‘Man Of Steel': Shocking Ending Angers Comic Fans — Spoilers

Sat, June 15, 2013 10:35am EDT by 98 Comments
Man Of Steel Ending
Courtesy of Warner Bros.

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Dean

Posted at 1:46 AM on June 17, 2013  

I’m a huge fan of Superman and comics, and I had no problem with him killing Zod. If you actually read Superman comics, there are a few (most of which are standalone/ elseworlds) where Superman does indeed kill. I thought it was an amazing moment in the film. He chose to save that innocent family, symbolizing his allegiance to Earth not Krypton. It also tore him apart that he was forced to take a life. This puts him ahead of Batman and I think Batman fans are squirming a bit. Batman doesn’t kill his enemies and they go on to kill thousands of innocent people. Superman manned up and killed Zod knowing if he didn’t innocent people would be killed.

Think about it:
Batman won’t kill Joker = Joker goes on to kill 1000s of innocent people.
Superman kills Zod = saves 1000s if not millions of innocent people.

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Ben

Posted at 11:04 PM on June 16, 2013  

Superman could have covered Zod’s eyes and then poked them out. If he can break Zod’s neck i’m sure he could blind the guy.. Turn his head maybe … He didn’t have to kill him.. There were other alternatives.. They reinvented Superman by selling his morals and ethics off. Great movie! I still liked it.. But I’m not a comic geek. lol

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Jay

Posted at 10:24 PM on June 16, 2013  

Greatest Superman Movie Yet!!!! By killing Zod, Superman begged him to stop before he killed those humans that he swore to protect. So he had no choice but to kill him as you can tell after he did it, he yelled with anger and pain that he had to do it. I can’t wait for the sequel.

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John

Posted at 2:40 PM on June 16, 2013  

The fact is that superman does kill, as a last resort, but nevertheless he does. He killed doomsday and Zod and even lex in various comics/movies/shows/etc. I think what made it so jarring was that it seemed so sudden and raw. In the comics and even tv shows he would agonize over such decisions for pages or episodes and we would get the whole inner dialogue. In the movie that wasn’t the case and unlike other art forms there is something different about seeing superman stand quite literally larger than life and kill someone regardless of who it is. What’s more it probe oh made it seem even worse after Zod’s speech about being bred for a specific purpose; in previous incarnations, especially the reeve movies he was more faceless and one-dimensional.

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alex

Posted at 12:49 PM on June 16, 2013  

I was as shocked as everyone. But I think it was brilliant. It shows his Humanity having to make that difficult choice,I think that will define this Superman, sure the took a life something we aren’t use to seen in Supes but it made him human, we all make mistakes that we have to live with for the rest of our lives. This was on of the greatest fist I’ve seen

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Nj

Posted at 12:25 PM on June 16, 2013  

I thought the end was more about symbolism than anything else. Yes he murdered zod but the whole movie was about him choosing between his kryptonian heritage and his human heritage. He chose the human side. Hence the extreme anguish he felt when he did it. He had just killed the last part of him that was kryptonian. I liked the movie and am I big superman fan.

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Damn!

Posted at 1:46 PM on June 16, 2013  

Would it be considered murder though? I’d think it would’ve been seen as self defense.
Haven’t seen it yet, will be going on Tuesday.
I think I will enjoy it.

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AKG

Posted at 10:53 PM on June 15, 2013  

minus a couple good action sequences..they attempted to change the story was a flop.. I have come to realize we will never have the Superman movie us fans deserve.. and the things that they changed about it really disgust me.. like Clark allowing Jonathan Kent to die in a tornado.. I mean come on now that’s so off base its not funny… simply put the people involved with creating obviously we’re not fans… it is not hard to tell based on what I seen in the movie..

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daofgeek

Posted at 1:24 AM on June 17, 2013  

I’m not sure we saw the same movie then. This was PRECISELY the Superman movie I’ve been waiting for. Aside from a few weak plot points of mundane stuff, the heart and soul of this movie captured the essence of Superman while, at the same time, elevating it in a way that was not only fresh and new, but also a fitting homage to the various iterations of Supes over the years.

