Christopher Nolan Originally Disagreed with MAN OF STEEL Ending; SUPERMAN: BIRTHRIGHT Author Mark Waid Reacts Negatively to Film’s Finish

     June 18, 2013


There’s been a lot of talk about Man of Steel‘s conclusion.  A large portion of the discussion has been around how Zod and Superman’s fight levels Metropolis, and while that makes for a great action scene, it also raises questions about Supes’ responsibility in the implicit deaths of Metropolis citizens caught in the chaos.  That climactic battle didn’t cause any disagreement among writer David S. Goyer, director Zack Snyder, and producer Christopher Nolan.  What did cause some dissent was the scene that followed.

Hit the jump for how the filmmakers talked through Superman’s difficult decision, and to read the negative reaction from Superman: Birthright author Mark Waid[Spoilers ahead, obviously]

Man-of-Steel-zack-snyder-Christopher-Nolan-imageSpeaking to Empire Magazine podcast (via The Playlist), Snyder and Goyer revealed that the original version of the script had General Zod being sent back into the Phantom Zone.  “But David, Chris and I had long talks about it, and I said that I really feel like we should kill Zod, and that Superman should kill him,” said Snyder. “The ‘Why?’ of it for me was that if was truly an origin story, his aversion to killing is unexplained… I wanted to create a scenario where Superman, either he’s going to see [Metropolis' citizens] chopped in half, or he’s gotta do what he’s gotta do.”

Personally, I find that to be pretty weak reasoning.  Everything we see with Ma and Pa Kent is supposed to remind us that Clark was raised in a loving household with decent values.  Does every origin story need a scene where someone says to the burgeoning hero, “And remember: don’t kill anyone.”  At least in Batman Begins (which Goyer co-wrote), Batman is presented with the instruction to kill someone and flatly refuses (he later kills anyway, but eases his conscience on a technicality).  Also, if an aversion to killing remains “unexplained”, does this mean we should expect Superman to kill more people in the future?

Nolan was initially reluctant to have Superman snap the villain’s neck, but Goyer went and got the “OK” from DC Comics.  The screenwriter then said, “I came up with this idea of heat vision and these people about to die, and I wrote the scene, gave it to Chris, and he said, ‘Okay you’ve convinced me.’”  On a thematic level, I can see the logic since Superman is severing his last tie with Krypton, but it’s still taking the character to a place where he loses one of his defining attributes.

superman-birthright-book-coverSuperman: Birthright author Mark Waid agrees, and related his dissatisfaction to Thrillbent (via Cinema Blend) as an out-of-body experience:

Superman wins by killing Zod. By snapping his neck. And as this moment was building, as Zod was out of control and Superman was (for the first time since the fishing boat 90 minutes ago) struggling to actually save innocent victims instead of casually catching them in mid-plummet, some crazy guy in front of us was muttering “Don’t do it…don’t do it…DON’T DO IT…” and then Superman snapped Zod’s neck and that guy stood up and said in a very loud voice, “THAT’S IT, YOU LOST ME, I’M OUT,” and his girlfriend had to literally pull him back into his seat and keep him from walking out and that crazy guy was me. That crazy guy was me, and I barely even remember doing that, I had to be told afterward that I’d done that, that’s how caught up in betrayal I felt. And after the neck-snapping, even though I stuck it out, I didn’t give a damn about the rest of the movie.

As the credits rolled, I told myself I was upset because Superman doesn’t kill. Full-stop, Superman doesn’t kill. But sitting there, I broke it down some more in my head because I sensed there was more to it since Superman clearly regretted killing Zod. I had to grant that the filmmakers at least went way out of their way to put Superman in a position suggesting (but hardly conclusively proving) he had no choice (and I did love Superman’s immediate-aftermath reaction to what he’d done). I granted that they’d at least tried to present Superman with an impossible choice and, on a purely rational level, and if this had been a movie about a guy named Ultraguy, I might even have bought what he did. But after I processed all that, I realized that it wasn’t so much my uncompromising vision of Superman that made this a total-fail moment for me; it was the failed lead-up TO the moment. As Superman’s having his final one-on-one battle with Zod, show me that he’s going out of his way to save people from getting caught in the middle. SHOW ME that trying to simultaneously protect humans and beat Zod is achingly, achingly costing Superman the fight. Build to that moment of the hard choice…show me, without doubt, that Superman has no other out and do a better job of convincing me that it’s a hard decision to make, and maybe I’ll give it to you. But even if I do? It’s not a victory. Not this sad, soul-darkening, utterly sans-catharsis “triumph” that doesn’t even feel like a win so much as a stop-loss. Two and a half hours, and I never once got the sense that Superman really achieved or earned anything.

Listen to the full episode of the Empire Podcast:

  • croc

    agree with Mark on that one…would’ve been cooler if Superman got his hands burnt and pulled out Zod’s eyes instead…oh wait, Pg13…

    • Doug_101

      That’s actually an interesting solution. Good one!
      For me, the scene worked. I thought Cavill played it very well and you could tell that Superman was crushed by what he had to do. I think this will definitely play into the next one. Maybe he’ll be fighting someone in the first act and will make a point NOT to kill him, to show he’s grown as a character.

      • unsean

        It might have worked for you, but it’s no way that it made any sense. For instance, Superman had been on Earth for years. He had adjusted to the environment, and honed his powers, unlike his Kryptonian enemies.

        There is no way that he couldn’t have saved his father – notice how quickly Zod and his followers moved. He not only could have done it, but he could have done it but no one would have seen him do it – but he could have found a more creative solution to the Zod problem because he had – literally – years to master his powers and to learn the extent of them (though admittedly he took to flying rather late).

        That he took the easy way out (relatively speaking) speaks to the cynical, dark tone the filmmakers wanted to impart.

        And remember, he already knew about not killing (though for some strange reason he let his father die) after all, his upbringing by the Kents had to be good for something (this is also why he forced himself not to hit the bully earlier in the film, as much as he wanted to do so because it would have probably killed the guy).

        I enjoyed “Man Of Steel,” though I also thought it was remarkably cynical, and ruined the mythos of Superman.

      • Doug_101

        The movie gave me the impression that he really hadn’t been honing his powers since Jonathan imparted to him to keep it a secret. He did what good he could here and there, but the way I read it, he was a complete novice when he put the suit on.

      • unsean

        Which would still put him years ahead of Zod and his crew. Keep in mind that he was salving people at various times throughout his life (I assume that the didn’t necessarily see all of them) that would have gave him reason to use his powers.

        For instance, remember what he did with the semi. You have to admit that that not only took superior strength, but some serious motor control. He turned the thing to a piece of modern art, hardly the actions of a novice.

        There were attributes of his powers that were relatively new, like flying, but that was the only one the movie indicated that he didn’t at least have a grasp on.

        I think that the heat vision may have come relatively late too, but still that gave him – literally – years over the competition.

        In other words, he should have wiped the floor with them.

        And by the way, since we are on this line of inquiry, how is it that Zod and his minions acquired the powers, when all that was available to receive the benefits of the sun’s radiation was their faces.

        I am not saying that they shouldn’t have enhanced abilities, but on the scale of Superman?

        Maybe if the producers had spent more time on the small details, instead of shooting their wad on grand strokes (pardon the pun) the film would have felt less like a sell-out to cynicism.

      • Doug_101

        That’s a good point about Zod’s powers and I remember thinking the same thing watching the movie. I guess they could argue that they traveled all over the place and may have picked up some yellow sun along the way. It would have been a nice touch to address it.
        Your points are valid about the powers, but in only showing us Clark’s past in flashback, we don’t really see his powers develop. It would have been nice to see that, but I think they wanted to get through this one just to relaunch Superman and then get to the good stuff. It’s definitely not a perfect film, but it did a good job at getting Superman back up off the ground.

      • webknight18

        There’s difference between having powers and using them in a fight. Zod and his team were trained soldiers who were genetically engineered to fight. No matter how strong Superman was, they would have still kicked his ass.

