Review: Man of Steel – The Official Movie Novelization / Author: Greg Cox / Publisher: Titan Books / Release Date: Out Now
Novelizations are always a tricky thing to handle. On the one hand, you have to be respectful to the source material, yet you don’t want to just be a shell of said material and offer nothing new or of note. Greg Cox takes on adaptation duties here, working with the Man of Steel screenplay devised by David S. Goyer. Fast-paced, fluid and with just the right amount of detail, Cox’s book is a great companion to Zack Snyder’s Superman film. Yes, we’ve seen and heard it before… alien baby arrives in Kansas, grows up to become the greatest superhero of all time: Superman. But just as the Man of Steel movie is a refreshing new take on the Superman mythos, so is this novelization.
The Man of Steel novelization covers every minute of the movie, yet there are certain elements that it adds to the story. For example, at one point it is described how General Zod’s weaponry has been constructed, just giving enough added information to the reader to make the book worthwhile, yet not going into so much into detail that these little nuggets become lost in a sea of words. Cox's detailed and descriptive prose helps progress the story rapidly, no more so than when describing Jor-El’s actions during the demise of Krypton, or the arrival of Zod and his crew as they descend upon Earth on the hunt for Kal-El. Cox’s words also do wonders in the aftermath of the climactic battle between Zod and Superman, although the actual battle itself feels a little lacking at certain turns.
So many other novelizations fall into the pitfalls of just retreading familiar ground already covered on the big screen. Man of Steel manages to avoid this problem for the most part, adding its elements to the greater picture and giving the reader a reason to purchase the book.
It works both as an accompaniment for those that have seen Snyder’s Man of Steel film and as a solid, standalone novel for those that aren’t familiar with Snyder’s film or who would rather take the book on its own merits. With the actual story clocking in at a modest 303 page read, the book is easy to pick up and plough through in a few small sittings. Adding to its appeal is the cheap price, so there really isn’t any reason for Superman fans not to pick this up and add it to their collection. Even fans of generally well-written, well thought out, emotive, action-filled stories will find something here worth their time.