So, I saw the new Harry Potter flick over the weekend. However, that isn’t really what I’d like to talk about. But as a side note, I very much enjoyed it. I’d say it is my second favorite behind Prizoner of Azkaban.
But on from that, one thing that very much interested me was the Superman Returns trailer. First off, the fact that this film actually has a trailer now is utterly amazing. The movie has been in development hell for over a decade. If you are a Superman nurd like me, it may or may not shock you to be reminded that this film actually started development while the Death of Superman storyline was fresh on everyone’s mind. As for the trailer itself, I heard people gasp and cheer as it played to a packed house waiting to see Harry Potter. Gasp and cheer. As if they could not believe this film is actually going to be released soon and as if they could not possibly keep how they felt about it under wraps.
Superman and Clark Kent are eternal. Spider-man and Batman may be cool, but they are arguably flavor of the moment sort of heroes. While they live thier lives as Peter Parker or Bruce Wayne and become thier respective alter-egos in thier after hours, Superman is first and formost Superman. Clark Kent is both a front, and a true representation of who he really is. In reality, Superman is the everyman. He is just doing what any responsible citizen should do, given thier skills. Thing is, he just has more skills than most, and duly puts them to good use. Clark Kent is his way of remaining the everyman and not becoming some sort of deity, as naive individuals would place him as. Although he’s uniquely gifted, he remains what each of us should aspire to be and can achieve. For example he says in the original, “I never lie, Lois”. He’s kind. He’s civil. He’s generous. He cares for his fellow man and lives to serve others. Anybody can do that. You don’t have to fly to be able to.
Our society needs Superman right now. Although he doesn’t exist, he is a contemporary representation of what our society is lacking and should aspire to be. Our society is extremely solem right now. Think of all of the depressive things that have happened in recent times, following 9/11. Despite the over-achieving claims of our “elected” officials, things are on the slow decline. All things. And things don’t look much better, either. There is no source of hope, no source of a light at the end of the tunnel, nothing to grasp upon which we hope to achieve. Admittidely, religion does this for many, but it is not as universal as it should be. While Christianity and related branches and sects of it serves as universal, the valued freedom of choice in our society has sadly lessened many of its universally useful ideals as a side-effect. Superman serves as a politically correct and universally acceptable avatar and representation of what should be presented by each and every individual. He’s the light, and the hope of what we can aspire to be.
The parallels this presents is summarized very nicely by Marlon Brando in the new trailer:
- “They can be a great people, Kal-El, they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way. For this reason above all, their capacity for good, I have sent them you… my only son.”
When you consider the modernized borrowing from Christianity from that, its application is very clear. Superman is that same source of hope as the same “hero” from that narrative. Not that I’m arguing that Superman is a form or representation of our Lord. Nor that he should be held in the same regard. I’m simply saying that he does not have to be argued in the courts as seperated from the state. And that he can represent the same ideals that we should hold true and self-evident.
(This actually turned out pretty good. I may edit it some and submit it as an opinion piece to the Exponent.)