      • unsean

        You’re kidding, right? You can take all the trained soldiers you want, put them up against Superman, Supergirl or Krypto, and your outcome is the same, which is that they lose.

        Remember, Zod and his crew came from a world where THEY HAD NO SUPER POWERS. At all, while Superman had been traveling the world honing his abilities (I went into this in greater detail earlier). There is no way Zod and his crew, who would not only be unused to such abilities, but might not even be aware of them, would react as well as someone who had the aforementioned abilities for years.

        Literally no way, which means that they not only should have been mystified that they were as strong and fast as they were (remember, Zod actually had to adjust to use his powers efficiently), which logically means that they will not be as proficient as someone who already knows what they are coming to learn (a issue better covered in Superman II, by the way).

      • webknight18

        As i mentioned before, just because u have abilities does not mean anything. Has clark hit anyone his entire life? Does he know how to fight? He took years to learn how to use what little of his powers he could. Zod on the other hand managed it in a matter of hours. Do u see the difference?

      • unsean

        Yeah, the difference is that you still don’t make any sense. Nor have you addressed how Superman – who has known and used his abilities for years – could be beaten by someone who LITERALLY never has.

        Focus, stay on point, and answer the question, if you please.

      • webknight18

        The point is he hasn’t really used his abilities all his life. He only learnt how to control and hide them from others. Did he learn how to fly? Has he ever felt how it would be to hit someone? He didn’t try to test his powers until Zor-el asked him to. He has been holding back his entire life afraid to show who he was.

        U seem to think Superman can beat everyone, then please explain why he had his ass kicked my Faora, and the tall guy and was saved by the military intervening. It was very clear that he had never had the chance to fully test his powers against an opponent. He was just a novice and he could have been taken down. U want to know why he would lose? Let’s take professional boxing for example. Just because u are strong and have well built muscles does not mean u will win the fight. Professional boxers train with others, so they know how to fight, how to instinctively react to a punch. Experience counts for everything in a fight. U don’t get that until u really fight against someone.

        In case u didn’t notice Zod was kicking his ass during the end fight. I am right on point, but u just don’t want to see reason. If u still don’t understand my point then u never will.

      • unsean

        This discussion is the oddest thing for me, mainly because you seem to deny things that the movie makes clear.

        For instance, Clarke is bullied and accidentally used his super strength to crush a steel pole and – literally – pulls a bus from the water all before he was 17-years-old, yet you somehow imply that he “hasn’t used his abilities all his life.”

        It’s almost like you haven’t see the movie at all.

        For instance, Superman is capable of super speed. Now, why wouldn’t that come into play when he was –I don’t know – running?

        And I can’t speak for you, but while I am not capable of super speed, I have run quite a bit as I have grown up.

        His X-ray vision manifested himself when he was a child, as did his super strength, and yet you somehow think that he used these abilities once?

        Does that really make any sense to you?

        And your professional boxer point also makes no sense because I get the feeling that you’re equating the wrong person with being a professional boxer.

        In the context of Superman, Clark is the professional boxer because he has honed his various abilities over years, whole Zod and his gang would be Steve Rogers –pre-supersoldier formula.

        No contest. No contest at all.

      • webknight18

        I’m not saying he hasn’t used them, i’m saying he hasn’t used them in a fight. Yes, he crushed a steel pole and yes he pushed a bus, but both of those are inaminate objects. They don’t fight back.

        A professional boxer hones his fighting skills by fighting real opponents. U think if u practice on a punching bag u can get into the ring and fight? It doesn’t matter if u practice hundreds of hours against a punching bag. You will always lose to someone with real experience even if they are not as strong as you are. In this example clark is someone who has zero experience against a real opponent. So, how can u equate him to a professional boxer?

        There’s a huge difference when fighting a real person. That’s my whole point. Did u watch the movie at all? If there was no contest then why was he having his ass handed to him? Do u think he liked getting punched? It’s one thing to say he was stronger than the other kryptonians because he has been exposed longer to earths atmosphere, but to suggest that he could just beat them all up is ridiculous.

      • webknight18

        Also, regarding why clark didn’t save his dad, i doubt it would have been as simple as you say. Sure he could move at super speed, but if he tried to save his dad at that speed, he would split his dad into two. He would have to slow down substantially, before he could pick his dad.

        But that would mean that people would see it, and they would also notice that clark was not there with them. They could easily put 2 & 2 together. His dad realized that and that’s why he opted to sacrifice himself instead. I don’t think he had some kind of death wish. He just wanted to protect his sons secret.

        This version of superman isn’t as powerful as the superman in Superman the movie, or Superman returns or even Smallville. Those versions could lift islands and push planets. They went for a more powered down superman here.

    • Toki Nakamura

      I was expecting that to happen and it would have saved the movie a bit for me

      or I seriously was expecting a Smallville bullet time in which Clark renders Zod unconscious.

  • Alan Burnett

    “What did cause some dissent was the scene that followed.”

    Yeah, “dissent”. Three ADULTS were involved in a disagreement over a creative decision and this shit is “dissent”? OK, then …

    “Also, if an aversion to killing remains “unexplained”, does this mean we should expect Superman to kill more people in the future?”

    Christ, I am so sick of Goldberg. Not only does he bitch about the film for LITERALLY YEARS before it was released, but he has also been complaining about it on other sites. NO, you MORON, it DOESN’T MEAN he will kill more people in the future. It means he WON’T because he has fully come to terms with what it means to kill a person. And I am FUCKING BORED with this “Superman doesn’t kill” bullshit. Didn’t he throw a powerless Zod to his death? In that instance, he had a choice and he chose to kill: this time, he didn’t have a choice. He’s also killed IN THE COMICS but now we have INSIPID AS FUCK bloggers writing pompous as hell posts on what Superman would or wouldn’t do.

    “Does every origin story need a scene where someone says to the burgeoning hero, “And remember: don’t kill anyone.” At least in Batman Begins”

    Man of Steel, Batman Begins … yeah, that’s fucking EVERY origin story, isn’t it?

    • Alan Burnett

      Whaaaaaaaa, whaaaaaaa. Bad man doesn’t like my picture book story movie. WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! [throws rattle at computer screen]

      • Alan Burnett

        Also, does anybody know if there is a Chris Nolan impersonator that i can hire to come to my house, gather my family in the living room, drop his pants and start pissing in my open mouth while yelling “ACTION”? I’d really like that, in fact, i’m pretty sure that it’ll be the best birthday ever! I’m willing to pay $300 cash. $350 if he can make it taste like asparagus.

      • Alan Burnett

        You have been OBSESSED with Nolan for years (yes, years), posting jokes that NO ONE finds amusing, and I can’t deal with contrary opinions? OK, then … I guess the only way you can get someone to listen to you is to use another person’s name. Your own, apparently, doesn’t interest others.

  • Alan Burnett

    “Superman doesn’t kill. Full-stop, Superman doesn’t kill.”

    I’ll let The Playlist commentator Nick answer this one: “to note — instances where Superman has KILLED someone/something:
    Zod/Co. in Superman II and in comic form
    Doomsday in the comics/cartoon
    The Joker in the Injustice comic series
    Criminals from Krypton with Gold & Green Kryptonite in comics
    Golden-era Superman repeatedly threw gangsters and criminals to their off-panel deaths
    Pre-Crisis Superman killed Mxyzptlk in Action #583
    Nuclear Man in Quest for Peace”

    There are a couple of other problems with Waid’s comments. Firstly, he BANNED any commentators from citing John Byrne’s take in which Superman killed. Secondly, he later BANNED all comments whatsoever, so it’s clear that he really doesn’t give a shit about different opinions.

  • Bob

    stop bitching nerds about time superman grew some fucking balls. He had no choice he killed him deal with it. Superman has killed before lets not all cry about it.

  • Pingback: Man of Steel (Post-release) - Page 8

  • Dede

    Mark you nerd chill out

  • Gary

    He was faced in a real life situation that people especially police are placed in every day. Sometimes to save lives you have to take a life.This was an inexperienced man in the fight for his life and others against a trained soldier intent on killing. A more experienced Superman might have found another option but in this instant it was his only option. This will mold him into the hero he becomes and he will strive to become a protector of life. Superman has killed before in the comics and it led him to vow never again. I applaud the decision. Anything less would have been a cop out.

