UPDATE: I saw Man of Steel at midnight and I don't regret one minute of missed sleep. I've updated this post after some thinking since seeing the movie.
The Man of Steel is coming out next week and I am on pins and needles. I am really, really excited to see Superman re-imagined and EPIC.
I have had a Superman story in the back of my mind for a long time and I have some ideas that I hope David Goyer will use. Man of Steel will be controversial, but it will be awesome. So we need an awesome, awesome sequel to follow it up. Think of the great trilogies. So often, the second installment is darker, tragic, and has an awesome villain. Examples? Luke and Vader. Kirk and Khan. Batman and Joker.
We must have Superman vs. Lex Luthor in the next film. But not the Luthor from the Donner series. Not a comedic criminal mastermind/would-be real estate mogul, but a very intelligent and grounded villain. The best villain is a guy who thinks he is doing something good, perhaps even noble, and who, ultimately, might be redeemed. But this must be a human who could actually be a match for Superman's might.
If Superman hadn't shown up, you realize that Luthor may have become the savior to the world that Superman becomes. Make Luthor's character like Tony Stark, but more ambitious. Like Steve Jobs, but with an even bigger vision. A gifted man that just might have united the people of the world, but now that Superman has shown up, he feels... cheated. Superman's existence changes everything for his dreams and plans; his existence makes Luthor feel like he is less, because now he is inferior to someone. Superman is his match.
This... alien, despite all the good he may do, cannot be trusted, and cannot be allowed to interfere, and Luthor would have many power-hungry cohorts who would agree. Superman is someone Luthor cannot find a way around, because Superman is a freaking force of nature. Luthor would wage a war for the hearts and minds of the people, painting Superman in a dark light. Clark Kent would be hopelessly outgunned, but actions speak louder than words and Superman can act like the fist of God, so not everyone would believe the propaganda being peddled.
But Luthor would frame Superman somehow. In a way where even Lois Lane, the first person to believe in him, would be affected. Luthor would have to frame him in a way where, if Superman attacked him, many would turn against Superman; and if Superman does nothing, his reputation would be irreparably damaged.
Kryptonite may figure into the story, but I think it would be better to save it for the third movie. So how would the story resolve? I'm not sure yet, but in a way where Lex would get angry because Superman would actually outsmart him somehow. Since Luthor would lose any type of physical challenge with Superman, this fight will not be in the physical arena.
SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER follows:
In Man of Steel, Superman takes a leap of faith and trusts in humans, ultimately giving up the only foreseeable chance he might have of rejoining or recreating his people. In this story, that faith must be tested. What do you do when the people don't want you to protect them anymore?
If you haven't read it already, I HIGHLY recommend reading "Superman: Red Son." The premise is "What if
Superman's pod had crashed in Soviet Russia instead of the American farmlands?" The characters are still the same, both Superman and Lex Luthor think they are doing good, and in the end, they are BOTH right, but in the end Superman turns out to be the greater hero once again (but be sure to check out the twist ending!).
Thank you, thank you to Nolan, Goyer, Snyder and EVERYONE who made Man of Steel a great story. Please follow-up and please make it great again. You have brought our hero back.
CmNt PA-019 05/22/2013 12:05
MISSING: Jareth Dakk - Approx. 16 year-old standardkin male, short dark brown hair, hazel eyes, approx. 60 kg.,
Danvilis, Noriklifas, Arcticas - A 16 year-old standardkin male was reported missing by his adopted family approximately 48 hours ago. Subject was involved in an altercation with a 17 year-old arctickin male in same day he went missing, in which altercation subject's left arm was broken (wrist and clavicle). Subject may still be wearing a cast and sling. Asan Franokis Skyport security clearly shows Jareth Dakk disembarking a busbot and entering the skyport terminal, but after several searches for subject, it has been assumed that he has stowed away on an EG shuttle to an interstellar flight. Subject may have deactivated personal comlink prior to entering skyport, as no calls, texts, or GLS data have been recorded in past 48 hours, but prior to disappearance subject issued several emotional messages. Possible destinations include Toralden, Marinas, Forsonis, Auldoras, or subject may still be on board an in-transit flight.
Strong possibility subject stowed away on ISC "Blue Majestic" (luxury cruiser) but CmNt is still awaiting report from Blue Majestic staff. Blue Majestic may be experiencing com delays due to scheduled proximity to Feneesha (TDF013)("Forgotten World").
Further updates as events warrant.
Joseph Campbell hypothesized that many of societies ills stemmed from the excising of myths and rituals. He felt they were essential to healthy societies, and it gave me an idea that filled a need in my story. Here's the ritual I created, in Jareth's words:
Taking Up the Sword
"On Arcticas they have this coming-of-age ritual for the boys. I guess it didn't start on Arcticas; it started a long time ago back on Eastden, so probably lots of cultures do something like this on lots of worlds, but this is the Arcticas version.
They call it 'Taking Up the Sword.' The way it works is this: every boy gets a wooden sword when he turns eight (probably more than one because everyone wants to make sure he gets a good sword). Sometime around when he turns sixteen, the boy declares that he will "take up the sword," and asks friends and family to participate.
The boy brings his wood sword into a room with cloaked and hooded people standing around an altar. One of them will step forward and ask "Why have you come?" And the boy kneels and offers up his sword, saying "I am surrendering the Boy, that he can become a Man." Someone steps forward and takes the wooden sword and he places it on the altar. The boy is asked, "Will you take up a man's sword?"
After the cloaked one explains, the boy is supposed to say “I will take up the sword.” The one holding the metal sword asks "Have you forsaken the Boy?"
If the boy says yes, all the cloaked figures say “The Boy must die!” I’m not really sure what happens if the boy says no, but the boy is the one that chose to call everyone together for the ritual, so it would be kind of stupid for him to say no.
The boy can be challenged. Someone might step forward and say the boy is not ready or not worthy or something. This hasn’t happened to anyone I know so I’m not really sure what is supposed to happen in this case, but the boy just might have to fight to become a man or something.
They usually have a cloaked dummy that is supposed to represent the boyhood of the boy who came in, and he has to stab it or behead it, sort of killing his boyhood so that he can become a man. The officiator says, “The Boy has died so that he can become a man!” and he steps aside from the altar (because he has been standing between it and the boy during the whole thing). The altar has a deep groove in the middle and supports the sword at the ends (towards the tip and at the guard), so that the boy can raise the metal sword above his head and break the wooden sword in one hit. Then all the cloaked people present say "A new life begins!" There is a moment of silence and then the newly minted man is shown out of the room, where friends and family are waiting and they have a party.
There are variations on the ceremony but the bottom line is that the boy is considered a man from then on. If you ask me, I think the coolest part for most guys is that A) they get a sword to hang on their wall, and B) now they can date girls."
What modern-day rituals do we have? Boy Scouts, Native Americans, Freemasons, etc. all have mythic rituals in our modern day, and most religions as well. I consider graduations, marriages and funerals to be modern-day rituals, but most of the mythic elements have been excised. Do you wish you had a coming-of-age ritual with more mythic symbolism like this? Do you think we should have more mythic rituals, as Campbell did? Or does this seem silly, arbitrary, perhaps even childish?