EDITORIALS

Discuss: Zack Snyder's New Superman and Death in 'Man of Steel'

by
June 18, 2013
Source: The Playlist

Man of Steel

Unsurprisingly, Man of Steel, the superhero franchise reboot from producer Christopher Nolan and director Zack Snyder, took the box office by storm this past weekend opening with just over $201 million worldwide. And now there's rampant discussion about the film from a subtle set up for Justice League to the developing sequel bringing back Snyder and writer David S. Goyer. But even more prominent than either of those possibilities is what actually happens on the big screen at the end of Man of Steel. If you haven't seen the film yet, then you definitely won't want to read on, because what follows is discussion of spoilers.

First of all, let's talk about something that seems to get glossed over in many blockbuster films, but has some viewers a little up in arms this time around. In the climax of Man of Steel, General Zod (Michael Shannon), looking to terraform Earth to becoming more like Krypton (which seems silly since the home planet ended up being unstable and fell apart) activates a device called the World Engine which uses gravity to pummel Earth from two different sides of the world, effectively destroying anything in the vicinity of either machine. For whatever reason, Superman (Henry Cavill) thinks the best idea is to take out the other machine (complete with Doc Ock tentacles to defend it), which is in the middle of nowhere and not immediately threatening any human life, rather than dealing with the more devastating side of things in Metropolis. Obviously, we're nitpicking, so we'll let that decision and the people who die because of it slide.

But it's the destruction that follows upon Superman's return that seems all the more devastating. First of all, Superman goes out of his way to save a couple individual people in all this chaos, but in the fight with General Zod that follows, there is no regard for the destruction of Metropolis or the deaths that it causes. Forget the fact that where Zod and Superman have their little face-off dialogue looks like a massive bomb went off, what follows is a barrage of slamming, crashing and busting through various buildings, vehicles and more as Zod and Superman attempt to hurt each other, a feat that seems impossible given how Kryptonians soak up our yellow sun, rendering them nearly invincible.

In fact, the damage that takes place in the city became such a prominent topic, BuzzFeed asked longtime disaster expert Charles Watson to work with his team at Watson Technical Consulting to model and anticipate the damage done to Metropolis. And here are the relatively shocking results as an infographic:

Man of Steel Damage Infographic

Now you might be wondering how they figured this information out (obviously it's not an exact science) since this takes place in a fictional city. But using the real-life shooting locations of Chicago and New York, they ran two simulations, one centered at 42nd St and 6th Ave, New York, and the other at Canal and Madison in Chicago, using the blast effects (but not thermal or radiation) from a 20 kiloton nuclear bomb. In contrast, the damage from The Avengers (which they were also commissioned to figure out) only totaled $160 billion. A death toll was not determined.

The difference seems to be the size of the action as Man of Steel crumbles a handful of entire buildings, and it seems to be even more devastating than 9/11. Obviously, this perception is nitpicking, but for whatever reason, audiences have really taken note of the damage and death that Superman allowed, and in some cases even created himself, given his hero status. Even a movie like Transformers: Dark of the Moon, which devastated at least one entire building in Chicago, didn't seem to have that lasting of an effect. Maybe it's the grittiness and humanity that Snyder instilled in Clark Kent and his grounded story arc on Earth that made this all the more real, but it was certainly disconcerting. For a more detailed rundown of the destruction, Watson actually crafted their report into an editorial written by Daily Planet editor-in-chief Perry White, so check that our for more details.

Man of Steel

But the destruction of Metropolis is merely spectacle of the blockbuster. Sure we can gasp and be taken aback at the death toll, but people get killed in the movies all the time. But one particular death is shaking Superman fans to their core. At the end of the epic battle between General Zod and Superman, the villain uses his heat vision to threaten a family. As his burning gaze nears the family, Superman attempts to hold Zod back, reasoning with him to stop. Given no other choice, Superman snaps the neck of Zod, killing him.

Big deal, right? Heroes dispatch with their villains all the time. However, in the case of Superman, the hero who fights for truth, justice and the American way (maybe not the latter one so much anymore since it's a bit dated), there's always been a longstanding rule of no killing. That's why this move is so shocking. In fact, it even turned off Superman comic writer Mark Waid, the man who wrote the Birthright story arc. In his response to the bold move from Snyder and Goyer, Waid wrote a review of the film (via Cinema Blend), and this is what he had to say about that moment:

"Some crazy guy in front of us was muttering 'Don't do it...don't do it...DON'T DO IT...' and then Superman snapped Zod's neck and that guy stood up and said in a very loud voice, 'THAT'S IT, YOU LOST ME, I'M OUT,' and his girlfriend had to literally pull him back into his seat and keep him from walking out and that crazy guy was me. That crazy guy was me, and I barely even remember doing that, I had to be told afterward that I'd done that, that's how caught up in betrayal I felt. And after the neck-snapping, even though I stuck it out, I didn't give a damn about the rest of the movie."

