How Superman Resolved the Issue of Zod *MEGA SPOILER*

Discussion in 'Man of Steel' started by Frontier, Jun 14, 2013.

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"S" plastic shield vs broken neck.

  1. "S" shield, cool new power designed to kill powerless enemies.

  2. Broken neck to save a family and millions of future innocent lives.

  3. "S" shield, cool new power designed to kill powerless enemies.

  4. Broken neck to save a family and millions of future innocent lives.

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  1. Senator Pleasury

    Senator Pleasury Well-Known Member

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    GREAT point Heretic.

    As you say, according to what the movie itself says, this Superman's reaction could be easily interpreted as killing what's left of his roots more than his inner conflict against killing, which even when widely known by fans, was never mentioned in the movie.
     
    #726
  2. jacobed

    jacobed Well-Known Member

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    I thought Snyder explained it so well why he decided to have Superman kill Zod. I can't believe this is still up for debate.
     
    #727
  3. Heretic

    Heretic Well-Known Member

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    The writers used our knowledge of other sources as yet another way to be lazy and not have to do the heavy lifting writing that other writers accomplished.

    Kind of like "The viewers know he is Christ like...so instead of showing him act that way, lets just show a lingering close-up of his face next to Jesus...maybe put him in a few Jesus Christ poses...that'll do the trick. I sure am glad other writers did all the hard work!"
     
    #728
  4. Hcmarvel

    Hcmarvel Well-Known Member

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    Sigh...weaker as in he had the guy down. Like kicking an opponent when he's down. It's not quite fitting here but don't act like you don't know what he meant by "weaker". Also, Clark should be stronger than these guys as he's been soaking up Earth sun for 33 years. Zod only has been for like...3 hours really?

    If they're exactly the same strength level, then why isn't Zod able to completely destroy Clark in a fight? Do you know how short a fight between a Seal Team Six member and a total civilian of the exact same weight would be? If Superman isn't stronger than Zod, than that whole final fight is insanity.
     
    #729
  5. hopefuldreamer

    hopefuldreamer Clark Kent > Superman

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    TBH, this is one of the reasons that having the 'JK would be so proud' scene so soon after the neck snap, felt a bit weird, and is when it really hit me emotionally.

    I know it isn't what they were saying neccesarily, but you could almost interpret it that defeating Zod in that way is something the writers are saying his dad would be proud of him for.

    Which I just don't like.

    Man, i'd really have loved just one line or two where Clark expresses to his mother his regret that he couldn't find another way.

    Have her trying to console him that he had no other choice. But have him shaking his head and saying that his Dad told him he needed to decide whether to be a good character or bad, and that he'd blurred that line and that wasn't something he ever wanted to do again.

    How simple would that have been?
     
    #730
  6. Glassjaw

    Glassjaw In training

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    Those that say 'Zod was so powerful, how else could he be stopped except to be put down?' Does that mean Superman will have to kill Darkseid and any subsequent villain which will have to up the ante from MoS and Zod?
     
    #731
  7. ThePhantasm

    ThePhantasm 2 sexy 4 a stormtrooper

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    Why don't you like that, hopefuldreamer?
     
    #732
  8. KalMart

    KalMart 239-Bean Irish Chili

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    Or maybe too assumptive, or not spoonfeeding enough for some. There's a certain point when you cross rationality and into witchhunting. I think that point was many pages back, sadly. :)
     
    #733
  9. Heretic

    Heretic Well-Known Member

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    I find that people are making up new themes NOT presented in the movie, based on what OTHER versions of Superman have taught us. If you take this movie as a separate, new version, then the theme is clear...and since the climax of a film always refers to the theme, then my idea is fully supported. The "he broke his steadfast rule against killing" is just grabbed out of this air.
     
    #734
  10. Hcmarvel

    Hcmarvel Well-Known Member

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    Except he didn't because he didn't tell us why Superman wouldn't want to kill again. There was no negative consequence for him doing it. The only thing killing Zod did was win the day. And hurt Superman's feelings for...a little while.
     
    #735
  11. Heretic

    Heretic Well-Known Member

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    So a lingering close-up of Clark next to Jesus is BETTER than showing Clark be a good, moral example that others should follow???

    It's just really, really, REALLY lazy.
     
    #736
  12. hopefuldreamer

    hopefuldreamer Clark Kent > Superman

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    Because I don't believe that killing someone is something Superman should get patted on the back for.

    It is something that may very well have been neccesary in the situation, but it should be something that always haunts him and that he will always feels the regret and dissapointment of.

    As for Jonathon Kent, he would have understood in this instance i'm sure. But he also would have confronted Clark about what it means. Reminded him that he has to be so careful treading that line. Because it would be so easy to make that decision too easily next time. And it really only ever should be an absolute last resort.

