Zack Snyder Talks Superman’s Dilemma and the Mass Destruction in ‘Man of Steel’

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Henry Cavill as Clark Kent Kal El Superman in Man of Steel Zack Snyder Talks Supermans Dilemma and the Mass Destruction in Man of Steel

Man of Steel was a successful re-launch of the Superman movie franchise (in terms of box office returns); not to mention, the blockbuster laid the groundwork for a shared DC Cinematic Universe, with the sequel – which we’ve been referring to as Batman vs. Superman – being the next building block.

Director Zack Snyder’s 21st century (read: contemporary) re-imagining of the Clark Kent/Kal-El character’s origin story is also one of the most divisive titles to have premiered during Summer 2013, if but for one simple reason: it truly re-imagined the mythos, by ramping up the action quotient and painting Superman’s universe in deeper shades of grey than many longtime fans are comfortable with. (Just look through the comments for Screen Rant’s official Man of Steel review and you’ll be able to gauge the intensity of the debate over this film within the hardcore fan community.)

Snyder chatted with The Japanese Times about creating a more flawed and vulnerable Superman (portrayed by Henry Cavill), while making a promotional visit to Tokyo ahead of Man of Steel opening in theaters in Japan tomorrow. One of the subjects that Snyder touched upon is how he perceives Kal-El’s dual heritage – being a child of Krypton raised by the human Kent family on Earth – as something that presents him with a personal obstacle that many Americans can understand (which the filmmaker sought to emphasize in his Superman movie reboot):

“One of the original authors of the Superman comics, Joe Shuster, was an immigrant. I thought it was fascinating how Superman — an infant from a distant planet — was placed in Kansas, which is the most iconographically central location in the U.S. Clark Kent represents a dichotomy: He’s a complete foreigner, literally an alien, but trying to come into his own in Kansas. And he holds a mirror up for ourselves. In many ways, Clark Kent’s dilemma is the American dilemma. Wherever we’re from, we all have this very strong desire for acceptance. When he’s young, most of Clark Kent’s efforts are directed toward being like everyone else. So the fact that he’s not like everyone and never will be is very difficult for him to accept. And he’s adopted too, which could be hard for a kid. I have four adopted children, so I know how that is.”

Supe’s personal quest for acceptance in Man of Steel is complicated by him being a superhero that – in Snyder’s own words – is “literally Biblical” – something that’s emphasized through the film with religious symbolism and allegory. Snyder’s logic, as he explained, is that Kal-El is fundamentally a being with God-like powers, whose self-appointed responsibilities to humanity conflicts with his own personal interests in a big way:

“A very large part of Superman has stayed on Krypton, but he can’t leave his adopted country because if he does the whole world could be destroyed. If he steps in to save everyone, he’ll never be accepted as a normal guy. It’s not an easy choice. Because after all that sacrifice, what does humanity have to offer Clark? You have to admit, it’s not much. In one scene, a priest tells Clark to take a ‘leap of faith.’ And that’s pretty much it for Superman. By the way, his Kryptonian name of Kal-El means ‘God’ in Hebrew.” (It actually translates as “Voice of God.”)

Jenny Olsen and Perry White in Man of Steel Zack Snyder Talks Supermans Dilemma and the Mass Destruction in Man of Steel

However, if there’s one element present in Man of Steel that the film’s detractors have taken the most issue with, it’s the way in which Kal-El handled the threat of Kryptonian General Zod (Michael Shannon) and his forces – not just in terms of what happened at the end of the climactic fight (we’ve already touched on that debate), but also with regard to the sheer amount of destruction and the collateral damage that results from the battle. Snyder, however, felt that having so much destructive spectacle (evoking 9/11 imagery) was necessary, given his attempt to create a modern American mythology with Man of Steel:

“I wanted the movie to have a mythological feeling. In ancient mythology, mass deaths are used to symbolize disasters. In other countries like Greece and Japan, myths were recounted through the generations, partly to answer unanswerable questions about death and violence. In America, we don’t have that legacy of ancient mythology. Superman (who first appeared in ‘Action Comics’ in 1938) is probably the closest we get. It’s a way of recounting the myth.”

From day one, Snyder made it clear that the Man of Steel sequel will address the consequences of Supe’s actions in the first movie; that is, even before the rest of the world learned that Batman is going to be a part of the equation. Moreover, if you interpret Man of Steel as a superhero origin story allegory for real-world disasters (like Snyder does), then the logical direction for the second installment is to deal with the aftermath from the perspective of an older generation – one that’s weathered this sort of storm before, so to speak. That would appear to be the plan with the 41-year old Ben Affleck portraying a version of the Caped Crusader, who is described by Snyder as someone who “bears the scars of a seasoned crime fighter.”

Ben Affleck Batman Superman movie Zack Snyder Talks Supermans Dilemma and the Mass Destruction in Man of Steel

… And suffice it to say: anyone who knows what the older and wiser version of Batman is like knows that he will have strong opinions to share with Kal-El, where it has to do with to the responsibilities that come with being a superhero (and how the Last Son of Krypton has significant room for improvement in that area).


Man of Steel will be available on DVD and Blu-ray beginning November 12th, 2013.

Batman vs. Superman/Superman vs. Batman/Man of Steel 2 opens in theaters on July 17th, 2015.

Source: The Japanese Times [via CBM]

Follow Sandy Schaefer on Twitter @feynmanguy
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  1. I never had a problem with the destruction(especially of ihop), I blame nitpickers.

    • I didn’t have any problem with the destruction of Metropolis, since I admit most of it was caused by the Terraforming device. What I had a problem with was that thousands are probably trapped under rubble, thousands more are probably badly injured and we never see Superman help out once. Not once. It’s not even implied that he helped. We’re given nothing.

      That’s literally Rule 1# of Superman. He helps people. And Snyder screwed that up. For me, that’s unforgivable.

      • He was barely even Superman yet. It was literally his 1st day. I think the point of this movie is now he learns from this catastrophe, he’ll see the result and try his best not to do it again. Either way, in Man of Steel, he had several people as strong as him chasing after him along with the world engine to take of in the other end of the world.

        • Are you friggin’ serious?! You’re excusing Superman not helping trapped/injured people because ‘it’s his first day’? Seriously?!

          • Uh did you not read the rest of what he said? clearly not, he is a young superman which makes mistakes, so quit nitpicking!

