Monday, July 29, 2013

This "Man Of Steel" Kid's Book Neatly Sums Up Everything Wrong With The Movie

If you're a regular reader of my blog you know that I have an borderline unhealthy grudge against Man Of Steel, this year's attempt at rebooting the Superman franchise.

WARNING! SOME SPOILERS MAY OCCUR.

Although I've been a lifelong Superman fan, I hated virtually everything about this film: the scaly, off-putting costume, Clark Kent and everyone else acting woefully out of character and most of all the horrible ending in which Superman actually kills. Everything about the story felt just plain wrong and misguided.

Nowhere is that more evident than in this kid's book tie-in, based on the plot of the film.

Kids like superheroes, right? Bigger than life characters in colorful costumes fighting one another in epic battles? So it follows that they'd enjoy reading about superheroes. This book wastes no time getting right into the action as it opens on an exciting shot of Clark Kent in civilian clothing... ehh, sitting on some steps as he gazes wistfully into the distance.

You'd think a book about Superman might want to actually show him on the first page, but what do I know?

Get used to this kind of introspection and navel-gazing, because the book's full of it in place of anything actually happening.

We're then treated to a lengthy sequence set on Krypton that eats up about six pages. Nothing of any importance whatsoever happens until page twelve, when we finally see Jor-El place baby Kal-El in the rocket. We don't get to see it blast off though, because that might actually be mildly exciting. This is he 2010s after all, so god forbid we stimulate and entertain instead of teach. 

Plus I'm not sure, but I don't think Jor-El actually said, "You are our last hope" in the movie. I'd have to watch it again to make sure, and that ain't happening.

Gasp! Here we see Clark being bullied! Hey, he's just like the kids who're reading this book! He's a relatable super powered god-like alien!

Eighteen pages in before we get even a semblance of action. And then it's not even between superheroes, but two school kids.

It appears that Pete may have some super powers of his own, if he's able to lift Clark in the air with one hand like that. Juvenile Diabetes Powers, Activate!

Was Lana Lang even in the movie? Again, I don't remember her and I ain't watching it again to find out.

Still no appearance by Superman in his own book.

This is probably the closest we get to an actual action scene in the entire book. Just like in the film, Clark performs 90% of his super heroics while in his street clothes, then the minute he finally becomes Superman, all he does is stand around and talk.

You know Clark, you may be immune to the effects of jagged plate glass, but little Aleesha and Mr. Whiskers most likely aren't. Would it have killed him to have simply opened the window?

Hey, it's General Zod! Now we'll get some good ol' fashioned comic book action! Hmm... no, I guess not. He's just going to strike a Jack Kirby pose instead.

Shouldn't that be "He lands on Earth and attacks Smallville" instead?

Still no Superman.

At long last! Twenty seven pages in before Superman finally appears in his own goddamned book!

Of course we won't ever actually see Superman attack the bad guys, because once again that might set off asthma attacks in the pasty skinned, indoor-dwelling, peanut allergic kids reading this. We'll just get to see Superman posing impressively for us, as Zod did.

Why the hell are they still calling him Clark here? I guess they're just following the lead of the movie in which he was called "Superman" exactly one time.

Hey, some honest to god comic book action! Ehh, sort of. Superman's just kind of grabbing Zod's armor, while a couple of henchmen look on in the distance.

"General Zod and his helpers (?) retreat back to outer space." Really? That's not the version of the film I saw. I could have sworn Zod tried to kill a family of four and Superman savagely snapped his neck

This points out what for me was the biggest flaw in the entire movie. Superman's not supposed to kill. He's had a personal code against it for many decades. It only makes sense-- he's Superman! He's supposed to be better than us.

Superman should be "all ages" entertainment. Kids and adults alike should be able to enjoy his adventures. If you have to alter the plot to make it appropriate for a kid's book, then your Superman movie is a dismal failure.

Hey Lois, are you going to make some more dick jokes in this book? No? Darn. The one you made in the film was hilarious. Whoops! I broke the sarcasm detector!

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