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I appreciate that they cast Lois as noticeably older than Clark, which her backstory suggests she really should be.

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The Unstoppable Gravy Express said on December 11th, 2012 at 2:01 pm

I’ll bet that when they capture Superman halfway through and put him in handcuffs, it turns out it was REALLY part of his evil master plan ALL ALONG!!

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I really liked the bit with a young Clark’s super-hearing kicking in for the first time and Ma Kent having to talk him out of it. I’m a little concerned, though, about that line where Pa Kent suggests maybe Clark should have allowed those kids in the school bus to drown. That seems really out of character.

However, it might work is they present Jonathan Kent as a man who is no more sure how to handle these huge decisions than his son is. Just a simple farmer trying to figure things out on his own.

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Credit where credit is due: that wasn’t half bad.

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With great power comes great respo… oh wait that’s the other franchise…

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Mitchell Hundred said on December 11th, 2012 at 2:57 pm

Any particular reason why Lois Lane should be a brunette? I’m just curious.

And yeah, it does look pretty good (although it’s worth pointing out that Snyder kind of has a history of delivering awesome trailers that somehow turn into shitty movies).

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You don’t have a problem with Jonathan Kent suggesting that maybe Clark should’ve let people die to avoid exposing his secret? Does no one but me find that incredibly out of character and disturbing? Especially considering the Kents are Clark’s moral compass, the source of everything he knows about being the best and most noble person he can possibly be?

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highlyverbal said on December 11th, 2012 at 3:55 pm

@vondread “Especially considering the Kents are Clark’s moral compass, the source of everything he knows about being the best and most noble person he can possibly be?”

Some remarks at the end alllllmost confirm the obvious assumption that, if Pa Kent says that, they also probably changed the moral compass part a little.

I’m not saying it wasn’t jarring, I’m just saying the sky isn’t falling.

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Kristopher A said on December 11th, 2012 at 4:42 pm

@vondread and others expressing the same thing:

Actually, I think we are seeing Jonathan Kent’s own internal conflict: whether to allow his son to use his gifts and expose him to danger, or to keep him safe at the cost of not saving those who could be. The way he says “maybe”, his body language, seems that he’s struggling himself with an answer. Admittedly we probably have to see more of the scene to judge, but that’s the feeling I get.

And honestly, I like it. In fact, I love it: I like that the Kents are conflicted when it comes to letting Clark become the hero or to keep him safe and give him a chance at a normal life. That’s something a real parent, no matter how good, would likely go through. Hopefully it will be addressed in the film and brought to the conclusion we all want.

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Ian Austin said on December 11th, 2012 at 4:51 pm

Jon Kent is NOT saying that Clark shouldn’t save people… he’s merely pointing out that, as a Father, he’d do ANYTHING to protect Clark, and that means (despite knowing it’s wrong, which surely EVERYONE gets from Costner’s delivery) he’ll sometimes make a dark comment or let a dark thought cross his mind.

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You don’t have a problem with Jonathan Kent suggesting that maybe Clark should’ve let people die to avoid exposing his secret? Does no one but me find that incredibly out of character and disturbing?

Considering that we aren’t actually seeing the conversation, but rather an edited one created to advertise the movie? Yeah, I don’t find it disturbing yet. Ask me again once I’ve seen the movie and I know whether that conversation goes out into a “Maybe. No. I don’t know. But I just think …” monologue on Costner’s part. Which is exactly what it’s set up for.

And “father as moral compass” is actually a lot more meaningful if “father” is portrayed as someone who has to struggle with actual conflicts and come up with the right thing to do rather than someone who always has easy answers and is never shown to have to struggle to get them.

I’m actually liking what i’m seeing so far. It shows that the guys marketing the movie seem to know what a Superman movie is supposed to be at least. (Still not trusting Zack Snyder. Still not liking the Phantom Zone criminals as villains. Mildly optimistic despite those two qualms.)

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Ian Austin said on December 11th, 2012 at 5:07 pm

I’m getting the impression Zod’s there as a parallel to the relationship between Batman and Ducard.

The idea of order being brought to a world through chaos, delivered by the only being who ‘understands’ our heroes quest for truth. Only it doesn’t work with Zod, because he arrives too late in Clark’s timeline to influence who he is. Batman was born opposing rigid order, Superman will be born opposing chaos.

Which makes me wonder… have Ra’s and Zod ever interacted in DC canon? Seems like they’d get on famously.

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HonestObserver said on December 11th, 2012 at 5:55 pm

I bet all of the hubub about handcuffs totally overthought it because they probably just arrest him after he saves Metropolis from the bad guys the first time because the police are like, “Who is this superpowered vigilante?” The poster isn’t about some second film of a trilogy moment where the hero gets all grim and gritty. The poster is simply about Superman’s first contact with humanity. He is briefly detained and then let go. There’s no complex questions about justice involved, it’s an iconic moment from his origin.

