At last: cost of Superman smackdown in Metropolis calculated

For those who haven’t seen “Man of Steel,” it’s not much of a spoiler to reveal that it culminates in a big battle between Superman and the evil General Zod, who is also a Kryptonian, so he also gets a funky high from a yellow sun.  Scenes from this are all over the trailers, and of course the same thing happened in the long-ago “Superman II.”

The super-powered Metropolis brawl in “Superman II” wound up taking out a couple of floors of an office complex, messing up the Metropolis version of the Empire State Building, shattering the electronic sign that dominates the Metropolis version of Times Square, racking up a couple of cars, and breaking a bus on Superman’s face.  There followed a Zod-created cyclone that knocked over some more cars, tipped over a phone booth, and blew an ice cream cone into some guy’s face.

The showdown in “Man of Steel” is rather more destructive.  After pondering the third reel of the film, disaster experts have figured up the collateral damage at roughly $2 trillion, plus 129,000 people killed.  (I don’t know if they included the million dollars worth of military hardware destroyed shortly afterward, in Superman’s pointed critique of the surveillance state.)  The characters in the movie almost comically under-react to the scale of the destruction, although in fairness they might have all been in shock, and Superman himself was one or two punches away from staggering down the streets of Metropolis and yelling, “Yo, Adrian, I did it!”

Of course, things would have been a lot worse without Superman on the job, so it’s not fair to send him the bill, but the damage estimate also doesn’t seem to account for the high probability that he would help with the rebuilding.  

I think the article linked above is exactly right about who else would help, and how much money and power he would accumulate in the process.  The first reel of the already-confirmed sequel pretty much writes itself, doesn’t it?