Mark Millar discusses Man of Steel

The debate over Man of Steel‘s third act isn’t going to end anytime soon. It’s been a topic of conversation ever since the film was released, and with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice coming out in the next few months, expect even more discussions about it. The film will address the third-act destruction we saw in Man of Steel, and will question how much Supes is responsible for all those deaths. Now, comic book writer Mark Millar has weighed in on the level of violence we saw in the comic book origin story.

After the jump, Mark Millar discusses Man of Steel and comic book movies in general.

I already know what you’re all going to ask: isn’t it a bit weird that the guy who showed Captain America kill a dude with his shield is bothered by Superman snapping Zod’s (Michael Shannon) neck? Well, yes, it’s a little funny, but he’s not talking about comic books, he’s talking about comic book movies. On Games Radar, Millar wrote about wanting to see less of this sort of “edginess” in superhero movies:

You see, I love cartoonish ultra-violence as much as the next Glaswegian (see this year’s Kingsman: the Secret Service where Colin Firth takes down 100 fundamentalists in a Southern Baptist church), but at the same time I also feel we need a little balance. In amongst all these very dark, angst-ridden and sometimes very serious superhero movies that have made Hollywood a lot of money over the last fifteen years I’m sensing a need for a little hope too, a little LESS super-cool bad-assery. This really hit me hardest, I think, when I was watching Henry Cavill’s turn as Superman in Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel a couple of years back.

That’s reasonable enough, although Ant-ManGuardians of the Galaxy, and other Marvel movies are filled with plenty of hope. Those films have very little darkness or edge in them. I think Millar’s concern is DC’s movies are going to continue down this road.

Millar elaborated he didn’t see the Superman he’s fond of in Man of Steel:

Summer 2013 as I sat there on Father’s Day and saw Superman beating the bad guy by twisting his neck so hard he broke it and murdered him I really wondered if we’d come to the end of that particular road. Now I got the logic of that scene and it absolutely made sense within the context of the movie as the villain had taken down half of Metropolis and killed hundreds of thousands of people. But even so. This was Superman. This was like seeing Sylvester the Cat finally getting his hands on Speedy Gonzales. Elmer Fudd blowing away Bugs Bunny. I loved Superman as a kid not because of his edginess or his potential for a fatal solution, but because he could do anything he wanted and still chose to be nice.

At the end of the day, Zack Snyder is the author of Superman now. When people watch Man of Steel and say, “That’s not my Superman!” it’s a bit of funny to me. Of course it’s not your Superman, it’s Snyder’s Superman. There’s room for reinterpretation. You may not like seeing Superman snap a dude’s neck, although it’s totally justified in the moment, but this is a new Superman; he’s also a very young Superman. Maybe one day we’ll see the character grow into the Boy Scout fans love.

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