Here’s an idea I’ve been meaning to add to the daily quickpost rotation, a short commentary or thought that isn’t worth a full sized feature article. I have a good one to start on. Think about what people who don’t understand Superman thinks someone with Superman’s power would be like. Heck look at what Lex Luthor, writers like Brian Michael Bendis or editors like Dan DiDio, or the title villain from Kill Bill can’t seem to grasp about him.
- Nobody with that much power would want to be an ordinary person, so he couldn’t possibly have a secret identity. (While I object to him not wanting to be Superman, him wanting to be Clark is because it connects him back to his humanity and as he’s once said, Superman is what he does, but Clark Kent is who he is.)
- If “I” had that kind of power I’d totally make people do what I want. (Superman only uses his gifts to help others whether it’s saving lives, lending a helping hand, or being in a unique position to just listen to someone else’s problems for a while.)
- With that much power he has to be a big, dumb oaf. (Superman has shown he can be smart with or without his powers, and has had problems in the past that punching things couldn’t solve.)
- Superman is too powerful to write stories about. (And yet the character has existed since the 1930s so clearly a few people managed to figure it out.)
- Superman is a god. (…who can be felled by a glowing rock or Harry Potter. He sees himself as a human, leading to…)
- If “I” were that powerful I wouldn’t care about lesser beings. (Superman will rescue a cat from a tree, and that’s not just a line. He literally does it. He also admires people who can save lives without superpowers, risks their lives for others without being invulnerable, and shows the same kind of compassion and helpfulness he does. While we are inspired by Superman, Superman is inspired by us.)
In other words, Superman is the ultimate example of subverting expectations…unless you think that only means being negative and depressing. Superman is not the type of person you’d expect someone with all of his power to be…which is why he’s my favorite superhero. If someone in the real world could have all his powers, despite science saying how impossible that is, you damn well better hope he’s a big “boy scout” or you’re dead.