The recent success of the blockbuster Man of Steel has seen everyone crawling out of the woodwork to declare there love for Superman. It’s understandable, predictable even. So I thought I’d take a little time to share with you why I’ve never liked Superman.
And I’m not talking about the movie. In fact, I haven’t seen it. By all accounts it’s a fantastic film that puts an amazing sci-fi spin on the familiar story. Sadly, I don’t get out to many movies these days, due to time and money constraints. I’ll likely have to wait for the red box or when it eventually comes to the premium channels before I catch it.
No, I’m here to talk about the overall character of Superman as he’s portrayed for some 75 years. I’ll preface this by saying I’m no scholar on the subject. I haven’t read all his comics and I don’t have a vast knowledge of his trivia. But why would I if I don’t like the guy?
So what’s my problem with Superman? He isn’t relatable. He’s too powerful. He doesn’t have enough vulnerability. He is too bland and good.
None of these are unique criticisms, as I’ve seen them echoed many times. I think there is a reason they keep popping up. Because they’re true.
Like Jimmy “the Gent” Conway, I’ve long been the type of guy who roots for the villain in a movie. In general I find them more interesting, and the good ones have a motivation I can sympathize with. On the other side of the spectrum the good guys are often bland, good for the sake of being good, are obviously destined to win from the beginning and don’t hold my interest. Sometimes it’s disheartening because the man I’m rooting for is doomed to fail before the story ever begins.
Nobody epitomizes the bland, one dimensional good guy to me more than Superman. He’s an overpowered boy scout I just can’t seem to get invested in. He is a large part of why I never really got into comic books as a kid.
The man can basically do anything and only has one weakness. How interesting are those stories really going to be? His top enemy is a bald old billionaire. No thanks. I’m sure there are exceptions and he’s had some interesting stories, but overall the guy is boring.
I can understand why Superman was created and his appeal. He’s the ultimate wish fulfillment. Who wouldn’t want to be the most powerful being in the world? When your a kid and make up a hero it’s usually Super (Insert Your Name Here) because that taps into a very childlike need.
And that’s all well and good, but not what I’m looking for in a story. A lot of these feelings are what led to creating Black Snow, possibly the most flawed superhero ever. In many ways he’s the antithesis of Superman, and that was not an accident.
I’m not here to knock any of the character’s fans, that’s your prerogative. I’m just telling you why I don’t like him. Now go enjoy your movie.