Baseball. The National Football League. Apple pie. Politicians making fools of themselves. Each of these has become a part of American culture, and the same can be said for Superman. While he is not beloved among all fans of comic books and shows of a similar nature, Superman may be the most recognized superhero of them all. The iconic “S” is, in our minds, immediately associated with the alien visitor from the planet Krypton, in part because there have been so many movies and multiple television shows dedicated to telling the tales of Clark Kent swooping in and saving the day as Superman.
Faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than a locomotive. You know the clichés that have been said about Superman. Those and other abilities, such as being able to fly and having invincibility so long as there is no Kryptonite around him, all come in handy when Superman is battling with villains such as Lex Luthor. It is these superhuman feats that have made Superman a hero among children who have, for decades, imagined themselves as being the iconic legend. Kids don’t wear the capes on occasions such as Halloween just because they look cool, after all.
Then, there are the powers had by Superman that are questionable at best, and maybe even downright stupid. Some of these traits are just unfair to those who would try to take Superman on in a battle. Others would, on paper, seem to be annoying to Superman himself. Why would he want these abilities? When would he use them? Some of the stupidest powers that Superman possesses are admittedly funny, intentionally or not, and it makes you wonder what creators of versions of the character were thinking when they authored such storylines. Super-writing could have been used as it pertains to some of these powers.
The list of Superman’s stupidest powers begins with the movie scene that has been both beloved and hated. Superman flies up into space and reverses time all by rapidly swooping around the globe. Yes, this is absolutely ridiculous and even a little insulting to viewers, but remember: You are following the story of an alien who can do just about anything he wants so long as a piece of his own home planet is not placed in front of him. The plot holes were there well before Superman turned the clock back per his wishes. Just let this one go.
Any list of the stupidest powers had by Superman has to include the one that often irritates fans of the character. Superman can, in one lip-lock, make a person forget something. It is assumed that Superman can control this trait to a point, because Lois Lane doesn’t forget how to walk and talk after she is kissed by the hero. One has to hope that Superman can turn this on and off like a light switch, or else he is going to run into trouble whenever he takes a lovely lady out for a night on the town. This super-kiss could land Clark super-arrested if he isn’t careful.
This is one of Superman’s powers where you just throw your hands up into the air and wonder why you even bother following the character anymore. Superman can override somebody’s mind with his super-telepathy, which leads to an obvious question: Why would he ever bother using force to defeat enemies? Can’t he just convince the bad guys to stop whatever it is they are doing and turn themselves in? Further more, he should use this trait to convince humanity to do whatever necessary to eliminate Kryptonite from the planet once and for all. That would help him in the long run.
What happens if the day comes when beating bad guys no longer pays the bills for Superman? The economy hits rough patches, after all, and the newspaper business is in rough shape for poor Clark Kent. No worries, though, as he can earn gigs working as a super-ventriloquist! But wait. There’s more! Superman is also able to make his voice sound like anybody else’s without struggling even a little bit. Somebody should tell Frank Caliendo that he could soon be in danger of losing his ESPN job. Caliendo is talented, no question, but can he really match Superman with his impersonations?
One of the stupidest powers had by Superman is one that may have been birthed by nothing other than laziness. There had to be some explanation for why nobody, let alone those close to him and villains who are supposed to be geniuses, realized that the only difference between Clark Kent and Superman was a wardrobe change and a pair of glasses. Enter Super-Hypnosis, the ability to make everybody forget that Clark Kent is more than just a dorky reporter who trips over himself from time to time. It’s super-lame, super-lazy and super-stupid, not to mention kinda/sorta super-sneaky.
You’re out fighting crime on a typical Tuesday when you come upon something the requires some welding. What are you to do if you are Superman? You use your Super-Friction to save the day, of course. As is pointed out in other criticisms of this power, Superman has heat vision that supposedly generates high temperatures in seconds. Why, when he is capable of using this trait, would he need super-friction? Are there times when his heat vision is running low but his super-friction is unaffected? Has any reader or television viewer out there ever wished to have this power? Didn’t think so.
This may be one of the stupidest powers had by Superman, but it is also one that could be elaborated on in future tales about the character. Superman could, for example, save the holiday season by perfectly pruning Christmas tree in the middle of December. He could then save a golf course that was damaged by a harsh winter. The problem here, of course, is that Superman would be putting people out of work. Who would even think about hiring a crew to take care of their property when you know Superman can get the job done in seconds? Heck, the guy might not even charge for his services.
Comedy gold is often created by a writer making a simple miscue and giving a gift that keeps on giving. One such instance involves Superman displaying his “Super-Math” skills in which he determines that there are 32,000 beans inside of a jar. There is just one problem with Superman’s arithmetic here: 20 x 16 x 10 does not equal 32,000. Anybody can make an error moving a decimal point, of course, but one would have to think that even Superman would realize that 32,000 beans is a lot. We are talking about a ton of beans here, not a small amount capable of being held by any old jar.
Laugh at this one all you want. It is all fun and games until the day comes when either you or a loved one needs a perfectly-fitting dress at the last minute. When that moment arrives, remember that you mocked this power of Superman when he does not come to save the day. It was long ago when fans began to grow tired of the Superman character, in part because he could do anything – literally, anything, including weaving better and faster than anybody. What happens if this power gets stripped? Does he lose his job on Fashion Avenue? That would be a shame.
The idea here is that Superman is able to “materialize a force” that manifests itself as a miniature Superman. Wait. It gets better. This mini-Superman comes from the palm of the hero. If Superman were to really thinks things out, he could vacation somewhere on a beach, listen for trouble and then let the mini-Superman take care of his dirty work. The little guy would get the credit, sure, but gold ol’ Clark would be too busy watching the waves come in to be bothered in the slightest about the lack of press. Besides, Superman doesn’t save the day for the positive headline.