Superman's Two Dads In Man of Steel

Last week Entertainment Weekly published an interesting (well, interesting to me) article in their Summer Must List edition. The article centered on Superman's two dads in the highly anticipated Man of Steel movie coming out in a few weeks. (I've already bought tickets and put in for a vacation day.) According to interviews with both Director Zach Snyder and screenwriter David S. Goyer, the role of fathers will be a central issue critically affecting Clark Kent's choices in becoming Superman.

EW correspondent Anthony Breznican writes that Clark is "in a tug-of-war between his Kryptonian biological father, Jor-El (Russell Crowe), and his adoptive earthling dad, Jonathan Kent (Kevin Coster)." Goyer continues the thought stating, "It's about Clark trying to decide whose son he is," while adding that Clark's decision will determine the the fate of the earth.

As I've mentioned before, the conflict, of course, stems from Jor-El sending Kal-El to Earth with a message to his son that he is to become a savior to his new home world, while Kent, on the other hand urges Clark to conceal his powers out of a fear for the worst from humanity.

What I liked best about the article, mainly because it's something I readily identify with, is that both Snyder and Goyer's experiences as fathers influenced this particular aspect of the movie. With eight kids, Snyder has had much to draw from, while Goyer goes on to recount a particularly poignant moment as a parent.    

"One day [my stepson] was mad at me and said, 'You're not my real dad! I don't have to listen to you!'" Goyer recalls. "[Jonathan] Kent says a version of what I said to my stepson, which  is, 'You're right. I'm not your real dad, but I love you and chose you. And I didn't have to choose you. And that's a big deal.'"

Being both a dad and a stepdad this article really hit home with me. In one sense I am both Jor-El and Jonathan Kent which often makes me question the consistency of the messages I pass along to my three sons and two stepdaughters. Sometimes I get it right; sometimes I don't. Mistakes are part of the story, but so too are triumphs.

In any case, I am thrilled that Man of Steel is going to explore this aspect of Superman's journey. In fact, Snyder tells that a lot of emphasis will be place on Clark's years as a child growing up and the character development that molds the superhero he will eventually become.

For a guy with a blog named Clark Kent's Lunchbox, this is exciting to hear. It's exactly the part of the Superman story that made me a fan to begin with, and it's what helped make me a better father.

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