I bet you were all totally arguing about nothing.

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Mason Kramer said on December 11th, 2012 at 6:26 pm

I want to hear the sentence after “Maybe…” I suspect it will fix the compass.

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From the snippets of Clark talking at the end of the trailer (to Lois, almost certainly), I get the impression that Jonathan Kent was worried not just about his son’s safety or privacy but about the whole world flipping out if we found out there was a real live alien hiding out in Kansas, pretending to be one of us.

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Geez, can they not just make a movie about Superman being awesome without a bunch of tedious scenes of Superman being pensive and self-reflecting? And enough about his upbringing–we know what he’s going to be, he’s Superman, just get on with it!

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Actually I find Superman’s upbringing and and self-reflection the most interesting aspect of the character. I mean it’s not like there isn’t ANY action in the movie, so there will be stuff for both of us to enjoy.

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I’d rather have had a non-origin movie but this looks like a pretty decent origin movie

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SilverHammerMan said on December 11th, 2012 at 10:25 pm

I like the look of the trailer. I was kind of rolling my eyes at the start with Clark in the water, and I was definitely thrown by Pa Kent’s remarks, but what can I say, I’m an absolute sucker for seeing Superman take flight and be a hero.
Also, I think the utterly atrocious costume, while still atrocious, look a lot better in motion than it did in all the still, which seems to be true of most superhero costumes. And I liked the general vibe I got from Superman, it seemed spot on. I mean, I’d kind of prefer to see a take on Year One Superman that’s a little closer to Morrison’s slightly devil may care version from Action Comics, but this still seemed to be pretty good.
Like everyone else though, I’m so not enthused about Zod as a villain. I think they’d have been better off using Brainiac or someone, but I suppose Zod’s kind of okay, and I’m just glad Superman will actually be able to fight someone in one his movies.
Not totally sold on it yet, but definitely not as pessimistic about it as I was before.

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@Brendan,
I really like Ma Kent’s advice on the super-hearing too. This is obviously new to her, maybe frightening, but she’s dealing with it as a mother.

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Doctor Bloodmoney said on December 12th, 2012 at 3:00 am

Wow, I’m surprised to see the readers of such a savvy blog, not to mention the brilliant MGK himself, enthuse over such an off-kilter, I daresay even off-putting interpretation of Superman. Seems to me the makers really wanted to emulate the brooding, operatic atmosphere and washed-out visuals of Nolan’s Batman trilogy, then decided to spice things up with a generous helping of crushing Weltschmerz and navel-gazing, resulting not only in a concoction that IMHO seems wildly inappropriate for the character, but also in a ponderous trailer for what is increasingly shaping up to be a lousy, lousy movie.

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(Bethany: I don’t want this, it’s too big.
Metatron: That’s what Jesus said. Yes, I had to tell him. And you can imagine how that hurt the Father – not to be able to tell the Son Himself because one word from His lips would destroy the boy’s frail human form? So I was forced to deliver the news to a scared child who wanted nothing more than to play with other children. I had to tell this little boy that He was God’s only Son, and that it meant a life of persecution and eventual crucifixion at the hands of the very people He came to enlighten and redeem. He begged me to take it back, as if I could. He begged me to make it all not true. And I’ll let you in on something, Bethany, this is something I’ve never told anyone before… If I had the power, I would have.)

The above is from Dogma, but may as well apply to Superman. He’s a young boy told he’s the most powerful being that’s ever existed on Earth and as such has to live with the responsibility that he can do almost anything… but live a truly normal life.

I’d say that the only truly responsible story path IS the operatic. But who’s to say operatic is bad? Superman isn’t a tragedy, it’s the ultimate American dream story of a guy from another world who loves his adopted country (and world) SO DAMN MUCH that he’d fight an Alien being to the death, sacrificing his life in the process, and stay alive just long enough to make sure the threat was neutralised.

This film, if anything, exists to put across that Clark Kent is even stronger than anyone would ever know. He doesn’t exist in a world of superheroes, he’s the first person like him to ever walk the Earth, and then he discovers that others like him exist… and chooses to stand against them, even knowing they are an army and he is but one being.

And through this? He STILL finds time to be utterly calm, and refuse to attack the army and police who arrest him.

If it had Superman fighting a genetically altered monkey, it’d have my A+ already.

