Man Of Steel 2: How The Superman Franchise Became Etched Into Pop Culture
Since Superman was created back in 1933 by writer Jerry Siegel and artist Shuster – when they were just high school students – everyone has grown up knowing the Superman story. They sold their concept to DC Comics in 1938, and the rest, as they say, is history. Superman has subsequently appeared in a variety of media, including films, TV shows, radio serials, merchandise and of course video games. The Superman emblem is known worldwide, and the story continues, with new layers being uncovered all the time.
Where Does Man Of Steel Come Into It?
2013’s Man of Steel film told us the origin story is the character like no other. Paying close attention to Superman’s story in all of its forms, we learned priceless information about a young Clark Kent, Superman’s alter-ego, before he was even called Clark. In fact, the story of Kal-El, directed by Zack Snyder in a particularly important prequel epic, goes on to shape our understanding of all of the other films that have come before today.
Forced to Earth from the fictional planet Krypton as a child, Clark has to find his way as an unremarkable human. Of course, things don’t always go to plan. Come on, it’s a Superman movie, after all! But the movie sets the foundations for parts of his story that have not been explored in such depth before – and that’s why it’s so important.
Obviously, the reception to Man of Steel was positive, thanks to an all-star cast which included Russell Crowe as Jor-El (Clark’s father), Amy Adams as Lois Lane, and Henry Cavill as the Man of Steel himself. The movie even led to various celebrations in its own right, aside from the main Superman franchise, including its own merchandise and even video games. Man of Steel features in the Sun Bingo slot games selection, merging the Superman and Man of Steel worlds effortlessly. Players can opt for two different game modes; engaging a slots battle on either Earth or on Krypton. To suitably distinguish itself from the “standard” Superman story, there are various nods to the Man of Steel movie itself, including symbols of the General Zod and Jor-El characters. This is just one example of how popular culture has managed to accept both Superman and Man of Steel as separate entities, while ultimately tying into the same world.
What About Man of Steel 2?
There are various rumors circulating around the internet regarding the movie’s sequel, including that Black Adam will take a starring role as the main villain! Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s character in the DC Universe may well enter into the Superman story, giving each a new dimension. While the rumours are wholly unsubstantiated and actually originate from Reddit, many online communities believe they carry some weight; namely because Johnson himself spoke of a “surprise” for his character coming up. Okay, so he used some expletives – so it’s clearly very exciting. He did say it was awesome, though – so could this be it?
We also know that Vaughn is in talks to direct this next Man of Steel film. We say, keep the rumors coming! They tide us over until the (alleged) 2018 release!
Why Is Superman Still So Popular?
Superman is accessible, and not only because you can actually tour New York from his perspective or because everyone in the whole world recognizes his symbol. His story, while obviously entirely fictional and not “realistic”, goes far beyond fantasy and into the realms of reality more than most people would think.
Described accurately as “one of the most famous characters in the American cultural landscape” in The Guardian, Superman has gone over the years from being your “standard” superhero, to upping the ante with surprisingly human qualities. Adapting over time to American culture (for example, his slogan changed from “fighting for truth and justice” to “fighting for truth and justice and the American way”), Superman has always managed not only to stay relevant but also relatable.
Scholars are even mixing academia with this huge aspect of pop culture, exploring the impact Superman/Clark Kent/Kal-El has made on global consciousness, exploring his moral teachings and his place as representing “good”. In some ways, Superman draws upon very philosophical, almost religious concepts, which are particularly relevant in a world where we are searching for answers and some good among everything else. In fact, in that self-same Guardian article, the author writes “Superman is not just some sort of unique being flying high above us. In the projection of our desires, hopes and fears, Superman is us.”
Exploring his backstory, his moral dilemmas and even how he interacts with the politics of the day has kept him relevant throughout the generations, and this shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. We can’t wait to see the next instalment in Man of Steel 2.