nless you’ve been living under a rock lately, you know that there’s a new Superman movie coming out this summer (June 14, thankyouverymuch). This is the movie that’s supposed to relaunch the franchise, and as you might guess I’ve been following its development for years. All during the lead up I hoped against hope that it would be a movie I could take my kids to. Then came the announcement of the PG-13 rating. Well crap. I guess we’ll be waiting a few years before the kids can see that one.
…but that doesn’t mean I can’t show them the trailers (much like I did with “The Hobbit”).
Besides being incredibly well crafted (they play me like a fiddle with themes of fatherhood as well as superhero-y goodness) the trailers show Clark Kent during his vagabond years between Smallville and Metropolis, as he’s trying to figure out who he is and what he’s going to do with his life. At some point he seems to wind up on a fishing trawler, “Deadliest Catch”-style, and while he’s pulling king crab out of the sea Clark Kent is sporting a very respectable beard. Then later, as he accepts the mantle of the Man of Steel, he appears again cleanly shorn — the clean-cut, all-American big, blue boyscout. The beard is something new to Superman lore. In his 75 years of service, Superman has never really done the facial hair thing. Before the “Man of Steel” trailers came out, a google search for “Superman beard” yielded precious few images. But search now and you’ll see this:
A couple Saturdays ago I was showing Episode IV and V the “Man of Steel” trailers on YouTube (there are 10 or so, if you count TV spots). After each one I could see the wheels in my 4.5 year old son’s head turning. I could tell his mind was chewing on something. After a few minutes he finally asked me, “Daddy, how does Superman shave?”
Think about it. The question totally makes sense. Dude is impervious to bullets, asteroids, knives, radiation (except the kryptonite-variety). What material on earth could possibly shave off the whiskers of an invulnerable super-being? As it turns out, Gillette has launched an advertising campaign on just that notion. They’ve employed top-notch TV scientists (and Kevin Smith) to discuss that very issue. “How does Superman shave?” Maybe my son has a future in advertising and marketing. You hear that Gillette?
(incidentally, if you want to see all their theories and weigh in on what your favorite is, click on the link here)
In any case, longtime Dorkdaddy.com readers may remember an older post “Now I’m Smooth” where Episode V came up to me one morning and asked for a shave. I used a picture in that post relevant to the topic at hand. You see, serious Superman nerds have known the answer to Gillette’s question for some time. Back in the mid-80’s DC comics rebooted the entire Superman character in a series coincidentally titled “Man of Steel”. In that series, artist John Byrne provided this gem of a picture to answer the question Gillette is asking now — “How does Superman shave?”
The answer, of course, is Kryptonian heat vision.
I just don’t want to know what burning Kryptonian hair smells like.