Well unless you've been living under a rock, then you know about the controversy in Man of Steel. Just in case you don't, and you don't care to have it spoiled, here is what happened: Superman kills General Zod. When this happens, fans of the Man of Steel took the streets and riots ensued across the nation. Ok, they didn't do that, but it on the message boards. It seems that everyone had an issue with this controversial scene; however one has to ask: was it really that bad?
After giving it some thought, I don't think Superman killing Zod was a bad thing. Now before you grab your torch and pitchforks, here me out. I will say this much, the reason why the scene doesn't work for me is because of it's execution( and that goes for the rest of the movie). I for one would prefer that movie take a note from Batman Begins
That being said, I feel that we as moviegoers have blown this controversial moment out of proportion. Everyone assumes that Superman skipped over to Zod, and without any hesitation, snaps Zod's neck, makes a pun, everyone laughs and roll credits. As fun as that sounds, that's not what happened. Superman begged Zod to stop and he wasn't going. So Superman made only choice he thought could make and killed Zod. Once Superman defeated Zod, he falls to his knees and screams in anger because of what he had to do. Now once again, the scene could have been executed better, but I think there was reason for this moment. In a new interview with Digital Spy, writer David S.Goyer pointed out that they wanted to put Superman in an "impossible situation and make an impossible choice". As much as we want to believe that Superman had a hundred choices to his disposal, the fact of the matter is he didn't.
Everyone know it is in Superman's code that he does not kill, and that is one the reason fans to offence about the scene. However, keep this mind: we know that is in Superman's code in the comics., but that is not to say that it should be an instant requirement for the cinematic character. Does this mean that Superman should kill? Absolutely not, but just because he had the red and blue tights on does not mean he was the Superman that we know.
As much people want to blame Goyer's writing on Man of Steel (and there were problems in the script), his interview does give me some hope for the upcoming film, Superman/Batman. In the inteview, Goyer says this:
"Also our movie was in a way Superman Begins, he's not really Superman until the end of the film. We wanted him to have had that experience of having taken a life and carry that through onto the next films. Because he's Superman and because people idolise him he will have to hold himself to a higher standard."
There you have it! What Goyer is saying is that because of the incident with Zod, Superman will better himself to not kill unless it is absolutely necessary; thus becoming the Superman that we know and love. So in hindsight, we are going to get the iconic Superman, but it seems like it will only thanks to, dare I say, character development.
There are issues with Man of Steel, but the death of Zod is not one them. If anything, that moment will prove to be helpful in the long run. Was it a risk to have Superman killed Zod? Absolutely! However, I think the character of Superman in Superman/Batman will be closer to the one we know; and it is thank to the death of General Zod.