The Superman Question. Part 1
Batman vs Superman was in many ways a sequel story for Superman after Man of Steel as much as it was an origin story for Batman. We ended Man of Steel with the Colonel of the US Army being skeptical about where Superman’s allegiance lay. He wanted to have some assurances that Superman would not one day act against the interests of USA. It is a valid question to have; if you are harboring a person with abilities like him, anyone would want to know where it was that his true allegiances lay, whether he was a representative of USA, humanity or his home planet Krypton.
Right from the beginning of BvS, we see a Superman who doesn’t really understand where he should interfere and where he shouldn’t. He interfered in Nairomi in order to save Lois Lane, the love of his life, but in doing so he kicked off a diplomatic storm with the US at its centre as people had been killed and Superman was the one being blamed for it. There are some people who wish ot understand where Superman’s boundaries are, where he draws the line that this is something he is not going to interfere in.
Grand juries are called up; committees are set up in an attempt to define who Superman really is. Clark is obviously upset when he sees people questioning his intentions when he saves people. Even Lois asks him to not interfere in all things and this makes Clark feel like a bit of an outcast among humans.
We see a whole montage of Superman saving a bunch of people with his powers and still ending up being questioned. People basically wish to understand who he is. Some people want him to pay heed to the diplomatic technicalities, some want him to stay out of political decisions,
a few think he is just a man trying to do the right things and saving as many people as he can and then there is the majority for whom Superman is a reincarnation of God.
There will always be people who would be wary of a man of with extraordinary abilities being given a free reign to control the world. Then there is the question of the ‘absolute good’. Does it really exist? Is it possible to do something that could not be considered harmful to someone in any capacity? These are all philosophical questions and for someone who just grew up in a small town in Kansas, it is not something he would consider before doing anything. This is where we find out the true sense of Kal-El. He is a person with human education, human emotions and human ideology but the powers of a God.
In the first half of the movie, Superman is a victim of everyone projecting their fears, rage and insecurities onto him, whether it is Batman who considers him a threat to the world
or the politicians who call him an amoral and political entity. This is not something he can control or change about people. People’s perception is not going to change if all of them start blaming him for everything that has gone wrong in their life.
He talks to his mother about what he should do when he is being questioned so vehemently and being opposed by, although not the majority, but so many.
“Be their hero, be their monument or be none of it. You don’t owe this world a thing.” His mother tells him. Clark thinks that he has to help people because he is in some way obliged to do so. He feels that if he has superpowers, he has to save people. He takes it as a duty and is really harsh on himself with it.
When he is summoned by the committee to appear before them and answer some questions he obliges and prepares to answer all questions humans have once and for all. One thing to notice is that he doesn’t try to impose himself or show his dominance on men in this appearance. He walks towards the court room and doesn’t just burst in through the roof like he did when he saved Lois. This shows the humility that he has.
This was the halfway point in the film and due to the character being so complex and deep; I will have to divide his breakdown into two parts. This is the end of part one and part two will be up in probably a day’s time.