Zod Fight Analysis: Oil Tanker Objections – Novice v. Veteran Expectations – Collateral Damage Assessment

Some critics seem really hung-up on Superman prioritizing 7.2 billion people over one side of a car park.  It seems ridiculous to have to get that granular and justify a single, instinctual heat-of-the-moment choice by a first-time combatant (just hours earlier a life-long pacifist) against a veteran soldier… but this keeps coming up! read more

Man of Steel Myths: Fighting Zod Was Easy / Kal Caused Serious Collateral

Using fighting-game metrics we illustrate the gap in skill and experience between General Zod, Krypton’s military leader, and Superman, who threw a punch for the first time in his life earlier that same day.  Detractors place completely unrealistic expectations on a total rookie fighting for his life.

Some have unfairly and harshly judged Superman by unrealistically expecting rescue efforts, attempts at diplomacy, complex strategies, and ploys to bait or lure Zod.  The metrics show Superman is barely able to keep up with Zod, much less impossibly think and act well-beyond his body of experience or situation.
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Man of Steel Myths: Zod Should Have Terraformed Mars

Why assume the Kryptonians can terraform anything when the film shows us evidence to the contrary?

Many detractors will propose Mars as a candidate without thinking through what they’re assuming. They clearly intuit that Mars is a better candidate than Jupiter or Pluto because they understand that technology has limitations. It isn’t magic that simply does whatever you wish it to. If Mars is a better candidate than Jupiter or Pluto based on the limitations of technology, why assume that Mars is even a candidate within the limits of an unknown alien technology? To the contrary, the film shows terraforming technology to be quite limited: read more

Man of Steel Myths: Kryptonians Aren’t Solar Batteries (How The Kryptonian Atmospheric Weakness Works)

Jor-El and Jax-Ur both explicitly link Kal-El’s strength to radiation. Jor-El uses the metaphor of drinking to describe the absorption and storage of solar radiation (first in speaking with Lara and then again to Kal-El). One isn’t hydrated only while drinking, but also while relying on one’s stores. However, a better metaphor- which accounts for the Kryptonian Atmospheric weakness- would be a device, like a laptop, with a removable rechargeable battery which can also be plugged-in.

The device can draw from either a charged battery or the plug. read more

Man of Steel Myths: Kryptonian Armor Gives Super Strength

In order to understand Kryptonian powers and weaknesses, we determine whether the powers demonstrated in the Battle of Smallville were the product of Kryptonian armor. Contrasting the strength demonstrated in Smallville against the strength of Kryptonians on the Black Zero or back on Krypton, it is evident that the armor does not give super strength.

If Kryptonian armor provided super strength, Jor-El and Zod might have decapitated each other with their strikes to the head, mere doors would not block the guards attempting to stop Lois, and Lois would not have been able to kick Car-Vex off to escape. The Kryptonians on the Black Zero aren’t powered at all. They are downed by Lois firing small-arms fire and Jax-Ur explicitly tells Kal-El his strength is neutralized aboard the ship. read more

Man of Steel Myths: Earth’s Atmosphere Powers Kryptonians

Jor-El explicitly links strength and senses to radiation, but because he mentions weaker gravity and Earth’s nourishing atmosphere [FN1], there is the misconception that Superman is powered by weaker gravity or Earth’s atmosphere. This is clearly not the case.

Superman’s powers are not dependent on gravity. Superman’s exhibits his powers under the weaker gravity of space and under the stronger gravity of the World Engine’s beam. Superman’s powers are not dependent on Earth’s atmosphere. He exhibits powers in a noxious oil rig fire with atmospherics low on oxygen. His powers allow him to survive an entire dream sequence underwater in the frigid ocean. He demonstrates, flight, strength, and durability in his multiple trips to the vacuum of space. Superman is not holding his breath. His mouth is open before he rescues Lois from the damaged escape pod. He and Zod vocalize during the satellite fight and on their return back to Earth. Even Jax-Ur explicitly ties Kal-El’s strength to radiation.

So why the confusion? read more