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Man of Steel's Shocking Ending Continues to Spark Debate

January 22, 2016


Man of Steel will always have the stigma of murder attached to it. Many DC fans don't want to talk about that while many more do and want to support it. It's become a polarizing moment in comic book movie history, one that continues to divide to this day.


Superman committed murder; there's just no way around it.


It's a fact that has been debated and discussed from the moment it happened in 2013. That film was meant to revamp Superman, to bring a different actor to the role and establish a new take on the character in anticipation of DC's new cinematic universe.


But instead it received mixed reviews from critics and especially fans, many of whom were outraged by what they saw near the end of the film.


General Zod wanted Superman dead. He wanted Metropolis to burn. He wanted mayhem and destruction and he was willing to do whatever it took to make it happen. The Man of Tomorrow took every punch, every attack, every vicious assault that Zod could muster and he gave back twice over. 


The fight that took place was a battle of the gods, one that rained down hell on the city that Superman vowed to protect. It's a storyline that will be heavily explored in the new Batman v Superman film set to hit theaters on March 25. That fight not only wrecked Metropolis, it changed the world and fans will soon see the results of that.


But despite how evil Zod was, despite how much physicality Superman dealt his foe during that fight and how bleak the outcome looked, murder should not have been committed on that day.


That act of violence completely defied everything the Superman character stands for. It contradicted the values that truth, justice and the American way represent and it replaced them with "by any means necessary." This was not the Superman that the world knew, the one determined to do the right thing and be better than those he sought to stop.


This Superman was dark and brooding, a hero that was presented as cutting edge instead of old fashioned. While Zack Snyder and company obviously wanted this and wanted to update him for the modern age, the central core of the character was lost in transition.


Three years have passed since the gruesome ending of Man of Steel and it's still being defended by Snyder while being furiously debated by fans at the same time. It set the tone for everything to come after it for DC because if Superman can kill, then all bets are off for every other property that's developed into a movie for that company.


Despite how well Batman v Superman does or what happens to The Man of Steel after that, it will not be the same as it could have been. Superman is a fundamentally different character than what fans both young and old have grown up with and that will always cause a disconnect between them and DC Comics.


The debate rages on.

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