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Doctor, given that the most recent interpretation of Superman we’ve seen was a creepy stalker Space Jesus who had no qualms about abandoning the world for five years, letting Luthor skip out on prison time, and ruining the marriage of a good and heroic man because Supes won’t let go of Lois…

…a Clark Kent who is conflicted because he’s an innately good man who cannot figure out how best to use his powers without striking fear into those around him doesn’t seem too far off-kilter to me. I don’t think it’s necessarily Weltschmerz, I think it might be frustration with himself in not being able to solve the problem. In fact, I’d bet that his donning of the Superman costume is going to represent optimism and liberation. It’s going to be a symbol of hope and freedom for HIM, not just for us.

Also, I’m going to point out that a film trailer looking like the films that made Hollywood umpity-habillion dollars is hardly surprising, especially when the producer is the guy that directed that exceptionally lucrative trilogy. The studio explicitly wants people to make that connection because it will bring them ALL OF THE CASH DOLLARS.

I choose to be optimistic about the Superman movie. It seems more appropriate to the character.

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“I’m a little concerned, though, about that line where Pa Kent suggests maybe Clark should have allowed those kids in the school bus to drown. That seems really out of character.”

I’ve seen this mentioned in a lot of places. I think io9 even noted Pa Kent’s complacency and seeming endorsement of letting those children die.

But “seeming” is a big word, especially when it comes to previews. I haven’t seen anyone mention the nature of previews, or that a lot of the time, because of editing, what appear to be characters’ responses to certain questions might not actually be. Mason Kramer’s statement “I want to hear the sentence after “Maybe…”” comes close, but what about the question that came before “Maybe…”?

Clark: Should I have let those schoolchildren die?
Pa Kent: No. You just need to be more careful.
Clark: Okay. Hey, wanna go to the rodeo on Saturday?
Pa Kent: Maybe… Finish your chores and do your homework and fly on up and repair the barn roof, and we’ll see.

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Ian Austin said on December 12th, 2012 at 8:59 am

Even in context, it’s ridiculous to assert that Pa Kent WANTS anyone to die.

It’s a moment of weakness even saying maybe, and if people actually react to the performance instead of the words they’d note Costner acts the line with self-disgust. He knows it’s wrong to say it, but a choice between his son being safe vs. Clark being potentially dragged away by the government? Of course he’d go to a dark place. He’s a Father for the love of… his son comes first, he’d do anything to protect him.

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CanukistaniJohn said on December 12th, 2012 at 9:26 am

I am a dad. I like kids in general, and when I get to know them or see them playing around, yes I feel for them and I empathise with them.

But: They are not my kids. If 100 kids are playing on the playground and I have to choose – save my 2, or all the others, the cold rational philisopher says “save 98″ while a dad says “you save my kids”.

That’s what’s coming out here. No “Oh well, let people die son” but “Dammit… kiddo, you helped them. I’m proud of you, but you are in danger when you do this! You can’t do shit like that, they will come for you.”

Also, as it has been remarked above this, the self-disgust in his voice while he says it speaks it all.

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MonkeyWithTypewriter said on December 12th, 2012 at 10:36 am

Exactly. You can be a moral compass and not be perfect. I always hated the way the Kents and Waynes (and Uncle Ben too) were put on a pedestal. No one’s perfect, and you can raise a hero while just being human.

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That’s why I loved Liam Neeson’s rage at Thomas Wayne’s inability to act in Batman Begins, and loved it even more after The Dark Knight Rises. Showing that Thomas Wayne, good man as he is, wasn’t perfect struck me as pure genius… as well as explaining Bruce’s flaws later in life.

The difference between Clark and Bruce is that Clark was raised by loving (and non-biological) parents who couldn’t understand what he was going through, and Bruce was raised by a loving Butler who understood what he was going through too much.

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I liked it too. On the subject of Lois’ hair color, Lois has been played by redheads before, including Noel Neill, Patricia Marand, and Lesley Ann Warren. Also, she was drawn in the comics for many years with auburn hair (I think that’s what it’s called, but basically reddish-brown hair), pretty much throughout the second half of the eighties and all of the nineties, and probably into the aughts, although I suppose we’d have to check that. So I don’t see a problem with Amy Adams’ hair color.

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HonestObserver said on December 12th, 2012 at 11:12 am

Hey Doctor Bloodmoney, what’s it like having neither a soul nor joy, since you obviously lack both?

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The trailer is fine and all and I’m a sucker for Superman in action, but I have no faith whatsoever in Zack Snyder. None.

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Doctor Bloodmoney said on December 12th, 2012 at 1:50 pm

@HonestObserver
Feels great, thanks for asking. By the way, your mom says hi!

@Toby S.
Being different from Superman Returns doesn’t automatically make Man of Steel a good or even a merely better movie. Also, going by this trailer, I’m not necessarily convinced they’re all that different. Both seem to mistake overwrought, self-important schmaltz for grandeur.

