Red Cape, Blue Tights

I’ve never been a huge fan of DC Comics in general, but in particular I’ve always found their lead character Superman to be especially uninspiring. In recent years, Superman has been eclipsed in the popular media by Batman, partly due to the successful movie franchise and partly because he’s a more complex and therefore interesting character. I don’t think Batman succeeds because the audience empathises with him, that’s something that creates Spider Man’s appeal. More people can relate to Peter Parker’s plucky underdog persona than Batman as a revenge driven vigilante or the invincible Christ figure that is Superman.

With yet another comic adaptation waiting in the wings in the form of Man of Steel, I have to wonder what story is left to tell that needs to be digitised and projected onto the silver screen? I think the reason Mr. Kent has never caught on with me is that you always know the ending with a Superman story – one way or another, he will prevail, it’s just a question of how many bystanders will be caught up along the way. They’re the only ones at risk from the villain of the week in every issue, Clark can’t be stopped (even death didn’t defeat him) so I find it hard to get excited when there’s no sense of peril and nothing for our hero to strive against. Maybe if he wasn’t as super, like in the old TV show when he couldn’t even fly, the spate of ever taller buildings being constructed might make it harder for him to leap over them in a single bound.

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