Hello everyone, my name is Harley M. Gentry and I am twenty-two years old. Although I was not around when Christopher Reeve's "Superman: The Movie" released, as well as it's three sequels (four if you count Returns), I grew up watching primarily "Superman: The Movie", "Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut", "Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman", "Superman: The Animated Series, and "Smallville".
I'm a huge Superman fan, and have been since birth. As a child, I looked up to Superman and Christopher Reeve and wanted to be more like him, it was someone to aspire too. I literally almost cried, at ten years old, when Christopher Reeve passed away in 2004.
So as you could imagine, after being affected so dramatically by Christopher Reeve's Superman and the following TV programs and films that emulated that facet of Superman, I've become attached to a certain interpretation of Superman that I personally feel is the best interpretation that should be standard for the character. I'm not a comic-book person, but I feel that I understand the core values and principles of the character and with that being said, let's get this show on the road.
The Problem with DC Film's Superman
Zack Snyder's 'Man of Steel' had beautiful cinematography which fit Superman perfectly. Unfortunately Zack Snyder, Deborah Snyder, Christopher Nolan, and David S. Goyer didn't have the right vision for Superman. Aside from his terrible costume; resembling something Superman would wear if he were to get pissed off and decide to try and take over the world, they interpreted Clark Kent, as a whole, as a depressed and lost man who is having trouble coming to terms with who he is and what he can do. That kind of attitude with things considered is fine, but unfortunately that depressing, over-bearing, and lost attitude stayed with him even after meeting Jor-El and learning his origins.
He was not a happy person in Man of Steel, smiling only when he first took flight and at the end when he started working at the Daily Planet and Lois immediately saw through his 'disguise'. Putting all those "It's Superman on day one!" comments aside, Superman was raised by John and Martha Kent to be a good, caring, man with strong morals and values, and to be put others before himself.
By this point in his life (33), he should've figured out how to use all of his powers, therefore you can't even say "He didn't know how to control his powers" because he specifically told General Zod;
"My parents taught me to control my abilities."
Superman's brutality was entirely necessary as he was fighting Kryptonians who were all equally powerful as he. What was unnecessary was Superman's decision to
kill General Zod by snapping his neck.
Something that was defended by Zack Snyder by saying that moment was a turning point with Superman and his decision to never do something like that again, which brings us too "Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice"
Reporter Lois Lane and secret C.I.A. agent Jimmy Olsen are running an operation in the desert when things go south fast. Lois Lane is captured and who other than Superman comes to her rescue. How does he dispatch these guys? He crushes them through a wall at break-neck speeds, only to claim seconds-later that he didn't kill anyone.
I'm not going to pin the deaths from Man of Steel on Superman because a lot of those were caused by General Zod and his army, aside from the exceptional death at the end for which Superman was directly responsible. In Batman V. Superman, the movie starts with Superman flat-out murdering someone.
That's most of my problem with the DCCU version of Superman.
What Needs to Change?
The Costume: Superman's costume needs to be a reflection of who he is, MoS and BvS captures that reflection but it's depressing. Superman needs to have a more brightly colored outfit, it doesn't need to be as bright as Christopher Reeve's, but it should at least be as bright as Brandon Routh's. The costume should make people not feel intimidated, but instead comfortable to approach Superman.
The Physique: This one is more of a personal thing for me. I never liked bulky superheroes. When you see Superman that jacked, it makes sense to see him as powerful as he's portrayed. I always like the powerful every-man look that Brandon Routh, Christopher Reeve, and Dean Cain had. Thin, but fit, looking guys in the costume doing crazy things you wouldn't expect someone with that physique to do.
The Attitude: Superman needs to come off as more cheerful, calming, and friendly. He needs to be someone that the world does not fear, but respects and idolizes. People look up, take pictures, and gawk. Not run and hide. He should deal with small things as well as big things. His every save doesn't need to be a big freighter ship or an exploding rocket, have him stop a couple of small-scale convenience store robberies, save cats out of trees, and stop police chases. Superman is as much about the small picture as he is about the big picture.
Power & Accountability: Superman, in these movies, is showcased as a fairly powerful being, which is fine. But maybe he shouldn't as indestructible. People always say "It's hard to do a Superman movie right, because he's so OP." What's wrong with nerfing his powers for movies like the writers do when the buff them in the comics? Keep the same abilities, but make them less effective. He should be able to fly at no more than 800mph, he's durable but not indestructible, his X-Ray vision won't work through lead or over large distances, cut out microscopic vision, things like that. He's still all-powerful, but he's no longer a god.
Superman should also take full responsibility for his actions. Martha told him that he didn't owe the world a thing, but that's an inaccurate statement. Superman should logically feel that he owes the world an explanation after the events of Man of Steel - There is no going back after those events have taken place. Superman always offers an explanation when there is one to give, and even when there was a logical explanation to give in Batman V Superman he almost refused too.
Way to break the trust there, Supes.
The entire point of Superman, and all other superheroes, is to be better than humanity as we are. Superman, especially, is someone that the audience and the characters should aspire to be with his classical all-american values and morals. And Zack Snyder's interpretation has divided the community more than most other films have, and that's a problem. Superman unites, he doesn't divide.
People are always going to disagree over whether or not the movie was good or bad and all manner of things in that vein. But everyone should be united in the fact that at least Superman is portrayed properly, and that division is the part that is killing the DCCU before it's even started.
Hopefully when Superman returns in 2017's 'Justice League' it will be a refreshed Superman with a level-head, closer to what Superman is supposed to represent, rather than what he has represented thus far.