Why Superman is rubbish. Or to be more precise, a Time article on why Superman is rubbish at the moment. If one bypasses obvious small reasons like Chuck Austen writing one of them, the article misses out the real reason. Superman is, with one exception, always going to be rubbish.

There is really only one Superman story that actually works dramatically. And that is pretty much the origin. Not the infant rocketed from Krypton bit, as writers of even more ill-considered archetypal rip-offs have found (step up Supreme and Mr Majestic). Rather the appearance of an all powerful superhuman who can do anything. The realisation that this demi-god walks among us is the the novelty in the story, the seeming limitless bounds of his powers. Any other story is merely an addendum, Superman can beat up anyone effortlessly.

The answers to this problem effectively destroy the essence of the character. Depowering him makes him “considerably less that Superman”. Creating villians who are as powerful or more so remove his uniqueness. Creating new weaknesses again makes him less Super. Putting him in a world of other superheroes does not really help, they will always be contrasted against him. The hook of the all-powerful Superman is also what makes him impossible to write. Especially for seventy years.