If there is one hero and character that is seemingly unbeatable and unstoppable in the comic book world, it’s definitely Superman. Ever since his introduction in the 1930s, the last son of Krypton has been the strongest, most powerful, and purest hero there has been. Over the years, The Man of Steel has become even more powerful and his weaknesses have gotten smaller and smaller. It’s gotten to a point where it seems like Superman is basically a god. But as any comic book fan can tell you, even Superman needs help sometimes.
Although Superman is the poster boy of the DC universe and usually spends his time saving everyone throughout the universe, there are times when The Man of Steel needs saving himself. It happens to everyone, even the most powerful superhero around! With this list we look at 15 times throughout the years when Superman has needed to be saved by other characters and heroes.
15. Saved By Plants
For our first entry we turn to the popular comic book The Dark Knight Returns. The content of this comic book story has been the subject of many storylines between Batman and Superman and that is “who would win between The Dark Knight and The Man of Steel?” In The Dark Knight Returns, Batman beats Superman, albeit temporarily, and with Superman already being in a weakened state, but the Dark Knight did win.
Superman, having just detonated a nuclear missile and taken the full blast of the explosion, is in a weakened state, the Earth’s Sun has been covered and Superman can’t recharge his power, so what does he do? He uses the plants and drains them of their solar energy in order to heal himself and save his life.
14. Booster Gold Saves Him From Falling
Over the years, there have been many storylines which involve the subject of what would happen if Superman had no powers. In the comic book series 52, Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman all take a break from being heroes. While Batman and Wonder Woman work on themselves, Superman was forced into being Clark Kent permanently, because of his exposure to a red sun.
So now that Clark is powerless he focuses on his life as a reporter and tries to find out the identity of a new hero, Supernova. However, Clark, being the intrepid reporter that he is, decides to jump out of a window knowing that Supernova would save him, which he did and it turned out Supernova was Booster Gold all along. Clark followed his instincts and they paid off, but he was so close to being wrong and ending up splattered on the sidewalk.
13. Robin Saves Him From Mongul
Out of all the heroes within the DC universe, there is one that always gets overlooked and doesn’t often get his moment to shine and that’s Batman’s loyal sidekick Robin. In the story arc The Man Who Has Everything, Robin finally gets his moment in the spotlight and saves Superman’s life.
Batman, Wonder Woman, and Robin travel to the Fortress of Solitude to celebrate Superman’s birthday. However, when they get there, they see that Superman is under attack by Mongul and is trapped within the Black Mercy, which is a plant that sucks the life out of you while it puts you in a dream state. Batman and Wonder Woman try to save him but end up with the Black Mercy on themselves, so as Mongul is about to kill Superman, Robin intervenes and places the Black Mercy on Mongul. So in one moment The Boy Wonder saves Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman.
12. Batman Saves Him From Brainiac & Lex Luthor
We’ve already mentioned the popular comic book The Dark Knight Returns, which finds Superman working for the government. The followup to this is the slightly disappointing The Dark Knight Strikes Again, which sees Superman still working for the government. As it turns out, Lex Luthor and Brainiac have the Krypton city of Kandor in a bottle and will destroy the last piece of Krypton if Superman doesn’t obey.
Batman, realizing what is going on, assembles a team to free the city and save Superman. With the help of Atom, who shrinks down into the bottle and gives the residence of Kandor their superpowers, the city is saved and Batman stops Brainiac while also going after Lex Luthor and stopping his reign of terror. Superman is freed from his slavery and everything turns out for the better.
11. Jimmy Olsen Saves Him From Black Kryptonite
We’ve already mentioned on this list that some comic book characters not only get overlooked, but are also seen as a joke within the superhero community. Although Robin falls into this category, he still helps out The Dark Knight, so that gives him some points. But there is one character that is always seen as a joke and his only purpose seems to be either to be saved by Superman or to just be his friend, and that’s Jimmy Olsen.
However, one story involves Superman being infected by Black Kryptonite, which not only slowly kills Superman but makes the Man of Steel lose his control and rampage through the streets. In order to stop Superman and save his friend, Olsen takes a compound that turns him into a Doomsday-like monster. Olsen is then strong enough to beat Superman in a fight and stop his rampage and therefore save his life.
