Wednesday, November 28, 2012

How Superman Lost His Underwear

Superman, defender of truth, justice, and the American way, is returning to the big screen. Without his briefs.

“I tried like crazy to keep the red briefs on him," claims director Zack Snyder in an interview with the New York Post. "Everyone else said, ‘You can’t have the briefs on him.’ I looked at probably 1,500 versions of the costumes with the briefs on.”

Eventually, he capitulated. The undies got stripped off. Because, you know, the role demanded it.

I suppose Snyder thinks "everyone" wins.

I beg to differ. I, for one, am sorry for our loss.

It’s not enough that our heroes fly. No. We are people of science. Of technology. We insist on knowing what makes the hero tick. We know there must be a trick. Because we don’t trust ourselves, we suspect subterfuge in our heroes. We unmask them, probe their privacy, force them to doubt and disrobe, all the while reinventing them to make them darker, edgier, more like us. We have become the audience equivalent of the TSA.
Photo by bigal101 via

We insist on seeing ~ahem~ the whole package.

Other civilizations gave us Easter Island, Stonehenge, and the Sphinx – creations shrouded in mystery.

We’re the ones who put a human on the moon. Then we crammed more computing capability into a phone than into the equipment to make the lunar landing and promptly used those super phones for...


Ours is a legacy of removing the mystery from what once was revered.

And so we strip our Superman. We’ve become a consumer of our icons, insisting upon greater and grander sacrifice while removing every shred of dignity.


Dave said...

Excellent post, excellent thoughts! I'm in complete agreement. Call me a purist, but there's good reason for staying true to the original. I'm nervous about *another* Superman film anyway...let's hope it's not a disaster.

Ami Hendrickson said...

Thanks for commenting. Purists unite! I, too, believe there is great merit in staying true. I fear, however, that we purists are in the rapidly receding minority...