Man of Steel director Zack Snyder believes in Superman so much that he recently compared the character to Jesus, claiming that the superheroes from the DC universe are “literally Biblical.” Believing in Superman to a religious degree may not be a bad thing for a man tasked with rebooting the character for the big screen, but with an angry General and his minions on the way to Earth to find Superman, the hero may need a bit of a helping hand if he hopes to emerge victorious from Man of Steel‘s battles.

As a thank-you to the members of the National Guard who make an appearance in Man of Steel, Snyder offered to take some time out from the regular filming schedule to shoot some “Soldier of Steel” commercials for the National Guard, which tie into the overarching themes of Man of Steel and will be shown before screenings nationwide. A behind-the-scenes video, which features some new footage from the main film as well as from both the commercials and the main film, was published by the National Guard ahead of Man of Steel‘s summer release and can be viewed below.

In the video, Snyder goes into details about how he feels that Superman isn’t just a defender of Earth, but a representation of American spirit specifically – one who obtained his moral compass from his childhood growing up in rural Smallville with Jonathan and Martha Kent. He expresses a feeling that the National Guard, and the soldiers he met during filming, are also an important symbol of that same patriotic spirit.

Snyder describes the National Guard as sharing some of the basic principles of Superman, such as helping those weaker than oneself, always striving to be better, and being the right man in the right place with the right skill sets. Of course, it helps if the man’s skill sets include invincibility, flying and heat vision. Even so, it’s strange to see so many parallels made between Superman and the National Guard, since so far the trailers have demonstrated that they don’t get along very well at first.

Most likely, the impending threat of General Zod and Black Zero will be what ultimately unite Earth’s original superhero with the authorities. As the creepy viral marketing campaign for Man of Steel has shown, Zod considers the citizens of Earth to be a barrier standing between him and the son of Jor-El, and apparently has no qualms about smashing his way through ordinary humans in order to find his target.

Depending on how much you enjoy Man of Steel if you decide to see it this summer, you may want to celebrate the film by coordinating your 2014 activities on the Man of Steel calendar that was unveiled over at Superman Homepage. This general film calendar shows number of new stills, including a young General Zod in chains and a teenaged Clark Kent having a heart-to-heart conversation with his human father.

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If your main interest in the movie is the man in the cape, there is also a Henry Cavill-specific calendar, showing Man of Steel‘s star both in and out of his official Krypton uniform. The three main guises that we’ve seen Cavill in so far are his down-to-earth Smallville clothing, his rough “bearded wanderer” outfits, and of course the full Superman costume.

Though the Cavill calendar features the actor wearing a range of different costumes, so far we haven’t seen Clark in a suit or anything that would indicate a job at the Daily Planet, though there was a Daily Planet set used for the film. In a voiceover for the third trailer, Lois Lane speaks about Clark as though he is an enigma that she is investigating for a story, apparently following an incident where he uses his powers to rescue a group of people from a fire and emerge unscathed. Therefore, while the Daily Planet will definitely be making an appearance in Man of Steel as part of Lois’ story, there’s been no indication yet that Clark will begin his journalism career in this film.

Both of the calendars pictures above will be published by Day Dream and available from the Superman Homepage online store later this year. The main calendar will retail at $13.49, and the Henry Cavill calendar at $15.29.

Man of Steel is out in theaters on June 14th, 2013.

Source: National Guard and Superman Homepage (via Collider)