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Superman Is Not The Bad Guy

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Pictured: Not the Bad Guy

I don’t want to step on the toes of my esteemed colleague, but one of the things that the release of Batman vs. Superman has brought (along with some truly scathing reviews from journalists now released from their NDA) is more information about how “visionary director” Zack Snyder sees the world. And this information needs to be shared, because it’s legitimately scary.

We already knew from the reaction to Man of Steel that Snyder thinks that Superman needed to kill in order to learn that killing was wrong. This is news to me; I thought that perhaps one could figure that out from basic empathy or perhaps reasoning by extrapolation rather than direct experience. But according to an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Superman killing is ok because:

I went, really? And I said, well, what about [Star Wars: Episode VII—The Force Awakens]? In Star Wars they destroy five planets with billions of people on them. That’s gotta be one of the highest death toll movies in history, the new Star Wars movie, if you just do the math.

This is genuinely bizarre for two reasons. First, Snyder seems to think that we’re mad at him personally for killing fictional people, when the problem people had is that he didn’t film Superman trying to save anyone. Second, in The Force Awakens, the “they” who are destroying entire planets are bad guys, and shown as such:

And while I can’t believe I have to say this, but Superman is not the bad guy, he’s the good guy. One of the ways we tell bad guys from good guys in movies is that good guys try to rescue people. Superman especially is known for it – in his first appearance in Action Comics #1, he saves a guy who’s on death row from being unjustly executed; in his first film appearance in 1978, he saves Lois Lane from a helicopter crash.

But hey, I hear there’s a book that explains that altruism is for losers.

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  • I held off from spoilers for BvS in case someone who enjoys self-harm wants to go see the movie, but the way that Snyder has responded to criticisms about collateral damage is hilarious.

    • Murc

      I’m planning on seeing it, and I’m at least cautiously optimistic about… parts of it?

      I’ve been told that Affleck got extensive rewrite privileges on the Batman-related segments, and that gives me hope because Ben Affleck actually does know what he’s doing; he’s an excellent writer and director and based on his oeuvre I think he might be able to handle Batman well.

      But when it comes to Superman, what I’m expecting is to get from BvS is the same mistake a lot of people make; namely, I’m expecting Snyder to crib heavily from the portrayal of Superman in Dark Knight Returns without actually understanding the nuances of that portrayal, which is of a man trying like hell to not get anyone killed.

      • erick

        Yeah, i think Affleck has limited range as an actor, but in the right parts he is fine. Gone Girl for example, I read that Jon Hamm was up for it at one point and that wouldn’t have worked because I don’t think you could ever buy him as that dumb.

        As a director he has been very good and I think a Batman vs Suoerman movie directed by him with a different actor as batman could be very good

        • Pseudonym

          Have you seen 30 Rock?

          • erick

            Yeah, Kimmy Schmidt too, but those are over the top comedy, not sure he could come e across as stupid in a straight dramatic role

            • wjts

              Don Draper never struck me as particularly bright, honestly.

              • erick

                Self destructive, but I always thought he came across as the smartest guy in the room, with the exception of Cooper, who used his goofy persona to hide that he was generally two steps ahead of everyone else

                • wjts

                  When the other guys in the room are Paul Kinsey, Ken Cosgrove, and Pete Campbell, that’s not saying much.

            • Heron

              Forget comedies; have you see him just being himself in real life? His heart’s in the right place, but the man’s about as sharp as a bag of hammer. I saw him on Real Time once while I was flipping through channels, stopped hoping to see Maher get one of his moronic argument eviscerated, and this guy just… did not do well. It was embarrassing to watch. Hamm ain’t that smart.

      • Er…It’s hard to see much of Superman in DKR in what anyone’s said about BvS. The key factor about Superman there is that he “sold out”. He is (literally) a soldier. He gave it up to get peace for the other supers as well as still do good. That is, he is *already* controlled there.

        And, he says that Batman was the prompt for human control whereas, afaict, in BvS, Batman is trying to control Superman (i.e., superman is the threat).

        I mean, I guess it’s ok to switch things around, but neither has given in which is the key dynamic (the compromiser vs. the non.)

        (Also, I don’t see that he’s trying like hell not to get ANYONE killed. He clearly kills soldiers (the tank, the planes). He’s not as ridiculously powerful in DKR (e.g., he has trouble redirecting the missile) as he sometimes is. But he doesn’t, e.g., destroy the tanks and planes leaving the soldiers unharmed.)

      • Sly

        The early reviews I’ve seen all praise Affleck.

        I’m going into BvS like I went into Ant-Man – maintaining low expectations in the hopes of being pleasantly surprised.

        • Murc

          Ant-Man surprised the fuck out of me.

          I went in expecting to hate it and then it turned out to actually be really goddamn good.

          • I blame Paul Rudd.

            Dude fucked up fucking it up! I mean, the studio did what it good with the ridiculous main character, terrible villain, wildly stupid and inconsistent science, and embaressingly stereotyped sidekicks. Heck, they even cgi deaged/uncanny valleyed Douglas in a vain attempt to achieve the deserved level of suck. And then Rudd comes in and fucks it all up. Sheesh.

            • Sly

              I don’t know what it is about Paul Rudd. He’s too… eagerly-sweet-but-utterly-hapless-male-lead-in-a-rom-com for me. Which is exactly what he was in Ant-Man! But it worked somehow.

            • CP
            • tsam

              Paul Rudd is what makes those Apatow romantic comedies tolerable since I’ve had quite enough of Rogen.

        • Mayur

          I expected Ant-Man to be pretty good, actually. The trailers *do* tell you something about the end product, and Ant-Man’s made it sound smart as much as BvS’s makes it sound very, very dumb.

          Sadly, my early read of Civil War is less optimistic.

          • Captain Splendid

            Seeing as Millar has a track record of his work being improved in the transition to screen, I’m not worried.

          • Philip

            I’m excited for Civil War, because even in the very worst case, I get to see Robert Downey Jr Tony Stark get punched a lot.

    • NonyNony

      Have you seen it or are you going to see it?

      And if so, can we get a spoiler filled review with associated political commentary?

      Because I’m not planning on seeing it anytime soon but would like to hear your thoughts.

      (Rewatched Man of Steel the other week and decided that I’d wait on this one until the reviews came out. Saw the reviews and have decided I’ll wait until I can get it out of the library. The only part of this movie I’m at all hopeful for is Gal Godot’s Wonder Woman – and I’m more hopeful for her movie than I am for her appearances in this one I guess.)

      • I don’t know if I’m that much of a masochist. Check out Moviebob’s review, that should do it for ya.

        • tsam

          I’m willing to overlook some of that stupidity to see the spectacle of this iteration of Batman.

          The fight scene in the trailer (Batman vs armed thugs) was just amazing.

          I didn’t like Man of Steel either. I am a bit thrilled for Wonder Woman, though. Haven’t seen her since the ’70s, and I think the woman playing her is going to crush it.

          • medrawt

            I decided I wasn’t going to see this in theaters some time ago, but that Batman fight scene in the trailer gave me some pause, because it looks very much like it would have to be the best live action Batman fight scene ever filmed, what with SHOWING BATMAN ABLE TO MOVE AND JUMP AND TURN HIS HEAD AND STUFF.

            • tsam

              And the Nolan films sort of melted the fight scenes together–you don’t see Bale/Batman doing is Slow-Fu, you just see his arms come up and people fall. The perspective is almost like you’re one of the combatants. This one has the omniscient perspective that I enjoy most.

              This scene was just incredible. That final punch that slams the guy’s melon into the floor, got a FUCK YEAH out of me. The armored suit with the lighted eye sockets was awful cool. Also when he’s flying in the wing and gritting his teeth while dealing was pretty cool. I like Batman and I think they nailed this one.

              • medrawt

                My joke is that one of the things that makes Batman Begins the best Nolan Batman is that it justifies Nolan’s habitual clumsiness with fight scenes by making it part of the movie’s thematic fabric, what with the use of stealth and confusion being highlighted as elements of Batman’s power (itself tying into how frightening he is, and the whole movie is about fear …) – whereas in The Dark Knight it’s just back to being clumsy.

        • Awesome review!

        • tsam

          FUCK

          • Sly

            Cheer up. He liked it better than he liked Pixels.

            • tsam

              I can’t believe that guy can keep that pace of talking. I’m pretty sure I’d turn blue and fall down if I tried that.

              • The trick is he speaks normally and then speeds it up in post.

                /kidding

  • witlesschum

    The Force Awakens was really incompetent on the point of telling us what exactly was being blown up and didn’t even try to make anyone care. Star Wars did the whole “It’s as if millions of people suddenly cried out” thing, as well as showing us Princess Leia as her home is destroyed.

    Abrams and Snyder are both bad at these things, but in their own unique ways.

    • Sure, but at least Abrams understands that the people blowing up the planet are the bad guys!

    • NonyNony

      Hey – at least Abrams had no doubt about who the heroes of his movie were and who the villains were.

      One comment I made after leaving the Force Awakens was that at least Abrams knew that the guys who would brainwash children into a way of life should be the bad guys and not, you know, the Jedi Council. That alone put him a leg up over Lucas in my book.

      • Murc

        I feel like I should defend the Jedi Council, who are trying their level best to raise children who are going to have literal planet-rending powers at their command to not fuck it up and turn evil. The one time they made an exception and took in someone who was older than they usually allowed admittance to, that dude turned evil and murdered billions.

