Hello readers, today is a very special day. Why is that? Well, other than the fact that it's Leap Day, today also marks the 78th birthday of everyone's favorite patriotic purveyor of justice; Superman! There are hundreds of Supes fans out there, all celebrating this momentous day in their own way.
As for me, well I have a very complicated relationship with ol' Clark Kent. Though not my favorite hero, Superman is definitely among the coolest and most powerful heroes ever made. He's gotten so incredibly powerful, that it's a bit ridiculous that he has any enemies. Or that one of those enemies is a normal bald guy with a lot of money and anger issues.
Superman may be a legend now, but it took a while for him to get to where he is today. After all, Superman has been around since the '40s, and in that time, writers have experimented a lot with the character.
Every superhero goes through a trial and error process, and in the case of Superman, there has been a TON of errors! That's why on this, the 78th birthday of Superman, I'm taking a look back at 10 of his weirdest, wackiest, and absolute worst super powers! What better way to celebrate, right?
Let's start with a power that sounds cool and really should be, but in fact isn't...at all. Shapeshifting is one of the coolest powers you can have as a superhero. The ability to look and sound like anyone or anything I want? That's just incredible!
But Superman is never one to follow along with what everyone else is doing. So while everyone is using shapeshifting in a cool way, the Man of Steel took a risk and decided to make it the lamest power ever.
At least I assume/hope that's the reason why Superman's shapeshifting abilities involve him stretching his face until his entire face and body looks drastically different. There are several questions here, like why does stretching his face also change his body, skin tone and clothing? Or why does stretching his face do anything but give him sore face muscles? Not only is it illogical, it also looks just plain weird Supes.
9. Solar Flares
Not to be confused with the Dragon Ball Z ability of the same name, Superman's Solar Flare power is much more powerful. Whenever Supes gets really angry, he emits a massive amount of red and blinding energy from his body, vaporizing anything in the immediate vicinity and causing Superman to be momentarily weakened.
Solar-, or Super-Flares as they're officially titled (because Superman can't have a power without the word "Super" in it) are derived from Superman's age-old ability of Heat Vision.
Now I know what you're thinking, this power sounds really cool. But just like Shapeshifting, it just isn't right for Superman. See, having the ability to involuntarily emit a large amount of solar radiation whenever you "Hulk" out is not a super power; it's a curse!
Superman protects the heavily populated city of Metropolis, and this new power of his could cause him to unintentionally murder hundreds of people! Sure, Superman may be good at keeping his cool, but even he gets mad. Especially since he has to deal with things like powerful alien warlords (at least seven different ones), a Kryptonian android, and an angry bald guy EVERY DAY. Somebody get Kent some stress relievers before he vaporizes us all!
8. The Amnesia Kiss
So there have been a number of on-screen Clark Kent/Superman's over the years, but the most ridiculous has got to be Christopher Reeve's portrayal of the character. He was to Superman what George Clooney was to Batman; absolute craziness. Just look at this scene below for proof.
So what's so weird about this scene? Other than Clark's oddly cold reaction to Lois pouring her heart out (show a little more emotion dude!), it looks pretty normal. Clark even makes up for his stoic look by planting an emotional kiss on Lois Lane.
But what if I told you that that wasn't some ordinary kiss? No no, THAT was a Super-Kiss! This super-kiss happens to have a pretty strange power within it; amnesia.
Yes, amnesia. See, in Superman II, Lois Lane finds out that Clark Kent is Superman, something that took her a while to find out despite the fact that all he wears as a disguise is a pair of glasses. Anyway, realizing that it'd be too much of a burden on Lois to know who he really is, Superman erases her memory by making out with her. Because of course.
NO. NO SUPERMAN, THAT'S NOT HOW THAT WORKS.
Ahem, among the many skills Superman has, the art of ventriloquism is one of them. Okay, that's not so bad, it's not hard to believe that Superman picked up a knack for a fun Earthling ability while on his new home.
But this isn't normal ventriloquism, no, this is Super- you know what, just assume everything Superman does has the prefix "Super" in the name. Anyway, "Super-Ventriloquism" allows Superman to project his voice onto other people and objects.
It's the basic rules of ventriloquism, only weirder. Seriously, there's no explanation for why or how Superman, and other Kryptonians (including Krypto the Superdog) can do this. They just stare at someone or something and make it talk. At the risk of being repetitive, NO. NO SUPERMAN, THAT'S NOT HOW THAT WORKS.
