Superman and the Darkseid beatdownPosted: 10/18/2012
Continuing our Superman family theme, I would be a poor commentator if I didn’t bring up the main man himself. Now, I don’t really agree with critics that say the guy’s overpowered. Yes, he’s actually been shown before literally pushing the moon. But with his powers firmly established, the comic book writers adapted accordingly. They introduced weaknesses like kryptonite and magic. They introduced tougher bad guys, including a few that are equal to (if not surprassing) Superman in strength. Like Darkseid.
Darkseid, the evil alien dictator of Apokolips, is the second strongest of Superman’s baddies after Doomsday (I believe). The dude’s been around since 1970 causing trouble with a full-size demon army and an irrational grudge. Oh, and that one time he kidnapped Supergirl in Superman/Batman #11-13, written by Jeph Loeb and drawn by Michael Turner.
Poor Supergirl just got reintroduced a few issues before, yet the young lady didn’t realize her cousin has a rogue gallery hundreds long and with plenty of demented foes willing to steal Superman’s teenage relative. Do these dudes know Superman can push moons? Though today isn’t about Supergirl’s rescue, it is a fantastic way to piss off the Man of Steel.
Eventually Batman saves the day with an immediately played trump card. Y’know, because Darkseid could kill him with a light slap if he wanted.
Satisfying ending for the good guys. Now time to show Supergirl the family farm in Smallville. Introduce her to his parents. Have a home-cooked meal and swap stories of his youth.
Let’s be fair. Superman may possibly be the kindest, gentlest superhero in the DC universe. Thank god, too, as he possesses the power to crack the planet in half with a single temper tantrum. Well, until a baddies does something like vaporize his closest living family member before his eyes. The denial stage of grief doesn’t really play a part here. Unfortunately for Darkseid, he goes right to stage two: anger.
Darkseid can certainly hold his own against Superman; that’s part of his success as a supervillain. But that also means Superman doesn’t really have to hold back, hitting Darkseid with the full force of a planet-cracking punch — double-edged sword and whatnot.
I want to call this a fight, but Superman spends the rest of the time destroying Darkseid. You can read the book (or watch the animated movie) for the whole thing. In true Superman fashion, Darkseid endures not only a savage beating, but also a cliched moral lecture. And trust me, those lectures are what make Superman, in my unreliable opinion, the perfect definition of a superhero.
You know the best part of brutally taking down egotistical dictators? The whimpering disbelief.
Superman won’t kill. He won’t even torture. But he will imprison you in a magical place filled with monster statues for the rest of eternity. Big difference, I promise.
As you learned from the last article, Supergirl’s totally still alive and kicking butt. They faked her death. Add an Oscar to Superman’s Pulitzer Prize collection. Most importantly, this arc has my absolute favorite thing in comics: a happy ending.
I mean, a happy ending and Martian Manhunter doing carpentry.