As for the ‘optimism and liberation’ stuff, though I like what you’re saying, I don’t see those themes and ideas (or the ones expressed by Ian) reflected in the actual trailer *at all*. Seems to me there’s a lot of wishful thinking on the part of the crowd that’s enthusiastic about the movie.

Finally, I get why the studio wants to link Superman with Nolan’s (deservedly) popular Batman trilogy, but A) we’re discussing whether or not it seems like a good movie, rather than a profitable one (it probably will be) and B) Batman and Superman are literally as different as night and day: that grim style that works well for the Dark Knight just makes Superman seem silly.

Don’t get me wrong: I want this to be an awesome movie. I like the costume, I like the cast, I like the character in general. But this trailer feels like the cinematic equivalent of Superman: Earth One (“You’ll believe a man can mope!”) rather than that of All-Star Superman. I mean, ferchrissakes, Superman smiles once in the entire damn trailer, and it’s not a beaming, confidence-boosting grin either, but a smug little Zen smirk – not a good sign.

Trust me, folks: this movie is going to disappoint you. You heard it here first!

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Ian Austin said on December 12th, 2012 at 2:54 pm

Zack Snyder made Sucker Punch, one of the WORST things I’ve ever sat through. Sexist, terribly written and acted, utter rubbish. His DOTD was inconsequential fun, 300 was ridiculous, Watchmen doesn’t work after two viewings at all.

I had no faith in Snyder to pull Superman off. So when I say I’m digging on the trailer, there’s no wistful thinking. I’ve read awful Superman comics and watched the appalling Superman IV, so I’m not a ‘oh, Superman cannot be in a bad property’ fanboy. And I say this trailer is everything about Superman that you boil down into his essence, put on the screen with the stuff that doesn’t work filtered out.

Or, more aptly, it’s Superman.

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Finally, I get why the studio wants to link Superman with Nolan’s (deservedly) popular Batman trilogy, but A) we’re discussing whether or not it seems like a good movie, rather than a profitable one (it probably will be) and B) Batman and Superman are literally as different as night and day: that grim style that works well for the Dark Knight just makes Superman seem silly.

You do get that the trailer and finished film can be – and frequently are – very different things. Often intentionally – what the producers think will get people in the door isn’t the same was what the director thinks will make a good movie.

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Trust me, folks: this movie is going to disappoint you. You heard it here first!

This, on the other hand, is comedy gold. Bravo!

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CanukistaniJohn said on December 12th, 2012 at 3:22 pm

Herr Doktor Plasmacash;

I really don’t see a lot to back your view in that trailer, or in the expectations it sets, at least for me.

To be honest I am a non fan, bordering on anti-fan of Big Blue. I find the four colour boundless optimism smiling cheeful demigod to be overdone and not at all interesting – which is why this take appeals to me.

This does not have the same feel to me as an origin story. Which, considering we’re at 34 years past Christopher Reeve’s first outing, and a good decade past Smallville’s debut, It’s not like this is necessarily overdone (most starting superhero franchises) or completely not needed (Amazing Spider-Man). It feels more like a coming of age framed story.

It appeals to me because the standard Origin Arc Questions(tm) are seemingly not in the driver’s seat. I got less “who is Superman? where did he come from?” than “Why did he choose to become who he is? What influenced him to make those choices?” and that is far more compelling for me, at least as a nonfan than a big actioner, as fun as they are.

Because though Superman has become a big, four colour boundless optimism smiling cheeful demigod, he didn’t start out being written that way. He destroyed blocks of homes, because he could, punished people, often brutally, because nobody could stop him. The story they seem to be aiming at in Man of Steel isn’t “truth, justice, freedom, reasonably priced love and a hard boiled egg!” It’s why he chose those things. And what it meant to him – personally- when the costs came due.

Trust me folks, walk into it with an open mind. This is going to be Legen- wait for it – DARY

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Christophe said on December 12th, 2012 at 3:36 pm

@Doctor Bloodmoney:You needed to have seen the trailer in a smaller, more intimate venue, before it sold out and became popular. It was great then.

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Doctor Bloodmoney said on December 12th, 2012 at 4:04 pm

@BringTheNoise
Yes, I have noticed that there is little truth in advertising when it comes to movies, having lived on this planet amongst you ‘hoomans’ for a while now. And you’re right, the movie itself might be completely different – all the young Clark in Smallville stuff might be confined to the blooper reel, for instance.

@M. AlQuebecaJean,
“Why did he choose to become who he is? What influenced him to make those choices?” ARE the standard Origin Arc Questions, and they’re uninteresting as hell when it comes to Superman, due to Superman’s fundamental decency. Speaking of which, I’m not opposed to Superman having an edge, getting angry, being proactive: I like the original, stand-up-for-the-little-guy Superman a lot. So much, in fact, I wish they’d make a movie about him!

