I hate to say this because I'm a WonderTrev stan but maybe there was too much Steve Trevor in the movie...? Do you have any thoughts on this?
I totally have thoughts on this. I agree that there was a *lot* of Steve Trevor in the Wonder Woman movie. Chris Pine is a cutie (I’m a recently converted fan, tbh) and I enjoyed seeing him on screen. But I also noticed while watching that he was being treated far, far better than are female love interests (here, a moment of silence for all of the Lois Lane scenes on the DCEU cutting room floor).
On the one hand, DCEU!Steve is a well-rounded supporting character with a well-defined story arc. That enriches the movie as a whole and contributes to the overall aspirational-level-status of this movie. In an ideal superhero movie, the love interest should never overshadow the lead but still be written so that the audience is emotionally invested in them. Wonder Woman gets very close to that movie. And it’s a geektastic parallel to WW’s debut in All Star Comics #8, where, Steve Trevor’s backstory took up 3 out of the 8 pages of that initial story (never to have this much “screen time” again).
On the other hand, there is something to be said about the emotional and political power of subverting an existing trope. Instead of writing the perfect superhero movie, they could have made Steve Trevor be more passive, show up for only a few scenes where he had to make kissy faces, and then be kidnapped for the hero’s motivation (that we would be just supposed to believe even though the movie would spend little time building a romantic connection). I feel like that would have been powerful because it subverts aggressive masculinity and not have made me enjoy the movie any less. And I mean… I’m a hardcore Steve Trevor stan and I’m still comfortable saying that.
I can’t shake the feeling that because Steve is a man, they were likely hesistant to go that route, like “what’s the point of this man unless he’s *doing* something?” If he was a woman, that question wouldn’t even come up. This is kind of telling of how we see men and women. Men are seen as active, well-rounded, and with lots of agency. Women are seen as passive objects (sexy lamp strikes again). If portrayals stray from these expectations, then it’s striking. It’s why we’re crying at No Man’s Land and it’s why we would notice if Steve Trevor got as little screen time as did Lois Lane in MOS/BVS.
Also, I don’t agree with people who say that Steve was the heart of the movie. He got some choice lines and Chris Pine’s charisma made him stand out, but we’re giving Steve way too much credit by saying that, no? This was Diana’s movie.
Here’s to hoping that in the next superhero movie, the love interest will get to be as fully developed as Steve Trevor’s maleness allowed him to be in this one. Thanks for the question! And if you have thoughts, let’s hear ‘em!
I wanted to do post like this for a long time, but laziness was taking the best of me for most of the time. But lately I’ve got so many emotions about Henry Cavill’s Superman that needs to be put somewhere in some form. So here it is, my five most favorite moments regarding Superman in DCEU. The moments that define this character to me in DCEU.
5. The dialogue between Jonathan and Clark in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Very important moment in a sense of formation this Superman as a character in this universe. For the most part of the movie he encounters with nothing else but criticism for his actions, no matter how much of a good he did, majority still looked at him with a suspicion, even though all he ever wanted is for people to follow his example and become heroes of their own, for people to see him like his closest ones do. In this scene Jonathan told Clark a story from his childhood where his heroic deed caused an unfortunate result, which morally broke him. Keep in mind that right before this Superman witnessed bombing of the entire senate and he thought it was his fault for not being more cautious so he could prevent it. So he was most likely thinking something along the lines like what is the point of even trying if it takes one mistake in order for the entire world to turn on you? But back to Jonathan, in his story he and his father saved their farm from being sunk by a river, but because of them changing river’s direction, Lang’s farm suffered the consequences and all their horses died. Because of it Jonathan started seeing nightames and hearing cries of those horses while trying to sleep. This story was meant to mirror Clark’s situation, because in Man of Steel even though he was saving the world, a lot of people died in the process of his fight with Zod and he also couldn’t save those people back at the senate. When Clark asks if nightmares ever stopped for Jonathan, his father’s answer was yes, when he met Martha. She helped him to believe in good of this world again, she became his world. I think this way Joanthan was trying to explain to Clark that if there is any good in this world, even if it is one person, this reason is enough to keep fighting and doing what is right, because where is one, there will be many. Every action leads to certain consequences and your failures shouldn’t cause you to stop doing what you believe in, you just have to keep in mind that outcomes might not always be the ones you expect Good of the world doesn’t stop existing if you failed one or more times, it is always there. The world is worth saving for those who still believes in good and in better tomorrow. While those who oppose you will either come to terms and follow your example or will fail themselves. In the end I just love how they compared Clark and Lois’s relationship to Jonathan and Martha’s.