    • WAldenIV

      You have summed it up perfectly. Any other ending would have been a cop out and would have destroyed the “gritty real-world” version of the movie that had played out for over two hours beforehand; it would have been totally cheesy and too comic book.

    • LULZ 2 B Had

      Ermmm…. placed in a real life situation? Which part? The two nigh indestructible demigods levelling a New York sized city with a fist fight or the lazer eyes? Just curious.

    • LULZ 2 B Had

      Ha Ha, you’re gotten to now, son! I done schooled yo’ ass good an proper, son! LULZ! . . . Can i get a “what, what!”. . . LULZ whew, i’m thirsty . . . Does anyone here need to take a piss? Cause i know the perfect place where you can let your streams loose! (here’s a hint: its in my mouth! ;-)

      • Lulz 2 Be Had

        Haha. Griz B gotten to. Lulz;) Come on man. Just let it happen. Come at me boy. Come straight at me and we’ll debate this movie. Use one username. I’ll use Lulz 2 B Had and we can hash it out. Quit being so scared boy. Cowards are lulz.

    • T-Dot

      well put!

  • sense11

    Here’s the smallest banjo in the world playing just for you and all the other critics who disliked this movie.

    Long live the Man of Steel

  • AFilmGuy

    Mark Waid says it best that it’s more about the build-up to the moment of that decision and action that plays into the effect. The article does make something clear that the film really brushed aside the numerous deaths that must have occurred in the climactic battles, hardly showing that Superman is really struggling with this so much as he is just doing taking down whoever. The Superman here is definitely underachieved, without a sense of why or why not, but merely do or do not. You need both to get the full meaning, not one alone.

    • Unique Jenique

      I can completely agree with your assessment of Superman seeming to not give a crap about any of the people of Metrapolis during the huge battle scene. I actually considered that after seeing the film. However, I came to just accept it when I thought about what was going on during that instance. As he was fighting Zod in the streets and all across buildings they were in to it. Superman didn’t really have the chance to worry about any possible deaths because Zod wouldn’t give him the freaking chance. However, once they were in the enclosed area and the family was in danger right in front of his eyes, I think something in him clicked. But that is just my take.

    • Tommy

      Thats just nonsensical. The guy is fighting a super-powered lunatic, a jacked-up Kryptonian warrioer who has nothing to lose and nothing to live for. And who also happens to be out for blood. Was he supposed to call a time out???

  • David

    One of the best parts of Man of Steel and all credit goes to Snyder for finally giving Superman some balls. All the haters can put Superman Returns on a perpetual loop. Enjoy.

  • RiddleThemThis

    I love these kinds of endings. Think about it, would you actually have preferred and ending where Zod or gives up or is defeated and arrested? Would you rather him just be sent to the phantom zone? Those endings sound really dull to me, and I’m very satisfied with the ending we got.

  • Logic please

    MoS2 opens with televisions showing people happy of being saved by supes but still distrustful of him due to the amount of destruction he caused and his not being intent on saving individuals.
    Supes vows never to kill again in MoS2 which will be tested and his resolve remains.

    How are these not great plot setups for a sequel? These guys have been looking long term character development since day 1. MoS was his arrival and first fight ever and he did the only thing he knew to do as a rookie. I personally enjoyed it and am looking forward to see how these repercussions affect him down the road.

    • Spidey616

      Yeah, I think that’s pretty much the only way to recover from this, otherwise rather than rally behind Superman people’s paranoia regarding him would be justified. In the film we have his destruction of both the drone and the guy’s truck, the stealing of clothes after the oil rig, and the killing of Zod. You have someone who is acting above the law, rather than always in accordance with it in the defense of justice in the classical Superman boy-scout persona. You’re basically left with Superman in the Doctor Manhattan role at the close of Watchmen. Would people accept a godlike figure among them if he can’t be unquestionably trusted? It’s okay for Batman to operate in a world of moral grays because we know at the end of the day Gordon can always be ordered to hunt him down if he goes too far. Superman needs to always be the unquestionable white knight because if he does cross the line there’s no stopping him.

  • Jon

    In Superman 2, he kills Zod, and then Non and Ursa fall to their deaths because Superman tricked them into losing their powers…and no one was in mortal danger. All three villians die. What’s the problem? He also kills Nuclear Man in Superman IV. Granted, these deaths weren’t as graphic as breaking a neck, but the point is, Superman does indeed kill when he has too.

    • Lex Walker

      In the Donner cut, which also happens to be the superior version, Supes doesn’t kill them. There are essentially two very different Superman 2′s and Donner’s cut is far and away better and truer to the character of Superman.

      • Fugdub

        Wrong. They die in the Donner cut. There was a cut made for ABC television where they didn’t die. This was the “family friendly” ending.

      • TrekBeatTK

        They don’t die in the Donner cut. After they fall to their deaths and Superman destroys the Fortress of Solitude(!), Superman turns back time again so Lois will forget, and we see them trapped again in the Phantom Zone. …Which makes totally no sense, but there we are.

      • Fugdub

        Wrong. They die in the Donner cut. There was a cut made for ABC television where they didn’t die. This was the “family friendly” ending.

    • Max

      Actually, they left it wide open in Supes II…you never did know if they actually died.

      • webknight18

        Let wide open? U think that if u fall into those icy depths you are going to live? Don’t be ridiculous. You were supposed to think that they died.

  • Matt “Saggit” Goldberg

    MY name is Matt Goldberg of collider and I calling out on all of the comic book fans just because I’m a douchebag for that the human torch can be played a black guy in the new fantastic four movie and the way I said that all of you fans are retarded you upset that he should be white and always white.

    • Lulz 2 B had

      Cletus, aren’t you supposed to be at the Klan rally?

    • Lulz 2 B had

      Also, do they serve asparagus at those rallies? Man, i bet its probably really hard to find a good place to take a piss when you’re with your buddies out in the woods. . .

  • Kryptonian Knight

    It’s funny how none of these critics were angry with all the destruction The Avengers created with aliens and all the innocent bi-standards that were killed in NY? The haters are really starting to be annoying… And people need to stop saying Superman doesn’t kill when he already has in the cannon of the comics prior to this movie.

    • TurnerTC

      At least with “The Avengers,” Iron Man and co. were concerned about the citizens injuries and desperately trying to find a way to close the worm hole. Captain America, Black Widow and Hawkeye actively save people on the on the ground. In “MOS,” Superman fights Zod and levels Metropolis without a single thought to other peoples’ safety… oh until Zod threatens the family at the end.

      • Desin

        Not concerned? It’s an effort that one man cannot be everywhere at once even if he wants to.

        The priority was Zod.

        Saving earth was the reason he was fighting Zod in the first place. “You’re a monster Zod and I’m going to stop you.”

        You can’t call a time out. You can’t fly away from someone who has your powers and is trained better than you.

        “For every human you save we will kill a million more.”

        I don’t see anyone complaining about how Superman survived. He was out gunned, outnumbered and underskilled. Why don’t you complain? Because you expect that. Because that’s what the story requires. Because superman needs to live otherwise you have no god damn story and no hero, in the same way that Zod needs to die or be stopped because that’s what villains require.

        If there’s a disease you address the disease (Zod) you don’t slap a band-aid on and try to calm the symptoms. Zod would have continued killing and destroying even if Supes decided to go save “those three people under that block of rubble.”

        If you want Superman to be an invincible god, say that. If you wanted him to be more of a boyscout, say that. But don’t pretend like the logic of the movie didn’t make sense.

        Your expectations don’t match up with this version but that doesn’t mean this version is wrong.

    • Jason

      When it came to Avengers trying to protect NYC, my issue was the fact that SHIELD, let alone any military, was nowhere to be found to comabt the alien invasion. It was just a handful of people handling it and I thought that was BS.
      But the casualties there compared to what was done in Smallville AND Metropolis was ridiculous.

