Man Of Steel: 50 Best Moments

"I will find him!"

This is another stand-out moment from the trailers, but the full version was even better - and that's mainly down to Shannon's powerful performance - all bug eyes and rage.

We loved that he built to that trailer bellow: "I will find him. I will find him. I will find him Lara. I WILL FIND HIM!"

Oh, and one more thing about this scene...

When Zod and his mates were frozen in ice and sent up to the phantom zone, didn't you think those space-pod things looked like... Well... Sex toys?

(We threw that idea out on Twitter, and received a LOT of people in agreement).

Sucker Punch is full of subliminal penises, so good on Snyder for getting a handful into Man Of Steel .

The whales

After Clark lands in the ocean, he floats in a Christ pose (more on that later) and looks up.

For absolutely no reason at all - other than it's wonderful - he looks up and sees two whales, then we hear their song.

It's a genuinely serene moment; and a bit of calm is very welcome after the 30 minutes of excitement we've just experienced.

For all of those comparing this film to the Transformers franchise, we don't remember seeing any moments like this in those movies.

Actually, for a film that's accused of being noisy, there are a hell of a lot of ambient moments in Man Of Steel.

We loved the brief shot of rain spluttering into a bucket full water, with a handful of clothes pegs floating at the top.

Again, there's no reason for this shot, other than to express that the world is full of simple beauty - and a world like that is worth saving.

Hang on a minute, is Russell Crowe riding a bloody dragon?

If the sight of Russell Crowe jumping onto the back of a giant dog / dragon / dragonfly thing doesn't make you want to cry out in sheer giddy joy, then we're not sure we want to know you.

But it's only one element of a magnificent opening, we wish we had space to talk about all of them in detail.

But from Crowe's impassioned speech: "There is hope, I have held in my hands," to the pure fun of the (bizarre) Codex retrieval, to Jor-El and Lara's impossibly moving goodbye to their son, to Zod's first defeat - Snyder packs more into this opening 18 minutes than many films manage in their entire run-time.

Clark's first flight

Giddy, gleeful and genuinely stirring, the first time Clark takes to the skies doesn't just make you believe a man can fly - it allows you to experience it alongside him.

As much as we laughed at the moment Superman crash-lands into a mountain, our favorite element of this moment has to be when our hero really cuts loose, flying through herds of animals, crying out with joy.

And is it just us, or could we hear chord sequences from The NeverEnding Story soundtrack on Zimmer's score during this scene?

Zod vs Superman

The major final fight between Superman and Zod is littered with stand-out moments, a handful of which are scattered throughout this feature. It's so visually rich it's easy to miss details the first time around - whether it's Zod smashing Superman through rows of buildings (with small explosions marking each moment of impact), or that disorienting shot of Superman knocked upside-down by his foe.

Critics have compared this sequence to the Transformers movies which, frankly, is ridiculous.

The fights in Transformers are essentially meaningless - they're not connected to the main threat, and are visually confusing. We often don't know who's fighting who, or where they are in relation to each other. They're little more than shapes punching other shapes.

Here, we know exactly what's going on. We're aware of the stakes, and we can see the consequences.

Speaking of the consequences, there is another faction of Man Of Steel critics who believe that Superman should've spent more time rescuing people during this battle.

It's a shame that they can't appreciate the significance of the fact Clark essentially leaves people to fend for themselves; it solves an issue the comics have struggled with since their inception.

Superman is not a God; he does his best to help people when he can, but it's pretty difficult to focus on anything but the fight when you're battling someone who's your physical equal.

It's a tough problem for anyone writing for Superman - why does he save some people, and not others? Why does he waste his time working for The Planet, when there's enough tragedy in the world to keep him occupied 24/7?

Man Of Steel bravely addresses this conundrum by establishing Superman as a symbol - he's here to inspire people to help themselves, to realise their full potential, not to rescue cats from trees.

Sure, people die during the final battle - but that's the reality of war; innocent people die. All Superman can do is his best, and at that moment, his best is defeating a Superhuman who has threatened to kill EVERYONE ON THE PLANET.

"You think you can threaten my mother?!"

This is an incredibly cathartic moment, particularly for anyone who has ever had to protect their parents.

The sight of Superman coming out of nowhere to sweep Zod off his feet, slamming him through giant towers and across fields, screaming "You think you can threaten my mother?" whilst punching him repeatedly in the face...

... Well, it just makes us want to punch the air with glee every time we see it.

But it's not just satisfying; this is as beautiful as God on Zod violence gets; the framing of every single shot - particularly the long shot of the Supermen smashing through the towers - looks like it was torn straight from the pages of your favourite comic.

