if anything, this is the era of the emasculated male. Between the bad economy, high unemployment and today’s empowered women, it’s hard to blame any man from having self-doubts. But even superman?
Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster created comic book hero back in 1938, as the Great Depression tightened its grip on the nation. Men were equally emasculated back then. So it’s no surprise that Superman took off like, well, a speeding bullet.
Every young boy could feel that he possessed, if not super powers, at least similar traits, like Superman’s confidence, his willingness to face adversity, his humbleness and most of all, his courage.
But Director Zack Snyder’s Superman is so racked by anxieties, it’s hard to tell what to make of him. Maybe every generation gets the Superman it deserves, but the Man of Steel was never this neurotic in previous incarnations.
When George Reeves played Superman on the hit 1950s television series, “Adventures of Superman,” the show’s opening credits said it all. Superman could “change the course of mighty rivers, bend steel in his bare hands,” and “fights a never-ending battle for truth, justice, and the American way!” Even alter-ego Clark Kent was “mildly assertive and authoritative,” according to one popular account.
Christopher Reeve, the last big-screen Superman, played the character essentially the same way in the 1978 film “Superman” and three sequels. But even he saw the handwriting on the wall.
“By the late 1970s the masculine image had changed,” he said in an interview. “Now it was acceptable for a man to show gentleness and vulnerability. I felt that the new Superman ought to reflect that contemporary male image.”
Now Cavill and Snyder seem to take that idea to the extreme. Sure, Superman still busts a lot of heads. He fights fellow Kryptonite,, General Zod (Michael Shannon), the U.S. military and even survives the third degree from Lois Lane (Amy Adams).
But in between, he kvetches so much he looks like he’s made of silly putty. Check out the trailer below and let us know your thoughts, and follow TheImproper on Twitter for the latest film and movie updates.