I’ve already given you the list of my favourite superheroes, and we’ve talked about a couple of the best superhero movies. So now it’s time to talk about a hero I really don’t like. This guy.
I understand that, without Superman, superheroes as we know them wouldn’t even exist, and I do appreciate him for laying the genre’s foundation. But the fact that he was the first doesn’t make him the best. Here are some things that bug me about Superman:
1) His ridiculous powers. He can fly, he has x-ray vision and super strength, he shoots laser beams from his eyes, he’s indestructible…I mean, this guy can do anything. He’s unstoppable. So how can any of his stories possibly have a conflict? Oh yeah, that’s right…
2) Kryptonite. Because the average criminal, mad scientist, evil alien, etc. doesn’t stand a chance against Superman, the only sense of danger in his story comes from a supposedly rare type of space rock that drains his powers. So, of course, that rare piece of rock has to show up in every comic (and therefore every single movie). Which kind of stretches the bounds of belief, even in the superhero genre, but not quite as much as…
3) His “secret” identity. So this neon-wearing hero, whose face is all over the news all the time, puts on a pair of glasses and a tie, and NO ONE recognizes him. Seriously? Even toddlers don’t fall for tricks like that. Sure, people can be pretty stupid sometimes, but you would think that after a while, Lois Lane would notice that one of her co-workers looks an awful lot like her super boyfriend. Didn’t any of your journalism teachers tell you to observe the details, Lois?
4) His perfection. All of this is really to say, Superman is just too perfect. Most of his successors have at least a few problems in their lives–well, usually a lot of problems–but Superman has everything going for him. He always does the right thing, he always saves the day, and he always comes out of it completely unscathed. Which is fine when you’re ten and watching cartoons, but now that I’m older, I like a little complexity in my heroes.
The question is, why are they still trying to make serious movies about this guy? The most recent example, Man of Steel, was the dullest superhero movie I’ve ever seen. Zack Snyder really tried to bring Superman into the Nolan-influenced 21st century, but all he did was make him even more boring than ever. Maybe it’s time for this 76-year-old alien to retire.