‘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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Gary A. Valenzuela H.

Posted at 4:34 PM on July 23, 2013  

I’m a a Bolivian fan from Superman from long ago, and I feel betrayed by this portrayal so out of character, that enrages me to no end. After watching this movie I couldn´t sleep thinking about how they (TPTB) need to think that Supes must be introduced to new audiences… This movie could be pardoned in many ways, but not to let our big Guy another way out than killing, without a serious aftermath dealing with this delicate matter… is changing our iconic hero into one more of the generic bunch that plague us after him, and that happen to carry no values at all in most cases (I’m looking at you Spawn)…
What left me more enraged is that Supes-fans aprove the last movie saying thing like “Superman is finally cool”, “I waited all my life for such a thing!”… without realize that this is what makes Superman a generic hero and not as always he used to be THE FIRST, THE BEST AND THE ULTIMATE HERO!
Showing proof that he killed before is no permissions to depict him like a killer… and that proof (Superman 22)… I mean the story where he kills the three kryptonians from the pocket universe, needed to be followed by a lot of issues in which we observe the devastating effects of Superman losing his mind over the guilt he felt, and ended with his resolution of not resorting to killling as an easy and first option to deal with any kind of threats…
Being this a movie, we needed some time after this tragic event, dealing with the killing in a more serious matter…
Another thing that irked me a lot is that never we see the real connection between our hero and the common people. If I was a metropolitan I would look him as a menace instead than a protector trying to give us HOPE.
As another fan say: Earth to Superman: “Please, don’t come to save us.”

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ran76

Posted at 4:52 PM on July 23, 2013  

so basically ignore the precedent set in the comics because you don’t like the fact Superman has killed before, and after(remember Doomsday?) there was even an issue he was willing to kill a woman that was apparently possessed because he thought it was the only way to stop her comicvineDOTcom/superman/4005-1807/forums/has-superman-ever-killed-anyone-756726/

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Ben

Posted at 2:59 AM on July 19, 2013  

When I was reading coments from a post making a joke comparing Goku and Man of Steel, saying: “Goku leads his fights to distant places to make no harm to inocent people and cities, but Man of Steel saves only 4 people and let millions of people die”. But when I read the comments. One of them in particular, exploded my head out! The guy said that Superman DIDNT SCREAMED AND CRYED because Zod´s death ONLY. He cryed because of that and because he didnt saved that family! Maybe because he taked to long to decide if he do it (kills Zod), or not. So u can see Superman fall to his knees, cry and scream! But if u look carefully, he is not watching to Zods body, but he is watching on that family direction!!!!! O_O So thats is a DAWN subtle interpretation, right? O_O =OOOOOOOO

I want to see that scene again to have sure of that. Because I dont remember if I saw the family leaving the place, after Superman´Screaming, so the camera cut to a open zoomed scene showing Superman, Zod on the grownd and Lois coming up the stairs. O_O

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programmerchicago

Posted at 2:26 PM on July 22, 2013  

It appeared to me that the family was killed (which upset superman). I’m not sure why I’m so alone in this. The only was superman could kill Zod was by snapping he neck which would turn his head and force the laser beam to split the family in half!

Superman had to make the decision of killing Zod AND the family, or not killing Zod, and he decided the family had to be sacrificed for the greater good. Seemed pretty obvious, to me.

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Dan

Posted at 2:11 AM on July 17, 2013  

I’m commenting on this website for the first time specifically to respond and DEBUNK this mischaracterization of what happens in the movie. You make it sound like the movie ends with Superman popping a cap in Zod and walking away happy with himself. Since we’ve spoiled the basic ending, let’s be thorough and describe what actually happens. Superman only killed Zod because he was FORCED to. He holds Zod in a headlock as Zod attempts to kill a family with his heat vision and screams a plea for Zod to stop what he’s doing. When Zod says “never” he is forced to snap his neck. Immediately after, Superman drops to his knees and screams in grief. GRIEF! It’s clear to anyone with emotional insight that Snyder, Goyer, Nolan, and Cavill meant to convey that Superman is horrified by the fact that he had to kill someone, much less the last surviving Kryptonian.

I will, however, grant the fact that they should have taken that to its natural, human, conclusion. As evidenced by the epidemic of PTSD and suicide in veterans of war that were forced to kill, a real person would have suffered a lot longer than the end of that scene. But the last thing that Superman is portrayed as is a killer, much less a cold blooded killer. Cavill’s performance was fantastic, as far as his performance was written to go. On this narrow point, that Superman disdains killing, the real mistake was that Cavill wasn’t given the opportunity to portray a grief-stricken Superman. Self-blame and self-doubt are incredibly important aspects of Superman’s personality. He endlessly blames himself for for not doing a “super” job every time. If the creators of Man of Steel 2 have any hope of improving upon the critical response to the first Man of Steel, they have to lean more on good acting.