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DrToroh

Posted at 9:56 PM on June 15, 2013  

i think you should have done some research before you wrote that superman not killing anyone is his “M.O.” fact of the matter is superman in history has killed and it leaves him destroyed inside( thus him breaking down into tears)
fun fact* superman actually killed three kryptonians in the series but thanks to identity crisis it was reset. in current timeline superman has killed doomsday *death of superman*. i didn’t think much about this article till you said it destroys the sanctity of superman, it gives deeper depth into superman greatest characteristic… his desire to be like every other human on earth and not a kryptonian.

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Flipstar

Posted at 7:15 PM on June 15, 2013  

Superman is a character of power but his true essence is emotional. He has to stay the right path do that the people he protects font see him as a threat. That being said something had to happen for his never killing some takes full effect. This action had to happen because it is an action that will affect him going further to firm up the true essence of superman. It will haunt him forever changing him.

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Paul

Posted at 6:52 PM on June 15, 2013  

As it has already been pointed out, this is a silly argument as Zod and crew were left to rot at the bottom of Sup’s fortress in Sup II. Dumping victims in the bottom of a pit in your castle is about as medieval as it gets.

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Brandon

Posted at 5:51 PM on June 15, 2013  

By the way, who didn’t get chills at the very last scene in the film, where Jonathan and Martha were watching a young Clark running and playing with the family dog while wearing a red towel clothespinned to his back, and he put his fists on his waist in the iconic Superman pose?

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cincy85

Posted at 4:57 PM on June 15, 2013  

He killed zod from superman 2. He threw human zod into an abyss in the North Pole. At least here it was zod or the family superman had to make a decision. People need to realize this isn’t Christopher reeves superman this is a new orgin. Any real fan knows superman has killed before only to swear to never do it again afterwords. im a lifelong fan of superman and this movie is amazing and I can’t wait to see a sequel,

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chai

Posted at 6:27 AM on June 16, 2013  

hear! hear! people making such arguments should know Superman’s origins underwent a lot of rebooting

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Chris

Posted at 4:52 PM on June 15, 2013  

Superman also killed Zod in the comics with kryptonite. He killed the villain in the end of Alan Moore’s “What ever happened to the Man of Tomorrow?” Who are these “real’ fans this article claims had a sour taste in their mouths?

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mcgreggers

Posted at 3:47 PM on June 15, 2013  

This is a BS argument. Zod was also killed at the end of Donner’s Superman 2. I feel it was MUCH more justified in MOS than in that picture. People need to chill out.

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Walt

Posted at 11:59 PM on June 16, 2013  

Actually, as originally intended, they never died in Superman 2. There is a deleted scene showing Zod, Ursa, and Non being arrested by the arctic police after the confrontation. This was left out of the Theatrical version directed by Richard Lester (who took over shooting Superman 2 after Richard Donner was fired), but has since been included in the recent “Richard Donner Cut” of Superman 2. So even then, the filmmakers were well aware of this principal.

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abe

Posted at 1:22 PM on June 15, 2013  

so it’s pretty easy: DON’T BECOME A FAN, folks!!

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dan steel

Posted at 12:50 PM on June 15, 2013  

god you call yourself fans all your winging crap, lets travel back to when superman 2 came out, at the end of the movie superman takes the power of zod and his lieutenants, he crushes zods hand picks him up and throws him where he then falls to his death, now it may have not been as dark as choking zod and killing him, but none the less it was still murder, now if you want to get all technical man of steel zod is super powered superman kills him, in superman 2 zod has no power so in fact you may call him human at the time and superman kills him, and no one had a problem with that, so before you tear down a movie that pretty much every fan has asked for,maybe you should accept that zach snyder has tried something new, and has given us just another version of superman, as comicbook fans know there are many dimensions and mutiverses of superman where he is good, bad, he dies, he is old, he gets cancer from too much sun radiation, superman is great because of the story tellers snyder is just another one that has had the guts to take the challenge of the one hero that has many sides and tried to give us something new, be thankful.

