The hits just keep coming for Superman fans as reports of changes to the established mythos in Man of Steel have them all a twitter, literally. It started months ago as rumors started escape the studio from various outlets.
We heard reports that the actor playing Superman is British. He is a Brit! Henry Cavill was born May 5, 1983 in Jersey, Channel Islands, UK. So what?! Superman is not American, he’s an alien, so get over it. The next story was about how changes to his uniform (no red underwear, odd texture and belt) had traditionalists upset. Ok, I can relate to this one a bit. I’m not adverse to change, just have a reason. Tell me why his original uniform doesn’t make sense in today’s world and you might convince me, but I have yet to hear any reason. Next, we heard that kryptonite will not appear, or play a part, in the film. Great! Finally! In almost every TV or movie appearance, kryptonite has been used to weaken Superman so that he could be challenged by normal humans. I am sooooo tired of that story. Leave the kryptonite out and let him face some real challenges from superhuman opponents. If I want to watch a movie about a regular guy getting kicked around by other regular guys, until he finally tricks them and emerges victorious, I’ll watch Die Hard! So lets check the score. Three rumors, and so far, I’m not all that disturbed, but that’s about to change.
It was recently reported that the Man of Steel story will reveal that Krypton wasn’t destroyed! While this would explain the lack of kryptonite I am dumbfounded. Rumors are flying around that Kal-El’s parents shuttle him to Earth for a variety of possible reasons. One such explanation has Jor-El sending him Earthward to save him from a civil war. Another, has his parents sending him away to save him from persecution due to the fact that he was born via natural birth, not genetically engineered like all other Kryptonians. What is the point? Is this drastic story change just pure EGO? Do David Goyer, Christopher Nolan, Zack Snyder, and whoever else is making these decisions, really believe that their need for creative license trumps 75 years of history? I hope not. I really respect the body of work from all of those creators. Maybe Warner Bros. is forcing the issue just so they can say that they have an exclusive version of Superman. I don’t really know, but change just for change’s sake makes you no better than Michael Bay (ie: Teenage ALIEN Ninja Turtles).
Part of the heroic identity of Superman is that he is alone, the last of his kind, and yet he chooses to defend Earth. How will that change? I hope, in the long run, it won’t. Maybe the movie makers involved just want to destroy Krypton for themselves to finish the Man of Steel Trilogy in a few years. In my opinion, changing something this critical to the history of the very first and most iconic superhero, is simply hubris. But, I guess to be a true creator you have to believe that your vision is right. So many such creators have failed to capture what makes Superman, well, super. Let’s hope that Man of Steel doesn’t just become another in a long line of comic book movies that I will see once, and only once. I’m talking to you Superman Returns.