5 Terrible Lessons We Learned from Superman Movies

#2. Superman Returns: It's OK to Trick Someone into Raising Your Baby

In Superman Returns, Superman returns from space after a five-year absence to find that the world doesn't need him anymore (except it totally does, because he can lift planes and stuff). While he was away, however, Lois Lane had a child and became engaged to Richard White, aka the guy who plays Cyclops in X-Men.

"Finally, a chance to be a different kind of stock character. Without glasses!"

However, in a surprise plot twist, it turns out that this roughly 5-year-old child who can throw pianos and bend steel with his hands is actually Superman's son -- presumably the product of a one-night stand unrelated to the Fortress supersex described above, because Lois actually remembers having it (and still doesn't seem to give a shit about Clark). The problem is that she has been telling everyone that the kid's father is Richard, including Richard, who has spent half a decade raising another guy's son as his own.

"Haha, such strong arms!" *passes out*

There's no indication whatsoever that Lois told her fiance that she was already pregnant when they started dating -- he clearly thinks the kid is his. So how does Superman react? Sure, he's understandably shocked at first, but by the end of the movie, Superman is apparently fine with this arrangement as long as he gets to visit his still unrecognized son at night and quote Marlon Brando monologues to him while he sleeps.

"Tattaglia is a pimp. He never would have outfought Santino. But I didn't know until this ..."

We shouldn't be surprised that Superman condones this type of behavior, because after all, lying is a central part of his character. While most parents teach their children that honesty is the best policy, Superman's taught him to deceive the world around him and actively encouraged him to lead a double life for his own good. Lois was simply following his example, consciously or subconsciously -- when some deadbeat demigod ran off to "find himself" in outer space and left her with a bun in the oven, she clung to the son of her editor and fooled him into raising her space baby. Everyone wins! Except Cyclops, who can't catch a break in any franchise.

At the end of the film, Lois and Richard are still engaged, proving to the impressionable girls in the audience that there are no negative consequences for this course of action whatsoever. So don't say Superman films cater to boys only.

#1. The Entire Franchise: All Relationships Are Evil

If there's one theme running throughout all the Superman movies, it's not something like "justice will prevail" or "protect the innocent" -- it's "relationships suck, and you should never even bother with them." Seriously, in these movies, if Superman so much as goes half-mast looking at a lady, you know something terrible is gonna happen.

Take Lana Lang, Clark Kent's high school sweetheart and romantic interest in Superman III. Superman's attraction to her gets him to come to a parade in Smallville, where he's exposed to the kryptonite that makes him evil. Later, he almost lets a man fall off a bridge because he's too busy hitting on Lana like a creep.

"Have you ever snorted coke off invulnerable buttocks?"

There's also the time Clark dated his boss: not Perry White, but Mariel Hemingway's character from Superman IV. Clark's feelings for her translate into his dimwitted radioactive clone having a psycho crush on the same lady, which gets her kidnapped. She probably got some type of skin disease for being alone with the guy for five minutes.

And then, of course, there's Lois Lane. When she and Superman first hook up in Superman II, a talking hologram of Supermom (or Superdad, depending on which version of the movie you're watching) flat out tells Superman that he can't be with a woman and protect humanity, because "the concepts are mutually exclusive." Apparently, you can't have a girlfriend and be good at saving people at the same time.

"Superman, we can't control this fire!"
"Hm. Probably because you're all married, losers."

And this isn't like in the first movie, where Jor-El says "Don't interfere with human history" and Superman disobeys him because it's the right thing to do -- this time, his parents' terrible advice is actually proven right. As we mentioned before, Superman gives up his powers to be with Lois, because that's not a lot of pressure to put on a girl after a first date or anything. Meanwhile, because Superman has been busy gettin' busy, three superpowered criminals have conquered the Earth ... and the only thing that can stop them is, of course, Superman, who no longer exists, thanks to Lois Lane.

She then beats him up and steals his shirt.

In other words, Superman, who can punch planets out of their orbits when he's single, is completely emasculated by bringing a woman into his life. Because he dared to love, he grew soft and weak -- his boner conspired with Lois Lane in order to destroy not only him, but the rest of the world as well. Fortunately, in the end Superman gets his powers back, super-roofies Lois, and beats up that trucker dude, and the movie ends with the lesson that being in a relationship is the worst. Shit, we may have finally discovered why so many comic book fans are single.

Related Reading: Curious about why it's so difficult to make a decent Superman movie? Soren Bowie explains why the Man of Steel just isn't very interesting. Were you struck by how filled with douchebags the new Superman movie is? So were we! But we bet you'd be surprised to learn that Superman is actually one hell of a realistic character, right down to his tights: Science shows that wearing them makes him faster AND tougher.

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