The Broken Neck: Yea or Nay? *SPOILERS*

Discussion in 'Man of Steel' started by EssayM, Apr 20, 2014.

?

What's your stance on Superman killing Zod?

  1. Hated it. Superman should never kill.

  2. Liked it, but it could have been handled better.

  3. Loved it. No problem with it whatsoever.

  4. Didn't care.

Multiple votes are allowed.
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  1. Batmannerism

    Batmannerism Super-unknown

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    I agree that this is the best characterization of the issue - it is true that within the story, as depicted in the film, there was no other viable option. However, if you condemn the writers for creating this scenario you are suggesting that there is an objective format to Superman stories such that if it is contradicted, the story then ceases to become a Superman story.

    What's interesting is that, in terms of plot resolutions, people seem to prefer that Superman can effectively ressurect the dead by flying around the world really fast -so that it spins backwards and turns back time-. That, people can accept, but killing a genocidal maniac just isn't on?
    Just goes to show that there is very little logic, and a whole lot of personal taste in super-hero film audiences, especially when it comes to Superman.

    I think the better view is simply to say that the writers took a chance with the way that Superman resolved the film's final problem. Some hated it, some loved it, many were in-between. Writers have taken similar gambles with Superman in the past, also with mixed results. However, whether you liked this particular piece of storytelling or not, at least it is something different from previous film iterations of Superman - which distinguishes it from Superman Returns, which to my mind is orders of magnitude worse than MOS, because it is an homage, done very poorly, to the original Superman film. An imitation that failed to capture any of the charm/wit/excitement or any other quality that made the original great.
     
  2. Dr.

    Dr. Unknown Toronto member

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    The problem with an explicitly stated “no kill code” is that there’s a tendency to flaunt it and write stories around it. Thing is, it can’t really stand up to scrutiny. Sometimes, the hero’s non-lethal choice is conspicuously dumb or controversial (which invites questions and criticisms - rather than idealistic admiration). Or, the fictional life-or-death dilemma is answered easily (which devalues any bravery or difficulty about the decision). Or, the dilemma is solved via an implausible/fantastical deus ex machina (which is fairly hollow as a moral lesson or inspiration).
     
  3. Batmannerism

    Batmannerism Super-unknown

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    Again, I agree, and couldn't articulate it better - in terms of Superman.

    Do you think that the same (bolded text) could be said in respect of Batman, and his ongoing battle with the Joker - which has cost, literally,
    thousands of lives and great suffering. Is there anything distinctive about Batman that makes his No-killing code, less implausible - given that unlike Superman he is human, I believe that often people hold Superman to such a high standard because of his godlike might (of course, if that's the basis for the standard, then arguments that he should never kill beings of similar power, under any circumstances, kind of fall apart).
    But Batman is a mere mortal, and given that his mere existance perpetuates the Joker's proclivity for murderous rampages, does that render his express code against killing a bit non-sensical ? (given that we might not hold him to the same moral standard as Superman)

    I started a thread about this, and a lot of people commented that Batman shouldn't be above the law - which is also interesting, because Batman almost exclusively acts outside the law. Regardless, people are okay with governments and their agents (police, soldiers etc) having a right to kill when necessary, but not anyone else. To me that's not quite on the same level of people being okay with the flying really fast to turn back time and ressurect a dead girlfriend, but not okay with breaking Zod's neck to save humanity, but it's headed in the same direction.
     
  4. Dr.

    Dr. Unknown Toronto member

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    Well, I don’t really know comics that well. Obviously, there are particular creative challenges in dealing with ongoing, serial adventures. On the one hand, you don’t want to kill off an iconic villain. On the other, a villain (like Joker) who can’t be captured/defeated by the hero is unsatisfying; and one who perpetually escapes from prisons or asylums is a bit ridiculous. Tricky.

    In any case, a movie (or even a trilogy of movies) has the advantage of being a finite narrative. So you actually can kill off (or permanently defeat) a famous villain - with the understanding that - no worries! - he’ll reappear for the inevitable reboot. (Moriarty in the Sherlock Holmes tales is a classic example.)

    In terms of a “no kill code,” I thought the DK movies handled this well. In BB, Bruce said he was “no executioner.” And this principle was maintained throughout the trilogy. (Generally, this shouldn’t need mentioning. Heroes just don’t murder. But since a younger Bruce was fully prepared to kill Joe Chill, we probably did need some explicit indication of the character’s evolution.) Of course, not executing doesn’t necessarily mean no deaths - thus, the demise of Ra’s and Dent (which could, quite fairly, be classified as unavoidable, “collateral damage”). The important thing (imo) is that Batman (or Superman) shouldn’t indulge in angsty self-doubt concerning the fate of murderous villains.
     
