Skip to comments.How Deadly Should Superman Be?
Posted on 07/11/2013 11:22:40 AM PDT by Bratch
The climactic battle in Man of Steel proved to be particularly divisive for many longtime comic book fans, with some going as far as to say that the Superman on show in Zack Snyder and David Goyer's movie wasn't the real thing because of certain choices the character made that the comic book incarnation would find some way to avoid. In a comic released Wednesday, DC Entertainment appears to have entered into the debate, albeit accidentally.
Warning: Go no further unless you're okay with being spoiled for not only Man of Steel, but also today's Justice League #22. Seriously, plot reveals lie ahead for both.
For those upset with Man of Steel, one particular element stood out as ringing untrue: Namely, that Superman would kill someone. Screenwriter David Goyer has already revealed that DC was initially against that latter decision, but as today's Justice League by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis demonstrates, the company isn't above having Superman kill for its own purposes.
To be fair, when Superman kills new hero -- yes, hero, Superman is killing other good guys now -- Doctor Light in the issue, it's clear that something isn't right. He reacts with confusion, saying "N-No I didn't mean to What have I done?" while a mysterious villain all but twirls an imaginary mustache as he tells himself/the readers, "Thanks to me, everyone will actually believe that Superman's killed Doctor Light." But even with those two potential Get Out of Murderer Jail Free cards, the fact seemingly remains: To the world at large -- both in the DC Universe and in the real world of Justice League readers -- Superman just blew up some guy's head with his heat vision.
The idea of a mind-controlled, murderous Superman is nothing new, of course; less than a decade ago, the "Sacrifice" storyline that ran through the various Superman and Wonder Woman comics of the time centered around that very thing. In the past, Superman has killed willingly, if reluctantly. The comic book version of the character even killed General Zod more than a quarter of a century before the controversial Man of Steel climax.
Given his confused, upset reaction to apparently killing Doctor Light (and, for that matter, his earlier negative response in the same issue to comments from Wonder Woman about the need to kill enemies as a matter of course), it appears that this latest killing may be headed down the same direction as that earlier comic book's Zod execution by eventually leading to a point where Superman's code against killing is ultimately reinforced through an unfortunate, horrific, experience of the alternative. But given the fan furor that greeted Man of Steel's manslaughter, is that really what fans want to see from Superman in any medium?
Well, If he kicks you in the balls.....well...
Does Mxzyptlk live in Zzyzx?
I think when he hypnotized Lois Lane and used her body to keep that wall from crushing him when he’d been weakend by those crook’s Kryptonite. That could’ve turned into an interesting situation out of the office.
“How Deadly Should Superman Be?”
Damned deadly, I reckon!
It’s known in interviews that DC, even the liberals there, balked at the thought that Superman would kill Zod. They emphatically said no. The death scene was Goyer’s idea and had to ask both DC and Nolan for their input before it was OK’d.
Supes’ll happily turn them over to the authorities for execution, though.
Used to love reading comics, into adulthood. Gave it up. The type of people that write them inevitably mean that the characters become nothing but left wing tools.
If Superman was real, and I was his therapist, I’d simply remind him of the prodigious number of people who would still be alive had he had simply turned his heat vision on Lex Luthor. Or any number of his more nefarious rogues gallery. Superman, by his very inaction and/or wasted action such as sending them to prison knowing very well they will escape, has indirectly being the cause of the deaths of multitudes. Obviously it is a comics character, but even in comics his refusal to kill evil people has led to thedeaths of many more innocents. So many that Superman may even be categorised as one of the more evil characters in comics. His refusal to act has led to many more deaths.on aggregate than any one of his rogues gallery.
“He normally lives in the 5th Dimension”
Does he fly in a beautiful balloon?
It’s an interesting philosophical point. The problem isn’t about Superman taking a life (many fine and noble Americans have been forced to take lives), but the conditions under which he takes it. Killing can be necessary, and line between hero and monster can tolerate a little blur, but that’s not exactly the problem with the new Superman.
Superman was never seen as a monster because he’s traditionally committed himself as a servant of something greater than himself; truth, justice and the American way. The guy never had much ambition or interest beyond that.
In return, he was loved and admired. Even when he kind of stayed out of trying to right all the world’s wrongs, people understood that he wasn’t really on anyone’s side but that of life itself. The rest we needed to work out ourselves, even if it got messy.
Take away that subservience to a higher (and essentially safe) cause, and all you have is a person who can suffer no consequence for any action, and isn’t bound by any social or physical restraint. That’s pretty much a recipe for either a well meaning, moralizing tyrant or a petty, self-satisfying bully.
People say that power corrupts, but in fact, it just opens up parts of a person that are normally not explored. Once you start walking that ground, you have nothing to guide you but fleeting concepts of morality and desire. Not what society or circumstances forces, but your own base, animal interests. That’s a terrible thing to allow unleashed. The old Superman sought a leash to his power, and wore it publicly, with pride. Duty, respect and self-restraint are noble shackles, and made a potential monster a hero.
A super powered man that doesn’t really know what he believes, on the other hand, is walking time bomb. Power eventually fills the void, and crowds out everything else.
Let’s face it, the primary reason superheroes avoid killing is plot driven, if you kill your enemies it’s harder to bring them back in a couple of years. It’s a lot easier to make an arch nemesis that hassles your hero every 20th issue or so if the nemesis only gets driven away or imprisoned. Any hero that can do grade school arithmetic can figure out pretty quick the cost of letting crazy super villains live, but it’s hard on the writing team. The superhero movies are only just starting to learn that lesson.
Somebody has to make that kick into a .gif.