Wednesday, February 24, 2016

"Even heroes have the right to dream"

I was about four years old when I stood on the arm of a chair. I took a breath and for a moment, thought I could fly. Gravity reminded me that I wasn't superhuman and my feet caught the other chair's arm and I landed face first on the ground, swallowing my two front teeth. I recall the numbness of the sudden impact to my face. I remember looking into the eyes of a young girl (who I was probably trying to impress, to be honest) as she stared at my mouth, I touched it. It wasn't until I saw the blood that I started to cry. It was a hard lesson in reality. But you know what? Thirty-five years later, I still haven't stopped wanting to be Superman. Of course, I haven't tried jumping off of an armchair since, but those other qualities I loved about him, his fight for Truth, Justice, and the idea of the American way; the idealist in me has never let that go, no matter how jaded I become as I get older.

Superman has changed through the years. In the comics he has died, come back to life, split into two characters, lost his powers, got his powers back, you name it. But the idea of Superman has stayed the same (not including the alternate realities of Supes, of course); the orphan son of a dead planet whose parents lovingly sacrificed themselves so that their only child could bring to Earth the best qualities of Krypton and who in turn was raised by loving parents who instilled in him the best qualities of humanity, thus making him the best son of both worlds. He's not Batman who instills fear into his enemies to save the city he has vowed to protect. He is not Spider-Man who lost his uncle when he chose not to act and is now driven by the mantra that with great power comes great responsibility. Superman imbues the best of all of humanity. He goes to the greatest lengths, to the detriment of himself, to save people, even his enemies.

Kneel before Kal!
So it's needless to say, that when in Man of Steel, Supes kills Zod, that's when I was severely disappointed. It was the culmination of an uneasiness that I had throughout that film of Clark letting his father die to protect his identity, his mother in the previews of Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, that he owes humans nothing. This iteration of Superman was one who became a hero in spite of humanity. The Kal I knew would never allow all those people to die in Metropolis. He would've taken the fight somewhere else.
And yes, the argument can be made, he was just becoming Superman, that he had no choice (whatever) to kill Zod, that he became "super" after all that tragedy and it shaped him into a better hero. That this is a darker version of Superman, that it's more realistic, and in reality, people die.

Sure, let's make a movie about a guy who can fly more realistic because THAT'S what the people want.

But fine, I'll give you all that. I'll let you have your Batman with a shotgun, I'll let you have your Superman shooting his heat vision at Batman that looked like it was a kill shot. It's all based off of the Dark Knight series that Frank Miller wrote. I'm going to see Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, not because I think it'll be good, but because it's got my favorite super hero in it, and it's the only version I've got. I went to go see that god awful Batman and Robin movie in the theater, because again, I enjoy the super hero films in general. Doesn't mean I think they were all great.

However, Warner Bros. announced that they're going to release an R rated version of Bats V Supes on the blu-ray.

*Audible sigh*

Some people have said that voicing your opinion about these crappy decisions based solely on monetary reasons does nothing but good for the studios that think this is what we want, rather than this is what we'll see cause you're not giving us what we want and in the absence of greatness, mediocrity reigns.

I disagree.

I'm not saying boycott the movie (cause really, who's gonna do that?), I'm not saying write your congressman, and I'm definitely not saying to go "dox", or "swat", or "dap," or "netflix and chill", or whatever stupid kids are using the internet for these days.

I'm saying, this is not Superman. This is not what Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster had in mind when they created this icon. Wolverine can be R-rated, Deadpool IS R-rated, hell, Batman is dark enough to be R-rated. Those are dark and gritty characters.

I was 4 years old when I pretended to be Superman. Even younger when I was infatuated with him. It makes me sad to think that there will be a 4 year old right now who can't see the latest version of Superman because it would give him nightmares.

That's just not Superman.