ByKatie Granger, writer at
MP Staff Writer, come to bargain.
Katie Granger

So, let's talk Man of Steel for a second. Whether you loved it or hated it there's no denying it. Because Man of Steel was the kickstarter to the entire DC Cinematic Universe, as well as the first steps taken by the DCCU Superman / Clark Kent / Kal-El (Henry Cavill) into our world.

Now one of the big criticisms about Man of Steel is the way in which the character development was handled, specifically in terms of the destruction brought down upon Metropolis during the climatic battle between Superman and General Zod (Michael Shannon) which ends with Superman breaking Zod's neck - an incredibly un-Superman like thing to do.

But there is method to this madness, and it sets up a very different Superman from the one we've known and loved from the comics and shows that came before Man of Steel. It also has a big impact on the Superman we're going to see in [Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice](tag:711870).

But it's not just Superman getting the DCCU treatment. We've known for a while now that Ben Affleck's Batman is going to be a different figure than the one we've known and loved thus far in the films, a darker take on the character drawn from Frank Miller's iconic The Dark Knight Returns.

There's nothing wrong with changing up the character in the translation from page to screen, in fact it's essential. Just look at the way Marvel Studios have handed it. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a massive success, but whilst they draw from themes, characters and narrative from the comics everything is retooled in order to fit into the dynamic space of the cinema.

Both the Marvel and DC comic book universes are massive, convoluted and steeped in decades of character development and history, rebooted and retconned to the point where they begin eating their own tails.

There's multiple versions of almost every character in the DC universe with different origins and personalities; so though long time Superman fans may not have liked the alterations made to the character it does make sense to strike out as a new definitive version of the hero who has been flying around in the popular imagination since the 1930s.

This is what writer David S. Goyer and director Zack Synder intended to do for Man of Steel. Whether or not you thought it worked is a polarising issue, but the reasoning behind the decision makes a lot of sense. As Goyer put it:

"You have to do what's right for the story. In that instance, this was a Superman who had only been Superman for like, a week. He wasn't Superman as we think of him in the DC Comics... If you take Superman out of it, what's the right way to tell that story?"
with constipation faces apparently
with constipation faces apparently

Not only does this explain the events of Man of Steel, it also sets Superman up nicely for the way his character will develop over the events of Batman vs Superman. Living with the weight of not only being a part of causing the massive destruction during the final fight but also knowing that you killed what may have been the last other surviving member of your race is a huge moral burden to bear, which syncs up with what Goyer was saying:

"The moral, horrible situation to be in is to actually be forced to kill, not wanting to, the only other person from your race. Take Superman aside, I think that's the right way to tell that story."

Of course, taking Superman aside doesn't make a lot of sense given that it was a Superman movie, but the rest of it checks out. The trailer for Batman vs Superman does show Superman facing up to the consequences of his actions with a fairly sober demeanor, not to mention a pretty pissed off Batfleck.

From what we've heard so far it looks likely that the handling of the two characters in Batman vs Superman might be able to win back affection from those fans who were turned off by Man of Steel, and so it's shaping up to be a pretty affecting blockbuster when it releases in the US on March 25th 2016.


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