An interesting perspective on Superman

Bill: As you know, l’m quite keen on comic books. Especially the ones about superheroes. I find the whole mythology surrounding superheroes fascinating. Take my favorite superhero, Superman. Not a great comic book. Not particularly well-drawn. But the mythology… The mythology is not only great, it’s unique.
The Bride: [who still has a needle in her leg] How long does this shit take to go into effect?
Bill: About two minutes, just long enough for me to finish my point. Now, a staple of the superhero mythology is, there’s the superhero and there’s the alter ego. Batman is actually Bruce Wayne, Spider-Man is actually Peter Parker. When that character wakes up in the morning, he’s Peter Parker. He has to put on a costume to become Spider-Man. And it is in that characteristic Superman stands alone. Superman didn’t become Superman. Superman was born Superman. When Superman wakes up in the morning, he’s Superman. His alter ego is Clark Kent. His outfit with the big red “S”, that’s the blanket he was wrapped in as a baby when the Kents found him. Those are his clothes. What Kent wears – the glasses, the business suit – that’s the costume. That’s the costume Superman wears to blend in with us. Clark Kent is how Superman views us. And what are the characteristics of Clark Kent. He’s weak… he’s unsure of himself… he’s a coward. Clark Kent is Superman’s critique on the whole human race. Sorta like Beatrix Kiddo and Mrs. Tommy Plimpton.

Superman is arguably the most recognizable hero. This is one of my favourite monologues from Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill movies. It challenges the conventional notion that the superhero is a kind of apotheosis of mankind. It suggests that the mask is a facade that represents humanity’s cowardice, contrasting it with Superman’s alienness that distinguishes him from the rest of his super-brethren. Superman is inherently alien, yet his upbringing by humans instills in him a strong moral focus that guides his later adventures as guardian of our species. Here, we explore an idea of how the Man of Steel perceives the human race, contrary to what preconceived notions are of his übermensch-like conception.

I’m curious to see how Zack Snyder and co. will continue to represent him in the ever-expanding DC Cinematic Universe.


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