        • NonyNony

          Um, they were going to solve this problem by not training him at all. So the alternative of leaving those kids with their families doesn’t strike me as all that bad – it’s not like they were going to take Anakin and lock him up because he was too old to brainwash into their cult but too dangerous to let wander around on his own.

          In theory they could have been Charles Xavier and his School for Gifted Youngsters making the hard choice to lie to his students for the greater good because they were too dangerous to let someone else get ahold of them. In practice, Lucas set the stakes so that that’s not what they were. They’re a bunch of cultists who like to brainwash children and if they can’t get ahold of them young enough they ignore them.

          (This is all 100% Lucas’s fault by the way. He didn’t have to screw the prequels up with this stuff. And yet he did).

          • Murc

            Um, they were going to solve this problem by not training him at all.

            Yes? That’s reasonable? They’d know where he is and can keep an eye on him, and in the small chance he achieves a great degree of skill and mastery without a teacher and begins to misuse that prowess, or his powers start endangering himself and others, they can step in.

            They’re a bunch of cultists who like to brainwash children and if they can’t get ahold of them young enough they ignore them.

            One, this isn’t true.

            Two, even if it were true, do you know a better way to train Jedi? So far we’ve seen precisely four people in the movies and TV shows who didn’t start their training very, very young, and of those four, two of them turned crazy bonkers evil and one of them has been expressly marked out as being at great risk to being open to the Dark Side.

            That’s a shitty average and would seem to suggest that the Jedi Council was on to something by refusing to train people after a certain age.

            • NonyNony

              This is all on Lucas. He didn’t have to make the “safe age” for a Jedi to make a decision to join the Jedi Order so young that they can’t actually make that choice. Luke was 20 – there’s no reason why “too old” couldn’t have meant “older than 15 or so” and yet he decided that “too old” meant younger than the age of reason.

              But that’s what he did. The Jedi are recruiting children into their militant order when the alternative when they get too old is to just let them live out their normal lives without training. I don’t see how you justify that – it’s not like the Jedi seem concerned that some kid is going to grow up to become Magneto if he doesn’t get guidance. They were willing to throw Anakin out on his ear and give him nothing at all rather than train him because he was “too old”. They didn’t act like they thought cutting him loose would be a danger – in fact they acted exactly like they thought training him above the age where their “teaching” would take was the danger. That strongly suggests brainwashing, and Lucas really shouldn’t have gone there.

              • Manny Kant

                Also, the reason for this is the idiotic decision to cast a terrible nine year old actor as Anakin for no fucking reason. If they’d just had an actor who was the same age as Natalie Portman, and, you know, had him actually participate in the damned movie instead of being Forrest Gump, the problem wouldn’t have arisen.

                • Mayur

                  They seriously could have had Leo Di-fucking Caprio as Anakin. No joke. But yes I assumed (foolishly) when hearing about the prequels that Anakin was going to start off as a teenager.

                • searcher

                  Honestly after the first prequel I assumed that Obi Wan was actually Luke & Leia’s father.

                  Obi Wan has an illicit affair with Padme, being of similar age, attractiveness, and awesomeness, but doesn’t go as bat-shit crazy as Anakin does in the later prequels.

                  Anakin, being unhinged by jealousy and anger — looking up to Obi Wan, lusting after Padme despite being way too young for her, angry that Obi Wan is living the life he wants to be, convinces himself the children are his and kills Padme in a fit of rage when she rejects him and his fantasy.

                  Obi Wan later beats Anakin senseless and hides his children, watching over his son himself.

          • Morbo

            Now I want to watch Shinsekai Yori again.

            • Drexciya

              This is way out of the range of topics I prefer talking about here, but I just want to say (semi-spoilerishly) that Shinsekai Yori is one of the most competent illustrations of how racial classification is used to construct social systems that make dehumanization casually removed from empathetic moral reasoning. It’s such a subtle and comprehensive demonstration of how hierarchies of privilege can/do function that I’m surprised that it exists and surprised about where it came from. It follows the political logic fully and correctly enough to provide narrative justifications for what’s effectively a violent slave revolt against the protagonists.

              It’s always interesting to contrast Shinsekai Yori’s success and ambition in this regard with Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood’s correctly criticized failure in its handling of the Ishvalans, despite Arakawa’s more open efforts to draw contrasts with the enslavement/ethnic cleansing of the Ainu people.

          • Brett

            Untrained people with potential Force powers aren’t that dangerous in the movies. Luke’s described as being incredibly strong in the Force, but before his training all that amounted to was being a good pilot and possibly good with machines.

        • The Temporary Name

          I feel like I should defend the Jedi Council

          This is what they WANT you to feel.

          • Fake Irishman

            I don’t buy that their hokey religion and ancient weapons are a match for a good blaster at your side. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve lost track of a few droids and these aren’t the ones I’m looking for.

            Carry on.

        • the Jedi Council, who are trying their level best to raise children who are going to have literal planet-rending powers at their command to not fuck it up and turn evil

          And by “trying their best” you mean “trying their best to screw up a child who is already extremely psychologically scarred?” The Jedi take Anakin, an abused former slave who, quite understandably, struggles with feelings of anger and anxiety, and tell him that he is a bad person for feeling that way and that he should just stop. They don’t give him any tools with which to overcome his issues, and in fact train him to repress his feelings by reacting negatively when he expresses them. It’s a recipe for creating a complete psychopath, and if that’s an example of how the Jedi Council tries to prevent their trainees from becoming psychotic killers, then I’m frankly surprised that it only happened once.

          • Rob in CT

            Lucas made a total hash of the prequels, including that stuff.

            Hell, he could have had the Jedi do all that and built it into a compelling reason for Anakin’s turn! But no, he couldn’t manage that or anything else of worth. Gah, what a shitshow.

            • CP

              Hell, he could have had the Jedi do all that and built it into a compelling reason for Anakin’s turn!

              I mean, I think it was supposed to be that way – that at least part of the “point” of the prequels was that the Jedi had turned into a bunch of ivory tower douchebags. And that the fact that they have no idea how to relate to someone who comes in after a decade of normal childhood is part of the reason he came out so screwed up.

              Which isn’t to say that Lucas didn’t write it terribly all the same.

              • Manny Kant

                I don’t think this was at all clear. Certainly Samuel L. Jackson’s performance didn’t help matters. (Worst case of miscasting in cinema history?)

          • furikawari

            Didn’t they also stand by while he (1) got married, apparently a complete no-no for the exact reasons that Anakin went to the Dark Side, and (2) went on an actual revenge-murder spree against some Sand People? If you are concerned that your prime pupil may be an insane murderer, you may want to consider that time he went insane and murdered a bunch of people.

            • This gets at a general problem with stories like this, where they use the excuse of “we didn’t know!” even in cases where it was the job of the people in question to know. The MCU’s whole deal with SHIELD is basically swimming in this, and in fact I think AoS has gone back to that well multiple times.

      • witlesschum

        Abrams really couldn’t have done much worse, so maybe that confusion could have led to something accidentally interesting.

        The Force Awakens sorta worked for me because 1.) nostalgia for X-Wings, the Millenium Falcon, Han Solo, Chewbacca and Princess Leia and 2.) casting really good actors as the next generation. It might as well have just have not had a plot. It was better than the prequels because those didn’t have many of the things I was nostalgic for in them.

        • Philip

          It might as well have just have not had a plot.

          Which, to be fair, would still make it better than Phantom Menace, and maybe the other two as well.

    • Halloween Jack

      The Force Awakens was really incompetent on the point of telling us what exactly was being blown up and didn’t even try to make anyone care.

      Did you go out for popcorn during the scene when the people on the Republic planet are watching the approach of their impending doom? The first movie told us about the death of millions, via Obi-Wan Kenobi, but the only Alderaanian we ever saw was Leia. (Who was adopted.)

      • tribble

        Yeah, this movie was really dark, but I’m not sure the producing team completely realized it. On the one hand, the audience is let into the horror of six planets getting blown up (that scene really hit me) and invited to identify with the victims. On the other hand, the loss of those planets does not really seem to register with any of the other characters in an emotional way. A New Hope spends more time on this, not a lot, but it balances better with how much the audience is invited to care.

        Similarly, it’s great that the made one character a lapsed storm trooper! The humanize the anonymous cannon fodder – and then they kill huge numbers of them.

        And then there’s the flashback to childhood abandonment. Great stuff.

      • furikawari

        I think he means the political orientation of the universe is actually established in Star Wars IV, while it is a complete mess in The Force Awakens. In Star Wars, we’re introduced to the power disparity between the rebellion and the empire immediately by the crawl and the opening flyover. We’re visited with the individual brutality of the empire when they murder Beru and Owen. We see the empire throwing away the last vestige of democracy/republicanism with the dissolution of the senate. And we see the grand scale of its indifference to life when it threatens to destroy Alderaan to extract information from Leia and then does it anyways just to send a message (although it’s not clear to whom). The picture painted is an empire that is already in control and is lashing out internally with enormously unnecessary force.

        In the Force Awakens, we walk in thinking the rebellion won at the end of Return of the Jedi. Shouldn’t things be better? Then there is what appears to be the empire again, complete with storm troopers. Maybe things are just the same as they were in Star Wars? No, the New Order wants to destroy the Republic and the “fleet it is so proud of.” But it has a planet-sized Death Star?* And who is the Republic exactly? Then there are some planets that are inexplicably visible from a moon, or something, and they all blow up. We get a little emotional identification with the inhabitants of those planets, but it is in the wake of such disconnected exposition that the primary thing going on for me at that time was confusion. Who are these fascist guys and what the heck do they want?

