Saturday, July 13, 2013

Man of Steel | A Half-Hearted Defence

Alright, it's been long enough. I think we can discuss this without upsetting anybody who planned on seeing the new Superman movie. As an added precaution, *Spoiler-Free* nerd beef with Man of Steel first:

In a flashback, little Clark wore a red towel like a cape and ran around with a dog. Without Superman in this universe since 1938, WHO THE HELL WAS HE PLAYING? Captain Marvel? A fictional superhero? Is this Watchmen, and superheroes were never popular comic tropes replaced by pirates? I know Superman wasn't the first superhero. Batman alone predated his publication by a full year. But if the child-wearing-a-cape-superhero trope every existed, it existed because of Superman. End of story.


Now: *SPOILERY BITS*

Squinting because he's looking into a Lens Flare.


Superman gets his powers from a combination of Earth's yellow sun and gravity, and–more oddly–its atmosphere.

Apparently the yellow light powers him up a bit, but it's the gravity that makes him proportionately stronger and faster: Krypton is far more massive than Earth, so despite being the same approximate size as humans, Kryptonians are more rugged, denser, more resilient creatures. Fine.

Flight is also apparently possible, I imagine along the same mechanics as a mastery of one's bioelectrical field in conjunction with stated weaker gravity. Fine.

But the atmosphere is somehow important?

As a baby, Clark apparently had trouble breathing. But he adapted and is fine now. Bring him back into a Kryptonian environment and he hypoventilates, vomits blood, and then passes out. Not good. Cellular breakdown from toxins in the atmosphere, I guess. Alright, plausible. Same thing happens to Zod/other Kryptonians on Earth. Okay, at least that's internally consistent. Zod even adapts quicker than Kal-El, and even makes a point to note that as a bred soldier, he'd be able to. Thanks for the exposition, I agree.

But then once Supes is adapted enough to be conscious and not blood-spitting on the alien spacecraft, he still has no powers. None. No resiliency.

What? So that yellow sunlight is basically working on his cells, which are the least efficient solar batteries ever. They store now energy. His mitochondria must not exist, replaced by some alien organelle. By this logic, Superman is powerless without direct sunlight. He's a plant. And a lousy one at that. He should go into a coma every night. Or what if Kyrptonians simply have extra mitochondria that work only in the presence of direct solar stimulation? At least then he could move, but he'd still be powerless at night, just like his (Kevin-Conroy voiced!) Venture Brothers parody.


Oh yeah, and Superman has no issue with bystander casualties. Don't harp about that or killing Zod. He had to to save innocents, after so many were killed already. Superman used to kill recklessly back in the day. This horrible invasion, as the producers rightly said, explain easily why from now on Superman would refuse to kill and work tirelessly to save every single life.




Short version:

Man of Steel is a poor rendition of Superman, and the pacing makes it a pretty crumby origin story, actually.

However it's a fun as hell super-brawler, and that's all anyone should ever expect from Zack Snyder for any reason.

Also, Jor-El and Zod pretty much acknowledge that the surpersuit is the Kryptonian equivalent of longjohns. Everybody has them under normal clothes and even armor. So even without the red underpants, Supes is still sporting his jockeys on the outside.

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