The artists could have showed The Man of Steel wrenching support beams from a bridge to illustrate his strength. Striking meteorites with clenched fists and turning them into toxic, illuminated debris would have proven the same thing. None of that was necessary because a better solution was chosen to evoke The Man of Steel’s super-human nature.
What was it? Motion.
The poster shows The Man of Steel hurtling through the airspace at break-neck speed and the beloved cityscapes we’ve come to expect him to save from nefarious rivals is rendered a blur of familiar shapes and structures—the grand skyscrapers and sprawling city, majestic in layout and breadth, are reduced to a blur.
Typically, you’d expect to see a superhero frozen in time and space with beads of sweat glistening over his brow, piercing eyes, and pumped muscles. He’d have an intense look, showing his dedication to saving the Metropolis, whatever city he may be in.
Not this time. The Man of Steel is blurred. He’s caught in motion and that’s what makes The Man of Steel poster awesome. How superhuman would he be if we were able to perch on a ledge off Fifth Avenue and snap razor-sharp 8MP iPhone 5 photos of him and quickly post them to Instagram and Flickr? Would his speed be as unbelievable? His strength as incredible? His feats as indubitable? No.
It’s the motion, a simple effect that made the super-human awesome. Simple, yet effective.