        The emotional connection we have with Leia and Obi-Wan works because we understand their perspectives and how they relate to what was lost on Alderaan. The emotional connection we have with the folks on those planets in The Force Awakens is pretty different–we’re just shown some people, who are about to die. That’s literally all we know about them.

        *I wanted to observe, after watching Star Wars IV again, that no one in the movie ever refers to the Death Star as such. It’s always “the battlestation.” The only use of “Death Star” is in a voiceover in the Yavin IV command room, which was clearly added in post.

        • CP

          In the Force Awakens, we walk in thinking the rebellion won at the end of Return of the Jedi. Shouldn’t things be better? Then there is what appears to be the empire again, complete with storm troopers. Maybe things are just the same as they were in Star Wars? No, the New Order wants to destroy the Republic and the “fleet it is so proud of.” But it has a planet-sized Death Star?* And who is the Republic exactly? Then there are some planets that are inexplicably visible from a moon, or something, and they all blow up.

          What made me groan was the whole reset button, with Abrams obviously trying to undo the implied ending of ROTJ to go back to a 2.0 of the Empire vs. Rebellion story.

          Related (damn it, I’m getting into this again…): one of the things I really like, in retrospect, about the old Star Wars novelverse (nineties) is that it was about the good guys actually taking over the galaxy and reestablishing a functioning government. You had them facing off against warlords, and later pirates and gangsters and new threats let loose by the fall of the old regime; reestablishing a Senate and a Jedi Order; dealing with the inevitable clashes and friction points between different member worlds and member species; etc.

          And all this is presented as a good thing. They slowly drift into grayer areas than the original trilogy’s black-and-white morality, but they still stick to the notion that the Republic is a massive improvement over the old Empire, and that it’s worth building and defending.

          From around 2000 onwards, Star Wars switched to the prequel mentality that government can only have two possible settings: Well Meaning But Incompetent/Weak And Useless, or Tyrannical Fascist Very Very Bad. I expected Abrams to stick to that formula, and I wasn’t disappointed: the Republic in TFA exists to be blasted aside at the first opportunity so we can go back to our Heroic Underdogs vs. Evil Oppressors story.

          Yes, the old novels were fairly simplistic, their politics don’t stray too far from the Freedom vs. Fascism roots of the original with some eighties/nineties after school special stuff thrown in, they don’t delve too deeply into the dilemmas and issues that that sort of nation-building would involve in real life… but in spite of all that, it’s still a breath of fresh air for me to look back on my childhood entertainment and find books that are rooting for democracy rather than anarchy or vigilante rule.

          Won’t hold my breath for Abrams to deliver anything like it.

          • Scott P.

            Related (damn it, I’m getting into this again…): one of the things I really like, in retrospect, about the old Star Wars novelverse (nineties) is that it was about the good guys actually taking over the galaxy and reestablishing a functioning government. You had them facing off against warlords, and later pirates and gangsters and new threats let loose by the fall of the old regime; reestablishing a Senate and a Jedi Order; dealing with the inevitable clashes and friction points between different member worlds and member species; etc.

            That’s exactly the situation in TFA: The rebellion won, but that didn’t mean they automatically controlled everything, they have solid control over only a fraction of the former Empire, and there are plenty of power bases out there, including the First Order. It’s more like Iraq post-2003 or the two Koreas.

            • furikawari

              That’s a very charitable reading of the information the movie presents. The relationship of the First Order to the Empire is unexplored. Why there is a separate guerrilla force fighting the First Order apart from the military of the Republic is unexplored. Whether the universe is at war or it’s some kind of surprise attack is (I think) unexplored. Especially because the movie hints that what CP talks about happened (Luke re-founded the Jedi), but then somehow broke apart (someone named “Snoke” turned Ben Solo and the Jedi project was abandoned).

            • CP

              That’s… sort of the situation that existed between the originals and TFA, from what little we understand. But Abrams isn’t interested in telling that story; the Republic is nuked away in TFA so that we can go back to the more original-trilogy-ish status quo.

        • witlesschum

          I meant both, but well said on the political orientation. It seemed like Abrams’ reaction to Lucas’ trade federation dicktrip was to just say we’re not gonna have any story at all.

      • witlesschum

        I did wander out for a refill at one point, but I saw that scene. It didn’t make clear who those people were or how many or where they were or make any kind of emotional connection.

        And the first movie also showed Leia on the bridge of the Death Star when Grand Moff Tarkin gave the order. Gave us much more emotional connection to the fact a whole planet of people had just been killed.

  • Hogan

    It is true that Immanuel Kant discovered the categorical imperative only after he beat David Hume to death with a crowbar.

  • politicalfootball

    US liberals have the same problem with US villains, who are more than happy to shoot the hostages. In fact, killing bystanders is often the stated goal.

    • Rob in CT

      Pop quiz, hotshot!

  • Really, DC and Warners generally don’t understand what the superhero thing is all about. I figure Disney will eventually be able to buy the publisher away from Warner entirely. “Sure, these dumb spandex jockeys don’t make us any money. If you want to buy loser stuff, go ahead.”

    • Murc

      Warner Brothers would be dumb to take that deal, though, because Marvel/Disney has demonstrated that they know how to take superheroes and make crazy bonkers bank off them. Better for Warner to keep trying (and, probably, failing) to replicate their success.

      • Warner’s is pretty dumb, though… It would probably take only a couple rounds of “Duck Season, Wabbit Season” to get the Warner execs to yell “Duck Season, FIRE!”

    • NonyNony

      Why would Disney want them? They’ve already got enough superheroes to make money off the superhero trend up until it crashes.

      Warner. Sigh. DC and Warner’s problem is that they seem to have people in charge of these properties who are slightly embarrassed by them. And so they assume that everyone else is too and so they need to gritty them up to make them less ridiculous in concept. And to my eyes all they do is make them more ridiculous by doing it.

      • Robert M.

        What absolutely galls me is that the studio responsible for The Dark Knight is also responsible for Man of Steel and now this… whatever.

        “Hey, we have a success case on our hands! Let’s look carefully at all the things that worked there, and make sure we never do any of that again. Oh, and is the 300 guy free?”

      • FMguru

        OTOH, Suicide Squad looks like they’re trying to cut against the oh-so-grim-and-serious DCU movie universe that Snyder and Nolan have established. I’ll probably go see it just for that.

        • Murc

          Plus side: Black Deadshot gets nerds in an uproar. Always fun.

          Minus side: REALLY worried about how Harley is going to come off. Harley is a complex character and I don’t want her reduced to “giggly, slightly less monstrous version of the Joker in hot pants.”

          (People forget that Harley is actually really fucking smart. She’s Doctor Harleen Quinzel.)

          • ArchTeryx

            Yep. She started out playing a role as the Joker’s mob-boss moll, and she got lost in it. That makes her no less smart – and no less dangerous.

        • I’m am also cautiously optimistic about that movie.

          • I just saw the trailer for it before a showing of Deadpool, and I’m not sure what to think.

            Deadpool was excellent.

    • Halloween Jack

      Really, DC and Warners generally don’t understand what the superhero thing is all about.

      Sorry, are you unaware that Warner Bros. has done some extremely profitable Superman and Batman movies? That they were doing so when the best that Marvel could do was shit like this? That, even when they came out with a relative dud (it made a lot of money, but it also cost a lot), they followed it up with a movie that grossed over a billion dollars a couple of years later?

      No, the problem isn’t that they “generally don’t understand what the superhero thing is all about.” It’s that Marvel, after finally taking control over Marvel movie and TV projects away from Stan Lee (who was responsible for one decent TV series, The Incredible Hulk, and a whole lotta shit), licensing out some of their potentially most lucrative characters to various studios, and watching them make a lot of money off them, decided to get into the game themselves with the characters that they still had control over, and were successful to a degree that shocked even them. That series of interlocking films that rests heavily on actors that are already aging out of the roles is an enormously tricky juggling act, and who knows if it will really work long-range, but it also has its rewards, one of which is that the franchise as a whole doesn’t depend on having to periodically reboot the character to accommodate a younger (and less-expensive) actor in the role, and trust that the audience will stand to watch that origin story one more time. It also doesn’t depend on a particular director, which hopefully might result in Snyder being replaced.

    • leftwingfox

      Hey, Warner Brothers knows exactly how to make a kick-ass DC superhero property.

      Give it to the animation department.

      Why they ignore them for live action is anyone’s guess.

  • Oh, and I forgot: Zack Snyder also wants to ruin my other passion.

    • Hogan

      Earlier this month, we reported that Zack Snyder was considering making a movie about George Washington that would be done “in the style of 300.”

      Been done.

      • Bootsie

        A greased-up, half-naked, CGI-enhanced George Washington saves the children in slow motion.

        The deformed and perverse British children are left to burn.

        • postmodulator

          I heard that motherfucker had, like, thirty God damn dicks.

          • leftwingfox

            *sighs and watches that video… again…*

      • “In the style of 300”

        Hagiographies of slave driving storm troopers interpreted through the lens of softcore gay porn? Impossible to follow action sequences that owe more to the “God of War” on PS2 than they do to actual human beings doing things? Deliberate misinterpretations of history to make some kind of Randian wankfest? Or all of the above?

      • Manny Kant
    • CP

      Oh no, not the goddamn ALAMO getting a 300-ish Racist Gritty Reboot.

      • tsam

        So, how much nudity are we talking about here? Asking for a friend.

      • Downpuppy

        Brent Spencer’s The True History would make a great 1970s movie about the Texas war.
        Throw in Ben McCulloch as a theme song.

