Some people may not be aware of this. . . somehow. . . but I have long been a Superman fan. I don’t just mean, hey, I like superheroes, I like Superman. No, I mean, Superman is, without a doubt, the best superhero ever created. I don’t just mean that because he’s the strongest, or the first (some debate could be had here) or just that he is easily the most recognizable world-wide. It’s much deeper than that.
My love of Superman has often found me at odds with many other ‘serious’ nerds. Superman has long fallen out of favor with the geek world. He’s seen as garish, stupid, and a little too boy scout-y to everyone. The comic-con enthusiasts still seem to live in the 90’s with their love of the anti-heroes. Now, I doubt most people really care for The Punisher anymore, but they definitely prefer their heroes more angsty. Spider-man, Batman, Iron Man, and their ilk have captivated the world for so long as these superheroes with a bit more emotion to them. In my mind, they’re just whiny dudes who happened to find themselves with an incredible ability, whether it’s that Peter Parker reacts oddly to being bit by a Spider, Batman just really misses his mommy, or that Iron Man can’t seem to come to terms with the fact that he built machines of death.
People, however, just see Superman as this guy who is all-powerful and has a difficult time showing emotion.
They couldn’t be further from the truth.
Now, I understand, it’s easy to have the true vision of Superman blurred. Movies like the atrocious Superman Returns gloss over anything about the man himself and focus too much on crappy science fiction plot lines to push them through. Superman himself seems to be related to a thrown-out Friends plot line where not only does Joey have to fight Chandler because of his dreams of a real estate empire, but also finds out he got some chick pregnant a few years back. . . but of course is too dumb to actually realize it.
Frank Miller’s interpretation of Superman in The Dark Knight Returns is the one people see. (Don’t get me wrong, that book is brilliant). They see this man who will do anything to follow the rules. Nothing else.
But where Batman and Spiderman have the loss of family members to whine about, Superman has the loss of his entire kind (outside of some of the versions of Supergirl. . . depending on how DC feels at the moment). He is alone in this world. The dorky persona of Clark Kent isn’t his mask (as many believe), that’s who he really is. He’s the outsider, the person who doesn’t know how to interact with any of humanity because he just isn’t one of them. Yet. . . he has great power. And, as all Spiderman fans know, that means great responsibility. But he’s not in it to save his girlfriends (although Lois has traditionally needed a lot of help), he’s not in it for some sort of vengeance against a world who took his parents too early, and he’s definitely not developing weapons to combat the weapons he built before. He’s in it because he has to be, because his adoptive parents taught him how to be a man and care for the world.
Superman is in this constant state of uncertainty. He can’t reveal himself to the woman he loves (although they were married for a while before DC rebooted again). Not only that, he can’t really ever be with her. And she doesn’t even love him, she loves the strong face he hides behind, with a cape (no mask, notice).
Every day he has to get out of bed, knowing he is ultimately alone, and save the world that he can never truly belong in. Sure, he doesn’t have the police constantly knocking down his door as the previously mentioned big three, but he’s no drugged up Captain America. He’s a man who does what needs to be done, even though it could cost him everything.
And you know what? As I was getting ready to write this post, I came across the new trailer for The Man of Steel (new superman movie). And it would appear that someone finally gets the full gravitas of this character, the deep emotion that’s involved in this man who is pulled between two very different worlds. He’s a much deeper character than any of the whiny crap Marvel pulls out (except perhaps The Hulk). He is not from this earth, but he is entirely human. . . except for the whole superhuman thing.
So, it is with great excitement that I place the new trailer on here for all of you naysayers to see. You’ll see a man who is at his lowest have to face his demons. . . all in a couple minute trailer. And hopefully no more of that crappy baby momma crap.
Oh, also. . . in response to the love for Iron Man. . . there was a point in which Superman literally went around and rounded up all the world’s nukes in order to make it a safer place. . . take that Tony.