7. Swanwick’s Xenophobia (Even Though He’s An Alien) – Man of Steel
Fair warning, this entry is a little complicated, as it reads into the emotions and motivations of a minor character who will likely never be further explored. In Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel, the origins of Henry Cavill’s Superman are explored, leading up to him announcing himself to the world as a hero. He’s initially met with suspicion and distrust, particularly from the US Army – which, on the surface, makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?
Except it really doesn’t when Snyder’s plans for the franchise are explored in more depth. Snyder went on to expand upon Superman’s story in Batman v Superman, and again in Justice League. The latter went through a turbulent production, with Snyder leaving halfway through making the film. Eventually, his vision for the characters was released as Zack Snyder’s Justice League, which came with a big revelation about the minor Man of Steel character General Swanwick. Zack Snyder’s Justice League reveals that Swanwick is actually J’onn J’onzz, better known as the hero Martian Manhunter.
The reveal that Swanwick is actually an alien is a pretty weird one because it makes his xenophobia in Man of Steel especially ridiculous. Swanwick’s distrust of Superman sees him turn the Kryptonian over to Zod because he wants to protect Earth from an alien invasion… except he’s already living among humans undetected. It’s entirely possible that Snyder would have addressed this had he stayed with the franchise, but it seems we’ll never know, and that leaves Swanwick looking pretty dumb.