    • Sly

      Is Lord Cornwallis going to have razor-sharp teeth and ride into battle on a 20-foot long, demonic Great Dane?

    • Murc

      I’m going to leave one of my favorite short stories here.

    • Halloween Jack
    • CL Minou

      Robot Chicken got there first.

      • Manny Kant

        Yeah, this is utterly amazing. One of those times were parody fails and we are left to gape in awe.

  • sleepyirv

    Considering comic book movies are suppose to be simple morality plays with explosions, it says something about Snyder’ competency that he’s incapable of reaching that low bar.

  • Sly

    This is the guy who decided that the overriding parental objective of Jonathan and Martha Kent was to ensure that their son felt no moral or social obligation to anyone. I don’t think he’s put much thought into the whole “Superman doesn’t kill people” thing.

    • That’s really where you see the Objectivism creeping in. Pa and Ma Kent are supposed to raise Superman to be a good person, not a selfish sociopath.

      • David Hunt

        Well, there’s no difference between the two in Objectivism, so…

    • Docrailgun

      The Kents were worried that aliens might cons for Clark at any moment, or that humans might either hate or worship Clark if they found out about his powers. The government might demand that he become their superweapon.
      Guess what? They were right.

      • Sly

        Yet previous incarnations of the Kents managed to account for those fears without veering into “Let those kids die” and “Do whatever you want, you don’t owe this world a thing” territory.

      • Ken

        “Ma. Pa. You realize that anyone wanting to control me would use you. I know you understand what I have to do.” (Nasty squishing noises and one brief scream.) “Now the world is safe.”

  • Bootsie

    Remember back in the 90s when it was Marvel putting out the incompetent adaptions and DC doing the fun and interesting adaptions? What the fuck happened, man.

    • Jean-Michel

      DC’s animated adaptations are still generally good and definitely heads and tails above Marvel’s, which are inexplicably terrible unless you treat them like modern equivalents of He-Man and assume they exist only to sell toys in between the movies.

      • LeeEsq

        Avenger’s Earth’s Mightiest Heroes had its moments.

        • postmodulator

          I’m not an expert, but we put on the Ultimate Spider-Man for some kids at our house and because I heard Bendis had a credit on it, and I thought the first couple of episodes were watchable.

    • wengler

      Marvel stopped selling off their properties and started producing them themselves. Then sold out to Disney, who’s letting them keep their creative freedom as long as they keep making metric shit tons of money.

    • Halloween Jack

      No love for the Nolan Batman movies? They weren’t everyone’s cup of tea, and in particular the last one was more than a bit ripped-from-yesterday’s-headlines and had a disappointing last-reel twist, but they also had their own odd integrity, and at least one iconic performance (Ledger’s Joker).

      • postmodulator

        Nobody ever talks about Gary Oldman as Gordon. I thought he looked like he’d stepped out of the original Miller Dark Knight Returns.

        • jim, some guy in iowa

          Oldman’s take on Gordon was my favorite part of those movies- very ordinary, and yet something more

          • JustRuss

            Agreed. I’m not a huge Oldman fan, but I really liked his Gordon.

          • tsam

            All three-totally agree. I really like the Nolan movies. Ledger was pure genius, and Tom Hardy was no slouch either. I bought his portrayal without hesitation. Old man as great, and I thought Anne Hathaway did a great job too. She sure looked the part.

      • No love for the Nolan Batman movies?

        Uh, no? Batman Begins is a dull, by the numbers origin story only enlivened by its undertone of elitism. The Dark Knight Rises is terrible, the point where the wheels come completely off the bus. The Dark Knight really impressed me the first time I saw it, but then I went back to it and realized that every beat of its plot depends on everyone in it being a complete idiot, and that the whole movie is carried (stolen, some might say) by Ledger’s performance.

        • witlesschum

          Agree with all of this.

      • Brett

        I still like The Dark Knight, but not really as a whole movie. I like it as a series of pieces of interaction between Batman and others, and I like how Ledger’s Joker is practically inhuman – he’s like a malevolent demon conjured into being who exists to test everyone in Gotham. Harvey Dent fails that test, Batman succeeds, the people on the boats succeed (and I still love the line Batman gives to the Joker after the latter’s surprise at his failure).

        The problem is that the connecting parts between those kind of sucks, and watching it as an entire movie feels tedious now (although not as tedious as watching either of the other two films in the trilogy).

      • GeoX

        I liked The Dark Knight when I first saw it, but looking back on it, all I feel is a sense of exhaustion. These days, I have little use for the THERE IS NO FUN ALLOWED THIS IS VERY, VERY SERIOUS school of superhero movies.

  • CP

    We already knew from the reaction to Man of Steel that Snyder thinks that Superman needed to kill in order to learn that killing was wrong. This is news to me; I thought that perhaps one could figure that out from basic empathy or perhaps reasoning by extrapolation rather than direct experience.

    And as originally written, I believe that’s exactly how he’s supposed to be. Superman doesn’t have a traumatic origin story – his origin story is that Ma and Pa Kent raised him with values centered around ordinary decency, and he took it to heart enough that once he took control of his superpowers, he tried to use them accordingly.

    Frankly, in a genre so saturated with Traumatic Origin Stories, that story’s a lot more interesting than it might otherwise sound like.

    • Entirely agreed.

    • LeeEsq

      It goes against the zeitgeist of the age though. People want dark, brooding drama even if it is overdone.

      • FMguru

        The success of Deadpool and Guardians of the Galaxy indicates otherwise.

        • LeeEsq

          Guardians of the Galaxy is more of a science fiction epic space opera than a comic book movie. You have a half a point with Deadpool. He isn’t brooding but he is much more dark and violent than Superman classically is.

        • Also, Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, the Avengers, etc.

          You can have both seriousness and levity in the same film. Indeed, the very idea of comic relief is that you need variation to make tragedy work.

          • CP

            This.

            I’d argue that much of the MCU’s success comes from being fun popcorn entertainment, at least when compared to its Dark Knight and X-Men competition.

            ETA: I would also, again, cite the success of “The Incredibles” here. It has its moments but it’s not really dark overall (the hero’s methods even get called out with a “that seems a little dark for you” that seems like it really should’ve been read to the Man Of Steel writers when they got to the “Supes kills Zod” part).

        • Jean-Michel

          Deadpool isn’t exactly “dark” if we’re going off of tone rather than subject matter, but it’s shot through with the same sort of flip cynicism that for me is the distinguishing trait of the Nolan/Snyder movies. That makes sense given that Deadpool was an archetypal grimdark ’90s character who survived because better writers figured out that an unpleasant asshole doing unpleasant things becomes a bit more interesting if he cracks jokes and breaks the fourth wall while doing them. But I don’t think it’s a qualitative difference, and the fact that WB is apparently trying much the same thing with Suicide Squad reinforces that (though I’m sure we’ll still get plenty of puff pieces about how incredibly RISKY it all is).

          • Philip

            I think it’s different, because to me the movie (haven’t read the comics) felt like it was making fun of the grimdark movies. Not just using that context as a foil, but really pretty explicitly ridiculing them.

            • Halloween Jack

              Not just that, but also, underneath all the lampshading of the various grimdark cliches, you’ve got some real pathos; the movie is, at its heart, about a guy who’s pretty badly broken, who finds someone who’s also broken that he wants to spend the rest of his life with, only then he gets cancer, and the therapy that he undergoes has the side effect of fucking up his face, and the rest of the movie is how he eventually gets back with her so that she can tell him that his face isn’t that big of a deal after all. Maybe Suicide Squad might have something just as worthy to say, especially if they do anything halfway decent with the Harley/Joker relationship, but Magic 8-Ball sez, “Yeah, right.”

          • GeoX

            Whoa, I don’t agree. These DC movies are all about UTTER GRIM SERIOUSNESS. Deadpool plays the whole thing as a jokey lark. So yes, is UTTERLY different, qualitatively, from Man of Steel and its ilk.

      • David Hunt

        As LeeEsq, points out above me, more light-hearted fare has been very successful. I think Man of Steel and BvS are are indicator that the people who greenlight movies want them to be successful and those decision makers are risk averse and not very creative. Nolan’s Batman movies made tons of money? Fine, now that he’s done with the Bat, have some other director take our other iconic superhero that we own the rights to and plug him into that formula.

        I’m old enough to remember the slew of cheap Star Wars copies that got made in the late 70s and early 80s. Studio execs thought the lasers were what made that movie so successful.

        • LeeEsq

          There are some light hearted superhero movies that make money like Ant-Man or the original Spiderman trilogy but those are still darker than well-raised farm boy who is really a super powered alien does good. All of DC’s successes have been with darker themed superhero movies since Tim Burton did the first modern Batman movie in the late 1980s. These aren’t movies where people take risks. If WB and DC makes money through Nolan level darkness than that is what is going to be made.

          • Mayur

            You think that Iron Man, Spider-Man, Ant-Man, and Captain America: The First Avenger are necessarily darker than a classic Superman story? That just seems weird to me.

            Superman does begin with a tragedy: The death of Krypton. I thought it was pretty affecting in the original 1978 film and in the Animated Series without being “dark” in the muted-palette-marketed-as-an-adult-action-film sense. But then you get an optimistic view of America and a story about how family and strong values can turn someone into a real hero with a genuine internally-derived (and very humanist) moral sensibility instead of a tyrannical alien monster.

