Can Super Hero Movies Have More Reality?

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Talking about films is not my usual bailiwick, but this has been keeping me awake at night for years. And I have a part 2 from my previous post that will get online soon, but  these things just need to be said.

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Currently I’m watching the 2013 film, Man of Steel. It’s about Superman, Lois Lane, and their battle to save all mankind. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, well too bad. I’m going to spoil it for you — Superman, Kal-El, saves the world, with some help from his earthly allies.

Henry Cavill as the Man of Steel, Diane Lane as his earthly mom, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Morpheus as Perry White … err … I’m sorry, Laurence Fishburne is Mr. White.

Just my rarely humble opinion, Morpheus is the signature role for Fishburne and Lana Wachowski made a mistake not bringing the Morpheus we know. He could have co-existed with the “new” Morpheus, played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, I mean it is a movie, complete fiction … but what do I know? This I know: Yahya Abdul-Mateen II was a great Doctor The Watchmen and Bobby Seale in the Netflix limited series, The Trial of the Chicago 7.

Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus
YouTube screenshot (

Back to the Man of Steel. It’s the back story of Kal-El learning who he really is and learning what his purpose will be after becoming Superman. And it is Lois Lane who gives the super hero that moniker. So what happens is, very powerful criminals from Krypton have been set free from the Phantom Zone and when thy learn Kal-El is on Earth they head our way and wreak devastation upon our planet.

Hooking up with the American military Kal-El, i.e. Superman, takes on his fellow Kryptons before they can completely destroy Earth and purge all mankind from existence. It’s quite entertaining.

Recently I feel like this comic book super hero movie is batter than the Christian Bale version of the Batman, the Dark Night — and I hold those three films in very high regard.

The Dark Night (Christian Bale) fights Joker (Heath Ledger
YouTube screenshot

This is another tangent. Btu it needs to be said. I’m not sure I like the Robert Pattinson version of The Batman, but I like it quite a bit. It’s very dark, much darker than the Christian Bale version of Bruce Wayne. At this point I like both and they are, thankfully, very different from one another.

Robert Pattinson as The Batman/Bruce Wayne
YouTube screenshot

Back to the Man of Steel. Of course Superman is going to save the day. He has never failed to do so since his launch in 1938. By the time I started reading Superman comic books the super hero and his alter ego, Clark Kent, was well developed. George Reeves was Superman on the 1950s era TV show. Then Christopher Reeve did a great job portraying the Man of Steel and Margot Kidder was Lois Lane.

Here we are with this nearly ten-year -old film featuring Henry Cavill, Amy Adams Laurence Fishburne, Michael Shannon, Diane Lane, Russell Crowe, Christopher Meloni, (“A good death is its own reward”) Harry Lennix, Richard Schiff, Kevin Costner — KEVIN-EFFIN’ COSTNER — Michael Kelly —

Okay, another tangent. If you followed Kelly in the Netflix series “House of Cards,” he played the aid to the congressman/president/scumbag Francis Underwood, played by Kevin Spacey who, it turns out, is a real life scumbag. A sexual predator. Who knew?

So Doug Stamper has to keep a prostitute named Rachel Posner (Rachel Brosnahan) quiet, which he does and she keeps quiet about everything. But then Stamper is told to kill her — no loose ends — but he just tries to get her deeper into hiding so he doesn’t have to kill her. But then, Francis Underwood tells Doug that if he is truly loyal to Underwood he would finally finish the job of killing Rachel Posner. Stamper tracks her down and she takes off, and the last we see is Stamper shoveling dirt on a corpse with a piece of Jewelry worn by Posner. But we don’t see the full body or face. Is she still alive? One would like to hope Doug Stamper did the right thing and let her live, but we just don’t know.

Anyway, in the Man of Steel Michael Kelly plays a newspaper man at the Daily Planet. It’s a good role.

So here’s my concern: Who picks up the tab to rebuild and repair all the destruction and damage caused by these big time battles between the forces of good and evil? In Man of Steel Superman and his allies do battle against the evils of General Zod and his minions. In the process they level great swathes of Metropolis, i.e. Manhattan and the small town Clark Kent, i.e. Superman, grew up, Smallville, Kansas.

In the first Avengers movie the heroes fight the evil doers and in the process much of NYC is leveled. After the credits roll we see the super heroes sitting in a shop eating Schwarma. Well that was very cool …

The question is though, who pays for all the damages? Someone has to foot the bill to repair and replace all those buildings, torn up streets and subways, destroyed electrical, sewage and water infrastructure … who?

Will anyone make a comic super hero movie that shows a few of those super heroes helping to repair these buildings, and the government picking up the tab? Seriously, damage on this level can only be addressed by the federal government. They would of course, get into public/private ventures — they have been doing that since the era of The New Deal at least. But c’mon, these super heroes and their arch enemies cannot go around destroying our greatest and smallest cities without someone making pledges to rebuild.

Well, that’s my gripe about super hero movies. It’s not likely there are a lot of people that agree with me. The movies are all about the heroes saving the day. Okay, but just once I would like the closing scenes be federal, state and local government leaders talking about how they are going to rebuild.

Is that too much reality?

Here is some R.E.M. to close out this post.