People all over the world love to follow the lives of superheroes. There are many different types of heroes, and they come in several different mediums. Comic books and television shows are the most popular, but in recent years there have been a lot of movies made about them as well. But a casual observer might wonder why they are any different from the bad guys. After all, these superheroes seem to commit just as many crimes (including murder!) as the bad guys that they face off against.
As we explored last week, Batman has committed many murders over the lifetime of his story. You can read about his antics right here. Today we will look into the life of Superman. It turns out that he has committed just as many murders as Batman has, including taking out one of Batman’s fiercest rivals.
The legacy is that superheroes work under a “non-lethal justice” system. But we recently proved that Batman doesn’t believe in such a system, and today you will find out that Superman doesn’t believe in it either.
You will learn of a time when Superman punched someone right through the heart, another time when he stood by and watched a man choke to death, and you’ll learn of an opponent that he ripped right in half. These are just a few examples of how Superman believes that killing is a good way to dish out justice. Read on for many more examples.
15. Superman Killed A Kryptonian Dragon
This is an instance that Superman’s victim is not an actual human being. But it was still a bad guy looking to do harm and Superman killed it nonetheless. Fans of the superhero might also point out that the beast was already dying but nonetheless, he was killed by The Man of Steel.
In Superman Volume 3, #13, 2013, the caped crusader came up against a large Kryptonian dragon that was trying to resurrect his home world right here on earth. You’ll find that is a common theme among Superman stories. Which kind of makes you wonder about Superman’s claim to be the “Last Son of Krypton”.
Superman eventually finds out that the dragon’s DNA is decaying away and he will soon be dead. After several ferocious battles, he found a nearby oil field and used his heat vision to start a fire. This caused a huge explosion that the dragon got caught up in and he died a fiery death.
Shortly after this, Supergirl came and told Superman where the dragon had come from (he didn’t know at the time of the murder) and it was the beginning of a storyline that saw Earth almost be destroyed (shocker!).
14. He Killed Brainiac Several Times
Just like in the many different Batman series’, Superman has a few foes that keep coming back from death to cause him more headaches. Brainiac is one of those guys that just wouldn’t go away even though Superman killed him on a few different occasions.
One time was in Action Comics Volume 1, #782, 2001, in Our Worlds at War. Not only does he kill Brainiac but he also takes out Imperiex as well. To end this battle Superman sends both Imperiex and Brainiac back through time, essentially killing them. He justified it by saying that he couldn’t truly kill them even though the action in the storyline clearly made it known that they were dead.
Brainiac was also killed in an episode of Smallville (episode #152) to finish off Season 7. The bad guy was causing Superman all kinds of problems by attacking Chloe, shipping Supergirl into the Phantom Zone and putting Lana Lane in a catatonic state. So you can see why Superman was a bit frustrated with his foe. Once he finds out that Brainiac’s brain isn’t really human Superman decided that it was ok to knock him off. So he hooked him up to some power cables and electrocuted him until he exploded. But don’t feel bad for him. Just like so many other bad guys that are killed by superheroes, Brainiac will return again.
13. Superman Killed A Sun-Eater
Throughout his career, Superman has run into several of the giant Sun-Eaters. But most of the time this had happened he was with at least one other friend that did the actual doing away of the enemy.
These powerful threats could bring an instant end to life as we know it if they weren’t stopped. In Action Comics Volume 1, #847 in 2007, this story was told as a flashback, remembrance type of setting. Jonathan Kent accompanied his son to Superman’s Fortress of Solitude for the very first time. While they were there Superman built a spacecraft out of sunstone. He did this so the pair could take a ride through the stars so the father that adopted him could see the sights.
While out and about in the universe, they noticed a distress signal that was being sent from another galaxy. Not one to ignore such a signal Superman dropped his father off and went to check it out. What he finds is a Sun-Eater and a spacecraft that was sent to destroy it with the bomb it was carrying. Seeing that the craft failed on its mission Superman decided to lend a helping hand. He took the bomb-carrying craft and brought it right into the Sun-Eater, killing it and saving the universe.