            • You’re saying him never being shown to help injured/trapped people or assist with rescue efforts is just a ‘mistake’ he made ‘because it’s his first day’? Are you people completely insane?!

              And yes, I read his entire post. I’d also point out that Superman is never shown/hinted to help with rescue efforts even after he killed Zod, which is what I was specifically more angry about.

              • So what if it wasn’t said he helped. He was busy keeping zod from killing everyone.

                • Ah yes, I’m certain he really had a handful keeping Zod from killing everybody after he snapped his neck. Holding off Zod’s corpse obviously made him way too busy to help out with saving lives.

                  Also, Metropolis has just faced a level of destruction many times greater than 9/11 and you’re wondering why I care that it was never hinted that Superman helped at all?

                  • @ Rukio

                    Sort of like an entire team of superheroes eating shwarma instead of lending a helping hand?

                    • Except we see the Avengers providing a lot of help to the general public during their fight scene. Captain America, in particular, helps organise the police force to save as many civilians as they can, as well as saving a large group of people from a alien grenade. The Avengers also try to limit the damage, and spread of the invading army.

                      Finally, by the end of the fight scene, it’s obvious that all of them (except maybe Hulk) are in absolutely no fit state to do any serious help. Unlike Superman.

                      So yeah, there are a few minor differences.

                    • Because the Avengers were able to split, they are 5 or so heroes where as Superman is one.

                    • “providing a lot of help to the general public”

                      Do I need to remind you that Zod promised to MURDER THE PLANET?????

                    • And I have no issue with Superman not being to help much during his actual fights. It’s only his lack of help afterwards which annoys me.

                      Meanwhile, the Avengers (due to their number) were able to help the civilians more during the actual fight itself, so not as much rescue/help is needed afterwards. Hence why I forgive the Avengers for not being shown to help out afterwards.

                    • @Rukaio101

                      Ok so you have no problem with Supes not doing anything during the actual fights but you want an extra scene where he’s seen picking up some rubble to help someone. For what tho? You have two instances where you see people start to revere Supes as the hero he is

                      1) After the Smallville battle when the General says “This man is not our enemy”

                      2) After Supes stops the world engine and Jenny goes “He saved us…he saved us all”

                      Now Unless you want a media montage afterwards like in avengers where you see peoples reactions to the new heroes/hero then I would understand you more. Yet that’s what the entire sequel is about. Just adding a scene at the end just to drive home the point that Superman is good isn’t something that brings the entire movie down tho. It could add a little bit more substance to the eventual relationship between Supes and the people of Earth but the movie doesn’t NEED it as much. IMO

                    • So you’re saying that if all the characters started calling Clark ‘the smartest man on earth’ then it would suddenly become true? Having people simply say that Clark is a hero doesn’t necessarily make him one.

                      And no I don’t need a long montage of Superman helping people. I just want it to be alluded to or even just implied that he helped out.

                  • what your doing, its called nitpicking and I wish you no happiness or joy.

                    • Well, I apologise that pointing out how Superman fails to even try to help the thousands trapped/injured in Metropolis after the fight, is apparently considered ‘nitpicking’.

                    • Rukaio101: I seriously would not want to watch a montage of Superman helping the “poor ‘thousands of people’ trapped under rubble”. It’s a movie. They seriously can’t show you EVERYTHING.

                    • I’d rather have a montage of ‘Superman helping the “poor ‘thousands of people’ trapped under rubble”’ than the implication that ‘Superman left the “poor ‘thousands of people’ trapped under rubble” to fend for themselves’.

                      Seriously, how hard would it’ve been to simply have had a throwaway line in the next scene mentioning how Clark helped out?

                    • He probably helped out though. He even stated that he was willing to help. After killing Zod who really thinks he actually sat down for a McDonal’s cup of coffee watching construction workers do their thing.

                    • When did he say he was willing to help?

                  • @Rukaio101

                    Uhhh… The entire first act is about him saving people.

                    • Exactly what do you want rukaio him holding hands and $hitting rainbows give me a break.

            • clearly that guy was a skimmer

            • Then why didn’t they clarify that in the film itself? Why leave that crucial part out if it is his first day on the job? I obviously can’t read Zack’s mind, so why not go in dept on his one of many issues? Because…. It’s not nitpicking, it’s a PLOTHOLE.

              • It’s called indirect characterization, where the audience is given the benefit of the doubt to be able to put things together themselves through their own interpretations.

                • Did we SEE the Avengers building up New York? No, yet nobody mentioned a thing. And they shouldn’t, because it’s logical to assume at the very least Stark and SHIELD would help with the recovery. If you moan about MoS, you should moan about the Avengers too, it’s that simple. Equally, I don’t see why it’s such a big problem. Yeah I personally would’ve preferred a few shots of Superman helping out, but who knows, they might have their reason not to. What if Superman isn’t ALLOWED to help out, because people are freakin scared of him? Anyone ever thought of that? Snyder clearly wanted to end a dramatic origin film on a joyful note, and I can see why.

                  Man of Steel’s biggest mistake was underestimating how brainless a lot of superhero moviegoers are, as is evident in these comments. Seriously, when I read some of the hypocritical hate-comments on here I realise why 80% of what Hollywood makes is brainless BS meant for kids, gorged by what I’ll hesitantly refer to as “adults”.

                  Man of Steel was a great exception in a really weak summer for blockbusters.

                  • Honestly, I thought (one of) Man of Steel’s biggest mistakes was overestimating how brainless its audience was. It expected that, by simply saying some deep sounding mumbo jumbo, it’d come off as ‘deeper’ and ‘grittier’. Even though many of the themes either aren’t that interesting or simply don’t work.

                    Let’s take Pa Kent’s message to Clark about maybe he should let some people die in order to hide his powers (although that was incredibly stupid). The message is taken to its conclusion when Clark lets Jonathan die in the tornado, rather than reveal himself (also stupid). Now think a moment. Chronologically, the next thing that happens, which we see, is Clark saving a bunch of people from a burning oil well using his powers. You know, going against Jonathan’s ideals. We don’t get a scene of his pondering or deciding to go against those ideals, he just does it and it’s never mentioned again. Also, the event which causes Clark to reveal himself to the world? Either he does so or the entire world (presumably including himself) all die. What a serious moral dilemma that was…

                    Now seriously try and name one major long-running theme throughout the film that is memorable and doesn’t fall apart if you think about it for 5 minutes. This isn’t Nolan’s Batman. This isn’t even close.

