This week’s WordPress Discover Challenge presents the trial of posting a different point of view than what other people have, whatever POV. This appealed to me because I thought of Superman, as a matter of fact, from the films of the nineteen seventies and eighties about the beloved comic book character, and also from the 2013 film Man of Steel, which is what specifically I have a different interpretation to write about than the casual interpretation it often gets otherwise (a great superhero film).
Christmas Eve last year, December 24 of 2016, late in the afternoon my younger brother and his son went with me to my parents’ house for dinner and the Christmas tree. My brother let me know that the two had been in the middle of complaining about Superman, in the movies, and I was surprised that they have this opinion, which is not the same opinion I have. We’re very different people from one another.
Man of Steel presents the Superman character as an alien, which I know he is, as in the story of his life told in the 1978 film about him (titled Superman, naturally). However, whereas in that film Superman is a very human character, who blends in with his peers quite easily, in Man of Steel (2013) Superman is almost an alien monster, considering that while he looks human, he has the mentality of an outsider. This is clear, for example, when he only takes his job as a reporter for the Daily Planet at the conclusion of the film (spoiler), which is unlike Superman (1978), in which his entire time in Metropolis is spent in the alter ego of Clark Kent, a reporter alongside Lois Lane.
What I think about Man of Steel, which is different than how other people see it, is that Man of Steel is the story of an alien creature living among humans whose fate it is to help the human race. This is like how in ancient Egypt, Egyptian workers built enormous pyramids, which were probably tombs for their leaders once deceased (the Pharaohs). It is unknown how the ancient Egyptians were able to build these pyramids because there is no evidence that the Egyptians of ancient times had technology which could have made building those pyramids possible. It is a great mystery.
One theory is that, as in history when impossible feats were accomplished without the benefit of technology, alien forces could have visited Egypt and helped the Egyptians build the pyramids with the help of the alien people’s technology. It is a popular theory among people who believe in life among the stars (Erich von Daniken is one scholar who argues that the theory is based on real history, of Ancient Egypt).
Given that the pyramids would have been nearly impossible to build without technology, consider that aliens visited and lent a helping hand, with an interest in contributing to the prosperity of human beings (as a species). Man of Steel is a little like that because Superman is an alien living among humans who has the fate of helping preserve the human race from dangers that are inherent to people encountering alien creatures.
What I think is that when Superman reveals himself to human authorities, when he is given the ultimatum to surrender by his enemies, it is noted that Superman may be a hazard for human folk merely because his body may contain a disease that could be inflicted on the humans. I say this because it is not immediately the fear of Superman’s powers as a superhero that bothers the authorities, or the details of Superman’s past in the Kansas town of Smallville, but whether Superman’s body could spread illness and death to the humans who meet him. I don’t think that the Egyptians meeting aliens who gave them help to build the pyramids, stopped their alien benefactors to question whether they would become sick from contact.
What I am thinking about Man of Steel, is what if the point of Superman’s existence among humans is that he doesn’t succeed at guiding human beings to a better existence? Every time it is questioned if humans in ancient times had visitors from other worlds among them, there is never evidence that the aliens caused devastation and ruin for people of the past. What if Superman’s role as a visitor to modern-day people of the world demonstrates good intentions on Superman’s part, but poor planning for the man from Krypton that actually reduce the success of people to safely maintain conditions for life around the planet? All I’m asking you to do is that when you sit down with Man of Steel, consider the possibility that while the strange realities that led the men and women of Ancient Egypt to construct pyramids, in this film, when Superman is battling and causing destruction in both Smallville and Metropolis, could this be the beginning of events that challenge human’s mastery of Planet Earth and undermine them in a way that will end in defeat and downfall? If Superman for once is the alien visitor closest to human beings in his physical form, could he likewise have the kinds of human weaknesses that will result in the end of human’s reign over their blue and green planet? Every other time in history that aliens might have come to help humans with the growth of their civilizations, are we, at last, to understand that there is no more? For however Superman feels about belonging to the human race, which is clearly passionate, considering the climax of the film when Superman is challenged by his nemesis how he feels about human life, if Superman is the final alien visitor to Earth, is it because he will eventually destroy us all? That is how I would understand Man of Steel, instead of interpretations that are more along the lines of a visitor from the stars who kindly brings the benefit of his superpowers to help us mortals.
If you have an interest in what I am thinking, you’re welcome to “like,” follow, and/or subscribe. Thank you for reading and good luck to you, whatever you do. Take care of yourself as always.