Superman: Looking Good at 75

April 18th, 2013 marked the 75th birthday of DC Comic’s mightiest hero. Superman, The Man of Steel, The Last Son of Krypton, seems to be only getting better with age. My favorite superhero of all time has really turned around and looks to have a very bright future ahead of him. Starting with DC’s revamped “New 52” series, Superman appears in 3 major comic book titles. The re-launched Action Comics, Superman, and Justice League has breathed new life into the most recognized superhero in the world.

For the longest time, I have listened to critics and haters bark that Superman was too good; he was too powerful for the comic book universe. With an incredible list of powers and God-like feats of strength, it is easy to say that he outgrew the genre. Writers themselves complained at the difficulty of creating a challenging situation or worthy villain that Superman couldn’t easily overcome. My response to all this is EVERYONE HATES THE CHAMPION!

That’s what Superman is; he is the champion of DC Comics and possibly the greatest superhero of all time! He may not have the dark past of Batman or the quick wits of the Flash, but he was the first comic book superhero and set the pace for 75 years. After all these years, after defeating countless villains and even returning from death, what’s next for Superman?

Unless you have been living under a rock or perhaps visiting another planet, you know Man of Steel hits theaters this month and the wait has been unbearable. With an amazing cast, a wide collection of trailers and TV spots, Man of Steel is building up to be the biggest movie of the year. See the trailers here.

Fans of the character, fans of comic books, and fans of action movies are all buzzing about the newest DC remake. After the epic success of Christoper Nolan’s Batman trilogy, Superman was destined for a cutting edge, fast paced, visually stunning movie. With all the hype and excitement, critics and loyal fans are also hesitating as rumors continue to fly around the film. While they may not be true spoilers, I have been reading and hearing plot twists and story changes that will only be confirmed when the movie is on the big screen. If you wish to be completely surprised by the film then by all means stop reading, but if you are as invested as I am let’s have some fun.

Man of Steel will be revamping the entire Superman story, starting with his birth on the planet Krypton. Being born on a distant planet is common knowledge to the people of the world but this is also source of this movie’s biggest rumor and the topic I want to focus on. There is a chance that Krypton survives! That’s right super boys and girls; Kal-el may not be the last son of Krypton.

In the original story line, Jor-el (now played by Russell Crowe) sends his only son away from a dying planet. As the rocket carrying baby Kal-el races farther and farther from its point of origin, the entire world is destroyed in a cataclysmic explosion. Fragments of the destroyed planet eventually land on Earth and form Kryptonite, the green rock that can weaken – and even kill – Superman. Jumping back to Man of Steel knowing the rumor that Krypton lives, what does that mean for Clark Kent’s true identity?

As seen in several clips, General Zod (played by the great Michael Shannon) travels to Earth with an army of Kryptonians to bring Kal-El (played by Henry Cavill) back to his home planet for the good of Krypton. That means there is an army of supermen invading Earth, all possessing the powers the yellow sun of Earth grants to Kryptonians.

HOW DOES SUPERMAN BEAT THAT??

Why wouldn’t more citizens of Krypton travel to our Solar System and become god-like? If this rumor is true, it could spawn a whole series of events that could change the story of DC’s champion superhero. It also spawns the debate: is General Zod truly evil or is he just a man pushed to the limit for the greater good of his people? Is it possible that viewers will sympathize with or even route for one of the great villains of the DC Universe?

Talking it over with friends at my local comic book shop, two ideas came up that could be the logical answer to how Superman will defeat General Zod and his loyal followers. The first idea is that since Kal-El has been on Earth for so long, he has absorbed years and years of empowering Yellow Sunlight. This could give him a powerful edge against overwhelming numbers and possibly tip the scales in his favor.

The other thought discussed is connected to another rumored plot point that all citizens of Krypton are born into distinct social classes. New borns are bred to become either scientists or soldiers, but Kal-El is naturally born outside that system. Defying the social standard, Jor-El must protect his only son by sending him away. General Zod’s response is to find the missing child and return him to Krypton no matter the cost. Being outside the norm, this could mean that Kal-El possesses the overall benefits from both social castes. The enlightened intellect of a scientist with the physical power of a soldier could make him the most powerful Kryptonian.

The movie is only a few days away and I honestly can’t wait much longer. I do believe it will be the film of the year and the catalyst for DC’s explosion of films. There is already talk that if this movie is successful, a Justice League movie will follow closely. No matter if the rumors are true, if the story line has been changed, Superman definitely needs a homerun in theaters and I have faith Man of Steel will deliver what so many fans have dreamed about.

What’s your take?

This post was written by Dan, who is part athlete, part new media specialist, all super geek.  Dan is a video editor/producer, has created his own video blog, and is currently trying his hand at writing a fantasy novel.   Avid video and table top gamer, collector of comics and die hard Star Wars Fan, Dan fills his days with dragons, superheroes and space marines. While new to writing blogs, Dan plans to let his incredible imagination run wild in hopes of sparking great discussions across the Internet. Follow him on Twitter.

Images via HenryCavillandtheCavillry, Gunna

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