    • Simon Foster

      Boob. Different situations: the portal above NY in Avengers was not going anywhere and an army was flooding through it; the final battle in MoS is 1 on 1 – Supes could have easily pulled Zod out over the ocean, up into the sky or even inland to a less populated rural area, anything’s better than a densely populated metropolis like Metropolis. I agree we’re seeing a naive Superman in one of his first battles, but it still came off as making him look kind of awful that he didn’t think of the collateral damage going on around him. It was the first thing that went through my head when they started fighting – not that I’m saying I would have been a worthy contender in that battle, I’m just saying…it seemed kind of obvious.

      • webknight18

        And what would prevent Zod from coming back to Metropolis? In case u didn’t notice Zod said he wanted to eliminate the human race. As Zod was getting more powerful he would have kicked superman’s ass and then come back to kill everyone. The area where the fight took place was almost empty since the machine had already killed most people, and the rest had fled.

    • Lex Walker

      Superman’s few instances of killing in the comics were rare, rare exceptions to the rule and they fly in the face of 70 years of Superman staunchly insisting on NOT killing. Quoting exceptions to justify something that’s so utterly non-Superman appearing in his origin story is a losing battle. And did you not read the story? It’s not critics this time, it’s Christopher Nolan and a celebrated writer of Superman.

      • Alan Burnett

        “Quoting exceptions” or, you know, INSTANCES and EXAMPLES. Superman has KILLED in comics and films. An exception doesn’t mean a great deal when it happens more than once.

      • Bob

        Am I the only person who understands that a TEAM of people (such as the Avengers) who have quite a few heavy hitters and the backing of an organization like Shield can probably pay a whole lot more attention to casualities on the ground than a single guy fighting a super-powered lunatic?

      • Alan Burnett

        Yes, yes you are.

  • Iwantcereal

    Wait…..I thought Zod, Ursa and Non landed on a mattress at the end of Superman 2. I’m a huge Superman fan…I even liked Superman Returns (for nostalgic reasons), but objectively speaking it wasn’t made for this era. Someone said it best when the called it “Lois Lane: The Movie”

    • Granpa man

      You must be kidding? Go re-watch superman, the movie, then wash your mouth out with soap young man/woman.
      Then it’s off to bed with you with no supper!
      Superman returns for nostalgic reasons? You make some of us feel old.
      If Man of Steel is what superman needs to be for your generation, then he’s not really superman anymore. Superman really is dead.

      • Desin

        Yes, he’s dead. Like your sentiment. Like you, soon.

  • Nathaniel Haywood

    I completely agree with Mark Waid. I can see it working if Zod was utterly destroying Superman because he was too busy saving Metropolis citizens to actually fight Zod or defend himself (instead of doing things like hopping over a flying gasoline truck and nonchalantly letting it blow up against a skyscraper and kill a bunch of people or punching Zod through buildings instead of moving the fight away from the city). Then it could work. A bloody Superman manages to get Zod in a choke hold and Zod tries to escape and kill more people so Supes has to kill him. Then it works. But Superman never once got injured or showed that the fight with Zod was hurting him in any way. So he obviously wasn’t trying that hard. He also killed as many people in the city as Zod did. So it didn’t work at all. But even if they had built up to it correctly, why have Superman kill in the first movie? Why not establish his strong character first?

    • bob

      B/c its not about Superman getting hurt. Its about having no other option but to kill when lives are on the line.

      • Nathaniel Haywood

        I agree with that – having no other option but to kill when lives are on the line. But what I’m saying is that they did a very poor job of showing that there was no other option. When Superman fought the World Engine, we saw him exhausted and needing the sun to rejuvenate him. When he fought Zod, he didn’t even break a sweat – he was literally exactly the same as he was at the start of the fight. So it makes it seem like he wasn’t trying very hard – even if they intended for it to seem like he was. He also didn’t try anything else other than punching Zod through buildings. I understand that in the heat of battle you don’t think as clearly as you would when you’re not being attacked, but he didn’t try ANYTHING else. Sure the battle was at superspeed, but he has to be able to think at superspeed in order to move that fast, so he could’ve thought of SOMETHING. There was the whole satellite thing, which would’ve been a perfect opportunity to get Zod away from the city (especially since Supes didn’t try to stop the wreckage from killing people as it fell) but he just went straight back to downtown Metropolis. I don’t know, I just think they had the ability to show Superman fighting hard AND trying to protect people instead of just fighting (I can’t even say he was actually fighting hard against Zod since he was never really in serious danger from Zod…he did show some strain against Faora and the huge Kryptonian, so why not show some of that against Zod?). That would’ve made it seem like he had no other choice, as opposed to him not trying to stop any of the other deaths but suddenly deciding to kill at the end.

      • Alan Burnett

        “But what I’m saying is that they did a very poor job of showing that there was no other option.”

        No, you know he had no other option, we know he had no other option. This nit-picking is just RELENTLESS …

      • Nathaniel Haywood

        It may be relentless (from me, anyway, because I’m trying to pass the time at work when I don’t have a lot to do, haha), but I don’t think it’s nit-picking. Turning Superman into a killer is not a small thing. Making the audience assume that there’s no other option when we haven’t been shown anything resembling that is not great storytelling. Especially in that moment when he could’ve just turned Zod away from that family (anyone who’s ever been a part of the sport of wrestling could tell you that Supes was in the power position and easily could’ve turned Zod’s body away from those victims). So even in that moment it wasn’t a “kill Zod this instant or these people will die” moment. I’m not saying I hated the movie. I’m just saying the killing was poorly led up to and poorly executed. I’m waiting for a compelling argument to convince me otherwise but i haven’t seen it yet…

      • Alan Burnett

        *sighs* No argument will ever convince you.

      • Nathaniel Haywood

        Not necessarily. After I saw the movie, I started out defending the final battle and the killing. A friend presented an argument to me and I ended up changing my mind. So I’m open to being convinced to go back but I haven’t seen an argument yet to make me go back. Not that it really matters, though. The movie is made, nobody can do anything to change any of the faults they may find in it, so we all just have to wait for the next one (which I am still looking forward to).

      • Desin

        So basically you have an argument for every argument that’s brought to you even if it’s about having an argument. Cool.

        We get it. You can think critically. Now move on.

  • Brent Stires

    Yea… because killing Zod and throwing him into the Phantom Zone is totally different….

    • Lex Walker

      It’s not Superman killing Zod and throwing him into the Phantom Zone it’s throwing him into the Phantom Zone alive.

      • Brent Stires

        I mean outright killing vs just throwing him in. Kal doesn’t know what the hell it is. As far as he knows, it’s basically killing him.

      • Lex Walker

        I’m guessing that had they gone with the “throw Zod into the Phantom Zone” ending, they would have given a little bit more information on what it’s like. Although Jor’El did give Kal the rundown of how he came to be on Earth, and that included telling him that Zod and his followers had been imprisoned in the Phantom Zone, so clearly from that he’d have an idea it’s not fatal.

  • Jason

    Superman killing Zod was a low point that was immediately followed up with a shallow comedic scene involving unmanned surveillance plane. People keep comparing Superman to a cop who has to sometimes use lethal force. Difference is a cop isn’t faster than a speeding bullet. If they we’re they wouldn’t need guns. Why didn’t Superman just cover Zod’s eyes when he was shooting heat vision at a family of idiots? Why stand there when you can, I don’t know, move to the right & out the door to escape crazy flame eyes guy? Why didn’t Superman just pull a KILL BILL 2 and rip Zod’s eyes out (or at the very least gouge them)? Killing is ok but eye removal is too much? You can’t heat what you can’t see and you certainly can’t heat without eyes. Since solar radiation is what powers Kryptonians, why didn’t Superman just bury Zod deep in the ground and surround him in lead? He’d be blind and unable to stay powered without the Sun’s Ray. If friggin’ smoke from a terraforming machine can weaken Superman in South Asia, why can’t he do something similar to Zod?

    I love Superman and his history but this movie butchered the character’s image. Amazed people don’t realize what they’re watching. Puppets just enjoying the half-assed special effects and glossing over the obvious mistakes the film had.