Now that's an extreme example from a very passionate Superman fan who has much more invested in the character than most. However, there are plenty others who have been completely turned off, shocked and even enraged by this move. Those fans might be pleased to learn that producer Christopher Nolan was not a fan of that ending in the least. In a discussion on Empire's podcast (via The Playlist), David S. Goyer and Zack Snyder talked about their breaking of the "No Killing" rule, and it was not something that came lightly. In fact, Superman didn't originally kill General Zod. Snyder explains:

"In the original version of the script, Zod just got zapped into the Phantom Zone. But David, Chris and I had long talks about it, and I said that I really feel like we should kill Zod, and that Superman should kill him. The 'Why?' of it for me was that if was truly an origin story, his aversion to killing is unexplained… I wanted to create a scenario where Superman, either he's going to see [Metropolis' citizens] chopped in half, or he's gotta do what he's gotta do."

Goyer agreed, but Nolan was not convinced. The writer recalls, "[Chris] originally said, 'There's no way you can do this.'" But Goyer checked with DC Comics, they approved, and Goyer says, "I came up with this idea of heat vision and these people about to die, and I wrote the scene, gave it to Chris, and he said, 'Okay you've convinced me.' " So this origin story is Superman still figuring out who he is as a hero, and that includes what he may eventually end up standing for. Plus, you can't ignore the fact that Superman is clearly extremely pissed after he kills Zod. Screaming to no one, knowing that he's killed one of his own people. In the end, if it's good enough to convince someone like Nolan, it should be good enough for anyone.

In the end, this doesn't change the core values of Superman or ruin his image. If anything it will solidify the man he becomes. It's details like this that make Superman more easy to relate to nowadays, despite being a nearly invincible superhero. There has to be a humanizing side to Superman in addition to seeing him try to hide among humans as Clark Kent (another aspect that will clearly be explored differently now that Lois Lane knows that Kent is Superman). In the end, people have to realize this is a new Superman, but that doesn't mean it's disrespecting or completely disregarding the hero's extensive past. Superman may have killed General Zod, but that doesn't mean he's not the Boy Scout everyone admires.

What do you think about Superman killing General Zod and all the Metropolis destruction?

