are good people" isn't a good explanation. Aren't the fisherman good people too? Was the Mason not raised by loving parents?

    No need to get personal. I'm saying that Superman is often portrayed with simple, uninteresting motivations. Do I believe there are good people? Sure. Do I believe that people risk their lives, and the lives of their family, and secretly hide the fact that they do so for years... because they were raised with good values? Uhhh... not really. That seems pretty convenient and one dimensional to me. The sad thing is that Superman has a really interesting story that would absolutely lend itself to him saving people for unique, individual, and interesting reasons... but fans would prefer that we don't actually look into Superman's psychology, so....ho hum... he was raised by good parents.

    Why? Who gave him this fight? Why did he choose this fight? Sure I see the joy. But in a live action adaptation, audiences are going to naturally wonder why Superman does these things. When it's a cartoon, it's easier to not care.

    The motivations are what interest me. Of course uncovering crime interests me. I love documentaries and great news pieces. But it's not the act itself that interests me. Again, no one is forcing Clark to choose to live a double life. He's the one choosing into that. He could easily be Superman and not be at the Planet.

    Hey... if you want a thrill ride which doesn't investigate Superman as a character, then I'm sure you have lots of options. Snyder, to his credit, was trying to go deeper. And I don't criticize Snyder for doing that. I applaud it. I think the most likely cause for the problems is that this conversation... which we are having right here.... is probably a reflection of the conversation between Snyder and studio Execs. Snyder wanted to actually delve into the Superman character. WB wanted massive explosions and super powers.

    What I'm saying, is we can have both. Giving Clark workable, compelling motivations would help his popularity, not hurt it, IMO>

    It's a discussion forum. I'm lending my support to Snyder's creative vision, and proposing how I'd like to see the character portrayed in the future. My statement are my opinions only, in a sea of fans who have their own... equally valid... opinions.
     
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  18. Vaibow Registered

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    In bold answers your own question.... he does good as they did good to him. That's it.

    He was raised a good man, he was raised in a rural setting which often heeds different results than the city. You can continue to dissect it, but the basics is this, as you said, he feels obligated to do good, as good was done to him.

    That makes him pretty super to me.

    And as for Snyder, I don't think he delved into Clark or his character much at all - he threw problems at him, to which he brooded over and then acted pretty much how anyone else would, with the exception of watching his father die - alien or not, him standing there just didn't make sense - no one on that over pass would have known who they were... or see them ever again, would have just been an urban legend/act of god - it was 1997, no iPhones.

    What Snyder could have done is shown us how and why he is on that fishing trawler, how did he interact with those guys, all you saw was him keep his head down and be GOOD. Why he has a fake ID/name. How/Why did he get to work in that bar, all he did was keep his head down and defend his worker friend, being good. Then he did good to Lois etc, I mean... Snyder showed Clark being good in the way you don't like.. being good just because.

    Anyways, agree to disagree on this one.
     
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  19. MaceB Registered

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    And you don't see how that characterization is thin and one-dimensional? What you're saying is that Superman is no different than the vast majority of us. If we had super powers, we'd do the same as him. I think that sells him short.
     
  20. The Guard Registered

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    So for a death to be earned, the character has to be a veteran, and have a bunch of friends?

    The mechanics of the death are clearly thematically relevant to the events of the two preceding films.

    It doesn't have to be an emotional gutpunch to be earned in a literary sense.

    I don't see how he's not fighting to protect others in BVS, too. The difference is he doesn't have many friends and allies. But that arguably only makes his decision to give up the chance to be with the one he does have, and arguably one of the few he has ever had, more powerful, not less.

    Now, he's not broadcasting the level of threat and that he's about to die because he's not in a major comic book crossover and they want you to keep buying issues to see what happens, but the level of the threat is clearly established. It's pretty clear Doomsday is a major threat.

    Uh...no.

    If all he cared about was Lois, then he would have flown her away from Doomsday.

    He cares about the world.

    He's knowingly sacrificing his life with Lois in his final moments.
     
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  21. TheVileOne Registered

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    Those things definitely help.

    None of this really supports they didn't revert to Superman's death too quickly, audiences didn't buy into it, and it was a cheap waste of time. It didn't work on a thematic or audience level.


    Uh...yes.

    Exactly, he's sacrificing his life to save Lois, not the world because Lois is his world and Lois is what the movie made him out to be solely concerned about.
     
  22. AVEITWITHJAMON Darksider

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    We watched very different movies then. There is literally a whole montage in the movie of him saving people that aren’t Lois. Lois isn’t at the scout ship when Superman saves Lex from Doomsday either. Or when he takes Doomsday to space and gets a nuke in the face.
     
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  23. The Guard Registered

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    Yeah, there's a huge, pitched battle before he sacrifices himself where he's clearly risking his life, trying to get Doomsday away from populated areas, etc.
     
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  24. The Guard Registered

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    You're welcome to your opinion, but if you're going to make blanket statements about things, you need to support it with evidence, not just say things and expect that to make them true.

    For every person who believes this, there's probably someone who feels otherwise.

    Incorrect.

    It's not just Lois he puts himself on the line for. It extends to Lex Luthor, the people of Metropolis, the miltiary, news reporters, and eventually Batman and Wonder Woman. The movie makes a point in showing how dangerous Doomsday is. The movie also makes clear that after his death, the people of Metropolis/Earth sure seemed to think he was fighting for them.

    Now, the movie starts out with him being solely concerned with Lois and his new "normal" life with her. But after their initial conversation, his viewpoint evolves considerably from there.

    Most of the conflict in the movie is not even about Lois, it's about him being concerned about the world's reaction to his attempts to help, and his struggle over whether he still belongs there, should involve himself, etc. He expresses concern for many things other than just Lois in the movie.

    And his sacrifice makes it very, very, very clear that he doesn't just care about Lois.
     
    #1174 The Guard, Jun 21, 2020
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  25. Wheels Groovy

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    TheVileOne gets me when it comes to Superman and why I have a complicated relationship with the Donner Superman films, mostly what happened in their wake thanks to people taking his ideas and making them completely overbearing, mostly making Jor-El way too damn important and creating this thing where Clark ultimately doesn't want to be Superman at all, his daddy made him. Thus, you eliminate the aspiration factor all because he has to be Jesus in the films. Which, I'm sorry, is FAR more overt in subsequent material. Superman Returns and Man of Steel are much worse. Who wants to be either of these dudes? They barely have any agency at all and there's zero escapism present in comparison to any Batman movie or even Punisher, as sick as that sounds. Who wants to be Superman Returns or Man of Steel Superman? I don't.
     
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