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Apex Blog: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?

As you all know (I presume), I've been a fan of Superman since I was four years old. Last month, I was very excited to see Man of Steel, and I've been thinking about it a lot ever since.

I think I've finally managed to arrange my thoughts about the concerns I have with the film in a coherent form.

See my latest post on the Apex Blog, linked to below.

Apex Blog: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?

Wayback Machine Archive: Apex Blog: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?


Going to a different movie by about a different hero from a different media company, I was surprised when I finally got to see Captain America because Cap had a similar dilemma on his missions regarding life or death, though writ on a much smaller scale. I've never seen Cap use a gun before. It made sense in terms of wartime but it was still a departure.
I got spoiled fairly early, and after seeing a lot of the reactions to MoS - especially Mark Waid's - I did something I never thought I would: I stayed home. Your review only reinforces my decision. It breaks my heart to skip a movie with a hero i love, but I just didn't feel like giving my money for this sort of "hero."

This was further brought home by Pacific Rim. There is a moment at the start of the film which gets to the core of the hero of that movie and also says he IS a hero. The sort of hero that MoS doesn't let Supes be. This might be one reason I liked Pacific Rim far more than a rather standard (if imaginative and well-assembled) live action anime deserves.
I am sorry that MoS didn't hold up for you. I'm an outlier. I always liked Superman in the comics, the original TV series, and was even entertained by Lois & Clark. However, I've never liked the Chris Reeve films, nor Superman Returns. It was pretty much a given that I wouldn't (and won't) be seeing MoS.

I've always thought that the ultimate Boy Scout would be very hard to make work in the movies (I was never a Scout, but I was a scout leader). What worked for me in the comics and two TV series was that, while Clark Kent was "mild-mannered", he wasn't an absolute pushover, and in fact, often showed himself to be a bit tougher in character than Superman. Supes could be a goody-goody because he could do all those neat physical things, whereas Clark had to hide the powers, but compensated with strength of character and a degree of certitude always balanced against the possibility of his secret identity being discovered. (I've always held that Clark is not Superman's secret identity, but vice versa.)

I had the same concerns about Captain America, but thought his movie and Avengers did a good job of balancing his naivety and dogged patriotism with a realistic depiction of someone realizing that his worldview is wildly divergent from the majority of Americans. Yet, he started to learn from his experiences, and to make compromises to get the job done, but still being true to his core values. The filmed Superman hasn't managed that.

December 2016

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