EDITORIAL: The Importance of Man of Steel

On July 14, 2013, the world will bear witness to the Superman-movie reboot, Man of Steel. To many movie goers, this is just another summer blockbuster.  But to many nerds, geeks, and comic book fanboys, this could be the beginning or the end of other DC Comics hero films (Wonder Woman, Flash, etc.) and a potential Justice League movie.  With DC now essentially playing catch-up to Marvel Studios, who have a whole stable of characters with their own movies (and even more on the way), and a highly successful team-up movie (Marvel's The Avengers), DC is trying desperately to get their films into high gear.  While Christopher Nolan's Batman films are very good, you can only do so much with one character without the risk of over exposure (here's looking at you, Wolverine).

A few years ago, DC Comics thought they were going to strike gold with a film that was quite, um, disappointing to say the least.  Green Lantern was Warner Bros' (the owners of DC Comics) first big budget superhero film that wasn't Batman or Superman. While it was ambitious, it did not compute, so to speak. With an antagonist that looked like a yellowish cloud of fecal matter, poor acting on several major parts (*cough* Blake Lively *cough*), and a poor story arc, Green Lantern was a dismal failure.  Even the CG on this big budget movie was just...meh.  The only good parts of the film were Ryan Reynolds (though just barely) and Mark Strong as Sinestro (though he didn't get enough screen time). Some of the CG was subpar and the plot was predictable. They even attempted a Marvel-esque end credit scene were Sinestro puts on a yellow power ring of fear and we see his Lantern uniform change to one similar to the comics. But that was only for fanboy service as we didn't see a natural progression of his character, we barely saw his character, which only furthers the sadness that he was the best part of the movie. 

I honestly would like to see Man of Steel get a sequel before a Justice League movie, or a Batman reboot/sequel, or a potential Wonder Woman film.  Considering these are DC's "Trinity", the three biggest names for the brand, it makes sense to establish them first, kind of like what Marvel did with its big three, Cap, Iron Man, and Thor.  But do it originally. Then, use the JL movie to introduce us to characters like The Flash or Cyborg.  I would like to see a successful Green Lantern movie, but the list of actors that would fit the bill either don't want to, don't have the physique, or have other conflicts. Ryan Reynolds is still having hesitation of reprising the Hal Jordan role. But who says it has to be Hal Jordan? What about John Stewart, or my favorite, Kyle Raynor. 

Looking at the cast of Man of Steel, I am excited by what I see.  I am liking that Warner Bros. is taking some liberties with some characters, e.g. Perry White, the Olsens, etc.  Lawrence Fishburne is a great choice for Perry White.  He has the ferocity and vigor that is a prominant feature of the Daily Planet's editor.  Then there's Jenny Olsen.  That's right, JENNY Olsen.  Warners revealed that Superman's Pal in Man of Steel is none other that Jimmy Olsen's sister.  While I am hesitant of this move, I'm hopeful for a good portrayal.  Michael Shannon as General Zod is menacing and venomous from the clips we've seen.  And Russell Crowe is just a great thespian, and I look forward to his expanded role as Jor-El of Krypton, Supe's daddy.  Then there's Henry Cavill, the star the film. After films like Immortals and such, I believe we may have found our new Superman that can get the bad taste of Brandon Routh out of our mouth...oh hey, that rhymes! And luckily we haven't seen most of the movie in the trailers, as the film is well over two hours long.  We'll know in a little over a week and half whether they saved the best stuff for the film. 

One last bit of importance to this film. This year is  the 75th anniversary of the debut of Superman in Action Comics #1.  DC and Warner Bros. are pulling out all the stops to get Superman as much exposure as possible, with short films being produced, new Superman ongoing comics, and various other projects . The plan is to showcase Superman as the world's first, and best, Superman. I believe that Warner Bros. is tired of being compared to Marvel and Disney as far as hero flicks.  So they're going to really try to be more impressive on that front.  Man of Steel looks intense, and I eagerly wait with cautious optimism.

So with a lot of money, time, and effort on the line, I expect that Warner Bros. and DC Comics were working harder than ever to make this film a masterpiece, the kind of piece that rings iconic like another Clark Kent story, Superman II.  I'm buying my advance ticket this weekend, trying to decide between IMAX 3D and Digital. I have not had good experience with 3D, so I think I'll play it safe and go digital. Man of Steel, here I come!

Until Next Time, Faithful Followers...Peace!