Zach Snyder did a great many things right when he tackled the Superman Reboot. A few of these things being that he dealt with the origin story when it was needed. By this I mean we didn't get over an hour at the start of becoming Superman but instead Snyder decided to show us the past when it was pertinent and drove the storyline forward. One of the other things he did was take the Richard Donner franchise and Nolanise it, then changing it up again by Snyderising it. In the process though he showed another side to the character that made me sit back and ask the question...
Superman, Hero or Villian???
I walked out of the cineplex after seeing this flick thinking "holy crap, that movie was really dark". It was epic but it was also bloody scary... Why did I feel this way??
Snyder decided to shine a light on something that no other supes movie seemed to be clued into and that was the fact that Superman is essentially an alien. Till now he has been pretty much portrayed as the invincible do-gooder from another world, someone we were always so quick to accept, but in Man Of Steel we are reminded from the word go that this Super Man is not not of our world and that we should rightly fear someone like this. I mean how much trust can we put in a man who essentially destroys his own race...
Let me clarify my point above... When Krypton is on the brink of extinction and pretty much unsaveable, Jor El decides to do what any other selfish Kryptonian father would do and that is to save his son. Zod comes to the council with a way of saving their race. Sure, it means taking over another planet in a sort of terraforming way but come on, is that not what we as human kind have been trying to do anyway?
"You can't tell me if space exploration really happened for us we wouldn't try to colonize one of these planets when we could, sort of like Avatar or Aliens (as least James Cameron got that part right..." Bloody Unobtainium).
Back to my point.. Zod has a way to save there race but yes it throws up all kinds of moral issues. That's when Jor El "The Scientist" (surely a true scientist would hear Zod out) sends his son Kal into space with the weird half skull thing that holds the key to Krypton's survival, and banishes Zod in their penis pods. What better way to punish him than sending him and his homies to the phantom zone, essentially saving there lives while the rest of them die on the planet "yeah good thinking".
We get some great Snyder storytelling from here till the point Clark Kent is all like "I have Daddy issues" and starts to find out just who he actually is. Round about this time the world is discovering there is an alien among us. How does the military respond? With all the tanks and artilary they can muster and arrest the man. Even Perry White is vocal about his objections to the story of an alien amongst them. Was it not Lex (although not introduced in Man of Steel) who always said trusting this alien was a sign of insanity.
Why??? I will tell you. The thought of one of these things among us is scary. Why is he here??? What does he want??? THEN BOOM...
ZOD is back. He wants to survive his kind, he wants to bring Krypton back but the key, as I said before lies within Kal El, so what does he do???. First, let me tell you what he doesn't do. He doesn't lay waste to the earth in an effort to find Kal, he doesn't go around killing people willy nilly. In fact, the worst thing he does is take over TV and phone communications to send out a message asking the people of earth to hand Kal over. Okay its a tad freaky but in this message he explains who he is, where he comes from and what he wants. Whereas the only other alien on Earth is hiding all this from us (not very heroic). How does Kal respond? He thinks "oh crap, I'm exposed" and only then does he come out of hiding. He confronts Zod who, remember at this point is hoping for a peaceful resolution. Okay it may include some terraforming of Earth, but who knows it might be swell being Kryptonian slaves.
He basically starts the fight with him and what ensues is a massive amount of property damage and civilian collateral casualties all because Kal doesn't want to share (like father like son huh? Selfish...) which ends with Supes snapping the neck of Zod (again, not very heroic) You must also remember at this point Zod is the only other Kryptoninan we know of so yeah while he...may or may not
have saved us humans (Zod's intentions where never overly clear) he killed the only known last of his kind, destroyed half of Metropolis and the countless civilians watching the Matrix Revolutions style fight. Then what does he do? Fades into the background, puts some specs on and becomes Clark Kent again.
So, I ask you all, who is the real hero in Man of Steel, Superman or Zod???... Zod wanted to preserve his kind in the same way we as humans would try to if we faced that kind of extinction but Superman decides to take him out before he can. Even though we don't know his full plans.... Yeah okay you had that scene about building on the bones of the dead but I always felt he was implying this would happen if Supes didnt give himself over. And did Zod actually kill anyone???.
It really comes down to your own perception of this version of events but I for one don't think I would trust Superman or Kal El or Clark Kent what ever his name is...
If he destroys his own kind in favour of another who knows what he will do when he grows weary of us... Fear not my friends for in 2016 Batfleck will take him down or team up cause you know what they say "if you cant beat umm.."
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