Recently there has been a big controversy that stems from the Man Of Steel movie, does Superman kill and why did they allow it to happen in the movie. As one of the last fight scenes in the movie Zod and Superman are locked a titanic battle. Zod blames Superman for destroying his purpose for living, the restoration of Krypton. Superman destroys the machine that was turning earth into the new Krypton. It was transforming the world into a version of Krypton that would kill the 6 billion living there now. After a long fight Superman has a head lock on Zod as he threatens to destroy a family with his heat vision and inches toward the family Superman snaps his neck therefore killing Zod. As Zod lays on the ground dead with his eyes still glowing from his attempt to kill the family Superman yells out in anguish from what he did then goes to his knees and is comforted by Lois. Because of the graphic nature of what happened many people who think they know the Superman character said Superman does not kill.
Well that is not entirely true, he has killed in the past. One that comes to mind was Superman #22 written by John Byrne in 1988. Left with what he thought was no choice Superman after they destroyed 5 billion people in the world of the pocket universe, Superman pronounced the death sentence of the General Zod and his cohorts of that Phantom Zone and killed all three with the Green Kryptonite of that world which had no effect on him. This haunted him for years but it is part of Superman story. Many people including myself were shocked by this but accepted the premise because there was no one else left living to judge the act and Superman was not going to bring back these dangerous criminals back to his world because they had the potential of killing all who live on his earth.
Moreover in 1980 in Superman 2 the movie Zod is rendered powerless and his hand crushed by Superman then he throws him to his certain death against the ice and he falls into a crevasse in the ice everyone presumes to die. I left the theater confused then angered by what I saw. I don’t remember any great outcry at that time at all. This was not as graphic at the Man Of Steel movie but the same none the less.
Since that in Superman 75 “The Death of Superman” in 1992 there were 2 deaths that day the other one beside Superman was the killing machine Doomsday. Although both cheated death later no one called Superman on doing what he had to do to save lives. Sometimes in life death is inevitable and when you have beings that powerful it is very likely to happen sometimes. Superman could rule the world by his power alone but he chooses not to because he is not here to rule but help mankind and he respects life in all forms and I saw nothing in the Man Of Steel movie to change my mind about that. Superman saved lives and had to match power for power to stop Zod and his Phantom Zone survivors. The destruction of the major cities and Smallville was collateral damage in that fight to save the world from overwhelming alien power and technological superiority. Some critics did not like the destruction and went on about how it was a real problem for them and these same people gave the Avengers movie a pass for almost destroying New York City and the fact that the government agent heads almost bombed Manhattan Island with a nuke. Just what do you think happens with alien invaders come to take over the world.
In all fairness the Marvel movies have death and destruction and the DC movies have death and destruction. As far as the fanboys saying Superman does not kill they are wrong it is just a last resort and like all killing in a sane world should be rare. It was a hard hitting modern depiction of Superman. Yes we are not in Kansas any more Toto, and not in the land of OZ but in the world of superheros. Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound! Look, up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Superman! Yes, it’s Superman, strange visitor from another planet, who came to Earth with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men. Superman, who can change the course of mighty rivers, bend steel in 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.
I saw nothing in Man Of Steel to take away from the first and greatest of heroes Superman and I for one am ready to see more movies like this about the DC superheroes. It has been a long time in coming and I think the comic and movie fans are the winners here. Stay tuned comic and movie faithful for more. 🙂 Walt