                    • 1) Jon Kent is a non-neutral PARENT to Clarke who has his own idea of what’s right and not. Kent isn’t the embodiment of factual moral perfection.
                      2) When Clarke reveals himself on the oil platform THEY DONT KNOW WHO HE IS. WHICH IS THE POINT. That’s why he runs away and becomes a drifter. If Clark had saved his father in front of his whole god damn town EVERYONE WOULD KNOW and Kent is a wise sob in realising you can’t oversee the consequences of such a reveal. They might be horrifying. In fact, the recent animated Flashpoint Paradox has run with the idea what if Superman would be caught right away by the government (hint, it’s not good). It’s not for nothing Kent has serious issues with the thing Clarke does when he’s younger, saving the kids in the school bus. He realises that before Clarke shows himself to the world, Clarle himself needs to reall know who he is, so he can deal with it. All Kent can do is express his hope that he’ll stand before the human race proudly, as a force of Good.

                      The point of Kent in this film is being Clarke’s Ben Parker. He teaches him that there’s a greater good at stake beyond his immediate environment. This is exactly what’s reflected in him choosing to immediately destroy the World Engine, accepting losses in NY going on at that time. He teaches Clarke restraint, because humanity isn’t all jolly. A lot of people simply fear what’s beyond their control and that is a danger to people in and of itself. And his point is proven by the fact that Clarke does in fact pose a danger. His super powered ancestors come to earth and nearly obliterates humanity’s planet. Above all this, Kent is a guy from Kansas, a good natured, quiet guy from Kansas who has his own experience with the world he lives in. He presents one side of the dichotomy in how you approach superpowers.

                      Opposite to that is Jor-El, who comes from a grand intellectual POV, a race where they have grand overarching visions of how to give function to the lives of their citizens (expressed to a literal degree where they design genetics for this purpose) where he sees the bigger picture for his son as earths protector and if necessary savior.

                      Clarke meets this side of the double edged sword only for a short moment, when he finds Jor-El’s stored memory in the ship. He’s been raised by Kent for his entire life. The balance in the dichotomy is highly off-set at this point.

                      The idea of the film is that being a superhero carries as much responsibility as it does capabilities. Kent and Jor-El resemble this dichotomy in which Superman will have to find the perfect balance. Goyer has literally said it was an important aspect that Superman essentially has two fathers. Two perspectives on the world. It’s up to him to find the perfect balance, fusion of the two. Newsflash: he doesn’t in MoS, but he does start his journey to reach this and it was a promising start, as he manages to save his entire people from a completely unexpected HUGE threat. Yes, at the cost of probably much more than a perfected Superman would cause, that’s why this is only the BEGINNING.

                      Equally, having to kill Zod is in itself a failure, a failure which will truly make him see he will have to become SUPER so he’ll never have to choose between lesser of two evils again. This too has been expicitely elaborated upon by Goyer. You don’t become the greatest superhero alive in a day, or a year, or maybe even five years. It’s a journey, and every journey starts somewhere, often from a very imperfect position. That;s WHY the journey has meaning. They gave Superman a true well thought out character arc of which his environment was carefully designed so it would fit entirely with this arc. The entire storyline is designed so the character evolves into a direction that we want him to (to become the perfect Superhero).

                      The only other films in which I’ve seen this grand form of story writing in a hero film is in Nolan’s Batman films and it’s why I consider Man of Steel to be in that vein of cinema. (Granted Batman is a very different character with different possibilities and stories to tell, so of course there’s a big difference in that regard.)

              • Plot hole how is this one. You need to learn the definition Oh plot hole.

          • When a massive alien machine is imminently destroying the planet’s surface on two sides of the planet, after which a massive god-powered lunatic decides to want to make every living human suffer when said machine is finally destroyed?

            Yeah, I’d say people let other people down for a lot less. An not because they chose too, but because they were (*drumroll*) INEXPERIENCED. Apart from the fact even Superman can’t be in two, three, four, fifty places at once. That’s a job for the Flash.

            There’s only one valid criticism in all this and that’s MoS didn’t MENTION it afterwards. That was definitely a mistake on the director’s behalf, but seeing as we seem to be getting a sequel about that, I’d say that was a minor one too.

            • That’s exactly the criticism I was pointing out from the beginning and, in my opinion, it’s quite unforgivable. Saying ‘there’ll be a sequel’ is no excuse. That was something that needed to be shown right after the battle of Metropolis. Chucking it into the sequel (if they even do that) won’t help.

              • I love Man of STeel, but I’m not an insensible fanboy.

                What transpired was imo completely logical given the circumstances of those involved. But, to repeat myself, I completely agree not reflecting on this in Man of Steel was a mistake. Definitely the kind of mistake that keeps a film from being a masterpiece.

                I think the writers made a bad judgement call in that they wanted tot end the film on a joyful note, but it backfired upon them, misreading how audiences would take that.

                Man of Steel had its flaws in that some scenes could’ve been shortened to allow more time for previously stated mistake to receive screen time (looking at you again forces Clarke/Lois relationship scenes).

                I completely agree with Kofi, Man of Steel was a 4-star film. Flaws are present, but still great.

              • It’s implied he didn’t help. For all we know, he did help.

                Think about it like this: In your world, Superman would be helping. Maybe he did and it happened off-screen. Plenty of stuff happens off-panel in comics.

                You ASSUME that he didn’t help at any point. You can’t get mad over your assumptions and think it’s right. He may have helped, he may not have helped. It’s all up to your imagination. YOU, of all people, should be thinking he did help.

              • There was never any indication that he DIDN’T help people after. Why do you assume that he didn’t help just because they didn’t show or talk about it? It was never mentioned that he didn’t help. I assume that he helped as many people as possible from the rubble.

          • Sooooo let the Kryptonians run loose and kill more people, makes sense. He was prioritizing.

            Again, the point of this movie was he made mistakes (handling his powers, not bringing the fight elsewhere). It was realistic for him to be overwhelmed by an alien invasion on his first day with the cape as well as the first time using all his strength. It’s been confirmed the sequel will address his mistakes.

            • What about after the Kryptonians are banished and Zod is killed? What’s stopping him helping out then? Nothing. yet we never see, or get any hints, that he did anything to assist rescue efforts.

              That’s not a simple ‘mistake’.

