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.

Looking at the breakdown, of the ~44 total hits taken… Kal landed ~7 clean hits and was knocked down or briefly out 10 times to each of Zod’s 31 hits!  If every third hit leaves one combatant unable to stand and that same combatant can barely land 15% of the hits in a fight… isn’t it unreasonable to expect that combatant to CONTROL the fight?  Asking a day-old rookie to impose his will upon Krypton’s highest ranked soldier in a fight to the death is crazy!

Then we quickly break down and assign the collateral damage related to THIS fight (causation and collateral of other parts of the film will be discussed in other videos).  It comes after the World Engine has been stopped and the Black Zero has been defeated.  None of that damage is attributable to this fight.  A future video may put the collateral damage under a microscope but there are only a handful of significant beats:

  1. Zod brings down an evacuated office with his heat vision.
  2. The falling office knocks Superman into a parking deck.
  3. Zod brings down just the street-facing side of the same deck.
  4. After Zod starts to strip the cladding [FN1] off a building, the two collide to knock more off (the streets directly below are clear).
  5. Zod damages some windows and building exteriors, none which threaten structural collapse (Superman damages one series of windows).
  6. Zod downs and fragments the satellite.
  7. Both collide into the train station.

The damage is not insignificant but neither is it catastrophic nor does it offend the senses.  Moreover, Zod causes and participates in nearly all of it (either directly or using Superman’s body) but for some windows.  The gap in skill and experience shows Superman is in no position to mitigate collateral any better than he did.

As I’m not a fighting game engine, please allow for any ambiguities or errors in scoring or computation.  The general idea of the bonus was only the leader in any category would get the bonus.  In actual fighting, judging does have a subjective component so there’s that… obviously, this is all tongue-in-cheek so don’t take the HUD too seriously.  I also remember now why I turn off the announcer, heh.

[FN1] Cladding is cosmetic coating to change the appearance of a building… we don’t build skyscrapers out of stone, but steel… however, it can be clad to look like stone; the loss of the building’s cladding does not mean the structural collapse of the building.

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One Comment

  1. I don’t know, but it seems to be a look through some rose-tinted glasses to single out the damage done in Man of Steel, when Superhero or Sci-Fi action films do it on a regular basis. Even Superman 2 the battle between Superman and three Kryptonians did plenty of damage minus the use of any Black Zero or World Engine.

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