12. He Took Out Doomsday
The comic book Superman Volume 2, #75 in 1993, is one of the highest selling comic books of all time. That’s because something happened in the comic that was very much out of the norm: Superman is killed by Doomsday. Now he took his nemesis with him but having the main character die just wasn’t something that happened every day now!
Doomsday had come to Earth and he was causing all kinds of havoc. When the Justice League stepped in to try to put a stop to his shenanigans it turned out that they offered little resistance for the powerful villain. One by one he retired the entire Justice League leaving only Superman to stop his evil ways.
It was a heavyweight battle to say the least with both men using all of their might to destroy the other. As the battle continued Metropolis was rocked with tremors until the war was over. When all was said and done both men were killed by their opponent. Superman had indeed put an end to Doomsday’s evil ways but he paid the ultimate price in doing so, giving up his own life in the process.
11. Superman Killed Zod And His Partners
Zod is another criminal that Superman has killed several times over the years. One such case was in Superman Volume 2, #22 in 1988. In this issue, it was revealed that Superman was the sole survivor of the destruction of Krypton. This really doesn’t make a lot of sense since a lot of his enemies stemmed from there as well. But I guess since it’s not real, it doesn’t really matter.
In the issue, Superman goes to what is called a “pocket universe” where he finds other survivors from Krypton. And of course, they are all bad guys. He gets into a battle with Zod, Zaora and Quex-UI and of course the caped crusader came out on top. But after the battle, he decided that it was his job to finish off what should have happened when Krypton was destroyed. These men must die.
This pocket universe contained some type of green Kryptonite that didn’t affect Superman at all. This was because he came from a different reality. So he grabbed the stuff and used it on his adversaries to end their lives.
The story itself is a little weird and it actually brings up more questions than answers. But in the end, it was good for selling future comics as people tried to figure out what was really going on with these other survivors from Krypton. If that didn’t make people curious enough, how about this Kryptonite that didn’t bother their hero at all.
10. He Did Away With The Nuclear Man
Superman IV: A Quest for Peace saw the introduction of a new foe for Superman. Nuclear Man was introduced and he didn’t last very long as he too was killed by the superhero.
Nuclear Man claimed that Lex Luthor was his father and that was about the best thing about him. Many consider Nuclear Man to be the worst and lamest of all the villains ever introduced to take on any superhero. He had long fingernails that he used to scratch opponents and he could only do battle when the sun was shining. He was kind of like a solar powered villain. And now you know why fans of the series were not very interested in this new opponent of Superman.
What ends up happening is that Superman tossed Nuclear Man down into a power plant smokestack to his death. The death was put to good use by the citizens of Metropolis as his energy was used by the power plant to help bring electricity to the city. It’s easy to see why people were unimpressed with this new villain but in the overall scheme of things, he was just another victim of Superman.
9. Superman Killed Mxyzptlk
In the world of comic books anything is possible. This is because they aren’t real. Anything that isn’t real doesn’t really have a strict rule that must be followed about anything. This became even more evident in 1986 in Action Comics #583, Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? In this issue, Superman kills Mxyzptlk and that’s the only time I am going to mention his name. First of all, it’s ridiculously stupid and most certainly some other name could have been created. At least something a little easier to spell.
After battling and killing his opponent in this story Superman actually retires from fighting crime because of the fact that he killed a man. While the story is set like a prequel to a prequel of some sorts, it’s just another case where Superman killed someone, and we all know that his retirement didn’t last. Just as his death against Doomsday didn’t last either.
This two-part story saw a lot of deaths in it, not just our hard to spell enemy. Brainiac and his flunkies wiped out Krypto, Jimmy Olsen, Lex Luthor and Lana Lang. But the man behind it all was the main opponent of Superman in the story, Mr. M. Eventually Superman ended the battle by trapping him between two dimensions, essentially killing him.
