Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Whatever Happened To The Man Of Tomorrow?

by Sylvester P Barzey

It’s been about four weeks since the Capes exploded onto the big screen in Zack Snyder’s “Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn Of Justice” and ever since that movie came out, do you know what I’ve been doing? 

Defending it, like I’m a mother bear and every hunter in the forest has it out for my little cub. Every forum or online comic group I’ve been in has had countless trends bashing the movie because some fans feel that it didn’t live up to its hype. 

I love the movie, which is why I defend it, but you can only explain why Lex hated Batman so many times before you give up on the topic altogether. So, today I will state that I will no longer be the masked defender of Zack Snyder’s Clash of DC Titans. No, I’m not gonna defend it here or anywhere for that matter. What I am going to do is talk about Snyder’s Superman. 
Ever since Zack Snyder allowed Superman to snap Zod’s neck at the end of Man of Steel, people have had problems with the new cinematic Superman. The main question being asked is: “Why is he so dark?” Much like any Superman fan, I remember that Saturday morning cartoon where Superman hovered in the sky and the people cheered. 

I remembered Christopher Reeve and his boy scout smile. For years, Superman was here for “Truth, Justice, and The American Way”. I remember a happier, hopeful Superman. Yet, just because I remember him, doesn’t mean that’s who we need or really want at this point in time. The golden age Superman died and from his ashes has come a more modern day, realistic Superman.

This Superman wasn’t created by Zack Snyder, he was polished up, and packaged for us, but he has been around in comics for some time now. From the pages of "Lex Luthor: Man Of Steel" to "Superman Earth One: Year One", and on the Cover of "Injustice: Gods Among Us". A powerful, realistic Superman has been waiting for his chance to make it to the big screen, all Zack Snyder did was open the door for him. We live in dark times, where people question The Justice System, where people have given up hope on a real Presidential Candidate. With that said, you would think the world would need to see hope on the screen, someone that is taking all the bad things that are happening in their life and putting on a smile, and pushing forward. 

Then again we got that in 2006 with Brandon Routh in Superman Returns, that was a Superman filled with hope, one that wanted to make up for leaving the world behind for five years. We had a Superman that overcame all odds, a Lex Luthor who was a criminal mastermind with a scientific plan to take over the world! And you know what?
Everyone hated it. Can we blame the writers? Maybe. 

Can we blame the cast? Maybe.

Can we blame the outdated concept? Yes!

Why should the movies be shining a light on an outdated Superman, when the modern stories are far more compelling. As a Superman fan, I’ve always enjoyed his stuff, but even I can admit it all got to be a bit old. To me, Superman always seemed to be missing something, and after watching Zack Snyder’s movies and reading some alternative stories and some of the current stories, I realized he was missing a touch of humanity. His morals and beliefs were so big that they were truly unrealistic or unrelatable. 

No matter what happened he pushed forward and kept going. That’s not how the real world works, that’s not how human beings work, and while he is an Alien, he was raised by humans so those are the traits that would be shown by him. When faced with a problem, yes humans can push through, but more often than not, we step back and regroup. When faced with a problem we at times doubt ourselves, we may even give up. 
Now I don’t want Superman to give up, but I want to see him go through his emotions like a normal person would, I want to relate to The Man Of Steel. His father is dead, his whole planet is gone, the only person he could relate to wanted to take over the world, and now after years of helping, the world has turned their backs on him. 

Zack Snyder gave us a Superman that was real, one with problems and pain. This Superman was doubted by his people, hated by the government, and hunted down by Batman. Yet, still he was trying to make sense of it all, still he was trying to look for a better tomorrow, still he died for us.

The question shouldn’t be “Why is he so dark?” Because the world is dark, at times it’s painful, and filled with sadness. The question should be why aren’t we accepting of a Superman who faces the world with real human emotions? Is there something inside of us that doesn’t want to see our hero lowered to our level? 

Do we not want to see our emotions on the big screen? Or are we really still holding onto The Man of Tomorrow.
When we should be embracing The Man of Today.

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