              • In the end, 5 months has passed so I’m sure they’ll show what happened in those 5 months in the sequel. It isn’t a mistake, it’s the way they’re telling their story.

                • Then it’s an incredibly stupid way to tell the story. You needed to show Superman helping out this film, or at least referenced it in the film’s dialogue. Otherwise Man of Steel, as a solitary film, comes off incredibly weaker.

                  Also, you seem convinced that scenes of Superman helping out will turn up in the sequel. What if they don’t?

                  • True, I can agree them not voicing that in Man of Steel was a bit odd, but to say it’s an incredibly stupid way of telling story? Incredibly weaker? lmao

                    It really isn’t that stupid if you think about it, who’s to say what happened in those 5 months. Maybe too much to address in a little mention at the end of the film. We’re both speculating at this point, so we won’t know if it’s truly the wrong decision until we see the story continue, which is to be expected since this is just an origin story.

                    Also it plays as a lead in to the sequel, something franchises have always done, leave a loose end to continue the story line.

                  • That question is irrelevant considering the massive outcry over this can’t have escaped the writers for MoS2.

                    But, I will admit, if MoS2 does not at all reflect on this, than it will weaken MoS for me, because it retroactively proves they didn’t think about it.

                    Don’t see this happening though. Why? Because MoS was in fact very well thought through.

                    • While I admit much of this will depend on what happens in the sequel, so it’s difficult to argue (since we can’t see the future), but it’s hard to deny that MoS as a standalone film suffers because of this. And, quite frankly, that’s the main thing that matters.

                      And I’d seriously debate that Man of Steel was well thought through.

                      @ColdSC: It really wouldn’t have been too hard for someone to say “We appreciate your efforts in helping with the rescue operation in Metropolis, but…”

            • And there isn’t anyone one better to whole heartedly expose those mistakes than Lex Luther. And There isn’t anyone better to call him out on those mistakes and allow him to realize his full potential than an experienced Batman. Which we’ll see…

          • You’re being very narrow-visioned and not looking at the bigger picture.

            • Well, I apologise that apparently getting annoyed about Superman never being shown, or hinted, to help thousands of injured/trapped is ‘narrow minded’.

              And, for curiosity’s sake, what exactly is the bigger picture here?

              • The bigger picture is to base the sequel on people’s reaction because let’s face it, it will be a big reaction to his mistakes. Never being shown? He helped the soldier falling from the sky, helped the colonel from being killed and again, he had bigger concerns instead of getting people away from the rumble. What would happen if he helped Jenny when she was under the rubble instead of going after the world engine or the other Kryptonians?

                • Stop trying to bring the discussion to Superman not helping out before the fight. I accept there wasn’t much he could’ve done while fighting. Instead, I’ve made it perfectly clear that I was angry at his lack of rescuing people after the fight was over.

                  As for the ‘bigger picture’ argument, what do plans for the sequel have to do with me wanting Superman to show some basic decency/kindness and rescue people? I don’t care about how the sequel fits in with this film, because the sequel hasn’t been released yet. I’m judging this film as it stands alone. Like you should be. If I reviewed Iron Man, I wouldn’t talk about how it fits into the Avengers and judge it on that.

                  • Look at my reply above.

              • U r being a crybaby

              • The entire movie is spent showing us how Clark Kents whole life is about helping and saving people. Over and over and over again. But you think the movie sucked because it wasn’t made perfectly clear to you wether or not he helped and saved some people? Lol your argument doesn’t really make much sense.

            • Yeah he really is, the run time was already long. We really have to see him help out the rescue effort. Nothing at the end of the film made me feel like it never happened. I guarentee he was there snyder just didnt show it. Movies dont work that way they dont show every little detail

              • If the running time was too long, all they had to do was have it be mentioned that Superman helped out in the scene afterwards. They don’t. They don’t even hint it.

                Saying you ‘guarantee it’ doesn’t make it true. There’s absolutely nothing that even slightly suggests Superman helped out. Nothing. And (to quote the Superhero dictionary) that’s terrible.

                • I’m sorry, but I have scrolled down lots and lots, and still you pop up writing your same points over and over and over!

                  I personally didn’t like Man Of Steel mate. It was grim, pretty heartless, little logic, overblown CGI fights, had a repetitive score, and average talented actors with an average script. There was no real big draw in it for me.

                  However, on this whole ‘Superman wasn’t mentioned saving people at the end’ you’re moaning about, I think it is pretty damn obvious that he did help save some people in the aftermath(the ones he didn’t inadvertently kill anyway). Doesn’t matter if you don’t see it. Doesn’t matter if its not hinted to or implied. It’s part of the character, his use of powers, and his general purpose. One of the first scenes with him in the movie is of him using his powers to help people. He left Metropolis in a state of mass destruction and in one of the most biggest accounts of chaos a city has ever been in, and he was partly responsible. It was because of him the entire battle ensued in the first place, and you can sense his guilt of this fact throughout the entire third act.

                  I seriously doubt he killed Zod, and then said ‘Right that’s me done lads I’m off for a cup of tea’.

                  • I’m writing up the same points over and over again because nobody is coming up with any decent counter-arguments to them. Seriously, the best I’ve had so far is ‘I’m certain they’ll address it in the sequel’.

                    While I also personally doubt that Superman just upped and left, that’s only because he’s Superman and that’s what Superman’s supposed. But we never see anything in the film that would suggest this particular incarnation of the character would do that. If we switched the names and made it about a completely original superhero would you still be convinced that he’d have helped out?

                    Honestly, it annoyed me so much simply because a) the huge, over-the-top level of destruction done to Metropolis which made the Avengers climax look like a minor scuffle and b) the fact that the movie really needed ‘Superman rescues people and does non-violent Superman things’ that the movie needed so badly. While he does help those people at the oil rig, that’s as Clark Kent, not as Superman. Also, even if they weren’t willing to shell out for an extra scene of Superman doing that, how easy would it have been to stick in a throwaway line pointing out that Clark did help?

                    • Like all of the marvel fans saying the film version is different from the comic version, this superman is the film version not the conic version. Therefore it’s not entirely impossible for superman to act differently than his comic version. And if this rule doesn’t apply to DC films I calm BS on the marvel film version.

