‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ was released in 2016 and heavily divided fans. One of the more controversial choices was killing off Superman in his second film appearance. Some audiences loved the idea, while the rest thought it was far too early for it to happen, especially in a film where he didn’t have many lines. While it felt a little too early then, Zack Snyder did have his reason to do it, which is what we are to break down. Here’s how and why Superman died in ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’.
Superman was killed fighting Doomsday at the end of the film. He stabbed Doomsday with the Kryptonite spear, which also weakened Superman. This caused Doomsday to stab Superman, which resulted in both of them dying. The reason Zack Snyder made this choice was so that he could have Superman come back in Justice League but have him be the more hopeful version that we know from the comics.
Now that we have briefly discussed how and why Superman was killed off, let’s analyze it in more detail! If you’re interested in how Superman died in the comics, how it impacts this film, and Zack Snyder’s overall plan for the character, stay with us and keep reading!
How did Superman die in the comics?
Just like in the film, Superman was killed by Doomsday in the comics. The main difference to the film, however, was that it was a much more experienced Superman who faced Doomsday. After being teased for multiple issues, Doomsday finally appeared and killed Superman in the famous story, ‘The Death of Superman.’ Before he faced the Man of Steel, Doomsday faced multiple other Superheroes and defeated every single one. He went up against the Justice League, who had no hopes of defeating the creature, and when he finally got to Metropolis, he and Superman had a brutal battle.
The two of them fought for hours, and Superman desperately tried to get the creature into space to protect the citizens of Metropolis and cause as little damage as possible. The two exchanged hundreds of deadly blows, and Doomsday eventually beat the Man of Steel to death. That was not without dying himself from hits from Superman. This led to the iconic page of Superman lying dead and bloodied in Lois Lane’s arms, with the rest of the citizens looking devastated.
How did Superman die in ‘Batman v Superman’?
When Lex Luthor used General Zod’s dead body to create Doomsday, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman went up against the creature. This resulted in a deadly fight that led to Superman’s death. After realizing that Kryptonite was the only thing that hurt it, Superman realized what he had to do. He took the spear that Batman had created to use against Superman and flew it into Doomsday’s stomach. The Kryptonite was also weakening Superman, which then caused Doomsday to be able to stab the Man of Steel through the heart.
As said before, audiences were not too fond of this decision as it felt too soon with this version of the character. Compared to the comics, Superman was still in his early days, and the Justice League hadn’t even been formed yet. However, in the film, it causes people to no longer fear Superman and view him as a hero. This included Batman, who saw him as a threat early in the film.
Why did Zack Snyder kill off Superman?
Zack Snyder’s main reason for killing off Superman was because he wanted the character to be reborn as the hopeful hero we knew from the comics. Snyder’s plan for the character was to evolve through three films, leading to him becoming the optimistic boy scout we all love. This plan didn’t come to fruition, however, as there were lots of issues after ‘Batman v Superman,’ which then led to a full reboot of the DC films by James Gunn.
When and how did Superman come back to life?
Superman was brought back to life in both cuts of ‘Justice League.’ The way he is brought back is the same in both versions. When the Justice League has access to the Motherbox, they use the Flash to create an energy field to power it up. They drop Superman’s body into the water where Doomsday was created, and the Motherbox, mixed with Flash’s energy, brings Superman back to life. However, when he comes back, he is not the same as he was; he forgets who he was, and it takes Lois Lane to bring him back and make him remember.
Why were fans not happy with Superman’s death?
Fans were unhappy because Superman’s death was a huge event in the comics, which had a lot of build-up. Audiences felt Doomsday was tacked on at the end of ‘Batman v Superman’ just to kill the Man of Steel. It was also far too early in Superman’s career for this to happen, as he had only been Superman for around 18 months. The world still feared him, and he was not yet hopeful and optimistic like the comics. When Superman died in the comics, he was fully established and a well-loved hero, making it even more tragic and more of an event.
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