This series of articles is not about Superheroes and Villains that suck, instead this focuses on the issues of perfectly good characters made shithouse through means not under their control, and who better to start with than the Man of Steel himself?
COMIC CHARACTERS WHO SUCK (for reasons out of their control)
I'd be an ignorant tool to give you an introduction to Supes, as everyone in the world knows who he is, last son of Krypton, defender of blah blah blah
When you look at him from a casual standpoint, you know Superman is good, he's easily one of the most recognised characters in existence, he saves kittens from trees and puts bank robbers behind bars. Everyone loves him.
But when you get actually into the character, if you're like me in any way at all, you'll notice that Superman is as entertaining as watching grass grow.
Problem #1: Over Experienced
The main problem with Superman is that he is just TOO super. He can fly, he's super strong, he's nearly invincible, he has this array of gimmicky powers PLUS he can perv on women through walls. If he were invisible he'd have it all, and he wouldn't be Superman either, he'd be Rape Ghost.
Watching the old cartoon VHS tape I have of Supermans adventures, nearly every episode he's tackling bank robbers, train robbers, and store robbers. The guy can punch a persons face off and he's wasting his time rounding up bungling crooks with dollar sign bags. Does he have confidence issues? He could sell his services to the government to take out enemy regimes but he seems happy working a white collar job and stopping the odd bullet with his face.
The writers back in the day created the greatest and strongest superhero known to man, and gave him the personality of a kitten. Sure every now and then he'd lift a car or stop an escaped gorilla, but most of the time he'd just dick around and annoy his friends. Eventually the writers got out of their "1940's gaytime happy comix" stage and gave him some worthy foes. But another problem arose.
Problem #2: Generic Bad Guys
The only Superman bad guy in the entire universe I actually like is Lex Luthor, because he knows how Superman works, he's aware of his own limitations and uses his brains, instead of bulky muscle to tackle Supes, and his character in "Red Son" is just the fucking man, go out and read that book.
Every other villain can be grouped into Superman bad guy stereotypes, and you can even group how Superman defeats them too.
- Bulky Dumbarse: Superman outsmarts them
- Weak Smartarse: Superman outmuscles them
- Bulky Smartarse: Their plan backfires after they think they've defeated Superman
- Weak Dumbarse: Refer to my previous entry about bank robbers with dollar sign bags.
Sure a good writer comes along and throws a twist in, but those occurrences are few and far between, plus I haven't read every single Superman comic in existence, my knowledge of Superman isn't what I'd call "encyclopedic", so if I'm making gross assumptions by all means go shove it.
Problem #3: He was made in 1932
This isn't a problem in itself really, but because he was one of the first Superheroes made he's had to endure everything that went wrong in comics too. If there is one thing I'd applaud Superman for, it's the ability to live through the following:
Girlfriend doesn't want to marry you? Kill her. That bitch aint gonna embarrass you
Yeah, fuck you Tojo!
There have been periods of time in the history of comics where writers and artists were drunk at the helm. Superman had to put up a cast of no-name supporting characters, like those twins in the Super Friends, and there's even a Super Dog with a cape, who IS STILL AROUND.
He's had to team up with celebrities like Pat Boone, and tackle bad guys like Mussolini. Everything crappy that could happen to any character in the comic universe has happened to Superman.
Superman is the guinea pig for all shitty comic ideas.
Problem #4: Non Print Media
I'll give Supes this, Christopher Reeve was great on the big screen as the man of steel, and the first and second movies with him I really enjoyed. But Superman III? I don't even want to talk about it, just have a look at the poster, it pretty much sums up the movie..
Superman is a great character, there is no denying it, I love the guy I really do. And his failure rate in comics is acceptable, Batman has gone through the same shit. But when it comes to movie, TV and video game adaptations, Superman really has the balled dropped there.
Everyone loves the Batman series, it was kooky and silly but still great AND it fit in with the comic style of the time, it's a classic series of a "gayer" era. But Clark.. he hasn't had the same success.
I'm going to ignore the original TV show as I never saw it, instead I'm going to focus on the 2 pieces of trash that are...
Lois and Clark
* I found this image when I searched for Smallville, so I'm using it
Just typing those words here makes me want to retch. Lois and Clark took the annoying as batshit girlfriend of Kent and made her a main character, it was a shitty romance themed series that I'd watch if threatened with a glass enema. As for smallville? Fuck smallville.
Superman is an American icon, he stands for all that is good and wholesome and he's really a cool guy, but his enemies are not Doomsday, or Brainiac, they are the moronic people in charge of his image, who let him get into some of the most vomit inducing capers around.
Still not convinced? Here's the Superman 64 nintendo game, regarded as the worst video game ever made. you spend most of the game flying through rings.