            I’m gonna agree with Steven and suggest that the problem here is really that Zack Snyder is enough of an idiot to be into Ayn Rand. A [i]Man of Steel[/i] with more homey moments with Jonathan and Martha and a Superman focused on rescuing people rather than tearing shit up would have been a flat-out better movie.

            • LeeEsq

              Iron Man, Spider-Man, Ant-Man, and Captain America experienced their tragedies on a personal level and it affected them directly. Superman is the last surviving son of Krypton, kind of, but we grew up in a loving family and only saw himself as a human with special powers for a good chunk of his life. He became a superhero because the Kent’s raised Clarke to be a good, decent Midwestern American.

              • One of the nice touches in Supergirl is that Kara actually grew up on Krypton (she arrived on Earth later than Clark because of some time dilation McGuffin). So she’s experienced the loss of her world and her family, and has unresolved emotional issues about this.

              • Mayur

                Nonetheless, being alone in the world is nothing if not an ongoing tragedy; it’s actually captain america’s greatest sadness as well. He’s a man out of time rather than the only member of his race left, but still.

        • KithKanan

          Moonraker says hi. Spies are out and lasers are in? Lets send our spy to space and give him a laser. Not really a cheap Star Wars copy though, since ~$30+ million was one of the higher budget movies for 1979.

          • David Hunt

            I wasn’t using the word “cheap” to refer to the monetary cost. I’d blocked out forgotten Moonraker. It was, by the way, the first Bond film I saw in the theater.

            • CP

              It was, by the way, the first Bond film I saw in the theater.

              Oh my God, I’m so sorry.

              There’s a lot of reasons to complain about the Bond franchise, but it deserves a better introduction than that.

              • FMguru

                Hush your mouth. Moonraker is awesome, and pretty much Peak Moore (for better and worse) as far as the franchise goes.

                Bond + popular thing X was pretty common in the 1970s. We had Blaxploitation Bond (Live and Let Die) and Bruce Lee Bond (Man With The Golden Gun) to go with Star Wars Bond.

                Interestingly, Marvel comics went the same way in the 1970s, trying to tie most of the same pop-cultural trends into their universe to keep their stable of early-60s characters relevant.

                • CP

                  Moonraker is awesome, and pretty much Peak Moore

                  That… might be part of the problem. (As you say: for better or for worse).

                  Bond + popular thing X was pretty common in the 1970s. We had Blaxploitation Bond (Live and Let Die) and Bruce Lee Bond (Man With The Golden Gun) to go with Star Wars Bond.

                  It’s been a thing throughout the franchise (maybe not in the original Connery days? but since then for sure). Which is why the latest movies have given us Bond as Bourne, and more recently Bond borrowing Batman tropes.

                  The thing is, there’s only so far you can stretch the envelope into another genre, and Moonraker for my money stretched the envelope to the point of breaking.

                • nixnutz

                  It was the second new Bond I saw–I’d seen most of the older ones at the local rep theater–and I hated it but I’m pretty sure it was the first one where I’d read the book first and at 11 I couldn’t deal with the changes. Nowadays I’m fine with them abandoning as much of Fleming as possible but the whole adaptation thing was new to me. It is peak silly but Moore could be better than that. I don’t think I’ve seen it a second time though, maybe I’ll give it another shot.

                • Halloween Jack

                  Marvel comics went the same way in the 1970s, trying to tie most of the same pop-cultural trends into their universe to keep their stable of early-60s characters relevant.

                  With very mixed results. (Interestingly, some of those characters–Luke Cage, Iron Fist, maybe the Daughters of the Dragon–are going to be part of Marvel/Netflix’s group of interlocking TV shows.)

            • JustRuss

              Moonraker. It was, by the way, the first Bond film I saw in the theater.

              Damn, now that I think of it, me too!

              Of course, without Moonraker we wouldn’t have had Austin Powers in space, which may or may not be bad thing.

      • Halloween Jack

        Ant-Man would like a word.

      • tsam

        I want it in Batman. Did not like it in Superman, but the Reeves tone didn’t age well for me. They were very well done movies (1 and 2), and closer to my impression of superman than what Snyder did to him.

    • Gareth

      Strictly speaking, he does have a traumatic origin story. But it involves a disaster that violence would be useless against.

      • CP

        Well, if you mean the destruction of Krypton, yes, but he’s a newborn baby at the time, he doesn’t remember any of it. It doesn’t shape his personality the same way as, say, the Wayne parents’ murder or Uncle Ben’s murder or being nearly killed in a cave in Vietnam/Kuwait/Afghanistan.

  • wjts

    On a related note, I just watched the first episode of the new season of Daredevil, which featured ostensible “hero” the Punisher shooting up a hospital in order to kill one low-level Irish mob member. It reminded me of the best take on this loathsome and idiotic character, Ben Edlund’s Hand-Grenade Man:

    “Hand-Grenade Man? What are your superpowers?”

    “Superpowers? Bah! Who needs them? I’ve got a hand-grenade. It’s amazing what people will do when they know you have one!”

    (Now that I think about it, there are definitely shades of Sledge Hammer in that hospital scene.)

    • Interesting. I thought the allusion was to Terminator.

      • wjts

        Very possibly it was and I missed it – I don’t think I’ve seen Terminator in 20-25 years.

    • Sly

      I binge-watched the whole series last weekend. I’ll say this about it: A bunch of actors have tried to play Frank Castle, but as far as I’m concerned Jon Bernthal is the only one to do so successfully.

      • wjts

        Somewhere, Dolph Lundgren sheds a single tear.

        • Warren Terra

          Unconvincingly.

        • Halloween Jack

          Only because Lou Gossett Jr. showed up with his Oscar and was off-camera with a sign: “You’ll never get one of these, baby!”

      • nixnutz

        He was very good but Punisher: War Zone was a lot more fun than this season of Daredevil. But I do agree, I like both Ray Stevenson and Thomas Jane way better but they didn’t fit nearly as well as Bernthal.

    • Halloween Jack

      As with the first season, this run of Daredevil spends more than a little bit of time deconstructing shopworn superhero tropes, and one of the ones that gets worked over is the idea that Frank is really a hero.

      • wjts

        I’m sure that’s true – I just wanted to complain about how awful the Punisher is.

      • Mayur

        Garth Ennis already beat that one to death, sawed its corpse into pieces, burned those pieces, and buried the ashes in a box at the bottom of the Marianas Trench, though.

        I actually haven’t read a Punisher comic in which Frank wasn’t a combination of monster and victim.

      • CP

        As with the first season, this run of Daredevil spends more than a little bit of time deconstructing shopworn superhero tropes, and one of the ones that gets worked over is the idea that Frank is really a hero.

        I’m only a few episodes in, but what’s weirding me out so far is how sympathetically he seems to be portrayed. Frank Castle’s supposed to be a “good guy” in his own comics, but in everyone else’s, he’s supposed to be a psychopath.

        • Manny Kant

          I have a hard time understanding why anyone would read Punisher comics (much less watch movies that are just about Frank Castle) when they can just watch a DVD of Death Wish or like dozens of other shitty vigilante with a gun movies. Punisher kind of works as a foil for normal Marvel super heroes, but on his own he’s just a lame rip off of 70s action movies.

          • Mayur

            Read punisher MAX and get back to us.

          • Speaking as someone who read a bunch of Punisher MAX and got thoroughly sick of it and Garth Ennis for that matter, here’s my thinking about the Punisher:

            Given that A. the origin of the superhero genre is kind of inextricable from ideas of vigilante justice, B. the way that the eternal revolving door of wanting to keep memorable IP in play has really nasty implications for how we see the criminal justice system in superhero comics, and C. that there’s some really weird stuff going on about superheroes that don’t kill but are happy to beat people to the brink of death and/or torture, I think there’s a place for the Punisher as a dark mirror.

            But I don’t think the Punisher works as a protagonist. He’s got the same problem of an unwinnable war on crime that Batman has, but even worse because the body count he racks up really makes him a less “realistic” presence in the long-term than the less realistic heroes who aren’t at this point the most prolific serial killers in world history. He also doesn’t really have the supporting cast – no Commissioner Gordon, no Robins, no Batgirl, no Catwoman, not much in the way of returning villains because he kills all of them.

            And I have my doubts about the dark mirror thing too, because it seems that too often it’s an all-or-nothing argument. Either the non-killer heroes are all saps and idiots who are useless or worse than useless or the Punisher is a monster who should be put down like a rabid dog.

            • Halloween Jack

              Even as impressed as I was by Bernthal’s performance, I’m not terribly enthused about the idea that the Punisher might get a spin-off.

    • Manny Kant

      I…don’t think Punisher is a hero?

      • Well, the Punisher’s getting his own Netflix show, so let’s see how that goes.

        • Manny Kant

          Bernthal’s really good, but I…don’t think I really want to watch that.

          • wjts

            No. I’m enjoying the new Daredevil, but no.

    • Bill Murray

      The Saturday Morning comic of The Tick definitely had a Punisher Character — Big Shot. he eventually underwent anger management therapy

  • mds

    when the problem people had is that he didn’t film Superman trying to save anyone.

    Yeah, over the decades there’s also been a teeny-tiny bit of emphasis placed on how his human foster parents raised him to do what’s right with his special gifts. Not “What was I supposed to do, let them die?” “… Maybe.” CostnerKent’s concern for his child’s personal well-being isn’t automatically a problem, but his notion that Clark mustn’t wield his powers out of fear of what humans might do has already been dealt with in the very same movie by Jor-El saying “How?”

