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

Published 1 year ago by , Updated April 8th, 2014 at 7:06 am,

Man of Steel Superman II Zod Death Superman Kills Man of Steel Ending Controversy & The Superman II Hypocrisy



Look around the Internet these days and you’ll hear a buzz about the new Superman reboot movie Man of Steel, and aside from some pretty divisive opinion about whether the movie is good or not (read our review), one of the biggest topics of discussion is the climatic battle between Superman (Henry Cavill) and General Zod (Michael Shannon), in which Superman is faced with the choice of watching Zod vaporize an innocent family or killing the ruthless general – ultimately (and controversially) choosing to do the latter.

There’s been vocal outrage on the part of some fans who feel betrayed by the notion of a  Superman who kills – but is the outrage legitimate?

In recent days we’ve heard from Man of Steel director Zack Snyder and writer David S. Goyer, who revealed to Empire that in an original version of the script, Superman returns Zod to the Phantom Zone prison where he belongs – until Snyder convinced Goyer and producer/story writer Chris Nolan that Zod’s ending should be more permanent:

….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. 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.

dark superman by eliaskhasho d338bj9 Man of Steel Ending Controversy & The Superman II Hypocrisy

Collider and other sites have been critical of such reasoning – and even Mark Waid, writer of one of the comic books that influenced Man of Steel‘s story, stated on his blog Thrillbent that he was NOT happy with that moment of the film:

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.

To be fair, Waid does go on to give a more level-headed explanation, saying he thinks the film failed to establish Superman’s concern with ordinary people to with enough emphasis to “earn” that moment of snapping Zod’s neck, though he did acknowledge the character’s anguish in the aftermath (that now infamous scream). Superman’s lack of concern for collateral damage has been something MANY people have criticized Man of Steel for – so Waid (who knows the character pret-ty well) does have a point, perhaps.

…But I ask again: Does NOBODY remember Superman II?


The Superman II Hypocrisy

general zod Man of Steel Ending Controversy & The Superman II Hypocrisy

Richard Donner’s sequel to Superman: The Movie told a darker tale that centered on Superman wanting giving up his powers in exchange for a normal life with Lois Lane – until evil Kryptonians General Zod, his lieutenant, Ursa, and brute enforcer Non all start using their newfound super powers to wreak havoc on Earth (sound familiar?). The movie ends with the now famous scene of Superman, Lois, Lex Luthor, Zod and his minions all having a Mexican standoff in the Fortress of Solitude. Superman craftily uses his de-powering chamber in reverse, restoring his own powers and stripping the bad guys of theirs. He then proceeds to murder General Zod!

If you’ve (somehow) never seen it, watch the climax of Superman II for yourself:


Just so we’re clear: this movie has Superman and taking a man he knows to be weak as your average human, crushes his hand, and throws him into a bottomless pit. That’s not even mentioning Lois Lane also knocking a now-de-powered villain off a cliff. In short: Superman does and has killed the exact same guy on film before – so what’s all the controversy about?

In Man of Steel Supes is clearly tormented by his actions and needs Lois for comfort; in Superman IISupes and Lois smile through their double homicide and crack wise. Is the latter okay because it’s more of a fantasy world with a John Williams theme song playing when Superman does his dirty deed? Is Man of Steel‘s treatment of death and destruction more unpalatable than cheers for a re-powered Superman crushing a man’s hand and Lois Lane cracking one-liners before killing someone? I don’t get it.

What is there to split hairs about? Superman killed Zod in both films – so how does the notion of “Superman Does Not Kill” even hold water? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below – and/or vote in the poll:

[poll id="630"]


Man of Steel is now in theaters.

Superman II has been around for thirty-three years. See it if you haven’t.

Sources:  Empire Magazine podcast (viaThe Playlist),  Thrillbent (via Cinema Blend), Collider

Dark Superman Image Courtesy of Eliaskhasho on DeviantArt

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TAGS: superman, superman man of steel


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  1. If you accept that I won’t change my stance, which is incorrect, then what is the point of continuing? My stance is that Superman did not kill Zod in Superman II. Nothing anyone has offered, including yourself refutes that stance, because the film itself makes such a thing all but impossible. I accept your right to disagree, but that is all. Introducing new elements a la Superman Returns, Superman #22, et al make for fun sparring, but at the end of the day, it’s about the refutation.

    There’s no reason to believe that Superman, a character who doesn’t kill, would kill so frivolously in Superman II, or allow Lois Lane to be a murderer either. You’ve uncovered enough data that explains how this came to be, why we have such an ambiguous scene, but you seem to want to ignore it for sparring.

    • He’s Dead, Dude. Get over it.

      • Yep

    • You won’t change your stance. You haven’t offered anything negating my points and when someone comes forward with information about what one of the writers said, you were quick to jump on it being a lie instead of asking questions to prove or disprove the legitimacy of the claim. That shows your unwillingness to change your opinion no matter what evidence presents itself.

      Therefore the argument about the contents of Superman II is done.

      On the other hand you’ve stated several times about the poor writing of Man of Steel, so again I ask what would have made you happy.

      Some points to keep in mind are that you can’t simply say he should “fly up”. There needs to be a solid solution to the problem of what to do with Zod to subdue him, at least for this movie that sounds logical.

      • Tony,

        Exactly. Although, after “flying up” Superman could have had a heart to heart (Boy Scout to villain) with Zod, invited him to knitting class, and became great friends. I like my Superman Jesus like and perfect in every way as he knows exactly what to do in every given situation.

