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Thread: Man of Steel

  1. #1
    Cuddly little misanthropic hate machine
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Location: 4 doors down, bad side of town

    Man of Steel

    Hot on the heels of TDKR is the upcoming Zack Snyder film Man of Steel.

    From what I understand, it's not a sequel to the mediocre Superman film from a few years back, but a straight reboot, written by the same guy who did Nolan's Batman movies, David Goyer.

    Trailer.

    Growing up I was a big Superman fan, though we were dirt poor and I couldn't afford the comics, so I had to settle for things like video games once a year. After reading a Knightquest comic at precisely the wrong time in my life I was turned off on superhero comics for a long time, including Supes. (Batman Begins got me back into it.) Watching this trailer makes me feel like a kid again. As an adult I'm hoping Zack Snyder can deliver, but as a kid I'm beyond giving a shit.

    Also, I'm given to understand Lex Luthor isn't in this movie, which is good because fuck that guy. Most overrated villain ever.

  2. #2
    Member
    Registered: Mar 1999
    Location: I can't find myself
    Zach Snyder can't deliver. It's going to suck for the opposite reasons that Superman Returns is unfairly maligned.

    Where Returns was pretty much all heart and little action, Man of Steel is going to be all flash and no substance. But Snyder is going to lift shots and motifs and even the score from other, much more talented film makers to give a surface sheen of depth because he lacks any understanding of why those things worked in those other films.

    But Superman and Zod's speedramped fisticuffs will sure look cool.

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Iacon
    Faf I see your point about heart. But given a Superman movie I kinda want Super-villains, not a normal human with real estate obsessions. Who needs the Magic Key that turns off supermans powers to actually work as a villain.

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2007
    Location: Finland
    It's no surprise they haven't come up with anything good with Superman, because it's a horribly dull character that's blatant americanism is harder to tone down for modern audiences. I don't think this will be anything better.

  5. #5
    Moderator
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Everywhere
    I used to think that. Watched a few seasons of Smallville a few years back and was thoroughly convinced that Superman has always suffered from really shitty writers, excepting the 50's-60's era originals. That show was not much more than a teen soap-opera, but it at least demonstrated that a god living among mortals faces all types of struggles and dangers. The whole secret identity issue has been largely treated as a joke source or irrelevant, when it is actually the crux of the story. That, and the fact that although Superman has these great powers, the main pressure he feels to use them for good is that his dead father commanded him to. Add to that his inability to truly relate to mortals, his feelings of inadequacy both romantically and socially, and the question of his questionable responsibility to humanity, there is a lot of depth to explore. The action sequences would be welcome and have more heart if someone would actually explore Luther's character beyond "hur hur I want to rule the world" - he has a very personal vendetta against Superman, and deserves more depth than what Gene Hackman gave him back in the 80's. Again, the Smallville character was compelling, if non-canonical and overdone. Hell, I thought Captain America was one of the more interesting hero films of late. If they can tone down the blind patriotism for him, Superman should be a cinch.

    That said, if it's the same guy that directed Watchmen (?) I wouldn't expect much.

  6. #6
    Cuddly little misanthropic hate machine
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Location: 4 doors down, bad side of town
    What the fuck? Blatant Americanism? Frank Miller aside -- and with Frank Miller, that Supes is reduced to a symbol is a deconstruction in itself -- that's really not a frequent theme in the comics. Much like on Smallville, Supes is often deconstructed -- for example, he's often struggling with his own strength, afraid to really let loose.



    He's more than just Superman the Man of Steel or Clark Kent the mild-mannered newspaper reporter, behind it all he's Clark Kent from Kansas. He has feelings, emotions, conflicts, and flaws, same as anyone else. He put on the cape not because he wanted to be Superman, a symbol, an ideal, but because he wanted to use his powers for good. In contrast, Batman was meant to be a symbol, something to strike fear into the hearts of criminals.

    It's why he's constantly arguing with Batman over his methods -- he and Bats are two sides of the same coin. They both want justice, but Superman had parents -- good, loving, hard-working people who bore no ill-will towards anyone, even people you might expect the average Kansan to dislike -- to instill that justice in him; Batman had none, and has waged a decades-long war of revenge against crime because he's still the same person he was five minutes after his parents were shot. That's why Supes swoops in to grab the bad guys and drag them away, and it's why Bats swoops in and punches them in the face. It's why Clark wears no mask even when he's got the cape; and it's why Bruce is the mask, and the cowl is Batman's true face.