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  • TJW
    190000 dead? Yeah, right. Surely people died. But we are shown buildings being evacuated. I love how dumb people like to pretend they are when it serves their own purposes, acting like Superman was murdering people as he flew through empty buildings. The point is that he finds killing to be a terrible decision to make. In the case of saving the architecture of Metropolis vs the world's population, he picks the world. In the case of Zod vs the family, he picks the family. Clearly he is upset after snapping the neck of the guy who would kill 7 billion people just because.
    • Guest
      Word.
    • Linkfx
      exactly. it's a horrible decision, but he was literally the only person who could make it.
    • Kev
      Well said. And to add to your point, anyone who was still chilling in downtown Metropolis after everything that had happened up to that point had their own selves to blame for their fate.
    • Roderick
      Hopefully in the sequel, they'll show Kal-El dealing with the the weight of how many people died in that battle. And also the weight of knowing he's exiled and killed the very few remaining people left in his own race. Also I'm guessing there will be major backlash from people from earth as to whether they want him here or not because other baddies might come for him and might cause just as more if not more damage to Earth.
    • Unova
      Why don't you die with them then?
      • TJW
        Uh... what?
    • avilla88
      well to be honest superman killed them from the moment he landed on that planet.
  • honan
    The destruction of Metropolis is clearly a precursor to MoS 2 and the emergence of LexCorp in the clean up...and maybe they find some Kryptonian tech in the process and hell, some kind of Kryptonite; the only real way Lex Luthor can harm Superman as we all know....
    • DAVIDPD
      Threatening Louis is always an option, as well as Magic.
      • honan
        Magic?
        • Geekazoid
          Supermans weaknesses are Kryptonite and Magic,
          • Mykall
            Superman does not have a weakness to magic, he is not immune to it, but he does not have a weakness to it. Weakness would imply that he is more susceptible to it than others, he is not
      • TJW
        I think it's a little misleading to put Kryptonite and magic in the same category for Superman. He's vulnerable to magic just like any other character in that universe, no more or less. Kryptonite is more crippling. Right?
        • DAVIDPD
          I would agree. His three vulnerabilities are kryptonite, magic, and Louis. Only kryptonite is a physical problem.
          • Chazzy
            Who is this Louis we keep talking about?
          • DAVIDPD
            Lois. LOL. My bad on that one.
          • Neuromancer
            Louis CK, obviously! Clark is a fan.
          • Chazzy
            Lol that's honestly what I was imagining when I kept reading "Louis." Clark just gets incredibly pissed when people are picking on him.
  • Fidel Reyes
    I don't know why people are upset, he had a tough choice and he chose to stand proud by humanity's city it was one or the other like Pa Kent said, not to mention that Superman is not perfect he is not a god even though he is a god like creature, he still has that humanity that he grew up with in him. I actually respected and liked that they put him in that particular situation it show that he would do whatever he could for the greater good, to protect his now home planet. Plus he showed he didn't wan't to do it, he felt guilty about it, it'snot like it was a complete victory, he had to go against his own beliefs to save innocent people and that's awhat a hero does he puts others before himself. Face it if Superman hadn't snapped Zod's neck Zod would have just looked for more humans to kill and put him in the same situation over and over. Not to mention in 1981's Superman II Superman kills Zod after taking away his powers, and that had no point he just plainly killed him and the other big hairy dude, how come no one complains about that huh!? "The needs of the many out weight the needs of the few"
    • fv
      He did not kill ed the "big hairy dude", Non fell into a abyss not knowing he could no longer fly after losing his powers.
      • Fidel Reyes
        Oh yeah my bad, sorry about that I haven't seen the film in ages. But I think you still get the point I was trying to make.
    • BN
      Also he didn't kill a human he killed one of his own. It wasn't manslaughter, it was kryptonianslaughter.
      • Fidel Reyes
        Haha nice one.
  • Linkfx
    this nearly reminds me of Team America: World Police in terms of it's attempt to quantify 9/11, it's like 90 million 9/11's!!!!!!!
    • DAVIDPD
      Please do not make September 11th a punch line.
      • Linkfx
        I was merely referencing the article in conjunction with a quote from Team America: World Police. It's definitely not a joke...look I'll even upvote your reply so that you know I'm in solidarity. I just found it hilarious, rightly or wrongly to be comparing tragedies in a fictional/non-fictional context. Also, I edited my original comment so it came across more clearly. Hopefully I didn't upset you.
      • http://djkento.com/ Kento
        Dude he's quoting some one else who did it. calm your shit.
        • Shaun Black
          STFU Kento, no one cares what you have to say loser
          • http://djkento.com/ Kento
            I'm sorry but you don't get to call people a loser when this is one of your photos
          • Shaun Black
            That makes me a winner bro
  • DAVIDPD
    I thought the casualties would be a lot higher to be honest. Metropolis is megacity so its population density would be around 10k/square mile. I think they downed about two dozen sky scrapers. It looked like a work day, so they all probably had people in them, and the streets were crowded. So yeah, I would have thought the death total would be closer to 500,000. In terms of the murder of General Zod, I think it fit Snyder's Superman well. However I did not like how fast Zod was able to adapt to his Earth powers. Sure he was bred to be a warrior but how does that have anything to do with the meditation and focus required to harness super powers?
