“Gentleman, ladies: what if Superman had decided to fly down, rip off the roof of the White House, and grab the president right out of the Oval Office. Who would’a stopped him?”-Suicide Squad (2016)
There’s an old proverb; “With great power comes great responsibility “. Now many of us are familiar with that phrase which was first used in Amazing Fantasy #15 this particular issue is highly recognized for showcasing the Amazing Spiderman’s very first appearance. But in this case, I’m referring to the other Red and blue Superhero, the Man of Steel himself, Superman!
Throughout the decades we all are familiar with Superman’s image as this “overgrown” Boy Scout thanks in part to his nobility with a modicum of naivety. Such traits serve as a fascinating contrast to Batman’s brooding persona.
But what if the World’s Finest hero decided to go rogue? How would the world respond? What about the reactions of those who believed in this guardian angel sent from the sky?
What would be the repercussions and who stop him?
I have a few answers to such inquires as we take a look back at the best of the worst in the Man of Steel!
Note: Off the bat, the very first moment I witnessed Supes being a total dick, was during Superman 3.
Despite the film being more of a slapstick comedy than following the source material, that scene in which an altered personified Superman (Thanks to a special Kryptonite compound) goes on a vandalism spree along with a few other questionable acts runs into this hot blonde Lorelei who is an accomplice to CEO and Criminal mastermind Ross Webster, after doing the bidding of the sultry seductress, Superman gets his “reward”. It seems that Kryptonite wasn’t his only “Weakness”.
However, in the end, “Truth, Justice and the American way” always prevails. X)
- Superman the Animated series: Legacy
What served as the last episodes of the popular series, became the most poignant. Written by Paul Dini, the plot of Legacy incurs a mind controlled Kal-el attacking the earth with practically no one to stop him.
(And where was Batman? I guess at home, washing his tights!)
Amidst the chaos and destruction, Kal’s cousin, Supergirl and Lois Lane intervenes as a means of “damage control” afterwards Clark regains his memory but is it too late?
After vindicating himself by defeating the being responsible for his wrongdoing, the general public now loses all faith in the one who stood for truth, justice and the American way.
I was floored on how Dini and Bruce Timm had concluded this series on a somewhat somber note, but admired them for having the balls to go there. Legacy was an unforgettable and one of the better episodes from the animated series.
- Justice League Episode: A Better World.
Unlike the brainwashed Superhero trope as seen from “Legacy”, not only does Superman take matters in his own hands, but with the aid of the Justice League, now referred to as the Justice Lords, he also takes control of the World! Set in an, alternate universe, a frustrated Superman enters the Whitehouse now inhabited by President Lex Luthor who has more than abused his authority.
Lex’s hubris then forces Superman into doing the unthinkable by killing Luthor via Heat vision.This episode had set the precedent for future exploits of Supes’ going rogue in future DCAU storylines.
- Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths
This direct to video tale is similar to a better tomorrow, in regard to the parallel reality scenario this time it’s the villains who are the heroes and vice versa. Superman as we know him is now the unscrupulous Ultraman bent on eradicating any who would dare oppose him and he’s accompanied by an evil version of the Justice League-The Syndicate!
- Injustice: Gods among us
Ed Boon co-founder of the Mortal Kombat series, developed not only the best DC based titles, but also one of the better fighting games. The premise shows how dark the beloved comic characters can go: The Joker manages to kill Lois Lane and worse-her and Clark’s unborn child! This drives Superman on a path of no return as he kills the Sociopathic Criminal, but as with “A better tomorrow ” he rules with an iron fist. That’s unless the JL has anything to say about it.
This would have made for a better film than what was presented today.
Im looking at YOU Batman vs Superman!
- And speaking of which, in this recent pseudo epic, Bruce Wayne sees The Man of Steel as a threat to the human race especially after experiencing a traumatic attack from the Kryptonians and if that wasn’t bad enough, Wayne is plagued with constant nightmares of a world controlled by yes, you guessed it, a tyrannical Superman!
Bruce “witnesses” firsthand how Superman’s detractors are easily dispatched without trial or jury thus, providing the motivation to stop him permanently. Not to mention that Wayne holds Supes responsible for the death and destruction that happened during Man of Steel.
I have always pictured Superman to be this shining example of your quintessential “good guy” with little to no faults, however with these aforementioned examples, it’s interesting to see what would happen if the Big, Blue Boy scout went down a much darker path. Having him seen in a bad light may be considered sacrilegious to most of his fans but on the contrary, it’s an audacious spin on a much beloved fictional character seen as too homogeneous.