    Consider the Eradicator, aka Last Son of Krypton. During the Death of Superman story arc, four new supermen showed up to replace Clark. One of these was the Eradicator, who looked very much like Superman, but had a different costume and wore a visor to protect his eyes from the sun -- the same sun that gives Supes his powers. Eventually it's revealed that he's an ancient Kryptonian weapon, operating on cold, hard logic. Following the death of Superman he took up the mantle, but he was an anti-hero, more like Batman than Superman. And he killed bad guys. Killed them. Not even Batman does that. To him, that was justice, fair punishment. The Metropolis PD hated him for it, and Guy Gardner, the Asshole Lantern, loved him for it. It's all a very right-wing idea of justice. It took him a while to realize that's not how Superman operated, and that his cold logic wasn't enough, he had to show compassion, too. And in the end, he sacrificed himself to protect the real, resurrected Superman, and in the process gave the weakened Clark his powers again, a far cry from his first appearance where he kills a homeless serial carjacker.

    So yeah, sure, Superman is often held up as an ideal, as a shining symbol of justice and fairness and doing the right thing -- but are you seriously telling me those are uniquely American ideals?


  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2007
    Location: Alberta, Canada
    This video pretty much sums up how I feel about supes:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PlwDbSYicM

    Although I did just finish reading Red Son, A take on what would happen if he landed 12 hours later in the Ukraine and Superman was a soviet. Very good read. I recommend it.

  8. #8
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Europops
    Quote Originally Posted by dethtoll View Post
    What the fuck? Blatant Americanism?

    So yeah, sure, Superman is often held up as an ideal, as a shining symbol of justice and fairness and doing the right thing -- but are you seriously telling me those are uniquely American ideals?
    Given, if you read the comics you know there is much, much more to it than that.

    But certainly here (the UK) if you ask the average person about Superman they do have that opinion and it's almost entirely based on the portrayal in the original Richard Donner film and its sequels. And the recent Brandon Routh effort. These films have a lot of American and Christian symbolism in them and so, fairly or not, are viewed by many through an Americanism lens.

    Part of the justice and fairness that Superman displays is, unlike Batman, very much in line with what the authorities/The Man wants. One could argue that Lex Luthor (in the Donner series) doesn't just represent criminality but also rebellion against The Man.


    But meh, I want to see this Man of Steel effort too and I did enjoy the trailer (which I saw before TKDR).

    No superhero film is going to come close to what Nolan has done with Batman though. Yeah, I've enjoyed some of the other superhero films but cripes people have their work cut out. They'll want to reboot Batman again eventually. Good luck with that whoever takes it on but I'm telling you now your film(s) suck in comparison to the Nolan ones whatever you do.
    Last edited by SubJeff; 23rd Jul 2012 at 04:29.

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2001
    Location: Lost in transit.
    RE: Blatant Americanism, the Superman radio show opened with this:
    Yes, it's Superman, strange visitor from another planet, with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men! Superman, who can change the course of mighty rivers, bend steel with his bare hands, and who, disguised as Clark Kent, mild-mannered reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper, fights a never-ending battle for truth, justice and the American way!
    turning "truth, justice and the American way" into his catchphrase.


    Anyway, I have to say I really like the apparently Mallick-inspired imagery in that trailer -- the Russell Crowe voiceover is better though -- but considering Snyder is such an awful storyteller I have zero expectation that it'll turn out good. But who knows, maybe the reaction to Sucker Punch caused him to take a long, hard look in the mirror and focus less on speed-ramp visual gimmickry and more on the basics.

  10. #10
    Cuddly little misanthropic hate machine
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Location: 4 doors down, bad side of town
    When the radio show began, "the American way" was not part of the intro. That was added later, during World War 2, which makes sense, doesn't it?

    And anyway, when I'm talking about Superman, I'm talking about the god damn Superman from the god damn comics. Radio? The 50s TV show? The shitty 60s/70s movies? That's all Golden/Silver Age bullshit, at the height of World War 2 and the Cold War. I don't care if that's what other peoples' perceptions of Superman comes from, it's irrelevant. The Superman they based that off of no longer exists.

