Mark Millar Says Superman Killing General Zod In ‘Man Of Steel’ Was Like “Elmer Fudd Blowing Away Bugs Bunny”
Mark Millar Says Superman Killing General Zod In 'Man Of Steel' Was Like "Elmer Fudd Blowing Away Bugs Bunny"
Over two years on from the release of “Man Of Steel,” and the ending of the film, specifically Superman snapping the neck of General Zod, continues to be a source of criticism for some comic book fans. It was only last month that screenwriter David Goyer (once again) gave a fairly reasoned explanation of why the filmmakers decided to go down that path. But now, Mark Millar is stirring the pot, referencing the movie in a roundabout way promoting his upcoming comic, “Huck.”
READ MORE: Mark Millar Talks ‘Fantastic Four’ Sequel, Says ‘Age Of Ultron’ “Nowhere Near As Good” As The First ‘Avengers’ Movie
In an essay for Games Radar, Millar makes clear that he’s made no shortage of hyper-violent material in the comic book and movie world, but thinks there needs to a balance to dark and grim storytelling. And for him, the tipping point came with Zack Snyder‘s “Man Of Steel”:
Now let me preface this by saying that I’m an enormous fan of everyone involved in this movie from the director to the writer to Cavill himself, who I think is a terrific and enormously likeable Superman. I’ll also say that I’ve been there in the front row from X-Men’s bleak Auschwitz opening, to Willem Dafoe being crucified against a wall in Spider-Man, to Ang Lee’s introspective Hulk, to Batman officially stopping smiling EVER circa 2004. I’m all for it. After decades of campiness and often journeymen directors I fell to my knees and praised the level of talent we suddenly saw attached to these characters I’d loved my entire life. We had legitimisation! We were finally being taken seriously! But Summer 2013 as I sat there on Father’s Day and saw Superman beating the bad guy by twisting his neck so hard he broke it and murdered him I really wondered if we’d come to the end of that particular road.
Now I got the logic of that scene and it absolutely made sense within the context of the movie as the villain had taken down half of Metropolis and killed hundreds of thousands of people. But even so. This was Superman. This was like seeing Sylvester the Cat finally getting his hands on Speedy Gonzales. Elmer Fudd blowing away Bugs Bunny. I loved Superman as a kid not because of his edginess or his potential for a fatal solution, but because he could do anything he wanted and still chose to be nice. This was always the moral of a superhero comic to me.
Shouldn’t the metaphor be Bugs Bunny blowing away Elmer Fudd? At any rate, Miller goes on to say that there needs to be change in tone in the comics world overall, though he’s not without hope:
I can’t be alone in my need for something a bit more uplifting in my comic books and my superhero cinema. I went to see Guardians of the Galaxy last year and was blown away not just by an incredibly fun and upbeat movie, but by the sheer joy on the faces of the audience. That movie, featuring characters nobody had ever heard of, out-grossed even Spider-Man in 2014 because people, I think, are just needing a good time and a smile again. Something interesting is stirring out there and I was shocked how quickly the rights to the Huck book were snapped up in Hollywood, Studio 8 just taking it off the table before another studio even got a look at it….
….We really need something to make us feel good right now, this week perhaps more than any other in recent memory. Our job as writers and film-makers is to entertain as well as naval gaze about the human condition and Huck is my response.
Right, remember, Millar is selling his upcoming comic, so he’s not without his own motives here. And while he’s calling for more “uplifting” comic books, it might be worth considering what comic book based movies arrived on the big screen bearing his name: the bloody, smart-ass “Kingsman: The Secret Service,” and the dour, grim “Fantastic Four.” Food for thought….
But what do you think? Do comic book movies need to lighten up already? Will everyone finally get over the ending to “Man Of Steel”? Weigh in below.