    • Fidel Reyes
      I completely agree, it kind of got me a little "tuned out" when he starts controlling all his abilities and difficulties he had while being under the Earth's atmosphere far too quickly, they could have shown him trying to adapt while he navigated Jor-El's spaceship.
      • BinaryChaos
        He said in the movie that he was trained to focus and harness his strength. I believe during his lifespan he knows his body well so controlling something that is foreign to him wouldn't take much time. It would be like driving a car or riding a bike. It only takes little time to get the hang of it.
        • Fidel Reyes
          I had forgotten abut that libe, so yes you are right, and he could not have bleed-ed from his mouth like Ka-El in the spaceship because the Earth's atmosphere was lighter while the Kryptonian atmosphere was heavier, the only thing that did happen was disorientation and they did demonstrate that after his helmet was damaged. The only thing I see is counteracted is the fact that Zod tells Jor-El that they cannot live with humans because they would suffer years of adapting like Kal-El yet Zod adapts in the span of a few hours, I guess it's argued and implied that Zod wanted the planet to be solely inhabited by beings of kryptonian blood.
          • BinaryChaos
            Zod has always been depicted as a supremacist and had little regard for those he considered inferior. He only likes going by protocol when it suits him and those qualities are demonstrated when he tried to overthrow the standing government of Krypton because they weren't moving quick enough to fulfill his needs and with the codex in which he planned to erase the bloodlines that he considered inferior from the database to only have superior kryptonian beings run the future of Krypton. He has the mentality of survival of the fittest which is why he goes on the attack on humans since he sees them as inferior beings compared to the new Krypton he plans to build so it's best to wipe them out and ultimately fulfilling his destiny as the savior of Krypton satisfying his need to rule his people.
  • Ron
    I was WAITING for this topic to arise! The amount of destruction is just insane! But considering you have meta-humans flying about fighting, crashing into things and not to mention the World Engine, I think the cost is believable. But I would have expected more people to have died. I knew they were trying to be different in general but I must say, I was perturbed by Superman killing off Zod. They stuck with the rule in the Dark Knight Trilogy couldn't understand why they couldn't here. Maybe they just wanted to make a point to show how different their version of Superman is(?).
    • Jan
      The Nolans and Goyer didn't stick to the rule in DARK KNIGHT RISES. Batman doesn't want to kill Bane. Bane almost kills Batman. Then Catwoman comes in with blazing guns, kills Bane and gets her oneliner. The Nolans and Goyer just kinda outsourced and brushed away the problem. Or rather: They cheated.
      • http://senzafine.net/ Yahzee
        .... maybe it's because killing is too dangerous for Batman, someone who already is in that thin line between justice and vengeance.
      • Ron
        True. But still Batman didn't kill Bane with his OWN hands.
      • Ransak
        Superman has no rules about killing. He's killed numerous people AFAIK. Doomsday, some kryptonians from one of the million alternate realities(who he executed), a fake Brainic and so on. Batman does not kill for various reason, personal reasons and If he killed everyone no one would know there is a batman! Batman wont kill to seperate himself from the people he fights also, their methods are similar but one is guided by a strict rule set which keeps him from losing perspective. Interestingly enough, superman gave batman the tools to kill him if it should ever be required.
    • GodsAdvised
      What did Batman do to Harvey Dent? Oh yeah, he tackles him out of an 8th story construction site and Harvey Dent dies. So, he killed Harvey Dent.
      • Ron
        Technically he was trying to save Gordon's son. He didn't purposefully kill Harvey Dent like Supes snapped Zod's neck. Subtle difference.
        • GodsAdvised
          No difference than Supes just trying to turn Zod's heat vision away from the trapped family. He just turned it a little too hard. I agree, there's a slight difference...but they have both killed people. I think Supes made the exact right decision and I'm just having a hard time with people who are getting so upset about this.
        • Phoneo Nemo
          I thought they handled the idea of Superman killing better than how Batman was handled, with 2/3 films showing him intentionally not saving a villain or blowing up vehicles, and the second one showing him use deadly force-accidentally. It least you get that Supey's choice will haunt him, and that he'll be extra careful when he has to fight another foe, and will avoid killing when given the chance.
      • http://djkento.com/ Kento
        that's like saying Spider-Man killed Gwen Stacey when he tried to save her life.
  • Jon Odishaw
    This is a stellar article. I know superman doesn't usually kill but this is a darker superman movie(clearly) and I think it was necessary. The fact that he was devestated about killing him saves his image. I also just loved the intensity of the scene(especially when he snapped his neck) my jaw physically dropped.
    • Unova
      No it wasn't necessary. Superman isn't friggin Batman alright?
      • Jon Odishaw
        Batman has a no killing rule too dumbass
  • stu
    I think its a great moment of character definition - the film is about Clark discovering who he is, and CHOOSING who he is. It's a very poignant moment, painful and resolute - he's had to kill the last remaining individual from his race besides himself, in order to save the race that raised him. It's a great moment, I loved it. Didn't expect it, but still accepted it. - StuFX
  • Leo
    what he did to Zod is the writers` decision of what will be the motive of Lex Luthor for the sequel. "Superman is just as threat to earth as the Kryptonian who attack the earth." or "Look how deadly Superman is..."
  • HMC