  5. hopefuldreamer

    hopefuldreamer Clark Kent > Superman

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    To be clear, I don't think a Superman story should never do that. I had no problem with the way it was handled in 'Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow' for instance.

    I was just heart broken that the reintroduction of Superman to a modern audience had to start with that. That it had to happen in his origin story.

    I don't think it was necessary. I don't think it was handled well. I don't think it was done for the right reasons. And it leaves a choked feeling in my throat.

    Well that's actually one of the differences between Superman and other heroes that I like best.

    That he doesn't do what he does because of some huge tragedy. That there is no dark moment that made him turn around and want to become a hero when he didn't before.

    That his desire to become a hero just comes as a response to seeing suffering around him and knowing he can do something about it.

    And that is something I hope would be true in real life too.

    That if a good man had all that power... it wouldn't take the death of a family member to make them want to use it to save lives.

    Completely and totally agree.

    I think the effect of the scene itself was very uplifting, but would have been SO much better placed in the city at the end of all the fighting.

    Though if I had my way, this would be combined with all the kryptonians being sucked into the PZ.

    The second terra forming device was totally unneccesary.

    If they had Superman and Zod fighting in Metropolis AT THE SAME TIME as Lois and Hamilton where trying to get the ship working and Perry and Jenny were struggling to run from debris etc... it would have been so much better.

    It would have shaved a lot of unneccesary time off the final fight (which has definitely been critiqued for going on too long) that would have made room for more character exploration of both Clark and Zod. And it could have placed Zod near the device to be sucked into the PZ along with all the others.

    That script could easily have been re ordered effectively.

    In fact, I wonder if that IS the way it was originally, since they said they changed it... and it does in places feel like bits were added to pad it out.

    Here's how I would have done it:

    -The citizens of metropolis see the ship hovering over the city.

    - Zod and the other zoners activate the terra forming procedure.

    - City destruction begins. Panicked people fleeing.

    - The military talk about the terra forming, and then say Superman is on the way in.

    - Lois and Superman explain to the military what the plan is - to create a 'black hole' that should pull them back in to the prison they came from.

    This is where things gets different:

    - Instead of saying that he's going to take care of the secluded machine over the ocean and just let the military handle the mess in the city... he leads the way to the city to try and get a head start saving people's lives.

    - Lois and the military head to the city behind him, with Clark's ship on board... of course, he could fly it there quicker but they'd loose the element of surprise and risk it being blown up before they could use it.

    - In the artic, Zod is argueing with Jor-el in the scout ship, before he beings to head back to the city too.

    - In Metropolis, we see Superman saving people in the panicked masses, using his powers to stop falling debris and fly the people stuck directly in the center of danger to safety.

    - Then we see Perry and Jenny on the brink of being decimated, when Superman rescues them and flies them to safety as well.

    - This is when we see Zod in the scout ship is attempting to bring the military plane down with Lois and Hamilton on board. Superman flies into the scout ship and brings it to the ground, destroying the genesis chamber and all chance at Krypton being born on earth.

    - After the ship is destroyed, we see Superman and Zod emerge from the wreckage. However, the fight is very different. Because Superman is still well aware that the terraforming machine is still causing the circle of destruction to widen.

    - So throughout the fight, Superman is constantly trying to get close enough to the ship to stop it. Zod's speech isn't given while he's on his knees... it's given during the fight.

    - Meanwhile, Lois and Hamilton are in the process of trying to figure out how to turn the ship on, while Faora tears the soldiers a new one.

    - Every time Superman and Zod get too close to the terra former's effects, they are both weakened and have to back off in order to defend against each other. This leads Superman to realize the only chance he has is just to fly right into the path of it and just give it all he's got. He lands Zod one giant blow that sends him hurtling into space, hitting the Wayne satellite.

    - Then we see the uplifting scene of Superman giving it everything he's got and flying right up through the beam and out through the top of the ship, shutting it down and stopping the destruction...

    ...and at this exact same time Zod is hurtling back towards the ship with the intent of stopping Superman...

    ... and Clark's ship is primed and the military plane is about to crash into what's left of the ship (after Lois has fallen off the back of course)...

