The Superman Question. Part 2.
THE SUPERMAN (contd.)
In the last part I discussed the many questions that were being asked of Superman, but I never talked about the things I learned from this incarnation of him. As I have said before, this movie came out when I was suffering from Major depressive disorder. I didn’t know what was right and wrong and I did not know what I could do to help myself or someone else. I was planning on becoming a doctor but I didn’t know how much impact I could have had as a doctor. I knew that there were some people I could have helped; some pain that I could have relieved but it would never have been enough for the whole world. There were always going to be people who needed my help while I was helping someone else and I felt so guilty about that even though I was yet to become a doctor. I couldn’t have saved everyone; no matter how much I tried, I could have been at it for my whole life and it still wouldn’t have been enough to eliminate all the need for help. This was the same conundrum that Superman faced; He couldn’t have saved everyone. He had the powers of a god but he wasn’t omnipotent. This is when he walked up the Everest and had a talk with himself using his dad as an image. His father told him a story about how it was always going to be tough to be a hero, there was always going to be collateral damage but that didn’t mean that no one needed to be saved.
“The nightmares stopped when I met your mother. She made me believe there was still good in this world. She was my world.” Jon Kent told his son in this scene. This was something that resonated somewhere with me. I too had once lost my faith in humanity, I had become cynical and then I met someone too, someone who gave me some faith in people back and someone who was special. It unfortunately didn’t work out the way I would have wanted but that is a story for another day.
If we rewind a bit back to the court room, right after the explosion, we see a Superman who is broken. Death follows him wherever he goes. It came in the desert and it came in the courtroom. Superman now started questioning his own existence as well. Maybe his critics were right. Maybe he didn’t belong to this world.
He talks to Lois about his symbol meant something on his world but his world didn’t exist anymore. This was the moment Superman considered himself an alien among men as well. This was the weakest Superman had ever been and he needed some time alone to deal with his emotions.
The story of superman has little to do with how Batman and Luthor acted and more about his own self discovery. That is why they get so little mention in his arc. The last major part of Superman’s arc is when he sacrifices himself to save the world. Right before he flies off with the spear, he accepts Earth as his own world. He tells Lois she means the world to him and he takes off.
He can hardly fly with the kryptonite so close to him and yet he gives it his all. These people had called him a God, a threat, a dictator. No one had considered him a simple man trying to do the right thing. This made some of us reject him, hate him and outcast him and yet he sacrificed himself to save us. He didn’t care what we thought about him, he just wanted to save us with whatever it took, even if it was his own life.
This was one of the most inspirational moments in the movie for me. I learned how there are always going to be people who question you, criticize you and reject you but that doesn’t mean you stop helping them.
As Bruce Wayne says in the Justice League, “Superman was a beacon to the world. He didn’t just save people; he made them see the best parts of themselves.” This is something I wish to do in my life, to show people how much good they are capable of. This is something that I will work towards for however long it takes, however hard I have to work; I will make people see the best parts of themselves.