Monday, 8 July 2013
Review: Man of Steel by Greg Cox
Publisher: Titan Books
Released: June 18th, 2013
The official novelization of the new Man of Steel movie featuring Superman. The movie, from director Zack Snyder and slated for release on June 14, 2013, stars Henry Cavill as Superman/Clark Kent, Amy Adams as Daily Planet journalist Lois Lane, and Michael Shannon as General Zod. Also starring are Diane Lane, Kevin Costner, Ayelet Zurer, Lawrence Fishburne and Russell Crowe.
Man of Steel is a great novelisation of my favourite film of the year so far. It's fast-paced and exciting, and includes lots more detail, thoughts and explanations than the film does. This is why I love film and TV tie-in novels so much; they're like a bonus round in a video game, full of extra juicy bits that you don't see on the screen. While this particular novel appears slightly rushed and has quite a lot of missing words and grammatical errors, Greg Cox has once again delivered a highly enjoyable novelisation that is sure to satisfy fans of Superman.
Throughout this novel there are deleted film scenes and some unused dialogue that were obviously cut from the script quite late on. One of these scenes shows a baby Clark at the doctors, having his hearing tested. He screams and all the glass in the nearly Smallville street shatters, leaving the doctor and Martha and Jonathan Kent wondering just who, and what, Clark really is. It's a nice little scene, but I can see why it was cut: it's more of the same and wasn't needed once the audience had already seen how superhuman Clark is. It's nice to have it presented here, though, and it's an added extra for dedicated fans. There are a few instances of different dialogue too, and again it's fun to see how the final screenplay changed and got to where it is now.
Even though I've seen the film quite a few times, I still had questions about certain aspects of the plot. For the most part they're all answered here, with Cox giving a greater understanding of Krypton's current state at the start of the story as well as more of an insight into Jor-El and Zod's thoughts. Which brings me to one of my favourite parts of this book: Jor-El's thoughts! I've found myself becoming increasingly fascinated with this new Krypton and I loved getting to know Jor-El more, through his personal thoughts and feelings. I now like this incarnation of his character even more, which I didn't think was possible!
Greg Cox writes with a very easy, accessible style, making his tie-in novels suitable for almost any age. He shows a deep understanding of what he's writing about, a love for it, and another fantastic example of that is his novelisation of The Dark Knight Rises that was published in 2012. He's certainly one of the best tie-in novelists out there, and I'm glad he took up the task of bringing the Man of Steel to the page. It can't be easy to write under pressure and mounting deadlines - especially when dealing with something so important as a movie screenplay - and aside from the rushed errors I mentioned earlier and some incorrect descriptive detail, Man of Steel is a worthy addition to my tie-in library!
Obviously this book won't appeal to everyone, but if you've seen the film and enjoyed it, then I'd highly recommend you give it a read. The extra scenes, dialogue and thought processes are worth the purchase price alone, and who doesn't want to spend a few extra enjoyable hours with Superman?! I'll be re-reading this for sure, as it's going to be quite a long wait for the Blu-ray release. This book should tide me over until then, I hope!