8. He Killed Zod Again In Man of Steel
Superman killed Zod once again, in Man of Steel, the movie that came out in 2013. This flick saw a change in the Superman movies to more of a dark side very similar to the Dark Knight movies. Warner Brothers saw the success that the Batman films were having while not really changing the character much. All they really changed was the scenarios and the brutality. So they took the Superman films in the same direction and were rewarded with better box office results than they had previously seen.
It didn’t work out so well for Zod however, as he was once again killed by the Man of Steel. Both Smallville and Metropolis are destroyed during the battle and many innocent people were killed just by the destruction of the city alone. The deaths of innocent civilians were the results of the heavyweight battle between the two powerful men. I guess you can consider them casualties of war. But there is no question that Superman played a part in their deaths.
7. Superman Killed Dr. Light
This is yet another odd story in the adventures of Superman’s existence. There are so many occasions of dreams, recounts of previous days and/or justifications of previous happenings, that sometimes it’s hard to follow the story. This comes from different writers taking part in the concoction of new stories.
Superman #13 was filled with plenty of murders and confusion amongst the superheroes and the follow up to it took it to another level. The Trinity War saw a lot of members of the Justice League fighting with each other and everything can become a bit confusing to the casual reader.
To break down the basics here, Superman has a crush on Wonder Woman and who could blame him with the way she dressed. No wonder people were committing crimes all over the place; they were probably hoping she would come after them! Anyway, Dr. Light attacked the brunette beauty and that really pissed off Superman. He used his “heat vision” to blast Dr. Light’s head right off of his body, killing him instantly. Later on, it’s brought out that Superman was really mind controlled to commit his bad actions. This was part of a larger campaign that was meant to destroy the Justice League. But either way Dr. Light still died when his head was ripped off.
6. He Disposed Of Lex Luthor
Batman always seems to be in a battle with the Penguin and The Joker. Those are his biggest arch enemies even though he has killed off both on more than a few occasions. Lex Luthor is that arch-rival for Superman. They have been battling it out for years and no matter how many times Superman kills him, he always seems to come back for more. Maybe being a villain is the secret to living forever. You just have to accept the fact that you will die a few times over the course of your existence.
In episode #37 of Justice League, that was called A Better World, Superman once again killed Luthor. The two did battle in an alternate universe after Luthor had killed The Flash as he rose to become President. The Justice League was obviously not too happy about this set of events and they attacked the White House seeking justice. While Batman and Wonder Woman took on the Secret Service, Superman made his way to the Oval Office to confront his longtime rival. Luthor held his finger over a button that would start a nuclear war and threatened to push it. Obviously, Superman could not let this happen so he used his heat vision to give Luthor a fatal sunburn.
5. Superman Killed The Joker
In the world that we live in today nothing is impossible. Several years ago one would never think that a video game could be the birth of a comic book. Maybe it could be the other way around but certainly not the game inspiring the comic. But when NetherRealm Studios made the video game, Injustice: Gods Among Us, it did just that and the beginning of the comic series was pretty brutal.
In Injustice: Gods Among Us #2, the Joker proved that he can give anyone a very bad day, including the Man of Steel. First of all Lois Lane is pregnant with Superman’s baby. So the Joker kidnapped her and did open heart surgery on her to put a monitor in her heart. Yes, I guess he was a surgeon as well as a villain. He also shot Jimmy Olsen in the face. So you can see how these acts might get Superman just a little angry.
When Superman comes to rescue his woman The Joker attacks him with a gas that is made of a Kryptonite mixture with poison from the Scarecrow’s arsenal. This affects Superman’s brain and he thinks that Lois is actually Doomsday. So he grabs what he thinks is another enemy and flies him up into space and kills him with a lack of oxygen. Just as Superman realizes that he just killed Lois, the monitor in her heart is triggered and a nuclear bomb explodes and wipes out everything and everyone in Metropolis.
Superman then finds out where Batman has brought The Joker for questioning and explodes into the room. He plowed his fist right through the heart of the bad guy killing him instantly. Interrogation over. Superman got right to the heart of the matter.
