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Regarding the new Man of Steel trailer

April 18, 2013

All right,  I realize I don’t come here to update things as much as I’d like.  Life has a funny way of getting involved in these things.  Working on it…  In any event, here goes:

I recently watched the newest trailer for Man of Steel and while I’m feeling at least a little better about the direction of the film afterward than I was in listening to the rumor mill recently, I can’t help but come away from it with more questions that just, well, bug me.

Oh, you can find said trailer here if you’d like: http://io9.com/at-last-a-man-of-steel-trailer-that-showcases-hot-craz-474038106

Anyway, essentially the entire world knows some form of the Superman origin story by now.  It’s been retold and tweaked over the decades in comics, film, live action tv, and cartoons, but the basics generally stay the same.  Really smart alien guy finds out his world is dying, shoots his son into interstellar space so he isn’t blown up with everyone else, space orphan crashes in Kansas, is adopted by salt-of-the-earth farmers and ‘raised right’, develops superpowers, begins saving world.

As far as that all goes, it looks like we’re getting more of the same with the latest ‘gritty’ reboot (you know it’s gritty because everything is underexposed by a half stop, is desaturated, and none of the male leads have found much use for a razor).  There is some dialog in there though which raised more than a few questions for me.

It is pretty clear that Jor-El knows exactly what’s going to happen to his son’s physiology when he gets his ass off-planet.  You get a little of this from the Donner films, but it’s in a somewhat less obvious manner.  Holo-Brando tells Kal that he’s special and different but I can’t recall him specifically mentioning godlike power.

Think about this for just a second, will you?  It is clear from this trailer that Krypton is a highly technologically advanced place that has developed a space program.  Even if Jor-El has one of the only long distance reliable interstellar craft, if he also knows that Kryptonian physiology goes all ‘I-am-a-Golden-God’ when sufficiently distanced from their home world/star then that strongly implies that at some point somebody got off-planet far enough to discover this, and returned to talk about it.

So we have a world of people here who know that 1) It is possible to reach the outer limits of their star system using current technology, and 2) When they do so they become nigh-immortal super-beings.

I don’t care how good your secret councils are at keeping secrets, this is the kind of shit that gets around.  People would know about it, there’s just no way around it.  At least in rumor somebody would know, and some private businessman or government entity would build a ship to test it out, because why wouldn’t you?  What part of ‘nigh-immortal super-being’ is not worth investigating?

So, my real question is why was anyone still on Krypton at all when it finally died?  If you knew you’d gain the power and ability to do nearly anything (you know, until the next reboot/retcon) by simply moving away from home, with essentially zero drawback for doing so, who in their right mind would stay home all their life?  Krypton should be a ghost town long before it is destroyed.  The former residents would have either found a new, uninhabited homeworld (or just taken one that belonged to some other species, because who could stop them?) where they could all fly around being ‘super’ together, or just dispersed to the far corners of the universe doing whatever the hell they pleased.

The only way a Kryptonian apocalypse scenario works is if they don’t know they have innate superpowers, if they die in ignorance.  And if Jor-El was, for some reason, the only one who did know, AND knew the world was dying, AND didn’t mention the whole superpowers angle to the world at large, then it means Clark Kent’s birth father was a genocidal megalomaniac.

There, I said it.

Some other little things I’m left wondering from this trailer:

1) If Jor-El knows about the whole leave Krypton, become a god thing, and he does, why would he ever want criminals, like Zod (particularly Zod, who clearly harbors a grudge against his family for reasons that may or may not wind up being similar to those presented in the comics) exiled off-world?  I’d be trying to have them buried in a ‘Chronicles of Riddic’ style oubliette facility as close to the core of Krypton as possible.

2) Curious choice to go against the crystal palace aesthetic established by most previous iterations of Kryptonian architecture and design in favor of what looks like leftover props from the set of ‘Prometheus’.

3) I still think Amy Adams would have made a far better Lana Lang then Lois Lane.  You will never convince me otherwise.

4) Is the ship hovering over (and destroying large swaths of) what I can only assume to be Metropolis being run by Zod, or is this a Brainiac ship?  If it’s the latter, I’m very interested to see where this is all going, if it’s the former then it just seems like a lazy rip off of Nero’s ship/methods from the first Trek reboot.

5) How does Clark shave?  Does Gillette make a kryptonite Mach-3? Heat vision maybe?  But how hot does that need to be?  You see him walking through what looks like an oil rig fire without singing a hair…  And if his heat vision can burn off his hair, wouldn’t that imply it (or anything capable of matching or exceeding its heat) could also rather seriously damage the rest of him as well?

Yes, I’m over-thinking things, I know.  But there you have it.

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