4. The dialogue between Martha and Clark in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
One more very important scene and is very dear to me as Superman’s fan. Martha explains to Clark that he doesn’t owe this world anything, he is not forced to do what he does, he has a choice who he wants to be and to become and this choice he has to make on his own and only like that. That way by the end of the movie we get that kind of Superman who does what he does because he wants to, because he sincerely and selflessly enjoys doing good and relieved people’s faces is all he would ever need in return like in that scene when he saves the girl from burning building. DCEU Superman becomes a hero not because he has to, but because he wants to and this is very important. This is the Superman that I love.
3. Saving the girl from the burning building in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
I love the entire sequence, starting from the moment when Clark notices the TV news about Day of the Dead. He was in the process of his journalistic investigation about Batman vigilante and about his means to achieve justice in Gotham He got suspicious of Bruce once he heard his communication with Alfred through hidden coms and started following him. But in the process he stopped once he overheard the message on TV on a foreign for him language and when he realized that no one is going to rescue her, he immediately forgets about right now and started undoing his tie and flew to save her. In that moment I realized that this Superman is always listening, he is always cautious and on guard in order if somebody is going to need his help and when somebody does need his help, he puts that situation above anything else. Which is exactly why senate bombing harmed him that much as it did and why it made him feel guilty. Unfortunately they didn’t shoot how Kal-El was undressing from Clark into Superman. We immediately go to the moment he carries the girl in his hands, which also is a very cool moment that showcases how fast Superman is, because girl was already in the burning building when TV news were streaming the accident and it was in Mexico, so he had to be very fast in order to be in time. What I love the most about this scene is that Superman carries the girl with a smile towards her parents, you can literally see how happy he is and how much he enjoys what he is doing. Even though his expression changes a bit later, it is only because he doesn’t want people to see him as a messiah, he wants them to see him as a guy who is trying to do the right thing and for them to follow this example so people will be willing to help each other no matter the odds. He wants to show that in order to be a hero you don’t need super powers, all you need is a good and kind heart and will to do what is right for those around you.
2. Lois saves Superman, Superman saves Lois in Man of Steel.
Very strong and cool scene where Lois teams up with AI Jor-El in order to save Kal-El, which is followed by a very badass escape on Lois’s part, during which we are witnessing her military roots, since she was very good on using that alien gun, she was literally headshoting those kryptonians. But as soon as Lois gets to saving pod, it gets damaged by kryptonian lady and as a result she starts falling to Earth. When Superman gets his powers back thanks to Lois using his kryptonian key that had AI Jor-El inside of it and he reprogrammed kryptonian atmosphere of the ship to Earth’s, his biological father appears in front of him and explains how he and Lara wanted him to learn what it meant to be human first, so that one day when the time was right, he could be the bridge between two peoples. Kal-El smashes the wall of the ship to open space and after that dialogues occurred, Jor-El pointed Clark to look outside to see Lois which is followed by: “You can save her, Kal. You can save all of them”. In that exact moment Clark/Kal-El becomes Superman and goes to do his job of saving Lois and the world. What is especially great about this entire sequence is that through Lois we are witnessing that in order to be hero you don’t need super powers, you need to be brave and have a good heart that is willing to help those in need and Superman was the one in need that time around. All of that leads us one more time to the point that everyone can be a hero in his/hers own way.
1. Superman’s first Flight in Man of Steel.
I need to be clear that I love this entire scene from the moment when Clark is learning about this kryptonian heritage through Jor-El. This entire dialogue that leads them to Superman’s costume and Jor-El explaining that the symbol of House of El mean hope and it embodies a fundamental belief that potential of every person to be a force for good and this is exactly what Superman is going to become for every living being in the universe. Every time Jor-El open’s his mouth he speaks Superman is a sense that he defines all that this character means, what he is and what he will be. The meaning behind symbol of House of El defines the word hero, that all it needs is to be hopeful and do good however you can, super powers are not necessary, it’s just an instrument, but we can all contribute as far as our capabilities allow. Which again leads me to the point of DCEU’s Superman and DCEU in general - everyone can be a hero and it is expressed through various supporting characters. And of course my most favorite part of this scene is
quoting Grant Morrison’s All-Star Superman: “You will give the people of Earth an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you. They will stumble, they will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun, Kal. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders” and right after that Superman takes his first Flight and I love so much how Henry Cavill expressed the reaction to such an event. This Clark was happy as if like a human being suddenly discovered that you can fly and this is freaking amazing! He is so happy and so amazed by himself that it just warms my heart every single time I rewatch this scene. As Jor-El said, Superman embodies the best from two worlds, two different civilizations, he expresses unity, that different cultures can exist together and be embodied in a person. But most importantly, he shows humanity’s potential, even while being an alien, he takes the best from us and through his example shows what we can become, that we can be our own heroes from the world around us.
I guess this wraps up my Top 5 definitive DCEU Superman moments.