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Grifter

Posted at 1:13 PM on June 15, 2013  

That’s true. However that wasn’t the decision of the original director (Richard Donner). He wanted to stay true to the character until he was moved away from the project by the studio. You can google this. Also, there was backlash over this even then yet you’re speaking like you know that the people complaining about Man of Steel didn’t complain or still do about Superman 2. One thing about Superman 2 is that no one gets to see if they actually die. They might live or not. There’s no clear answer. There’s a difference between that and neck-snap’o’death.
As with any story, some like the story, some don’t. Fans asked for this you say? Then certainly they can also give their opinions, good or bad about it, especially if they asked for it. If this isn’t what they asked for, then their disgust at the ending surely is understandable, correct? Also it’s not Snyder’s story, it’s Goyer’s.

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DrToroh

Posted at 9:58 PM on June 15, 2013  

thank you very much… i thought i was the only one

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sdsddsd

Posted at 12:42 PM on June 15, 2013  

GREAT MOVIE!!!!! LOVE IT!!

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dave p

Posted at 12:00 PM on June 15, 2013  

Superman should not have killed Zod. If you are a comic book fan you know that superman never kills….in fact in one story line Wonder Woman kills Maxwell Lord and this single act which seemed to make sense destroyed the justice league because superman and batman disapproved of murdering someone.

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Chris

Posted at 12:04 PM on June 15, 2013  

Superman killed Zod in the Donner version. Crushed his hand, threw him down a pit. Let him fall to his death. Let Ursa and Non fall to their deaths. Just because you didn’t see the bloody impact on screen doesn’t mean that wasn’t the result.

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Matt Robert McKenzie

Posted at 12:35 PM on June 15, 2013  

that tends to be forgiven because in 2 cuts that came shortly thereafter, it is shown they get sent back to the Phantom Zone. Hence why people tend to not point out “he killed Zod” when 2 out of 3 cuts, he didn’t. Unlike the Donner versions though, this ain’t getting a re-write. Pretty cut and dry.

 
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Grifter

Posted at 1:17 PM on June 15, 2013  

Donner had no power in that decision, he was moved away from the movie. He wanted to let them live and back in “jail” to stay true to the Superman character. Yet despite that, we don’t know if that was the result was it? Could they have survived? Could Superman just have simply ended up going down there (however deep it was) and imprision them somewhere? It was left to the audience to decide what might have happened, not shown vividly what did happen like in Man of Steel. And really, the people that are complaining about Man of Steel are likely to have also complained about Superman 2.

 
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Faos

Posted at 1:51 PM on June 15, 2013  

I understand the shock comic book fans are receiving from this particular event during the movie. Thus, I remind you of something: Zod made it clear that he was going to push Kal into an inevitable situation, kill, be killed, or watch everyone you love die. Zod lost all of his hopes for Krypton to live on; he is distraught with sorrow and anger (amazing writing for a villain in this movie, i cared for Zod’s cause and will at certain moments). Kal was forced to do kill him, no matter how much he begged Zod to stop. Now, this is no justification for comic book fans and Kal’s personality original mythology, I know that. However, ask yourselves how many characters that refuse to kill their opponents have indirectly killed them by letting controllable (for and by them) external circumstances be the hatchet that delivers the final blow, without getting their hands “dirty”. I believe the writing in this movie made a lot of us realize how painful it was for Kal to be something that he wasn’t: a killer. At the moment, no choice. His cry, at the end of the battle, made you understand how harsh it was for Kal to do what he did. On the other hand, Zod, at some level, knew there would be no fate for him left than to accept his defeat, no matter if he lived to kill every single human being out of spite, or if he was to be put out of his misery by Kal-el. This movie proposes a situation that a character like Batman or Superman might face at some point in their strife; where the villain forces you to kill him/her or be forced to witness the horror’s of utter loss and suffering.

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daofgeek

Posted at 1:27 AM on June 17, 2013  

Faos, this is probably the best summation of that final scene I’ve read. You’ve captured everything I thought about while watching. To add, they filmmakers brilliantly mirrored something else; Clark watching his father die as he watched on, knowing he could have saved Jonathan but trusting his father and not doing it just then. That look on his face was a painful parallel to the one he had as he watched his father killed.

 
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Damn!

Posted at 3:08 PM on June 15, 2013  

Wouldn’t it had been considered self defense if wonder woman killed the guy?
The guy was trying to kill her right?