      • The great thing about this choice and something I never thought of until the other day while watching “A Necessary Evil,” a DC documentary about it’s comic books and villains, was that Superman was forced to sacrifice his own morality in order to save the family and ultimately all of humanity. This is why he yells out! This is why it’s a truly heroic act. This choice goes against everything he was taught growing up, against his own instincts and character. Zod forces him to realize that there is no alternative, that it’s going to be him or everybody else. Superman chooses to go against his own nature, sacrificing, even losing the ‘war’ because of it. Even though he won the fight, because of what was given up, he lost as well. Now, going forward, we can see how it impacts his life and his choices.

        For those who don’t like it, the fact that you don’t like it doesn’t make you right or change the fact that it was something that had to be done and is done. They took a huge risk with this direction and they should be commended for that. He didn’t want to kill Zod, but it was the hand he was dealt and forced to deal with.

        • Superman, as presented in MOS, doesn’t have a firm morality. He commits genocide, destroys property that endangers those around him and shows no concern, yet cries when he kills Zod, though he’s responsible for genocide only a few scenes earlier.You can’t compromise what you don’t have. Synder himself wanted the kill scene so Superman would have a basis for not killing, which is a cock-up of logic to say the least. Hopefully, he won’t have to rape, maim, or torture first, to realise he shouldn’t do that either.

          • Actually no he didn’t commit genocide. He destroyed that birthing ship, but is it the only one left in the universe? There’s no more evidence that’s true than there is evidence that the Zoners weren’t killed in Superman II.

            He destroyed a birthing matrix. There was nothing living on it except for Zod piloting it…and the Zoners in Man of Steel aren’t dead, they are in the Phantom Zone. And they can procreate if they didn’t kill Colonel Hardy so he can teach them about the birds and the bees. Faeora looks like she could make some good babies.

            As for the property, he had just become Superman and he is focused on the battle to stop these Kryptonians.

            And Snyder had originally had Zod get zapped into the Phantom Zone along with the others but he said it seemed anti-climactic (which it would have been).

            There is more and worse wrong with Man of Steel than the kill scene…

            • That’s a lot of conjecture, and you’re welcome to it.

            • Please tell us what that is.

      • The excuse or reasoning behind he should’ve flown up is centered around sticking to ones opinion that common sense leaves, never to return. As close as Zod was with his heat vision, flying up would’ve done what exactly? Were Zods eyes fixed into place where he could only look forward? Maybe left or right? What about looking down? Had Zod been lifted, would he not have just looked down? The argument I can see coming..”Well if Superman would’ve flownupwards at a super speed…” is Just as dumb. I am fairly certain that if he has the same powers, would Zod not just move his eyes at super speed? See where this all dances on the lines of absurdity? So I am in agreement. There are many people who get their Superman cosplay tights in a bunch over some deviation to their dream incarnation. There are far more movies where the superhero characters depicted are butchered when it comes to the source material yet barely few cry foul. Oh well. Superman DID kill Zod in Superman II. That guy is in plain denial.

      • there is really no point in arguing with Waldae. He is not worried about right or wrong. He wants to debate. He is trying to show how great of an arguer he is and shwo all of you how to properly debate idiocy….if he is serious he is just a lunatic. He obviously is wrong. He refuses to accept reality in lieu of babbling about how your arguments don’t invalidate his babbling…just dont feed the trolls Tony

        • Yes, I’m obviously wrong because YOU say so. Just as you are right because YOU so. Ever read the Fox and the Grapes? That’s you, man.

          • There’s no right and wrong your entitled to your belief whether its true or not because movies are subject to interpretation.

            There is more evidence to support them dying than there is that they did not, except in the TV version and Richard Donner version.

            • Do you read what you post, man? It’s confounding that you refute yourself even when you’re trying to be the voice of reason.

              • The only confounding part of the conversation is that you still fail to prove that you are right. If this was a court case this would be the closing statements:

                (Prosecution) Me: Superman crushed Zod’s hand and picked him up. Keep in mind people, Zod is a normal human being. He has NO powers at all. Superman tosses him across the length of the Fortress. The force needed to toss a 175-200 lb object would mean he had to have thrown him hard….and he hit a solid ice wall behind him. Then he falls into a pit covered in mist and his scream is slowly heard drifting away. The others follow suit. Non tries to fly and falls. Lois punches Ursa and she falls.
                None of the three are heard of or mentioned again.

                (defence) Waldae: No body no evidence. They didn’t show them dying. There’s no dead body afterwards and they didn’t mention “they’re dead”.

                • Neither have you been able to disprove my stance. Oh, my summation would be a little more professional.

                  One of the reason that we have laws is to keep ourselves from falling prey to conjecture and specious judgement. The prosecution would have you believe that evidence of one thing, constitutes guilt of another. While my client did use physical force, he is not a killer. He has no criminal record, and in fact, has credentials that impeccable and above sterling. He has no need to kill, neither would he permit needless deaths, not this man who has saved so many lives, and the world itself.

                  The prosecution would have you believe, on the most flimsy of evidence; no, not evidence, as it fails to prove what they claim, that Superman committed murder. However, they can produce not a shred of proof that General Zod, Ursa, and Non are dead. They ask you to use your imaginations, as if this is a schoolyard game. The reputation of our greatest hero is put on trial, and they ask you imagine him being capable of cold-blooded murder. They can produce no murder weapon, no bodies, nothing. We would not convict a layman with this nonsense, yet they readily wish you to jump to the perilous conclusion that Superman killed Zod. The prosecution asks you to live in a world of the fiction they create. I ask you to look at the nebulous void they call evidence, and return the only verdict that is true and just: Not Guilty.

