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Man Of Steel

Friday 31 May 2013, 11:05

Mark Kermode Mark Kermode

Superman is about to return to our screens in Man Of Steel. I'm hoping it's going to be a great movie but how will it deal with the crucial matter of the super hero's strengths and weaknesses?

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    Comment number 1.

    I agree with you saying that superman needs to be weak. however the character of superman is in the name, he is not supposed to have any weaknesses and while this is great for kids it will ever create a good superhero film, though I will see the film to see if they have changed my opinion. the weakness will also have to be quite a big weakness, this is what they failed i the spider man films, i don't have much sympathy for an emotional teenager, but it might also be due to the fact that spider man is a weak character.

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    Comment number 2.

    I think there are two ways to approach it: either you limit how powerful Superman is and the drama comes from the possibility that he can be hurt or destroyed. Or, and I suspect this is how Nolan/Goyer have approached it, you make him incredibly powerful, but mine his God-like powers for drama with regard to how us puny Earthlings view and deal with him.

    The idea of an extra-terrestrial showing up and demonstrating that – if he wanted to – he could crush us all and destroy our cities, is an interesting story to tell. The oft-shown image of Superman in cuffs, surrendering himself to the authorities when he could easily escape, suggests that this is a theme they are exploring in the film, and it's a different take that I'm looking forward to.

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    Comment number 3.

    The invulnerability, to my mind, explains why Superman has always been naff. DCs only great character was Batman - and only after it had the Dark Knight re-boot to bring out the inner conflict that beautifully played on the hero/anti-hero dichotomy. It is this human darkness that makes the character great. Marvel nailed this with nearly all of their great characters (even Thor became weak without mjolnir - and Tony Stark had that bullet lodged too close to his heart) and it was somethign DC never managed to do.

    Superman may be the oldest comic book character but all of the incarnations and portrayals have been as flat and colourless as the cahracter. No one can root for someone who is all powerful and all good.

    I've never been a fan - and won't be going to watch the film.......

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    Comment number 4.

    Can I ask those of you more in tune with the Superman character mythology what you thought of Smallville. I thought it was an interesting take on the superhero myth as not only did we see Clark Kent learning what his powers were but the implications on those around him all while facing up to his destiny which he at times fought against.

    As for this version I think it will come down to the script and to put forward a hypothesis, Superman's love of humanity and his ability to feel must be also magnified so replicating the physical aspects of the character which is where the drama could be created.

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    Comment number 5.

    To me, if anyone can make Superman both believable and vulnerable, it's Zack Snyder. If you want proof of this, see Watchmen again, which I still think is Zack Snyder's underrated masterpiece. I know you hate it, Dr. K, and yes it has problems, but what Zack Snyder captured in Watchmen was making the superheroes more like real people with real psychological problems. Even the god-like Doctor Manhattan, with all his powers, had weaknesses with not being able to connect with humanity anymore. Also, Rorschach is another perfect character, because he fights for he believes to be justice, but he just sees the world in black and white and uses that to fuel his twisted sense of morality. Watchmen was the perfect film that demonstrated that being a superhero makes you lose touch with the outside world and shows the cracks in that armour.


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