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.
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.
This is the first piece of news I read this morning. For 21 years, I have been reading comics and one of the reasons I started reading comics, especially Superman, was because DC Comics decided after over 50 years after introducing the Clark Kent/ Lois Lane relationship dynamic it was time for Lois and Clark to get engaged. This interested me because I am a hopeless romantic.
The first Superman comic I read was Action Comics #660; on the cover it had Lex Luthor laying on the floor with the grim reaper sporting Superman’s symbol looming over him and in the center left of the cover it said: THE DEATH OF LUTHOR!. This comic took place immediately after Clark proposed to Lois in Superman #50. At the time, all of us readers thought that Lex Luthor had died in this issue but he faked his own death in a roundabout way. It wasn’t the supposed demise of Lex Luthor though that made me want to read what happened next. For me, it was about what would Lois think when Clark told her he was Superman and how would she react. Everytime I picked up a Superman comic after that issue it was to see what would happen with the engagement of Lois and Clark.
Even though the wedding of Lois Lane and Clark Kent wouldn’t happen for another six years in 1996, it was originally slated for Superman #75 in 1993, which if you remember was the “death” of Superman. The creators of the Superman comics were planning on showing the nuptials of Lois and Clark in this issue but plans changed due to the premiere of ABC’s Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. The editors at DC Comics thought it would be too confusing to have Lois and Clark married in the comics when on TV, Lois and Clark were barely an item.
The wedding on both Lois and Clark and in the comics finally happened in the fall of 1996. I was so excited at this development and loved the idea of Lois being in the know when it came to the world of the other heroes like Batman and Wonder Woman. Some of the best stories I have read in the DC Comics line revolve around Lois interacting with other heroes and she knew them personally.
Now with the news from today that DC Comics is starting over in September with the Superman legend and Lois and Clark are not only not married but not even romantically involved I am starting to wonder if it is even worth it to read the “new” Superman comics especially considering that DC Comics is not giving us Lois and Clark fans a good Lois and Clark story in the current continuity before the sweeping changes go into effect in September.
From DC Comics’ blog, The Source, this new look for Wonder Woman, envisioned by J. Michael Straczynski and drawn by Jim Lee, debuts in Wonder Woman #600 today along with a new direction for the book. As soon as I have read the comic, I will give my review on the new look and direction. So see you back here in two hours.
Update– After reading the prologue to Straczynski’s Wonder Woman story arc, “Odyssey”, I am curious to see how this change in direction will play out. The story told in the prologue, titled “Culture Shock”, focuses on how the Greek Gods shift reality where Diana never grew up on Paradise Island. Instead of an island paradise, Diana’s home is the urban jungle of what I assume to be New York City. The premise of the story arc shows promise that it will be an interesting story. So, unlike some of my fellow comic book readers, I will give this story a chance to see if it lives up to its promise.