How I Would Have Done Man of Steel

Before I even begin, let me say for the record, I loved Man of Steel. LOVED. I don’t think it was for everyone. Why? Well, every fan and writer has a different interpretation of who they think is their Superman. Whether it’s Donner’s, Lois & Clark (God, I hope not), Smallville or Grant Morrison, there’s a version of Superman for everyone. As long as at his core, he stands for 3 important things. I am sure there were viewers who can’t let go of Reeve’s and refuse to accept Henry Cavill. For me, it was like letting go that Michael Keaton was ever Batman, after seeing Bale. And if you’re Mark Waid, you can’t accept he wasn’t the one you penned.

Zac Snyder and David Goyer’s was my vision. Someone who is intimidating in look and stature, but with a level of charm and innocence you can trust. Which was something I felt had been lacking since the Donner days. I never once thought in Returns, Superman really cared about anything other than Lois. I found Superman Returns even more surprising with Smallville on the air at the time. At least in that show Clark duked it out with Meteor freaks and had a shred of compassion for humanity.

Without this being a review because everyone with a blog has done it, I did like the First Encounter approach they took. This wasn’t just a Super Hero Origin. This was an epic Sci Fi story of What Ifs. What if an alien lived among us, looked like us, but had godlike powers. It’s an idea that was always there, but Goyer finally put it front and center. This wasn’t just a Superman who saved a damsel in distress and cat from a tree. This was someone people will be on the fence for years to come.

But as much as I enjoyed Man of Steel, there are things I would have done differently.

SPOILERS WILL APPLY

I think the movie had its share of flaws, sure. Nothing is perfect.  Most of my winces were mainstays in the books since I started reading as a kid. I think they took some liberties I wasn’t too crazy about, but this is a new era. Lois is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist. How could she not piece it together?  But moving forward, why couldn’t anyone else? What is stopping Lex Luthor, the most brilliant mind in the world, from not solving who Superman is during the day? Or Perry White for that matter. The formula, for forever and a day, was Clark Kent worked the Planet first THEN revealed himself to the world. Like I said, minor. I can deal with this execution.

So if I loved Man of Steel so much, why would I do anything differently?

Well, for starters, I started to wrap my head around Superman when Mark Waid launched Birthright. I knew why Superman was cool, but also, what made him relevant today. This pealed the onion that is Clark Kent and the center that’s Kal-El. I especially love his take on the bumbling klutz. I will defend Clark’s disguise works 100%. Just bummed we didn’t get to see that side of him in this movie. I think this is where all that humor people expected to see would shine….don’t ask me why it was an issue with people to begin with.

Alright, so my Superman flick would be much like Birthright. Clark  is doing his thing. Traveling the world. Honing his powers while saving people whenever and wherever he can. At one point, he has settled in a village, where he feels he can do a lot of good, but eventually the towns people are constantly burdening him with problems. Remember, he’s not Superman yet, nor does he have an alter ego, so people know his address. With this level of stress, he leaves. And without totally ripping off Iron Man, Clark would notice an abundance of weapons he sees all over are coming from one place: Luthor Corp. This would be a large part of the First Act and would pay off for the rest of the film.

It’s from that moment, Clark knows he needs an alter ego, a disguise. I don’t think we need a moment between Clark and a Priest to hint, yeah, he’s a lot like Christ, but with a lot of doubts. Here we would have people begging Clark to make miracles happen constantly and he knows, flat out, he can’t. Of course he would feel guilty for up and leaving this village overnight, but here we’d know that even Superman has his limits and can’t save everyone from everything. I believe they illustrated this well in Donner’s film. Don’t do for others what they couldn’t do for themselves. 

And learning most mayhem is manufactured at Luthor Corp is why he stays in Metropolis. This is something they never really explained. In the comics, Superman is always planted in one city and it’s only when he’s kicking it back with the League, does he go global. Since this is film, and a Superman solo film at that, I think it’s important to establish this reasoning. We know why someone like Batman stays in Gotham, but this is SUPERMAN. Why wouldn’t he be on a Quest for World Peace?

And finally, I probably would have kept Clark’s secret from Lois. I get she’s a Pulitzer Prized reporter, but at the same time, Clark is an alien with an abundance of amazing super powers and experience. He’s fooled people his whole life. I would have liked to see him shine with the Nerdy Disguise. Sure, Lois would be on to him, but it be funny to see Superman be one step ahead.  You could even say, his ability to fool everyone is just one more special ability.

All in all, I’m satisfied with how Man of Steel panned out. I’m very interested to see where they go from here. Cavill embodies Superman physically and mentally. He has charisma and compassion. He’ll definitely shine in front of the League and most likely, STEAL the show. Get what I just did there??

So what do you think? Agree? Disagree? Would like to see my idea in the next reboot? Or were you okay with how Goyer and Synder did it? More importantly, who’s your idea Superman (film, animation or comic)

Posted in : Comics, Movies

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