Superman Returns

Saw the new “Superman Returns” film on the weekend. People have been talking about how it rates as a film, especially a superhero film — considering that Bryan Singer stopped working on “X3” to do this film … also considering that they altered the DC mythos and Superman’s powers to fit the film a little better. I liked the film, and I liked what they did with Superman, though I had continual issues with Clark Kent’s eyebrows.
I’m no DC comics purist, or anything, but I do like to see comic book characters stay somewhat within their initial template. You know — Superman works good in sunlight, he’s allergic to kryptonite, he flies, has X-ray vision, heat vision, and otherwise, he’s pretty much impervious to damage. If you explain these powers, or fine tune them, that’s all good. For example, he’s not immediately disabled by kryptonite, but it will kill him. That’s OK. If he recharges his “batteries” in sunlight, that’s also fine. But if you start saying he’s really from Earth, and got bitten by a radioactive spider, it’s not so good. So in that respect, this was still good. Superman pretty much remained in the template we expected.
I used to be a big comic book reader, mostly interested in alternative and small label comics, such as Image, Dark Horse, etc. So I’m more concerned with the way the “TMNT” franchise made the Shredder into an alien in an exoskeleton, or how “The Mask” was dumbed down for children instead of being a darkly humourous (and very bloody) horror film. To me, those were big deviations from the mythology. Making Superman younger or setting it in modern time — there’s nothing wrong with that.
One point of note. It was interesting to see the dilemma that Superman faced after his return to Earth. Imagine meeting up with someone you haven’t seen for five years, and to see that they now have a son — one which looks a lot like you, and which may or may not be your own. How do you even start a conversation with them about it? If life is like the “Superman Returns” film, you don’t. Interesting lesson.

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