Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent and Dylan Sprayberry as Clark Kent in "Man of Steel." Photo courtesy of WB

‘Superman & Lois’ proves Jonathan’s controversial ‘Man of Steel’ advice to be true

When people talk about “Man of Steel,” one scene always comes up as a negative criticism:  Jonathan Kent’s controversial advice he gave to Young Clark when he asked if he should’ve let those kids on the bus die. 

Possible spoilers ahead

Jon answers with a “Maybe,” which enraged some fans of the character. However, over the years, that conversation actually turned out to be the most thought through advice anyone has ever given Superman. 

Now, maybe it can mean a lot of things, but certainty is not one of them. That’s because it’s not everyday that you deal with an alien child. Handling situations properly is very important.

Kent started by having his face turned to the other side and, yet, he immediately regretted saying “maybe” because, just like the fans, even Clark found it cruel. But then Jonathan justified it by saying that there’s more at stake here than just their lives or the lives of people around them. He told him that if someday people find out about him, that’ll change everything. Their beliefs, their notions of what it means to be human, everything. 

He took the example of Pete Ross’s mom and how she reacted when she found out about Clark. 

“People are afraid of what they don’t understand.” 

Jonathan Kent

There’s so many consequences to their actions and, until Clark’s ready, Jonathan wanted him to stay hidden.

Season two of “Superman & Lois” has been exploring these consequences in an intense way. From the start itself, it shows Lt. Anderson not trusting Superman when the Man of Steel refused to act as a political presence by prioritizing America rather than the world. In a way, they’re trying to weaponize Superman like Dr. Manhattan. 

It was very obvious that Superman would deny the suggestion. So, being untrustworthy of Superman’s motives, and with the technology available, Anderson created an army of American Supermen.

When Superman asked him to stop, he explicitly refuted the subject. Anderson eventually got two members of his team killed by sending them to the battlefield untrained. 

Now, in the sixth episode of season two, the American Government captured Superman for “treason,” but the real reason was because America didn’t trust the Man of Steel.

Now, let’s bring “Man of Steel” back into focus. If more people would’ve known Clark’s secret it would’ve started the chatter which eventually would’ve led to the military being involved. The military always looks to potentially weaponize everything. Who’s to say they wouldn’t have asked young Clark to be an American presence. With Clark being a child, it would’ve been easy to manipulate him further. 

Many of you would say that Pa Kent could’ve talked him into it but think about it, why would he force Clark to do things? What if he didn’t have the freewill to choose his path? What if he would’ve ended up being a weapon for the government, or a puppet in the hands of a wealthy corporation like LexCorp?

It’s likely that this Kryptonian refugee would’ve ended up like Homelander.

Who knows. If things get out of hand he could even end up being a tyrant. Kal-El was just a child so he wouldn’t have known the difference between right and wrong immediately without guidance. 

“Man of Steel’s” Jonathan Kent feared for this to happen because Clark was too powerful to be wandering around with his powers on public display. That’s why Jonathan even sacrificed his own life so that Clark could understand. That’s just a parent worrying for his child and an intellectual who happens to see the bigger picture which, apparently, we as Superman fans, did not.

Jainam Turakhia

Jainam Turakhia has been a fan of DC for as long as he can remember, but what really tickles his inner creativity is Zack Snyder's vision for the DC Universe. From there Turakhia has traveled to a lot of destinations exploring works of other artists who make movies or write books/comics. Zack Snyder however, is always his hometown. He loves watching, and analyzing, anything and everything. Still a student from India studying Chartered Accountancy, Turakhia's passion for stories doesn't seem to end.

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