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Geno

Posted at 6:19 AM on July 8, 2013  

superman has killed before in the comics, he killed Zod, Faora and another phantom zone villain on a parallel dimension earth.

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TJ

Posted at 5:02 PM on July 1, 2013  

If you actually read Superman comics, you would know that Superman did kill Zod in the comic books. He made a vow afterwards never to take another life.

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Brian

Posted at 4:36 PM on June 30, 2013  

I don’t think that it was bad that he killed zod it doesn’t mean that he will kill more and he was clearly deeply upset about it. Honestly the most disturbing part of the movie to me was the fact that Lois Lane knows his true identity which to me is a huge no-no. But other than that it was an amazing reboot and I can’t wait to see the next one.

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Very old Dude

Posted at 1:25 PM on June 30, 2013  

I am a very old fan of Superman. I was born in 1950. This movie is great. Some things just have to be done. So fans just puckerup let it go, lets haave the sequel!

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faos17@hotmail.com

Posted at 5:03 PM on July 2, 2013  

All right, man. Good to know there is someone with the background of the Superman mythology with an open mind.

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Miley

Posted at 2:30 AM on June 30, 2013  

They have complete destroyed superman. He is meant to look strong and caring. But so many times we was defeated. I mean he couldn’t even hold up a structure in the beginning. If we cant hold a human structure with easy how did he penetrate through the alien space craft. Zod is meant to be evil and reason Krypton destroyed! In this movie he isnt that evil as my friend said who doesnt really know the superman story “he just wont’s to recreate Krypton”. This makes him sound like an ok guy, so why did superman have to kill hime again? ANd superman shouldnt kill in the first place. And not to mention Zod was in the blady ship when it was destroyed so how did he get out. and not to mention they stuffed up superman power source. Orginally krypotn has a red sun, so when on earth the yellow sun gives power. So in this movie Krypton has a yellow sun, and so does earth. So they say its the atmosphere and a having a younger yellow sun giving him source power’s. So when on zods ship, hes powerless as hes breathing in a different atmosphere, but when zod and army are on earth, they cant handle at first the different atmosphere so they were helmets breathing in their won atmosphere, but yet they have powers! Make up ur mind its the sun or atmosphere YOU CANT HAVE BOTH. The ideas in this movie was interesting, but it would have been better to make it into 2 movies, set up the orginal superman story line and in the next film introduce Zod and have lois investigate and find out who he is. Where was Lex Superman’s real enemy? Lex should have something to do with zod arriving and the reason for zod coming is stupid and unreasonable. The editing was stupid, so many things don’t add up like ive stated before as as superman fly’s through zods ship and it collapses {3 legs fall down} 5 mins later the ship is back in one piece!!!!! However the graphic were amazing

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ran76

Posted at 1:16 AM on July 8, 2013  

“I mean he couldn’t even hold up a structure in the beginning.” So? there was a time Superman couldn’t fly in the comics.

“ANd superman shouldnt kill in the first place.” But he has killed in the comics. He killed Zod and 2 other kryptonians with Gold K, and then there’s also Doomsday.

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Denise Dorrington

Posted at 7:48 AM on June 29, 2013  

I loved it it was great, good story as well so he killed Zod, big deal I couldn’t stand him, he was gross. I don’t take critics advice, to each there own.

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Juan Carlos Lopez

Posted at 10:42 PM on June 28, 2013  

Ahem, well it is kind of funny that there s a discussion saying that having Supes killing Zod infuriates REAL comics fans, because….. Superman killed Zod in the comics!! This was done in the post John Byrne era and led to a series where Superman leaves the Earth to del with the guilt. Anyway, next time you wnt to defend someone or something…,ger the facts first!

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Lincoln

Posted at 1:46 AM on June 27, 2013  

Nothing new about this – Superman basically does the same thing in Superman II.

The stakes of Zod’s death were brought home well enough in Man of Steel. No prison could hold Zod, the phantom drive (and therefore Phantom Zone projector) had been destroyed, and Zod was literally about to kill a family and put the planet under his jackbooted reign. And we saw how that would go.

So yes, that happened.

