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Ever since this movie was announced back in 2010, I have been looking forward to seeing Zack Snyder’s vision of the Superman legend. Tonight the anticipation paid off. Man of Steel is one of, if not the definitive Superman story. I’m not going to put any major spoilers in this review because I feel any plot points are best experienced while watching the movie.
Man of Steel, of course, focuses on the beginnings of Kal-El/ Clark Kent/ Superman, from his birth on Krypton to growing up in Smallville to when he puts on the suit. One thing that sets Man of Steel apart from any other Superman movie or television show is that the audience is only sees key points of Clark’s childhood in Smallville. Snyder takes a page out of the Nolan-directed Batman Begins utilizing flashbacks for Clark as a child. Another welcome change in the introductory Superman story is no Lex Luthor. Don’t get me wrong, I love Luthor but I feel the whole Lex as Superman’s first villain has been played out. It was a refreshing change of pace for the major bad guy to be someone from Krypton than a Earth man like Lex. The cast is perfectly chosen especially Henry Cavill and Amy Adams who play Superman and Lois Lane respectively. The real surprise was in Russell Crowe’s role as Superman’s Kryptonian father, Jor-El. Unlike his bland performance in Les Miserables, Crowe shines in this film.
As much as I love Bryan Singer and his work on the X-Men movies, Superman Returns was horrible. The reason for this was that Singer tried to continue what Richard Donner and Ilya Salkind did on the original Superman movies including using the John Williams theme sans John Williams. The result was a convoluted mess that left Superman fans confused and disgusted.
As to how Man of Steel compares with Superman The Movie, there is really no fair reason to draw a comparison. Both films present a vision of Superman that is representative of the era they were filmed. Like the original 1978 film, Man of Steel is a seminal work and one that could set the stage for later cinematic outings for other DC Comics properties such as Justice League, The Flash and Wonder Woman. Early ticket sales projections have prompted Warner Brothers to lock in Snyder and company for a sequel to Man of Steel.
Last Wednesday, it was announced that DC Comics was starting a digital comic series for Superman called Adventures of Superman similar to the Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight digital series. Adventures of Superman does not begin until April 29 but this digital series is already making waves among the news websites and blogs. The uproar is not over the character but the writer that is writing the first two chapters, Orson Scott Card. Card is the author of the science-fiction novel, Ender’s Game and a fanatical Mormon. The author’s views on gays and marriage equality and his association with the right-wing group, National Organization for Marriage (NOM) are the reasons that there is outrage that DC Comics would hire Card to write a Superman story.
I have been a Superman fan since 1990 and have had a few issues with how DC Comics has handled its best known property, but this is, for me, a slap in the face. When I first heard of Card’s views on gays, I decided from that moment that I would not support any work of Card’s. It is true that the man is entitled to his opinion when it comes to the issue of gay rights and it is also true that he probably is able to separate those views from his fiction writings but the money he makes off those writings goes toward NOM and whatever other hate groups that Card donates money to.
I’m not saying that DC Comics should prevent Card from writing Superman, but I will not buy a Superman story written by Orson Scott Card.
Over a year ago when the top brass at DC Comics announced that they were taking their comics in a new direction, it worried me. Then when I heard that they were doing away with the marriage of Lois Lane and Clark Kent (Superman), I was outraged. This led me to write an opinion piece expressing my displeasure with this retcon. I even went as far as writing an open letter to the person in charge at DC, Dan Didio. Despite my distaste for the new direction of the Superman comics, I gave the new titles a try. My first instinct was correct: the new direction DC Comics took Superman in was not in any way the Superman that I loved to read so I stopped reading the two titles, SUPERMAN and ACTION COMICS. I was still holding out hope that some editorial decisions would be eventually be made to at least have Lois Lane and Clark Kent start dating again.
Last week, a press release was released stating a romance between two heroes in the DC Comics universe was happening, and included was a picture of the said couple.
Upon seeing this picture, I grew frustrated at this creative decision. Superman and Wonder Woman are not meant to be lovers!!! Superman’s true love is Lois Lane. Lois is what ties Superman to humanity. As for the direction of Wonder Woman in the new DC Comics, it really does not make sense to me at all. Instead of being formed from clay, Wonder Woman is now the daughter of the Greek God, Zeus.
Today, Geoff Johns’ interview with the Associated Press added insult to injury. Johns was quoted about Lois Lane: “She’s still around, but the two have never dated, nor are they likely to.” This really pisses me off!! How can you just do away with one of the most well-known romances in fiction? Needless to say, I am, for the forseeable future, boycotting the Superman comic books. I can no longer stand the way the writers and editors have ruined all the characters in the Superman legend.
Just saw this at Newsarama.
Dear Mr Didio:
Thank you for making it easier to cut back what comics I pay for. Due to the decision of making Superman “accessible” to new audiences, you have alienated long-time followers of the Superman comics. When I first heard about “The New 52”, I was skeptical about it but was still willing to give it a chance. Now, thanks to your comments today on the direction of the new Superman comics, there will only be around two or three DC titles I will be reading starting in September.
How dare you take away years of continuity that some of us have been invested in!! You are doing away with the marriage of Lois Lane and Clark Kent just so the new Superman stories will be new reader friendly?! What about the readers that have followed Superman for years? The biggest reason I started reading Superman was because of the engagement of Lois and Clark. I bought two copies of Superman: The Wedding Album when it came out due to the fact I am a Lois and Clark fan.
In your quest to beat Marvel comics, you took the wrong idea from them. When Joe Quesada announced that they were doing away with the Peter Parker/ Mary Jane Watson marriage years ago, I thought DC Comics would never do that when it came to Lois Lane and Clark Kent. Was I ever wrong. Instead of mimicking that from Marvel, what you should have done was create an alternative line like the Ultimate line Marvel has, and I thought that was the idea behind the All-Star line and the Earth One idea. The thing about the Earth One direction was that you guys got greedy and made it a hardcover graphic novel. It would have been better if it was a monthly comic.
In closing, I would like to say good job on alienating some of us loyal fans. I, for one, will not be reading either Action Comics or Superman in September because it’s not Superman. You may put him in a new suit and keep the trademark symbol that the Man of Steel has sported for over 70 years, but it’s not Superman, not the one I knew. Many others feel the same way I do, and are angry over this decision. As a further insult to us, you are not giving us a heartfelt farewell story like “Whatever Happened to the Man of Steel” like DC did for us back in the eighties. So until you address the years of continuity that you are throwing away, I will no longer be reading any new solo adventures of Superman.