DC, Too Dark in Movies? Part 1: Man of Steel; Forging Destiny

Recently, Warner Bro. Studios and DC Comics Entertainment released a brand new trailer for their upcoming adaptation of the superhero team Justice League which will star Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Henry Cavill as Clark Kent/Superman, Gal Gadot as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman, Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry/Aquaman, Ezra Miller as Barry Allen/The Flash and Ray Fisher as Victor Stone/Cyborg and will fight Darkseid’s right hand Steppenwolf who will be played by Ciaran Hinds.

Ever since the DCEU or the DC Extended Universe took flight, criticisms started swarming it. Bad reviews after bad reviews. Critics and some fans say that having a dark tone in a superhero movie is bad. But today, we will look at the points on why DC Comics did a right thing in making their films in darker tones and gloomier moods.

Today, we will be having a five-part article, looking at what made DCEU distinct and beautiful and separate from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and other comic book movies.

We’ll first look at the first entry in the DCEU which is Man of Steel. The premise of the film is about a man trying to fit in today’s society. The whole film tries to answer “What would happen if the world has a Superman?” which they answered by showing us the huge catastrophe Superman and the Kryptonians did. We saw buildings trashed, trucks and vehicles being blown to the sky and thousands died during the battle. In here, I can say that this is accurate in real life circumstances. In warfare, there will always be casualties. Take World War II for example. In WW II, the fatality statistics vary. It has estimates of 50 million to 80 million deaths. The higher figure of 80 million includes war-related diseases and famine. Then there are civilian casualties which have an estimate of 50 to 55 million that were killed, which also includes 19 to 28 million war-related disease and famine.

Meanwhile in Man of Steel, the casualties that were made was an estimate of 100,000 people that were killed in the battle and 2 trillion dollars worth of property damage.

Image result for man of steel metropolis leveled
Metropolis Leveled

In war there will always be casualties. No matter what. Look at the casualties that caused the war against ISIS. Country’s like Syria are deeply affected on the terrorism that ISIS is causing. In this way we can look at the attack in Metropolis as an act of terrorism.

Now let’s look at what others are saying that Superman did a rookie mistake by fighting the battle all alone. Actually, that he did a great job there. Why? Are you going to sacrifice more lives by battling aliens who can’t be killed with lead? That would be insane and stupid. The soldiers will surely be killed and that will be in Superman’s conscience.

Now we look at the final showdown between Kal- El and Zod. In this last fight between the two Kryptonian super powers. In here we see the two warriors go toe-to toe and give all out. Zod is full of rage and wants to end Superman on what he did to their supposedly new Krypton. We again see that the rest of Metropolis is being trashed ag

Image result for man of steel superman and zod
Superman vs General Zod

ain as the two titans fight. Destruction is imminent when it comes to superhero battles. You can’t do away with it. Every time two powerful beings clash, be warned that there will be colossal consequences. Casualties and damages to properties will be made. This is not the 80′ nor the 90′ any more where superheroes go fight their nemesis with some goofy plot. Man of Steel was made to adapt in real life situations. We saw buildings crumbling down, trucks getting blown up as Zod and Superman gives their all.

Then we go to the final part where Superman was trying to pin down Zod. General Zod then sees an opportunity to break Superman. Zod already know what Kal will do in order to

Image result for man of steel superman mourning
Superman in grief

save the innocent. He then uses his heat vision and traps a family in the corner. In here Superman was given a choice, it is either to spare the life of his enemy and sacrifice the lives of the innocent or kill Zod in order to save them. This is a hard choice.  A hero is not a hero when he is not given the decision to make a heroic act. According to David S. Goyer, the writer of Man of Steel, he defends Superman and his decision when it comes to killing Zod. He says in Nerdist, “The way I work, the way Chris [Nolan] works, is you do what’s right for the story. That exists entirely separately from what fans should or shouldn’t think of that character. You have to do what’s right for the story. In that instance, this was a Superman who had only been Superman for like, a week. He wasn’t Superman as we think of him in the DC Comics…or even in a world that conceived of Superman existing. He’d only flown for the first time a few days before that. He’d never fought anyone that had super powers before. And so he’s going up against a guy who’s not only super-powered, but has been training since birth to use those super powers, who exists as a superhuman killing machine, who has stated, ‘I will never stop until I destroy all of humanity.’ If you take Superman out of it, what’s the right way to tell that story? I think the right way to tell that story is if you take this powered alien who says, ‘You can have your race back, but you have to kill your adopted race,’ the moral, horrible situation to be in is to actually be forced to kill, not wanting to, the only other person from your race. Take Superman aside, I think that’s the right way to tell that story.”

We can see in that scene that Kal was given the only option and that is to kill Zod. After he snapped his neck, we can see the grief and the pain he experienced knowing that at this moment, this horrible thing that he has done will surely scar him for life. In reality, the events that you’ll do first hand will affect you dearly or drastically. In this case, the events that had just transpired will make Kal as a better person and at the same time a better hero. In here, he just realized the drastic feeling of killing and this is a turning point in his part for he’ll decide and bring up his moral code when it comes to killing.

In the end, we can still say that Superman did a great job, even though there are a lot of casualties and damages, in saving Metropolis and the whole world. The event may be catastrophic but still we can give Kal a break, it’s his first day on the job. Also in the end, the film answered the question, “What would happen if the world has a Superman?” and the answer is that it will be both frightening and beautiful at the same time. We get to have a man/alien saving us from every form of danger but still can end humanity when he wants to.

For our next article, we will be looking at Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice first the side of Superman and how he affects everyone after the destruction that happened in Metropolis. We will dive in more in how his guilt on that event and how he sees the Bat vigilante in Gotham that’s torturing and taking matters in his own hands. We will also continue to look at how the current tone of DC defines them as a unique universe.

Image result for batman v superman


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