OR HOW I CAN BEAT A DEAD HORSE TO DEATH!
Let’s talk not about my dislike for Meh of Steel but instead on why Superman needs a really good lawyer. It has come up more than once in discussions on my issues with the film that there is a lot to review and understand at what happened in this movie.
During the movie our so-called hero saves the world… but at what cost? Well let’s break down what Superman IS responsible for during the 2-1/2 hour running time.
To be fair I got some information below regarding the numbers from Buzzfeed’s article. It is staggering when you see the math. Going back over the evidence I have amassed the following charges against the Man of Steel. The list is surprisingly long even to me. However, since people would rather have a Superman that better reflects the real world, then he needs to face the real world legal consequences for his actions.
The Charges so far…
- Theft – (Clothing) Okay so this one’s a bit much to start off with but it does happen. After saving the guys on the oil rig, Clark hits the mainland and finds a car open and steals the clothing right out of the back. Are you going to tell me that he couldn’t get back to Kansas via his super speed and get some of his own clothes? He stole from some poor, unsuspecting person who spent their hard earned money to buy those clothes only to have them stolen by this thievin’ man-child.
- Theft – (Kryptonian Scout Ship) He steals the Kryptonian ship from the U.S. arctic expedition. This is a clear violation of international salvage rights which would clearly favour the Americans in this case as they are the ones to find the ship and try to salvage the craft. Just because he is of Kryptonian heritage does not give him the right to steal. He should have contacted the U.S. government and gone through the proper channels to reclaim the vehicle.
- Fraud – (False Identities) In the film, it is shown he uses several false identities that he has stolen over the years to stay under the radar. Currently, the theft of identity is a crime in most parts of the world. In 100% in the U.S.A., it is a crime. That would make at least 3 known aliases and false identities and papers to go with it. Isn’t that what people with something to hide do? Or terrorists?
- Tax Evasion – (See his false identities) Clark Kent is 33 years old in the story and has not held down a job under his real name. During this time, he was being paid under the table and as such would not be paying his taxes. Tax evasion is a very serious crime that causes people all across America to have difficulty with the IRS. He left Smallville when he was 18. That means he owes the IRS for 15 years in unpaid back taxes and penalties. That kind of evasion is what brought Al Capone down. Lex Luthor pays his taxes. Why can’t Superman?
- Trespassing – (Secret Arctic Government Expedition) Using one of his latest false identities, he breaks into a classified Government site to steal back a Kryptonian scout ship. If caught, this could have led to him being charged with treason or shot. The U.S. government takes trespassing on government property seriously and would have done whatever they could when they caught him.
- Property Damage – (Truck Driver Bully) I can fully understand Clark’s mentality in this case however it doesn’t excuse him from destroying an approximately $100k vehicle. Yes, that’s how much some trucks cost. Even more depending on the extras. The bully needed to be taught a lesson, granted. But damaging property like that is not acceptable on Earth. What is he, a petulant pre-teen with anger management issues?
- Property Damage – (Smallville) Unfortunately, while the citizens of Smallville may appreciate his help and efforts during the battle, this small town suffered incalculable property damage during the conflict with the alien Faora UL and her companion, including a SEARS that was decimated by a train locomotive engine. Of the actual town proper, close to 50% of it was destroyed. These people are farmers in Kansas, not billionaire playboys like Bruce Wayne. How are they going to feed their families and pay for the rebuilding?
- Property Damage – (Metropolis) During his battle with General Zod, he helps damage and destroy roughly 10-15 skyscrapers. Approximate rebuilding cost by one source has estimated $700 billion for the damage he directly caused. It could be argued that he had no choice in having the battle in the middle of downtown but from a legal point, he should have made every effort to move the fight elsewhere. Sure, Lex Luthor has already committed to spending billions of his vast fortune to help Metropolis get back on it’s feet, as any civic minded citizen would. As of today, Superman still has not offered his services in the clean up.
- Property Damage – (Military drone) A drone of this nature is approximately $1 billion dollars to replace. Who’s going to pay for that? You guessed it, US citizens and their tax dollars. What is he trying to hide that a drone needed to be destroyed to cover up? How is Superman’s privacy any more sacred than anyone else on the planet? Governments have been tracking their own citizens (*cough* NSA *cough*) who they deem as potential safety risks. Last time I checked, Superman just helped destroy a city and 2 advanced alien aircrafts as well as kill their super powerful leader with his bare hands. Nope, no safety issues there.
- Vigilantism – (The escaped Phantom Zone criminals) Under what authority does he have the right to don a costume and chase after these criminals? Why not let the legal system hunt them down and follow proper due process? Because he thinks that he is above the law. It is clear by all of his actions that he does not think he needs to obey simple basic legal requirements. For example, being a witness at major accidents and other such events, he is required to give a witness statement. In the U.S., vigilantism is a crime. How can he stand for Truth, Justice and the American Way if he is a criminal?
- Obstruction of Justice – (All of the above charges) He makes no attempt to help the proper authorities during their investigations. What did he see while on the Oil Rig? Did he see any possible malfeasance during his rescue? He evades authorities during the Battle of Smallville & the Battle of Metropolis. Again, he could give eyewitness accounts of what took place from his first hand perspective. There may have been structural deficiencies that could have helped with their collapses. He also evades questions put to him by the U.S. government on multiple occasions.