6. Super Weaving
...Nope. There's not much I can really say here. That is indeed Superman, weaving a wedding gown, and calling it "Super-Weaving". Despite the fact that all he's doing is using his cool power of super speed to weave, this is apparently an entire different super power specifically designed for rapid weaving.
...Let's...let's just go to the next one. Please.
4. Throwing the 'S' On His Chest
Ah, here's a power I can talk about without completely dying inside! Superman II is definitely the best of the original four Superman films, but it's not without its fair amount of WTF moments.
Like this scene, where Superman stops one of Zod's cronies from attacking him by...throwing a cellophane S at him.
Your eyes do not deceive you; that is actually Superman peeling a letter S off his chest like a sticker and throwing it at someone! To make this even stranger, the S gets larger and covers the bad guy, only to disappear after he falls.
Perhaps this is a legitimate power Superman has in some obscure comic from the past, or maybe Superman just got jealous at Batman for getting to throw those cool Batarangs at his enemies. Either way, Superman's "Throwing of the S" is as famous and just as ridiculous as "Jumping the Shark"!
King Kong is the most popular giant ape in the history of pop culture, and as such, he's bound to have a few copycats. One such copier was Titano, DC Comic's giant ape that terrorized Lois Lane and Superman in the pages of Superman #127.
After kidnapping Lois Lane in a totally-not-at-all King Kong-type scene, Titano was eventually defeated by Superman and sent back in time to the age of the dinosaurs. Any normal ape would be killed instantly in this age, but luckily for Titano, he was larger than a T-Rex!
But just to be safe, Superman used his power of seeing through time to check on the great ape. Fans unsurprisingly took issue with Supes' sudden ability to literally see through time, but I bet now they're wishing they kept quiet. See, as weird and out of nowhere Superman's looking-through-time ability was, it will always be infinitely cooler and make more sense than the power they replaced it with. Super-Imagination.
Rather than seeing through time, Superman just...imagined Titano was okay? It's never explained whether Superman knew for certain Titano was okay, or if he was just actually imagining it. Superman, you cannot just slap "Super" in front of the word "Imagination" and call it a power. THAT'S JUST REGULAR IMAGINING THINGS.
2. Making Tiny Supermen? What Even...
Who knew Superman was such a fan of Austin Powers? That's the only way to explain why he's able to create a Mini Me of himself. It's funny, Austin Powers came out long after this comic. Supes must have used his ability to see through time- I mean, his "Super-Imagination".
Anyway, Superman can create a tiny version of himself to aid him in battle if needed. This tiny Superman shoots out of the larger Superman's hands. And apparently, the tiny Superman isn't even real, just an image that "borrows" Superman's powers.
You might be thinking, "What?" or "How?" Or maybe even "WHAT HOW?!" But don't worry, it's never explained at all!
1. Building Walls By Looking At Th-NOPE
Superman fans constantly debate over whether or not Superman Returns and Man of Steel are good Superman movies. Some people like them, others hate them. But no matter your opinion on those two films, I think we can all agree that the worst Superman movie is without a doubt Superman IV: The Quest for Peace.
The fourth and final film in the Christopher Reeves Superman films was a complete failure. It featured a number of strange scenes, like Clark Kent possibly murdering an aerobics instructor, but the weirdest scene has got to be the one where Superman has to fix the Great Wall of China:
After flying to China using his "terrible green screen" powers, Superman fixes the Great Wall of China by looking at it. Literally, that's all he does. He looks at the wall, a blue light clumsily comes out his eyes, and proceeds to repair the Great Wall like it's made of Lego blocks. YEP.
Also, aren't these the same eyes that project his heat vision? How does he make it so that the blue light comes out of his eyes instead of the red destroying one? And as we saw before, Supes can apparently look at something and emit a green light that lets him be a ventriloquist. What's keeping him from accidentally making the broken wall talk and express its agony about being broken (and being in Superman IV). Is there just a switch in Superman's head that let's him switch eye lights like TV channels?!
So there you have it, 10 of Superman's WORST super powers!
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to spend the rest of this Leap Day in a dark room with dimly lit candles and sad music as I contemplate mine and Superman's life choices.