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The Five: Superman

Superman returns, again, this week in Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel.


1. How to Make Superman Vulnerable (Without Kryptonite)
The hero of Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel isn’t the invincible simpleton you remember. This Superman is a flawed, morally complex character in the mold of Christopher Nolan’s Batman. Here’s how they did it, without any of the green stuff (Snyder uses no kryptonite in Man of Steel).

Cast a Brit.
For the first time, Superman is portrayed not by an American lug but by a moody, brooding Brit, Henry Cavill.

Give Him a Beard.
Previous Supermans have held to superhuman grooming standards. Not Man of Steel’s disheveled one, who wears facial hair for a third of the movie.

Give Him Helicopter Parents.
Jonathan Kent (Kevin Costner) has to save his son from a fight because Clark’s too powerful to safely defend himself. Martha Kent (Diane Lane) tells her son to think of her voice when he’s overwhelmed by his superpowers.

Make Him Extra Special.
Adding to Superman’s alienation in Man of Steel is that he’s an anomaly even on Krypton: His was a natural birth, whereas all the other kids were born in labs.

Power Him Up Gradually.
This Superman wasn’t born super. His power accumulates as he absorbs our sun’s rays. Freaked out by a sudden onset of super-hearing and X-ray vision as a schoolboy, he locks himself in a closet.

Give Him Job Problems.
Like most millennials, Superman doesn’t land that status media job right away. He spends most of his twenties as a drifter, working odd jobs before joining the Daily Planet.

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