Well, for starters, there are only 3 Superman movies for me. Superman: The Movie, Superman II, and Man of Steel. Now, that I got that out of the way, let’s get down to business.
Superman was created by 2 Jewish kids in Cleveland in 1933. It wasn’t until 1938 that he was published in Action Comics, from there his popularity and followers grew. I was introduced to Superman via Superman: The Movie … at least that is the first recollection of Superman in my life. I became a comic book reader in the early 90’s when I started reading Iron Man after my dad had finished with it. From there I picked up a lot of different comic books and really finding the characters that resonated with me. Superman was one of those heroes. His impeccable character and clean language became a roll model for me; not that I was great at it. I mean really what kid can be like Superman? However, one standard that he set for himself became ingrained in me. The importance of high standards; my mother, in frustration, told me once that my standards were so high Superman couldn’t keep them. I was of course proud of myself … and then I realized that my mistake was expecting everyone else to have the same standards. It caused me some pain and frustration until I learned to not push my standards on others. They are mine and I own them 100%.
Superman really did set a high standard for superheroes and for those who would live after his creation. His example of truth, justice, and the American way influenced generations. These ideals still stir my heart and cause me to be a little nostalgic. Now, because of Superman’s high standards, I posit those superheroes that followed in the comic books also came with high standards. They all had different powers and abilities; however, they were all law abiding citizens.
One of my favorite things about Superman, is his restraint. This can be seen most recently in Man of Steel; as the movie wraps Zod and Superman are fighting. They end up in a metro or train station underground. Zod tells Superman,”If you love these people so much you can morn for them”. then Zod fires up his heat vision and starts tracking the family. Superman pleaded with him to stop and of course he doesn’t. Superman then tells him to stop and Zod responds, “never”. Superman then closes his eyes and makes a decision. he breaks Zod’s neck and the cries out in anguish for he has killed the only other living Kryptonian. Throughout his career as a superhero, Superman has always tried to hold of on killing his enemies. He has held it as the tactic of last resort because of his moral grounding. Lex Luther calls him the Big Blue Boy Scout because of the traits and values that Superman holds and displays. I will admit that this is one of my favorite monikers for him by one of his enemies.
Superman is the greatest superhero of all time and if you are looking for a storyline that really features this, you should check out Kingdom Come.
My life has been influenced by the comics that I read and grew to love. They taught me that sometimes the pain is worth it. They taught me to never give up. They also taught me that my parents had started me on a path to being a good person. I made mistakes and when I decided to start living a christian life, I needed their inspiration and stories to help me have the courage to do what was right and change myself. Today my kids are learning about superheroes and they have started to learn how wonderful these stories can me. They also are held to high standards because I learned that we have to have something to reach for. I know that I expect more from them than they can consistently deliver. I have been rewarded with their successes. More importantly they are reaping the rewards of reaching for goals that are set just a little out of their reach. I am proud of them and one day, they will know their own success and be better men for it.