10. Green Lantern Saves Him From Falling (Yet Again)
Over the years, there have been many different versions of DC’s most famous superheroes. With each new decade seems to come a new and rebooted version of the Justice League characters. Whether it’s in an alternate timeline, in the future, the past, or even a parallel world, the DC heroes have had a few versions.
For this entry we turn to the comic book story arc Justice League 3000. In the future, the universe is controlled by five super powered beings. As a result to this threat the original Justice League is brought back to life, only they didn’t have their full powers. Superman in particular was brought back weaker and he couldn’t fly. Not only could he not fly but he seemed to forget that he couldn’t fly and kept jumping off buildings. On one such occasion Superman tried to fly off but fell, seemingly to his death, until The Green Lantern managed to catch him.
9. Supergirl Saves Him From The Phantom Zone
DC have had a few crossover events in recent years. With the likes of Crisis On Infinite Earths, 52, and The New 52, DC comic books like to kick up big events every now and then. One of those was the slightly strange Convergence series. In this story arch, DC’s finest heroes are taken by Brainiac and placed in separate domes.
Superman tries to escape his dome by using the Phantom Zone as an escape route. However, the Phantom Zone is full of criminals and thugs that want to destroy The Man of Steel. The thugs prove too much for Superman and it looked as if his time was up – that is until Supergirl rushes to his rescue and saves him. Convergence also had Supergirl seeing her future in which she dies at the hands of Anti-Monitor. Even with this knowledge, she doesn’t hesitate in saving her cousin.
8. Flamebird Saves Him From Lex Luthor (Again) And Red Krptonite
In The War of Supermen story arc, Kryptonite super criminals Zod, Non, and Ursa threaten to destroy Earth when The New Krypton explodes, again! Superman gets a team together in order to stop them. Supergirl, Flamebird, Nightwing, Superboy, Steel, and The Guardian all join up and try to stop Zod and his gang from wiping us all out.
Superman and Supergirl fly off into space in order to stop the attack. However, Lex Luthor, working with Zod, fires a missile that is full of Red Kryptonite and renders Superman and Supergirl powerless and suffocating in the vacuum of space. Flamebird then steps up and burns as bright as she can in order to make the yellow sun burn through the Red Kryptonite. It works and Superman and Supergirl get their powers back. But it cost Flamebird her life and her sacrifice fuels the super cousins’ fight against Zod.
7. Lex Luthor Saves Him From The Crime Syndicate
Throughout the history of the DC comic books, Lex Luthor has been one of the more interesting characters. He’s been a businessman, a supervillain, a philanthropist, president and he was even Superman for a while. Although Lex is always going to be linked to Superman as a villain, he’s so much more than that.
So it’s no surprise that Lex Luthor has saved Superman’s life at least once before. In the Forever Evil comic book series, Lex led a group of characters to save the world as The Crime Syndicate had taken over everything. With the Justice League out of action Lex, with the help of Batman, saves the day. However, Superman is still dying as Kryptonite has been placed in his brain and it’s killing him. Luthor performs surgery on The Man of Steel and not only saves his life but becomes a member of The Justice League.
6. Martian Manhunter Saves Him From Doctor Destiny
Many fans out there argue that the Martian Manhunter is actually a more powerful and better hero than The Man of Steel. Not only does he share most of the same powers as Superman but he also has some extras such as mind control, telekinesis, telepathy, phasing and so on. Because of this, Martian Manhunter has saved The Man of Steel on a few occasions.
The most famous time is when Superman became lost in a dream state put on him by Doctor Destiny. Superman is lost in a vision of him losing control and killing everyone, which is one of Superman’s worsts fears. Given Martian Manhunter’s skill set, he is able to enter Superman’s dream and save him. Though of course, as strong as Martian Manhunter is, he still needed a little help in the form of Batman.