    • C.K.

      It was implied that Heat Vision does a lot of damage to Kryptonians in this movie. Covering Zod’s eyes would have probably resulted in not just an incredible injury, but also in the death of that family, anyway. Not to mention that he’d need to let him go for a split second to cover his eyes. There was a power struggle and the pros outweighed the cons in the scenario. Zod had become an unreasonable lunatic with just as much power as Superman that was hell-bent on wiping all life on Earth. This was the more humane choice–quick and painless.

      Gouging out somebody’s eyes would have been more gruesome and uncharacteristic of Superman. Kryptonians are also batteries–they store solar energy. They don’t just simply become ineffective when away from the sun’s light. Their energy depletes within time. And let’s be honest: Zod would have continued fighting regardless, causing complete and total destruction at random. He has no purpose apart from seeking revenge and hurting Superman, either directly or indirectly by causing as much damage as possible.

      The thing people have to understand is that this entire movie was about Clark finding himself and leading UP to him becoming the hero we all know and love. It wasn’t a portion of it. His transformation didn’t end with the suit. Even when he donned the House of El crest and stepped up against the Kryptonians, he wasn’t ready, mentally or physically. He simply stepped forward because it was his fight, and he was the only one who could fight it. He didn’t start showing signs of being the Superman we know and love until the very end, where the movie makes more traditional turns by showing us Clark at the Daily Planet as an employee and Superman having some wit yet addressing the military respectfully.

      By the time the sequel is available to us, I’m sure he’ll be a seasoned Superman that will absolutely refuse to take a life because of the outcome in his battle against Zod. He’ll be the Superman that strives to find another way. He’ll be the Superman that knows how to fight a good fight and prevents as much damage as possible while fighting, physically or otherwise. Besides, the twist at the end of the film is surely going to be something that helps casual fans connect more with Superman. They’ve seen him kill for the greater good. They’ll see him try desperately to make better choices. And instead of being a “big blue boyscout and a little [insert expletive here,]” he’ll be somebody they can sympathize with. That’s really important.

    • Desin

      He also could have moved the incoming spaceship into the sun. (Short movie)

      He also could have killed himself to save the earth. (Bye bye to your hero)

      He also could have gone with them. (Bye bye, again. Also kind of lame)

      He also could have snapped all their necks one by one. (Boring fight eh? Also imagine the amount of whining when he’s killed a bunch of them instead of just Zod.)

      He also would have heard the ship before the announcement even took place.

      We can go on and on and on.

      Point being there’s a lot of shit that could have been done. There are holes everywhere and different options available. Every single option can be rationalized and debunked and every single one is flawed and every single one has value.

      So look at the dramatic/narrative value of the option rather than looking at it’s plausibility.

      Because let’s face it: the reason you’re all nitpicking on the movie isn’t because it’s flawed but because you have an emotional attachment to the comics version — which itself is flawed and nonsensical and poorly conceptualized in it’s own way. Acknowledge that.

    • Marc

      “Why didn’t Superman just cover Zod’s eyes when he was shooting heat vision at a family of idiots?” well maybe because his other hand was holding Zod’s arms behind his back. Could explain why Zod couldn’t fight back. Don’t you think? I would like to see what would you do in this situation genius?

  • Holt

    I don’t think all the “reckless” destruction of Metropolis during the fight or even Supe’s decision to kill bothered me. The movie put him in a situation that few of the comics are willing to handle without having to resort to a deus ex machina or delegating the murder to an alternate reality event (or just having him kill an unlikeable, unsympathetic character)

    What did annoy me, however, was what happened after that. Metropolis is basically destroyed, the world was introuced to a superior alien threat, and Superman just killed a guy… so naturally, we are whisked away to the desert where a smirky Superman is coyly wagging his finger at the military, while Carol Farris talks about how he’s such a hottie. They finally decided to inject a bit more humor into the movie, but only at the worst moment possible.

  • markdz

    I really liked it and glad they kept it in. Its something Superman will remember and struggle w/ for the rest of his long life. It has happened in the comics.
    Great film. Will see it again very soon.

  • jk

    I rationalized the whole scene as this is a new Superman, he doesn’t have the Fortress of Solitude, and most if not all of the Kryptonian tech that could have sent Zod back into the Phantom Zone was destroyed or inaccessible. So even if he could get the upper hand on Zod, how the hell would he contain him? Supes did exactly what he had to do. And his reaction at the end worked for me.

    • Lex Walker

      Right, but you’re thinking of the end of the movie as it was written to lead up to the ending we got, if we’d gotten the Phantom Zone ending, they probably would have left a portal open or one of the Kryptonian ships intact so Kal could access it. Different ending means a different lead-up and fate for all the phantom zone tech.

  • Superman248

    It’s funny how nobody cares that superman killed 3 people in Superman II! Why was that okay?? Big deal! He snapped Zods neck! It was awesome and it had to be done! Zod never would have stopped he said it himself. He was genetically created to protect and preserve the kryptonion race. So he doesn’t even have a choice it’s his fate.

    • Toki Nakamura

      in the original Donner cut they were taken to jail along with Lex Luthor, Lester decided to not show that scene

      • Superman248

        Yeah… I forgot about that… But that’s kind of lame anyways… It’s too safe and honestly… Boring. Killing his was a perfect ending and helps create character.

      • webknight18

        And why did he decide not to show that scene? It was clearly implied that all 3 of them died. Also, deleted scenes do not count. What u see in the theatrical is what matters.

    • Toki Nakamura

      in the original Donner cut they were taken to jail along with Lex Luthor, Lester decided to not show that scene

    • Marc

      yeah and he did kill Nuclear Man by throwing him into a nuclear reactor… but nobody react as well about that neither. Actually, I’m pretty sure that he killed some in the comics, just don’t know who exactly. Anyway, who said that Superman never kill anyone? Did he said that in comics? Even the purest human can make mistakes. Just saying.

  • ddpryor

    after credit scene:
    Scene: dark exterior of a warehouse heavily guarded by highly militarized personnel. They are armed with automatic rifles and suited in SWAT gear. Snipers with night vision gear are perched on the roof. An armored truck approaches the one gated/barricaded entrance to the facility. After passing the check point, the truck pulls into the interior of the warehouse. It is pitch black save for the headlight of the truck. The lights pan towards the camera revealing the silhouette of a figure in expensive looking suit and distinguishable shaved head.
    Dim overhead lights come on and, just barely keeping the figure in shadows. Several guards approach the truck opening the rear door, as they do so Dr. Hamilton approaches the shadowed figure.
    SHADOW: Did you find anything this time?
    DR HAMILTON: yes I believe so, but sir I must advis-
    SHADOW: your days of advising are over Doctor, you now simply “do”. So please “do” tell me what you think we have here…
    Camera pans to the rear of the truck, the interior glows with a faint blue light, being emitted by the familiar Kyrptonian computer monitor first scene in the beginning of Man of Steel. The camera slowly pans in closer to the device
    DR HAMILTON: it appears to be some dormant computer. Sir. Of course the tech is far advanced but it may be of use in the reverse engineering program.
    Camera is now within a feet of device
    DR HAMILTON: but there must be a reason it was on that ship, with them, locked away. Sir this could be potentially-
    SHADOW: I know what the risk are doctor, you work for me and will deliver what I pay you for or pay a higher price. Are we at an understanding on this?
    Camera is close enough to see 3 small Kryptonian circular symbols in the formation of a triangle on the faceplate of the device. Camera continues to pan closer
    DR HAMILTON: yes, sir. Yes Mr. Luther

    • WAldenIV

      Too bad Dr. Hamilton was still on the plan when it crashed into Zod’s vessel and therefore was sucked into the phantom zone.

      • Marc

        well actually, according to his comics biography, Hamilton was responsible for creating many devices that aided Superman, including the Phantom Zone Projector. So I won’t be surprised that he could survived in the Phantom Zone and come back in a future sequel with new knowledge.

