I hesitated to watch Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel, not sure if I could enjoy watching Russell Crowe (who plays Superman’s real father, Jor El) hang out of an airplane by two dislocated shoulders while doing his own stunts (as usual), but this movie was a happy surprise for me – a thrill ride with lots of heart, and one that stays emotionally grounded enough to have meaning today, even with the good ol’ Planet B trope in play.
This sonnet is in Clark Kent’s voice, after the film takes place, looking back on his father Jor El’s message for him with the eyes of a reporter who has seen the crisis of climate change impending on all fronts at once, when he finally understands what his father meant about helping Earthlings learn from Krypton’s mistakes.
To send me worlds away from all you’d known,
and in me, send the sum of all your dreams,
our people’s only hope – and to disown
our dying planet’s mountains, hills and streams –
took madness, or the genius of the damned.
In me, you saved mere possibility,
the hope that I would offer up my hand
to Earth’s inhabitants, and set them free
of their great fear of the unknown – to show
these people how to learn from other worlds
what peril lies in reckless waste – that no
mistake is deadlier than habit curled
in on itself in blind constraint – the need
to curb the sheer momentum of mass greed.