The fans at The Comics Journal message board want to see Superman man up, already:
Way back when I thought I could be a comics writer I sub mitted a few stories and of course got a nice letter back saying -GET LOST. One of the parts I wrote was Superman just letting it all get to him and as Clark Kent encountered a bully on the street. He really did not cut loose but he made, how shall we say this…a example of the guy in front of a crowd.
He felt better and the story moved on. I was wondering if any mainstream super types ever did this in a comic book? I guess I have never seen it so I imagine the editors will not allow Superman, Batman, Iron man etc etc to do this. I guess this would be considered the hero being the bully….
To say that people can point out examples of Supes being a dick is an understatement…
“In some of the original Siegel & Shuster comics he thrashes people around pretty good. Check out the first 20 or so issues.”"Radio Superman was kind of a son of a bitch too. He killed Nazis and ‘Japs’ during the war and threatened crooks with violence all the time — the guy said ‘Talk or I’ll know why!’ more than ‘Up, up, and away!’”
“In one of the first stories he drugs a football player and keeps him prisoner. Then makes himself look like the guy and plays on the football team in his place… just so he can catch the coach of the other team rigging the game. Superman was a real SOB.”
“Besides the football player story mentioned above, there’s his throwing a torturer halfway to the sun(or wherever; in any event I doubt he landed alive) and throwing enemy pilots out of their planes. And then there’s the end of Gerber/Colan’s PHANTOM ZONE, where Superman beats the living shit out of a depowered General Zod, who beforehand mocks him about his code against killing. To which Superman admits he can’t kill him, but that his code says nothing about beating him within an inch of his life. And after he’s done, he muses ‘And there are some days I think of scrapping that code altogether.’”
And you should see what he does to people who tug on his cape…