    He's not God. And I feel that is something Jonathon Kent would always want to remind him of.
     
    #737
  13. Heretic

    Heretic Well-Known Member

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    ...and by "a little while" we mean "20 seconds"
     
    #738
  14. StarLord

    StarLord Boogeyman

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    Zod made it clear when he said the only way this ends is if him or Superman dies.

    Superman had to do it.
     
    #739
  15. Heretic

    Heretic Well-Known Member

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    In a no-win situation, the Man of Tomorrow finds a way to win.

    The Man of Today uses brute force to snap someones neck.

    Feeling inspired to become a better person yet?
     
    #740
  16. StarLord

    StarLord Boogeyman

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    Yes. Much better.
     
    #741
  17. KalMart

    KalMart 239-Bean Irish Chili

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    I don't see how anything in the film wasn't...including that. You're reaching. What're you, running for office? :oldrazz:

    But as I alluded to way back, I do believe more could have been done with that scene/deed to sink in the tragedy over it...both over the death of a civilization and the ending of any life. I think that fact that it's seen as lazy writing is rather indicative of a lot of the film's problems connecting with some viewers. So aside from the principle, I do feel some of your dismay with the execution (no pun intended ;)) of things in the movie.
     
    #742
  18. ThePhantasm

    ThePhantasm 2 sexy 4 a stormtrooper

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    Thanks for clarifying. I don't think Martha was saying Jonathan would pat him on the back for killing. (I don't think she was referencing the killing at all, actually). I do think Jonathan would be proud of Clark for making a tough decision to save lives. Remember Jonathan even suggested that Clark might have to let others die to protect his secret from the world.

    Clearly Superman has been instilled with moral values by his parents. His parents also taught him, however, that sometimes the "right" choice is hard to see in real life. Every choice has consequences.
     
    #743
  19. Senator Pleasury

    Senator Pleasury Well-Known Member

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    :up:



    Beautifully explained.
     
    #744
  20. Heretic

    Heretic Well-Known Member

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    See, thats the thing...

    Superman kills? Oh...well, he's still the big blue boy scout, he'll learn.
    Superman steals a man's clothes for his own convenience? Oh, well that is a SMALL crime...no big deal. He's still the big blue boy scout.
    Superman gets revenge on a bully jerk by not only stranding that jerk in the middle of nowhere, but by destroying his employers property, the property of the company who hired them to haul their product AND public property which costs the taxpayers money and deprived people of electricity? Ah...come on...thats also a small crime...no big deal...he's still the big blue boy scout.

    Taken as an entire film...given the moral confusion of his upbringing...it appears that Clark was predetermined to save lives...possibly couldnt even avoid it because it was his destiny...but he isn't necessarily a moral person.
     
    #745
  21. DaveMoral

    DaveMoral Well-Known Member

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    Maybe they should have included Clark being vegetarian because he can see the lifeforce leaving living beings upon death...

    I actually would have REALLY liked that.
     
    #746
  22. KalMart

    KalMart 239-Bean Irish Chili

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    I think you're really reaching again, but as I said, I can see how the film left a bad taste in someone's mouth surrounding it. Let's just say it wasn't meant to, but it was an unfortunate consequence of things they probably should have handled better in the film overall.

    I would liked to have seen the father that he saved from Zod come up and thank Superman for saving him and his family, and have Supes reflect on the last moment that Jonathan looked at him, and take a little comfort that he was able to keep a family intact.
     
    #747
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2013
  23. The Guard

    The Guard Well-Known Member

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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.
     
    #748
  24. Rock Sexton

    Rock Sexton Well-Known Member

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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.
     
    #749
  25. hopefuldreamer

    hopefuldreamer Clark Kent > Superman

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    Like I said, I don't think it was actually MEANT to come across that way, but that's the way it hit me.

    Literally, i'm sat there trying to swallow what's just happened, and what immediately follows to help me?

    1. Superman saying he's 'as American as they come'.
    2. A woman saying she thinks he's hot.
    3. Clark saying to Martha that he wishes Pa Kent had been around to see this.
    4. Martha telling him his Dad always knew the great man he'd become.

    Honestly, it's not hard to see why the sinking feeling of heartbreak was not comforted at all by the scenes immediately following :funny:

    I guess if the no kill rule isn't such a big deal to you (like if your just a member of the GA or you never agreed with it in the first place) then you don't see the scenes relating to it at all.

    But if you KNOW how much that moment means, your looking for meaning in the scenes that follow. You're looking for that moment when you actually get a sense of what they are trying to SAY with that death.

    And since we never actually get a moment where they say anything about it at all, you kind of have to draw the conclusion that what they are saying is - they don't care about the no kill rule.

    Which was heart breaking, to me anyway.

    :up:
     
    #750
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