So, Zod, huh? Zod. Again.

Posted: April 11, 2011 in comic books, Jeff Holland, Threat Quality
Tags: , , , ,

Sooo…the villain of the new Superman movie is Zod.

Which means it’s going to be that kind of Superman movie. The one where Superman gets thrown around a lot and constantly told that he’s not one of us and he should rule over us and bla bla bla.

I get the urge to not do Lex Luthor AGAIN. It’s expected at this point – you start up a new Superman movie, it’s easy to assume Luthor will be the Big Bad. But the second most obvious choice is Zod. Which bums me out a little, because despite the short-sighted argument that Superman doesn’t have a lot of good villains – y’know, movie-ready villains, threats that are big-screen enough to make for good action sequences, but not so CGI-heavy as to break the bank – that’s really not true.

The reason Luthor and Zod are so attractive is that they’re the most obvious antitheses to Superman as a character – Lex as the “ultimate human,” who embraces all the petty, vicious humanisms that Superman transcends, and Zod as the dark reflection of the superpowered alien who desires conquest over cooperation.

But…it’s just so obvious.

And Brainiac and Metallo were sitting right there.

But Brainiac is also an alien antithesis to Superman – all horrific logic in the face of Superman’s compassion. And Metallo is a literal man of steel, whose life-giving heart is also poison to our hero. You’re telling me a decent writer couldn’t put together a solid theme using either of those?

(It’s at this point that I’m now certain budget was a consideration here. Doing a Brainiac story means taking the whole thing out to space for at least part of the film, which means money spent designing alien worlds and animating them; doing a Metallo story means essentially making a robot FX your second main character which again, is probably not cheap.)

So I guess what I’m saying is everyone needs to go see the next Superman movie so it’s successful. Not because it’ll necessarily be a good movie – though I’ve seen Michael Shannon in Boardwalk Empire and holy crap will he make for a great villain, at least – but because if they get a sequel, maybe they’ll feel confident enough (and have the increased budget required) to revitalize a “lesser” villain and lock them into the public consciousness.

  1. sebastian says:

    Why not create a brand new villain for the movie? Straying from known villains from the comics gave us Harley Quinn.

  2. Moff says:

    I’m not convinced that just because Zod is the main villain for this movie, Luthor won’t be in it, too. I think there’s an actual law of nature that mandates he be in every single mainstream Superman story.

  3. braak says:

    I think the villain should be Solaris, the Tyrant Sun.

  4. Hsiang says:

    It’s gotta be Toyman.

  5. RickRussellTX says:

    > It’s gotta be Toyman.

    Did you see the exceedingly creepy Toyman from Superman: Doomsday? I didn’t think anybody could give “mass pedophilia” a worse image than it already has, but… yeah.

  6. Erin says:

    For better or worse, I’m skeptical that Zack Snyder would direct a movie with less than four supervillains.

    Also, I’ll second Braak’s vote for Solaris.

  7. Jeff Holland says:

    1) Say what you like about Snyder, but can you imagine how COOL Solaris would look in a movie he directed?

    2) I’m not really reversing my position, exactly, but if I were designing a Superman trilogy, Zod as the first villain is okay, since it would give Luthor a “The aliens are taking over!” paranoia. Which would cause him to develop Metallo in movie 2, and then Brainiac would make for a pretty great all-hell-breaks-loose movie-3 capper.

    But what other villains have I missed? Parasite doesn’t really have a compelling thematic story; Bizarro’s too…well, he’s Bizarro, he only really fits in a Silver-Age kind of story; Toyman? As Rick pointed out, “Superman Versus The Mega-Pedo”…ew. I guess you could use Doomsday? UGH, DOOMSDAY.

    Then again…there’s Tom Hardy as Bane in Dark Knight Rises, and I feel pretty confident. So I guess what I’m saying is there’s always room for surprise.

    But the moment you hear a casting announcement for Myxlplyx, fricking RUN.

  8. braak says:

    1) The only thing that would make it better would be if Orson Welles were still alive to do the voice.

    2) Yeah, there are some pretty useful emotional arcs to be mined from that in a “first movie” — because, obviously, this would be far from the first movie, and there’s no point in pretending that it is. But the, “I’m alone in the universe, there’s nothing like me” idea plays out pretty nicely against Zod, and he’s a good motivating factor for Superman to cement his, “I am only using my powers for good,” opinion.

  9. braak says:

    (Incidentally: Bizarro as a messed-up Superman clone could be a good villain in a second movie, instead of — or in addition to — Metallo.)

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