  • Romsy

    Superman decimates Metropolis on a regular basis in every incarnation. Especially in the much celebrated Timmverse he is constantly thrown through buildings, uses buildings as a weapon and so on. But Goyer/ Snyder/ and Nolan do it in a movie? Matt Goldberg no like!

    As for killing Zod, Superman crushing his hand, slamming him into a wall, them letting him fall to his death is ok. But Goyer/ Snyder/ and Nolan kill him in a movie? Matt Goldberg no like!

    • Tony

      Matt Goldberg no like anything because Matt Goldberg no like himself.

    • Voltron

      Perfect example is the JL:Unlimited episode “Clash.” Superman and Captain Marvel literally throw each other through buildings. Heck, even some collapse in the process. And if there’s anyone who gets DC characters, it’s Bruce Timm.

  • Mixed Race rich kid NYC

    There were a lot of damages but I don’t think there were a lot of casualties
    I mean they evacuated Metropolis before the battle… Perry White and Co. were the last ones to leave….
    The only casualties were the army guys who had to crash the plane to create the black hole…
    I like the idea of a Superman who can’t help everybody or be everywhere at once… That’s why he needs a team, The Justice League
    The only thing I didn’t like was the ending with him riding his bike through Metropolis and accept the job. Did he even apply for it ? Does he even have a résumé ? Or does every body in the daily planet know he’s superman???
    My theory is that the ending happened years after superman battle with Zod…

    • bluetuned

      Pretty sure Star Reporter Lois Lane can get a guy hooked up with a job if she’s so inclined. Do we really need to see Clark go through a job interview? Come on. We know he’s going to end up at the Daily Planet. We don’t need the details of how he specifically gets there.

      • Mixed Race rich kid NYC

        But they were introduced by Perry so Lois couldn’t have got him the job …

      • bluetuned

        Did he specifically introduce Lois and Clark or did he say “Everybody, this is Clark Kent”? I can’t recall how the scene went. Regardless, I hardly see how that’s a real issue. There are a lot of aspects of this movie I think worth debating, but the exact circumstances of how he ends up working at the Daily Planet? Nah.

    • webknight18

      Seeing as how all the buildings seem to have been rebuilt, i think it was some time after the fight.

  • Adron Gardner

    They’ve rebooted and tweaked these characters enough time in the comics, any complaints ignore 75 years of shifting history.

    It’s hilarious, dramatic license and fabrication in a movie like Zero Dark Thirty is passed off as – eh it’s a movie. But toy with a comic book and people go ballistic.

    Any fan knows the original Superman couldn’t even fly. They added that later. Remember “.. able to leap tall buildings in a single bound…”

    • Strong Enough

      Preach to em!

  • LOL

    Agreed. He had no problem killing thousands or more by destroying countless buildings, but then suddenly wanted to save a family because… well, why? He didn’t care up to that moment. Awful reasoning, awful film, Nolan and Snyder ruin everything they touch.

    • MIXTER

      Of course he cared, he was being punched/thrown/kicked through all those buildings. He was in the middle of a punch up. He saved as many as he could during that fight too, ie soldiers plummeting etc.. I will say this though, there should have been a scene in the film where on the TVs they tell as many as possible to evacuate the city.

  • Strong Enough

    i’m not reading all that shit! you comic nerds need to learn to shut the fuck up! get over it cry babies! you still got grandpa superman to watch with wires and shit lol

  • Master Wayne

    Did anyone have a problem with the ending of TDKR? There is surely collateral damage from a nuclear bomb going off about 20 miles from Gotham. Oh wait…

  • Pingback: ‘Man of Steel’ Ending Controversy & The ‘Superman II’ Hypocrisy

  • jackjack

    Some people need to desperately save Nolan’s reputation as a quintessential genius.

    • jasonca

      What the fuck does that have to do with anything? Spielberg produced Transformers, Real Steel, Cowboys and Aliens…anyone need to defend his reputation for it? He didn’t write it, he didn’t direct it.

      • jackjack

        Many people on the web complain about Supes killing Zod, so there needs to be a statement, which says that Nolan was against it, which is a nonsense, because he had the final word over this movie and he could’ve done whatever he liked.

      • jasonca

        NO NO NO. complete nonsense. A Director generally gets creative say. Snyder and Goyer the director and screen writer wanted Zod killed by Superman, so Zod was a dead man.

      • Alan Burnett

        Wow, now you are just LYING to make your point. OK, then, let’s blame Nolan for ‘Green Lantern’ and ‘Superman IV’ because it’s his fault for other people’s actions, right?

  • WB realism

    Is this actually suggesting that while Superman fought to stop Zod from trying to destroy his planet, he was apathetic to the destruction that was a byproduct of his altruistic fight?

    1) if you’re stupid enough to stick around an alien warzone, that’s your own stupid fault. 2) Superman had his hands full with Zod. Zod had been trained all his life to fight. Superman hadn’t, and it showed. Most of the time I knew Zod had the underhand.

    And you know what? I’m TIRED of IDEAL. What about probable and likely? Of course we want Superman to have ten arms and be able to save everyone while battling his toughest opponent, but that is not realistic.

    Nobody is perfect, everyone has to make hard choices in their life. Frankly, it irks me that people on screen (in movies) are able to make choices without any fallout.

    So what people are really complaining about is how unrealistic or realistic they think it should be.

    And if you still disagree with Superman killing Zod, go take a tour in Iraq and then tell me that it’s so easy to deal with how to handle life and death choices. Unless, of course, you disrespect our military because you can’t get off your pompous ass and realize they are bigger things out there than your ideals and “devotion” to the cannon. (Superman kills in the comics. He even killed Zod once. And he CHOSE TO KILL HIM, unlike the movie where he had no choice),

  • WB realism

    Is this actually suggesting that while Superman fought to stop Zod from trying to destroy his planet, he was apathetic to the destruction that was a byproduct of his altruistic fight?

    1) if you’re stupid enough to stick around an alien warzone, that’s your own stupid fault. 2) Superman had his hands full with Zod. Zod had been trained all his life to fight. Superman hadn’t, and it showed. Most of the time I knew Zod had the underhand.

    And you know what? I’m TIRED of IDEAL. What about probable and likely? Of course we want Superman to have ten arms and be able to save everyone while battling his toughest opponent, but that is not realistic.

    Nobody is perfect, everyone has to make hard choices in their life. Frankly, it irks me that people on screen (in movies) are able to make choices without any fallout.

    So what people are really complaining about is how unrealistic or realistic they think it should be.

    And if you still disagree with Superman killing Zod, go take a tour in Iraq and then tell me that it’s so easy to deal with how to handle life and death choices. Unless, of course, you disrespect our military because you can’t get off your pompous ass and realize they are bigger things out there than your ideals and “devotion” to the cannon. (Superman kills in the comics. He even killed Zod once. And he CHOSE TO KILL HIM, unlike the movie where he had no choice),

  • Jonatan

    I dont have problem with the ending. With superman killing. But i have problems with everythin that came before. Superman didnt save anyone before during his fight with zod ( only lois lane). So it seems out of place that he actually cares for three or four citizens. They should show zod trying to destroy some buildings and kill some people and superman preventing it successfully until we get to that moment. And its like i cant stop it i have to kill it to save the innocents.

    But destruction is more effective for the dumb masses

    • WAldenIV

      At what point exactly did Kal have even three seconds to stop and think about saving the citizens of Metropolis or Smallville?

      • Spider Jerusalem

        Exactly. It’s a little hard to take the fight someplace else when the villains keep kicking the shit out of you and the military is raining hellfire on your ass. Later, in the Metropolis battle, Superman even tried taking the fight into orbit, but Zod kept bringing it back to Metropolis.

        I love that people bitch that Superman Returns was boring, so they finally give us an action packed Superman that resembles some of the more action oriented story arcs in the comics, and people still bitch.

      • Jonatan

        I am not a big comic reader. But i remember reading the one of the death superman and he tries to keep the monster away of the city. Also his fight in Metropolis didn kill anyone. And it was a comics. They dont have budget restriction or anything. They can do everything. And they didnt destroyed the city ( And was the guy who kill superman )

        If Snyder make a sequel with Doomsday maybe the entire earth will be destroyed. Because it looks “cool” “awesome”

      • webknight18

        There is a difference. Doomsday was a dumb killing machine who would have followed Superman. Zod was an experienced General, and his aim was to kill humans. If Superman left, Zod would have just killed the survivors leisurely.

