5 Things We Want in ‘Man of Steel’
3. A STRONG Villain
There is no doubt that Lex Luthor is the best Superman villain within the Superman comics. He’s diabolical, a genius, and lacks any sense of morals. However, in the day and age of CG, people want to see Superman kick some ass. Let’s face it, on a physical level Luthor stands little chance. It’s time to move on from Luthor for a bit and let Superman flex his muscle a bit. Superman Returns relied once again on Luthor to create havoc, but it left little to showcase the powers of Superman. It actually made Superman look a bit simple minded, which if you are familiar with the comic book version of the character, isn’t right. Luthor is a good villain for Superman, not because he is smarter, but because he is willing to do anything no matter how morally corrupt it is.
Are they going to fix it? It is very likely that Luthor will end up appearing in the series further down the road. Snyder, Nolan, and crew have made the bright decision of writing a Kryptonian general back into the mix. Yup, that’s right – General Zod is back. Zod is a villain that can go punch for punch with Superman. On top of this he will create a struggle for the safety of earth that wasn’t quite there in the previous film.
Luthor will most likely be the villain in the sequel (if the film does well), and WB would be smart to make him a puppet master to other villains in Superman’s history. Let him be the planner behind the demise of Superman, while other more physically powerful villains take the beating of the superhuman Kryptonian. Luthor can be a great villain if done right, but they need to drop the Lex Luthor “Most Dangerous Real Estate Agent Ever” angle.
2. Sense of Realism
This one might seem silly when talking about a guy in tights who can fly, has X-ray vision, super hearing, and could lift your house with his pinky – but it’s true. One of the things that made the Dark Knight trilogy so successful was the feeling that it was grounded in realism. It didn’t feel like a superhero film, it felt like a character study on a rich person who dresses up in a bat suit. It wasn’t at all realistic, but surrounding items were so grounded in realism they brought the absurd down to a more tame level. Man of Steel won’t have to go as far, but every situation should have consequences. No one is going to believe that a human can fly or run faster than the human eye can see, but they can believe that those powers will have consequences. Superman isn’t a dark character, but certain elements around him should be. People should be naturally suspicious him, and the mistrust can lead to complications.
Powers don’t need to be ditched like they were going to in the Tim Burton incarnation, but they should create a real sense of awe because they are so far fetched. Earlier I said Superman needed to be unbelievable, and that is 100% true, but the world around him has to be as grounded in reality as possible to give the maximum effect.
Are they going to fix it? Well, it wasn’t something that was completely broken before. Superman Returns bought into the idea of Superman completely, but some of the elements were downright cartoonish as a throwback to a dated series. If the trailers are any indication, Man of Steel appears to ditch a lot of the goofiness and goes with a serious tone. I’ve read that elements from Superman: Birthright were used for the script, and this is a perfect example of how Superman should be done in the modern age. (If you haven’t read it, I suggest picking it up before Man of Steel comes out. Buy it here.) Expect a slightly lighter tone than The Dark Knight series, but the same sense of forced realism.