                  Later that day:

                  The jury easily found Superman not guilty. However, Tony, the lead prosecutor was fired from his position, and has made an enemy of just about everyone on the planet. A mob tried to hang him, but fortunately, Superman was there to save the day. Again. ;)

        • I’m not really putting forth an argument, just an opinion based on what I saw in the film and considering some of the things I heard in the DC documentary.

          It’s pretty clear that there was no other option. The phantom zone was gone. I felt it was foreshadowed at least twice, possible three times. Once I knew the zone was gone, I kinda knew what was coming: Superman was going to have to kill him.

          As I said, I now think that the fact Superman had to sacrifice his morality, go against himself for the greater good, is what makes it a truly heroic act. I forget what the line was in the documentary, but the idea was “One of the main things about the heroes is the sacrifices they make in order to win, whether it’s something physical, some social sacrifice or something else that makes their journey that much more difficult.”

    • Oh c’mon.

      1) Before Zod’s toss into the abyss, Superman tortures Zod by crushing every bone in powerless Zod’s hand.

      2) Ursa’s long scream into nothingness until it fades away, suggests that it is extremely safe to assume that the drop was pretty far and not survivable.

      3) After Lois’s punch to Ursa, Superman gives Lois a hearty smile of approval.

      At least the Man of Steel snapped an equally powerful Zod’s neck during a fight and only after Zod announces his genocidal intentions for humans. The latter seems like more of a hero story than the first.

    • I had attempted to locate a working script for Superman II that mirrors the movie but the versions I found don’t match.

      One version has the Zoners (powerless) and Lex trapped in the machine and sent off into space.

      Another version shows Superman knocking them out cold.

      I’m sure the intention was for them to go to prison but without that Arctic police scene, it suggests they die. I need to find the final script they used because it should indicate what their intended goal was to show the audience.

    • Superman killed doomsday by lobotomizing him.

  2. Waldae,

    Your stance on the end of Superman II is really unnecessary. I am just going to call it for the sake of being peaceful. Writing and editing is the problem with the ending. Because of the original ending they never truly showed their end whether it be falling in the snow and or be hauled away by police. It’s lazy and poor editing. And remember when Superman crushed Zod’s human hand to pieces. Sorry, that hand was destroyed. For Superman, that is pretty callous. I really didn’t care if they died, however, i would have accepted the alternate ending if it was in the original film, but it wasn’t. If all you see is them fall into a abyss without visual or verbal knowledge of their fate, then rest of us can comfortably say they are dead. Does Superman get a black eye for that? No, blame bad editing. As a child,that is how i saw it because it was the battle of good and evil, and good conquers evil. And back then, evil dies most of the time. Attacking any of us does not make your case any better. You just have to accept the fact that the movie was not edited properly and the audience’s opinion is correct no matter what.

    • Nicely said.

  3. http://www.supermanhomepage.com/movies/movies.php?topic=m-movie2

    Search for the paragraph starting with “Zod insists that Superman go into the chamber” where it references that due to the editing that it is implied that they died. Only in the “International Extended Version” where they show the Arctic Police carting them away does it prove them did not die.


    Read the section “closeness to the comics” where this argument is visited as well (“Superman does NOT kill”)

    • You continue to reference materials that will never refute what I’m positing. It’s not enough to find something you agree with and agrees with you, but something that refutes my stance altogether.

      • They are official sources that are accepted by the general populace.

        It’s no less irrelevant than if they had an official movie book with pictures and making of clips/blurbs with a paragraph saying that they are sent to their deaths.

        • They don’t refute my stance, they just offer their own. I can write an article for SupermanHomepage, which I’ve done, and if enough people agree, does that make it official. Again, you’re missing the point: seeking information to bolster your position doesn’t refute my own. To be frank, after all this time, there’s an obvious way you could have done it. Far be it for me to clue you in though.

          • I tried doing a seance on both Margot Kidder and Christopher Reeve to ask them but it didn’t work out as expected. I summoned an insane 15th century Pastafarian Pirate…won’t ever do that again.

            • Good to know.

  4. I’ve been saying this same thing since last year. I think the difference is, now we live in an era where it’s trendy to complain about everything. Fashionable to whine. Not only did Superman kill Zod in Superman II, but he also choked to vanishing death, his evil double in Superman III, and also killed Nuclear Man in Superman IV Quest for Peace. I don’t even think these people care that much about the kill, they just wanna complain about something.

    • The fundamental argument is that “Superman doesn’t kill” so therefore I pose the question in what medium are they referring to, what is the source?

      There were worse sins in Man of Steel than this “kill” that hurt the story more.

  5. The biggest point to this mess is not just that he killed or shouldn’t have killed, I think the real question should be, Why should he be held to such a high standard? I mean is killing as bad as let someone die? When you let the evil live on to escape one day or find a legal loophole only let more innocents to die? To me I see it like this, example, The Dark Knight, really touched a lot, but here is what i want to say about it. Batman would not kill a psychopath (Joker) because of his moral code. This guy killed multiple people, a loved one & destroyed a prominent man (Harvey Dent). Me, i would have killed the bastard the moment i saw him without any true guilt because how many people i saved ending him. Morality has to be sacrificed in order to save others,that is something a superhero has to do. I wouldn’t frown upon Superman because he killed Zod, or if Batman killed the Joker. They were evil & they would never stop. Zod wanted to die otherwise he would kill every human he could. Man of Steel was not a perfect movie, but they touched on that subject, what was more important, the moral code or collateral damage. I thonk they nailed that.

