posted on Sep, 4 2013 @ 08:07 PM
I'm not a comic book guy, but I'm pretty sure that Superman is the good guy, right? So I'm trying to wrap my brain around "Man of Steel" that I
just saw last night. Yeah, yeah, I'm slow to getting around to movies these days.
If you're one of the five other people who haven't seen it yet, let me spoil it/bring you up to speed:
The planet Krypton is imploding because the government mined its core. The military leader, General Zod, leads a coup against the government because
he says their "degenerative genes" have led them to make this decision. So he's a militant environmentalist and racist, I guess. Anyway, his coup
fails and he's put into a "black hole."
The scientist Jor-El sends his infant son, Kal-El, to Earth in a spaceship, along with the "Codex" which is a repository containing the DNA of a
billion Kryptonians. Krypton is destroyed, thus freeing General Zod and his troops who go out in search of the Codex.
Meanwhile, Jor-El's son grows up. Even I know the story-our yellow sun gives him powers. In this movie, he's confused and scared by his powers, but
begins using them to help people. So far, so good.
Then, when Kal-El (now Clark Kent) turns 33 (Christ metaphor, anyone?) Zod shows up and wants the Codex. Clark won't give it to him. Zod begins to
terraform Earth to prepare it so that the Kryptonians can live there. Of course, this will mean the death of pretty much all humans. And that's when
things get really screwy.
We discover that the Codex is inside Clark Kent, and Clark is perfectly content to stop Zod and destroy the machinery that will allow Zod to bring the
Kryptonians to life-just so Clark can save Earth. Let me say that a different way: Superman is willing to sacrifice a billion of his own race in order
to save 7 billion of another.
The battle for the Codex is nothing short of a holocaust. Clark's boyhood hometown of Smallville is pretty much leveled, and so are large portions of
Metropolis. Hundreds of thousands of people are killed in what looks like twenty 9/11's put together. The collateral damage is horrifying-and nobody
seems to care. What's the message here?
Zod is made out to be the villain for trying to save his own people, and Superman is the hero for sacrificing them. Is that what Superman stands for?
It reminds me of the Star Trek film from a couple of years ago where Spock sacrificed his home planet Vulcan in order to save Earth.
Now, you can argue that Zod was evil because he wanted to kill humans, but look at it this way: had Zod not tried to terraform Earth but had just
beaten Kal-El (which he could have) and taken the Codex, he would have set up shop on Earth, making Kryptonians. Because of Earth's yellow sun, they
would have all had superpowers. Imagine an Earth with a billion supermen on it. They would quickly become the masters of the planet and enslave
humanity. Zod's plan of extermination was actually merciful by comparison. Again, what's the message? Genocide is bad. Unless it's to stop more
genocide, then it's good.
I see this trend in movies lately-"The Avengers" and "A Good Day to Die Hard" come to mind-where tons of civilians get wiped out and nobody
reflects on it as long as the "bad" guy is killed or brought to justice, and it disturbs me greatly.