Out of all the DC superheroes, Superman was never my absolute favorite. I wasn’t born when the movies came out and just had more exposure to the various Batman stories from movies and TV growing up in the 90s. That being said, I did watch Superman: The Animated Series and Lois and Clark, so the Man of Steel was a character I knew well enough and luckily those two shows did a decent job of portraying Clark as the humble, focused hero he is.. Unfortunately, it’s really easy to get the character wrong … for some reason that quite often baffles me — how is it the most basic heroes gets so off the mark so easily? However, the most recent trailer for 2013’s Man of Steel has some hints of getting right and this is easily the most optimistic I’ve been about the project.
The best thing I can say about the trailer is the focus on Clark choosing what kind of man he wants to be. Because despite what he is biologically, Clark Kent is Clark the human being first and foremost and his humanity is a huge part of what makes Superman. Like Batman says in Superman/Batman #3:
It is a remarkable dichotomy. In many ways, Clark is the most human of us all. Then… he shoots fire from the skies and it is difficult not to think of him as a god. And how fortunate we all are that it does not occur to him.
Not every writer remembers or understands that. My hope for this movie more than anything is that the script has that focus on his unshakeable ties to his humanity. For one, it’s a much more interesting hero journey compared to “god on earth.” And for another … Clark Kent might be a man of steel, but he’s a man of Earth first and foremost and that’s why he is so passionate about protecting this planet. You’re missing the whole point of him if you don’t address his humanity.
Besides this factor, I found it interesting that Clark’s dad not-so-subtly suggests that if he has to choose between saving lives and keeping the truth about his heritage safe, Mr. Kent would rather Clark stay safe. It’s almost a bold choice for a father figure to take in a movie like this since father figures tend to be the unwavering moral compass for the hero ala Uncle Ben or Mr. Wayne. Outside of that, I have confidence Amy Adams will knock it out of the park as Lois just as long as they’ve given her stuff to work with in the script.