Remember when Superman stood for truth, justice, and all that stuff. Well apparently he doesn’t. Ever since he turned a blind eye to lobotomizing of super villains (see: Identity Crisis) it’s been a downward spiral for the big guy even Superboy and Superman’s double saw it, granted they responded a little excessively (i.e., tried to destroy the universe).
Once again Superman is taking a not-so-subtle turn for the worse. Superman is supposed to have two defining qualities his strength and his strength of character but both have come into question as of late. In the past month alone Superman’s been taken prisoner THREE TIMES (see: Teen Titans #51-52, JLA #13-14, & Superman Batman #39-41), including a defeat at the hands of Scarecrow and his hallucination inducing fear gas. So is it any wonder this scaredy cat is going to the dogs.
It’s one thing to illustrate Superman’s weaknesses but lately he just been having his ass handed to him–past, present, and future! Superman Confidental #8 showed a young Man of Steel running away from super villain Darkseid after getting bitch slapped, recently he LITERALLY got knock halfway around the world by a geriatric Kryptonian of the female persuasion (Superman #669), and then his hand was blown off after traveling to the year 3008 AD (see: Action Comics 858).
As if the depowering of Superman wasn’t bad enough, he’s also had some less than heroic moments lately. I would go as far to raise the question of racism in regards to Superman’s treatment of the inhabitants of Bizarro World (Action Comics #855-857). At first Superman debates whether the Bizarros are even alive. Pa Kent must point out the painfully obvious hypocrisy to his son (pictured left). This kind of behavior might be believable were it an adolescent Clark Kent but coming from the iconic Superman this sounds doubly wrong.
Worse yet, Superman actually killed his pal Jimmy Olsen! (Superman #666 pictured below) Okay, it was just a magically induced dream and Superman argued that his letting loose, as he called it, was therapeutic but still talk about repressed. The kicker is according to the story this sinful act should’ve damned Superman to Hell for all eternity but wouldn’t you know he pulled the magical equivalent of crossing your fingers! It turned out that was not Superman running amok but a cleverly created copy of Superman’s soul.
Even Glowy-Face-Mc-Glows-A-Lot realizes Superman isn’t living up to his full potential telling him that he should strive to live up the the 2nd rate 4th world character Big Barda. While an obviously oblivious Superman looks back with a look on his face like ‘are you talking to me?’ (pictured right)
And now Superman’s dead yet again! Sorta. Having served his purpose a brainwashed Superman is ordered to fly to the very ends of the universe straight into THE SOURCE, which holds it all together. (Superman Batman #41 pictured below) We all know Superman will return (again) the only question is which Superman? Selfless, Fearless, Moral Superman or just more of the same.