    Yes, we did get to see anonymous drifter Clark save people, and Lois Lane was following the trail of a mysterious do-gooder. But once he actually puts on his costume, mostly what we get is scary superhumans beating one another up with massive collateral damage. (He does save the planet, but how many people outside the loop would have actually followed that?) There’s a reason why the massive collateral damage of Superman vs. Phantom Zoners in Superman II appears in a sequel: Because then everyone in-universe is already rooting for their hero, not merely cowering beneath the clash of demigods.

    Now, one could do a legitimate critique of superheroes and why we would necessarily trust them, but Superman seems awfully well-established and iconic for such a treatment. Maybe someday someone could try to make a movie addressing these concerns out of, say, Alan Moore’s Watchmen.

    • Sly

      Because then everyone in-universe is already rooting for their hero, not merely cowering beneath the clash of demigods.

      And they didn’t just root for him. My favorite cheesy scene from Superman II is when a mob of New Yorkers pick up pieces of rubble and charge the Evil Kryptonians after they throw a bus at Superman.

      • Rob in CT

        Like that scene in one of the Spiderman movies (2?) where New Yorkers got after the bad guy who is beating the snot out of Spidey (on a train I think?).

        • Yep. It’s the anti-Ditko move.

        • Bruce B.

          That’s one of my favorite moments in a superhero movie yet.

    • Karen24

      Pixar’s “The Incredibles” did this quite well. Of course, it’s never had a sequel.

      • wjts

        The Incredibles was a much better film adaptation of the Watchmen comic than the actual Watchmen film adaptation was.

      • skate

        Of course, it’s never had a sequel.

        Yet.

    • Manny Kant

      Isn’t a big problem here that we don’t fucking need a Superman origin story. We already have the Donner movie, and every person over five is familiar with the basic story. Can’t we just start in with an already existing Superman?

  • LeeEsq

    Superman is a nice Jewish boy that ended up getting raised by a nice Protestant couple from Kansas due to mistake by the adoption agency.

    • The Dark God of Time

      You may have heard their story:

      It took place in their 25th century. Faced with a world-shaking catastrophe, a parent placed a baby boy in a small craft, hoping he’ll be propelled to somewhere safe. The boy was found and adopted and grew up incognito, eventually revealed in adulthood as a world-saving hero. But he still had his alien heritage to explore.

      2448 was the Jewish year. The small craft was a basket, and the baby was Moses who was found, adopted and grew up incognito, eventually revealed in adulthood as a saving hero. His alien heritage: the Jewish upbringing that was denied to him.

      http://www.aish.com/ci/a/48949071.html?tab=y

      • LeeEsq

        Than they had to add all sorts of Christ imagery and ruin everything.

      • LeeEsq

        Aish is a very interesting group. The full name is Aish HaTorah or in English, Fire of the Torah. They are an Orthodox outreach group headquartered across from the Western Wall in Jerusalem.They aren’t adverse to using pop culture to get their message across but do it a lot more competently than other religious groups. A few years ago they produced this video for Passover:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIxToZmJwdI

        • The Dark God of Time

          I’ll just leave this here.

  • libarbarian

    Superman as Goody-Two-Shoes is boring and denies the possibility of any depth to the character

    And that MovieBob review makes me want to punch that man in the throat. He’s pedantic bashing gimmicks while resting on the gimmick of speaking in a machine-gun staccato.

    • Murc

      Superman as Goody-Two-Shoes is boring and denies the possibility of any depth to the character

      Like many people, you have fundamentally missed the point of Superman.

      • snarkout

        “If nothing can hurt you, you can afford to be cool. A man like Superman would never have to tense against the cold; never have to flinch in the face of a blow.”

        But what does Grant Morrison know?

      • jim, some guy in iowa

        I’ve gotten to the point where heroes doing good as a kind of byproduct of channeling revenge fantasies against bad people seems awfully shallow. A movie that even *tried* to deal with the question of “why do you, Superman, keep trying to help these people when you don’t have to and it doesn’t seem to change anything?” would be much more interesting than what we keep getting

        • Philip

          YES! <hobbyhorse>To me, it’s like the people who say “oh, the Culture is so boring.” No! The whole point is that there’s so much interesting stuff to examine in what it actually meansto have something like the Culture</hobbyhorse> There’s plenty of interesting things to ask about a Superman who does things “because they’re right,” and what that character will actually have to think about.

      • Docrailgun

        Missed the point of a character created a century ago and makes no sense now?

    • Sorry, why is a character choosing to be moral boring?

      • postmodulator

        Watching Superman choose to be moral isn’t boring(e.g., the good parts of the plot of Superman II). Superman just going around being moral and indestructible at people kind of is.

      • David Hunt

        Given your affinity for Captain America, it makes perfect sense that you like Superman. They’re two sides of the same two-headed coin. Cap embodies who we want to be as a nation and Superman embodies who we want to be as individuals.

        Back in the 90s when DC and Marvel had a month long event called Amalgam where they created a world that was peopled by mixing various character from the separate universes together, Superman and Cap were combined to create Super Soldier. And it worked because they’re both the moral compasses or their publishing houses.

        • Sly

          Put another way:

          Batman and Ironman are like Kanye West. A lot of people really like Kanye West. And for good reason: he’s brilliant at what he does. But, at least on some unconscious level, everyone understands that there will come a time when Kanye West will have to be stopped. He’s going to cross that line. That this line exists isn’t the question. The question is where that line is, and how long its going to be until that line is crossed. He might redeem himself after crossing that line, but he’s still going to cross it.

          Superman and Captain America, on the other hand, are like Beyonce. If you ever find yourself opposed to Beyonce, you probably need to reevaluate your life choices.

          • Just_Dropping_By

            So, what is the Kryptonite bullet analogue for Kanye?

            • Philip

              Twitter.

          • +1 to you too!

          • furikawari
        • I’m not a huge Superman fan, but I know people who are who have explained his strong points very well. I’m still a bit hung up on the invulnerable thing, but that’s largely because I imprinted on Indiana Jones )in Raiders getting punched by the big bald Nazi) at an early age.

          I remember Supersoldier! And Wolvabatman! So cheesy, but at least it was joyful.

      • libarbarian

        First, gooddy-two-shoes is not the same as simply “moral”.

        If there is a real choice, then it doesn’t have to be. If it just happens without any tension or conflict then, yeah, it is.

        But frankly, I think Superman in general completely sidesteps the fact that it would sure as hell be hard to be conventionally “moral” – and certainly goody-two-shoes as normal – with that much power.

        Besides the temptation for self-serving amorality (which I will put aside because, yeah, it’s Superman), it would be fucking difficult not to be tempted to use your power for the “greater good” by doing a little evil … especially when humanity does so much fucked up shit to each other. What person with Superman’s powers wouldn’t see something like ISIS taking thousands of sex slaves and be tempted to go and rip a whole bunch of those dudes apart with his bare hands? Wouldn’t there be times where you thought, maybe doing a little killing now might save more lives later? I find the idea that he has that much power but doesn’t even seem to be tempted to do evil in the pursuit of a greater good … well … fucking boring.

        Power corrupts. A character with that much power but who evidences no signs of even the temptation to corruption is fucking boring.

        • I don’t think you can look at Superman’s back catalog and say that it sidesteps any of that. I mean, “What’s So Funny About Truth, Justice, and the American Way?” is a direct response to the issues you raise.

          My first Superman comic ever was I think one of the John Byrne reinvention of Luthor as a businessman issues, and you see Luthor getting away scot-free by manipulating the justice system. And Superman’s there outside the court, helpless to do anything – and that shows how hard it is to work within the system, to really believe in “truth, justice, and the American Way.”

    • Halloween Jack

      Superman as Goody-Two-Shoes is boring and denies the possibility of any depth to the character

      And that’s why Captain America: The Winter Soldier was the worst of the Marvel movies. Oh, no, wait–what’s that word that means the opposite of “worst”?

      • To be fair, even with all the advantages of the Captain America character – the man-out-of-time premise, his relationships with Peggy and Bucky and his angst over losing them, his easy rapport with fun characters like Natasha and Sam – it’s pretty easy for MCU writers to get him wrong. Age of Ultron depicts him as a joyless stick in the mud, and I think Avengers might have done the same thing if most of his scenes hadn’t been cut.

        • Mayur

          Meh, Age of Ultron just got a lot of stuff wrong. He’s great in the first one, especially when going up against SHIELD and Stark about illegal weapons and courage, respectively.

          • I think his interactions with Stark in Avengers walk right up to the edge of making him seem like an insufferable prig, even if they don’t cross that line. It’s something I notice more after watching Age of Ultron and realizing that Whedon genuinely has no idea what makes Steve an interesting character, but it’s there already in the first movie.

            • Mayur

              As with your take on the dark knight, we’ll have to agree to disagree. I think Steve and tony bro out as much as can be expected in their relative arcs in Avengers. Also, how much is someone who grew up working class in the 1930s going to love a womanizing plutocrat show off anyway without some context?

        • By “MCU writers” I think you mean Joss Whedon, since he’s the common factor there.

          • True, though I would wonder how much uncredited rewriting goes on behind the scenes. But I think it still gets at the point that even with a very strong and interesting character, it’s easy to miss what makes them work.

            • tribble

              The series is missing any scenes where Cap and Tony seem to be getting along and enjoying each other as people. One or two would go a long way towards selling the stakes of their ideological differences on a personal level.

            • Good point. My hope is that the Russo brothers, who absolutely nailed Cap in Winter Soldier, will hit it out of the park again in Civil War and future Marvel films.

