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Man Of Sears

June 20th, 2013

It’s odd to find myself being outflanked in defending Superman. While Man of Steel was not my vision of Superman, I did appreciate it as a well-made film. I was certain that the comics community would embrace its grimmer aspects, just as they’ve taken to their bosom Christopher Nolan’s movie trilogy, Batman: The Dark, Dark Knight Darkens. To my surprise, the prevailing attitude appears to be one which cherishes the ideal of Superman and finds it lacking here. If so, good; perhaps the next film will be advertised “You will believe that a Man of Steel can be fun.”

Some stray observations that didn’t make it into my initial review:

I enjoyed many of the scenes set on Krypton, which suggested more of a John Carter planetary romance than the sterile environment of the Donner films. Loved the moment when Jor-El, Action Scientist! leapt onto the back of a dragon and soared off. For one second, I thought that we might even see a Kryptonian Thought-Beast. Sadly, that proved delusional.

While the business with Zod’s revolt and the theft of the Codex initially struck me as needless complications to Superman’s origin story, I thought that they paid off well enough in terms of theme and character motivation that I was willing to forgive them. That said, I did feel that they robbed the film of one of the iconic images of the Superman mythology: Jor-El and Lara standing hand-in-hand as the rocket carrying their infant son lifts off.

One thing that I didn’t mind at all was the change to the Lois & Clark dynamic. (SPOILER) Having Lois track down the identity of this mysterious hero from the start established her credibility as a major journalist and dispensed with the usual complaints about her alleged inability to realize that Clark Kent is just Superman with glasses.* Lois Lane, Superman’s Confidante is something that the comics eventually got to; Man of Steel¬†simply skipped over the intermediate part. (END SPOILER)

I’m glad to see that the long history of Superman and product placement was honored. I now know that if I want to be thrown through a building by a villainous Kryptonian, Sears, 7-11 and IHOP are the places to go. In recognition of this legacy, please enjoy this .gif that I made of the classic Super-moment when Richard Pryor uncovered an inexplicable Kentucky Fried Chicken bag.

*Which is bullshit anyway. In the comics, Lois constantly suspected that Clark was Superman. It’s just that Superman always managed to trick her with contradictory evidence.

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