    It's true that Superman is an American cultural icon. Let's face it, Superman was invented by a couple of Jewish guys during the Depression while the Nazis were stomping around Germany gearing up for war. Goebbels even denounced Superman as Jewish propaganda. Silver Age Supes grew grossly OP while America was stocking up nukes to take on the Russkies. We're talking about a guy who can chain planets together and drag them all through space.

    But being an American cultural icon is not the fucking same thing as "blatant Americanism." He talks about America because he's an American, and was raised by patriots -- real patriots, not these jingoistic nationalist bastards running the Tea Party on a platform of hate and fear. But while Smallville, Kansas is his adopted hometown, he's got an entire damn adopted planet that he looks after. Truth, justice, and the American way -- when Supes is written well, he understands those principles to be in exactly that order. The Cold War is over, and America's "protector" no longer ignores the rest of the world -- especially not when there's so many non-Americans working for DC anyway!

  11. #11
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Europops
    he's got an entire damn adopted planet that he looks after.
    Jigga please, he ain't saved no African chil'ren or no ol' Japnesee people running from some o dem biiiiiig-ass waves.

  12. #12
    Cuddly little misanthropic hate machine
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Location: 4 doors down, bad side of town


    (And of course Lex doesn't do anything about it either.)

    Don't think the tsunami was ever in the comics -- DC makes a point of leaving out the really big disasters. They didn't even have 9/11, whereas Marvel had a whole Spiderman issue dedicated to it. Which is no surprise, if you want to complain about blatant Americanism, Spiderman's who you should be complaining about. Then again, that makes sense considering Spidey hasn't been written well in, uh... decades. DC's reasoning is that worse stuff happens all the time, everything from alien invasions to outright complete destruction of cities; to dedicate focus on real-life disasters would cheapen them and lessen their impact, and feel like pandering (which the Spiderman issue, uh, did. Fuck Spiderman. And fuck Marvel.) It also brings up the side issue of how to deal with these real-world issues -- does Aquaman or Superman show up to stop the tsunami? But that would make it feel fake and kind of disrespectful, wishful thinking, because the tsunami still hit the real-world Japan.

    One thing you have to remember too is that while Supes does indeed tend to focus a lot on threats to America -- he's an adopted American, after all -- that's because it's where he's most needed. He's not the only superhero, you know; Grant Morrison introduced the idea that in the southern hemisphere, Martian Manhunter is more well-known because he's the guy most likely to show up. And Geoff Johns introduced the fact that some nations want American/Western super heroes to stay out of their countries, which Green Lantern of course totally ignores because all of Earth is in his jurisdiction.
    Last edited by dethtoll; 23rd Jul 2012 at 16:26.

  13. #13
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Europops
    Superman.

    Serious business.


    In all seriousness though - very interesting. Spiderman is a great character in the comics though. It was one of the few that I read a fair bit as a kid. I always liked the wisecracks throughout fights.
    Last edited by SubJeff; 23rd Jul 2012 at 18:29. Reason: Wrong hero, wrong universe!

  14. #14
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Location: Canuckistan GWN
    Quote Originally Posted by Volitions Advocate View Post
    Although I did just finish reading Red Son, A take on what would happen if he landed 12 hours later in the Ukraine and Superman was a soviet. Very good read. I recommend it.
    I couldn`t find the video but here`s the transcript of the SNL skit on a similar twist.

  15. #15
    Cuddly little misanthropic hate machine
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Location: 4 doors down, bad side of town
    Quote Originally Posted by Subjective Effect View Post
    Superman.

    Serious business.

  16. #16
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Europops
    Where does he get those wonderful gifs?

  17. #17
    Member
    Registered: Jun 1999
    Location: Procrastination, Australia
    Quote Originally Posted by Volitions Advocate View Post
    This video pretty much sums up how I feel about supes:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PlwDbSYicM
    Jesus. It's on the money but, talk about showing off your Rolodex.

  18. #18
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    I'll watch this just because Nolan is producing it (and the teaser didn't look bad, kid running around in a cape aside), but Goyer is awful on his own and Snyder is a terrible director... i can't imagine anything worthwhile will come out of their teaming up.