                    • I’ll give you a good reason, that is really just an expantion on the “first day on the job” reason. Because its the first movie bro, and they werent looking to satisfy our desire for instant gratification but rather start a story arc that may last a few movies (hopefully.) Why do you want to see a fully fleshed out Superman in the first movie? To me MOS seems like a first act not a whole story in and of itself. That is awesome IMO. If he had been more helpful it would taken away some of the impact they should be able to capitalize on in the sequel. Had we got your already perfect Supes in the first one, what would Batman have to teach him in the second? The payoff to NOT having the scenes you wanted will (should) be in the next movie. This is a trend I hope they continue. NOW, if they DONT do this in Batman/Superman… then I will agree with you.

          • Given the fact that Zod was hell bent on killing, tell us at point was Kal going to be able to help?
            ‘Zod don’t kill me just yet! There are people I have to help!’ Kal dies 7 billion others die too, so collateral damage is expected. Yes maybe Snyder could have done a bit better by showin Kal helping out instead of dumping a drone in front of the general and turning up at the planet as Clark. At the end of the day we still got a fantastic superman movie.

          • Yeaahhh. It’s an origin story remember ? If you were superman, how would you have handled the situation ?, situation being a world engine with the. Main spaceship terraforming the world from opposite poles, battling three powerful villians at the same time , stopping the scout ship from destroying the plane loiseand dr. Hamilton were in, and of course the battle with Zod. The damage wasn’t done by superman, but by a team of kryptonian soldiers and alien gunpower and technology. Besidea he spent a good 30 plus years saving people anonimously.

            • If I was Superman, I would’ve stopped the world engine, beat the Kryptonians and then helped out rescuing people trapped under rubble/injured.

              That last bit is conspicuously missing from the film.

              • They cut from Superman being forced to kill Zod, to a big while later.

                I agree they should’ve showed some of it, definitely, BUT the film isn’t saying he’s not doing that.

                People act as if Superman is a self absorbed jerk, but that’s factually incorrect. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t know why the makers made the choice they did, I agree it was a wrong one, but it’s NOT as if it completely destroys this version of Superman. I’m sorry but that’s just silly.

                Their mistake was solely not showing it, and thus I assume the sequel will correct that. Just like Batman Begins showed way less Batman fighting which they corrected with TDK.

                There’s a difference between the character portrayed and the overall film’s structure, but many seem to ignore that difference and just assume oh well I didn’t see it, so Superman must be a massive dick *film destroyed*. I find that a ridiculously shallow way of looking at films.

                • @Sirillian I don’t know man , I’m with Rukiko101: What’s shown and what’s not shown in a movie matters. I’ll never forget how my whole view of James Cameron’s Avatar was modified after I saw the Extended Cut. I was shocked to discover that the Navi who was betrothed to Zoe Saldona character (sorry, I don’t recall their names) survived the fall through the trees during the epic battle at the end and that Jake Sully killed him and became the new clan chief alongside his woman.

                  Those New Scenes totally alters the ending of the story. Not seeing them leaves you with a different impression of the film and characters. Not seeing Kal-El show some Christian Charity and Kindness post Zod, can be seen as problematic. I think if they wanted to end Man of Steel on a positive note they should have played Sarah Mcglauhin’s World on Fire song with a montage of Superman helping people after the battle was over. Not making out with his girlfriend.

              • Lmao. Dude I think we get your point on snyder not showing the aftermath of the battle, but spending anytime in a movie theatre watching superman help clean up the mess after almost 2:30 hours would have been rediculous. This a diferent aproach to superman, you all need to forget richard donner and chris reeves depiction of superman and give this new franchise a chance.

          • Well he’s only just been shown round the office, you know, water cooler over there, that’s the kitchen for lunch, toilets are down the hall on the right, giant terraforming device next to the MD’s office.

            He’s probably not even been given a job description yet.

            • Wow, that’s a long list of posts. My reply has ended up know where near I thought it was going too…..

              • *** nowhere – DOH!

    • good point.

  2. Somebody needs to tell Zack Snyder that his “american mythology” is just really poor storytelling. If that script were worth a damn there wouldn’t have been nearly as much destruction in that film. Oh and anybody who was upset about Superman’s actions at the end, clearly doesn’t read comics or is familiar with the history of the character.

    • I really only had a problem with the tornado scene. Just give John Kent a regular death.

      But the destruction of the fights/war engine seemed pretty “accurate” to what any alien invasion might look like or fights between figures with god-like powers. Unless you’re saying the scenes took to long then I can catch your drift.

    • Chris…

      I DO read comics and very much understand the essence of the Superman character and his mythos, and I found the film’s story (and the playing out of said story) to be excellent. Zack, I believe, understands precisely what he needs to understands…DESPITE your desperate attempt to make your OPINION come across as ANY sort of fact.

      • UGH…The second “understands” should not have the second S…obviously.

        • “It’s not an S!”


          • nice

          • Beat me to it :)

      • +1

    • Agreed.

  3. I think that the only real destruction on Supes hands was the smallville fight. The Metropolis destruction was done by the war engine. The fight betweeen zod and supes was minor in comparison to what the machine did.

    • Agreed.

      I had no problem with the finale of the film, but the Smallville fight did drag a bit (and showed Superman to be a little TOO reckless). That and some cheesy dialogue were pretty much my only problems with the film though. As a huge fan of the comics and the character, I loved it.

      I understand many of the problems people have with it, but I don’t understand the hate. And pretty much every comment that involves hate toward the film has “this isn’t the Superman I know” in it.

      • cheesy dialogue is special thanks to goyer

        he wrote a great piece, and mos cleaned up from what i can say, but he is definitely guilty of weak dialogue which can also directly lead an audience.

        a poor screenplay tells the audience what is happening.
        a good screenplay shows the audience what is happening.
        a great screenplay has the audience feel what is happening.

        • Exactly. Goyer knows how to write a plot/story, just not dialogue. I really hope they bring Jonathan Nolan back from TDKT to write the dialogue for these movies :)

        • Agree. Thank GOD they havbe Ben Affleck in the mix now. Whether you like him AS Batman or not, you have to agree having him on board can only help Snyder/Goyer. He is great at exactly what they are a little weak at.

  4. I mourn for this movie considering Nolan will not be involved at all, meaning Goyer will not be restrained at all, last time Goyer was given free reign he gave us Blade Trinity.

    • Maybe Affleck will sort of take Nolan’s position if and when he departs.

    • I think Nolan was involved before Interstellar ramped up and
      during that period of involvement he had input to the story
      and script and the casting of Ben Affleck which I believe
      was before the sequel to Man Of Steel was announced.

