Superman is one of the most famous superheroes of all time, a major symbol of American comics in world popular culture. First appearing in 1938, Superman can be considered a typical superhero, with a muscular appearance, extraordinary physical strength, and many superpowers that later became the norm. for other characters.
However, in the movie world, Superman could not reach his own brilliance in the comic versions. Typically in the DC Extended Cinematic Universe (DCEU), Superman’s role, although very important, does not help him improve his image on the big screen. Henry Cavill’s perfect role-playing is not enough to help Superman leave a strong impression in the audience’s eyes, because the script is built a bit darker and sadder than necessary.
DCEU was born with the ambition to become a direct competitor of the Marvel cinematic universe (MCU) and together compete fairly in the world cinema market. However, the failure to exploit Superman is one of the main reasons why the DCEU’s plan fell through and they have not been able to catch up with their opponents for many years.
Superman is such an iconic image that almost every adaptation has problems
Since Superman is one of the most iconic characters in popular culture, it’s difficult to accurately bring him to the screen. No matter how well groomed, fans will always find shortcomings and unreasonable details.
Man of Steel, the opening film for the DCEU, has done a pretty good job of recreating Superman’s roots. However, covering this work is a relatively melancholy, dark and somewhat laggy color, while Superman himself is always melancholy and tired. If this was an indie project then maybe things would be different.
However, because it is located in a cinematic universe, this construction method may make it difficult for Superman to reconcile with other superheroes in DC, typically slightly “jumpy” faces like The Flash or The Flash. Aquaman. Man of Steel’s melancholy color has spread to later films. It wasn’t until DC Films decided to change the style in Aquaman or Shazam! that their cinematic universe showed signs of flourishing, at least in terms of revenue.
On the other hand, just like in the comics, Superman possesses too many awesome superpowers, but that creates the biggest problem for DC in general. This universe depends so much on Superman, that even a small change in personality can cause an unpredictable disaster and can affect the personalities of other superheroes.
Superman is a character that is so simple that it is monotonous when compared to Marvel’s biggest superheroes
With today’s superhero movies, a slight change in their strength compared to the original is not too big of a problem. In fact, this creative process will help them reach closer to modern audiences, because many Marvel or DC comics have been released decades ago. However, in the case of Superman, it’s a bit more complicated, because it’s very difficult to change any of the superpowers he possesses.
As one of the most powerful superheroes in DC, but Superman is built quite simply, not complicatedly, at least in his own strength. Everyone knows that he possesses outstanding physicality, incredible speed, eyes that can emit heat rays or easily fly in the sky. These are all pretty basic abilities of a superhero, and it is also very difficult to change or remove one of these superpowers.
Compared to the MCU, Thor and Captain Marvel are probably characters who share the above characteristics of Superman. However, when placed in a highly interconnected cinematic universe, their stories are exploited in a much more complicated way. Everyone has to face their own problems, and it’s the tough decisions they have to make that define what a superhero is. And super strength only contributes to adorn that process.
Obviously, Superman’s strength is not the DCEU’s problem, but the way this character is built has a direct impact on their success.
Superman doesn’t have the qualities of a leader in the DCEU, but can’t take on any other role either
As mentioned above, Superman is actually a very simple character: both strong and kind, a representative of justice, a symbol of hope. Logically, he can completely become one of the leaders of DC superheroes.
The DCEU version of Superman is also built according to this chief, because he is the most powerful superhero of the Justice League up to the present time. Besides Batman’s genius brain, Superman can be a great leader and spiritual support for teammates in every death battle.
However, every time Superman appears, he almost doesn’t need his teammates, because the power he possesses is too great, whether there are other members of the Justice League or not, nothing will change. To be fair, this is not Superman’s fault, it’s just that the DCEU didn’t give him enough time to bond with his teammates. This problem has been somewhat overcome in Zack Snyder’s cut, but that is not enough for the audience to see the role of Superman as the leader.
Meanwhile, the MCU was wiser to let the leader of the Avengers be a human – Nick Fury, with 2 leaders Tony Stark (brain) and Steve Rogers (muscle). They did not use their own strength to climb to that position, but it was their good qualities that helped them inspire teammates and be trusted by everyone. In the movie The Avengers (2012), there were even conflicts within this superhero team, each with an opinion. By fighting side by side, they can bond and put their absolute trust in the direction of Fury, Rogers or Stark.
Superman takes up all the “spotlights” of other superheroes
The DCEU started with Superman, and it’s understandable why they’d want to focus the emphasis on the superhero. However, when it comes to movies with the presence of other characters, such as Justice League, they still let Superman calmly occupy the “spotlight”.
With incredible power, every time Superman appears, other superheroes will be overshadowed. The DCEU creates so many situations, so many problems, so many challenges. And when things get too confusing, they “throw” in Superman and it’s done, because he can handle it all with one hand, regardless of what other superheroes have done before. In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, without Superman sacrificing himself, Batman and Wonder Woman would have almost lost to Doomsday.
In Justice League (2017), Steppenwolf also single-handedly “funded” the Justice League, until Superman intervened. This is also one of the reasons why Snyder’s cut is so appreciated, because the director has distributed the right dose so that any member of Justice League will have a shining moment. for myself.
DCEU was too hasty and hasty with Superman
One of the main reasons why the DCEU can’t catch up with the MCU that many analysts have pointed out is the amount of time they invest in their cinematic universe. The DCEU started with Superman, and immediately killed him in the 2nd movie, then revived in the 4th project and grudgingly pushed him into the Justice League, all in the span of about 4 years. Meanwhile, apart from Wonder Woman, the audience has not been acquainted with any other superhero, even Batman.
Compared to the Marvel family, in that same time, they were able to bring to the screen the characters Iron Man (2 solo projects), Captain America, Hulk, Thor, and also deeply exploited some characters like Black Widow, Nick Fury or Loki. That’s why when The Avengers came out in 2012, everything became so much more coherent, understandable, and receptive.
The rush in exploiting Superman caused the DCEU to miss the opportunity to delve into the human part of this character, and how he reconciled it with his divine power. The DCEU’s superhero appears too strange, even becomes an enemy of humanity and has not received the humanization worthy of his icon in the comics.
The success of the MCU is something the DCEU has always tried to emulate, but its failure to build on its most important superhero has left them breathless and lost their potential. To really compete with the MCU, the DCEU needs a better Superman – better in the script and character building, not just changing actors and constantly rebooting can solve the problem.
According to ScreenRant