Why did Clark speak with Father Leone instead of Martha?

movies-man-of-steel-henry-cavill-diane-laneFaced with Zod’s ultimatum, Clark wrestles with revealing himself to the world for humanity’s sake and uses Father Leone as a sounding board.  There’s much more to unpack here but a common objection raised is the question of why Clark spoke with a clergyman instead of his own mother?

Detractors will often immediately launch into an attack against allegedly marketing-driven overtures to court the religious and claim the film missed out on Clark’s parents providing him counsel.  However, if one takes a moment to empathize with the characters, the answer becomes immediately apparent… consider Clark’s homecoming with Martha, occurring right before Zod’s ultimatum:

Martha: I’m so happy for you, Clark.
Clark: What?
Martha: It’s nothing. [Recounts raising him.] And I worried all the time.
Clark: You worried the truth would come out.
Martha: No.  The truth about you is beautiful.  We saw that the moment we laid eyes on you.  We knew one day the whole world would see that.  I’m just… I’m worried they’ll take you away from me.
Clark: I’m not going anywhere, Mom.

man-of-steel-image04In other words, Martha’s greatest fear and worry, that the discovery of Clark’s people would lead to them threatening to take him away from her, has just literally come true!  Moreover, Clark has just told her that he’s not going anywhere, even if he knows in his heart of hearts he must.

As valuable as Martha’s counsel may be in this situation, Clark was raised to love and protect his mother.  As an adult, Clark shoulders this burden rather than burdening his mother.

Clark spares his mother the heartbreak of having to tell him to sacrifice himself or his own resolve if she begs him to save himself.

It is completely sensible that Clark would talk to someone other than Martha.  Now why Father Leone instead of some of the other candidates?  That’s another post!

14 – Epic Mailbag

coverblackWe clear the docket and run through the mailbag in this unscripted episode. We weigh-in on the following questions:

  • How can spaceship parts help Batman survive getting punched by Superman?
  • What is one of the least realistic things about Man of Steel and why I like it?  Hint: choreographed Martial Arts
  • Does Man of Steel mean that the rest of the DCCU will never be all-ages?  Is that a problem?
  • What is the recommended approach to trying to get insight into a scene?  When should the filmmakers be clearer?
  • Why did Zod show Kal-El images of suffering if he wanted his help?  Are Zod and Jor-El artists?
  • Do most people like Man of Steel?
  • Why did Superman react to Zod’s death but not the end of the Genesis Chamber and World Engine?
  • Did the film need more space between Metropolis and the drone scene?
  • Why doesn’t this podcast respond to specific haters?
  • Is Man of Steel three different films?
  • Does the film have bad pacing or bad dialog?
  • Could we get a trilogy?
  • Why the year 2033 matters to the WB?
  • Who made the super suit?

…and more! Check out the start of our new video series.

Man of Steel Myths:

Web: ManOfSteelAnswers.com
Twitter: @mosanswers
Subscribe: iTunes / RSS / Stitcher / YouTube http://feeds.feedburner.com/ManOfSteelAnswers
Proud member of the Superman Podcast Network!
Software Generated Transcript

Man of Steel Myths: Superman Saves No One

This is the product of a self-taught, weekend crash-course in editing, so please forgive my amateur mistakes at aping the CinemaSins “Everything Wrong With” template and not meant to be taken too seriously.  It’s not terribly funny, either, but I’m no comedian!

What’s a save or an asterisk?  Eh, who knows?  Really, don’t worry about it.

This is the first of at least six short videos touching on Man of Steel myths, misconceptions, hyperbole, rumors, and the like.  Only this one follows the CinemaSins model.  Upcoming myths (copyright issues notwithstanding):

read more

Clark doesn’t have the speed to avoid detection and identification…


Why steal a disguise if you can “streak” like an invisible blur?

…until after gaining flight (and even then).

Granted, when we approach a film based on a preexisting property, as an audience we bring the baggage of expectation, but it is unfair to criticize the character’s in-film choices for abilities that haven’t been established. The film gives us a clear precedent for Clark developing his powers later than he is potentially capable of and later than tradition with flight.

Consider the following sequences which go differently if Clark has enough speed to avoid detection and identification:

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Man Of Steel Round Table [Michael Bailey’s Views From The Long Box]

Views From The Long Box 199: Man Of Steel Round Table – A three hour scene by scene discussion about Man Of Steel a year after by Superman fans.

Joining Michael Bailey (of The Superman Homepage, Fortress of Baileytude, From Crisis to Crisis/Superman Podcast Network, and more!) “in this mammoth episode are Andy Leyland (of Hey Kids Comics, The Palace of Glittering Delights, The Fantasticast and Listen to the Prophets fame and my permanent semi-regular co-host), Paul Spatro (of Back to the Bins and Listen to the Prophets fame) and Bob Fisher (of Superman Forever and Long Play fame).  We spend over three hours discussing Man of Steel in depth and deal with the more controversial aspects of the movie including the depiction of Jonathan Kent, the amount of destruction seen in the movie and the final battle between Superman and General Zod.  It’s a long conversation but I think it proves that you can talk about this movie with people and still walk away as friends.”

