In this feature where we take two movies with similar themes (or an original and a remake) and pit them against each other in different film-making categories to see which comes out on top! This time we break down the Superman’s origin story as told in both Superman: The Movie and Man of Steel:
Man of Steel trailer
Phantom Zoning Laws
Superman: The most evil villains in Kryptonian history receive the ultimate punishment by being banished to the Phantom Zone, which is basically a spinning record album sleeve with only enough room inside to press yourself against it and scream for eternity.
[You Dumb Kid bonus: I always though Zod said, “You will bow down before me! Both you, and then one day, your ASS!” But he actually says, “heirs,” which makes more sense, because if Jor-El bowed down before him, his ass would be included in the deal anyway.]
Man of Steel: As Krypton is clearly about to explode, the high chiefs of Krypton are nice enough to put the most evil villains in Kryptonian history into hibernation, blasted up to a ship in concrete dildos, and sent to the safety of the Phantom Zone, where they become Krypton’s only adult survivors.
Escape from Krypton
Superman: Kal-El is lovingly placed into a craft that looks like the main decoration for a prom called “An Evening in the Stars.” His dad places some learnin’ sticks in with him, and off he goes while the planet explodes behind him. He eventually crash lands in Kansas, where the Kents find him, and for some reason you see his fandangler.
Man of Steel: Kal-El is lovingly placed into a craft that looks like a concrete buttplug. His dad encodes the DNA sequencing of every Kryptonian within him, which makes no sense, and also puts it on a USB drive, just in case. Oh, and, you see his jimdog. Again. I guess that’s just a Superbaby staple.
Clark Exposing Himself
Superman: Pa Kent keeps telling Clark to cool it with the powers, so Clark responds by running in the dorkiest way possible at 88 mph past a train full of people, then later bragging to his friends how he beat their car to a destination by running.
Man of Steel: The school bus Clark is on blows a tire, slams on its brakes, but still hits the side of a bridge at full speed somehow, and plunges into the water. So Clark gets up, goes out the back door, and pushes the bus to the shore. Check out the scene below, it truly makes no sense. How is all the water getting in at first? The door to the bus is closed. It looks like it gushes in from behind the driver’s seat and from underneath the dashboard? What?? The impact didn’t blow the front windows out or anything, because they’re clearly still intact when the bus rises out of the water at the end. And the kids just kind of stay put while the water rises to the ceiling. I know they’re panicking and they’re horrible, horrible teenagers, but no one thinks to swim out the back door Clark just opened, or the front door, which is now somehow fully open when the bus comes out of the water? Then he kind of lingers at the back to make sure he’s seen. Nice move, dicksplash. Of course, he could have just been like, “Well, I tried to open the back door because I didn’t want to drown, and just got kind of sucked out. Oops.” And then, there’s a scene at the Kent house where the portly ginger’s mom is pissed off that Clark saved her son’s life, or something. Then, Pa Kent tells Clark he should have let 15 innocent children drown to death instead of possibly letting on that he was really strong. It’s just baffling. For anyone who is hopeful about Batman Vs. Superman, there’s really no reason to be.
Pa Kent’s Death
Superman: Pa drops dead instantly of a heart attack, and there’s nothing Clark can do about it. As he says, “All those things I can do… all those powers… and I couldn’t even save him…” Which is great, because he most definitely can’t cure a fatal cardiac episode no matter what. Although he could have flown Pa to the hospital just in case.
Man of Steel: Pa is wiped out by a tornado because he had to save their f’n dog and then somehow he gets stuck but he won’t let Clark (who’s 100 feet away) save him, even though it would have been remarkably easy, because then everyone hiding under the overpass would see, even though no one was looking because they were hiding under an overpass.
Superman: So we’re just talking the first movie here, Lois is obsessed with Superman, but doesn’t realize Clark looks exactly like Superman but with glasses. She’s basically an idiot, but then again, so is everyone else at the Daily Planet. It isn’t until Superman II when Lois gets wise to Clark’s bullstuff, and tries to shoot him.
Man of Steel: Since this version of Lois is updated and not based on ideals of men from the ’40s, she figures it the fuck out, because women have brains and eyesight.
Point: Man of Steel
Superman: Clark hears the green Krypton crystal calling to him, so he takes it and walks to the Arctic, finds a nice spot, and throws it as hard as he can. The Fortress of Solitude grows like an ice weed, then he talks to his dad’s head for a few years. Jor-El does point out that 18 years on Earth is “thousands” of years on Krypton, which is extremely puzzling and it’s never addressed again, nor explained why that point was necessary in the first place.
Man of Steel: Clark takes the USB drive to various odd jobs and eventually learns of a military operation in the Arctic, where he finds a Kryptonian ship that’s hundreds of years old but uses the exact same technology they were using when he was a baby. He meets his dad’s consciousness, which can interact with its surroundings perfectly, somehow.
Point: These are both stupid, but Superman, I guess
Yes, give me the Superman origin story that’s fun, triumphant, touching, and epic over the one where his dad is a suicidal psychopath and Clark gets a job as a lot lizard.
What do you think? Did we score the fight fair? Which movie won on your scorecard?