5. The Flash Saves Him From Darkseid
Ever since The New 52 comic book event came along, some fans haven’t been on board with the reboot and it hasn’t been the success it should have. Using this story arc to reboot and reintroduce DC’s finest heroes, The New 52 saw a newly formed Justice League face off against the universe’s most deadly overlord, Darkseid.
With Darkseid reigning his brand of terror over us, the newly formed Justice League are still finding their way as a team until Darkseid unleashes his Omega Beams on Superman. Even The Man of Steel can’t outrun or dodge the beams, until The Flash lends a hand and grabs Superman and outruns the beams, which is seemingly impossible. The Flash’s great feat doesn’t last long as Superman is later shot with the beams and knocked out cold. But for a brief moment, The Flash did the unthinkable and out ran Darkseid’s Omega Beams and saved Superman’s life.
4. Wonder Woman Saves Him From Maxwell Lord
During the massive crossover event Infinite Crisis, or more specifically the Countdown to Infinite Crisis, the villainous Maxwell Lord wants to destroy the Justice League and he does this by showing the world that heroes and super powered beings can’t be trusted. Taking control of Superman’s mind, Lord commands Superman to get rid of Batman, to which The Man of Steel beats Batman to the point of death. Wonder Woman then steps in to stop Superman, but she soon realizes that even if she can stop Superman, he will still be under Lord’s control.
So she creates a distraction to keep Superman busy and then she confronts Lord. Using her Lasso of Truth, Wonder Woman demands to know how to free Superman. Lord replies “Kill me,” so Wonder Woman snaps Lord’s neck and frees Superman. Unfortunately killing someone is a step too far and the world turns on Wonder Woman. Even Batman and Superman do, even though she just saved them both.
3. Vandal Savage Saves Him From…Vandal Savage
With our next entry we turn to the excellent Justice League and Justice League: Unlimited animated TV show. In the episodes “The Hereafter” Part I and II, Superman is seemingly killed in front of his fellow heroes. Stunned and shocked, The Justice League mourn the loss of DC’s greatest hero and try to move on with their lives and saving the world.
Obviously Superman isn’t dead, he’s actually been transported to the future and he’s stuck there. In this future, the villain and immortal Vandal Savage tried to take over the world, and in doing so he actually wiped out all life on Earth. As a result Savage is the only human left alive and has to wander the world alone. When Superman arrives in this future, Savage has had centuries to himself to reflect on what he’s done and he feels guilty and wishes he could change the past. He helps Superman build a time machine to go back to the past and stop himself from destroying the world. So not only did Vandal Savage save Superman but he also saved the world, albeit from himself.
2. Muhammed Ali Saves Him From Aliens
Over the years, Superman has been involved in some of the biggest storylines to ever be in comic books and with some of the biggest characters. One such character is when The Man of Steel faced off against Muhammad Ali. In this one shot crossover, an alien overlord comes to earth to determine who is Earth’s true hero. Obviously Superman thinks it’s him but Ali points out that Superman isn’t human therefore doesn’t count. The aliens decided that the best way to find a champion of Earth is for Ali and Superman to fight.
Obviously, as great as Ali is, he couldn’t beat The Man of Steel in a fist fight. So the aliens travel to a planet with a red sun so that Superman has no powers. The two go at it in the ring and Ali wins, but seeing that the aliens should be stopped, Ali turns his attention to defeating the aliens. With Superman in a weakened state, Ali manages to save Superman so he can get his powers back.
1. Batman Seriously Saves Him ALL THE TIME
The number one entry on our list goes to The Dark Knight himself. Although we’ve already mentioned Batman on our list, the fact is that Batman has saved Superman’s life, as well as most of the characters within the DC universe, so many times that he needs an extra entry.
The fact is that the vast amount of times that Batman has saved Superman, or at least been a part of the saving, is far too many to count. The Dark Knight is always the hero with a plan, a backup plan, and even a plan after that. He’s faced off against some of the most powerful beings in the entire DC universe and has come out on top when others, such as Superman, have failed. It’s fair to say that ever since Batman and Superman first burst onto the pages of comic books, Superman wouldn’t be the hero he is without Batman. In fact, he probably wouldn’t even be alive without the help of The Dark Knight.
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