  6. His aversion to killing in the comics came from his father and mother, the Kents. They brought him up to have morals and to use his power to help people. When he faced Zod in the comics, he was left with nothing to do because Zod promised he would return with his power restored and kill every man, woman, and child on earth. Taking away Zod’s power wasn’t enough to stop him. The Phantom Zone wasn’t enough to stop him. It was the very last resort and Superman spent so many years lamenting having to come to that, that when he wouldn’t kill Doomsday during their infamous encounter. Years later, when faced with an army of Doomsday clones, he had to hear they were inorganic replicants just to be okay with ending them.

    In Man of Steel, we got none of this. Ma Kent was passive and there was no evidence of her moral influence on Clark. But Pa Kent’s cynical do-nothing teachings certainly reflected in the climax. Pa was such a cynical father that he took time away from convincing Clark people thought he was a freak, and forced Clark to watch him needlessly die in a tornado. His life lessons were so bad, he helped people to hide under an overpass, which tends to be extremely dangerous in a tornado.

    The reason people took issue with Clark’s murder of Zod was that it wasn’t a last resort. The family just stood there like props while Zod lasered his way to them. They could have run. Clark could have choked him unconscious. Instead of Detective Stabler making the sacrifice of opening up the Phantom Zone, they could have had “Convenient-Plot-Device-Jor-El” instruct Lois or Clark on how to send Zod back. I guess Jor-El was too busy chasing Jean ValJean across France to help them.

    The negative reaction to Clark’s brutal murder of Zod is legitimate and, surprise: People who’ve read the comic for more than a few years are the ones who are the most vocal about it.

    • Batman has as much the no kill code as Superman and how about the outcry over him killing the Joker in Batman (1988), the Penguin in Batman Returns, Ra’s Al Ghul in Batman Begins….(he left him on the train to die)

  7. Superman on a pedestal?! Nah! I think some people had this interpretation of him as a Jesus like character or the ultimate boy-scout. In actually, he is the vision of the human they want to be or want HIM to be. People don’t want him to be a killer, but he has killed. Holding him to such high standard is ridiculous, with all that power, it is too damn hard. And what? You want him to get it right in the very first movie?! And what about how Zod was handled, so yeah, he could have flew him away, yeah, yeah, then what? Knock him out? How long would that? Have you ever seen a super Kryptonian get knocked in any of the movies?! Just like this debate, they keep coming back. Get over it, he’s not perfect.

  8. Maybe we are going about this all wrong. Maybe if after they fell into the abyss, maybe they could have went Austin Powers on that scene. “We fall we fall, i am hurt very very bad! I think i broke my leg on the very hard snow, it is starting to smell like almonds! The artic police have arrived. Wait, what are you doing? Hey? (Bang) …You shot me, you dhot me! I am bleeding very very bad! ,perhaps you a band-aid or a hanky? (Bang bang) You shot me again!!! I can’t believe “(bang) Uh yeah, this crap needs to stop.

  9. I loved the Man of Steel. I thought the ending where Superman kills Zod was unexpected but I personally saw something different than those who had a problem with it. Zod is at the point at the end where he has lost everything. His plan to create a new Krypton was defeated by Superman. He has gone over the edge and plans on making earth pay. To me Superman begged Zod not to do what he threatened. Zod has told him one of them will die which states his intent for Superman as well. I felt Superman had no choice. If he had released Zod there is no telling how many MORE people would have died. I also liked the part that Superman broke down crying when he killed Zod because he did not want to take a life. I thought that was a powerful scene. This Superman seems more real to me than the others. it shows the conflicts in him. I hope they keep doing what they are doing with it. I don’t mean him killing villains (smile) but showing a different Superman as we have come to know. I just think some people have a problem with change. I like what I saw from the movie.

  10. NEP,

    THANK YOU!!!!
    The most important part of a superhero is the sacrifice of their own morality. Waldae will probably…. oh wait never mind. He is still on Superman II ending. Great point though.

    • Was that an invitation? Sure, I’ll chime in. What kind of hero sacrifices their own morality? Heroes save the day while maintaining their morality, showing us that conviction and integrity are possible. You’re talking about an anti-hero, who has a fluid morality, if any morals at all.

  11. Hypocrisy is in the eye of the beholder. Objectively speaking, no one is right. Think about what you are arguing about- a fictional character. If this were Star Wars Lucas would have have the last word. Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling. Superman? His creators are dead. The rights belong to a corporation. His fate the whim of “official” writers of comic books, tv shows and movies. Who are you kidding? Yeah, Superman never kills- in the 50s and 60s. He killed in the last movie- does that make the last movie unofficial or now Superman has to deal with it? MY personal preference, Superman should NOT kill. Why? In the 21st Century life is cheap in the movies. I hate the violence, I hate all the action and on story, but HEY, THAT’S ME. I did not see Man of Steel because I am sick of dark movies. I am sick of the killing every day in the news and in my city. But does what I care about counts? Money, money money. Movies will keep on being violent, our cherished heroes will be reinvented, and when I will die I will be glad because I can’t stand what I have to look every day. But do I insist I am right? Hell no. I can say what I like, but I know it is all out of my hands. Thank goodness Charles Schulz took Peanuts with him. The strip was canon, not anything else made since, and that’s how it should be. My OPINION of course.

