Man of Steel damage to New York would cost $750 billion

Boffin thinks Superman vs. Zod battle was more destructive than Avengers finale.

“What if a child dreamed of becoming something other than what society had intended?” Russell Crowe’s Jor-El poignantly asks of his son in ‘Man Of Steel’ “What if a child aspired to something greater?”

Like a ruddy great liability perhaps?

The collateral damage done to New York by Superman during ‘Man Of Steel’ has been professionally estimated at a catastrophic $750 billion (or £480,246,000,000).

To put that into perspective, the total physical damage inflicted on the same city in the 9/11 terrorist attacks was $55 billion (£35 billion).

Who’s gonna pay for that? Supes doesn’t even have pockets to keep a wallet in.


Watson Technical Consulting (WTC), lead by scientist/disaster expert Charles Watson, have undertaken a study to model and predict the actual impact on New York – the “real-life” inspiration for Metropolis – of the epic blow-up-fest finale to Zack Snyder’s new Superman movie.

WTC then delivered their colossal findings to BuzzFeed in the form of an editorial-style letter by The Daily Planet’s Perry White.

On top of that $750 billion bill, WTC also anticipated that 129,000 would died in the aftermath of the battle between Henry Cavill’s caped hero and Michael Shannon’s General Zod – with a further 250,000 missing (who might also die) and 1 million injured. Alright he’s supposed to be saving the planet, but couldn’t he at least be a little more careful?

The level of destruction would be “similar to an air burst from a 20kt nuclear explosion in terms of shock effects, but without the radiation or thermal effects”, reported WTC.


Overall, the economic impact of ‘Man Of Steel’s’ events would have cost the fictional US taxpayer an unimaginable $2 trillion (the overall cost of 9/11 was £178 billion). That’s £1,277,710,000,000 – more than half of the UK’s entire gross domestic product for 2012. “Ouch” doesn’t quite cover it.

Hulk-Smash... The Avengers tore up New York too (Credit: Disney)
‘Man Of Steel’ now eclipses the smash-happy ‘Avengers’, which last year Watson predicted to have landed a hefty $160 billion (£102 billion) price tag – including a $70 billion dent from the initial alien invasion and $90 billion in clean-up costs.

However, as Watson revealed to The Hollywood Reporter back in May 2012, deciding who pays for these things is a little more difficult:

“Most insurance policies have special provisions for acts of war, civil unrest, or terrorism.” Watson published in a spoof ‘Avengers’ report, before admitting that there may be a get-out clause for some insurance providers: “Given the involvement of individuals considered deities in some cultures (Thor, Loki), there is even the potential to classify the event as an “Act of God”, although that designation would be subject to strenuous theological and legal debate.”

Would Superman count as a God? Is $2 trillion too much for his planet-saving services? Tell us what you think in the comments below.