Man Of Steel: 50 Best Moments

Shirtless Clark

The last time we saw someone look this buff, it was Arnie in his prime.

Reportedly the shirtless scenes were included to show that Cavill wasn't getting any help from the super-suit. Cynics would say it's there to encourage repeat business.

Whatever the reason, Cavill's achievement in getting himself to that physical peak actually works on a thematic level - he's shown us our potential. Now all we have to do is stumble behind him (on a treadmill).

(And if you want to know how the heck Cavill even began to get a body like that, we spoke to the whole Man of Steel cast about their fitness tips...)

Grand entrance

When Zod's invasion begins, we first spot his ships on a fairly lo-fi radar. It's an old-school way of introducing the threat, especially in a film that's so visually rich.

But then General Swanwick prepares us for what's still to come. "I'm just speculating, but whoever's at the helm of those ships wants to make a grand entrance."

And make a grand entrance he does.

Jor-El's control

Like Star Wars ' force ghosts, Jor-El is around to offer advice to the people he cares about. Unlike Star Wars ' force ghosts, he's also ABLE TO CONTROL SPACESHIP DOORS WITH HIS FISTS.

Some cynics have labelled this scene as 'Superhero sat nav' but we think it's way too cool to mock.

Also, one element of this scene that people seem to miss is that Lois Lane gets to fire a massive laser. Smart, funny and handy with a gun. Best Lois ever.

And the scene has a killer punch-line (literally): "Move your head to the left…"

The bus crash

We knew this one was coming thanks to the trailers. But it's still compelling, and surprising.

For fans, this scene was full of delights. For a start, it contains not just Pete Ross (the ginger kid picking on Clark) - who, in the comics, becomes his best friend in Smallville - but Lana Lang (the girl who defends Clark), his first crush.

Then there's the satisfaction of seeing Clark not just pushing the bus to safety, but diving back under to rescue a kid who moments ago had been bullying him.

Kent is always prepared to see the best in people, even bullies. This is almost foreshadowing for the way he tries to reason with Zod later on in the movie.

Death of Earth

When Zod and Clark mind-meld into a weird dreamscape, it initially appears that we've landed in another flash-back.

But then Clark stands up and it's clear that Zod is in complete control of their environment.

If you told us the General spends his spare time watching Terminator 2 , we wouldn't be surprised - the scene is extremely resonant of Sarah Connor's vision of the future, complete with twisted swing set and mountain of human skulls.

It's the coolest possible version of an interrogation scene, essentially the equivalent of the very visual exposition scene we've already been treated to.

And the image of Superman being swallowed up by sinking skulls is immediately iconic. Very comic-book, very cool.

Viral video

As well as spending his time watching Terminator 2 , Zod seems to have been reading up on viral videos.

It's the only way to explain his announcement - which occurs via TV, RSS feeds and smartphones. You can bet it would appear on page three of the Metro the next day.

In all seriousness, this element is ripped straight from J. Michael Straczynski's Earth One run on Superman.

In that, another leader of an invading alien armada also threatens to destroy humanity if Kal-El fails to surrender himself. The way it plays out is so similar, we can almost guarantee Goyer had the book near the top of his stack of research comics.

"Nice suit, son"

It's one of the sweeter one-liners of the movie. Martha Kent sees her son in his full Kryptonian regalia, pays him a compliment, then gives him a hug.

But then if you found an alien baby in a field, we reckon it wouldn't take much to phase you either.

Satellite smash

Just when you think there can't possibly be any more explosions, Superman smashes a satellite out of the sky, crash-landing it in front of General Swanwick with yet another big boom.

"I know you want to find out where I hang my cape. You won't." Superman says, and it's clear he's just destroyed a spy satellite (cost to taxpayer: $12 million).

It's a weirdly timely moment, considering all the Prism stuff that's in the news at the moment. And that's all we're going to say about that.

[redacted]

Accident prone

It's another subtle visual gag, but when Zod and Superman are fighting in the building site, when Superman smashes into a wall, he hits a sign that says '109 Days Since The Last Accident' knocking off the 0 and 9 on impact, therefore making it factually accurate.

That Superman, eh? Even when he's being beaten up he's being helpful.

Focus

After Superman's laid the smackdown on Zod, the General removes his helmet for the first time, and is disorientated as his superpowers start to take effect - super-hearing, x-ray vision, the works.

Superman, ever the altruist, explains what's happening. "My parents taught me to hone my senses, Zod. To focus on just what I wanted to see."

It leads to a beautiful distinction between the two characters. Whereas Clark learned to control his powers by focusing on his mother's voice, Zod chooses to use a clenched fist.