Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier (2014): SUPERMAN 2: THE MAN OF STEEL

K. Montinola (The Philippine Star) - July 23, 2014 - 3:29pm

Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier (2014): SUPERMAN 2: THE MAN OF STEEL

Heroes: Clark Kent, Superman; John Henry Irons, Steel

Villain/s: Lex Luthor, Captain Atom (?), General Eiling

Supporting: Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, Daily Planet folks


Lex Luthor is a genius, so he realizes quickly enough what could ruin Superman: public image. So he orchestrates a series of events that will beg the question of Superman’s moral responsibilities as a super-powered alien being dedicated to saving the world. Should he be out there, neutralising threats before they happen? And if they happen before he can stop them, should he be eliminating them full stop?

In the meantime, General Eiling is fed up with his government’s eagerness to appear chummy with Superman, and he waits to pounce with his counter-Superman measure: Captain Nathaniel Adams, a former Air Force pilot he has manipulated into joining the Captain Atom project, and becoming a human nuclear force. Once Luthor has altered public perception enough to consider Superman lawless and dangerous, Captain Atom is sent in. But ultimately Superman wins, not because of his greater strength but because of what he believes of mankind, and the confrontation ends with Superman trying to help Captain Atom out of his coercion.

Their troubles are not over, with Lex Luthor still out there with the best super suit money and genius can create, and with General Eiling finally injecting himself with government brand super-serum and becoming a monstrous ‘any-means-necessary’ supervillain. Ordinary engineer John Henry Irons holds down the fort as newborn hero Steel, while Superman and Captain Atom sort things out; Steel shows how the non-superpowered can take a stand, particularly against the hypocritical General, and Captain Atom’s story says something about truth, justice, and the American way.

No long lost best friends-turned-Soviet-assassins in this one, but there’s a lot of good mileage to be had out of Clark Kent and Lois Lane yet. And who knows, Superman may find in Steel and Captain Atom the kind of friends who will be with him until the end of the line.

Mid-credits scene: Vandal Savage discusses Lex Luthor’s folly and the General’s idiocy. Darkseid replies that they are nothing, and that no one, not Superman, not Batman, not Wonder Woman or any of Earth’s heroes know what’s coming.

Post-credits scene: Captain Atom watches his family from afar, deciding that, for their sakes, they don’t have to know that he is alive.

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