Superman was left with no choice but to kill Zod having been backed into a corner during Man of Steel‘s epic third-act showdown, and with the character having only recently started to discover the full range and extent of his powers, he soon realized that only one of the two Kryptonians would be making it out of their battle alive. David S. Goyer had this to say
“It’s not some frivolous fight, it’s almost like 9/11 when they fight… He’s finding somebody who’s said, ‘I won’t stop’, who’s said, ‘You can’t put me in a prison I won’t ever stop’. We wanted to put him in a stalemate… I absolutely understand a lot of people had problems with it. When I have had a hand in adapting these things, you wanna be as respectful to the core material as possible but you also can’t protect against failure. You have to take big swings. With big swings there are big rewards. We took enormous swings with Batman Begins and with The Dark Knight that turned out to be well-received, but we were trying to tell a different kind of Superman story, a Superman story that hadn’t been told before and it required us taking some big swings. We talked about it. We talked about whether or not people would accept it, and the editorial staff at DC had accepted it. It doesn’t mean it wasn’t a mistake, but if you sit there and you say, ‘I don’t wanna take any risk. I’m worried I might offend a portion of the audience,’ I don’t think that’s a particularly healthy way to try to make a film or a television show.”
Some fans still haven’t gotten over the fact that Superman killing Zod is so out of character for someone that’s always been a beacon of hope, and at least Goyer acknowledges that there was a lot of backlash to his creative decision. It just remains infuriating that the effects it had on Superman still haven’t been explored in any more detail during his tenure in the DCEU.
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