The thing is, I don’t think this movie features either the ’30s working-class Superman or the ’60s cheerful demigod Man of Steel – I fear this movie stars the 21st century mopey, self-involved EarthOne/Nu52 Son of Krypton.

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I fear this movie stars the 21st century mopey, self-involved EarthOne/Nu52 Son of Krypton.

Which you’re getting from a trailer where Superman a) saves some people, despite risking his safety to do so, b) defends that decision to his father and c) then tells Lois about his faith in humanity.

Yep, sure sounds mopey to me.

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malakim2099 said on December 12th, 2012 at 6:19 pm

Happy birthday to me! Or it will be, in about 6 months… :)

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highlyverbal said on December 12th, 2012 at 6:42 pm

@Jim Smith: “[...]can they not just make a movie about Superman being awesome without a bunch of tedious scenes of Superman being pensive and self-reflecting?”

No they cannot. Superman’s powerset is, to put it mildly, strong. Alien vs. himself pretty much has to frame every other conflict in the movie, because the limits he places upon himself frame how every other conflict is resolved.

The fact that, back when Superman was a dick, it was a totally different comic supports this hypothesis. Ditto, when Superman turned french or whatever happened to him in Earth One.

(Disclaimer: not a fan, due to overpoweredness, so this may contain a bit of bias.)

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highlyverbal said on December 12th, 2012 at 6:43 pm

Also, Christophe wins the thread.

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Oh, let doctor blood money gripe about the trailer not meeting his expectations. Odds are he’ll walk in and have his low expectations met and be thrilled, or have it be exactly what he’s worried about. A movie not based on what the character was 80 or 50 years ago. Even if it’s all the things he’s griping about, he’ll be glad he went.

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HonestObserver said on December 12th, 2012 at 9:53 pm

My mom? Did you-? You kidnapper! You TERRORIST! Where did you hide her? I shan’t negotiate with YOU! Prepare for swift justice! THE ONLY BLOOD YOU SHALL BE RECEIVING ON THE MONEY IS THOSE FROM YOUR HOSTAGE-TAKING CARCASS COURTESY OF STARS OF ZERO DARK THIRTY’S SEAL TEAM SIX, GOD BLESS AMERICA

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The first minute or so looks like the trailer for a sombre movie about the aftermath of a school bus crash. Which is making me wonder how Atom Egoyan would do Superman.

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K-Box in the Box said on December 12th, 2012 at 10:38 pm

“Yep, sure sounds mopey to me.”

With two-thirds of the trailer hammering home the idea that gaining superpowers as you grow up is pretty much the worst thing in the world? That’s goddamn near the dictionary definition of mopey.

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K-Box in the Box said on December 12th, 2012 at 10:40 pm

And to everyone who’s saying that Superman with a muted palette and an Enya soundtrack and ponderous musings over his place in the world is the only way to do the character justice and to generate the sufficient amount of blockbuster dollars that the studio needs to justify making the film, the BILLIONS of dollars raked in by Marvel’s Avengers film proves you wrong.

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HonestObserver said on December 12th, 2012 at 11:00 pm

People sure are confusing gravitas with mopey.

As far as it not being quite Pollyanna and Alex Rossy enough, well save that shit for an Astro City moviemovie, I say.

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“My son was on the bus. He SAW what Clark did.”

“You’re welcome. Now fuck off.”

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Seriously, this movie looks more like Bryan Singer’s X-Men movies than Bryan Singer’s dopey, mopey, depressingly drab Oh-Goddammit-Not-Superman-As-Christ-Allegory-Again Superman movie did.

…of course maybe that’s a good thing…

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Ian Austin said on December 13th, 2012 at 2:15 am

For the love of…

SUPERMAN IS NOT THE AVENGERS.

Stop comparing them. Now. Because everytime you compare them, you are basically throwing up a neon sign that says: ‘I do not know what I am talking about.’

Want to know what Superman is?

Superman is a story about a Messiah like figure who, unlike Thor, does not have it figured out when he arrives on Earth. Thor’s story is about becoming humble, Superman’s story is about realising he’s the most powerful being ever after a childhood of believing he was a normal kid… realising it’ll mean a life of sacrifice AND likely death (see Doomsday), and doing it anyway because he was raised by parents who, despite being overprotective, raised him with exceptional values.

So that when he grows up, he’s the greatest of all of us.

Which is what this film is trying to do. It’s not an inconsequential blockbuster with quips and logic gaps (oh no, a flying death machine will kill us all… oh wait, Hulk’s destroyed it in five seconds)… it’s basically taking the essense of Superman and making it into a film with the same purity of spirit as the original Donner one.

