If you're still searching for ways to wipe the taste of BvS from your mouth, then look no further!
In case you missed it – and if so, click here to read the article in question – yesterday we embarked upon a journey not unlike that envisioned by Jor-El for his son in Man of Steel, hoping to serve in a sense as “the bridge between two peoples”. Yet whereas Russell Crowe’s stoic AI construct was referring to Superman as a hybrid of Kryptonian biology and human ideals who could unite the two species, the “two peoples” we’re discussing are fans and haters of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice alike. Our purpose here? To offer both groups a renewed appreciation for the eponymous Man of Steel despite Zack Snyder having muddled his defining personality traits of late.
Since we’ve already covered the possibility of fans realising Superman’s true motivations for battling Batman via The Dark Knight Returns, discovering more about the character’s mythology via licensed spin-offs like Supergirl and LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham, as well as by returning to Superman: The Movie, it’s high time we break down the final three entries of our list of six sure-fire ways to restore faith in Clark Kent. However despondent you may have felt after seeing the red-and-blue tight-donning defender of justice so cruelly underserved in March, rest assured that things can only go up, up and away from here on out…
- Find Out Just What Makes Superman’s Rogues Gallery So Memorable
Avid viewers of the BBC’s detective drama Sherlock should well remember the following assertion made at one point by Andrew Scott’s gloriously deranged Jim Moriarty: “Every fairy tale needs a good old-fashioned villain.” The same can of course largely be said of every great ongoing comic-book saga, and true to form, the Man of Steel has a heftier ensemble of villains to wage war against than most superheroes, as evidenced by the wide range of adversaries who’ve appeared in his live-action film adventures alone (Lex Luthor, Zod, Bizarro, Doomsday, the list goes on…).
Unfortunately, the general consensus seems to be that by far BvS‘s least compelling and worst developed arcs were those of both Luthor and Doomsday, neither of whom appeared to have much in the way of motivation beyond that which the film’s flimsy plot assigned to them when convenient: enter The Death of Superman (1993) and Lex Luthor: Man of Steel (2005). The former showcases the near-omnipotence of Doomsday as Clark rallies all of his Justice League comrades in vain to best the seemingly infallible monstrosity nearing ever close to Metropolis while the latter delves deeper into its namesake’s god complex than any other graphic novel before or after it, but what the two works share is an entirely welcome dedication to illustrating just how rich a rogues gallery Snyder and company have to choose from in future DCEU efforts so long as they focus more on antagonists’ characterisation.
- Join Clark On His Quest to Fulfil His Destiny in Smallville
Like Superman: The Movie before it, The CW’s decade-spanning origins series Smallville isn’t without its flaws – getting through some of its later crime drama-esque material takes the patience of a saint – but just as that motion picture blew audiences away regardless, so too do the merits of this too often dismissed small-screen adaptation of Clark’s early years far outweigh its various shortcomings. Indeed, this writer would go so far as to call the show the definitive Superman origins tale, a bold claim to say the very least given the high esteem in which Richard Donner’s screen interpretation in particular is held by fans today.
To cut a long story short – one which spanned ten seasons, no less – Smallville, as its name suggests, chronicles Kal-El’s induction into human society by focusing on his high-school years in the quaint town of Smallville before eventually depicting his rise to Super-dom as he heads off to Metropolis to face off against some of his greatest nemeses. Tom Welling somehow manages to cast the alien hero we’ve come to know and love over the past century in a far more sympathetic and emotionally vulnerable light than we’ve ever seen him before or since, but the real credit lies with Michael Rosenbaum, whose similarly layered work as a heartbreakingly tragic version of Lex consistently eclipses that of Gene Hackman, Kevin Spacey and Jessie Eisenberg by a country mile.
- Take a Trip to Illinois to Experience Superman’s History in the Flesh
Some of you might well want to take a more active approach to rekindling their passion for Superman even after re-reading graphic novels or binge-watching TV shows, which is why the Super Museum represents a perfect note for this list to end on. Based on Superman Square – and no, we’re not joking about the street name – in Metropolis, Illinois, this dazzlingly decorated venue (pictured above) plays host to over 20,000 pieces of memorabilia gathered together by Jim Hambrick between the character’s printed inception in 1938 and the museum’s opening in 1993, not to mention an extensive gift store where die-hard fans can pick up some much-coveted collector’s items to boot.
Whilst it’s naturally a shame that the vast majority of DC aficionados won’t be able to simply shell out the necessary cash involved with reaching Illinois if they live outside of the United States, those who don’t need Superman’s powers in order to reach the museum without an aeroplane’s help might well want to consider taking a trip over in their spare time, particularly since tickets cost a healthy $5 a pop, with kids aged 5 and under able to enter for free so long as their families don’t arrive on the one day that the venue annually closes its doors, December 25th.
So, what’s your take on Superman’s status as a beloved superhero post-Batman v Superman, and do you plan to try out any of our suggestions for restoring faith in the character? Be sure to let us know in the comments section below, on Facebook or on Twitter…