    • Actually, they’re making a Peanuts movie. The story is being taken from the strips I think and I believe his sons are part of the team that wrote the screen play. Comes out next year.

      I agree with all that negativity we see on the news and what’s more, they never seem to actually inform the public anymore. People go missing every day and we only seem to hear about it about twice a year, when it’s a pregnant white woman or a little white girl, because F everybody else, that’s why! I can’t stand the news media today. I rarely watch the news or even television for that matter. Exceptions are made for interesting scientific shows, football and the show Justified. Great show.

      Normally, I would say Superman shouldn’t kill, but at the same time, when considering how it would/could actually be IF it were happening, it’s hard to imagine there not being a situation or two where he’d have no choice. I know it’s a fictional character and story, but I just prefer my stories to have some sense of reality to them and the character to be more what you might expect if they actually existed. It makes them more complex. Superman is a tough character to write when it comes to movies because he is harder to relate to because of his powers, he’s almost a god and he has this boy-scout-like background. It makes him somewhat plain if you write him that way film. Plus, to tell a good story, he can’t just be that way. He has to grow into that roll over time through tests and trials. When we grow up, we’re not completed, so it doesn’t make sense to have him grow up and just be a certain way. If you write him that way today, it won’t work well. Like you said though, my opinion. I can certainly see where you’re coming from though.

  12. Kal-el,

    I thought it was funny how you name yourself when you being negative. But i see your point, news reports violence and murders & movies provide us over the top violence to s point we are laughing about it because it so ridiculous. As far as Superhero movies go, light or dark, i don’t see their violence and death in the movies and think about the real world. I watch them for the escape. I don’t need to her how a mother kills her little children and blamed it on a carjacker. Rather not. I am sorry you in a place where you can’t wait to die. Mabye this particular subject above may not be right subject for to comment on. I know it is your opinion, but we arguing fiction,not real life.

  13. Waldae,

    Thank god you are not writing comic books, every one of yours would have no depth. So are you saying if the world is in danger & thw only way to stop, let’s say Darksied, that you would not kill him because killing is wrong? We would all be dead if you were our superhero. Thank God there will be a Super Waldae or Waldae Man on the rise, because we would be doomed.

    • No, you’re saying that if the world was in danger, etc., etc. If I was your superhero, I’d save everyone, and not have to kill anyone to do it. Fortunately, Superman’s all ready there to do that. Don’t know about that Man of Steel person, though.

      If I was writing comics, which I do, I would have the prosaic situation of the world being in danger, again, and a moral conundrum for the moral hero, again; neither would I be foolish enough to have him kill Darkseid, as Darkseid cannot be killed (read comics much?). No matter what is done to Darkseid, he all ways comes back, so you’d have to find another way to deal with him. I guess in your world, we would be doomed, as there is nothing to do but kill or be killed.

      • I’m a writer though not published so I always like coming up with ideas…one of them was a story putting superheroes on trial for collateral damage, i dont remember if i merged that with an idea of putting them on trial for second degree murder for supervillains destroying/killing, getting caught, going to jail, escaping again…it was a sort of a tongue in cheek mockery of the justice system allowing frivolous lawsuits (ie good samaritans helping and then getting sued).

        Your opinion of Superman II or Man of Steel are irrelevant to your being able to write good comics. I happen to agree with you with some disappointing aspects of Man of Steel. I hate that “someone” knows his secret and if you think about it the military does too since he reveals “I grew up in Kansas, you don’t get any more American than that”…

        • Agreed on the secret ID. How can he have that secret when he surrenders to the USM, Lois outs him in front of the police at the Kent farm, he snogs her in front of Perry and company, in addition to what you mention.

      • The argument wasn’t about killing darkseid, it was about killing in general. Think about it like this. A man has a gun, aimed at a group of children. You have a knife at his spine. There is no option to just hurt him. If you don’t sever his spine, he will fire. There is NO option to injure him or put him in jail. It’s either kill him, or he kills them. How is allowing him to live the better choice?

        Or with the joker. Batman always captures him, then puts him in jail. Then the Joker escapes, kills a bunch of people, rinse and repeat. Batman knows the Joker will escape and kill again. I understand being against murder, I really do, but to me, allowing the Joker to live and kill hundreds of people, repeatedly, is far worse than the murder of one sociopath.

        • “The argument wasn’t about killing darkseid, it was about killing in general. Think about it like this. A man has a gun, aimed at a group of children. You have a knife at his spine. There is no option to just hurt him. If you don’t sever his spine, he will fire. There is NO option to injure him or put him in jail. It’s either kill him, or he kills them. How is allowing him to live the better choice?”

          The argument was about situations where killing does not solve the problem. The scenario you give is absolutely grim, an me severing his spine wouldn’t stop him from shooting anyway. He’d be injured and the children would still be fired upon. No one wins.

          “Or with the joker. Batman always captures him, then puts him in jail. Then the Joker escapes, kills a bunch of people, rinse and repeat. Batman knows the Joker will escape and kill again. I understand being against murder, I really do, but to me, allowing the Joker to live and kill hundreds of people, repeatedly, is far worse than the murder of one sociopath.”

          If the Joker escapes again, perhaps Batman should place him somewhere he can keep an eye on him better? Improve the imprisonment, the Joker, a mortal man, should not be able to escape at will, and if Batman is about his business, he can see to it.

  14. Waldae,

    So I guess you are going to throw a magic W from your chest and stop evil right? Please, this world alone didn’t solve its problems without death. The best villains test the greatest heroes to their breaking point. I guess your comic book that we never heard of will never have that type of obstacle in them. By the way, you said Darksied could not die? Batman killed him with a bullet that could kill gods. So uhhh… Bottom line is that everyone on here is a against you & I think you had referenced a title to be that person? 2pac “Me against the world”, That’s you.

