We have learned in the TV series “Superman & Lois” that on that earth, Superman is the only super-powered hero. There could have been other heroes. Green Arrow, maybe even a bat character, even though other than Oliver Queen’s name is mentioned, we have not heard of other superheroes. So on earth this show takes place in Superman is the only super-powered hero. I love it! This shows us why Superman is so important. The world and perhaps the universe look at Clark as their personal superhero. He is a true beacon of hope on a planet that needs to know whatever might happen (war, natural disasters, powerful villains) that they have a hero they know will be there to give everything he have to protect them. That makes Superman the icon he should always have been in any universe (arrow verse and beyond).
So why should the larger DC Universe (mostly the comics) not be the same? I can give a list, as long as my arm, of how many super powerful heroes there are in DC. And I love many of them. But the point we make is that without these heroes, would the DC Universe still feel safe and protected if Superman were the only super-powered creature? Of course they would. Does that mean heroes on earth like Batman and Green Arrow who are super in their own right, just not super powered, would not exist? Maybe. But Superman is the one who fights Mongul and Brainiac and saves us from tidal waves and other natural and intergalactic disasters.
During the Golden Age, it took a while before Superman began interacting with other heroes. Even then, there were few and far between. Superman was the star of the earth. Whether he stopped wife bankers, threw a car full of gangsters through the sky, or took care of some monstrous threats, the world depended on him. They did not need other heroes to come in and stop a volcano. They had Superman and he is everything they needed to feel safe and secure. So why not now?
In the 21st century, when too much heck was released on this earth, especially the earth inhabited by the DCU, could Superman take care of these threats without other powers coming in to lend a hand? Yes, he could. The problem is that creators feel intimidated and feel that Superman is hard to write because he cannot be related. Please enough of this boo hoo hoo. Writers have taken Superman to great heights and have told incredible stories. So why can’t DC make a bold decision and make Superman the only super-powered hero in the DC Universe? Okay, I know they do not get rid of their other super characters, and I do not want them to either. But if they did, could Superman be there to take care of business all on his own? Of course! I love superheroes, but sometimes I think we’re inundated with these characters. What would the comic book world be like if Superman was the only one? I know I’ve been with my tongue and cheek over some of this, but I still feel, at least in the world of DC Comics, that Superman could be the only super-powered hero. The hero we can look up to. And know, no matter what this world throws our way, we only need one guy to do it better. Superman!
Without a doubt, Superman is one of the strongest characters in the DC Universe. For some reason, there is this tendency to make him the most powerful. Sometimes it comes from writers stretching his abilities to a climactic ending to a story. Other times, it’s us as Superman fans who want the character to be the best and strongest of all. “Superman is much faster than The Flash!” “Of course he could do that, he’s Superman!” The tendency to make Superman’s power unlimited makes him a weaker character. As much as we love him, Superman should not be the most powerful creature in the DC Universe.
By making Clark infinitely powerful, the number of compelling stories that can be told drops markedly. It’s the same problem that plagued Superman of the Silver Age – if the guy can push a planet or blow a star out like a birthday candle, then how can you have bets? If he is omnipotent, he becomes less interesting because the reader knows he will win without a fight. It seems to be the most prominent complaint about the character from non-fans, and Superman’s powers have largely been in check for a while. We know he (almost) always will win, but if there is no doubt, why read? The stories and Superman would become outdated and boring.
Furthermore, it would be pointless to have Justice League if we know that Clark could handle everything himself. Why would he need a team if he alone could defeat Darkseid and his Parademon army? Why should there be a need for superheroes in the DC Universe?
There must be limits and rules to the extent of Superman’s powers. He should not be able to pull a new ability out of his back pocket at any given time because the situation demands it. In addition, his strength levels should remain consistent from issue to issue and author to author. A character without boundaries is boring, and a completely without obstacles is not convincing. Yes, Superman is a strong character, but he should not be able to lift an entire continent. I’m not saying I want him to be as weak – for lack of a better word – as he was in the golden age. I just do not think Superman should have a god strength.
I’m sure I sound like a broken record, but there are not that many ways to argue. It should be obvious why Superman’s strength should have limits. A character without boundaries will quickly lose the audience’s investment. There would be no legitimate threats or villains or obstacles that could actually slow down Superman. Why would potential new readers check the character out if there is no real threat or possibility that he might lose? We constantly see the complaints from non-fans that Superman is overpowered. Having him be the most powerful being in the DC Universe would only legitimize it. Although he would not quite fit the definition, a boundless and almighty Superman would venture dangerously into Gary Stu’s territory. I’m not saying I do not want him to be strong – he’s Superman after all! – but there must be limits to his powers.