4. He Watched A Man Choke To Death
As I mentioned in the previous article done on the Batman murders, there were several times that he could have taken a bad guy into custody and had justice served without killing the guy. Superman is no different and has committed the same act many times as well. It just goes to show you that sometimes these “superheroes” are as bad, and sometimes probably worse, than the bad guys themselves.
Back in 1938 in Action Comics Volume 1, #1, Superman refused to lend a hand and he watched a man choke to death. He was a small time criminal that got on Superman’s radar and the caped crusader decided it was time that the man was dealt with. When his poisonous gas was released in his lab Superman stood there and watched him start to choke on it. The man begged for help and asked the superhero why he wasn’t dying as well. The Man of Steel told him that “The gas doesn’t affect my physical structure” and just stood there with his hands on his hips. As the villain continued to beg for his life Superman told him “You’re only getting a taste of the fate you planned to doom others to!” While this is probably true, why didn’t Superman just bring him to jail instead of standing there watching him die? In today’s day and age, the family of the man would probably sue Superman for wrongful death and win.
3. Superman Killed Green Arrow
People always want to know about internal turmoil whether it be in a band or a company. It’s just something that people can’t ever seem to get enough of. In Injustice: Gods Among Us #11, there is once again internal turmoil within the ranks of the Justice League.
Green Arrow joins up with Batman and his sometimes lover The Black Canary, along with Captain Atom to get inside Superman’s Fortress of Solitude. You might guess, as would be the case when any person enters someone’s area of solitude, that Superman was none too pleased about the situation. Sadly, Green Arrow somehow got trapped in the same room as a very pissed off Superman.
He attacked the man of steel with his arrows even though he knew they really wouldn’t do him much good. But he had to try something to save his skin. As you would expect the arrows had absolutely no effect on Superman and the outcome of the battle was never in doubt. Superman finally approached him and killed him with one vicious blow. To show you how strong he is, it wasn’t even a full powered punch. It was more like a very strong backhand. But nonetheless it was enough to kill his arrow throwing opponent.
2. He Ripped Doomsday In Half
Sometimes the storylines in comic books are as stupid as the ones that the WWE comes up with. This is one of those times. In Superman: Doomed #1, 2014, Superman once again crosses paths with Doomsday. The bad guy had recently arrived from the Phantom Zone and he had nothing but bad intentions for planet Earth.
Superman needed to put a stop to his antics but there was a problem. Doomsday was filled with blood that was infected with a virus. By making contact Superman would eventually turn into a Doomsday-like person himself. But it would also have the same results on any humans that came into contact with it as well. So Superman decided to lead the battle to Smallville. He figured that there were a lot fewer people there and the bulk of civilization would be spared.
The two fought a vicious battle that went back and forth. But as you would expect Superman got the upper hand at the end. He ended the fight by ripping Doomsday right in half, but when he did, all of that blood was soaked into the ground of Smallville. So Doomsday was dead, woohoo, but the infected blood was now in the ground for the residents of Smallville to deal with. I’ll bet they sent him a nice big thank you card for that. Why didn’t he just take the battle out over an ocean so the water could at least dilute it some? It is clear that Superman wasn’t thinking straight here.
1. Clark Kent Killed Titan
On the show Smallville during Season 6, Clark Kent came up against the likes of Titan. He too was an escaped prisoner from the Phantom Zone and he too had only bad intentions for planet Earth. So Kent and the villain went at it back and forth in an epic struggle that resembled a no holds barred style fight. Nothing was off limits in terms of weapons.
Kent finally gets into a good position and unleashes an uppercut that would have made Mike Tyson proud. Titan flew up into the air from the force of the blow and landed right on top of his own weapon that was covered in spikes. It’s very obvious that his injuries are fatal, but before he took his last breath he congratulated Kent on a well-fought battle.
After the fight, Kent appears to have an internal struggle with causing this death. But that may be just an act for those around him. Because if you watch the battle he has a nice big old smile on his face just moments before delivering his fatal blow. He knew the opportunity was there and he took it. Sorry Clark but we aren’t buying the fact that you were all torn up over causing this death. It was just another case of Superman committing murder and getting away with it.