"Cherished by almost everyone who saw it"
No, sorry, but I’m gonna have to comment on that. It is not. Listen, I’ve been a Superman fan for a while now. All-Star Superman still tears me apart, Whatever Happened To the Man of Tomorrow kills me, and that one story in Adventures of Superman (you all know which one, it involves a brave young girl called Connie) is still my favourite superhero story of the now. In this, Superman is shown as a caring, brave man, someone who has near limitless compassion for his fellow humans - and let’s be clear, they *are* fellow humans to him. He grew up in Kansas, under the loving care of his human parents. In some continuities, he loses Jonathan Kent to a heart attack, a saddening but sobering event that further cements Clark’s path as one of heroism - not just because it’s the right thing to do, he’s never had a problem with that, but also because it would have made his dad so proud to know that people had someone like Clark looking out for them.
Man of Steel contained very little of this.
Instead, we got a look at what Superman might be like if he were designed by a modern crowd, by people who thought idealism was rather lame and that Batman was the real inspiration. It isn’t that the film is too damaging, it’s that at no point does Superman try to negate it. That isn’t inexperience, that’s a lack of care. Hell, he throws Zod’s loyalists through buildings that probably haven’t even been evacuated yet; Superman, in many ways, is as responsible for the destruction and loss of life that happens in the film’s climax as Zod, fuelled by vengeance and Michael Shannon’s wonderful overacting, is.
Let’s be clear, there were moments of heart in MoS. The best scenes, imo, were always when Clark was just being himself around Martha Kent, where we got to see the person he actually is and not the person who spouts clunky awkward-sounding Nolanised dialogue. I also loved the first third of the film, with it’s unique take on Krypton and exploration of the events leading up to it’s destruction.
But, man, the last third? Don’t try and justify that. That wasn’t deep or meaningful, nor did it have heart. What it had was a Superman who gave precisely 0 fucks about the casualties he was causing, who at no point tried to move the fight to somewhere where there wasn’t an enormous and easily killable human population, and who basically killed half of the people he was trying to save.
I can understand people liking MoS, but man, don’t tell me that film was representative of Superman as he actually is. It wasn’t.
Oh, and in case you don’t believe that, I’d advise reading Superman: Secret Origin, a story in which an inexperienced and young Superman actually saves Metropolis with the minimum of casualties.