Ask Dayton 74 – Man of Steel Into Darkness
So, Superman gets a new film, gets hit bad by the critics and the geek squad is out in force because “Superman killed and he doesn’t kill!” (Uh huh…I guess in Superman II Zod was left to have a tea with some dolls at the end?)
Anyway, have you seen the film and if so, what did you think? Also, who are your favorite superheroes and more important, why do you love them?
Nope, haven’t seen the new flick. I’m planning to, once I can get out from under various distractions and time sinks like work, kids, household “To Do” lists, and writing answers for questions submitted by the audiences of internet radio shows and podcasts who provide spoilers for movies I haven’t yet had the chance to see.
So, you know….thanks for that.
In all seriousness, I’d heard about the “controversial ending” of Man of Steel and how it grates on the nerves and various dangly bits of fanboys crying out from basements the world over. I’ll admit that at first, I was troubled by the idea of this apparent soiling of the Superman mythos, but—setting aside the previous examples of Superman killing various bad guys totally to death and shit—when I paused to think about it and after reading an article on this very topic, I came away not bothered at all by how this particular film chose to play out this bit.
In a nutshell: Man of Steel is Superman’s origin tale, re-imagined for a new generation, blah blah blah. The story showcases Clark Kent’s first EVER conflict with anyone or anything which comes anywhere close to being able to stand toe to toe with him, and he has no idea what the best course of action should be. Meanwhile, Zod is killing the fuck out of people right in front of him, and there’s not a lot of time to reflect and ponder moral quandaries. So, Clark does what he thinks needs to be done at that precise moment in time to deal with that specific problem. To borrow a popular turn of phrase from another genre franchise, the needs of the many outweigh one megalomaniacal Kryptonian dickbag. So be it. I’m sleeping fine, tonight.
For your perusal, the article I read which helped me over this hump:
What remains to be seen is how this event will weigh on Clark and help him grow as a character, and we’ll hopefully see how he uses what he’s learned here to forge that moral code we now equate with the other incarnations of Superman who’ve been doing the whole hero thing for the last handful of decades. To me, it’s not that different from watching young Jim Kirk in the rebooted Star Trek, showing the potential to be the Captain Kirk we know and love from the original series, but having not grown into being that person just yet. This shit takes time, yo. Here’s hoping that when it gets here in two or three years, Man of Steel Into Darkness does a better job of furthering its main man’s character arc.
As for favorite superheroes? One who’s carried over from childhood is Captain America. I read those comics as a kid, and the recent movie kicked ass. The Avengers was probably my favorite movie from last summer, and I can’t wait to see what Marvel does next on that front. I run hot and cold on most of the other Marvel heroes, but that doesn’t mean I don’t pick up the occasional comic storyline, and I do go to see the different movies. I can’t wait to see the new Captain America flick, example, and Avengers 2 as well as the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. series coming this fall? Yeah, I’ll be all over those.
But, Superman and Batman have always topped the list. When I was but a wee lad, I tied a towel around my neck and took a header off the stairs in my house because I saw George Reeves do it on TV in reruns of the old 1950s Adventures of Superman series. Ask my mother about it; she gets a kick from telling that story to anyone who will listen. I also loved watching the Adam West Batman series, and not for nothing, but owning a 1966 Batmobile is on my bucket list. I have a midlife crisis coming up soon, and this would definitely help deal with that. Bikini model in the passenger seat is optional, but bonus points if she dresses up as Batgirl.
Too much info? Okay, then. Moving on.
I also read both Supes and Bats comics throughout my childhood. My comics interested faded for several years, but came back with a vengeance when Superman got a reboot in 1986 with John Byrne’s The Man of Steel, and Batman comics also got a kick in their ass with Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns. I’ve been a frequent if not regular follower of both characters since then, and now my kids love them, too. We watch the different cartoons together, and I take them with me to the comic shop, and then there are the movies, of course. The 1978 Superman film is still one of my all-time favorites. Hell, I just bought a Superman animated movie the other day.
To…uh…watch with the kids, of course.
Yeah, that’s it.
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He is the co-owner of Busy Little Beaver Productions and is the producer and co-host for G & T Show and Gates of Sto’vo’kor. He’s directed voice actors, and produced and edited audio podcasts and dramas because he doesn’t have the face for video. He plays well with others and is always on the look out for the next project, the next thing, the next next. If he wasn’t working on something with a half dozen other projects waiting in the wings, somebody please check to make sure he’s still breathing.
During the day, he’s a mild-mannered computer repair man who dabbles in web design in his small, rural, Central California community. He lives with his lovingly dysfunctional family and loyal canine companion and spends most of his time in the closet concocting some hair-brained scheme or another. He’s got an unhealthy obsession with Lego video games, Klingons, and Star Trek Online that borders on the neurotic.
Despite all this, he still finds the time to write the words. Find out what he's doing here.