    • You sound absolutely bloodthirsty. Death is not the same as killing, but it seems in your limited scope, we must have killing in fiction, because that’s what we have in reality. Not every obstacle involves fighting, or uber-macho posturing. Or killing. Try stopping hunger and poverty. Curing disease. Truth and Justice, or have you forgotten that in your fangasm that is Man of Steel, a Superman that bashes first and never thinks at all about anyone?

      Batman killed Darkseid? Hardly. Batman shot Darkseid. Wait, did you read Final Crisis? Did you forget that after Batman shot Darkseid, Superman had to face him later? Darkseid had solved the Anti-Life Equation and existed in the bodies of all those he had taken over. He was then shot again by . . .himself. Morrison’s work may be a bot more than you can handle, man. No BAM BAM BOOM! There’s actual thought involved.

      • Superman facing Darkseid and not killing him after he’s murdered only to subdue him so he comes back with a vengeance and murders more, subduing him again (not killing) then having him come back yet again to wreak his vengeance even more….that kinda makes Superman an accomplice. Having the ability to stop someone and not doing it.

        This is what someone else mentioned, that the hero makes those hard decisions and has to live with them. A regular human I can understand incarcerating, but a super powered being that kills more and more each time they come back….there comes a point where they should be killed to stop the cycle of killing.

        • Don’t be daft. The point made wasn’t about Superman not doing anything satisfactory with Darkseid, but that Darkseid cannot be defeated by killing, as he cannot be killed. If Darkseid was in MOS, he would have taken a neck snap and kept coming. What then? Darkseid defies your scenario of putting down the bad guy. It’s not IF hrs coming back, it’s when he’s coming back and he’s going to keep coming. He requires a lot more intelligence than a neck-snap can offer.

          • Darkseid was killed in the Justice League cartoon. Luthors arrogance brought him back from the afterlife, if it wasn’t for that he wouldn’t have returned.

            He wasn’t killed by Superman or Batman though, Batman activated a boomtube and forced Superman to retreat though Darkseid blamed Superman.

            In Kingdom Come, Orion apparently killed Darkseid and became the new ruler of Apokalips.

            • He wasn’t dead when Luthor found him, either. It’s good that apparently works for dead in your book. We know that Orion deposed Darkseid, and that’s all. We don’t if Darkseid is dead or alive in KC. FULL STOP.

              • He was dead in Justice League when he returns to Apokalips he says “only the slimmest of chances allowed me to overcome my death at the hands of Superman” (which is incorrect because Supermen didn’t kill him – Darkseid considered it fleeing and called him a coward as he disappeared in the Boom Tube).

                As for Kingdom Come I will recheck. I could swear Orion said he killed Darkseid but may have simply overthrew. I doubt a living Darkseid would let Orion rule Apokalips though

                • “Only the slimmest of chances allowed me to overcome my death” means he wasn’t dead. It’s not that hard, man.

                  • or one can argue that one can not overcome until having first succumbed to. you do not overcome addiction until you have become addicted, you can not overcome until you have fallen.

                    • That is some slippery sophistry.

                  • not at all
                    you can not overcome that which you have not yet suffered

                    • You do not have to suffer in order to overcome.

                    • how so? if you have not gone through something then you are not overcoming, you are avoiding.

                    • You’re conflating experiencing something with suffering and the two are not the same thing.

          • The point i was trying to make is (hypothetical) that if a superpowered villain keeps coming back and killing doesnt the superhero have a responsibility to do something…more permanent?

            In the episode of Justice League with the Justice Lords, alternate Superman lobotomizes Doomsday to stop him…though I would imagine he would eventually heal from it…but its a good alternative between killing and “imprisoning”.

            • “The point i was trying to make is (hypothetical) that if a superpowered villain keeps coming back and killing doesnt the superhero have a responsibility to do something…more permanent?”

              The point that I made to counter is that you cannot kill every villain in comics. What is permanent for those that defy death and imprisonment. How do you sort out the ones you cannot beat with a neck-snap? It’s a hero’s responsibility to show a better way and not just save the day. Superman is a reflection of our best values, not our most cynical and expedient

              “In the episode of Justice League with the Justice Lords, alternate Superman lobotomizes Doomsday to stop him…though I would imagine he would eventually heal from it…but its a good alternative between killing and “imprisoning”.”

              Correct, and DOOMSDAY CAME BACK! Superman had to fight him and defeat him a different way, then imprison him in the Phantom Zone. Batman thought Doomsday deserved a trial. LOL!

  15. Took you some time to research that didn’t it? It is embarrassing, for you not me, for you to think you know me. Bloodthirsty, please. This article was about the killing of Zod. I am just not that kind of person to ignore that killing may have to an option against an unstoppable foe. You just want everythung to be clear cut, death free that you believe in the impossible. Was America established without death? Was America’s power established by a peaceful speech or notion? NO! You talk about disease and world hunger is concerned? I haven’t seen one Superman movie when he is helping the hungry. You like arguing for argument’s sake. Bottom line is this would have been done day 1, but your ego won’t allow it. You don’t believe in killing, good! I am against killing, however, if my family’s lives are in danger,i would hesitate to stop or even kill whoever is putting them in danger. Where does morality save their lives?

