And that idea really gets shown up by the comics becoming more realistic. Maybe it highlights just how wrongheaded it is to have realism as your goal?
That was one of the things driving Sentry crazy in Jenkins’ run on the Marvel character. Something was always happening somewhere and he couldn’t save everyone.
(… i missed you … )
From the trailer it looks like “Superman can’t save everyone, how does he choose who to save?” is going to be a big theme of the Batman v Superman extended edition and, just going out on a limb but bear with me…I think most people are not going to like it.
Yeah, there was that scene Snyder talked about, which he deleted that I wonder if it will get put back in that really speaks to that.
Oh, it’s in.
I was talking about this one (which I can’t really spot in that trailer) :
When IGN sat down for a chat with the BvS director, we asked why Superman can’t hear his mother’s screams and cries for help when she’s kidnapped by Lex Luthor late on.
“I think all the way – to me, from Metropolis to Smallville is probably just on the edge of his range of hearing” he explained. “Also the clutter of the city makes it difficult as well."
It sounds like an excised sequence might help explain the issue as well.
“We had a scene that we cut from the movie where he tries to look for her when he finds out that Lex has got her,” Snyder continued. "It was a slightly dark scene that we cut out because it sort of represented this dark side. Because when he was looking for his mom he heard all the cries of all the potential crimes going on in the city, you know when you look.
“I kind of like the idea that he’s taught himself not to look because if he looks it’s just neverending, right? You have to know when, as Superman, when to intervene and when not to. Or not when not to, you can’t be everywhere at once, literally you can’t be everywhere at once, so he has to be really selective in a weird way about where he chooses to interfere.”
No word on whether that deleted scene will appear on the forthcoming Blu-ray extended cut, but we’ll let you know as and when we have more news on that release.
All of Snyder’s points there are perfectly sound—intelligent and thought-provoking even—but he fairly clearly hasn’t realized that this is not what people want from a Superman flick.
That said, I do perversely admire the fact that someone gave him $400 million or thereabouts to explore these ideas.
I agree. It’s like an elseworld got filmed and put on the screen.
I’m guessing that the scene that you were referring to was Jimmy Olsen’s introduction and proper set-up for his death?
Not only that, but for every good deed the Sentry did, the Void did something bad to balance it out.
There were some good ideas in those early Sentry comics by Jenkins.
Yep, if you accept that Clark is an integral, legitimate part of Superman then it’s fine.
But if we say Clark is just a pleasant fiction, a construct for Superman’s own enjoyment, then I think it risks making the time he spends as Clark seem like an indulgence rather than a necessity.
Unless, as Jim says, we assume that the rules of the DCU say that he’d change back into Superman if he was really needed.
Well, it might be admirable if it was intentional, if they were trying to go against the grain and risk failure for a solid reason.
Rather than, as I believe, because they just didn’t know that a lot of people wouldn’t like it.
I don’t disagree. However, with an in depth discussion like this you have to be careful about creating a fence where on one side you claim suspension of disbelief and on the other is free game. My feeling is these things are never really overtly discussed and only informs the story.
I think as adults we all have limitations. There are things (even smaller somewhat insignificant ones) that we would all like to get to but don’t have time. As children, we think it’s our lack of power, size and agency that keeps us from doing these things. As we get older, we realize that we have to prioritize what’s important. I think Superman/Clark would have to come to this realization as well.
He cannot save everyone and that might not be a good thing either. It would create an undo dependence on him and prove Lex Luthor right. I think he should serve the role of shepherd bring out the best in humanity not always being it himself.
I remember this being dealt with in quite an interesting way in the first arc of Morrison’s JLA with the White Martians. They showed the extent to which the world could be changed if super humans intervened more to ‘help’ humanity, but there was a strong implication that that level of intervention would do as much harm as good.
(That story copped out a little bit on really answering the question by revealing the White Martians as bad guys, but it was an interesting question nonetheless.)
On the other hand though, I see the sense in not letting it be a question that’s asked too loudly, or it can call into question a lot of other superhero stories that try to balance powerful and super-intelligent beings with a ‘world outside your window’ setting. (Like why the Marvel Universe isn’t an utterly transformed place in terms of science and medicine, given the genius of people like Reed Richards.)
I did like that in JLA/Avengers, the Justice League were pretty appalled by the Marvel Universe and how awful it was. I think Superman actually criticised them for doing too little.
I totally agree. I think it has to be something that informs the stories not is overtly addressed. As adults, we make choices like this every day. We prioritize our time and finances to the ends that most matter. If you think of Superman as the ultimate adult, then this has to kind of follow suit that he would have to prioritize every resource especially time.
In the faith that I grew up in, there was a concept called “sacrificial giving” where you would give up something you wanted or needed to further a better cause. Do you choose to help a homeless person eat or do you buy your kids shoes? Those are a bit extreme but just illustrate the point. I think Superman does this with everything. Choosing to give to something inevitably means its not going somewhere else.
Yes, Tom Mankiewicz tried to warn Reeve about this very thing when plotting Superman 4. Once you pop that genie out the bottle he doesn’t go back in. Superman hears what’s convenient to hear. Otherwise, you break it. Yes, it’s interesting, but in reality all future stories would essentially be crime-free world because Superman has super-speed and hearing that lets him hear someone eat crisps on the moon. You just don’t go there or you break it.
Likewise, Batman would just get shot when he;s knocked out one time. They wouldn’t put him in chains or a deathtrap. They’d kill him, but that’s obviously the end like taking Superman to his logical conclusion.
Or send a Superman robot.
He does still have those, doesn’t he?
Superman robots are a cheat.
Though I did like how they were used in the Earth-23 Superman stories.
And in All-Star Superman.
Maybe only Grant Morrison should be able to write about Superman robots.