‘Man of Steel’: the Latest Evolution of Superman

August 10, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. makeover [MEYK-oh-ver] (n.) – the process of improving one’s appearance or features
Example: To appeal to younger generation, the old movie had a major makeover.

2. evolution [ev-uh-LOO-shuh n] (n) – a process of growth or development
Example: 3D movies are the current stage in the evolution of movie making.

3. allusion [uh-LOO-zhuh n] (n.) – the act of referring to something that is not directly mentioned
Example: Superhero movies are usually allusions to the story of the Savior in the Bible.

4. transcend [tran-SEND] (v.) – to exceed or go beyond something
ExampleTranscending cultural boundaries is one of the major challenges of film makers.

5. empower [em-POU-er]  (v.) –  to give the capacity to do something
Example:  Comic books empower children to imagine.


Read the text below.
The new movie ‘Man of Steel’ is said to be Superman’s 21st century makeover that presents the latest evolution of the superhero in its 70-year existence.

Through the years, people have drawn and formulated different interpretations of the Superman character. Some pop culture articles suggest that Superman’s story is an allusion to Jesus Christ’s story, especially because Clark Kent had a major life conflict at 33, the same age when Jesus Christ encountered his.

On the other hand, some people think that Superman is similar to Moses because the superhero’s name, Kal-El, somewhat means “God’s voice.”

But Howard Marshall, manager of an established comic bookstore in Washington, D.C., thinks that Superman transcends Christianity and Jewish tradition.

Marshall believes that, despite being Jewish, the creators of Superman did not intend to include Jewishness into the character. The creators’ culture may simply have affected their creation. But tracing back the first release of Superman in the 1930s, during America’s Great Depression, the comic books were primarily intended to empower the people by showing the superhero in every person.

When Superman was made into a TV series in the 1950s, the superhero became known all over America. The show greatly influenced kids born in that generation as they were the first to have television as a fixed set at home.

It was in the 70s and 80s when Christopher Reeve took the role of Superman to the movies that the superhero gained worldwide popularity.
Today’s Superman featured in the box office hit Man of Steel is far different from its old versions—with its 3D effects and new cast of actors. But whether or not the new movie will stand the test of time is yet to be known.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Why do you think superheroes are popular?
·         In your opinion, is there any good in believing in superheroes? Why?

Discussion B

·         Who do you consider as your real-life superhero? Why do you say so?
·         Who do you consider as the superhero of your country? Why is that so?


August 10, 2013