    It was hilariously bad. So funny when Superman cries out like a lil beyotch.
    • Easter Eggs
      HA! That's what I was thinking too. So freaking bad. Can't take it serious.
    • Logan
      I always thought Superman was a little beyotch cause he never killed. I was one happy customer when he finished Zod off. Never saw it coming.
    • BN
      Douche chills.
  • Cs
    If I'm not mistaken, didn't he kill off zod at the end of superman 2 as well? That was after zod lost all of his power and the threat was gone. Superman just picked him up and tossed him down a hole. Where is the outrage for that? I'm not a big fan of the new film but he didn't have much of a choice but to kill him.
  • Maledictus
    While Superman killing Zod in the Movie did come as a bit of a shock. It didn't stand out as a "how dare they" kind of moment for me. Superman has killed in the comics before, killing Zod, Zaora, and Quex - Ul from a pocket universe and of course Doomsday(who later came back to life.) I personally liked the way they made Supes seem more human and all the gratuitous destruction. It's what I've always imagined when 2 beings with ridiculous levels of strength get into a bar fight. I was always disappointed in movies where a super villain comes to earth, lands in a huge city, wants to take over the planet and has an absolute disregard for human life...and only knocks down a building or two and destroys a few dozen cars and city streets. I've always wanted to see catastrophic destruction. And in that aspect "Man of Steel" absolutely delivered.
  • Ricky
    Superman didn't seem to have any problem with killing or people dying throughout all the epic battles. So to have him affected by having to kill Zod was so forced I couldn't help but burst out laughing in the theater.
    • NoToHacks
      Yeah, and why didn't Zod just look to the right with his optic blasts that they were trying to pass for heat vision (complete rip off of Cyclops btw. Thank you Goyer and Snyder for ripping off Marvel again)?
      • BinaryChaos
        You do realize that Superman was around way before Marvel was even conceived so I believe it's the other way around that Marvel ripped off of DC.
  • JBrotsis
    I'll still never understand how no one can tell Superman apart from Clark just from him wearing civilian clothes and glasses? Everyone goes from clearly seeing his face and body build to becoming utterly blindsided by glasses. I mean, Clark, least wear a fake mustache, haha!
    • Lana
      Lois tracked him all the way back to Smallville and figured it out and the US Government with all their resources can't???
    • mooreworthy
      In the comics he had super hypnosis. Everyone who looked at Clark saw him differently. Im not making that up.
  • mooreworthy
    Helloooooo, he can simply fly around the earth and reverse time and fix everything bitches.
  • mooreworthy
    He kills zod and his minions with Kryptonite in the Crisis series. Like Wolverine told Captain America, "some people just deserve to die."
  • Ricardo_PT
    Please please change the title of this post!!!
  • frank
    Can I get the icon in cornflower blue?
  • meki
    Couldn't Zod simply move his eyeballs when Supes was holding his head?
  • MDC4LIFE
    I like the direction. Superman needs to take this course of action to prevent future issues.
  • Corey Watts
    I think people are overlooking a very important detail regarding the killing of Zod. Before their final fight, Zod reminds us by telling Superman that he was born, literally, to be Krypton's protector. He was created, essentially, to defend Krypton and it's people for his entire life. With the destruction of Krypton, the failure of his plan to build a new Krypton, and the fact that the only other son of Krypton has chosen to side with the people of Earth, Zod has been overcome with anger and desperation. When the moment comes that Superman has him seemingly subdued, I think its clear that both men realize that they could fight each other forever and the only losses would be suffered by the people of Earth. Superman realizes he cannot allow that to happen. Remember, these two men are equal. Superman doesn't just turn "hulk" and somehow gain ultimate superior might over Zod. What I think happens, is that while Superman clearly understands the futility of further battling Zod and the catastrophic results, I believe Zod realizes the same thing. I think he understands he will never again have a Krypton to defend and protect and everything he loves and believes in is gone. I think he also knows that Kal-El doesn't have the desire or motivation to kill him. Until he threatens nearby humans with a horrible death. He tests Superman in one final way and forces him to kill him. I also think Superman's emotional reaction afterward seems to confirm that he realizes that that's exactly what Zod did.
    • daneforst
      yes. The reaction after was great. I felt he actually acquired some depth from that scene. Needed that in a Superman character for once.
  • Goyer
    Couldn't Superman have just covered Zod's eyes with his forearms? It was so high school when Lois was standing at the top of the steps and ran to him when he cried like a b1tch.
    • daneforst
      You're silly.
  • blkstar
    As a Superman fan I was a bit uneasy seeing my favorite DC character kill. I wasn't expecting to see that and when it happened my jaw dropped. For me I am still on the fence about this version of Superman. The Superman I grew up with could do anything and never would hesitate to save a life. I felt like this movie didn't capitalize on that enough. No matter what you could always count on Superman to save you even when it felt impossible he could do it. It was a dark version that I feel I need to see again to really understand where they were trying to go with this. I don't hate this movie, I found it much more appealing than Iron Man 3 after that stupid bait and switch fiasco, but this wasn't a side of Superman that I had ever seen. I will disagree with some people about this being Zach Snyder's best film, for me his best movie was Watchmen and I was expecting him to stick more to the fan base rather then take this new approach. Love it or hate it, this is by far the best adaptation of the Superman franchise I'm just not sure if this was made for everyone.