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t

Posted at 11:45 AM on June 15, 2013  

the writers have an agenda..they are pro socialist and pro government taking over everything therefore they are going to hate this movie because it goes against the lefts socialist and anti religous views…true comic book fans love this movie…i should know my husband is one,my brother in law is one and my nephew is one..they loved the movie….

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Grifter

Posted at 12:37 PM on June 15, 2013  

Someone forgot to take their pills for the day…

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Jenn

Posted at 10:52 PM on June 18, 2013  

BS I am a huge Comic Book fan been one for many decades, and I just plain hated the movie.. Badly written, weak story line, destruction of the Kent family SL, Jonathan killed by a twister while Clark did nothing? Clark was a non entity, so badly done, what a huge let down! Waste of time and money…I am way more pissed at how bad the movie was then having SM kill Zod!

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Damn!

Posted at 11:43 AM on June 15, 2013  

He needs to start killing, because they keep coming back if he doesn’t take them totally out.
Haven’t seen it yet but I’m looking forward to it.

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Matt Robert McKenzie

Posted at 12:29 PM on June 15, 2013  

this why Superman is better than you, because he knows he doesn’t have the authority to kill anyone, and with all his power, will not go to that place you would. Good day.

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Damn!

Posted at 3:14 PM on June 15, 2013  

You do know he is a fictional character right? So no he’s not better then me , because he doesn’t exist!
@Matt Robert McKenzie, you need to start living in the real world.

 
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Brandon

Posted at 11:41 AM on June 15, 2013  

Sometimes I have to wonder what these writers or critics are talking about, or what movie they were even watching. Perhaps they were so busy attempting to critique the film that they missed key parts. If you had just watched the movie without worrying about what was wrong with it, you may have been able to follow along a little better and understand it. I feel that a lot of time, they are the ones that don’t understand the character in a film. The producers, writer, and director have stressed in several interviews that one way they were going to make Superman more relatable to the audience, is render him with choices. We all have to make choices in life, and in this film, even Superman had to make several choices. When he had Zod in the chokehold, he was pleading with him to stop what he was doing. When it was demonstrable that Zod wasn’t going to stop and had every intention of killing innocent people, Superman saw killing Zod as his only “choice”. If these people saw the movie, didn’t they see Superman scream out in agony after he killed Zod, for having done so? Lois had to comfort him. Clearly, this was not something that Superman wanted to do, but at that given moment when he had to act quick or else innocent lives would be killed, he saw this as being the only choice.

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Leon

Posted at 11:41 AM on June 15, 2013  

It made sense. Superman never killing was just silly. Lex Luthor, captured by Superman, trial, goes in prison, escapes, murders countless people, rinse and repeat. In the real world, this would never happen. Obama would call in Seal Team 6 to exterminate.

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Matt Robert McKenzie

Posted at 12:38 PM on June 15, 2013  

Yeah? Well Obama has the AUTHORITY to send Navy Seals out, aka his pack of trained murderers, to do it. Superman, for all his power, doesn’t. And he knows it, and knows that regardless of what they have done, it is immoral for him to stoop to their level to see that justice is served, because then he would be NO BETTER THAN THE VILLAINS HE IS FIGHTING. When Spider-Man and Batman in THEIR films will pick Option 3 and are STILL considered relatable, aka. Stop the villain AND save the people without resorting to murder, you can kindly sit down and come back when you know what it means to be a hero. And for the record, SUPERMAN IS BETTER THAN YOU, and me, and everyone else. He WILL always pick option 3 and stop the villain without killing them.

Good day.

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Damn!

Posted at 3:18 PM on June 15, 2013  

Superman is not REAL!!!!!
Wake up! FICTIONAL!!!!

 
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jb*

Posted at 11:35 AM on June 15, 2013  

if you did any research at all…..superman did in fact kill once in the past, and guess who it was ? (besides Doomsday, which was kinda on accident) ZOD. yep….look it up, Supes executed Zod and two of his crew first hand. They were responsible for genocide, he killed them, executed them, and as a result the guilt of taking lives led him to a period of schizophrenia that in turn led him to exile himself from earth….

