Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Superman and General Zod

It was announced over the weekend that the new Superman movie, Superman: Man of Steel, will have General Zod as the villain. I'm not sure what to make of this.

The biggest flaw of Superman Returns was the lack of originality. The plot and many of the scenes were remakes of the original Superman movie. The new movie is supposed to be a reboot. The fact that they are recycling villains from Superman II is a bad sign.

On the other hand, Superman II was the best of the Chris Reeve movies. It pushed the envelope beyond anything in the comic books (at the time) with Superman giving up his powers in order to sleep with Lois only to find out that he had to sacrifice his personal happiness for the greater good. It also had the first real fight between super-powered characters.

But, Zod was never a great villain and his presence in the movie was more plot point than anything. He could have easily been replaced with any powerful character. His second-in-command, Ursa, was actually more menacing (and a lot sexier).

The biggest problem with Zod as a character is that he is also from Krypton. While this puts him on an equal footing with Superman, it also dilutes Superman's status. For decades, Superman was at the top of the food chain and the only way that a villain could match him was to come from Krypton or another red sun world. Since then DC has introduced villains such as Darkseid and Mongul who are more powerful than Superman without being from Krypton.

Zod has never been a first-tier villain. I'm sure that the only reason he was included is because he was in Superman II. That is a strike against the new movie since most superhero movies try to use the strongest villains possible.

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