The resurrection of an alien being is not really something that requires much in the way of explanation – after all, we can assume that things just work differently for someone who is literally not human. But, the problem with the Man of Steel is that he has a human identity to maintain, in order to function on Earth and live his life – and this is where things get a little more complex for Superman in Justice League.
The end of Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice saw humanity mourning the recently deceased Superman, and close friends and family separately mourning the equally dead Clark Kent, but – while the Man Of Steel can essentially just return to fighting crime with few eyebrows raised, how can Clark Kent suddenly stroll back into the Daily Planet, without everyone immediately figuring out his true identity?
It’s a challenging question, and one that was not answered in Justice League. We saw Clark reunited with his mother and Lois Lane, and we saw him help his mother move back into the family farm – thanks to Bruce Wayne purchasing the bank that foreclosed on the property. But we have yet to see Clark return to his wider, public life.
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Over the weekend at the ACE Comic Con in Long Island, New York, a curious fan posed the conundrum to Henry Cavill himself – presumably in the hopes that the actor may have some insight into the long-term view of Clark Kent within the DC movie universe – and here’s what he had to say:
“It’s a tricky one. The wonderful thing about movies is that it’s a suspension of disbelief. We’re talking about a guy who can fly, who can shoot lasers out of his eyes. And so there are ways of doing it but telling these stories, it’s about your enjoyment. It’s about my enjoyment. It’s about enjoyment for the viewer.”
“And so we can spend four hours of a movie explaining why and how Clark comes back. But is that what you want to see?”
“If I had billions and billions and billions of dollars and I could make six movies a year all based on Superman, yeah, we would go through that…”
“Is that what you want to see?” Well, yes, actually. While the fan that posed the question, and Cavill himself, both agreed on “no,” there is arguably an army of fans that would love to see more Clark Kent-focused story on the big screen. The actor’s contention that it would take billions and billions of dollars and six movies a year creates the impression that Clark Kent and Superman are now merely small pieces of the larger endeavour – as opposed to being one of three towering cornerstones that elevate the entire thing.
Cavill suggests here that it’s simply not feasible to delve into the logistics of Clark Kent’s situation within the context of the franchise as it stands and, while that may technically be true from the perspective of Warner Bros., it also highlights one of the major issues that currently blights the DC movie universe. Having launched itself with Man Of Steel in 2013, the Kryptonian was essentially then sidelined, with his epic character arc and story serving as backdrop and plot device for other story threads.
Sadly, with Man Of Steel 2 and a Justice League sequel now missing from the recently announced DC movie slate, it seems as though that state of affairs is set to continue. Fans indeed have no choice but to heed the advice of Henry Cavill, and suspend disbelief.