In 1978 the cosmic forces of the universe had made an executive decision for Connie and Jeff Veregge: “You will forgo seeing the film you want to see and take your only son to see the movie magic of Richard Donner’s Superman." I'm paraphrasing the cosmic forces here, I don't know what they actually said, but it doesn't really matter — I got to see Christopher Reeve take flight on the big screen soaring to a triumphant soundtrack. These images and sounds from that first modern Superman movie have been imprinted on my brain — and most Americans' brains — ever since.
Flash forward 35 years later, I am waiting in line with my own children at the Wal-Mart special preview to see the latest incarnation of the Son of Jor-El: Man of Steel. So far the trailer looked great, the soundtrack that I heard was outstanding, but could a Brit (Henry Cavill) portray a classic American Icon and prove my tall friend Seth wrong? A little over 140 minutes later I had my answer.
Now I am not a professional film critic, some of my choices of films that I love may surprise and even shock you, but I can tell you with 100% certainty that I am qualified as life long comic book fan to tell you exactly what I think of this film.
I loved it.
Now most nerds, fan boys, geeks will tell you that we can be overly critical of every film that contains comic book material. We nitpick; we look at every detail as if it should be an exact replication of the pages that inspired it. I mean, as much I love Robert Downey Jr and the Iron Man franchise, I can tell you I did not like Iron Man 3 for this very reason, as it did not follow the gospel of the inked pages.
Man of Steel was far from perfect, as Zach Snyder did take liberties with the story. He took some well-known facts, stuff that even the average person knows about, and gave them new twist. But it was nothing offensive, as to me the questions he answered and the situations he addressed were created to make a 75-year super hero relevant for today’s audience.
For my fellow Natives seeing this film, you will see a similar journey that many of us all take as we grow older; The search for our heritage, gaining strength and peace from knowing who we are, where we come from. And just like Superman we do not shrink from the challenge to preserve our culture but take bold steps to ensure that it is here tomorrow.
My verdict? Go see it, have some fun and enjoy a modern American myth done right. It is purely popcorn entertainment, but isn’t that what most of us want to see when we go to the movies?
Jeffrey Veregge, Port Gamble S'Klallam, is a graphic designer and lifelong comic book fan based in Seattle. To see examples of his Native/superhero art, read the ICTMN story "Superheroes Meet Native Design in Jeffrey Veregge's Work" or visit his personal site, jeffreyveregge.com.