  • Warren Terra

    I have no particular intention to watch the movie – certainly not first-run or 3D – but I’m enjoying reading the reviews, whose authors are trying to entertain themselves with how much they hate this film, and for that matter Zach Snyder generally.

  • David Hunt

    when the problem people had is that he didn’t film Superman trying to save anyone

    To (mis)quote John Rogers, when an animated, misanthropic raccoon goes to more effort to save people than Superman, your Superman movie has a problem.

  • I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but I actually think Snyder has a point. It is actually a huge problem in The Force Awakens (and in A New Hope before it) that the characters have so little response to the destruction of whole planets and their billions of inhabitants. I mean, Leia watches her home and everyone she knows and loves die, and a few hours later she’s cracking wise with Luke and Han – and then she does it again in TFA. Snyder is perfectly correct to point out that there’s a disparate reaction to his film and to TFA, which has been classed as a fun romp. Also, saying “but the people who destroyed those planets were bad guys!” doesn’t address his point at all, because it’s not as if Superman killed any of the people who died in Metropolis himself – he just didn’t lift a finger to save them.

    Obviously, it’s that last point that is the problem, but especially given how sloppy the plotting in TFA – it’s not precisely the case that our heroes don’t try to save the planets destroyed by the Mega-Death Star, but they also don’t seem terribly invested in doing so – I don’t think Snyder’s argument is completely unfounded. The key difference, I think, is first that TFA is a movie that recognizes the value of kindness and compassion on the micro level, even if on the macro level it is indifferent to the deaths of billions. This Man of Steel does not do (Jonathan Kent’s “maybe you should have let them die” is the prime example). And second, that Superman is, well, Superman, and stories featuring him should be stories about how he does everything in his power to save as many lives as possible. That’s not a burden that Star Wars operates under.

    • Warren Terra

      Leia watches her home and everyone she knows and loves die, and a few hours later she’s cracking wise with Luke and Han

      We have no idea how much time elapses between the planet’s destruction and her rescue.

      But I’d certainly agree that the mass destruction is way too casual in TFA.

      • We have no idea how much time elapses between the planet’s destruction and her rescue.

        You’re right. It might be as long as a day. Totally enough time to get over the Holocaust of your people.

        • Fake Irishman

          Pushing back slightly here, don’t we all react to mind-boggling tragedy and grief in different and somewhat unusual or even ridiculous or callus-seeming ways? I remember hearing a news photographer rescued from the rubble of the World Trade Center’s first words to his wife — who had made him put on a shirt and tie for his assignment that morning before the planes went into the towers- when he called her from the ER weren’t “I love you” but a more Jersey-smack talk “They cut off my clothes!”

          • I think what you’re describing is shock, though. Leia clearly isn’t in shock during her rescue from the Death Star – she in fact takes over the rescue, and even has time to poke fun at her rescuers.

        • Not really her people. She was adopted after all.

          OK, I feel dirty for writing that.

          • A little, yes, though I’m pretty sure the guiding philosophy of the Star Wars universe agrees with you. Luke had barely any reaction to the murder of his adoptive parents, after all.

            • Mayur

              Really? It’s the single most affecting scene in the movie. Every kid I’ve watched it with tears up when Luke finds Beru and Owen dead.

              And I don’t see how, in any film that isn’t actually ABOUT grief rather than having something terrible occur to show you how bad the bad guys are, you can give characters enough time to mourn appropriately. Leia is either being tortured or shot at for the entire period between Alderaan’s destruction and making it out on the Falcon; after that she’s trying to organize a world-spanning assault to prevent ANOTHER planet (well, moon) from being blown up. I think putting a nervous breakdown onscreen would have been a bit tone-breaking. (Abrams, weirdly, DOES it in the Star Trek reboot, but it’s a plot device there.)

            • tribble

              And Hansel and Gretel bounced right back after their father abandoned them in the woods.

              Which is only to say that a lot of entertainment is rooted in pretty psychologically unsound characterizations. How many children’s stories casually kill off one or more parents to create the conditions for the protagonist to go off doing things they would never be allowed to do? Ton, and they rarely dwell on that part, because the point is for the audience or reader to enjoy following along on the adventure. Or consider the “cozy catastrophe” genre of stories about plucky survivors totally not traumatized by whatever killed of the rest of the planet, just Swiss Family Robinson-ing along.

              So far, so shallow, and I think it’s fair to criticize stories on this basis while remembering that these tropes exist. It’s reasonable to ask if that is ever a legitimate story-telling strategy, to let your audience stay numb to the consequences. (Imagine an action movie from Michael Haneke!)

              The problem for me is the tonally-incoherent mix between the epic high-body-count battle and the reminders that the victims are people just like you. So in The Force Awakens it’s jarring to see the people on the planets about to be blown up and to be reminded that storm troopers are people just like our man Finn as they are blasted left and right. And in Man of Steel seeing all that destruction to a familiar city scape, especially invoking 9/11 just draws attention to the civilian death toll. Once the story starts actively reminding me of all the horribleness I have to ask why the characters don’t respond. If the story keeps it in the background, having the characters have muted (but still existing!) reactions works.

              And then you have Guardians of the Galaxy which starts off with a heartwrenching scene of shameless emotional manipulation, avoids the huge civilian death toll, and brings back the emotional manipulation to retrospectively heighten the stakes. It’s kind of the reverse Star Wars.

    • David Hunt

      Also, saying “but the people who destroyed those planets were bad guys!” doesn’t address his point at all, because it’s not as if Superman killed any of the people who died in Metropolis himself – he just didn’t lift a finger to save them.

      At the fight in Smallville, he knows that he’s the one the Kryptonians are after, but he doesn’t do anything to move the fight out of town. I definitely remember him throwing one opponent into a railyard and causing mass damage. I can’t remember if the people almost die in the destroyed restaurant do to his direct action or just do to his indifference to fighting alien gods in the middle of his hometown.

      In Metropolis, I’m pretty sure that he sends Zod through several skyscrapers and I think some of them came down. There’s likely a fair amount of direct loss of life there. We don’t see it, but I’d be shocked if the death toll from his direct actions was less than dozens.

      Finally, all the demonstrated indifference to human life cheapens his decision to kill Zod. If I had felt that he’d been going out of his way to save everyone he could, I might have been able to stomach him being willing to kill Zod to save people…if I was convinced he really couldn’t stop him any other way.

      • I don’t disagree with any of this – god forbid I should be seen as a MoS defender – but that’s not the complaint that is most frequently brought up against the movie (to be honest, I’d forgotten most of these details until you mentioned them). What everyone complains about – quite rightly – is that Superman doesn’t try to minimize the loss of life caused by Zod.

        • David Hunt

          I noticed it every time it looked like Superman was being indifferent to loss of life. They even when out of their was to literally put Superman an the other side planet so that they could have all their cool explosions and property damage and then they had him throw Zod through buildings in a densely populated city anyway.

    • Why doesn’t it not address the point? Superman damn well did kill people in Metropolis. He was throwing Zod through buildings filled with people!

  • By the way, if you’re looking for an example for how the Superman story can done right, you should really check out Supergirl. It’s not without its flaws, and you have to accept a certain YAish tone as the price of admission. But it’s a show that is very serious about its heroine’s goodness and desire to help and preserve life, and it also challenges her when she slips into the mindset of believing that her powers make it OK for her to be the final arbiter of people’s lives. And in addition, it’s a show with a ton of female characters, who have interesting and complex relationships with one another.

    (There’s probably a longer discussion to be had about why Marvel does so well in movies and so badly on TV, while DC is the reverse. But probably the answer in DC’s case is simply “Greg Berlanti,” who has a remarkably strong sense of all the characters his shows are about, not to mention a knack for casting just the right people as those characters.)

    • Sly

      There’s probably a longer discussion to be had about why Marvel does so well in movies and so badly on TV, while DC is the reverse.

      Really? I like the Marvel shows better than I like most of the Marvel movies. As for DC, I can take or leave Gotham, but Arrow, The Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow are, at best, in guilty pleasure territory for me. Admittedly I haven’t given Supergirl a watch yet.

      • I would say that all of the Marvel TV shows are flawed-to-terrible except Jessica Jones, and all of the DC TV shows are fun-to-genuinely-good except The Flash (and even then, the first season was quite strong, and my objection to the second season is at least in part its cavalier attitude towards Barry doing stuff like killing people and throwing them in his own private prison). And Supergirl especially has been on fire the last few episodes.

        • David Hunt

          Totally agree about Supergirl. Her emotional breakdown after she come down off the effects the Red Kryptonite is heartbreaking.

        • Mayur

          Abigail Nussbaum:
          I would say that all of the Marvel TV shows are flawed-to-terrible except Jessica Jones…

          Daredevil? Seriously?
          Yeah whatever.

          • I would say that Daredevil (talking S1 here as I haven’t seen S2 yet) falls closer to the “flawed” end of that scale, but dear god, is it ever flawed. First, simply on the structural level – the first season doesn’t actually have a plot, and it has to scramble just to come up with a climactic battle with which to end its story. But also on the thematic level, where it’s clear that the writers have no grasp of the actual issues raised by their stories. Plenty of people have pointed out the inherent bankruptcy of a character who vows not to kill and then drops people off rooftops into convenient dumpsters, but DD works so hard to whittle Matt’s moral dilemma into a single, massively simplified question (should he kill Wilson Fisk, a man who is about to be arrested anyway?) that it’s hardly even worth the effort of engaging with. It seems to me like the epitome of dudebro self-seriousness.

