The Man of Steel movie is a restoration of the Superman icon that captures the imagination of a new generation of viewers. A major question is the “S” insignia, is the “S” for Superman or the Man of Steel? The 1938 launch of the Superman brand has captivated the attention of fans worldwide. In America the Man of Steel has a base support extending from the previous Superman series of the 1980’s. Man of Steel represents a continued effort to keep the super hero relevant in the modern era of IPad’s and smartphones.
Director Zack Snyder’s debut of Man of Steel, depicts him as a cosmic hero with emotions and the human dilemmas of life. The movie starts with a detail chronicle of planet Krpton’s civilization and destruction. The father of the super hero, Jor-El is profiled by Actor Russell Crowe who gives a superb cinematic performance.
Jor-El attempts to warn the rulers of the imminent destruction of the planet due to natural resource exploitation. General Zod, a contemporary of Jor-El supports Jor-El’s concern but endorses revolution as a corrective measure. Zod is exiled to prison along with his revolutionary cronies. He would prove to be a formidable foe for his fellow Krptonian adversary. General Zod’s character appeared in “Superman II” and is played by actor Michael Shannon.
Kal-El, played by Henry Cavill, arrives on Earth at the behest of his father Jor-El as Zod is imprisoned. The movie goes on to reveal Kal-El’s life with humans and his flashes of great feats described in phenomenal special effects scenes. Like previous Superman movies the Man of steel’s suit along with the trademark cape exudes a heroic American ruggedness.
The Kents add the average working person’s appeal to the story line in the youth portrayal of early earth life for Superman. Kevin Costner’s depiction of the elder Jonathan Kent adds human emotion to the super hero’s character dimension. “You can be honestly confused,” he said. “And you can be honestly jealous. And you can be honestly emotional. It’s just a matter of being honest with it, and if it sits inside the film, we know where the film has to get to.”
Costner’s role in “Field Of Dreams” and “Bull Durham” demonstrate his ability to embody American values and strength. His role as Jonathan Kent furthers this spirit in guiding the super hero to ascertain his values and worth as a man. Compared to the Jor-El character Jonathan Kent is representative of the decency of the human spirit on the cosmic plain of existence. The Man of Steel is in a struggle with the mental duality of his earthly
existence and his Kryptonian background.
Superman’s crashed ship teaches him the Krpton traditions and inadvertently releases the evil of General Zod. Lois Lane, played by actress Amy Adams, helps him rally against the forces that seek to threaten the planet. Superman comes to life in death defying cinematic action and is adequately representative of the current times of world ambiance.
As for the “S” Insignia, it is actually a letter and symbol from his home planet. It does not stand for Superman, or the man of steel.
By Thomas Barr