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DC Can Save Superman. These are the Things It Must Do

Supes was In a slump. Not personally, mind you, but following the drab affair that was 2017’s Justice LeagueThe future of Superman has, shall we just say, been uncertain. Henry Cavill announced last week that he’d once again don the cape and Warner Bros. Discovery announced that James Gunn (director) and Peter Safran (producer), will now be in charge of DC Studios. The new organization within the company is dedicated exclusively to creating films and series inspired by DC characters.

Cavill’s return as the Man of Steel provides Gunn et al. This is a rare opportunity to reinvent the hero. In his previous outings, the actor’s Superman has been serious and morose. In an interview, however, he said that he was happy to talk about his Superman character. Variety about his return, Cavill said “there is such a bright future ahead for the character. I’m excited to tell a story with an enormously joyful Superman”—a quote that indicates those taking over the character’s big-screen destiny know what they’re doing.

Realizing that Superman is possible (and maybe even desirable) shouldTo bring back the DC hero to life, the DC’s new overlords will need to make him (and others) have fun. The DC overlords must also get rid of the troubled hero from “The Last Stand”. Man of Steel And Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice The Zack Snyder Era, or Supes movies that show the character as someone who is dedicated to helping others. Let’s see someone who does that because they enjoy It’s not because they are compelled, but out of great stress and expense to themselves.

Clark Kent, who is responsible for his job, plays a crucial role in every Superman film. He may not be as visually spectacular without the cape, and, yes, the mild-mannered reporter thing isn’t quite the draw that flying through the air while zapping people with heat vision is, but Superman needs to have ties to humanity. Even ignoring the “without his experience in Smallville, he’d just be any random superhero” idea, Clark’s job at the Daily Planet The story is often driven by it. Superman, without it, is a steel-jawed, one-note do-gooder.

Clark Kent offers a second option: connections to other characters. Yes, there’s Lois Lane—smart, stubborn, altruistic Lois Lane. But there’s also curmudgeonly editor Perry White, neophyte reporter and thrill-seeker Jimmy Olsen, super-scientist and part-time superhero John Henry Irons, the Kents, Bibbo, Morgan Edge, neighborhood blowhard Steve Lombard, and so on. Superman is supported by the most superhero characters outside Spider-Man. They rarely appear for more than one second in any comic adaptation. They would benefit from full character arcs in DC Extended Universe.

Why? Superman stories rarely focus on Superman. When the eponymous hero is stable and secure in who he is, and dedicated to helping everyone around him, it’s almost impossible that he’ll have a genuinely personal involvement in every story. That’s not to say that there aren’t good stories where the Man of Steel is intimately connected to the stakes in question—All-Star Superman: The Death of Superman and its sequels, and “The Man Who Has Everything” come to mind—but it’s more than acceptable to let someone else have the emotional arc while Superman takes care of the other stuff.

This last task should not be difficult with Gunn as the Creative Director of DC. Gunn’s entire career has been full of surprises (see: everything). Guardians of the Galaxy Film), but Superman really could do with a bit more weirdness. The character has eight decades’ worth of genuinely ridiculous, imaginative canon and more than enough ludicrous details—Krypto the Super-Dog! The Shrunken City, Kandor Super-Ventriloquism!—to fill several movies. Let Batman be the guy to keep things grounded; Superman’s flicks should be allowed to soar and enrich imaginations. It’s time to let him fly.

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