    • It you don’t want to seem bloodthirsty, don’t write things that lend to that image. I don’t know why you’re going on a tangent with the establishment of America’s power, other than you don’t have the necessary focus for what was being discussed.

      As to research, you are the one who wrote the misleading lines; I merely corrected you.

      There are plenty of stories with Superman feeding the hungry, taking on poverty, etc. The best, IIRC, is Superman: Peace on Earth. That would be a great basis for a film, but lads like yourself have a need to feed, and that is with violence. Senseless violence at that.

      • Peace on Earth wouldn’t make a good movie. It’s a comic book movie so it needs action. There has to be a villain or event that he needs to resolve to save lives. What do you think is going to happen when they introduce Lex Luthor? He’s not going to invite Superman to Lex Tower for mimosa’s…

        • Peace on Earth would make a great film, and show that comic books can be more than the disaster porn Synder offered. Nuance, drama, intrigue, comics can do this, but someone has to go first and with a solid story. If not, more MOS.

          • The other Alex Ross drawn graphic novel Kingdom Come would be better….but keep in mind if they base a movie on a comic book (story and all) then everyone knows how it’s going to end and everything.

            Man of Steel was better than Superman Returns though but I wouldn’t call it a disaster.

  16. Tony,

    That’s right there is no evidence of either life of death, but if you were to follow the theme where a bad guy(s) fall, they died. If you were to theorize what actually happened to them at the end, the result for the explanation why they are still alive would be longer than the other explanation if you had to explain they are dead. They fell, they’re dead. You can say they were arrested by the police that was so conveniently placed in his secret lair?! A deleted scene shows that actually happening, but once again, a deleted scene & not in the original film. Perhaps if the actors weren’t forced to have to re-film almost the whole film because of creative differences. What would have stopped them from ending to where Superman’s misty abyss through them into a phantom zone and somehow sent them off to outer space. Or, they fell into ice water and became human ice-sickles. Or, they were transported to a sheet of ice that floated them to an abandoned ship. Zod became Captain Crush, Non became the cook, and ?Ursa (Faora-El) became the nightime entertainment. The really didn’t leave it open for debate. When first blood was screened for viewers, not the public, there was scene where Rambo spills his guts to General Trautman, the general felt his soldier could not be salvaged. Trautman killed Rambo. The audience’s heart dropped. Before releasing the film, they changed the ending. Maybe Lester should have done that, if they indeed didn’t do that. The ending of Superman II shouldn’t be debated, what should be debated is whether they should have kept the Donner version that was 3/4 complete, or have Lester finish it. I do love the “Official original”, but even though there pieces missing and continuity issues, I love the Donner version.

  17. Waldae,

    Lad? If we met in person the last thing you would call me is lad. You talk a big game but as always, you believe what you say is right because you are too stuck up & caught up your self proclaimed greatness that you will never to get off your high-horse to listen reason. You keep bringing up bloodthirsty, but it seems you are bloodthirsty for being right and everyone else against you is wrong. I, we, are not wrong, we are different. You believe superheroes shouldn’t kill and they always find another alternative. So what does this make of the villain? Villains make their business to find their weakpoints and exploit to their advantages leaving them vulnerable. Does it lead to killing? Not always. To your standards they in cliche’ fashion to find another way. It has been done plenty of times and is getting boring. Why do think Marvel comics was struggling? They keep rehashing the same crap and it is getting stale. Since you like calling people lads, maybe you should have matured with times and realize the Romper room is getting old. I will always disagree because you think your opinion is better than everyone else’s. Your opinion is only that & I wouldn’t read your comic books if you crushed my hand and threw me into an abyss where I, in a deleted scene, was hauled off by the police. Fat chance of that happening, I’m pretty sure you are not as strong as I. Oh since you like making us feel inferior or barbaric, I am simply defending my laddness so you would I am a big boy & calling a lad is a complete insult.

    • Just a wee reactionary, aren’t we? Lad is the equivalent or “Guy, Man, Dude,” etc. It isn’t perjorative, though I’m certain you’d like it to be so. Again, I you don’t want to be seen as such, perhaps you should chose a different tack?

      If we met in person? Is that some sort of . . . ? You do know it falls flat as we’re not going to meet in person, and if we did, I doubt you’d be as reactionary as you’re being here.

      Can we get back to Superman?

  18. Tony,

    See that? That is what I am talking about. I wonder how high his horse is, Mount Everest perhaps? The fact that Waldae can’t accept that the original movie failed to show the end result of the Kryptonians nor verbally stated their fate, his argument is there is no evidence of either & this should be a mistrial and this argument is for NOTHING!!! He must get thrown out of the Mushroom Kingdom a lot. ;-)

    • Mount Everest? Too small. More like Mount Olympus. Yes, The Mount Olympus. LOL!

      You’ve changed gears for the last few posts, Tony, going for ambiguity, which you should have done a long time ago. It still doesn’t refute my stance.

      • Waldae;

        I bet you’re Joran van der Sloot….”no body no evidence” is your motto.

        Apparently you mentioned that it is conceivable that I could convince you that Superman did indeed kill Zod in Superman II. I’m questioning whether you already know it and are carrying on this discussion for me to come to come crossroads that supports it that is different than what is already stated,

        • No, I’ve no notion of what you might present to convince me, but I’m open to the action.