I understand the notion, yes superman doesn’t kill….but the scene addresses that. he is not happy with having to do so, and begs Zod not to make him do it. You did see the movie, right ?

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Yushwa

Posted at 11:30 AM on June 15, 2013  

Die-hard fans need to relax and stop being so over-sensitive. Being that Superman is so powerful compared to humans, there’s no reason for him to display his abilities to resort to killing. But enemies like Zod is not human and possesses abilities as superman, but with no moral code. So in situations like this, this rules shouldn’t apply to adversaries such as Zod. Let’s use our common sense, be realistic and get over it.

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Matt Robert McKenzie

Posted at 12:31 PM on June 15, 2013  

Regardless of who it is, Superman knows it isn’t his place to murder someone, even if it would save millions. I should probably also note that, I counted 3 ways he could’ve defeated Zod WITHOUT resorting to kill him that THEY SET UP in the film! So it’s a shame on the writers for using the cheap trick for cheap emotional impact that to any actual fan of Superman, was a kick in the nuts.

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Grifter

Posted at 1:01 PM on June 15, 2013  

I have to agree. I think it was so poorly set up. When doing something like this, they have to make sure it’s the only solution, that he simply has no other choice other than to do it. I give them credit for attempting to show how he struggled with the decision, but with all what was shown before seemingly how little he cared for others (Why take the battle to Smallville? Why leave Ma Kent alone with three other Kryptonians while beating up Zod in Smallville? And Metropolis) until it served the “decision”, yet it served it poorly.

 
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daofgeek

Posted at 1:31 AM on June 17, 2013  

And what are these three ways? There’s no kryptonite…the phantom zone is closed already…there’s no prison around Zod couldn’t get out of and what’s to say if Supes did manage to incarcerate him somewhere that he wouldn’t get out? How many people could he kill in five minutes?

None of that is here nor there as, in that moment, there was only one choice guaranteed to save that family and, symbolically, the world. And I don’t buy the comment of him not killing if it would save millions for a second.

 
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James

Posted at 10:58 AM on June 15, 2013  

For those of us who have been fans of Superman for decades, we know he doesn’t kill. But he’s had several incarnations over the 75 years of his existence in the comic world. If you remember well, the original Superman wasn’t a ‘boy scout’ at all. He could be pretty violent to teach criminals/wife beaters a lesson. This was before the whole Truth, Justice and the American way thing happened to him. In the Golden Age, Superman was known as the champion of the oppressed. And I believe he did kill a few times.
Now coming to Zod, Superman killed him in Superman 2 when Zod no longer his superpowers and was helpless. I don’t understand why people don’t bring that up. That wasn’t needed at all since Zod already was helpless against Superman, yet Clark killed him. In Man of Steel, he kills Zod as he found no other way to save innocent lives. And Superman himself was so upset at himself over having to kill someone. Maybe who knows this might become the reason he swears never to kill again. If they do that, I’m buying it.

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Doug Youngs

Posted at 11:10 AM on June 15, 2013  

The writer of this what, review has not kept up on Superman, obviously. In the story, The Death of Superman, he beats the villain, Doomsday, to death. He does die himself as well. The question is why would he have to kill? How about when it comes down to a choice, save people’s lives, or not. In the book, Doomsday was not going to say, well, ok, you win so I will stop killing everything and everyone in sight.If a killer is intent on killing no matter what, what do you do, throw people to the wolves? No, you do the right thing for a population you are sworn to protect. When there is no choice…. Realistically, Superman, or an ordinary man, life is about hard, tough choices. Was Zod going to kill, and kill and destroy everything just to have what he wanted, which is the death of Superman? Yes, so how do you stop him? How do you stop a being that nothing on Earth can contain? You can’t lock him up. What with, a prison he can smash? This movie was never intended to be a Wizard of Oz fantasy, it was intended to bring real issues into focus and deal with them, realistically. And no, people are not walking out of the movie disappointed or unhappy, and the box office figures so far and the huge majority of reviews support that. People are loving this movie, and writers who are not connected with the Superman mythos should avoid writing reviews.

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oren

Posted at 11:41 AM on June 15, 2013  

it’s about that he snap zod throat and that in reality is murder!
i mean it’s not “why” it’s “how”

 
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