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The dark side of Superman you don't know about

He stands for truth, justice, and the American way. Out of all the world's superheroes, Superman is the shining beacon of hope, a symbol of what we should all strive to be. Well, for the most part. Sometimes he forgets about all of that and turns into a real creep. Since he's the most powerful being on the planet, that can be a bit of a problem. Here's the dark side of Superman you don't know about...

Killing A Powerless Zod

Everyone freaked out at the ending of 2013's Man of Steel, when Superman snaps General Zod's neck. The thing is, Superman does that to prevent Zod from lasering-eye-beaming a family to death. Superman doesn't really have a choice. Besides, it's nowhere near as bad as what happened in the comics. In this version, Zod came from a pocket universe where he and his companions killed everyone in that dimension's Earth. Superman eventually finds out, and uses gold Kryptonite to take away Zod's powers. Then, Superman uses green kryptonite to kill the now powerless Zod. Even though Zod's no longer a threat, Superman decides that he still needs to die. That's horrible enough, but there were much quicker and less painful ways Superman could have killed the man. Seriously, that's how characters like Jigsaw and the killer from Se7en behave. After reading this story, it seems pretty obvious that Clark Kent has a crawl space full of other people he had "no choice but to execute."

Walk Across America

Wouldn't it be cool to just, like, walk across the United States? That's the sort of question that every college freshman asks themselves at one point. It's also something Superman once did, because some lady slapped him in the face. Apparently, he was feeling depressed or something and wanted to reconnect with the people of the planet. That's fine for for someone like Forest Gump, because he doesn't have superpowers. Sure, Superman saved people that he encountered along the way, but typically on a very small scale. While he walks across the country, he's ignoring all the terrible things happening all over the planet. A volcano might be erupting in the southern hemisphere, and Superman could make it in time to help out. But instead he's shuffling his feet through Utah. Seriously, Superman walks across Utah, which is pretty much a big empty space on the map. This storyline was called Superman: Grounded, but it could have been called Superman Lets A Lot Of People Die Because He Went For A Long Walk.

Chuck Austen's Temper Tantrum

If you don't follow comics, Chuck Austen is known as a controversial writer. He was hired to write Superman, and fans and retailers revolted. For context, Austen once wrote an X-Men comic where Angel had sex with a girl while her family watched. Superman fans weren't too enthused about seeing this man's take on the Man of Steel. One moment that stands out is Superman's encounter with Barrage, a minor villain in the grand scheme of things. Superman stands over a clearly terrified Barrage and taunts him before smashing a car down on him. He then pulls Barrage out from underneath the wreckage and throws him across town. He does all this to a guy who has basically already given up. Then, when the owner of the car questions Supes about his actions, especially the whole "needlessly destroying property" part, Superman just brushes him off. He offers to laser his signature into the car so the guy can sell it on eBay. Of course, without a certificate of authenticity, no one's going to buy a bunch of scrap metal. We understand that Superman wants to teach the criminal a lesson, but what about the owner of the car? All he learns is that Superman's kind of a jerk. Austen's run was thankfully cut short, because he wrote Superman like a bully who doesn't understand how economics work.

Letting Parasite Absorb Lois

Parasite is a villain that sucks the life force out of people. So, you know, he's probably someone that you'd want to keep away from your loved ones. Unless you're Superman, in which case you'd purposely let him have at it! Through a fairly crazy series of events, Lois ends up gaining psychic powers, and she eventually discovers that Clark Kent and Superman are the same person. Conveniently, she then falls into a coma before she can tell anyone, leaving Superman to figure out a solution. When Parasite attacks the hospital, Superman allows him to feed on Lois. Luckily, it all works out and Lois loses her psychic powers and forgets that Clark is Superman. That's a good thing, since she probably never would have forgiven him for letting a giant man-worm-thing suck her life force. Also, did Superman risk Lois' life just to protect his secret identity? This is a secret that's only worth a fake pair of glasses, but he's totally willing to put his friend on the menu to protect it. That's the opposite of "heroic."

Rampaging Against Batman

In 2011, DC Comics relaunched its entire line of funny-books with an event known as The New 52. It rebooted Justice League by showing how the titular team comes together in the new continuity. Since this was supposed to be early on in each hero's career, the team members all act less than perfectly. Green Lantern is cocky, Wonder Woman is headstrong, and Superman goes into murderous fits of rage. Wait, what was that last one? Apparently the young version of Superman had a bit of a temper. When Batman and Green Lantern show up, Superman attacks them. He goes into a frenzy and at one point starts choking Batman. Superman isn't provoked by either Batman or Green Lantern, he just shows up and starts trying to murder them. He keeps bragging about how they can't hurt him. Well then, if they can't hurt you, why not give them, say, five seconds to explain themselves? It's hard for Batman to explain that he's not a threat when you're crushing his windpipe.

Superboy Prime's Rampage

Prior to the New 52, there were several different realities that DC Comics' characters inhabited. Then, the event comic Crisis on Infinite Earths combined all of the different realities into one. This is how Superboy Prime came to exist. He's still Superman, just with a slightly different history. Anything he does, the real Superman is capable of doing, and that's terrifying, since Superboy Prime turns out to be a real monster. During the Crisis, Superboy is the sole survivor of his reality, but he ends up living in a paradise dimension. For some reason, this drives him mad and he turns evil. The lesson learned here is to never let Superman hang out anywhere with the word "paradise" in its name. Superboy Prime eventually travels to the main Earth of the DC Universe and causes another Crisis event. He gets into a fight with that Earth's Superboy, a clone of Superman. Their fight causes the deaths of several heroes and a whole lot of destruction. Basically, one version of Superman gets into a fight with another version of Superman, and now we're all looking at the actual Superman a little bit more suspiciously...