Five years after the release of Zack Snyder's divisive Man of Steel, the killing of General Zod by Superman continues to be debated by fans. However, storyboard artist, and frequent Snyder collaborator, Jay Oliva sees the Kryptonian's death as the only option.
Retroactively launching the DC Extended Universe, the 2013 film depicted the destruction of Krypton and the rise of Henry Cavill's Superman, as the young, inexperienced hero is placed on a collision course with General Zod (Michael Shannon) and his fellow Phantom Zone escapees. Instead of keeping the villain alive for a potential sequel, Man of Steel's climax depicted Superman snapping Zod's neck to prevent him from killing innocent bystanders.
Many fans have decried the scene as too dark, and out of character for the iconic hero. When the issue of a "neck-breaking Superman" was raised again on Twitter over the weekend, Oliva leaped to the Man of Steel's defense.
Btw he broke Zod’s neck to save everyone. How else could he have stopped Zod from killing? Fly away So Zod would be alone to kill everyone? Put him into a super villain prison? Ask him nicely to stop? Superman had no choice. Just like he had no choice vs doomsday in comics.— Jay Oliva (@jayoliva1) June 3, 2018
The director of the two-part animated Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Oliva has frequently come to the defense of Snyder, with whom he worked on Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League.