    • dvt
      If you were a fan of superman you'd know he's killed before.
      • Phoneo Nemo
        That comic was retconned ;)
  • No More Superman Films
    Nolan, Goyer, Sndyer and WB are all about killing off their villains in nearly everyone of their comic book films. It's ridiculous. Why? They totally lost me when they had Superman snap Zod's neck like that. Hated it. Completely out of character.
    • daneforst
      It is in character. Read around. Supes has killed. Even in the Donner version.
    • BN
      You're right, they should have just sucked each other off and called it a day.
  • Navix
    I understand people having this type of reaction. I feel like the catalyst to him killing Zod was when he mumbles "never" or something to that tune while Soups yells "stop!" The realization that he is left with this crude option for A. He knows no other outlandish way to stop him without killing him and B. the writers are setting up his reasoning why he wont kill again. However, Waid hit it on the head. And I see a lot of people missing this seriously GLARING point. It's Soup's vacant desire to protect anyone besides the hand full of individual recuses. Superman had 0 regard for anyone in that city. He fought through and got punched through dumb amounts of buildings before he could even take him down. Even towards the last part of that fight you see people on the street and still in these buildings. Its his lack of resolve through the whole fight, as amazing as it was, that showed no real dire circumstances. it was one tone, an evenly matched volley that just kept getting more and more ridiculous. Waid said for them to build to that choice of killing Zod, and I agree. I felt no pressure that Zod would wipe out anything. I felt no anxiety that Soup's was outmatched, or in his constant attempt to protect inhabitance (which again never happened) of Metropolis during the fight was shrinking his options to the grand finale. People on the street even looked up while they fought with no panic at ALL. This kind dumbfounded wonder rather that "shit, buildings on buildings are just burring us faster than we can run" took my out of the story. So when the death happened, I was like "eh?" All in all an extremely beautiful and visceral experience. But, the second when we started slappin people, it went from a good origins story, to throwing all the sense of Soup's morality out the window. I guess we graduated to the school of Bruckheimer, where action scenes demand their own microcosm of emotion and story that have NO relation to the rest of the main arc. Still, the fight scenes were freakin incredible.
  • jasonsantanna
    Why does Zod have to stay dead......its a work of fiction, remember Superman died before came back......maybe Zod will soak up enough earths sun over time and may heal......Zods revenge man of steel 2 .......maybe with the help of Lex...... Speaking of Lex he died to in the comics and came back.......hell maybe Lex may clone Zod and have the clone be the new Bizzaro.....the possibilities are there and you have to give Superman a great challenge to combat or else its a boring story. As far as him killing Zod that's what made it great because he has been told all his life to hold back even during there time when papa Kent could have been saved it made the choice staggering for him to make......I enjoyed it very much.
  • daneforst
    Truth, Justice and the AMERICAN way. We executed Osama Bin Laden and multiple other tyrants for far less. This is exactly in character. Even Chris Reeve killed Zod in II and apparently the comics. People need to understand that this was actually a brilliant twist. They gave Superman some actual dimension by making him make a tough decision that makes him even more human. I'm sure the choice will carry over into the sequel and make it more interesting than if he just magically sent Zod into the Phantom Zone just to escape and kill more some day. And I love the "he doesn't care about all the people dying" comments. This is so dumb I can't even believe it. He's trying to take out the bad guy who is murdering the entire planet the only way he knows. I'm sorry, but a few buildings in one city pale in comparison to the entire planet. He's attempting to limit the casualties and just because they don't show him crying and screaming at every possible death that means he doesn't care? Are you fucking serious? Then, he saves a family right in front of him by making a horrible and shocking (realistic) choice by snapping his neck and then they're like "Superman wouldn't do that!!!". So I ask, "Which is it?". Can't have it both ways, people. This film attempts to treat it's audience like thinking adults and most have rewarded it by asking to be treated like idealistic children. "But Superman doesn't save EVERYONE, he sucks!" You all deserve your shitty Transformers flicks. Idiots.
  • Antonio
    This is getting ridiculous! First things first, I loved what Snyder, Goyer, and Nolan have done. Everyone got mad when they did their own version of Superman, because everyone wants them to stay true to the comics. But every other superman movie a majority of people hate, so when these guys decide to go outside the box and give you something that you might not hate, you still hate? Is there no pleasing any of you? I think by Snyder, Goyer, and Nolan doing their own version of Superman made it that much better and just because it didn't agree to what you guys wanted you hated it. Even if they did do what you wanted, by sticking to the comics, you probably would have hated it too. There is only so many ways you can write the same story.
  • racquetman
    I can't believe there are actually people arguing about this pointless, fictional nonsense...........
  • xtheory
    "In the end, if it's good enough to convince someone like Nolan, it should be good enough for anyone." seriously, what kind of sycophantic, fucked up logic is this? christ, you nolan fanboys are truly a pathetic bunch.
  • http://djkento.com/ Kento