      With a first draft of a script if not final version done
      and everything set in place for an early shoot
      next year there is little need for Nolan’s
      hand’s on involvement at this stage.

    • What? I loved Trinity… it gave us Ryan Reynolds and Jessica Biel!

    • The development of Blade Trinity was notoriously plagued by studio interference as well as Snipes’ unwillingness to cooperate with the director. A lot of the script issues with that movie were actually out of Goyer’s control.

  5. “In America, we don’t have that legacy of ancient mythology. Superman (who first appeared in ‘Action Comics’ in 1938) is probably the closest we get.”

    Well, I’m not American, but I happen to believe that the American legacy is a legit continuation of all existing mythologies of the old world, be it Greek, Norse, Celtic, Native American or even far-Asian in origin.

    Of course there are All-American myths like “The Land of Oz” and the comic book legacies, but these are dwarves standing upon the shoulders of countless giants from other places. In that way, America has the richest of all legacies for it unites the best of several worlds… sagas like Star Wars, Star Trek and the comic book legacies, the entire exploits of Hollywood are based upon these various roots. Only in American culture, an Irish Leprechaun can shake hands with a Samurai while listening to Grimm’s fairy tales. It may not always be subtle, but its greatness in the making…

    Politics is a different beast, but let’s not go down that shallow-brick road tonight…

    • As an American, I found your post quite interesting. America’s founding fathers definitely wanted to make a connection to Greek and Roman democracy and symbols.

  6. I think it’s more probable that Synder is just retroactively justifying this rather than the collateral damage shadowing Greek and Japanese myths all along. Nice try, though.

    • Agreed.

    • Disagree. I think he is a better film maker than people give him credit for. And being that Batman was already cast before this movies release tells me they were heading in this direction from jump. Or… maybe I am just reading to much into it. Being semi-obsessive and all!

  7. “Snyder”

  8. I loved the action, but I have to say it could’ve been done a bit more tastefully. The amount of action made sense as it was an alien invasion, but I felt after the Smallville fight (which was amazing), it sort of stayed on the same line as that and never really fluctuated. It just kept doing the same thing throughout. Still enjoyed it though!

  9. All I can say is this:

    If you didn’t expect Superman, one of the most powerful beings in that universe, to cause that much damage in his first few days just having the suit on, I don’t know what to tell you.

    • +1

      I can’t believe how many people don’t think this through, or don’t want to it seems. Batman destroyed an entire monorail and probably more along with it in Batman Begins. Now multiply that by probably easily times a 100 in terms of power. Then realise it’s pretty much the first day said person actually uses this power to a larger extent – on top of which he is FORCED to do so out of the blue (literally) because others with the SAME power pick a fight with him and want to freakin destroy every inch of our planets surface.

      YES Clark was flawed in Man of Steel and THAT WAS THE POINT *points to the point*. He’s starting out, and they humanised him by letting him make the same mistakes many of us make in our own way the first day on any job. He’s only SUPER and MAN, his journey is to truly become SUPERMAN and we’ll all have been with him along the way. It’s actually the archetypical core of what story writing is.

      And now, hopefully, we’ll get a sequel where this is played out further, and none other than the Batman himself will show Clarke that he has to start honing his powers if he wants to do more good than harm.

      I just can’t believe people have so little mental room to allow the idea of a Superman actually having a character arc to ‘m.

      • Agreed. He was barely even Superman yet. First day with the cape and he had to save the whole world from an alien invasion. He’s bound to make a couple of mistakes and there’s bound to be intense destruction.

      • greatest explanation ever!! Well done!

      • Seriously. A perfect hero is not a compelling hero, nor a relatable one.

        • And there we arrive at the true divisive factor. People have different desires of what they want Superman to be. What you want Superman to be is not what makes a film bad, it’s what makes you like or dislike it.

          A lot of people need to accept they dislike Man of Steel without having many objectifying reasons to do so. Man of Steel wasn’t a bad film, it succeeded in most things it tried to do. Yes it had flaws in that regard, not reflecting on Metropolis’ destruction was one of ‘m, but the massive hate people pour on it is solely based on the fact they just WANT something different.

          It’s like going to the clothing shop and and saying blue is a bad colour because it’s not red. Just accept blue isn’t red and hope to find red in the store too. And if red is currently unavailable, too bad, that happens in a world where people have different tastes. Still doesn’t make blue a bad colour, just because it’s not red and red happens to not be available in this particular shop.

      • +1 to your excellent +1. My thoughts exactly. Me personally, I am looking forward to going along for the ride as he BECOMES the Superman everybody wants him to be!

        This made him more relatable than he ever was before IMO. I never much cared for the (movie version) Big Blue Boyscout until MOS.

        • Same here. I was quite impressed by it, finally another hero film except Batman’s that truly conveys real emotion (first half of Captain America got close, but then the movie became so boringly generic). Even the moment where he goes through the beam gave me chills because I knew what he’d been through in his life a bit more. Never was he able to fight, always had to hide etc and now finally, he’s free, he can finally be the man he wants to be – a protector of the life he holds dear. And that’s the friggin end of the film.

          Can’t wait for MoS2 man. It really does feel like Batman Begins all over again, love it.

    • Agreed. I was expecting it going in and after having watched the trailers. I think I’m in the minority of viewers who actually thought that the action was just right and not overdone. It’s exactly what would happen on Supes first days on the job.

    • Totally agree with you. Just a terrible Superman.

      • No, it’s Superman in training. The guy that can, if he were to break concentration, crush someone when simply giving them a handshake, or frying everyone in a room with his heat vision if he even slightly loses focus.

        • In the superior big screen origin story, Superman The Movie, He spent 12 years learning from Jor-El.

          I thought the story aspect of Superman and the Super Villains being overwhelmed by their powers was stupid. It went against everything in the Superman mythology.

          Like in Star Wars if they worried about the environmental issues of light speed. Some things just don’t belong.

          Even Jerry Seinfeld backs me up.

          Jerry insists that Superman MUST have a super sense of humor, because all of his other senses are super. “How could that one area be unaffected?” he asks.

          Superman dealing with a new environment would be super too.

          Superman’s super powers are as natural to him as breathing air is natural for a newborn.

          A superman who can’t control his powers might be interesting, but he is not Superman.
          Perhaps Snyder should of created his own original Super alien invasion of earth movie. Then there would be no problems.