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Rob

Posted at 11:56 AM on June 25, 2013  

This article is RIDICULOUS!!!!!! From a HUGE Superman fan….what does the Man of Steel do when its either save ALL of Humanity and the planet or let Zod live?? I believe that is the reason for the primal scream that Cavill unleashes after he drops to his knees…He did what he had to do to save EVERYONE! Anyone who can’t see that needs to go play in traffic…..when is the sequel??? The Man of Steel has completely relaunched Superman and put him back where he belongs…at the top. The number 1 superhero of all time. After Superman Returns…i thought for sure that the franchise could NEVER be brought back to life on the screen…but this movie has breathed NEW life into the legacy of Superman. I grew up on the Superman movies and was worried that they could not be beat….but…in my opinion this film has upgraded Superman too much to NOT be considered as good or better than the originals. Obviously the CGI completely destroys the NOW ridiculous effects in the originals, the suit is SO much better – no more blue leotard with red and yellow briefs, the portrayal of Jor-El and his involvement in the film are amazing (Crowe was amazing)…..there are so many more things i wanna mention, but my time here is up. Superman IS the Man of Steel. EPIC movie!!!

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Faos

Posted at 9:21 PM on June 27, 2013  

Yes! Exactly! Such a simple concept yet a very intricate motivations behind each character.

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Dan

Posted at 2:17 AM on July 17, 2013  

Damn straight. See my comment above.

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Brian

Posted at 10:18 AM on June 25, 2013  

I personally feel it was handled correctly. Even in the comic books, sometimes Superman doesn’t have another way out. Anyone remember Doomsday? And lets not forget, in Superman II, Superman killed Zod and his cronies. Well, Lois killed Ursa but you get my point. And in that one it was even worse because he de-powers them first before dropping them down a large pit where they will die on impact or starve. After they lost their powers, it would’ve been cake for him just to take them to jail. In this one, Clark has no other option. Zod was going to kill those people right in front of him. It was a hard choice and you can see how painful it was. Superman pleads with Zod to not make him do it.

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Julio Torres

Posted at 12:58 AM on June 24, 2013  

Andrew guttadaro your comments are way off and if your a real comic book fan of super Heros you would comprehend the plot.. In all super hero movies they have made lots of changes especially in the X men and Iron man as well and as for therm of steel that was alote more accurate than most super Heros movies although you would not understand that because a takes a true fan of comic book and no most comic book fans were not disappointed.. I don’t have anything against gays but its obvious that’s where your comment comes from, from yourself..

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Eric P.

Posted at 8:41 PM on June 23, 2013  

Here’s the deal: Everyone who has issues with this is upset because of what they feel to be the misrepresentation of what they perceive to be Superman’s ‘moral character’. I understand that this character is an imagined persona,… but as such, he has been imbued with certain characteristics which serve to define him. So if you’re going to accuse someone of mis-representing said characteristics,…. then you need to counter-point with what you would believe to be the PROPER representation of the character,…. i.e.,.. saying the writers shouldn’t have put the character in that situation DOES NOT prove that the character was misrepresented,…. it only proves that you’re uncomfortable with the ‘reality’ of said situation. If you cannot present a LOGICAL ALTERNATIVE within the framework that is the ‘reality’ of this story’s situation,…. then all you’re all JUST FULL OF S H ! T. I challenge any of the whiners to give a logical alternative that I cannot logically counter,….

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Gary A. Valenzuela H.

Posted at 4:52 PM on July 23, 2013  

I would have no problems with Him killing Zod, or Doomsday or whatever, but this needed to be adressed more profoundly and thoroughly than with a single scream… Just swapping drones after all of this, it seems that the killing of Zod was so trivial like the falling of a drone (or a fly)… That’s wha left me without sleeping. That, and the fact that Superman fans (many of them) think that killing is what make him cool… Killing should be absolutely the last thing anyone could think of, and the consequences of such an action needs to be adressed with more detail, than just a scream…
And I’m no going into detail about the loooooong and eternal battle with the kryptonians in which the only one person thinking in all the collateral damage (and I mean lives) was me but not Kal-El, the killer of steel…

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Dan

Posted at 1:59 PM on June 23, 2013  

SuperMan killing Zod, in the end was a bit anti-climactic. I mean the WAY he did so. It does bother me a bit about the image & so on, but this SuperMan, as we all know, was more grounded in reality. More human like- than God-like… It seemed fitting. Plus he didn’t want to.. it just followed continuity. He wasn’t about to let that poor family from being vaporized. Not right in front of his eyes & he could do something about it. I also beleive that in that moment, it may have reminded him of his Fathers sacrifice, to save his secret..& he was helpless. Well..not helpless there, & he might have felt a strong protective feeling that well overshadowed his Nature to try & not kill. All in all, we must get used to the idea that isn’t ours & our fathers SuperMan. This one is more realistic.

