Why ‘Man of Steel’ is Important to Me

Why ‘Man of Steel’ is Important to Me

Hi crew! 👋🏻 Tomorrow (the 19th of November) is International Men’s Day and last year I marked the occasion by listing five reasons why Superman is my favourite superhero. This year, I want to continue on with that and tell you all why Man of Steel is one of my favourite movies ever.

I am aware that this movie is divisive and has drawn the ire of many a gatekeeper, but other people’s opinions on the things that I love have never stopped me from enjoying them. I’m perfectly fine with people explaining to me why they don’t like my favourite things, but I do not have the time for people who think that I shouldn’t like something that they dislike.

🚀 5 Reasons Why I Love Superman

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CLARK IS AT HIS MOST HUMAN.

It may seem absurd to say that an alien is at his most human, and I know that there are people online who completely disagree with me, but this movie version of Clark is the one who feels the most like an actual person, rather than a one-dimensional character. The most common criticisms I see towards this version of the character call him “mopey” or “emo” and cite that as to why this Clark isn’t “the real Superman”, but I find that to be silly because being introspective and quiet is not the same as being miserable or mopey. And besides, those are regular human emotions. Even Superman gets sad sometimes because if you did everything with a smile (including killing the last other member of your kind to stop them from terraforming the Earth), you wouldn’t be a very healthy person in the head.

Seeing Clark acting like a regular person and not a parody of what an alien thinks a regular person has just endeared him to me more. Clark has always been a gentle soul, even when he’s learning how to be a hero as he goes along, and how he interacts with other people in this movie shows that.

IT’S ABOUT FINDING OUT WHO YOU ARE AND MAKING YOUR PLACE IN THE WORLD.

A fact of life is that none of us has it entirely figured out once we turn eighteen or finish school. I’m 26 and I only just got my first job and I’m still having to tell myself that it is not too late to start to find yourself. There are people in this world who don’t truly figure out who they are or what they want to do with their lives until they’re way past their supposed “expiration date.” Caitlyn Jenner was 65 when she came out, Alan Rickman was 42 when he got his big break, and Clark Kent is 33 years old when the bulk of Man of Steel‘s story takes place.

Watching Clark travel the world while trying to learn who he is and where he came from will always be inspiring to me. You can’t always get every single answer from your parents at home; you have to get out there and do the soul searching for yourself.

CLARK DISCOVERING HIS POWERS AS A CHILD HAS ECHOES OF AUTISM TO IT.

If you didn’t already know (or didn’t read the sidebar), I am Autistic and was diagnosed at 21 after years and years of begging for an assessment. It wasn’t years later until I saw the parallels between young Clark trying to control his powers and me being overwhelmed by life and then getting treated as an outsider. I’m not alone in feeling this way because so many other Autistic fans of this movie have also pointed out that Clark being overwhelmed by his heightened senses to the point that he runs out of class and hides in a cupboard is similar to what a lot of Autistic children and adults go through. Obviously, we can’t hear people’s heartbeats or see through their skin, but so many of us are affected by our senses.

I still use Martha Kent’s advice of “make it [the world] small” whenever I feel overwhelmed by the outside world. Just watch the scene for yourself and you’ll see what I mean:

FAMILY IS A STRONG AND IMPORTANT ELEMENT.

Family isn’t just a recurring theme in Man of Steel but in all three of Zack Snyder’s DC movies (and yes, I said three. that monstrosity from 2017 is not a Snyder movie). Superman is a character who has two sets of parents, and curiously he feels connected to both his birth parents and his adoptive parents. Finding out that he’s not human doesn’t stop Clark from being his adoptive parents’ son and going off to the Arctic to find the Kryptonian ship doesn’t make him any less of a Kent.

Something that warms my heart is just how much of a mama’s boy Clark is. Jumping ahead to the hotly debated cult classic Batman v Superman (i will fight you about this), the first person Clark calls when he’s facing a crisis of confidence after being treated how real-life immigrants are is his mother. And if you’ll allow me (although you have no choice), I need to address the infamous Martha scene.

Batman and Superman having mothers with the same first name was a pure coincidence and was used to show how badly Batman had lost his way.  When you watch the movie, notice how Bruce Wayne almost never talks about his own mother but always makes references to his father. This is something that’s present in all sorts of Batman media, not just this movie. Martha Wayne gets shoved to the sidelines so many times in favour of her husband who is sometimes treated like their son’s idol. In the movie, her name is Thomas Wayne’s last word and it serves as a trigger word for Bruce, and when hearing Lois tell him that it’s also Clark’s mother’s name, he has an important epiphany that Clark is a person just like him. He’s a person with a mother and by killing Clark, he’d be robbing a mother of her son, and by stalling until Luthor kills Martha Kent himself, he would be robbing Clark of his mother.

Do we get it now? Good.

WE FINALLY GET TO SEE LOIS LANE DO HER JOB IN A MAJOR MOVIE.

I know what you’re thinking: “Lois Lane always does her job in every movie she’s been in!” Does she? It has been a while since I saw the Christopher Reeve movies but I don’t remember Lois doing any investigative journalism in those movies outside of when she interviewed Superman and he told her what colour her underwear was. Gross.

Lois Lane is one of my favourite characters ever and I will defend her to the death because I genuinely believe that pop culture osmosis has done her dirty. When she was first introduced in 1938, Lois was a tough as nails reporter who proved that she was just as good at her job as the men she worked with, if not better. It wasn’t until the 1950s that she became the damsel-in-distress character that people know her as, thanks to changing perceptions towards women in society. Sure, she still had her job and worked with Clark, but now she was a complete nuisance who purposely put herself in harm’s way just so Superman would come and save her and she could attempt to trap him in a weird marriage. Once the 1970s rolled around, she was back to her original characterisation, but the damag.e was done. Margot Kidder’s Lois is a combination of the two because while she is an independent woman, her brain goes straight to between her legs once Superman appears and it’s a little disappointing to see compared to Amy Adams’ Lois.

In Man of Steel, we are first introduced to Lois in the Arctic where she is on assignment to investigate the strange thing that has been found there. She shows the military posted there that she is not a soft little girl to be messed with and defies their instructions to stay in her tent and not go off on her own. Lois is someone who can’t be told what to do and every action she makes is all to uncover the truth to the public. I mean, she even barges into the men’s bathroom to confront General Swanwick but my mind is likely conflating it with another movie in the series.

I will say though, it’s not fair to say that Snyder “made Lois competent” with this movie because she was already competent, to begin with. Remember, she’s not a lady, she’s a journalist.

CLARK IS JUST REALLY HOT.

That’s it, that’s my final point. If you think that Henry Cavill is only attractive in The Witcher, I apologise for your terrible taste. The amount of gratuitous body shots in all three movies just proves my point.

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talk to me! 

What’s a movie that’s near and dear to your heart?

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