Man of Steel Myth: Superman and Killing (Spoilers)


Man of Steel Superman Killing

Warning, this rant will have spoilers for the ending of Man of Steel. If you haven’t seen it yet, tread carefully.

So Man of Steel is out, and the movie is immediately becoming an incredibly divisive subject across social media. One of the biggest complaints that’s really making me facepalm and wonder if any of these idiots have ever read Superman comics or saw the Donner movies is the complaint that Superman doesn’t kill. Maybe people are just confusing Batman with Superman and assuming because Batman has a “no killing” rule that Superman does as well?

This all stems from the end of the movie where Superman snaps Zod’s neck in order to save some innocent bystanders from Zod’s heat vision. Completely ignoring the fact that Superman and Zod destroyed much of Metropolis in their fight at the end of the movie, which obviously killed a whole bunch of innocents, people are swearing up and down that Superman killing Zod goes against his character.
But the thing is, it doesn’t.

In fact, Superman did the exact same thing at the end of Superman II. You could even argue that how he killed Zod in Superman II was worse. Zod was de-powered, basically a human, yet Superman happily broke his hand and then tossed him down a pit to his death.
Man of Steel Superman Killing
Of all of the DC characters, Batman is really the only one with a “no killing” rule. Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and the rest of the Justice League all have no trouble killing a villain as a last resort. Yet there’s some myth floating around that it’s against Superman’s character to do that, when if you have ever read any Superman comic or seen the Donner movies (see above) you’d know that isn’t the case at all.

In the comics Superman killed Doomsday, in the John Byrne era he killed Zod, and in the Golden Age he’s killed villains. It’s always as a last resort, but it’s not a hard rule like Batman.
Man of Steel Superman Killing
There are legitimate things I can see people complaining about in Man of Steel. None of them really bother me much, as it’s the Superman movie I’ve wanted to see my entire life, but I can understand people not liking certain things.

Sure there are probably jerks out there who don’t like that they actually made Lois a strong character and realized that a smart investigative reporter like her would be able to figure out that Superman is Clark Kent and no “super kiss” would wipe it from her mind. Or others probably don’t like how Jonathan Kent dies, despite it being a smart and brave change they made in the movie. Sure Kal-El is powerless to stop a heart attack, but allowing his father to die via a tornado because he trusted his belief is an even better path for the character.
Man of Steel Superman Killing
You can complain about all of that if it makes you feel better about bashing the best superhero movie ever made, but don’t complain that Superman killing Zod goes against his character. It just makes you look uninformed.