Weeks ago, comic book writer Marc Waid made headlines with his impassioned and negative reaction to the controversial hit movie Man of Steel. (Check out his blog at Thrillbent.) Granted, it’s the norm for the internet to blow things out of proportion, but it’s hard to misinterpret calling the climactic battle “Disaster Porn” and his reaction to Superman’s final move as:
“Some crazy guy in front of us was muttering ‘Don’t do it…don’t do it…DON’T DO IT…’ and then Superman snapped Zod’s neck and that guy stood up and said in a very loud voice, ‘THAT’S IT, YOU LOST ME, I’M OUT,’ and his girlfriend had to literally pull him back into his seat and keep him from walking out and that crazy guy was me. That crazy guy was me, and I barely even remember doing that, I had to be told afterward that I’d done that, that’s how caught up in betrayal I felt. And after the neck-snapping, even though I stuck it out, I didn’t give a damn about the rest of the movie.”
Waid has since sat down with Voices From Krypton, the Superman-devoted website, to elaborate on his thoughts and to react to fans’ responses.
To start with, in regard to the online reaction to his review, he stated:
“I guess the reaction to my review was disappointing to me a little, because while most people seemed to get it, there’s been a reductive aspersion cast on it by a lot of people. More and more I’ve seen, “Read here why Mark Waid hates Man of Steel.” Well, that’s not what I said… I was broken hearted, I was disappointed, I was gutted by that one scene as much as anything else or certainly the last third of the movie, but I also liked a lot of things about it. I even kind of understand why they went that way, so this isn’t, “It’s not my Superman,” or “Why can’t it be like the ’50s when I was growing up?” It’s not that at all. It’s more the idea of, man, there’s just no heart or charm, especially in that last third of the movie. It’s just destruction porn.”
“I think that seems to be the overall feeling from a lot of people, that this is the first step. But nobody knew it was going to be a trilogy going in!… If I wanted to see Boy of Steel I would have seen Boy of Steel… I understand that you want growth and development and stuff, but I just want a little more pay off to that. It reminds me very much of the thing you loathe hearing from freelancers and writers when you’re a publisher or editor, because I get this a lot – every publisher and every editor gets it – you get someone turning in a first issue and… nothing big has happened or there’s something missing, and the answer is always, “Wait till you get to issue three.” Oh, shut up! “We have to set the stage!” Stop setting the stage and get on with the play. That’s my kneejerk reaction to the point of, well he’s just learning. But that’s not what it was sold as, that’s not what we thought we were getting. We thought we were getting a Superman movie, and we got a Superman in training movie.”
“I’ve talked over and over to the people at DC over the last ten years, and I know what WB’s feeling is about Superman, which is that he’s stupid, he’s corny and why can’t he be more like Batman? Well, because he’s not Batman, but there’s nothing Hollywood loves more than safe bets. So that certainly always informs the tone and direction that this movie was going to have. We always knew once they got serious about it that it was going to be a darker, more brooding take, but I kind of thought there would be a little wiggle room there.”