        • Manny Kant

          I’d say the Netflix Marvel shows are better than any of the DC shows, which are (Gotham excepted) better than the ABC shows.

      • nixnutz

        I would put the Marvel Netflix shows first, followed by Agent Carter, followed by Gotham and then Supergirl. I don’t watch AoS anymore and Arrow and Flash are lousy (Arrow was briefly good in s2, The Flash has always been shit).

        And while I agree that Man of Steel was a terrible misunderstanding of the character, as a movie I thought it was OK. I’m not at all sure I liked any of the MCU movies any better; Guardians of the Galaxy, maybe the first Iron Man, but everything in this Avengers era has been dull as shit. I don’t give a damn about any single part of it. I guess Ruffalo’s good, that’s the best I can offer.

    • Philip

      (There’s probably a longer discussion to be had about why Marvel does so well in movies and so badly on TV, while DC is the reverse. But probably the answer in DC’s case is simply “Greg Berlanti,” who has a remarkably strong sense of all the characters his shows are about, not to mention a knack for casting just the right people as those characters.)

      And at least when it comes to Agents of SHIELD, I think the answer is that Whedon has reached the people-stop-telling-him-no phase of his career. I think you see it a bit in the last few seasons of Buffy, too.

      • I kind of go back and forth on how much of an influence Whedon has on Agents of SHIELD. The original concept of the show is clearly influenced by him – it’s basically Firefly crossed with Dollhouse, except with much blander characters and painfully vague worldbuilding. But I think that’s the extent of his involvement with it, and these days it’s run by Jeph Loeb, the MCU’s TV chief, and its showrunners the Whedon-Tancharoens. At any rate, at this stage Whedon isn’t involved with the MCU at all, and in interviews he gave before Age of Ultron he distanced himself quite considerably from AoS.

        • Philip

          Even S1 though, I felt like a lot of the same weaknesses as late-Buffy were there. But I guess it’s true that it wasn’t til S2 that it lost the strengths of Buffy.

    • CP

      Hey Abigail: is it bad that I’m looking forward to your review of Superman 2 and Captain America 3 more than the actual movies themselves?

      (ETA: to clarify, yes, I DID mean that as a compliment to your blog and not a diss on DC and Marvel… well, not just a diss on DC and Marvel).

      • Ha! It might be a while on the first count – for various reasons I won’t be able to see BvS until the middle of April. I was also thinking of waiting to write about it, Civil War, and Daredevil S2 all together, because I get the feeling that they’re all circling around the same issues, and will all piss me off in roughly the same ways.

        • CP

          Eh, no hurries – I’ll look forward to it all the same.

          Also, it’s highly probable that I’ll never even see Batman v. Superman, unless friends of mine want to go. I’m sufficiently invested in the Marvel Universe to watch Daredevil and Civil War, even though in the latter case the trailer and the comic book it’s based on are both less than promising. Whereas Man Of Steel… I won’t say I hated it, but it definitely didn’t get me hooked on the universe enough to overlook how awful the BVS trailers look.

          Also, part of the reason I keep watching MCU movies is that I’m genuinely curious to see which one will “jump the shark” for me (go from fun if flawed to totally unwatchable). Around this time last year I thought Ant-Man might be it, but was pleasantly surprised; Age Of Ultron, on the other hand, might have been it.

    • Very true about Supergirl.

      Not sure I agree about the TV shows. Yes, there have been duds, but also some good stuff in there.

    • Halloween Jack
  • Docrailgun

    Huh. I guess all those times Superman let people die (or killed them) don’t count anymore? What about the time he pretended to die so Luthor could sell his super organs to criminals which of cpurse failed at the climax if the story. Let’s see… the guy with the super-heart? Dead. The guy with thd super-lungs? Dead. Super-eyes? Blind.
    Superman is a super-douche.

    All that aside, why would we not expect the Man of Steel character, who came to Earth at the earliest in 1986 and was raised in red state Kansas to not be a callous Trump supporter? The poor guys normal growing up would have been constant war on television, racism and bigotry surrounding him every day, and patents rightfully worried that the aliens will come for their adopted son… if the government doesn’t take him first .
    Good characters should be the product of their environment, not just plopped into a setting with motivations from some other setting.

    • What, there aren’t good people in Kansas?

    • LeeEsq

      This is some high grade premium cynicism.

    • AMK

      Good chatacters should be the product of their environment

      I always had similar problems with the whole Captain America premise, where a guy who spends all his 20-something years as a physical and social punching bag for virtually everyone around him is suddenly given great power….and becomes a moral exemplar overnight.

      The writers’ rationale is “Steve Rodgers knows what it’s like to be made to suffer, so he chooses never to use his power to inflict suffering.” But these writers clearly had charmed upbringings, or they would know how absurd that logic is. Real life and the entire history of psychology attest to the fact that if you take somebody whose only experience is being kicked and you hand them power, the first thing they want to do is kick back twice as hard. X Men is far more realistic here: take someone whose formative experience is serious abuse and give him great power, and what you get is a supervillian–Magneto.

      • LeeEsq

        Somehow I think that more realistic depictions of Superman or Captain America would not be popular with many people across the political spectrum. Superman was loved by generations of Americans for decades. You can’t use the reboot to create standard rural Republican Superman would work out well commercially.

    • Gareth

      I wondered about this myself a while back, and someone pointed out it depends on the timing. Pinning down an ageless, frequently rebooted character’s birth date is tricky, though. When I first asked, the comics Clark arrived some time in the 1970s, long enough ago for the politics to be different. Several rural counties in Kansas went for Jimmy Carter in 1976, for instance. And Johnathan Kent essentially is Jimmy Carter. Which suggests an interesting what-if story.
      Regardless of the timing, Clark is an unmarried, childless journalist who lives in a big city. He’s probably canvassing for Bernie Sanders with Steve Rogers.

  • Lee Rudolph

    in his first appearance in Action Comics #1, he saves a guy who’s on death row from being unjustly executed

    …and, at age two years, a precocious Antonin Scalia reads this and vows “When I’m big I’ll put an end to that kind of thing”.

  • Mike in DC

    In a month or two we will have the third Capt. America film, which is likely to be a substantially superior film in every way, even though the broad themes aren’t too dissimilar. It would be interesting to compare and contrast the two once it comes out.

  • Tyro

    I liked 300. There, I said it.

    However, and this comes up time and time again, Snyder has no understanding of human behavior. He copy a comic from the book to the screen, but he has no idea why is happening and he doesn’t think that the visuals and dialog exist to tell a story to the audience.

    I realized that Snyder was able to pull off what few people could do: adapt Watchmen almost frame for frame on the big screen while missing all the essential storytelling plot points that would connect them together.

    • You hit the nail on the head there. I don’t know how you can clearly obsess about the details of something to the extent he clearly did without understanding it at all, but he managed it.

    • Bruce B.

      There’s one Snyder film that actually has quite good characterizations: his remake of Dawn of the Dead, which I think is a substantial improvement on the original in several ways. It opens with a perfect case study in how much we miss in the routine of life, and there are some really strong scenes along the way to a great conclusion.

      Of course the screenplay was by James Gunn, which likely has rather a lot to do with that.

  • Aaron Morrow

    Superman needed to kill in order to learn that killing was wrong. This is news to me; I thought that perhaps one could figure that out from basic empathy or perhaps reasoning by extrapolation rather than direct experience.

    Back in 1988, John Byrne defended his pro-death penalty screed in the comic book much the same way. It just doesn’t work.

    “What’s So Funny About Truth, Justice & the American Way?” seems like an appropriate reference point, but I can’t do the story justice.

    • It’s a damn good story.

    • Mike in DC

      I think Millar’s run on the Authority was the culmination of the worst aspects of the Iron Age of comics. Just no redeeming qualities whatsoever.

      • FMguru

        This, but Millar’s run on…well, everything (except, weirdly, the Superman Adventures animated-series tie in comic, in which his work was genuinely good and wholly uncynical.)

      • wjts

        Which is odd, because after Warren Ellis, there’s usually nowhere to go but up.

        • Mayur

          Warren Ellis? The guy who wrote Planetary?

          What is WITH you people today?

          • wjts

            Unless there’s another Planetary that isn’t a seemingly never-ending stream of adolescent tough-guy posturing and drearily “gritty” reimaginings of the works of other, more talented writers, then yeah, that guy.

            • Mayur

              A comic about mythological archaeologists with lovingly rendered invalids, ghosts, and interestoing very non-belligerent characters strikes you as “adolescent tough-guy posturing”? Okay then.

              Planetary, after sandman, is THE comic I’ve found most effectively brings non-teenage-white-dude-nerd demographics into comic books.

              • wjts

                I should have said “never-ending stream of adolescent tough-guy posturing pretending to be dialogue“.

                Edit: Your follow up really surprises me, mostly because Planetary (and Warren Ellis generally) is exactly the sort of shit I would have loved as a 14-year-old white dude nerd.

                • Mayur

                  That’s two extremely out-of-context panels designed specifically to show Elijah’s over-the-top grumpiness. Sadly I can’t continue this discussion because I have no idea how to locate a bunch of copyrighted material online, but the actual substantive characterizations of the three principals, and even more so the supporting cast (Ambrose’s family, Melanctha, Hark’s private investigator, etc.) are pretty darn non-macho and nuanced.

  • Bootsie

    Hey Steven, ever read Kingdom Come?

    • Yep. Long time ago, and I don’t remember it that well outside of Ross’ art.

  • Mike in DC

    I am pretty sure that an objectivist Superman would be recognized by most people as a dangerous supervillain.

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