Namely great actors taking the film seriously and enough versimilitude to park fifty cars.

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Ian Austin said on December 13th, 2012 at 2:16 am

But these comments ALWAYS come from people who watch Nolan’s Batman films, and miss out on the fact that they’re basically James Bond films taken seriously.

Quips
Gadgets
Over the top villains

Suggest these films aren’t as ‘grim’ as we’d been led to believe.

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Doctor Bloodmoney said on December 13th, 2012 at 3:44 am

@HonestObserver
Don’t try to tarnish my opinions by associating them with Alex Ross – not only do I not like that guy’s lifeless and stilted art *at all*, it also has nothing to do with the type of Superman I’d like to see on the big screen. I might be a mom-kidnapping villain, but I got standards, goddammit.

@Ian Austin
Newsflash, buddy: Superman, being the original superhero, is a POWER FANTASY. That whole hero’s journey you describe is revisionist claptrap that’s been retroactively grafted on to the character by expanding on an origin story less than a single page long. Unlike Luke Skywalker, Harry Potter or any other quasi-messianic protagonists, Superman doesn’t start out as a normal kid (something this very trailer makes abundantly clear) – he always had his special powers. And since he was raised by kindhearted saints, it’s also not really that surprising he decides to use them for good later in life. Wow, what an epic story! Nice kid from a good family becomes a nice guy who uses his superpowers to help others – SHOCKER. This riveting tale of moving from point A to point B in a short, straight, completely predictable line should be dealt with in 5 minutes tops, not used as the entire movie’s major theme, as this trailer seems to suggest.

Superman isn’t Batman, Spider-Man, Harry Potter or any other superhero with an actually interesting origin. He’s just superheroic wish-fulfillment in its purest form, the guy who jumps into the phone booth a normal schmuck and dashes out an all-powerful he-man. “They think I’m just mild-mannered Clark Kent…if only they knew!” That’s the appeal of Superman, not all this woe-is-me-for-I’m-so-powerful-and-I-can-fly-sit-with-me-while-I-ponder-this-and-maybe-cry-a-little pussyfooting around.

Also, say what you will about the Avengers, but at least Marvel’s movies understand that there’s something extremely joyful about superheroes. You, on the other hand, would rather have them gazing into the distance with a constipated look in their eyes, because it shows their ‘purity of spirit’. What a laugh!

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(Also, say what you will about the Avengers, but at least Marvel’s movies understand that there’s something extremely joyful about superheroes. You, on the other hand, would rather have them gazing into the distance with a constipated look in their eyes, because it shows their ‘purity of spirit’. What a laugh!)

Putting aside the fact that I never criticised The Avengers (and only said it wasn’t what a Superman film should be), you’ve revealed yourself to be nothing more than a troll at this point. And not even a particularly good one, given everyone is refuting your idiocy with calm replies and you’re resorting to a fundamental misunderstanding of how Superman and films work to try and convince everything that you’re ‘the rightest right that’s ever been right.’

But whatever, you’re clearly in the minority here and online. The film might turn out to be terrible, I’d just trust in people who actually ‘get’ Superman rather than someone who rants and rants and yet completely fails to understand the idea of an evolving medium such as comics that builds to a film which picks and mixes from ALL available continuity to form a cohesive whole.

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Doctor Bloodmoney said on December 13th, 2012 at 6:54 am

Hmmm…you never criticized the Avengers? Really? Then what do you call your description of said movie as “an inconsequential blockbuster with quips and logic gaps”, a rousing endorsement?

I’d like to think I’ve offered more than my fair share of calm, measured explanations of what irks and worries me about the Man of Steel trailer. I’m also not the one who suddenly began declaring, in an irritated tone, that other commenters ‘don’t know what they’re talking about’ and ‘don’t get Superman’, as if the last son of Krypton, a character with nearly a century of history and (as mentioned) numerous incarnations is as simple and straight-forward as a mathematical equation you either ‘get’ or don’t. So don’t call me a ranting troll when your every sentence is dripping in aggrieved, thin-skinned vitriol and you have to resort to the childish argument that since the majority agrees with you, you must therefore be ‘right’.

However, you *are* right when you state that films (and the comics themselves) can pick and mix from a wide spectrum of continuity across various media – if not, we’d be bereft of Jimmy Olsen (who debuted in the Superman radio show, remember?), and that’s not a world I want to live in. But, as should be painfully clear by now, I don’t agree with your particular synthesized ideal of Superman.

