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Man of Steel is currently killing it at the box office, and not everyone in Geek Nation is happy about that. Some fanboys and a few critics have blasted the global smash ($235 million worldwide in six days) for exalting a new era Superman that falls alarmingly short of the ideal of perfect heroic character that the king of comic book superheroes is apparently supposed to represent. Shame on Superman for abandoning Metropolis during a crisis (to deal with another crisis on the other side of the planet threatening to extinguish all of humanity)! Shame on Superman for causing billions of dollars in property damage and not rescuing imperiled civilians (while devoting himself wholly to the urgent, all-consuming labor of stopping a psychotic, super-powered maniac)! Shame on Superman for saving the day by doing the thing that Superman is supposed to never do (even though soldiers and even policemen are often forced to do the same thing to stop those who would threaten our lives)! Man of Steel is a Superman of Lies! It is heresy! Bad screenwriting! A horrible, horrible movie!
Perhaps you agree. Perhaps you don’t. Perhaps you think all of this is really, really, really silly. But before your opinion of Man of Steel becomes set in stone, we’d like to inform your thoughtful deliberations by showing you how this new articulation of Superman could have been much worse. He could have been?Christopher Reeve’s Superman. For if we’re going to use the yardstick of moral perfection to take the measure of Superman, you can only come to this conclusion about an incarnation of the Man of Steel widely considered to be the gold standard for silver screen superheroes: He is a selfish, solipsistic, stupid, deceitful, cowardly, callous, sociopathic, sexually perverse, creatively bankrupt jerk. So basically Don Draper. Or Don Draper if Don Draper killed people. Because Christopher Reeve’s allegedly ”super” Superman did that, too.
Please, allow us to elaborate?
Image Credit: Clay Enos
June 21 2013 — 12:00 AM EDT