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One of the most often heard sentiments in comics is that Superman is lame. Unquestionably, unendingly lame. A boy scout. A corny, old-fashioned, Midwestern rube whose moral code is both out of date and impractical in this world. No one accepts that someone can be good without some glaring fault or crippling obsession. It seems a kind, good hearted character is a concept of the past.
What a shit head
BUT I SAY NAY! Yes, he lacks the dynamic edge of Batman or the cocksure charm of Spider-Man, but his function is that of a symbol. An example that is set for the world. It's the true good. What we strive to be. Maybe not to everything all the time, we are only human after all, but in aspects of our lives. Some want to be Superman for their significant other, some want be Superman at their jobs, some for their kids, and some just want to be Superman to themselves.
So I say unto you, here are three example of characters who are WAY LAMER than Supes:
So the Founding Fathers summon The Spirit of America by means of the occult. In World War II it becomes a living Uncle Sam in order to punch Gerry right in his kraut mouth. The voice of a Southern Gentleman, the facial hair of a Northern dandy, and the calloused, rock-hard fists of a laboring immigrant. I don't know if he goes home to a wholesome apple pie dinner with his housewife Lady Liberty, but of course he does.
With Default Powers (superhuman strength, endurance, speed, and top hat), ability to shift size, smart vest with matching coattails, and goddamn clairvoyance he's a grab bag of nation-spirit powers. Oh, and I haven't mentioned his ability to access a pocket dimension he calls The Heartland. He's only as strong as his people's belief in America's core beliefs, though, so that might explain why he's not around so much now.
Most of his appearances outside extremely rare occasions have been some kind of absurd self parody. Some writers have tried to gritty him up a bit here and there, which a clear warning sign of a lame character. He has also lead a Super Team called The Freedom Fighters (of course) with Golden Age goofballs such as The Black Condor, The Red Bee, and... Plastic Man?
That Evil Skull Robot sure does love sweet tea. Diabolical.
Here we have a French brain in a jar who plots and spends time with his lover, a talking gorilla named Monsieur Mallah, who himself is a science experiment created by the aforementioned French brain when he was in a human body. Got it? There'll be a test later.
Everything about Brain is just boring General Evil. He's got the skull on his jar, he's got the nefarious plotting that always goes wrong, he's got the big grandiose speeches. Ho hum, been there, done that for decades. Was the exposed brain ever thrilling and terrifying? Even in the 50s, wasn't it already a mad science trope? The most interesting part of the character is his gorilla boyfriend/bodyguard, BUT EVEN THAT is played to ridiculous, sappy melodrama.
He's great as a one off side villain to The Doom Patrol or the Teen Titans, but as anything more than that Brain just comes off as lame.
Oh man. I can already feel the Internet's rage swelling. Hal Jordan Green Lantern has legions of fans, some of whom are even running comics right now. Many forego Alan Scott all together and regard Hal as the "first" Green Lantern. He's as engrained into DC as much as Superman and Batman. You know what else he is? Boring.
But you defended Superman against the same allegations above! True. However, there's a difference. Superman exists on a grander scale. He's an archetype, the super hero archetype actually. He stands for good in a much broader sense than most other heroes. Hal Jordan doesn't have that. He's a straight-laced cosmic cop who was once a straight-laced All American test pilot. He has been, for most of his existence, a vanilla authority figure with a magic ring. It's not that I don't like him as a character, I'm indifferent. And that's the point. He's not that inpactful.
In the super bomb that was the Green Lantern movie, they played Hal as a wise cracking charmer (read: Ryan Reynolds as Green Lantern). They played him the same way in his own show. It's been done before off and on again in order to make him more interesting. The problem is that it turns him into The Flash, and the Flash has that joke-so-they-don't-see-your-pain bit down pat. You don't make a character more interesting by making him derivative.
Do you know which Green Lanterns are cooler than Hal Jordan? All of them. All of them. John Stewart has a better troubled past/hardened warrior thing going on, Guy Gardener is more fun, and Kyle Rayner is more imaginative, fun, AND interesting. Hell in the New 52 Hal only made it a few months before being upstaged by another, all new Lantern.
The nail in the lame coffin is the fact that DC struggled to find a more interesting angle on him for years. He was Ion, Parallax, even the Spectre for a time (can't get more edgier than the wrath of God). Yet he always came back to the same boring ring over and over again. You don't fix what ain't broken, even if that thing is laaaaaaaame.
What do you think? Anyone lamer than who I mentioned? Want to tell me how dumb I am for thinking Hal Jordan is lame? Leave a comment below!