Look, writers have been struggling for nearly two decades now to make Superman seem ‘relevant’ to a large(r) audience, both in the comics and other media. He’s widely recognized as a difficult character to write, because it’s hard to make such a (for lack of a better term) primordial archetype from a simpler time appeal to modern sensibilities. See also: Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers and other square-jawed icons of yesteryear.

A recurring ‘fix’ for this dilemma has been to zoom in on Superman’s origins and motivations: every few years we get yet another ‘definitive origin’ of Clark Kent’s pre-Superman years, or a much-ballyhooed storyline like ‘Grounded’ which will help ‘reconnect’ Superman with the common people and show us why he does what he does. But that is neither necessary nor does it make for a good Superman story, which is why the problem never truly gets fixed. All it does is make Superman seem like a diet version of the stock troubled Marvel hero, a second-rate copy when he should shine like the original that he really is.

If you ask me, it’s easy to over-complicate things, but a lot harder to keep things simple: Superman is a decent, stand-up guy because decency is a self-evident virtue and an end unto itself. Secretly, we’d all like to be as good as Superman, if only we too had the super-stamina and mental fortitude to pull it off. Which is why you don’t have to explain Superman’s altruism: you can just present it as a fait accompli. In other words, I don’t think a good and successful Superman movie requires, as MGK puts it, contemplation on the responsibility of power (leave that to Spider-Man, since it’s hardwired into the character), just massive earth-shattering action (and lots of it) and Superman’s rock-solid faith in the common man. Throw in some good ol’ fashioned Lois-Clark-Supes love-triangle melodrama and you have yourself a winner, I think, and a very refreshing one at that.

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MonkeyWithTypewriter said on December 13th, 2012 at 9:50 am

It wouldn’t take much to be better than Superman Returns. And I kinda see where Doc-B is coming from: No mystery or danger in his backstory. Overwhelming power, enough that most issues we face could be fixed pretty easily.Good guy raised by good parents is nice, but a little unrealistic-denies Big Blue any complexity.

But Superman HAS to connect with normal people, because he’s not. He needs the connection. He’s the hero we deserve, not the one we need right now, but people nee3d to see that he’s like us inside, both in the comics and the movie, or why care? But “decency is a self-evident virtue and an end unto itself” wouldn’t be enough to stop the kryptonite handcuffs. Show he’s human.

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HonestObserver said on December 13th, 2012 at 11:23 am

Wow, badmouthing Alex Ross. Do you diss Norman Rockwell as well? Why do you hate Americana, Doctor Bloodmoney? For shame!

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highlyverbal said on December 13th, 2012 at 12:13 pm

@K-Box in the Box: “And to everyone who’s saying that Superman with a muted palette and an Enya soundtrack and ponderous musings over his place in the world is the only way to do the character justice and to generate the sufficient amount of blockbuster dollars that the studio needs to justify making the film, the BILLIONS of dollars raked in by Marvel’s Avengers film proves you wrong.”

I don’t think you have remotely grasped the arguments involved. You’re not even defeating the strawperson you have created, which is a bit embarrassing.

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highlyverbal said on December 13th, 2012 at 12:51 pm

@Doctor Bloodmoney: “A recurring ‘fix’ for this dilemma has been to zoom in on Superman’s origins and motivations: every few years we get yet another ‘definitive origin’ [...]”

So that explains why there are only reboots for the icons of previous eras! I had been wondering. It all makes sense.

“Superman is a decent, stand-up guy because decency is a self-evident virtue and an end unto itself.”

Oh dear. How to unpack all the problems with this statement? Tell you what, once you hit college, take an Intro to Philosophy class that adds a little rigor to your thinking about “virtues” and “ends” (and “self-evident” while you’re at it), come back and make a better attempt crafting this claim. Please wait until you understand the concept of “supererogation.”

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At this point, I could go either way. It could be thoughful–but mopey and Earth-1-ish seem very possible too. And Zach Snyder … not my pick.
I’m not thrilled about Zod–frankly I’d much sooner see some variation of pre-Crisis Luthor. Lex was perfectly capable of building something to make Superman sweat (energy beings, battlesuits, Galactic Golem) and having a human being do that interests me a lot more than Zodd.

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“Oh no! you disagree with me! if only you had read what I have read! known what I have known! taken these highly intellectual university courses that handle big words! Oh how tragic, this profound dissonance between my education and that of the common man! how unlucky of you, to be paired up against the likes of me!”

And THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is precisely what a Superman should NOT be about.

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Kristopher A said on December 13th, 2012 at 4:05 pm

And to everyone who’s saying that Superman with a muted palette and an Enya soundtrack and ponderous musings over his place in the world is the only way to do the character justice and to generate the sufficient amount of blockbuster dollars that the studio needs to justify making the film, the BILLIONS of dollars raked in by Marvel’s Avengers film proves you wrong.

