** Warning: this posting will contain discussion of the plot in the new "Superman Returns" movie, so if you are intent upon seeing it without any foreknowledge, read it later. **
I am not bringing my kids to see the new "Superman Returns" for two reasons:
Guess what the new tag line is? "Truth, justice . . . and all of that stuff." That's right, no longer do we hear the familiar and iconic "truth, justice, and the American way." What is even more amazing, is that the alteration of the line is deliberate.
Director Bryan Singer admits that when they made the revision to the legendary slogan, they did have the international market in mind.
So much for family values. In the DC Comics, Lois Lane eventually became Superman's wife. But not now - in the movie's sub-plot, Lois is a single mom with a five-year-old son, Jason. She's bitter, because Superman disappeared from the Earth five years ago. In fact, she is going to win a Pultizer Prize for her story, "Why the World Doesn't Need Superman." She is engaged to an Earthling, and her son is initially presented as his - but hints, innuendos, and visual clues point to the absent Superman as Dad.
Superman never directly acknowledges that the little boys is his, although in one of the final scenes, Superman visits the sleeping tot and whispers words to him that Superman's own father had left him in the holographs of the Fortress of Solitude. How thoughtful. A little child support would be nice, and maybe some time actually spent with the boy.
Reminds me of a California case, Hecht v. Superior Court (1993) 16 Cal.App.4th 836, where Father had the courtesy of freezing some sperm for Mother, his girlfriend, before killing himself in a Las Vegas hotel. But worry not - he devised the sperm to said girlfriend and wrote a letter to his "potential children" that said, "[T]his letter is for my posthumous offspring, as well, with the thought that I have loved you in my dreams, even though I never got to see you born. If you are receiving this letter, it means that I am dead—whether by my own hand or that of another makes very little difference. I feel that my time has come; and I wanted to leave you with something more than a dead enigma that was your father." How sweet. How thoughtful. What kid wouldn't want that on their birthday, or say, Christmas. I wonder if Jason gets anything more, since Superman Dad doesn't acknowledge him and is a "citizen of the world."
The movie ends with Superman taking off once again, telling Lois, "I'm always around," and flying off to protect the entire globe in its truth, justice, and all the other stuff.
So much for heroes.