- Reckless Endangerment – (Citizens of Smallville) Throughout the Battle of Smallville, Superman has opportunities to move the fight out of the town proper and into non populated areas. However, this does not happen and while he does save some lives, he continues to endanger the lives of others in the town by not moving the battle elsewhere. They are in Kansas. Are you telling me there are no corn fields they could fight in? I know that the fight is hard to avoid but he is legally responsible to not endanger the lives of others.
- Reckless Endangerment – (Citizens of Metropolis) During his battle with Zod, Superman fails to move the fight someplace else. He and Zod continue to pummel each other senseless while endangering every person in their path. It is the legal responsibility of both combatants to avoid harming anyone else during this fight. Granted, Superman is an alien from another planet, as is Zod. But Superman has spent 33 years on Earth learning our ways and legal responsibilities as a citizen. He needed to take a greater care and effort to move the fight out of populated areas.
- Reckless Endangerment – (Citizens of World) Granted, Kal-EL was sent to earth unknowingly by his father, Jor-EL, as an infant. He had at that time no way of knowing his impact on the planet in the future. However, this can not be used as an excuse for his part in endangering the lives of every citizen on Earth. After learning of the existence of Zod and his subsequent arrival in orbit, Clark Kent (Kal-EL) had every opportunity to leave the planet and go elsewhere. His very presence on earth endangered everyone. If you need further proof of his culpability in this act, look no farther than the fact that it was he who activated the homing beacon that alerted General Zod’s forces to his presence on Earth. His apparent ignorance of his part in these crimes is not an excuse in legal terms.
- Littering – (World Engine) Superman, in a selfless act to protect the people of Earth, destroys the Kryptonian World Engine and stops the terraforming of our planet. This is something to be proud of except for the fact that he left all the debris from the destroyed device all over the ocean floor. Humanity has enough pollution to deal with let alone adding to it by leaving alien garbage all over the planet. We don’t have a blue box program for alien recyclables yet.
- Littering – (Kryptonian Scout Ship) Another example of Superman’s disregard for humanity – our need to control pollution. After his battle left the ship in a scrap pile in Metropolis, he goes off to fight General Zod and never bothers to return to clean up the mess he created. This ship is still in dispute under International salvage law with America. At this point, he was in the process of reclaiming the vehicle from the intergalactic thief known as General Zod. There is also possible charges being laid in regards to allowing advanced technology to be reclaimed by other interested 3rd parties with potential ties to foreign powers around the globe thus causing potential security risks to Americans.
“NOBODY has the right to kill. Not Mxyzptlk, not you, not Superman… especially not Superman!”
— Superman speaking to Lois (Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? – Action Comics #583, Vol. 1)
- Murder – (Citizens of Metropolis) Now we move into the area of great concern. Currently facing 129,000 charges of manslaughter and a possible increase to this number based on the estimated 250,000 missing, presumed dead citizens of Metropolis. Making Superman the number one killer in Metropolis history. This body count makes other such killers such Dahmer, Bundy and Gacy pale in comparison when looking at a possible 379,000 dead citizens.
- Murder – (Zod) Many have already argued that Superman was justified in his killing of General Zod. It’s hard to not see it that way however, the plain simple fact is that no person has the right to take another life. Superman is, as the charges show, also being charged with vigilantism and is not a state sanctioned officer of the court. As such, he has no jurisdiction over anyone from Earth or beyond. His own people, the Kryptonians, did not believe in the death penalty. They had the option as they did once before to send criminals to something called the Phantom Zone. An inter-dimensional prison.
- Genocide – (Krypton) Superman is guilty of one of the most heinous crimes known to man: The total and complete genocide of the Kryptonian race. Even though his need to do such an act has been claimed as for the benefit of mankind, it is questionable. There is no proof that suggests that by destroying the one thing in the universe that could bring them back would help to stop Zod or his followers. In fact I would argue that act inflamed Zod so much that his attack on Superman in Metropolis was a foregone situation. While he MIGHT have just cause for some other charges, he will be hard pressed to convince others that he had no choice but to commit genocide. Superman will now go down in history with other notable names such as Adolf Hitler, Slobodan Milošević, Jean-Paul Akayesu, Pol Pot and Omar al-Bashir to name a few. This is not the company you want to keep when you are claiming to be the HOPE of humanity.
Let’s see, all total 19 charges, including 2 counts of theft, 1 count of Trespassing, 4 counts of destruction of property, 1 count of fraud, 1 count of tax evasion, 1 count of vigilantism, 1 count of obstruction, 3 counts of endangerment, 2 counts of littering, 129,000 counts of manslaughter (possibly more to come) and finally 1 count of genocide. That’s a very impressive list of charges with an accumulated possibility of over 3.2 million years in prison without the possibility of parole. I know that Superman can live longer than the average human, but not even he could make it to see another day as a free man.
Inspiring HOPE for until the release of Man of Steel
If you’re gonna geek out, GEEK HARD!
If you liked my railing against the system here check out these posts.