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munchy22

Posted at 10:32 PM on June 22, 2013  

I have to laught at this article. because a)superman kills many other villians in the comics
and b) zod is also killed in superman 2 not to forget the villan in superman 4. We get given a gift as movie goers in the form of man of steel and all people do is moan. Go enjoy superman returns, ill stick with man of steel

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Michael Gress

Posted at 3:53 AM on June 24, 2013  

Zod isn’t killed in Superman 2, you can see him, his girl and Non being taken from the Fortress in handcuffs in a deleted scene on the Richard Donner version, which is by far the better and more definitive version of the film. No joke.

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Lincoln

Posted at 1:51 AM on June 27, 2013  

Perhaps, but that wasn’t the theatrical version. I don’t remember hearing much about it then – but that was pretty much pre-social media.

 
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ZickeryZacharyZock (@zhiggins1204)

Posted at 11:05 AM on June 24, 2013  

I agree, Superman definitely killed Zod in the comics. Its funny how they say “true fans” are enraged because they are obviously misinformed.

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Jenn

Posted at 10:41 PM on June 18, 2013  

Man of Steel was Horrible! I don’t even care that he Killed Zod, the whole movie stank… I was hoping after Super Man Returns that this would be an awesome relaunch of the franchise, but if anything it’s way worse!

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Whovianman

Posted at 8:07 PM on June 24, 2013  

Man of Steel was amazing you are a MORON!!!!

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Miley

Posted at 2:39 AM on June 30, 2013  

i agree!!! Their idea were stange already, but i guess we need a change so it will take time to get used to, but the editing just destoyed it so many things dont make any sence. Superman is protrayed as weak too. Lois would never of been able to find out who superman was. Zod logically couldnt of left Krypoton, and Supamans source of power was so incoreccted and all over tyhe place on minute its the sun next its the atmosphere or air. Actually it cant b the atomspher as he doesnt exposed to the earths atmospher when in space so they screwed that up big time

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Clyde D'Cruz

Posted at 8:52 AM on June 18, 2013  

the people criticizing the kill scene are fools .
1] Killing zod is a dynamic reaction to trying to stop his “Kill all humans in sight” rage from killing innocent people.
2]there was never a question of the joker lasing out whole goup of people with his eyes and it was sufficient for d batman to stop/paralyze him
3]Batman did get hos hands dirty with Harvy Dent in a similar fasion to save d innocent
4]even if Superman lets zode live (severely injuring him or something) there is no way to keep him from wreaking havoc again

So get a life critics!

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Miley

Posted at 2:41 AM on June 30, 2013  

he could inprision him some where. The phantom zone is supposed to be a prison in a differnet land. Its in all the orginal superman and smallville. But they stuffed that up in the beginning.

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ran76

Posted at 1:21 AM on July 8, 2013  

and how was he supposed to get Zod to the Phantom Zone when the Phantom drive was destroyed?

 
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robbi

Posted at 5:39 PM on July 18, 2013  

and how exactly would he imprison him?

 
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Drew

Posted at 11:03 PM on June 17, 2013  

I don’t have a problem with it. First, Zod was threatening to kill an innocent family, and Superman couldn’t stop him. Second, it’s not like he did it and was proud of himself. that angry scream that he did was kind of supposed to tell you he was pissed about what he had just done.

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Jenn

Posted at 10:43 PM on June 18, 2013  

Like I said no problem with killing Zod since this movie was so terrible to the point of pathetic… How many more horrifically bad Super Man movies can they possibly make?

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Whovianman

Posted at 8:09 PM on June 24, 2013  

Also how could you even say that Superman Returns was better than Man of Steel no comparison!!

 
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Sally MJ

Posted at 10:32 PM on June 17, 2013  

I believe this film is true to the source. Don’t see how that is a problem.

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Miley

Posted at 2:46 AM on June 30, 2013  

Superman gets his power from yellow sun, Krypton has has yellow sun to, but the Jorel and the rest have no powers. Therefore it suggested its the atmosphere but they stuffed that up. Lois finds out to quickly about him. Lex luthor is his biggest enemy and he isnt even mentioned and no Kryptonite. Superman is supposed to learn who is his in the fortress of solitude {an ice castle} not a ship

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Dan

Posted at 3:41 AM on July 17, 2013  

They actually do remain consistent, at least to a greater degree than you’re suggesting. Since Zod and his troops have super-strength and super-speed while wearing their suits and masks, we can conclude that, as Jor-El mentions, Earth’s weak gravity gives them those powers. When exposed to the atmosphere and YOUNGER sun (they don’t credit any of his powers to the color of a star), they gain x-ray vision, heat vision, and flight, but it takes a while for the full change to occur. Their sight goes wonky right away when exposed to Earth’s atmosphere and sun, but the effect take a while to manifest. That’s why he was able to fly through space briefly, without losing his powers.