      • Jonatan

        when he was kissing lois that was embarrasing because we see all the mayhem in the background. But is a problem with the script and with the filmaker approach. There are a ton of options to write. Maybe superman can grab zod and take it away, or punch him away. He is superman no one is going to say isnt realistic enough. Or even say something. He didnt express his interest for the innocents during the fight until that final moment Even the miliary are happy at the end too. Nobody says anything about the thousand who dies. My opinion is that Snyder put all that destruction because it looks “cool” “awesome”.

    • Arthur Dent

      “But destruction is more effective for the dumb masses”

      Because you are so superior, right? Nice … you sound like an asshole with that comment.

  • Max

    Zod will be back….no one dies in science fiction….

  • Edmund Wells

    To me there is no plausibility concern in not explaining his advertion to killing… every person has that inherently. The fact that he had to actual brought to mind certain biblical heroes who had to make decisions that seemed to go against their beliefs in the interest of the greater good. While I enjoyed the movie, there are a lot bigger holes to nitpick than this particular one, ie. why could the Kryptonians ship their villains to safety and not themselves?

    • bluetuned

      The people in power on Krypton refused to believe that the planet was dying. That was what Jor-El was trying to convince them of when he was speaking to them. There have been a number of interpretations of the destruction of Krypton over the years but a common theme is that Jor-El is the only one who truly understands that the planet is dying and/or is the only one who tries to do anything about it.

      In Man of Steel, the elders (or whatever they’re called) thought they were sending Zod and Co. to their doom and thought that Krypton would live on.

    • bluetuned

      The people in power on Krypton refused to believe that the planet was dying. That was what Jor-El was trying to convince them of when he was speaking to them. There have been a number of interpretations of the destruction of Krypton over the years but a common theme is that Jor-El is the only one who truly understands that the planet is dying and/or is the only one who tries to do anything about it.

      In Man of Steel, the elders (or whatever they’re called) thought they were sending Zod and Co. to their doom and thought that Krypton would live on.

  • James

    I hope someone choked him for yelling at a fucking movie instead of just leaving.


    I like how it panned out. You seem to forget that in Superman-2, he crushed Zods hands then threw him (now human like) down to an icy grave. Then Lois Lane murdered Ursa by punching her off a cliff, then Superman and Lois both have a grin on their faces as if to say, “Gee Lois, you just murdered the Bitch, how cute!” Non killed himself by being an idiot, but both Superman and Lois murdered two villains(who we’d not seen kill anyone i don’t think in that whole film) They made hanky waving Lex Luthor look like a petty fraudster by comparison.
    Also, Superman 3. Clark strangled evil Superman to death in a junkyard.

    So even in the originals, Superman did kill. But this time his scream at the end of MOS shows that he didn’t want to.

    I also loved how Kryptonite was introduced into Man of Steel. What a brilliant explanation for it rather than coincidentally having meteorites all the way from Krypton landing on Earth to be found by Lex.


    I like how it panned out. You seem to forget that in Superman-2, he crushed Zods hands then threw him (now human like) down to an icy grave. Then Lois Lane murdered Ursa by punching her off a cliff, then Superman and Lois both have a grin on their faces as if to say, “Gee Lois, you just murdered the Bitch, how cute!” Non killed himself by being an idiot, but both Superman and Lois murdered two villains(who we’d not seen kill anyone i don’t think in that whole film) They made hanky waving Lex Luthor look like a petty fraudster by comparison.
    Also, Superman 3. Clark strangled evil Superman to death in a junkyard.

    So even in the originals, Superman did kill. But this time his scream at the end of MOS shows that he didn’t want to.

    I also loved how Kryptonite was introduced into Man of Steel. What a brilliant explanation for it rather than coincidentally having meteorites all the way from Krypton landing on Earth to be found by Lex.

  • Javan Clark

    Ridiculous. The 4 Color world is replete with instances of Superman killing foes… the ending was a good one. Been a Superman Fan for 30+ years. This ending sits just fine with me. Johnathan Kent (the movie one) would have taught Clark that if it seemed necessary, then take that step, in order to save lives. It’s as if Millar only examined this situation from what he thinks his version of Superman should have done, rather than view this Superman as a wholly different incarnation, including what his POV would be after adding context by including what Pa Kent’s teachings would (presumably) be (The scene after the Bus Incident and the Overpass)

    The Greater Good should win out, no matter the cost.

  • Edd

    Bla, bla, bla, the movie is out, some like it, some others not. Leave it alone, don’t get obsessed comparing it with TDK movies…

  • ikkf

    I don’t understand all the hand-wringing. He took Zod’s life, a guy equal in power to himself. It’s not like he killed some street thug.

  • MATT

    It MATT Goldberg of collider again saying I’m a “douche bag” because I see Chris Nolan and Zach Snyder takes are as almost as the versions that comic book writers do. it similar like when FRANK MILLER and MARK MILLAR do their versions of batman and superman on the comic pages and most like it and some of you don’t like it. I see Nolan as Miller and Snyder as Millar.

  • Thom

    OK. Just saw it.

    Give it a 8.5 out of 10. Some of the coolest action sequences so far in film. Excellent CGI work. Great acting all around….Cavill especially, the guy really is Superman, props to him. This movie had much more of an emotional center than I expected it too. Only place I would complain is that I felt like the flashback element was overused a bit, it chopped the story up and the flow of the film suffered slightly, JMO.

    As for killing Zod, yeah. That was the best possible ending. People talking about the moral rules of Superman and how he never kills. That is incorrect, he has killed in the comics, though rarely. You all do realize that this is the ORIGIN of Superman? From the get go we saw an alien being struggling to accept who he is, what he is, what he can do. He struggled with thoughts of not believing that humans were worth saving, because some of them treated him so poorly for being different. This story is about HOW Superman BECOMES Superman, how is that hard to understand? This guy in the article saying that he feels like Superman didn’t achieve anything…huh? He saved the world from an alien genocide, figured who he was as a man and accepted his role as a friend and protector of humans. That was the POINT of this damn movie. What did you want, Gene Hackman and him chasing down nukes? And the people dying during the fight scenes. This is a world grounded in reality, it is akin to Nolan’s Batman. I for one was thrilled to see a real life version of what would happen if Superman were alive in this world. He couldn’t save everyone. He would have times when he was forced to do things he hated to do.

    I loved the Reeves Superman, but I am fully aware that this is a new storyline and reboot. I don’t hate Goldberg, he just reviews movies from what seems to be a jealous or jaded point of view, his reviews always sound like a guy who literally just doesn’t enjoy many films, including good to great films.

  • AxeEmAll

    Matt gave Man of Steel a poor review. So, what does he do next? He looks for other guys who have the same viewpoint as he and there is no better person than one of the writers of Superman comics, Mark Waid.

    It is true that the deaths in the movie were not given their due like in the Avengers. We have to keep an open mind in this because:

    1) There is this possibility that the deaths caused by the Kryptonian brawl would be a plot device in the next movie, aka, give Luthor the ammunition to convince people that aliens do not deserve to live with us.

    2) The guilt of killing Zod or not saving enough human lives and Luthor’s “holier than thou” hypocrisy matched with the use of kryptonite (which by the way Goyer said that it does exist in the universe he created) would be the biggest obstacle to the Man of Steel. The fact that Lex is a successful businessman, probably a billionaire of Metropolis, means that he is perceived by Metropolis’ inhabitants as a good guy.

    Making Lex Luthor complain about the collateral damage to human lives is a perfect plot device for the next film (and he could even be used as a metaphor for all those critics who dislike the present movie). When this happens in Man of Steel 2 (fingers crossed) the more we would appreciate the present film. And Lex Luthor’s scheme to hide his hypocrisy behind the mask of moral ascendancy since he would do his best to win the hearts of people would indeed make him an even greater threat than Zod. That is why Lex is a genius.

