I just don't buy the Man of Steel sucks because "Superman never kills" argument. It doesn't hold up considering; Superman does kill in the comics, more specifically Superman #22 by John Byrne on October 1988. He didn't just kill anyone he killed Zod in particular. The movie was heavily influenced by John Byrne's Superman: Man of Steel (see: Man of Steel: Five Things The Movie Took From John Byrne’s Superman) Is it possible that David Goyer and Zach Snyder were influenced by John Byrne's Superman for the ending?
Eat green Zod!
Shame on you Mr. Byrne. You've obviously never seen the Donner films.
This story was what catapulted Superman to take the vow never to kill again. This decision haunted him a for years to come. This was a defining moment for a rookie Superman. Just like in Man of Steel. Zach Snyder has said as much:
….David, Chris and I had long talks about it, and I said that I really feel like we should kill Zod, and that Superman should kill him. The ‘Why?’ of it for me was that if was truly an origin story, his aversion to killing is unexplained… I wanted to create a scenario where Superman, either he’s going to see [Metropolis' citizens] chopped in half, or he’s gotta do what he’s gotta do.
So no, Superman isn't going all Punisher like and killing everyone he sees. This was a one time deal. Now that I think about it he broke his vow when he killed Doomsday! Sure Doomsday reincarnates but Superman didn't know that at the time. That's at least twice Superman has killed a living creature in the comics. So my question is, "What comic books are they reading?" Are they really Superman fans or are they just fans of the Superman in pop-culture? Because Death of Superman was one of the highest selling comics in it's day and was fairly mainstream for a comic book.
Dammit Dan Jurgens! Don't you know that Superman NEVER kills! Not even in self-defense! Hasn't this guy even watched an episode of Smallville?
But wait-a-minute! The other reason I don't buy the "Man of Steel sucks because Superman never kills" reasoning is because he not only killed Zod in the comics he killed him in Superman II! He crushes Zod's hands, picks him up over his head, and casually throws him against a wall and allows him to fall to his death. Mind you Zod was powerless and no longer a threat. No one mourned for Zod, Superman didn't show regret or remorse for the decision he felt he had to make just like in the comic books, nope he threw away a living person like a piece of garbage and flew off into the sunset while three of his kind lay dead somewhere in the deep.
Zod: Wait! I'm powerless and no longer pose a threat to you! Do you really have to kill me?
Superman: No, but I've got a bright costume and I say "gosh" and "gee wiz" so it's okay.
Alright you can kill it Superman. Please God kill it!
In every other instance I've mentioned, fan boys have a laissez–faire attitude towards Superman's actions; however, when it comes to the Man of Steel fans are incredulous and inexorable. Is there is a double standard here? If so why? Maybe it's the darker color scheme in his costume, the less then graceful depiction by Snyder, or the influence of critics on people who can't think for themselves. Are they really fans of the 75 year old character or are they popular culture groupies who had no knowledge of the other examples I listed and thus clung unto a simplified understanding of Superman? Either way Ol' Sups' has taken a life. More than once.