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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Man of Steel: The Good Man Who Is Wrong


(Forgive me… these thoughts came to me as I was mowing the yard yesterday afternoon and are based on my recollections of one viewing of the most recent Superman movie.  I’m sure they could be fleshed out more fully after repeated viewings and further study…)

I wonder if “The Good Man Who Is Wrong” couldn’t be applied as a way to interpret Zack Snyder’s  Superman movie, Man of Steel.  Consider:

General Zod – born and bred specifically to be a warrior and to defend Krypton and it’s culture and heritage.  His violent excess is motivated by this ‘good.’

Jor-El -  (this section could probably be further  developed…. I will need to see the movie again…)

Jonathan Kent – In his attempt to shield his adopted son, Clark, from the prejudice and fear of the people of Earth, he advised the developing Superman to let people die rather than utilize his powers.  A good man – very bad advice.

Perry White –Rejects Lois’ story of a superhuman rescuer.  He was concerned for truth, but he was wrong.

Superman – His killing General Zod may have been motivated by his desire to protect the inhabitants of Earth, but it represents s a failure of Superman to be better than men, a failure to be Superman.
                                                                                                                                                    
But what about the women?  Unfortunately, in this version of the Superman story, most of the women don’t really do much. Lara Lor-Van and Martha Kent (Superman’s natural and adopted mothers) follow the lead of their husbands.  Faora, Zod’s second in command, follows Zod.  And Lois Lane?  She tracks down Superman’s secret but doesn’t reveal it.  Perhaps she’s the good woman who is right, but her role in the movie was almost unnecessary to the plot of the film – serving mostly as a way to reveal Clark’s back-story in Kansas.

All of the men (probably) seem to be this kind of “Good Man who is Wrong,” some more than others –Perry White, not so bad. His mistake is easily redeemed.  General Zod – very bad.  Very bad indeed.

Am I onto something here? 



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