How Superman Became My Hero
I was born and raised in Canada by a loving family that immigrated from Tehran, Iran, to Toronto, Ontario, escaping the theocratic government that many felt uncomfortable with. I always struggled socially and never really had friends that I kept for a long period of time. Not to say I did not have friends at all, but I never felt close enough with someone to share feelings without feeling insecure. I was very dependant on my family in terms of people I spent my time and feelings with. This got better towards the end of High School and currently, in college. This piece will mainly focus on my adolescent years and how Superman became my inspiration and hero.
As I entered my adolescent years, I started to fall in love with film. I remember going to the theatres every other week. I felt infatuated with the storytelling wonders that films offered me. I was open to all types of film, ranging from Zack Snyder’s ambitious Sucker Punch to James Cameron’s Sanctum. I remember watching every single comic book film that was coming out even though I only had a loose knowledge of the lore & source material. I was in love with visual storytelling. Then came a day where I watched a film that changed my life forever.
It was Sunday, June 16, 2013, Father’s Day in Canada. I was 14 years old and took my father to the theatres to watch Man Of Steel. At the time, I was familiar with The Dark Knight Trilogy and recognized it as the superior comic book franchise. However, films provided the only medium of comic book insight I had. I never watched or read any Superman material prior to Man Of Steel. Superman simply never appealed to me. He seemed less relatable and more fantastical. I never had the impression that Superman was able to be challenged and go through intense character development. Zack Snyder begged to differ, and delivered an iconic interpretation of Superman for the modern generation of society.
As I watched Man Of Steel for the very first time during Father’s Day, I felt emotions I have never felt watching a film before. I was moved emotionally, felt inspired, joyful, and hopeful. I remember tearing up when Clark struggled to make friends and resorted to the comfort of his mother when the world was too big for him to handle. I remember tearing once more when a teenage Clark witnessed his father sacrifice his own life because his knew the world was not capable of handling a new immigrant and alien figure like Clark just yet.
It was more significant to me knowing time that I had have my own father right next to me and I couldn’t handle the thought of losing him, let alone because he wanted to protect me. When Clark first flew in triumph with that grandiose Hans Zimmer theme in the background, I felt inspired and hopeful. I was inspired by Clark’s relentless determination to change the world and help people for the better despite possible rejection and hardship. I was compelled by Zod’s actions to save his people. In all ways, Man of Steel is a sincere display of a director’s vision for an iconic character. Man Of Steel is to me what Lord Of The Rings may have been to people years ago, an unforgettable cinematic epic.
It may have differed for people who have previously known Superman from the iconic Donner films or from the animated series, but Man Of Steel shows an evolution of the character that appeals to a wider group of people recognizing the social injustices occurring in Western civilization.
As Sheraz Farooqi brilliantly explained in his essay “The Ultimate Immigrant Story: Zack Snyder’s Superman”, Zack Snyder’s Superman is the perfect representation of the modern immigrant. I would like to touch on Batman v. Superman: Dawn Of Justice a bit here as well only in relation to Superman’s character. In all ways, Batman v. Superman: Dawn Of Justice is a perfect deconstruction of Superman and expansion to the Man Of Steel lore. As Clark’s father warned him, the world (mainly America) was not ready for the immigrant figure Superman was, and was divided by an accepting side and a side that heavily rejects his actions. Due to being an immigrant, Superman faced rejection even though he is ultimately a man who only wants to do good for the world.
His immigrant but godlike nature instills fear in his greatest enemy Lex Luthor, who criminalized Superman and made the world skeptical of the hero. Film is open to interpretation, open to make you think and feel ways you might reject or accept. The story is a vision told from the minds of a director and writer who want to tell a story. For me, the organic progression and interpretation of Superman from Man Of Steel to Batman v. Superman: Dawn Of Justice is what made me fall in love with his character.
Zack Snyder’s Superman is meant to be conflicted, evolving and learning, like humans do. The future of Zack Snyder’s Superman in the DC franchise is to ultimately become that utopian Hero people recognize from the Donner films. With all my heart, I will embrace this evolution because of all the conflict and tribulations Superman went through to her there.
It was seeded firmly and genuinely from the opening scene of Man Of Steel to the ending scene of Batman v. Superman: Dawn Of Justice.
Entertainment wise, Zack Snyder’s Superman introduced me to a world of comics and previous films that entertained and moved me. I watched the very first Donner film and felt the wonder of its generation. I read iconic stories such as Birthright, For Tomorrow, For All Seasons, Earth One, Unchained, etc. I diverged and started reading many Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Flash, and Green Lantern stories. I ultimately became a fan of DC material. Zack Snyder’s Superman changed my life for the better. I became emotionally, mentally, and physically healthy. I became less timid and more open, more accepting. I have more friends now than I have ever had before. I am more social and willing to help. And most of all, I am happy, and
Zack Snyder’s Superman played a part in that. I will always be thankful and grateful that Zack Snyder and Henry Cavill gave me a hero as amazing as their Superman.