          • He doesn’t have control because he was hiding his abilities for 33 years. I’ll throw an analogy at you for the sake of debate. Do you think Michael Jordan popped out of his mother’s womb knowing the ins and outs of basketball? He was born with the ability, but without learning/practice you or me or any other joe schmoe from the block could keep up in a game of one on one. If Zod had showed up and Superman was 10 years in as a public hero the devastation would have been a small fraction of what it was.

    • I love how suddenly there is this fake concern over fantasy destruction and theoretical loss of life

      • But even ones and zeros have souls. :)

  10. Like many others, I was bothered with the destruction in the city. Superman doesn’t do anything to save the people, outside the family at the end. I just feel the destruction was there to show off Snyder’s cgi.

    • I understand what your gripe WOULD be if Superman would have been in metropolis while most of the destruction was going on.

      Remember, the war engine had its second part on the other side of the world. The plan was for Supes to destroy the second have of the war engine while the military and lois flew to metropolis. Once Supes destroys the second half of the machine he jets over to stop Zod in the ‘Fortress’ ship while military plane crashes into the metropolis half of the war engine sending most of zod’s crew back into that worm hole thing (I dont remember what it was called).

      After that Supes is busy trying to handle Zod. Now if your problem is not showing Superman do anything after the fight then I could understand you better but from what I got from the movie, Supes had to take care of the big issue which was stopping the war engine.

      • Just a friendly correction: it’s the world engine. With wormhole thing you meant the singularity?

        Regardless, you’re right.

        About 70% of all destruction occurring in MoS was stuff Superman probably couldn’t even have handled if he had been more experiences. Barely any superhero could have. He basically faces trained soldier versions of himself. Why did Superman win then? Because they underestimated him, that’s what ancient arrogant civilisations do to newer generations and it’s why every Rome eventually falls.

        • Oh you’re right, I guess war engine just sounds more evil to me lol. And yeah that’s what I meant by the wormhole.

          But I’m glad you agree, there was no way that the world engine could not have been the top priority. Outside of the Smallville fight, most of the destruction is due to Zod. I think what people miss is that if Supes decides to go to Metropolis and save people from buildings without taking care of the machine, people all over the world start dying in their homes due to the change in the atmosphere.

          • I think people expect the blatant unrealistic BS Marvel movies are handing them on a platter. Sorry but I can’t not call people out on their use of two measures on this one.

            It’s an atrocity if a one-day old Superman has a hard time with an invasion, but nobody’s upset when a weird shady world government of four people on plasma screens decide to NUKE NEW YORK because an alien invasion has been going on for about, what, a few hours? And six people haven’t been able to stop it… I guess even remotely asking the FREAKIN ARMY for assistance is just bonkers. Haha, who would do that if you’re the government? Of course not, let’s just nuke it all to hell straight away. I’d rather have sensible casualties than an insensible threat that’s prevented.

            Lot of people dislike this Superman which is totally FINE with me, but I get annoyed when people try strengthen their simple opinion with insensible, hypocritical or even invalid arguments, just to break a film down.

            • Sadly enough i wouldnt be suprised at all if the army could handle the invasion. Besides the levethiam things they were really squishy.

              • Black Widow was taking them out with Glocks. HANDGUNS! The Avengers were not even needed.

                • Ha, that’s actually kinda a good point I had never realised. If she can do that, why the hell isn’t the army good enough? Lol, naaa let’s just nuke it all to hell so Iron Man can have his big heroic moment.

                  They even friggin revived Coulson. Marvel’s films are completely edgeless, it’s so freakin boring to me.

            • The more I read what you write Silrian, the more I agree with you. Marvel makes kids flicks with silly plot points and most people fawn over it. Dont get me wrong, they are fun, but easily forgotten. MOS attempted to challenge the audience to accept a superhero who is not (yet) perfect, and most people cry. It just seems like so many have failed that test and declared they want easy predictable story lines.
              Like you, I am not saying everybody MUST love this movie as I do, but their reasons seems very near sighted and paper thin.

              • It’s because most moviegoers want the film to do the thinking for them it seems. Which is why imo Man of Steel is actually more than it would seem a Nolan-like film, as much exposition as it might have, it does have a lot of deeper layers to it and stuff you need to think about before you can immediately accept them. Yet when you think about it, you do except them, because the makers thought about it well. You can hear this in multiple interviews with them. They even had to convince Nolan of the ending (Zod dying) and they DID! He was totally onboard with it when he realised what the meaning of it was.

                I can still hardly believe they managed to make a Superman film that actually invites you to think. No offence to Superman fans, but I didn’t entirely believe that was in the realm of possibilities.

      • The world machine I get but superman did not do jack after he kills zod to help the people out. All he did was kiss Lois and that’s it. Also, just because metrolopolis was mostly destroyed doesn’t mean superman should battle zod over somewhere else.

        • Lois and Clarke’s forced escalation between them is one of the things I do think are a sensible flaw to MoS. The film didn’t have enough room for it to be that extensively developed. Especially considering you legitimately have sequels for such a thing.

  11. I seriously cant wait for Superman vs Batman! Bat shouldnt be to happy about what was happening in metropolis ans the World Since it obviously must have had impact on gotham too

  12. Snyder is either a movie director with immeasurable depth of complexity or just a big weirdo.

    • BAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! You nailed it. Snyder must be a big weirdo.

    • Snyder is like this weird genius with mad creative skills. What Nolan & Tarantino do on paper he reimagines on a Canvas.

  13. What I think is going to happen is that MOS2, without the involvement of Nolan, will be panned yet fans of mos (somehow) will love MOS2 even more while detractors of MOS (such as myself) will pan it even more.

    • Again you’re using the word pan wrong. For a movie to be panned it has to be almost unanimous. There are more positive reviews than negative. Stop juking stats for the sake of your argument.

  14. THIS is exactly what I had imagined a fight with the 4 GOD-LIKE aliens would be like! ppl just want the same ole LAME superman! this is what it always should have been!

    Everyone that is whining will be lining up to see the next one on opening night but yet they still cry like babies!!

    • I am totally with you there.

    • Word to my mother. This lame argument of destruction is so weak. It’s like no one whose seen mos has any experience with any media he’s been in for the last 75 years.

  15. In my opinion Man of Steel is a terrible movie. Zack Snyder doesn’t understand the Superman mythology nor the Batman mythology, Ben Affleck is the latest proof.