  • I don’t get it

    Possibly the worst film Snyder has done to date. Arguably the most zealously religious piece of crap to disguise itself as a blockbuster since Narnia (but at least Narnia was honest about it’s Christian origins). I wanted to leave but as I couldn’t get my money back, suffered through the remainder. Granted, Superman is a tough character to make interesting, but Snyder didn’t even try. Boring, insipid, frustrating, even enraging are the only words that come to mind. I have a double root canal scheduled for tomorrow, and thankfully, received the lobotomy via MOS today.
    “Evolution always wins” is a line in the movie….
    WTF does that even mean? The “effects” are anything but special, and the camera dude should get a tripod. I want to send Warner Brothers a bill for my time.
    I honestly just don’t know what there was to like, let alone tolerate in any part of the film.

    • ComicBookMan101

      Okay, but I bet you’ll drop your panties for a Marvel film…your opinion is invalid, dummy.

  • Chris H

    If the film had made me feel genuine concern for Clark’s character I think I probably would have been furious at his decision but instead I felt almost nothing. I didn’t dislike Man of Steel because Clark kills; it was a cold experience and despite some good ideas it never came together for me. So I’d say the film’s biggest crime is creating an experience where the protagonists moral choice feels empty. That’s some bullshit.

  • John

    I agree that it would have been cool to see Superman trying to save some citizens of Metropolis, while simultaneously showing that it was costing him the fight. This would have made it more impactful when he killed Zod. However, I’m also totally fine with the ending they gave us, it was great.

  • Avenging World

    It’s official, America has lost it’s soul.

    Superman does not kill.


    Ps: Snyder’s a boob.

    • Arthur Dent


  • T- Dot

    First things first….the movie is a reboot, its not the Superman films of old, it’s a recreation of the icon. No matter what, people need to suck it up and deal with it! If you don’t like the movie because of its darkness, then go back and watch the originals. No matter what, Zod dies and Superman kills him! He killed him in Superman 2 sending into an endless fall after turning him into a human. Regardless, Zod (love the reinvention of the character in this film) needed to die, he was out of control! The argument would be that he could have done something else and I agree on one side, but the other side I believe that if anyone was in his circumstances realistically, would have done the same! Superman did what he did in the heat of the moment, and even at the end he made it clear that he felt bad about doing so. IT was the most humanly relatable thing he did. If a cop or even a civilian for that matter was in his shoes, he or she would do the same, its a human reaction to do what is necessary at that given moment to save someone else. Not saying that killing is the way to do it, however Zack made this Superman definitely more humanly relatable. So really, what’s not to like about this film! Hate it or love it….it was well done!!!

    • Id-T-Dot

      no…no it wasn’t.

      I mean well yes, if you mean that it was well done in the way a steak is well done – charred and grey in the middle, devoid of any flavor and taste, and blood.

      Ok then sure well done, but not done well.

  • poppincherry

    MOS was as pointless as these debates. The movie was all fucking action and no story.

    Now, if they do make a JL movie expect the superheros to stand around in a circle like the Marvel folks did and battle a bunch of fucking machines whizzing around and crashing into shit. The end.

    And Gina Carano can’t act !!!!!!!!!

  • Bob

    A lot of people are debating the idea of killing Zod and the idea of Superman’s powers. There’s a few points that are being missed here.
    Regarding his powers:
    – Superman has been discouraged from using his powers since he was a child. He has not had the ability to hone them.
    – If you recall, we see Superman really cut loose only once or twice with his heat vision. At least two of those time – in the ice cave and after melting the steel girder in Zod’s hands – you see him having to shake off the effects of it (which is why, in the scene with Zod, he is distracted due to the after effects just long enough for Zod to smack him with the remains of the girder).
    Regarding the killing of Zod:
    – Zod is GENETICALLY predispositioned to be a warrior. Based on DNA alone, he is a greater warrior than Kal-El. Remember that on Krypton a person’s role in society is determined before birth and they are tailored (via eugenics) to take on that role. Though they are both Kryptonian by birth, Kal-El was conceived naturally and without genetic tinkering. Therefore, it stands to reason that as Zod continues to soak in the sun’s rays, he could potentially become more powerful than Superman.
    – We see multiple instances of this genetic ‘superiority’ in the movie. Note the scene where Zod lands in the Artic to board the scout ship. He is able – by force of will alone – to center himself and shake off the sensory overload he is getting without his helmet on. The guy has literally been on earth a day or so, and has at that point only been ‘exposed’ to this sensory overload twice, and is able to overcome it by force of will. Superman, meanwhile, is 33 in the movie and has had years of practice to try and fight off the effects. (Not to learn about his powers, but to better hide them and their effects).
    – Zod also learns how to fly. AFTER A DAY.
    So regardless of how long Superman has been on Earth, Zod is able to make much faster strides than Superman was in his 33 years.

  • Bob

    A know a lot of people did not like the killing of Zod. But no one has been able to come up with a viable alternative for that scenario. What was Superman supposed to do? Zod is a warrior who has just lost his whole purpose for existing. His people are all gone. He’s lost all purpose for existing. (remembering that the purpose of his very existence was to serve the Kryptonian people). Now – he goes nuts. He swears revenge against Kal-El. He vows to kill the people that Kal-El has chosen over his Kryptonian heritage. He TELLS Kal-El that the only way it will end will be when one of them dies. And he demonstrates his willingness to kill innocents with the heat-vision thing in the train station.
    So- what does Superman do? Sure – MAYBE he can stop him from frying the humans in that moment. but the guy is nuts! He’s GOING to kill more people. There’s no Phantom Zone to send him to (or no means to do it). There’s no jail that can hold him. There’s not even Kryptonite to weaken him. What other choice was there?
    You could even make the argument that Zod WANTED Superman to kill him. He has nothing else to live for. Why else would a guy who is out for blood very slowly move his heat vision closer to his victims when he could just incinerate them by looking at them??? To give Superman time to make a choice and end it. Maybe Zod was suicidal. Or maybe his pushing Superman to make that type of final decision was his ultimate revenge. He basically made the son of Jor-El (who was supposed to be twice the man that Zod is) and made him do EXACTLY what Zod would have done.

    • Nathaniel Haywood

      I agree with this – in theory. I think they just didn’t do a good job of showing it. Zod’s part in it was fine. He made the right speeches and like you said in your other comment he showed his genetic superiority. He was a credible threat. It was Superman’s part that was so lacking. If they could’ve made his part more believable/understandable/true-to-character during the fight, then his killing decision would’ve been fine. There were lots of options that Supes could’ve tried in order to save civilians and stop Zod. They probably would’ve have worked (at least, that what we believe), but a Superman that doesn’t even TRY any of them is a pretty morally weak Superman. (Do we really want a Superman that says “I’m not sure if there’s any way to save these civilians or incapacitate Zod, so I won’t even try to help those people or do anything other than just punch and kill my enemy”? Even in this “real world” they’ve set up?) It didn’t destroy the movie, but it definitely hurt it. I’m sure they’ll improve on that stuff in the next movie, though.

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  • Marc-Antoine

    Why people reacts so much about Man of Steel ending? Superman never kill anyone? Right… What about in Superman 2 when he threw Zod in frozen Antarctica waters? What about Superman 4 when he threw Nuclear Man into a nuclear reactor? Excuse me but he does kill. Maybe not with his bare hands but still.

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  • jj

    the whole purpose of the scene was to create a catalyst for why he’ll never take another life and will always find another way in future stories. and the idea of him trying to save people was set up in the smallville battle. and, just for the record the destruction in metropolis is justified for two reasons: 1, it sets up lex luthor’s motivation in the sequel, and 2, it plays to the idea that this is Superman’s first time. he’ll make mistakes. there’s no way to save everyone like in other superhero stories. I liked the conclusion to the film. but, I do have to say that it’s dumb that its forgotten in the next scene. which is why im hoping they’ll deal with it in Batman/Superman. hell, David goyer confirmed that itll be dealt with.

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