But I have to be honest, I still love ALL scenes with DCEU Superman and I want to talk about every single one for eternity. The scene of Jor-El and Lara-El sending their son away; scene with Jonathan looking at little Clark with red cape; the moment with Clark and Lois on military base and him explaining that it’s “not and S’ and her making an amazing face expression when she asks “You let them handcuff you?” and him explaining that if it makes them feel safe, then better to do it this way and she is just so in love with this incredibly kind person; bathtub scene with Clark and Lois; that moment when Batman is punching Superman while kryptonite effect fades away with every hit, that was actually hilarious; all Superman fight scenes with kryptonians and Doomsday; the moment when Superman says his goodbyes to Lois; the entire Krypton sequence in Man of Steel, etc. I LOVE THEM ALL.
I love DCEU Superman and I have all the reasons to do so, but I really wanted to share my insight on these particular moments that made me love Henry Cavill’s Man of Steel so much. This version of Superman literally changed my life I can’t freaking wait for Justice League, it has to be glorious. Thank you, Zack Snyder.
Characters: Clark Kent, Lois Lane, Bruce Wayne, Jon Kent, bits of everyone Pairing: implied/past/future superbat Summary: Of all the trials and tribulations he’s been through, he never thought one of the obstacles between him and finally seeing his children after ten long years would a protective, superpowered almost-nine year old. A/N: This AU isn’t dead I swear! Also, this going to be a multi-parter. A situation like this can’t be handled in just one fic haha. (Also I have to think of how the rest of it is going to go, oops~) I feel like this isn’t good. Oh well, I’m sorry :/
who do you think should be the one to come up with the name "Superman", Clark himself or the press/Lois? 'cause like, can u imagine, Clark just sees the S symbol all over the El historical records contained in his rocket, and is like "I will be...Stupendous Man", but then he makes his first appearance and the press is all "who is this Superman?", and Clark is all "oh, uh, I only read Nietzsche for a college class, but ok?"
I’ve always been 100% in favor of that being Lois’s invention, for the same reason as I think the s-shield needs to be a Kryptonian glyph or crest: it makes no sense in the context of anything we know about Clark Kent and his personality that he would choose those things himself. In the Golden Age it was fine, because they were socialist strongman fairy tales for children and the understanding of “he calls himself Superman, and wears an S because of that” was all the explanation required for Siegel and Shuster to justify giving their creation a recognizable brand. But once you’re factoring in pretty much any version of the personality he’s developed over the years, even if you buy nerdy farmer Clark Kent deciding to call himself Superman, why the hell would he give himself a stylized logo based off the first letter of his title? That’s an idea an advertising executive - or more to the point, two teenagers in the thirties - would have, not him. So yeah, Lois called him Superman, and he wears the S because it’s a Kryptonian thing (whether it’s a family crest or “stronger together” or “hope” or whatever you want - I prefer the latter), just like the rest of the costume.
Arms crossed over her chest, she stares right at him, eyes not wavering.
“No, I’m not,” he simply answers, his tone matching hers as he keeps writing whatever he’s on, unphased. She barely holds back an annoyed sigh. Doesn’t, really.
“I work better alone, Perry. You know that.”
“You’ve never even tried to work with someone.”
“That’s because I don’t need to.” He snorts.
“Are your ankles okay?,” he asks ironically, sparing her a brief, amused glance before getting back to his papers. She rolls her eyes.
“They’re fine, thanks. And I don’t need assistance.”
“I know you don’t, Lois - otherwise you’d already be at the door, because that attitude of yours is starting to get on my nerves,” he reprimands, glaring as he finally puts down his pen and glasses to give her his full attention.
She simply glares back, and he sighs. “The guy is just a stringer, but everything he’s send me so far is pretty solid, and I have yet to not publish it. He digged up the story, and he deserves to be the one to investigate it and bring it to light.”
“If it’s his story and he’s so deserving, why are you sending me over there?”
“Because the scale of it is new for him. He’s never had to investigate on something that big before. But,” he quickly adds before the protest leaves her mouth. “I think he can handle it - he just needs a little help. You’re the best around, I think you two could make a good team, and he’s good enough that you can actually work with him without getting annoyed.”
“Great. So now I’m a baby-sitter,” and it’s his time to roll his eyes. “Thanks, Perry, I really appreciate all the new experiences I get to live thanks to you.”
“Well actually, Mrs Sassy, I think you are going to end up thanking me on this one.”
Rising her eyebrows at him in challenge, she balances her weigh on one foot, unimpressed.
“Really? How so?” He smirks.
“The story involves Luthor Corps.”
It takes everything she has, but Lois keeps a straight face. He knows he’s won, though. Smartass.
“So, do you want to work on a story that can break the perfect image of one of the most famous and beloved billionaires in the country you’ve always suspected, or are you too busy pouting about having to share it?”
Deliberately choosing to ignore his satisfied smirk, she heads towards the door, not without making sure of sending another glare his way with a mumbled ‘Fine’.
Right before she leaves his office, Lois turns back to him, frowning.