    • Ah, but Ben Affleck has a passion for Batman and also a knack for director’s vision.

      So, regardless of whether you like Affleck being Batman, you can expect things to be slightly better in the writing. I just know Affleck is going to have a say in what the writing will be, much like how Michael Keaton would constantly point out lines or amounts of dialogue Batman wouldn’t say.

      • It’s confirmed that Affleck will help create the character.

        Personally, I expect Affleck to star and DIRECT future Batman stand alone films (and they will come, we can all count on that).

        • Ben Affleck should have directed this one and MOS.

    • And you’ve seen Ben as batman how many times? You know nothing of how his batman will be.
      I love these Monday morning quarter backs who have such high definition clairvoyance.

    • Lets hope not. I mean I want to see the improvement and all… just not filmed like that. No kids, cats, or old ladies please.

  16. Feels like 1994 all over again. And we’re only one year apart. 3D covers in Comics, the return of Bob Harras, controversial Batman actor picked in the middle of the decade Whooohoo

  17. Snyder, you don’t make any sense. Just admitted the finale was over-directed.

  18. Yeah!!

  19. I really didn’t have a problem with all the destruction I mean action wise its what I wanted to see. The rest of the movie was a big mess in my opinion. Intersted to see how this sequel will do with afleck as batman.

  20. I don’t want to waste my money on a rookie Superman. One who has to be taught how to be a decent man or superhero or super-vigilante by Batman. It’s demeaning your protagonist for Batman yet again. By that I mean the trend in Batman’s presentation, whenever they show him around the other heroes the writers always remove the other character’s brains and Batman has to be their to literally tell them to tie their shoe. That’s not what makes Batman a great character, it’s just poor writing. It’s Hollywood, the jokes of the business world. Now they’re witnessing their talent pool diminish because their talented writers are opting to work in more suitable settings to truly display their creativity. It’ll take time but if you remember my post or the jest of it in 10-15 years, you’ll notice just how much the entertainment industry would’ve changed. Maybe you already do, Spielberg and Lucas were right. Perhaps it is needed for a reinvention (or better put renaissance) to happen. To the Death of Corporate Hollywood. Not bashing companies wanting to be apart of the industry, only bashing the lack of common sense. This company in particular missed out on a lot of opportunities in the 2000s to be better situated in the upcoming decades including the one we’re currently in by getting side tracked. Now they are trying to recover and head in a new direction, it just feels like the wrong one from a literary one and business side. It isn’t that difficult, why is everyone making it seem like it is and that it’s okay to alienate part of your audience (I’m basing this on Goyer’s own statements he has made to the media about his interpretation of the mainstream audience). It’s a waste. Rant over.

  21. *Batman has to be *there* to literally tell them to tie their shoe.*

    Couldn’t let my bad spelling go. Anyways, they’ve failed to utilize Batman correctly while also abusing their other IP characters is my point. But in the end it is just my perspective, observe for yourself their writing for the other characters. They abandoned storyboard and literary logic when writing for characters with “powers” because somehow having “powers” means everything else you are writing about in a piece of fiction isn’t worth the effort.

    • While I agree with you that Hollywood is basically run over paid baboons, I have to disagree on your interpretation of Batman. The characters can be written well but Batman’s role in the JL, aside from tactician, is to bring the superpowered godlike heroes down from their high horses and remind them that they aren’t better or more entitled or more justified than anyone else. He’s the anchor. So yeah, when they forget to tie their shoe or forget that they aren’t actually above anyone else, he reminds them.

      • I understand that perspective as well, and originally when I was watching the JL cartoons that was my impression but it deteriorated over the years due to the writers not covering the exact same issue when Batman goes over-board or not covering the issue enough. It felt like he always had to be in the right, and just because the other characters had powers (which to me is just having better genetics or pieces of technology) they were so easily corruptible. While it is partially true, that anyone can be corrupted I was still left with this feeling of being served poor writing in service of one character while short-changing the other protagonists. And I started to pay more close attention to how they treated the other character’s intellect in scenes with and without him. What I am trying to get at is, I doubt that the writers know how to utilize Batman effectively with the other characters with powers around him. I love that they show him as a tactician and an intelligent detective whenever they do. But I want them to further develop his character (Batman) and not reduce the value of the other characters in the process. Guess I’m ultimately in the minority of those not satisfied with the writing, regardless of dialogue or the direction Snyder wanted to go in. There are better ways to write those scenes. I’m still curious as to why no one over the past 7 decades of comic book history never really gave an effort to make use of Superman’s combat shorts (like making them work for his advantage, not hard to think about) instead of opting to make it look like a thong before writing it off. There was an article floating around the internet about a fictional war on Superman’s shorts, I just blame bad writing. Not to mention how they over-exaggerate the difficulty of writing female characters, it’s a endless argument in itself when I believe based on women I’ve meant here in Texas that it is not hard to write about a strong empowered female who doesn’t get on my nerves. Another issue with the current slate of bad writing is an issue that several professional writers have commented on, and that is the slew of characters and story arcs that essentially take place in the same locations as usual or expected (Northeast America or California) usually followed by the same excuses that no one wants to hear about stories in any other location or that the rest of the world just isn’t as interesting of an area when those stories that get told in locations like New York originated from those stereotyped Hill Billy areas. I guess we just agree to disagree. Rant over.

  22. All I have to say to Batfleck doubters is: To The Wonder!

  23. Kal-El Means The Star Child in Kryptonian

  24. The 2nd film won’t just address superman actions it will open the door to bigger foes batman is jus a gateway for superman to grow up and face wat he did in the 1st one I’m willin to bet there beef wit each other won’t last to long meaning the bigger issue/bad guy will show his face mid way thru and for the record mos was better then im3 and avengers

  25. Wait wait wait a sec wat about supergirls pod? Jus sayn why was the 1 pod empty??

    • I see what’s going on here:


  26. I marvel (no pun intended) at the problems people apparently have with Man of Steel. Not a perfect film, but I daresay that rarely has an project met with so much undeserved criticism.

    • @ Luther I for one was outraged at the reckless abandon with which Superman used against Captain Marvel. I remember that episode quite well. The buildings they destroyed had not been inhabited yet, but it is without question that many in attendance that day would have developed varying degrees of PTSD. They fought like monsters! Godzilla & King Kong. And Superman is not a monster… He’s a hero :)