Superman: American cultural icon, Earth's greatest superhero,

and a great believer in the use of music as a weapon.

Just The Facts

  1. Superman is a survivor of the doomed plantet, Krypton, and has been working illegally in America since 1938.
  2. Superman's powers include flight, super-strength, and invulnerability, and his only weakness is a piece of irradiated rock from half a universe away.
  3. Despite this, his greatest enemy is Lex Luthor, a middle-aged bald man in a business suit with no powers whatsoever.
  4. And that's just fucking sad.

Superman in the Golden Age of Comic Books, 1938-late 1940's

Created by two Jewish kids in New York named Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, Superman originally couldn't fly, move at the speed of light, hold black holes in his hands, or do most of the cool shit he can do today. He was originally limited to leaping tall buildings in a single bound, outracing speeding bullets, and stopping locomotives.

As well as putting women in their proper place.

When he wasn't leaving tied-up women to uncertain fates, he was busy fighting in World War II. Despite having the power to end the war single-handedly, however, Superman decided to do his part in a more traditionally American way--through xenophobia and racial slurs:

One can only imagine this image had Superman been created by two good ol' boys from Tennessee during the Civil War.

Among his abilities, the most underrated yet most oft-used was his power to make people forget the inherent irony in having a creature from another world serve as the very image of the American Spirit during times of conflict.

You can't see it, but the bald eagle is weeping.

Superman in the SIlver and Bronze Ages of Comic Books, 1956-mid 1980's

The Silver Age of Comic Books was a period of artistic advancement and commercial success in mainstream American comics, particularly in the superhero genre. For the readers, this meant a sudden proliferation of new and exciting characters, as well as the emergence of greats like Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. For Superman, however, this meant shedding his past limitations and gaining a metric fuck-ton of new skills, including the ability to create a new fucking power whenever the fucking fuck he wanted.

Apart from the soul-shattering claim of super-kisses, Silver Age Superman's other supposed powers he made up on the spot include:

  1. Super-weaving
  2. Super-ventriloquism
  3. Super-landscaping
  4. Super-motherfucking-mathematics

It's at this point where any rational human being stands up and calls horseshit, but in the pages of Action Comics, rationality is nothing more than a cheap hooker Superman picked up outside a Costco, raped, beat, and left for dead by the side of the road.

While wearing clown makeup.

And singing "Goodbye Horses."

For more examples of Superman's Silver Age hijinks, check out

Superman in the Modern Age of Comic Books

During the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover event in 1985, the editorial offices at DC decided to tone down the crazy and bring their heroes down to less-ridiculous levels. How someone determines what power levels are acceptable is beyond me, but apparently it's somewhere between stopping a train and doing this shit:


Though Superman's powers in the Modern Age are a fraction of what they once were, he is still one of the most powerful characters in fiction, able to lift billions of tons and take nuclear explosions to the face as though they were little more than Care Bear Stares. His vast power, however, doesn't serve to prevent Superman from inexplicably getting his ass kicked every other issue by people who have no business laying a hand on him, including everyone from Lex Luthor to the Goddamn Batman.

The Many Fails of Superman

1. Superman vs Muhammad Ali

While I'm sure there's a perfectly valid reason as to why Ali, a human being, is able to beat Superman's face into hamburger without shattering every bone in his fists by even being in the same ring as him, it's a lot funnier to imagine Superman as so incompetent that he can't even figure out how to work his powers of invulnerability or something.

2. Superman vs Batman

While this beatdown may be excused by the fact that there is a Kryptonite ring involved and the fact that it's the Goddamn Batman we're talking about here, there really shouldn't be anything stopping Superman from doing this:

3. Superman vs his heterosexuality


Superman's Friends and Allies

1. Wonder Woman - Amazonian princess created by the Greek gods, she's Superman's female counterpart, which doesn't stop him from showing her her role every now and again:

The Pimp Hand is strong with this one.

2. Lois Lane - Superman's wife, easily fooled by eyeglasses, dimmest reporter of all time, and every time she needs rescuing, an angel gets its wings.

3. Supergirl - Superman's cousin, once had sex with a horse. (See Cracked article: 6 Creepiest Comic Book Characters of All Time)

4. Jimmy Olsen - The Canada to Superman's America, nobody likes him. Was once a giant turtle.

5. The Goddamn Batman - Considering the sheer amount of times they've beaten the crap out of each other, the fact that they remain friends means that these two either have the patience of saints, or they're--

Ah ... okay.