I have a ton of respect for the participants (and their work), their discussion, and civility.  Of course, I don’t agree with them on every point, but “reasonable minds will differ” and they prove the essential point that a difference of opinion doesn’t need to be accompanied by acrimony or degeneration.  They don’t pretend to speak for all fans but are honest about their feelings without belittling the feelings of others.

I appreciate the intelligent and genuine criticism as opposed to counter-factual bashing… and, of course, I’ll enjoy doing my best to answer some of the topics from my perspective eventually (not a direct reaction, just as the topics emerge).  It is not a love-fest, but an open-minded Man Of Steel fan should be able to listen to this without problems.  Not a “must listen” (then again, what is?) but I enjoyed it for what it was.  As illustrative as the podcast is of cordiality, it’s interesting that the venom to which some can approach this mere film almost proves the skepticism towards humanity presented by the film.  Be better!

A minor language warning, depending on where and how you’re playing it and the sensitivity to some swearing.

Anyways, if you can’t get enough commentary on a film that still has people talking even this far out, this might be the antidote to some of the mind numbingly bad bashing commentary out there, with a more even take on the film.  Enjoy!

13 – Flashbacks – Theft – Maybe

coverblackIn this episode, we’ll go over the purpose of the flashbacks, see what we can learn from the classroom scene, tackle whether Clark is a thief, look at the subjectivity of Superman, explore some of the themes of the film using a parable, and finally, we discuss that infamous answer: “Maybe.” We’ve got some very short clips from D.J. Des Jardin, Diane Lane, and Dylan Sprayberry. Maybe we raise the following questions:

  • Why use flashbacks instead of a chronological structure?
  • Is Superman a criminal?
  • How did the editor show passage of time with the cuts?
  • Why is Mrs. Ross visiting good for Clark’s secret?
  • How do legalism and principles differ?
  • Will BvS feature flashbacks like MOS?
  • How does the parable of the old and new garments apply to MOS?
  • Why organically grow Superman from principles instead of retreading codified absolutes?
  • What distinguishes the kids on the bus from the strangers under the overpass?
  • Why did Jonathan say “maybe” to Clark?
  • How does a teenage pregnancy help explain that answer?
  • What does bar mitzvah have to do with Man of Steel?

…and much more!

Goyer on religious elements 1 2 3
Snyder on religious parallels
WB’s religious marketing
Smallville KO Count
defintion of maybe

Web: ManOfSteelAnswers.com
Twitter: @mosanswers
Subscribe: iTunes / RSS / Stitcher / YouTube http://feeds.feedburner.com/ManOfSteelAnswers
Proud member of the Superman Podcast Network!
Software Generated Transcript

Repost: Why not terraform another planet?

As a collateral matter not directly asked but related… if you wonder why Zod couldn’t simply terraform another candidate planet, I’d ask you to consider the following:

  • If terraforming is easy, why were there no living colonies or sister planets for Krypton to evacuate to?
  • If the Phantom Drive allows for infinite attempts at terraforming, why did Krypton continue to mine its core unto its own destruction? Doesn’t it seem more likely that Phantom Drives are therefore finite?
  • The Scout Ship (18,000 years old) does not have a Phantom Drive (invented by Jor-El) and required hibernation pods in order to make the journey to Earth. Unlike the World Engine, the Scout Ship does not appear to mate with the Black Zero. Even if Zod found another candidate planet, how was Zod going to bring the Scout Ship’s Genesis Chamber to the new prospect?
  • If there was any possibility that Zod wasn’t going to terraform Earth, how could the plan that Jor-El conveyed to Lois have worked? That Jor-El predicted it, doesn’t it seem likely that the individuals who understand the technology could predict that Earth wouldn’t be passed up?

In sum, Zod was coming to roost on Earth, one way or another. Apart from his programming, he didn’t have to terraform it or subjugate it, but he didn’t have any alternative locations to work with.


  1. Terraforming the planet is a pretty logical move militarily and tactically. If you recall, Zod only deploys the World Engine after asking whether Kal-El needs to be alive to retrieve the Codex. Therefore, successfully terraforming the planet takes care of the human resistance, weakens or kills Kal-El without direct combat, and creates a perfect environment for the next generation of Kryptonians all in one move.

Zod’s only real alternative move was to field every Kryptonian aboard the Black Zero, at which point the Kryptonians would be utterly unstoppable, but he would also sacrifice his vision of Krypton in the process. If Zod was willing or able to make that kind of compromise, he would have resorted to natural birth, cloning, or agreed with Jor-El’s plan of coexistence… but Zod’s programming and toolbox was limited… the exact thing that Jor-El didn’t want for Kal-El and Krypton’s future.

“Reposts” are republication of informal forum replies addressing relevant topics but not up to typical site standards.