We’ve lived with the Dark Knight series so long, we frankly couldn’t imagine a superhero who wasn’t a little emo. Even The Avengers featured Mark Ruffalo‘s moody, broody Hulk. Luckily, as director Zack Snyder’s Tree of Life-looking teaser trailer suggested and the film’s new trailer confirms, Man of Steel‘s Superman is all about the feels. Even the film’s IMDB description seems intent on resetting our expectations of Superman: “An alien infant is raised on Earth, and grows up with superhuman abilities. He sets out to use these abilities to guard his adopted world.” Uh, you mean the story of Superman? Which everyone in the world knows by heart? Fair enough. While most superheroes tend to be somewhat emotional (does everyone’s parents have to be dead?), Man of Steel seems to score highest on the Brooding Superhero Trope scorecard:
- A scraggly, waggly beard. The fact Clark Kent, the most clean-cut of all superhero alter egos, now has a luxurious face pelt suggests some moderate-to-heavy brooding. It’s all very Bruce Wayne at the beginning of The Dark Knight Rises.
- Paralyzing self-doubt. “The world is too big, Mom,” Clark frets. Guess that explains the need for a Fortress of Solitude. Also, the trailer opens with baby Superman asking his mom for help. Can it get more emo than that? Somehow, yes!
- Powerless father figure. Did Kevin Costner just tell little Clark that he should have let a bus full of school children drown? What kind of bunkum is this? No wonder that poor alien is so mopey.
- It’s an origin story. Gotta have an origin story, baby! There hasn’t been a brooding superhero yet that didn’t get a film dedicated to his origin story.
- Ruminations on the meaning of a man’s life. “You just have to decide what kind of man you want to grow up to be, Clark. Whoever that man is, he’s going to change the world.” Oh sorry, are we not supposed tear up over a Man of Steel trailer? They wouldn’t have made it so poignant if they didn’t want us to cry! See you at the theaters on June 14!