For decades, heroes and villains alike have been lining up by the hundreds for their shot at taking down the Man of Steel…And they’ve all failed. Ok fanboys, before you throw your collector’s edition Batarang replica into the computer screen, let me explain 3 reasons why trying to beat Superman is a fool’s errand.
- THE POWER PROBLEM
It’s often said that Superman is as strong as he needs to be at the time. Outside of cosmic beings, no one but Doomsday can really match Superman’s raw strength. Some might interject and say Darkseid could take that spot, but many storylines show that when Supes becomes angry, he is able to overpower the ruler of Apocalypse. Doomsday is able to resurrect from death just like Superman. Plus, when Doomsday resurrects, he actually comes back stronger than the force that killed him! And on top of that DD’s (Doomsday) durability allows him to take virtually all the punishment Clark can dish out. With durability and strength to match Kal-El himself, Doomsday is basically an evil (or confused) Superman! And Superman still beats him (albeit temporarily). And for those of you giving me the intelligence argument, that doesn’t work either because The Man of Tomorrow faces off with the likes of both Lex Luther and a knowledge-god in Brainiac. And if that wasn’t enough, he even uses his intelligence to trick a fifth-dimensional being of immense power (Mr. Mxyzptlk) into saying his name backward. If these 3 Justice League-level threats can’t put down Kent…It’s doubtful anyone can.
- HE’S THE HERO
Has Indiana Jones ever lost at the end of a movie? What about Optimus Prime? Heck, Mario? All of these characters are the ultimate good-guys of their respective franchises. And audiences love to see the good guy win in the end. Why would Superman be any different? The Last Son of Krypton is the ultimate good guy of D.C. Comics, if not, all comics. You could make an argument that Superman is the most morally sound Superhero/pop culture icon ever. He has rarely (if ever) taken a backseat to anyone when it comes to the moral high-ground. Even when he’s being mind-controlled to be evil and has lost the moral high-ground no one can stop him. It’s only when they break said mind control that the fight ends. It’s highly unlikely D.C. Comics will ever have their greatest hero take an “L” without reason number 3 on this list…
- THEY WEAKEN OR IMPAIR SUPERMAN
The 3rd and final reason on this list comes as a result of the previous two. D.C. knows people love to see The Big Blue Boy Scout get challenged by powerful opponents and pushed to his physical and mental limits (if he has any). It makes comics and movies sell like hotcakes. However, because The Superman is as strong as the situation calls for, he often needs to be weakened via Kryptonite, magic, or mental attacks in order for a believable fight to take place. Without something dampening his powers, he’s simply over-powered. And intentionally so.
So enjoy all the Superman v “fill in the blank” comics, movies, and TV shows. But if you’re waiting for someone to put down a no-holds-barred, full strength, Superman…Don’t hold your breath.