    The streets were empty when Perry and Jenny and that douche were outside the daily planet. I'm sure people died, but I'm sure a LOT got away. Also you know Wayne Enterprises and Lexcorp are going to help with the rebuild as well as Superman himself. As for the death he did it in Superman 2 and Zod didn't have powers in that film, it was cold blooded murder against a mortal.
  • conradthegreat
    Ridiculous article. nuff said
  • batsupe
    The entire world was threatened! He saved it! Why are we taking hypothetical polls for damage caused based on a movie? It served its purpose, entertainment...geez lol. I will agree that Man Of Steel was lacking in supes actually saving people but come on lol
    • BinaryChaos
      To be honest I think those are estimates Lex Luthor would come up with to turn the people against Superman and all Superman can say well I practically saved your entire race what's the big deal? Then Lex Luthor would say you brought this big threat to our world so your very presense on this planet is a threat to more lives. These are just good arguments for Man Of Steel 2 to introduce into the story and I think this is exactly the kind of reaction Snyder was looking for from fans so he can come up with a very big reason why Superman is needed. You are just the minority that wouldn't be easily manipulated by Lex Luthor himself.
  • Dpatch
    This has been brought up already, but it is interesting that no one seems to remember the end of Superman II when he kills Zod. It reminds me of people getting upset over Superman fathering a child in Superman Returns, thinking him irresponsible, yet forgetting he had sex with Lois in Superman II. That movie just seems so scandalous in retrospect!
  • Not Incased in Amber
    Great article. It's amazing how butthurt fans are about this, and how critical opinion and fanboy opinion has merged into one around this aspect about the film. The critics narrow-mindedness I get - they see Superman as the unchangeable 70’s Donner version, and can’t get past that. The fanboys, especially Mark Waid, should know better - they need their geek cards revoked. Superman has killed before. Who did he kill? Zod, Faora and some other Phantom Zone shmuck. Hell, he killed Doomsday as well. And the original Superman killed many a nameless goon when he first came on the scene. And, besides, this is the origin story. Superman doesn’t kill as a rule, but who says he has NEVER killed. Mark F’ing Waid? Sorry, Mark, you ain’t Superman’s papa. Doesn’t it give Superman MORE of an incentive to never kill again, to find a way not to, in future films, having done it this once? I love how this film set the groundwork for how he becomes the icon of hope, not that he’s born fully formed out of Mark Waid’s wet dreams. The ending laid the groundwork for his further transformation, and especially, for the arrival of Luthor – a potential false savior of Metropolis. Great film!
  • lewinston
    I'll just add this: There's actually a lot of good argument about the damage caused by the Superman and Zod fight. But while you're at it, I wonder what the damages chart would look like without Superman and just Zod... what would that chart look like I wonder? The chart that simply shows the costs of damage done by Zod while he is completely undeterred. ... also keeping in mind that paper currency has no actual intrinsic value and especially so under a new Krypton.
  • lewinston
    One more thing: Did anyone else find Zod to be one of the most relatable characters in the movie? I mean, mass genocide of humankind aside... I understood where he has coming from and why he was the way he was throughout the whole movie. He was more of a pitiful character and was difficult to hate even.
  • dvt
    Shitty ass fan boys unable to fucking understand, your "version" of Superman still exists. It just isn't THIS one you fucking morons. This is Snyder's re-imagining of Supes. And fyi, he's killed Zod in Supe 2 AND in the comics. So whoever wrote this article, do some further research you fuckwad.
    • Linkfx
      He doesn't kill Zod in Superman II he removes his powers
      • Maledictus
        He threw him into an icy abyss....with the removal of his powers...the fall would have killed him
  • cobrazombie
    I think the CG teams seem to forget the populations living in the midst of all their virtual destruction.
  • nate
    They should've called this movie "Superman Begins," then the next one "Man of Steel," battles his most well known nemesis Lex Luthor, and the third one "Man of Steel Rises" battles Doomsday.
  • http://youtube.com/flavoredshampoo Matt
    Wow, Mark Waid is a little bitch.
  • champions guy
    That guy screaming was a dork, I don't care if he did write Superman comics. There have been some Superman writers that wrote really crappy stories. During the entire film, Clark discovers his dual identity. He is both Clark and Kal. He must choose the path of Clark Kent or the path of Kal El. In killing Zob, Clark implicitly threw in his lot with Earth, and chose Clark over Kal. He'll certainly never kill again...he certainly earned his Psychological Limitation "Code Against Killing" for 20 points.
  • Eggyweggs
    I'm pleased he killed Zod. Look at the endless death and destruction the Joker wreaks time and time again because Batman is too much of a pussy to get the job done once and for! Also, none of its real, it's a comic and a movie! Peace out.
  • Ben S.
    "I wanted to create a scenario where Superman, either he's going to see [Metropolis' citizens] chopped in half, or he's gotta do what he's gotta do." Really? That was his reason for the ending? I'm sorry Goyer and Snyder but you lost me even more. I don't know if these guys are even aware of how disrespectful (for a lack of a better word) this is to the fans. Yes, Superman has killed. He did in Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow. But you know what happened after that? It absolutely destroyed him to the point where he stripped all of his powers choosing to live as a normal person. And people wonder why Waid was so up in arms. These two clearly missed the whole point of the character. Lets face it, these two didn't know how they'd end it so they just ended it.
  • timnimbus
    Did anyone else wonder what happened to Zods body after the fight? Did Hamilton dissect it? Did superman take it with him when he flew away? Maybe Lex got ahold of it.... Hmmmm. I wonder