  19. #19
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2008
    The problem with superman is he's fucking superman.

    Put supes in the same situation as batman in TDKR and he'd probably just round up all the bad guys using superspeed, throw them into the negative zone or some other bullshit and then fly the giant bomb into the sun. Again. At no point would he ever seem in danger, or even break a sweat. About the most threatening thing you can do when you're up against superman is make fucking sure superman never finds this fact out, because after that it's game over.

    Batman, we can empathise with: he's a guy in a suit. It's a high tech suit, and he's very well trained and massively rich, but he's still just some dude. We can put ourselves in his shoes, thinking "would I be prepared to do that?" and so on. Nolan's batman spends a fair amount of time out of the suit, too, which makes empathy even easier.

    Supes?

    "Hey, why am I even dodging these bullets lol"

    "O noes I'm in a pit" *flies out*

    The only people they can really put him up against are giant, planet destroying doom-monster types, or they find some handy macguffin that depowers him, then put him up against basically anything. But without powers he's not superman anyway, he's just an idealistic batman in a far more flamboyant outfit.

    He's dull. He's crushingly, crushingly dull. About the only interesting superman stories I've ever read are either

    A)the ones where he's filled with massive psychological angst about being just so fucking OP (and also an alien) -tellingly, those are the ones that make the most effort to engender empathy in the reader, since we've probably all felt like a bit of an outsider at some point.

    B)the ones where he "goes bad", because then at least it hits home how incredibly fucking stupidly dangerous he really is. I mean, if you look at the level of power he's supposed to have, vs the incidences of him "going bad", you pretty much have to agree with Luthor: the dude's just too fucking dangerous to be on this planet.


    So yeah, I'm not...optimistic about the movie.

    (Also, I saw the trailer at TDKR, and all I could think was "he's got contrails coming out of his feet! WHY DOES HE HAVE CONTRAILS COMING OUT OF HIS FEEET")
    Last edited by DDL; 24th Jul 2012 at 08:46.

  20. #20
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    I like the Donner Superman movie for its sense of fun; other than that I really just know the Superman stereotype - and Mark Millar's Red Son. I've almost only heard bad things about Millar, but Red Son is a great read: clever, intriguing, intelligent.

    Based on everything I know (which admittedly isn't much), I don't think Superman could be given the Nolan-style Batman treatment. I don't think you can put him into a realistic(ish) world without changing him so much he isn't Superman any more - and while you can deconstruct him as an icon, it still has to contend with the fact that he is an icon. I'm sure there are interesting Superman stories to be told (if Red Son is anything to go by), but I think they'd be very different from Nolan's Batman films.

    Which isn't saying that Nolan couldn't do an interesting Superman movie, if he put his mind to it. They'd just be in a different fictional universe IMO.

  21. #21
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    I think all Superman really needs is a good whack with the nerf-bat. He can still fly around and be really fast, really strong, and virtually invulnerable without being absurd.

  22. #22
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Dunno - I can imagine interesting stories that can be told around the character. Being invulnerable isn't the same as automatically always winning or doing the right thing. E.g. stories about survivor's guilt, in more than one way; Supes as the only (?) survivor of the destruction of Krypton, and him, in spite of all his powers, not managing to save XYZ.

  23. #23
    The Alchemist
    Guest
    All I took from that cartoon clip was that Superman suddenly decided not to give a fuck and killed a ton of people in the crossfire/collateral damage.

  24. #24
    Member
    Registered: Jun 1999
    Location: Procrastination, Australia
    Quote Originally Posted by DDL View Post
    (Also, I saw the trailer at TDKR, and all I could think was "he's got contrails coming out of his feet! WHY DOES HE HAVE CONTRAILS COMING OUT OF HIS FEEET")
    Probably not contrails yasee. Probably still BS, but slightly less so for it.

  25. #25
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Europops
    Quote Originally Posted by DDL View Post
    (Also, I saw the trailer at TDKR, and all I could think was "he's got contrails coming out of his feet! WHY DOES HE HAVE CONTRAILS COMING OUT OF HIS FEEET")
    As I read this all I could think was "who the hell notices AND THEN cares about this?"

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