Because sheer boredom and depression had been sneaking its way up my butt, I figured I'd write about something that made me happy: BVS. I was sitting down and watching HISHE's review of the film, and he brought up the possibility of Lex's saying: "If god is all powerful, he cannot be all good. And if god is all good, he cannot be all powerful." Being an overarching theme of the film. I thought about it and...yeah, that actually makes a lot of sense. So, this is a little analysis I did with the film about this.
From the prequel comics and film itself, we learn how Bruce feels about his stance on his war on crime. He feels burned out, almost outmatched by what the world now has to offer. He's been fighting a war that he's starting to lose and all of a sudden, an alien that can level cities with his fists pops out of the blue and makes him feel all self aware. However, he tries to make up for this by stepping up his game in his war against crime. His methods become harsher and more extreme as a result. In essence, Bruce unknowingly decides he'd rather be all powerful than be all good. For the most part, it seems to work, Bruce begins to strike fear into the hearts of Gotham once again and manages to go toe to toe with Superman. However, Bruce begins to realize this when he's about to turn Superman into a F***ing kabob. When Superman says Martha, it does two different things. The first one is the obvious one, it shakes some of the alien racism out of Batman's head and he realizes that Superman is, well, a man, like him and no longer some faceless threat. The second is places him in the shoes of the man who killed his parents. He sees the same "powerlessness" on Superman and Lois's face that he once had when he saw his parents gunned down. Batman sees that in his journey to become all powerful, he became what he had spent his life fighting against. When we get to the end, Bruce says he won't fail Superman in death, opting to be more good than powerful, made more clear when he decides not to brand Luthor. In that moment, he decides to no longer be a symbol of power, but instead a symbol of good.
Luthor's Master Plan
Luthor suffers from the same overcompensation that Batman suffers from, but sees that this rule applies to everyone, that everyone is either all powerful or all good, but never both, and wants to prove it to everyone. Like Batman, Lex prefers to be all powerful, at the expense of his morality, due to feeling powerless his entire life. From his abusive father, to having knowledge, but no power to go along with it. So, he likes to demonstrate the power he has over others, even if it means turning him into the ultimate evil. Many have asked what purpose the bombing plays into his plan, as it is very quickly figured out that Wallace was the "bomber." So, what was the point? To show how powerless or lacking in morality Superman is to everyone and to Superman himself. The whole ordeal shakes Supes to his core, making him feel both powerless and severely guilt ridden in failing to stop the bomb from going off. People, as well as Superman, question whether he had simply allowed the bomb to go off or was simply powerless to stop it. Luthor, of course, wishes to stick the knife in some more, so he arranges the whole "Fight Night" ordeal. But what purpose does it serve? For Lex, it's a win-win scenario. Lex elaborates his whole, power does not equal good position and tells Supes to kill Bats. The Win-Win? Regardless of the outcome, Lex wins. If Superman kills Bats, he shows that he's all powerful, but not good. If Batman kills him, he shows that Supes may have been good, but isn't all powerful. It of course fails, causing Lex to move on to his next step towards ultimate power: Doomsday.
Death of Superman
Now, while seeming like a throwaway villain, Doomsday is this ideology incarnate. Doomsday is being of pure power, without a single good bone in his body. As he is bombarded with attacks and growing stronger, he becomes more and more evil looking in the process. Sacrificing good in return for power. Many people feel that the death of Supes at the end was tacked on, but given the theme of the film, it actually fits. Superman dies at the hands of Doomsday, this particular act showing that Superman himself is not all powerful, but he dies giving his life trying to save the day. Heck, Superman even plunges Doomsday's bone deeper into his wound doing so, showing that he'd rather be good than all powerful. Superman shows at the end of the day that he isn’t a god, but a hero instead.
The Most Powerful Man in the World
To put it simply, Supes is completely shit on throughout most of the film. However, this manages to fit into the theme as well. Superman spends most of the film disappointed that his amazing acts of heroism have earned him nothing but scorn and distrust. However, this has to do with the fact that the world seems to view him through this ideology as well. He's been labled a false god, and that's absolutley true. We get a montage of Superman’s various acts of heroism, except they all have something in common: All of them are merely displays of his power and not his morals. Him pulling a whole ship on chain, lifting a rocket into the air? All acts of power. Even his first appearance in the film and rescue of Lois is portrayed more as an act of power than it is heroism. So the scales begin to tip in favor of power, while the side of good becomes lighter. Superman is still met with scorn and it seems to lead to even more distrust towards him. However, his last act manages to tip the scales back in his favor, as it once again isn’t an act of power that he is performing, but the ultimate Hero’s choice. And it shows in the aftermath, as many now mourn the loss of him. It shatters the illusion that he is nothing but an all powerful god, and is instead just a man...a Superman. (Couldn't resist the last Part.)