  19. Waldae,

    There you go again, tooting your own horn. Of course you would pick a fictional depth for your ego. Sorry bub, you called me lad to insult me, don’t start pulling out a dictionary definition to defend yourself. There you go again assuming you know me. True, we will never meet, but if you think i would not give you the verbal business in person, you got me all wrong. Intelligence is great, but when you try and be above eveyone else, the fall is greater. You could be greatest, but your not, you will be alone. Based on what you write, you would probably die alone. Be careful not to sit on any of Zeus’s lightning bolts when you are up there.

  20. Fictional? You don’t say. LOL!

    Like I said, of course you want it to mean something that you can be insulted about, that way you have an out from actual discussion. Again, if we met in person, I expect you’d be much more reasonable. The Internet tends to make lads much more reactionary than they normally are.

  21. There isn’t a superhero bible so whether Superman, Batman, or Elastic Man kill ir don’t kill, what does it matter. It would be one thing if issue #1 Superman killed a villain, then we expect him to kill in every issue. That is not i would want heroes, but for every superhero, there is antagonistic that will push the superhero because that is what they do. They exploit that rule & play that card until the hero snaps or breaks. Saying there is always another way other than killing is as bad as saying the superhero always wins. Sure, the hero win, but what they lose post battle? Civilians? Friends? Loved ones? If not killing is the most logical or less collateral in certain situations, cool. But not every time a phantom zone or a super prison is available or a convenient fatality clearly the villain’s doing, it will not always be there. I do believe evil should be destroyed, but not all can be. For the ones that can be, ask yourself one thing: were the lives you save killing an evil being weigh on you more than lives lost because you took the moral high road?

  22. Interesting article but a bit lacking on facts. Superman did not kill anyone in Superman II.

    MoS is a character assassination from people who don’t understand the character.

    • Superman did kill in Superman II. It clearly happens in the theatrical version which is the official canon. i’m pretty sure youre the same person who post as Waldae because no one can be so ignorant to deny what happens in front of their eyes

  23. No, I’m Waldae. Spektre is himself, and fortunately, neither of us are you.

    • All arguments on this thread aside, im curious as to your reaction to the SDCC teaser for Superman V Batman.

      • It was OK. Heavy on TDKR influence, which doesn’t bode well for Superman fans.

        • I liked the graphic novel and Animated movie…im not sure i like it happening like this for a first meeting. Willing to give it a chance to see where they take it though. Id like to see something more in line with how Superman and Batman first met in the Superman Animated Series that merged into Justice League…heres hoping…

          • Superman looked like a fool in that animated film. Batman judo-flipped him, cowered him with Kryptonite, then was 5 seconds from giving it to Lois Lane. Anything but that.

            • Once and for all, to settle this for good: Flying up was never a solution. Even if, even IF, he somehow was able to overpower Zod, considering it seems painfully clear that he was using all his strength to fly DOWN, holding Zod in place along with his strength, Zod would’ve broken free, then proceeded to slaughter every human he could find. He has Superstrength and speed on par with Superman and Superman’s strength was giving. Taking the smallest bit of energy to fly would’ve given Zod the opportunity he was looking for. It’s physics at it’s most basic. One is person is trying with all their might to restrain another, who is using all their might to break free, giving them the slightest bit of leeway allows them to break free. It was either kill him now, or be forced to kill him later, after he’s plowed through hundreds of thousands. I’ve made this very accurate point to you time and time again, and you’ve never once successfully countered it, instead dodging the issue by claiming he could fly up, ignoring that he was already using the fullest extent of his might to prevent Zod from going on a rampage, and not bothering to address the issue of the rampage in question because you know I’m right. There was no other way to act in that situation that would’ve stopped him for good and you know it. -and yes, by the way, being able to break his neck makes perfect sense as this is a different universe with different rules, in addition to Kryptonians being harmed by physical force happening before, like in Smallville and with Doomsday in the comics. In the comics, Superman’s invulnerability is described as an aura, essentially a shield surrounding him. Breaking Zod’s neck then makes sense for three reasons. One is Kryptonians in general in this more realistic universe are nigh-invulnerable as opposed to being completely invulnerable, though the more likely explanation is that the Terraform machine weakened him as well as Superman, and he hadn’t had nearly as much time to absorb solar energy, making neither at their full power. Superman had gotten much closer to the machine then Zod, and felt it’s full effects, as opposed to Zod who kept a distance, so it makes sense that at that point, their powers were on par with each other. Tell you what, if you can successfully counter the ACTUAL point of the discussion.(Was it absolutely necessary?) I’ll drop it. Allow me to remind you that in addition to the points I’ve made since the start of this debate,(Superman barely being able to restrain him, flying up giving him leeway, only a matter of time, etc.) their is now no prison on Earth that could possibly hold him since the Zone generators were destroyed. If you have a successful counterpoint to any of my points, then by all means…

              • Sweet Grace, man! We we’re actually taking about something good and yiu have to rehash that point again? The nerve of some people. ;)

                • You want to talk about nerve? You never once made a successful counter way back when, and even several months later, you STILL don’t have a proper rebuttal, and you’re trying to crack with the wise in yet another attempt to avoid the fact that you have no argument, proving me right, yet still thinking you have the right to be a wiseacre while all but admitting defeat.

                  • Yeah. Sure. I’ve made no refutation but you’re the one coming back after several months to strike up a conversation all over again? I think you protest too much.

  24. I look forward to seeing this play out, but I think they overloaded this movie with too many characters. They are simply doing that because of the Avengers movies. You can’t tell me that it is a coincidence that armor Batman will be seen just a year after the Hulkbuster will be seen Avengers 2. DC has been behind for a while now & they taking catching up to the extreme! i hope somehow it works. Nice Dark Knight Returns homage though.

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