We've all been fooled at one point, believing that heroes such as Batman and Superman were loyal to their "no killing" rule. Truth is, the world's finest haven't always been above taking a life. Matter of fact, you can check out the times that Batman has disturbingly (and hilariously) broken the "no killing" rule in [Andrew Zwaan](user:2959960) article, 6 Times Batman Has Brutally Murdered Someone. After that discovery, I figured I would write an article going over a few of the times that the boy in blue has broken the rule. Without further delay, let's cross the line as I present to you 7 Times the Man of Steel Had to Take a Life.
1. Superman Kills Zod & the Phantom Zone Criminals (Superman vol. 2 #22, 1988)
In this issue of John Byrne's Superman, our hero travels to a pocket universe, where Superman wasn't the only Kryptonian to survive their planet's destruction. In this alternate universe, Superman battles Zod and his pals Quex-Ul and Zaora. After their defeat, the Man of Steel feels the need to become the judge, jury, and executioner, as he carries out the death sentence that was meant to be delivered to them by the destruction of Krypton. With a portion of the pocket universe's kryptonite, (to which Superman was immune, being from a different reality) the so called boy scout executed the villains, and left on his merry way, back to his home dimension. Just read the dialogue in the picture above, Superman was not playing around!
2. Superman Lets a Man Choke to Death (Action Comics vol. 1 #1, 1938)
That's right, in Superman's first appearance, he basically killed a man. Our hero broke into this small time villain's lab and allowed him to choke on his own poisonous gas in order to give him a taste of his own medicine. Aside from this murder, in another issue, Superman showed up to a criminal trial as Clark Kent, just to ensure that the criminal was given the death penalty. That's pretty disturbing if you ask me. Back in the day, our favorite superheroes were cold hearted killers, putting villains in the dirt without hesitation! Superman even killed a guy for trying to stab his impenetrable skin. This was his reaction.
3. Superman Kills Imperiex & Brainiac (Action Comics vol. 1 #782, 2001)
During the 'Our Worlds At War' storyline, a deadly living force of entropy and pure energy made it's way to Earth, obliterating entire planets along the way. This force was known as Imperiex, who was a large enough threat to force Earth's heroes to team up with the likes of Darkseid and the planet of Apokolips, as well as Braniac-13 and his planet-sized battle station Warworld. In the end, Brainiac betrayed the group (we all saw that one coming) by attempting to obtain Imperiex's power for himself.
Left without remedy, Superman pushes the planet-sized Warworld through a boom tube, sending the entire battle station back to the time of the big bang, along with Imperiex and Brainiac, destroying them in the process. Superman justifies this double homicide by saying that he couldn't merely kill them, but instead "spread their consciousness across millions of lightyears instantly.." which to me, still sounds like you murdered those guys, Superman. But don't sweat it, we're still cool.
4. Superman Puts a Hole in the Joker's Chest (Injustice: Gods Among Us #2, 2013)
In this non-canon issue, Superman gets a kryptonite laced boot to the crotch... figuratively speaking of course. The Joker first murders Jimmy Olsen, kidnaps the pregnant Lois Lane, then infects our hero with Scarecrow's kryptonite laced fear toxin. After he was infected, Superman see's Lois as Doomsday, and flies her into space... along with their unborn child! During this tragedy, Superman's city fell into ruins after the Joker's nuclear bomb destroyed the majority of Metropolis.
Batman takes the seemingly victorious Joker to a Gotham City prison for interrogation, where an enraged Superman bursts through the wall and does the unexpected: he puts his hand clean through the Joker's chest, tearing a hole in his heart. Obviously, this kills him immediately. I have to say, the Joker did have this one coming. But can you see the look on Batman's face? He's totally thinking "Clark, how could you?! I wanted to be the one to do that!"
5. Superman Obliterates Dr. Light's Head With His Heat Vision (Justice League: Trinity War Part I, 2013)
I'm sure this is how everyone has pictured Superman killing someone. If we weren't imagining him tearing someone in half, throwing them into space, or punching their head clean off of their shoulders, then we were envisioning a red-eyed Supes using his heat vision to melt the face of an enemy or friend. In this issue of Justice League, Dr. Light is a new JLA recruit, joining the heroes in the good fight. This helmet wearing recruit ends up fighting the Man of Steel, and during the fight, ends up inadvertently attacking Wonder Woman (Superman's main chick).
Clearly, Superman isn't too fond of people touching his lady, so he melts Dr. Helmet's face off. To be fair, Superman was mind-controlled to commit the murder as part of a campaign to discredit the Justice League. Unfortunately, that didn't un-melt Dr. Light's face. He's still dead, and Superman still killed him.
6. Superman Kills Green Arrow (Injustice Gods Among Us #11)
Green Arrow fell at the hands of the Man of Steel after Black Canary, Batman, Captain Atom, and himself had infiltrated the Fortress of Solitude. After a fight between Superman and Atom broke out, Arrow became trapped in the fortress with a murderous Superman. Even though his arrows were useless, he decided to use them anyway, putting up a fight during a battle that he could not win. Superman then strikes Green Arrow and mercilessly kills him with just one blow. Superman... how could you?
7. Superman Rips Doomsday in Half (Superman: Doomed #1, 2014)
This story is odd, yet very interesting. Even though I have yet to read it, I became aware of it almost a year ago when doing research for another article. I had to mention this Superman and Doomsday encounter before the one that took place in Death of Superman, only because this one is cooler. Our hero becomes aware that Doomsday has emerged from the Phantom Zone, ready to make a mess of the world. But here's the kicker: Doomsday's blood is infected with a virus that eventually turns Superman into a Doomsday-like creature. (I told you this story was weird). Anyhow, Superman doesn't want to risk anyone else getting hurt during his fight with with the creature, so he takes the fight to Smallville, where the battle ends with him ripping Doomsday in half, fertilizing the land with the blood of his enemy. Poor farmers; I'm sure that set them back a couple seasons.
Now you know that Superman isn't such a boy scout after all.
So what do you folks think?