Screenwriter David Goyer Defends Superman Killing General Zod In ‘Man of Steel’

Michael Shannon as General Zod in Man of Steel (2013), Warner Bros. Pictures

Screenwriter David Goyer recently defended Superman killing General Zod in the Zack Snyder directed Man of Steel film.

Michael Shannon as General Zod in Man of Steel (2013), Warner Bros. Pictures

For those who have not seen the film or need a refresher, Superman kills Zod by snapping his neck as Zod is attempting to murder a number of innocent bystanders in Metropolis with his heat vision abilities.

RELATED: Writer Chuck Dixon Further Clarifies Why Superman Should Not Kill Ever

The scene has been heavily criticized for showing Superman kill Zod. One such critic is former DC Comics writer Chuck Dixon, known for his creation of Bane, Knightfall, Birds of Prey, and character defining Tim Drake stories.

In Ask Chuck Dixon #157, Dixon explained why Superman should never kill, “Superman is a childhood wish fulfillment character. Childhood wish-fulfillment characters should never be lethal.”

“Fred Flintstone should never murder Mr. Slate,” he continued, “You just don’t take that step beyond. These characters were created and exist in a world where there is a strict moral code against killing. It’s called the Ten Commandments and Superman is not going to violate that. He is not a soldier. He is not a police officer. He is not endowed with the right to use lethal force.”

Dixon added, “He is, for all intents and purposes, a citizen acting in the name of the rule of law, in the name of humanity. He’s acting as a hero, but he’s strictly a volunteer, and it’s just not right to have him kill.”

Action Comics #775 (2001), DC Comics

RELATED: Chuck Dixon Says Changing American Icons Like Superman And Captain America To Fit Modern Times Is A Crime

He then stated, “And you can say, ‘Well, in the real world…’ This isn’t the real world. This should never be the real world. Superman should exist in a reality that’s free of the nonsense that we have to deal with, the grubby animal-like behavior of some human beings. This is escapist entertainment. We want to go to Superman’s world and be reassured that there is still goodness in the heart of humanity as Clark Kent and Superman strive to become more human to fit in with the family of Man.”

“And in order to do that he has got to be a paragon. And paragons don’t go around murdering their bad guys,” he declared.

Superman in All-Star Superman #1 (2006), DC Comics

Goyer defended his decision to have Superman kill Zod during a recent interview with Josh Horowitz on his YouTube channel.

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Goyer defended his decision saying, “It just felt what’s right for this story. And the idea that Superman doesn’t kill is not canon in the comic books. It’s this idea that came out later and it just felt- the whole point of it too was this is a story about him becoming Superman and understanding the import of who and what he is and what it means to the world and stumbling, and grappling with this.

“And then having done that, deciding I can’t, I have to make sure that that just never happens again in any possible way,” he continued.

Henry Cavill as Superman and Michael Shannon as General Zod in Man of Steel (2013), Warner Bros. Pictures

Next, he stated, “But I felt for that story that we were telling, and Chris [Nolan] felt the same and so did Zack [Snyder], that that was the right way to go, which was a much more ‘realistic’ take on Superman.”

Goyer then recalled a scene he wrote that never made it into the film, “There’s a scene I wrote that never made it into the movie. It was a flashback with Jonathan Kent in which Jonathan is taking Clark out hunting and they kill a deer. Clark, I think he’s like 12, he hits the deer, but its not a kill shot. And the deer is suffering and his father has to finish the deer off. And young Clark is incredibly shaken by it and they have this conversation about the responsibility of taking a life. And I just felt — we had to cut for time, also for budget — I’ve always wished that scene could’ve made it in the movie because I felt like that was a bit of a tee up into what happens at the end.”

Henry Cavill as Superman in Man of Steel (2013), Warner Bros. Pictures

What do you make of Goyer’s defense for Superman killing General Zod in Man of Steel?

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