Superman believes he can fly.
Once upon a time there was a superhero named, of course, Superman. He came from an alien planet and was really, really strong. So he got to run around and save people in a very square-jawed, all-American way, without the big-city angst of Batman or adolescent worries of Spider-man. Many, many comic books, graphic novels, TV shows (live-action and animated) later, Zack Snyder got involved, and so we got Man of Steel.
Man of Steel opens everywhere Friday. My full review is at Film Journal International; here’s part of it:
Under normal circumstances, hearing the great Michael Shannon growl “Release the world engine!” while wearing an H.R. Giger-styled bodysuit would be a sign of much enjoyable high camp to come. But sadly, like most of the DC Comics films, Man of Steel takes itself too seriously to have any of that kind of fun. Director Zack Snyder is too busy blowing up buildings (those skyscrapers’ glass windows sure do shatter real nice) and jacking up the body count to pay attention to such matters; he has a new franchise to establish…
At least Amy Adams makes for a good Lois Lane.
You can watch the trailer here:
As one of the longest-surviving comics publishers in the business, DC Comics did so (like everyone else who made it) through a combination of quick turnaround, constant reinvention, and relentlessly squeezing every last penny out of their comics. In one of their less-inspired moves, in the 1950s, DC created a spinoff to their tentpole property Superman that came with the highly prosaic title Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen.
So far, so bad. However, in one of those granular moments of surreality that comes when publishers chase every cultural trend and damn the logic, that series produced one bona fide classic. We give you: 1969′s fabulous freakout Hippie Olsen’s Hate-In!
Firstly, there’s the issue that Jimmy Olsen looks here more like a bearded dandy from the Edwardian era than hippie (details). Then there’s Jimmy’s tendency throughout the entire series to want to kill Superman. Blog into Mystery notes:
…You don’t have to be Freud or Jung or whoever to see that he has some issues with the most important people in his life. He has no problem with dreaming about punching them, tripping them, or KILLING THEM, without a whole lot — let’s be honest – of provocation for any of those deeds.
This strikes me as a problem.
It seems that Superman has always had this problem. Unlike some superheros—Batman, Spider-man—whose enemies have wanted to do away with them for interfering with their dastardly plans, Superman’s very existence appears to be the driving force behind the hatred, from friend and foe. The very indestructibility that makes him so powerful a force for good and (unfortunately) so uninteresting as a character also engender some very mixed feelings in the all-too-weak people (villains and not) who surround him.
Must make for a lonely life.