  • Absconditus Veritas
    "In the end, if it's good enough to convince someone like Nolan, it should be good enough for anyone." HAH. What a joke. Should read: "In the end, if it has Nolan's name attached in any way, shape or form, it should go without saying that the film will butcher every beloved aspect of the universe it can think of" And Nolan is listed as a writer, not just producer for Man of Steel. We all knwo he had creative input. So don't try to vindicate him by playing the "he didn't direct" card. He had plenty to do with this film and its direction and we all know it. Superman: -Lois knows Clark=Superman? WTF? No superman-lois-clark love triangle for us. Just Lois playing the big-screen equivalent to Chloe from Smallville while clark pretends to be a clumsy awkward reporter for...no real reason since the only real reporter in the room already knows his secret. -Superman the murderer? Probably the single biggest crime anyone could make in a Superman movie. He SHOULD have been entirely unwilling to kill Zod, even at the US army's request/demand, and then come up with a clever way to turn parts of his ship or the one he found into the ice into a Phantom Zone gun/tool and put Zod back where he belongs. Murder, though? There was no worse decision. Plus the whole scenario it played out in, made no sense. He had enough power/control over Zod to completely snap his neck, but not to turn his head the other way and stop *before* it snapped?. Plot hole? Only if you require your plot to make sense. Strength like that could have easily subdued Zod and saved the family a dozen other ways. At least. Shouldn't be surprised considering what happened to the Batman universe in Nolan's necrotic grasp: -Al Ghul family with no immortality/Lazaus Pit? -Two Face who never commits a crime worse than kidnapping? And basically just dies being nothing more than Joker's pawn? -A Bane with no Venom? Not even close to the same mask... or origin.. or anything at all. -A Catwoman who knows Batman is Bruce Wayne? All that said, DC ain't exactly moving mountains to build continuity for a Justice League movie here... Green Lantern = DC Universe = Justice League member = Life on other planets confirmed for earthlings well before superman entered the picture. Everyone in Nolan's Man of Steel movie is acting like Superman is the first anyone ever saw of aliens. I guess it's easy to forget a giant planet devouring fear monster like Parallax and the glowing green intergalactic space cop that saved the planet. He also made a point to say his batman is in its own universe too. Too bad because Superman/Batman teamups are awesome and Hollywood sucks at coming up with good ideas so youd think they would be on superhero team up movies with double the star power and Blockbuster potential like flies on sh!t but I guess I won't get to see that any more than ill get to see a hulk/iron man team up movie, which I at least thought made sense anyway.. Heroes in other hero's movies helping them out with tough situations like they do in comics and animated movies and tv shows and...yeah, every other media format they appear in..? Point in case, if there is a JL movie being made, DC/Warner Bros have yet to spread their cheeks and remove their heads so they can get to work on making a film universe with the necessary continuity to cohesively support it without us needing Nolan to take us to a dream within a dream within a dream. The only REAL question is: Does Marvel have a patent on their formula for building cinematic continuity in their films and post credit scenes, or is DC/Warner Bros just too retarded to see it? Marvel is even bringing their continuity to a TV series with Agent Coulson(Clark Gregg). That is serious A game. Arrow can't even manage to maintain continuity with Smallville. Just a bunch of f**k ups in charge of DC comics/WB's movie department, I suspect. Unless box office numbers are all it takes to validate a movie's worth, in which case, yeah it was a great movie with excellent sequel potential. A sequel we will probably see along with another Percy Jackson movie, the World War Z sequel and, if we are lucky, Paranormal Activity 12 (or whatever) because, HEY, box office says those are good and sequel worthy too! But they're not.
  • justquitnow
    I thought they were indestructible. How did superman just snap his neck? If it's simply a matter of force, then a bad guy could just make a powerful machine to snap superman's neck with...
  • chris
    DC signed off on it so get over it. Say what u want Supes is their property not yours. Its got people talking about the film so mission accomplished, oh and $700 million to go along with it
  • http://binkii70.tumblr.com/ binkii70
    I just watched the new superman movie and was asked what i thought of the ending when superman kills Zod...well here's my answer ...I THINK IT WAS A GREAT ENDING. the moment when superman realized exactly who he is and why he exists. it shows his love for earth and humans..the fact that superman will do anything to protect earth's citizens even killing..now if he'd killed a human like that i would have said i'm out..but the situation it takes place in is more of a revelation to superman and to me at least, than the fact he killed a living being. if you look at his face right before the act you can see him literally change into the superman we know and love ....our protector..throughout the movie i never felt like superman had confidence in who he was or that he really cared that much for humans..and that he had not found his place or understanding of himself until that moment..and until that moment he felt like an actual alien and "out of place" even though he was raised here..you can come to that conclusion as to why he was a drifter and never stayed in one place long as if searching for something or some kind of connection with the ones around him. he certainly never connected with anyone throughout his childhood..to me the moment the camera goes from the faces of those humans Zod was going to kill and then to superman's when he kills Zod and then screams in sorrow for doing so, i saw him transform into the superman i love.. ..it's a new beginning and i can't wait for the ride!

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