I don’t like Superman.
I never really “got” Superman. He always seemed to be too much. Too powerful, too nice, too wonderful. It really irked me. I’m more of a flawed-hero or reluctant hero kind of guy, so I wasn’t in any rush to see the Superman Returns movie. But I got a copy this weekend and watched it and, while I enjoyed the movie, I came away from it with lots of questions. The more I thought about it, the less I liked the movie. And then, the less and less I liked the idea of a Superman character. But, after just a little while of thinking about it I began to… well, question the whole concept of the character. And I came to the conclusion that Superman, as a whole, is so flawed that it’s just dumb.
That’s right, I said it. Superman is dumb.
Superman, as a concept, sounds like a good character. A guy who can fly, shoot lasers from his eyes, lift a bajillion pounds and is invulnerable sure sounds like a great idea for a fun time, doesn’t it? But, even using the made-up logic of a comic book world or more recently of the movie world, Superman just doesn’t make sense. Let’s even forget the whole “flying so fast the world spins backward and time reverses itself” shenanigans and concentrate on simple things. Little things that, when looked at, cause the whole character and comic-movie world to fall apart.
How about we start with the sun?
Superman, no matter how human he might seem, is actually an alien who gets his powers from the sun because our sun is yellow and the sun from world he came from, Krypton, was red. Got that? Our yellow sun makes him Superman. Now, this alien planet he came from was so technologically advanced that they could shoot a baby into space, across millions of light-years, and not only keep that baby alive when it could not possibly eat anything on its own, but also land the spaceship on the far-away planet they chose without harming the child or ship. Amazing, right?
Then why the hell didn’t all those Kryptonians have super-powers?
All they needed was to change their red sun rays into yellow sun rays and voila! Instant Supermen and Superwomen. A race as techno-savvy as they were supposed to be couldn’t figure out that certain types of radiation would give them super-powers? Come on! That doesn’t make sense! But let’s forget about that. Let’s accept the fact that our yellow sun gives Superman his powers and no one on Krypton figured that out in time to save the planet from exploding and move on to other, even simpler things about Superman that don’t work.
How about sex?
Superman is not human. He’s an alien, with an aliens physiology. How amazing, how utterly astonishing it would be, for two species from two completely different worlds to be able to mate! I mean, a man and a monkey look pretty similar but can’t have offspring, yet somehow we are to believe that an alien and a human can just because they look outwardly similar?
But, OK. Let’s accept that, too.
Let’s say that somehow, through a miracle of evolution, Superman has the same equipment as humans do and he and Lois Lane have sex. What would happen? Well, sperm happen. And what are sperm? Basically, they are egg-seeking missiles. Their one mission is to find a female’s ovaries and fertilize an egg. So they swim upstream until they reach one and fertilize it, or die trying.
But, remember. These are Supersperm.
They wouldn’t be constrained by a woman’s body. They could reach their target at supersonic speeds by destroying any barrier in between it and its goal. Even the woman’s flesh itself. Plus, once the nearest egg was fertilized, the other 100 million sperm would seek out other eggs. And since these are supersperm they could fly around the world in seconds, impregnating 100 million women by ripping right through their bodies to reach their destination.
Doesn’t that sound wonderful?
There are a myriad of other problems with Superman. Like how the rock and dirt from his home world reached the earth at the same time as his ship, even though it should have taken those fragments millions of years. Or how about Kryptonite, Superman’s one weakness? Why is he weakened by it? Wouldn’t that mean he would have died at birth on his home world? And even if Kryptonite for some reason caused him to become ill, wouldn’t the yellow sun rays change the Kryptonite radiation into something harmless or even helpful to Superman? Yellow sun rays give Superman his powers, why wouldn’t it also make Kryptonian rocks good for him? But let’s say they do cause him harm, why aren’t there ever any lasting effects? If the sun heals him from the long-term effects, why not from the short term?
And how about the people around him? Despite the hundreds of photographs of Superman, no one thinks he and Clark Kent look alike? Lois Lane is such a bad investigative reporter that she can’t put two and two together when Clark disappears for the millionth time and Superman suddenly appears? Lex Luthor is a genius who can find Kryptonite almost anywhere whenever he needs it, but can’t figure out how to make Kryptonite bullets or a bomb? Doesn’t it all seem a bit… stupid?
But hey, what do I know? I’m a SpiderMan fan.