    And in this alignment of moments, without Zod realising it, he is flying directly into the path of the PZ. He notices, but not in time. He struggles as much as he can to fight the pull of the PZ, but he's too close to it and is sucked in with the rest, screaming his frustration.

    - Superman on the other hand, is far enough out of range to escape the pull, though he looks weakened by the effort he's exhurted ... however, he hears Lois calling out, then sees her falling from the scene, not far from hitting the ground.

    - As fast as he can, he speeds down to her and catches her just in time, flying them both towards safety, where a crowd of other people he'd rescued earlier is forming.

    - Jenny says 'have they gone', Perry says 'I think so', Jenny says 'He saved us'. We hear the crowd murmuring their agreement. Lois and Superman kiss (without that stupid all down hill line). Then part. Superman looks out at the crowd of people, then looks at Lois a bit unsure... but a father and mother with two small children (maybe the family we see Zod nearly kill in the actual film) step out from the crowd. The father speaks up and thanks him for saving him and his kids. He reaches out to shake his hand. Then more people start to do the same.

    - I'd end that scene with something fittingly cheesy like Perry saying 'Well... he is going to make one hell of a headline'.

    - Everything else that follows can pretty much stay as it is. The scene with General Swanwick then wouldn't feel quite so out of place as a direct follow on (though i'd still take out that 'he's kind of hot' line, cause it's just so ridiculous to think a women who is a captain in the military and addressing a general, would ever say that...). The scene where Clark reflects on how his Dad would feel about him 'finally becoming the man he wanted him to be) all makes more sense. And Clark then deciding he needs to be close to the action to help the people of Metropolis... also makes more sense.

    But yeah... that's just one way it could have been done :)
     
    #80 hopefuldreamer, Sep 18, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2014
  6. Andrew Lucas

    Andrew Lucas Young Wolf

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    It was a WTF moment but I didn't minded it.
     
  7. WBwins

    WBwins Registered

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    Wow.This is quite good.I mean REALLY good.
    Im working on a revised MOS script at the moment.I think Ill ripoff your climax for it if thats okay?
     
  8. hopefuldreamer

    hopefuldreamer Clark Kent > Superman

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    Sure, but it'd be cool if you credited me :)

    EDIT: Though I just thought of a small plot hole i'd like to correct.

    If Superman stopping the pulse happens at about the same time as the military plane crashes into the ship - doesn't that make what Superman did pointless, because the military plane smashing the thing into the PZ would have stopped the pulse too.

    So i'd like to alter it slightly so that the plane was being affected by the force of the pulse, and if Superman hadn't stopped it, would not have been able to reach the ship. :)
     
    #83 hopefuldreamer, Sep 19, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2014
  9. DJThrawn

    DJThrawn ER Nurse&Daughter's Hero

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    I do not understand why anyone was offended at the end of MOS.............. I guess I have always been confused over the polarity of people's reactions to the film. I was actually more offended at the end of Avengers then MOS. It isn't even a DC or Marvel thing for me. As a nurse when there is a disaster or accident I deal with the aftermath of that and it is not funny or silly to me at all. Death is a serious matter. I felt Avengers trivialized the destruction and obvious deaths that had to have occured due to an invasion by going out to Shwarma and the other silly jokes at the end. That to me is more offensive as a human being then Superman killing because he had to and was too inexperienced to save more lives by fighting more efficiently. Maybe my view is skewed by working in an Emergency Room setting but...........in short no. The broken neck I am ok with given the circumstances and the relative inexperience of this Superman.
     
  10. The Slang

    The Slang Registered

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    The really stupid thing about all this whining is that Superman already killed Zod in Superman 2. Why does everyone overlook that? Not only did Superman kill Zod, but he killed him after removing his powers and rendering him harmless. He killed a harmless regular human being, with a smile on his face. Then he stands by and watches as Lois kills the lady Kryptonian who was also powerless at this point.
    And he killed Zod in the comics too. All the people complaining about this being out of character don't know what they're complaining about.
     
  11. Dr.

    Dr. Unknown Toronto member

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    Really? I thought the killing in that story was a transparent plot contrivance - and therefore rather “cheap.” As I recall…

    **SPOILER**





    …Mr. Myx’s death was quite accidental (Supes only intended to send him to the PZ). Nevertheless, Superman feels responsible, and dutifully depowers himself and wanders off to the Arctic wilderness to meet his own demise. Now at this point, I guess we’re supposed to be impressed by the high moral standard that Supes holds himself to - a violation of his own “no kill code” means the ultimate self-punishment. But it turns out, he was just keen on a relaxing retirement. So he faked his own suicide and lives happily ever after with Lois. :huh:


    Like I said, a rather cheap usage of the villain’s death.