All Marvel’s Avengers proves is that if you spend 5 movies building a framework, people will see a high-on-action, low-on-character film that brings them all together. Avengers had lots of stupid action with almost no character development because people had already seen the characters develop in their own movies. They wanted all the characters to join up and just fight and be fun, and that’s fine. But you still had to have those reasonably serious movies to make the point in the first place.

And Marvel basically makes my point for me with the Iron Man 3 trailer, which is NOT a fun smash’em up action movie like Avengers, but them exploring the character in a serious and, frankly, much darker looking movie than Man of Steel.

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I have never seen either Snyder’s 300 or Watchmen, and I don’t care. One is Frank Miller’s version of the Tolkienian lie that Western Civilization, arbitrarily defined, is the one abode of true men, and the rest of the world is made of monsters. The other is a paean to the self-importance of Alan (spit) Moore’s damn revisionist shitfics.

But this I may bother to see. Supes and I go way back.

I can already tell that they’ve messed up Pa Kent, and thus changed Clark’s core motivation. One of my favorite things about Supes is his motivation: Clark doesn’t fight crime out of displaced guilt like Spidey, or a quest for displaced revenge like batty Bats. Clark serves the world because he was properly brought up, and it was Pa Kent who taught him that. This version of Pa is a little too much like the Amish family that raised Kal El in JLA: The Nail. And that’s a shame. But a movie about a sort of Nail-ish Supes could still be good.

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HonestObserver said on December 13th, 2012 at 6:46 pm

And THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is precisely what a Superman should NOT be about.

Tell it to Nietzsche, bub.

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Some in this discussion seem to put forward the idea that “good guy raised by good parents” is an idea without conflict, without interest, and without merit. As though making the moral choice, or imparting to someone else how to find the moral choice, is easy.

As has been said, the trailer suggests that Clark has had his powers since childhood. Imagine for a moment, the power of Superman in the hands of a child, or a teenager–with all the swings in mood, the still-under-construction reasoning, the pains of growing. Think about the fights you got into, or saw others get into, in high school. Now imagine that one of those kids was a living god. There’s your tension.

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And HonestObserver makes an extra effort to further illustrate my point. Thanks, friend!

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K-Box in the Box said on December 14th, 2012 at 3:36 pm

“But whatever, you’re clearly in the minority here and online.”

And popularity is ALWAYS the definitive yardstick of quality! That’s why the sales records set by guys like Rob Liefeld and Todd McFarlane in the ’90s objectively PROVE that their comics are superior to Alan Moore or Kurt Busiek or Grant Morrison!

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Ian Austin said on December 14th, 2012 at 4:32 pm

I like how you’re putting up simplistic comics with minimal depth to destroy an argument by me saying a Superman film needs more depth than ‘good man does good things.’

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CanukistaniJohn- he destroyed blocks of homes so better ones would be built in their place. He didn;t beat people because no one could stop him but because no one else was. His first actions were to stop an innocent person from being executed.

And as to why he does what he does? Because he was raised that way, but would also like some privacy

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I don’t mind a deep thinker Superman. Really, they should stop trying to figure out why Superman does what he does and work on the why he does it the way he does it.

How about a Superman who creates the Fortress of Solitude because he feels the need to know if where he came from was a good place. Was it worth remembering?

Did he ever consider a career as a police officer or a firefighter?

Or even a soldier? He does/should believe in the US. Think of how he’d change battles being on the ground.

Did he ever consider wearing a mask?

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HonestObserver said on December 15th, 2012 at 2:22 am

What other names did he consider for his superhero alias?

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Did he even consider an alias at first, or did someone call him Superman and he decide “Eh, let’s go with that.”

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HonestObserver said on December 15th, 2012 at 1:39 pm

In a surprise twist, he was an admirer of Nietzsche all along. If he had only arrived on Earth a few decades later, he would have adopted John Galt as his alias.

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Someone’s done a gag with “Ayn Rand’s Superman,” where Clark Kent is not a mild-mannered reporter but a blowhard opinion columnist who never helps anyone, right?

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Emperor's New Clothes said on December 16th, 2012 at 12:58 am

@Alegretto

I am enjoying your performative contradiction*.

Clearly, the only person who expects commenters to act like Superman is yourself. And yet, it is hard to imagine the Man of Steel being so aggressive and sarcastic (and he definitely isn’t the Man of Straw). So, the only person trying to hit this target is missing it! Bonus points for the hypocrisy.

* Oh, and just google the big words instead of getting intimidated by them… you know, since you’re sitting right at the internet! I personally was stoked to be led to the term “supererogation” – are you suggesting that the “common man” is incurious?

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