Man of Steel changed a few things about Superman, and here’s what they got wrong.
It’s a fact that has stood since the dawn of superhero movies. Movies will always change the character in some ways, and comic book fanatics will always slam the films for doing so.
The best-written movies will always have it happen, so it’s not just the bad movies that get something wrong. Face it, if the films stuck to the comics, the movies would be ridiculous and predictable, and probably teeming with bad acting as they verge on downright boring. If Iron Man had stuck to the comic books, Robert Downey Jr. would probably have had to act like he’s extremely uninteresting, and the movies would have tanked.
There is a line that needs to be crossed when comic books are adapted to the big screen. If the true origins make it boring or impossible to film within the budget, the origins will be changed. If Batman had stayed true to the comics, Christopher Nolan’s series wouldn’t have ended after three movies, and Arkham Asylum would have gotten more of a focus.
The same stands with Man of Steel. Comic book characters on the most part tend to be uninteresting, especially if they have to live up to a code of conduct. And few superheroes have a tighter code of conduct than Superman.
There will be spoilers ahead, so read on only if you haven’t seen the film or don’t mind spoilers.
In the end, Superman beats General Zod by destroying things better and putting an entire city at risk. That’s not like the comic book hero at all, in that up to this point, the man of steel would never put others’ lives at risk. He would kill himself to save a kitten from a tree.
Then when all is said and done, Superman kills General Zod. In the comics, the man of steel never kills. It’s against his code as a role model for Earth’s people. Yes, he feels conflicted about it and needs Lois Lane to tell him it’ll be alright, but Superman has never killed even his most powerful, most evil adversaries.
How do you feel toward what Man of Steel got wrong about Superman? Do you think Superman’s new-found moral ambiguities make him a stronger character as a result?