    To be fair… those who disliked the killing in MOS are not necessarily defending the same action in other stories. You kind of have to survey their opinion on individual examples before you can charge hypocrisy.
     
  12. hopefuldreamer

    hopefuldreamer Clark Kent > Superman

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    Ah the inane post that comes on every page in which it's concluded by a completely illogical poster that anyone who didn't like MOS loved the old films and all the comics.

    I don't like the old films. I don't like that Superman killed Zod in that version of the movie. Didn't like it then, don't like it now.

    And I didn't like it in that particular storyline in the comes either.

    Both are examples of Superman stories I don't like.

    Please don't come in here making wild insults towards people based on your own false assumptions just because you want to dismiss a consistant and fair opinion as senseless whining.
     
    #87 hopefuldreamer, Sep 19, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2014
  13. hopefuldreamer

    hopefuldreamer Clark Kent > Superman

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    Well that's a cynical way of seeing it, though I suppose fair enough :funny:

    Hey, it's not my favourite Superman story or anything.

    But the main reason I like it is that it understood one of the reasons that Superman began to establish a 'no kill rule' in the first place.

    It's because he recognises that even he is not immune to corruption and abuse of power, especially if it happens slowly and subtly. So he has to set himself lines he can't cross, and consequences for crossing them.

    If he kills once, either accidentally as in that story, or because there is 'no other way' as in MOS... What starts to happen when there is no consequence to that?

    It becomes harder and harder to try an find a way to stop the hero without killing, once you've done it once or twice... Because you start to see it's so much easier. You know this could all be over so quickly, and hey... People understood last time, so why not?

    I mean, every time he wastes time trying to find an alternative, people could die.

    So once he's killed, surely every super powered battle after that he'll be thinking 'I should just end this now'.

    What's so bad about that?

    Well... Read 'What's so bad about Truth, Justice and the American way' and you'll see what Superman thinks is so bad about that.

    Agree with him or not. Personally, I do. I like that Superman. He's my hero. :)
     
  14. Andrew Lucas

    Andrew Lucas Young Wolf

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    I'm not a hardcore fan with Superman and i kinda liked the scene because of the context,but when you guys saw it for the first time,how it was?
     
  15. Batmannerism

    Batmannerism Super-unknown

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    I am a hardcore Superman fan.
    People complain about the writers putting Superman in that position,
    putting that aside for a moment, Superman killing in that particular situation, given the context (like everything that's happened in the movie, and everything we know about the characters) makes complete sense.

    I went into the movie all "Superman DOESN'T KILL ! " but when I saw the film, I didn't have a problem with it at all - it made sense within the story.
    I still haven't heard a single viable alternative for Superman in that situation (which is why people criticize the writers, for setting that situation up).

    But then, I was willing to accept a different interpretation of Superman - when Superman has killed in the comics, which he has, I was okay with it too.

    Some good points about the whole discussion in these
    articles:

    http://www.craveonline.com.au/film/...al-shut-up-about-the-man-of-steel-controversy

    http://www.comicosity.com/crisis-of-epic-proportion-when-superman-kills/

    All in all it works in the movie, it isn't murder (see an earlier post of mine) and while it's not something I'd like to see Superman do except in the most exceptional circumstances I think it's fair to say that there are circumstances in which Superman should be willing to kill.
     
    #90 Batmannerism, Sep 20, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2014
  16. Andrew Lucas

    Andrew Lucas Young Wolf

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    Thanks for saying your thoughts about it and the links. Even not being a hardcore fun I truly felt that way because of the context and it also shows how much Clark cares for human lives.

    He was forced to kill but save lives at the same time which made total sense IMO.
     
  17. SymbioteKal-El

    SymbioteKal-El Registered

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    I really don't see why people would have issue with this scene myself, Superman killed Zod, along with two of his cohorts, in the comics. It tore him up in the comics, so much so he 'Exiles' himself from earth. But guess what? It tears him up in the movie too, watch, just before he snaps Zods neck, the camera focuses on Supermans face for a moment, and you can see the anguish on it, he even closes his eyes because he doesn't even want to see what he has to do, it's this moment where he realises he has no choice.

    Then after, when he looks down on Zods body, he realises how disgusting it is to take a life, and I think they will make it a point in the sequel to show he is not willing to do it again.
     

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