Two years ago the movie “Man of Steel” was released, with this movie DC comics started their own cinematicuniverse. In this movie we see a rookie Superman in a dark-palette world fightingagainst his first villain: General Zod. We witnessed a tremendous battle thatdecimated Metropolis, part of Smallville and culminates with Zod’s murder inthe hands of The Man of Steel himself. Thismovie caused greatcontroversy and it seems there’s no balance point, youeither love it or hate it. But why do we have such a divided opinion about it?
Ask any person. Everyone willtell you they know who Superman is and everyone has an opinion on how he shouldbe portraited in a movie. In fact, most of them will describe Superman as theChristopher Reeve’s version. So it’s safe to s
ay that most of the people thinkSuperman is a really powerful Superhero who fights for justice, chooses to dothe right thing and a symbol of the “American way of life”.
While that premise worked greatin 1978 when “Superman: the movie” was released, nowadays many people considerSuperman to be old-fashioned, an overrated hero that doesn’t represent today’syouth and social values. The ironic thing is that Superman is such a greatcultural icon that people get upset when someone changes his status quo. We arefacing a dilemma: We don’t like Superman’s classic interpretation but we don’twant it to change either. It’s like changing the flavour of the Coke.
This represents a big challenge when it comes to make a new Superman movie, and I guess Zack Snyder knows it.Snyder decided to make a movie where Superman makes mistakes so that thegeneral audience can create a connection with him. A bold move, but I alsothink it was the right one. Maybe now audiences can witness along severalmovies the growth and developement of a character as complex as Kal El. Acharacter that knows loneliness and still decides to be a symbol of hope.
So, in away, I don’t think DC is trying to make his shiniest character grim n gritty ormorally ambiguous. I think DC wants to show non-comic book readers the depththat this character has in the comics so that they can culminate showing theREAL Superman, the superhero whose greatest superpower comes from within hisown humanity and his abilty to make good moral decisions.
In a worldwhere we are used to abuse power, Superman will come to us like a bucket ofcold water. Kal El represents kindness and decency in a violent world and thatscares us; but let’s not forget that Superman also teaches us to see the best in people. Because herepresents the greatest features in human kind, Superman will always be controversial, but also the greatest hero of modern culture. Through thischaracter, maybe we notice the bitter contradiction between who we are and whowe must be.