Clark's cape

It was in one of the earliest trailers - and when we first saw it, we weren't sure if we were looking at a young Clark, or just some kid who had been inspired by his actions.

As it turns out, it's from one of the most moving moments in the film.

To us, it says that Jonathan Kent always knew his son's destiny; and that he wasn't teaching him to hide his powers, he was teaching him to wait until they were ready.

Can you imagine if Kal-El had revealed himself to the world as a child? He would have been taken away to be analysed and experimented on.

So, Jonathan wasn't teaching Clark to be ashamed, he was teaching him the importance of patience.

The look of pride on Kent's face as he watches his son play in the sunshine with the family dog says more about his intentions than any exposition.

"Welcome to the planet"

The ending has split audiences down the middle.

For us, the Clark Kent: Daily Planet reporter reveal was as satisfying as the Robin reveal in The Dark Knight Rises . Except here, we know for a fact that we'll be getting a follow-up film set in this universe.

Some people have complained that the whole film should have been set in this environment, but that would negate two of the best elements of this modernisation.

Firstly, we love that Lois is in on Kal-El's secret identity. It completely dispenses with one of the major risks of any Superman adaptation - the longer you keep Clark a secret, the stupider Lois looks. But then the moment she finds out, any established chemistry immediately dissipates.

Here, they have a chance to establish a constant chemistry. The next film is going to be a lot of fun in that respect.

Secondly, we love that this film isn't just Clark learning how to be Superman, it's Kal-El learning to be Clark Kent AND Superman. If we had joined him already at The Planet, that extra element wouldn't exist. He's developed social skills through the pride he feels as Superman. He's no longer a ghost, hiding in the shadows - he's ready for a by-line.

Another important element of this scene is Hans Zimmer's score - the reprisal of the main theme is ridiculously stirring. We've seen it three times now and we admit to getting tears in our eyes each time, the minute we see that tie flapping in the wind - a bit like a cape.

And we know some people think it's cheesy, but we love the duality of that final line. Welcome to the planet indeed.

(And regarding that Man of Steel sequel? We chatted to the cast about what they'd want to see from Man of Steel 2...)

Superman kills Zod

One of the biggest criticisms of Man Of Steel is that Superman kills Zod, something which - according to people who didn't like the movie - Superman would never do.

Except, obviously, for the multiple times he has killed people in the comics. We'll give the most obvious example, but in The Death of Superman he spends an entire comic punching Doomsday, with the intent of killing him to save humanity. Eventually he manages to murder the monster, sacrificing himself in the process. They do not cuddle and make-up.

But this isn't just in the comics. Hell, in Superman II he kills someone! And not just anyone, General bloody Zod!

After Zod's powers have been removed, Superman drops him from a very great height. Do the people who think Superman is on a constant quest for peace think that version of Zod landed on boxes of feathers and fluffy kittens? Did the fact Terrance Stamp didn't show up in any subsequent sequel not provide any kind of hint for these people?

And here, Zod's death is even more justified.

He's about to kill a group of people in front of Superman. He's already promised to kill everyone on earth one by one. Superman begs him to stop. Zod replies "Never."

What are Superman's options here? He knows that he will never convince Zod, he knows that no prison can hold him, and he knows that a group of innocent people are about to die by Zod's hand. Well, eyes.

So he snaps his neck. One death to save billions of lives. And even then, he is devastated by what he has done. The trailer's "Noooo!" moment was not inspired by the death of one of Superman's friends, but the main villain.

That's a staggering twist on an established trope.

"They will stumble..."

Grant Morrison's All-Star Superman is arguably the greatest Superman story ever told. It's The Dark Knight Returns of Superman comics, with our hero facing the end of his existence.

David S Goyer seems to like it as much as we do, because he's taken arguably the film's most memorable speech straight from its pages.

Does this, from the comic, sound familiar?

"You've given them an ideal to aspire to, embodied their highest aspirations. They will race, and stumble, and fall and crawl and curse, and finally… They will join you in the sun, Kal-El."

Here's the film version:

"You will give the people of Earth an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you. They will stumble, they will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun. In time you will help them accomplish wonders."

This is beautifully done. We love the fact that in All-Star , Superman is hearing those words at the end of his life; he is hearing his legacy, one which works in the context of the comic and in terms of the impact he's made on popular culture. In Man Of Steel , he's hearing his potential.

It's actually the key theme of the film, stated. Clark's journey is all about accepting who he is, so that he can inspire others.

Love it or loathe it, watch our spoiler-filled video analysis of Supes' big movie reboot - and get involved with debate by letting us know what you think in the comments below!