Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Man of Steel

My friends who have noticed that all I ever seem to draw lately outside of my Fiverr commissions are women thought it was a cheat that the male portrait I recently did was in a mask asked me to do one without a disguise. Since the last one was of Batman, I thought it made sense that I draw Superman especially since I'm hyped for the upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice movie.
I admit, among the comicbook superheroes I've read as a kid I'm not as much a fan of Superman as I am of Batman or Spider-man or even the X-Men but since the only memorable comic-based film before the Tim Burton/Michael Keaton Batman was the Superman movie with Christopher Reeve, I did look forward to Man of Steel when it came out.
Despite so much bad review from movie critics and comic fans, I actually enjoyed Man of Steel. I think it made a lot of sense that Warner Bros would take a more mature, serious route after the string of successes of Marvel-based movies from Disney that shared almost the same family-friendly tone as the Superman films of the Chris Reeve era. After all, if this is to be the jumping off point towards their own unified cinematic universe, doing it exactly Disney would attract an endless barrage of "copycat" comments from haters and Marvel fanboys.
I loved almost everything about the movie, the real world, first contact aspect to the story, Lois Lane doing some investigative journo, the big action sequences and the fact that we get to see Superman go head to head with powers beyond what the military can handle easily. The only thing that I thought they could have done away with was killing off Jonathan Kent again. I like how in the pre- New 52 comics Mr. Kent was alive and contributes greatly to Clark's personality, in how he is more morally grounded and more hopeful than most superheroes.
In the Superman 2 movie in 1980, Superman's battle with Zod ended with Kal-El stripping his powers away at the Fortress of Solitude then tossing him into a solid wall of crystal and ice 30 feet across the room and Zod falls into an icy abyss. Despite Christopher Reeve claiming in an interview that no one dies in his series, it's pretty clear that Zod and his kryptonian cohorts did. What's worse about it was Superman did it with a triumphant smirk, when he didn't even have to hurt them much less murder them when they could no longer fight back anyway, and before the movie ends he goes on to beat up a mere human trucker with his superhuman strength to get back at him when he got bullied as a powerless Clark Kent.
I like that in Man of Steel, there was clearly no other way to protect earth and humans when he is outmatched by Zod's fighting skills as a born and bred warrior and he is hell bent on destroying the world and the act traumatized him. The argument thet "Superman doesn't kill" doesn't mean he wouldn't but he would only as a last resort just as it was for Doomsday.
With all the destruction left in the wake of Zod's invasion, I'm glad that Batman v Superman would show that beings with power are going to be held accountable for the collateral damage. And after all the waiting, I'm ready to see the DC Trinity finally sharing screen time together. I may have read a lot more Marvel comics as a kid with X-Men, Spider-man and Fantastic 4 but there just isn't anything between Marvel and DC that's quite as iconic Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman.
On a side note, while I was watching "The Count of Monte Cristo" in the theatre all those years ago, I thought Jim Caviezel would have been great as Superman, had a little chuckle that years later, his kid in that movie would actually be donning those tights instead.

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