This is an aspect of Superman’s powers that has changed over the years and decades; the source of his powers have been credited to, in the beginning, Earth’s weak gravity, then later to Earth’s atmosphere and sun. The amount of time that he can fly through a vacuum has increased as his powers have been expanded by the generations of comic book writers. Remove him from these sources long enough, and he will lose his powers. That is a plot point that modern Superman writers exploit; Kryptonite isn’t the only thing that takes away his powers. Exposure to Kryptonian atmospherics does that too. The same was true in the movie. He maintained his power for a little while in a Kryptonian atmosphere, but eventually started to suffer. Likewise with Zod, after breathing Earth’s atmosphere and absorbing the younger star’s rays for a little while, he gained heat vision and flight.

The one inconsistency that I most noticed when it comes to powers wasn’t actually with Superman and the other Kryptonians, it was with an Earthling. Lois should have been crushed if the anti-gravity on the Kryptonian ship was set to Krypton’s level.

Ultimately, when it comes to explaining how a superhero has superpowers, viewers must always remember to forget whatever they’ve been told before. ALWAYS remember that the writers of any single movie, or comic book for that matter, get to explain things their way. And the writers would be wasting time if they were forced to give us complete, logically sound, hand-waving explanations. We’re talking about superpowers here. Give me a basic explanation, and then move on already. I ain’t looking for hard science here (which is why I’m not lambasting the whole connection between the Phantom Zone and black holes).

 
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Dan

Posted at 4:03 AM on July 17, 2013  

By the way, Lois’s quick uncovering of Clark’s secret seems to be something that they are addressing. She does find out his secret very quickly, as any investigator would. What I want to know is, are we supposed to think that the government knows his secret too? It seems that we are supposed to think that, as evidenced by his openness about where he grew up when he’s talking to General Swanwick in the ending. Hopefully they stick to that, because the only way that anybody would be able to cover up such a discoverable secret is if they had the government on their side (although grand conspiracies like the ones that governments are frequently accused of don’t make sense either since they require far too many people to keep their lips sealed).

And Snyder, et. al., have actually addressed the absences of Lex and Kryptonite. The just didn’t want to bring them up yet. They most certainly will later.

The switch away from crystals is just another piece of artistic license. They, and many Superman writers before them, wanted to do things differently.

Finally, it’s worth pointing out that Warner Bros. wanted to make this story as consistent as possible with the narrative that the TV show Smallville created (that’s supposedly why the movie is chock full of Smallville actors). In the show’s narrative, Clark doesn’t gain the ability of flight until Jor-El has finished guiding him. In the Man of Steel, Clark doesn’t gain the ability to fly until he meets Jor-El.

 
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james

Posted at 7:40 PM on June 17, 2013  

its a story from the begining so why cant him killing zod be the reason he never kills people

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ran76

Posted at 1:21 AM on July 8, 2013  

that’s how it happened in the comics

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YOUR CORNER (@brady969)

Posted at 1:45 PM on June 17, 2013  

Wow, so not true. Superman killed ZOD in the 1982 movie. WTF is this article talking about?

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ZickeryZacharyZock (@zhiggins1204)

Posted at 11:12 AM on June 24, 2013  

and in the comics…

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Norm Breyfogle

Posted at 6:24 AM on June 27, 2013  

No, Superman didn’t kill Zod in Superman II. Zod and his cohorts fell into FOG; we didn’t see or hear them land. For all we know, they slid into a holding cell.

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Jesse

Posted at 7:38 AM on June 17, 2013  

Don’t forget comic fans by killing Zod it also showed that superman can be killed by a pummeling too and is not invincible. He was beaten to death by doomsday in the comics and we first saw that you don’t just need kryptonite to kill him which is a stupid weakness.

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Jese

Posted at 7:35 AM on June 17, 2013  

Don’t forget comic fans by killing Zod it also showed that superman can be killed by a pummeling too and is not invincible. He was beaten to death by doomsday in the comics and we first saw that you don’t just need kryptonite to kill him which is a stupid weakness. By killing another super being it will lead to scary fights in the sequels.

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