The Man of Steel trailer has arrived:
I can not wait.
I think Superman is stuck in a tough place in our collective consciousness. If he’s his classic self, he gets dismissed for being too much of a “Boy Scout” – though I wish we could retire that term, since I doubt he’d ever want to be associated with a group that now puts discrimination into its bylaws – and compared unfavorably to the “nuanced” and dark Batman. If he becomes a little edgier – as has happened in the reboot, as it looks like is happening in Man of Steel – he’s not the Superman everyone wants to see.
I love Superman because he’s an outsider, who can pass as part of the mainstream world, but who harbors this wonderful secret that he’s afraid to share. But Superman was created in a different era, and I’m not too sure that an alien boy who lands on a farm in Kansas would necessarily be instilled with virtues such as truth, justice, and the American Way.
What is the American Way?
I am not a parent, but I can only imagine that parents of children who are “different” wish to protect their children. The easiest way to protect something different is to hide it. Sometimes hiding comes with sacrifices. I don’t think any of us will face a situation where we have to choose between passing or saving lives, but maybe we will. I know what my mom would say to me in that situation. But I also know what I’d choose anyway, no matter what. And my mom would understand.
I’m excited for Man of Steel for a lot of reasons. Sure, I’ll always be excited for a new Superman movie; I’ll always give it the benefit of the doubt. I’m really happy about a lot of the casting, which I haven’t been since Lois and Clark. But for the first time in a long time, in this age of superhero origin reboots every decade, Superman’s origin seems new. You can’t have a real heroic journey without some darkness. Superman doesn’t get swallowed up by it; he strives to find the good in the world, and to add some more good to it, and this trailer makes me think that’s exactly the direction Snyder is going in.
My father believed that if the world found out who I really was, they’d reject me. He was convinced that the world wasn’t ready.
What do you think?
I was wary of the “Nolanization” of Superman. But the more I thought about it, the more I thought about my favorite Superman comics over the years – especially Superman: Secret Identity and Superman: Man for All Seasons – the more I realized that this is exactly where I want Superman to go. This isn’t Nolanization – or maybe this is exactly what Nolanization is – this is putting a superhero into our world, the same as Siegel and Shuster did, the same as the team of writers on Donner’s film did. But it’s not 1938 anymore. It’s not 1978 anymore.